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Automotive Reviews

Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica -- People Haulers, Plus

by Jim Bray,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

People hauling. It's one of the primary uses for any vehicle, but as we see by the wide variety of vehicles on the road today, there's an amazing number of ways to skin that particular cat.

What is Propane (LPG)

By Mark Smyth

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Is LPG? It Is Also Called Propane. In Asia they call it cooking gas. Same thing. 

LPG is liquefied petroleum gas commonly known as propane (C3H8), a combustible hydrocarbon based fuel. It has a very high octane rating of 105 ( R + M ) It comes from the refining of crude oil or the separation of natural gas from other gases combined with it as found in nature.  At normal pressure and temperatures above -44F Propane remains in it's gaseous form.

Is the 'Smart Car' really Smart?

by Jack Ward

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Years ago the political joke was "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". Now the joke is "I'm from the government and I'm here to save you". The government has gone from help mode to save mode. I can't recall when government made the transition but it has been in full force for several decades.

Porsche Creates World's Greatest Sunroof

By Jim Bray

Monday, May 28, 2007

You could call it a "rooferendum", and it gets my "aye" vote.

Porsche's 911 Targa, with its virtually-all-glass sliding roof, is the latest and greatest iteration of a quasi-convertible style whose name is synonymous with open top motoring without the hassle, visibility and security concerns of a true convertible top.

Jeep Proves Patriotism Can Pay Off

By Jim Bray

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just as I was beginning to wonder if Chrysler had lost it, along came two weeks in two decidedly different -- but worthwhile -- vehicles: the Dodge Avenger and Jeep Patriot.

Dodge Avenges the Nitro

By Jim Bray

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dodge's Avenger is a conventional mid-sized four door sedan that looks kind of like a smaller and a bit more subtle Charger (not a bad thing). It's quite attractive, visibly a Dodge (if that's important to you) and gives reasonable driving pleasure for its price. Whether it's as good as, or better, than its competition will surely be settled objectively by the marketplace.

2008 Subaru Tribeca Gets Rhinoplasty, Refinement

By Jim Bray

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I guess maybe the original Tribeca wasn't as "B9" as Subaru had thought.

That's because for 2008, Subaru's nifty Tribeca is no longer called the "B9 Tribeca", at least according to its badging and the company's U.S. website. But that's okay. That double name was confusing to start with, and it just so happens that the welcome move to simplicity is also reflected in more than the vehicle's moniker: the Tribeca's formerly strange front end has been simplified as well.

Easy to Dodge This Nitro

By Jim Bray

Monday, June 25, 2007

Maybe it's me, but I just didn't get this vehicle. In fact, it rubbed me the wrong way in nearly every way.

And yet, when I searched the Internet to learn how widespread my opinion may be, I seemed to be a voice in the wilderness among an automotive press that appears to think the Nitro is a step in the right direction for Dodge.

Toyota Tundra -- Civilized Brute Force

By Jim Bray

Monday, June 25, 2007

If the third time's the charm, Toyota's new Tundra full sized pickup is definitely a charming vehicle. If you think big trucks are charming.

I'm not a truck guy, except for the occasional time I need to haul something (I prefer hauling butt in a fast car), but if I had to buy a big pickup, it just might be this new Tundra -- though I thought the last generation was a pretty skookum truck as well. But the marketplace and punditry decided otherwise, that the last Tundra still wasn't enough for Toyota to play with the big boys in the full sized truck market.

Mitsubishi Lancer

By Jim Bray

Monday, June 25, 2007

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Mitsubishi must really love Audi, Acura and Lexus.

Mitsubishi's new, 2008 Lancer compact sports sedan has apparent homages to all three marques in its attractive exterior: the grille looks inspired by the proboscis on recent Audis, the sides look as if they were cloned from the current Acura TL and the rear end looks clearly, er, borrowed from the current Lexus IS -- all of which are fine (and fine looking) cars.

Volvo C30--Pretty Looks, Pretty Sloppy Driving

By Jim Bray

Sunday, June 3, 2007

It's the prettiest Volvo I've seen in many a year, a seductively sexy coupe/wagon that looks like a million dollars.

Alas, it drives like substantially less than that, and that's where this car with sporty pretensions falls down.

Hyundai Accents the Positive

By Jim Bray

Sunday, June 3, 2007

You could have knocked me down with a feather! Hyundai's entry level car, the Accent, may be just an inexpensive little econobox, but despite its low end lineage I loved it!

The new Accent is the latest major redesign from Hyundai to up the ante considerably over its previous version. The old Accent was a nice little car, but nothing particularly special, as was expected generally from Hyundai back then. But the most recent Hyundais I've driven, from the reborn Santa Fe andd Sonata to the all-new Azera and Entourage, are vehicles that can compete head to head with the competition from anywhere in the world.

Porsche 911 Turbo -- Can you say "Whoosh!"?

By Jim Bray

Monday, May 28, 2007

Zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds. 480 horses @ 6000 rpm. 460 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,950 - 5,000 rpm. A claimed top speed of 193 miles per hour.

You think this might be a fun car to wind out on a back road?

Honda CR-V -- Reborn with a New Look, New Utility

By Jim Bray

Monday, May 28, 2007

In the world of "cute utes," Honda's CR-V has traditionally been one of the least cute. That tradition has been maintained in the new generation SUV.

Toyota Camry LE --  Vanilla is Back in Fashion

By Jim Bray

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

It has a spiffy new look inside and out, and will probably run forever. For what more could anyone ask?

More excitement, perhaps? 

The 2007 Toyota Camry LE, the four cylinder version of which I got to live with for a week, is a fine car, well built and unpretentious. And very vanilla.

Infiniti G35x -- Gunning for the BMW 3?

By Jim Bray

Monday, April 30, 2007

The car that finally put Infiniti on the automotive map is reborn for 2007, with new power, a new interior, and plenty of new stuff to excite the driver.

Porsche Cayman--a Low End Supercar?

By Jim Bray

Monday, April 30, 2007

There's nothing quite like a Porsche, at least in my experience driving and writing about it. Porsches speak on a visceral level; the current 911 Carrera is the most gorgeous in the car's long history of being gorgeous, and driving one is even better than looking at one.

Even the entry level Porsches are a blast, as I discovered during my week with a "HEY!!!! LOOK AT ME!!!!!" "Guards red" Cayman.

Mercedes-Benz E280 4Matic Sedan

By Jim Bray

Monday, April 30, 2007

How can a sedan with a well-earned reputation for excellence leave a reviewer feeling ambivalent after a week behind the wheel?

It couldn't have been the fact that the 2007 Mercedes-Benz E280 4Matic is the "entry level" version of the popular E-Class; heck, a "lower end" Benz (which is about as close to an oxymoron as I can think of!) is still an important vehicle in the automotive world, a car that lets mere mortals know you've arrived. And when I drove the even more "entry level" B200 Turbo a while back, I loved the little critter. What gives?

Audi A6 Avant -- a Wagon That Fits Like a Finely-Tailored Suit

by Jim Bray TechnoFile.com magazine

4/9/07

For me, it was love at first drive. And it was a four wheel drive station wagon!

Not just any wagon, mind you. The Audi A6 Avant, the wagon version of the Audi's A6 sedan, is one of those rare beasts: a car that feels as if Audi had taken my measurements and crafted the vehicle with me in mind. Is it any wonder that I was captivated?

GM Following Multiple Paths for Green Vehicles

by Jim Bray TechnoFile.com magazine

4/8/07

Environmentally friendly strategies are all the rage these days, even as the wheels of the environmental bandwagon start seizing up as science challenges eco-religious zealotry.

Big Mazda "Crossover" SUV -- "Zoom" with a Bird's Eye View

by Jim Bray TechnoFile.com magazine

4/7/07

It's big, it's comfy and it's roomy. Oh yeah, it's also a Mazda and that means it's pretty nice to drive.

"It" is the Mazda CX-9, the company's new flagship SUV, er, crossover. It's basically a bigger version of the CX-7, and features a windshield raked steeply, big, multi-spoked wheels and three rows of seats meant to hold up to seven people.

Automotive Accessories

Rain-X Wipes Create "No-Streak" Windshields

By Jim Bray, TechnoFile Magazine

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's almost like not needing windshield wipers!

Well, maybe not quite, but it is a quick and easy way to prevent rain and snow from sticking to your vehicle's windshield, giving you clearer vision when Person Nature unleashes his and/or her fury on it!

Insurance

If you've ever had a drink and gotten behind the wheel read on

By Lee Romanov

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Recently, new Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino called drunk driving "the leading cause of criminal death in this country".

Your Car Is Safe, But Is Your Insurance Rate?

By Lee Romanov

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick Award of the year has just gone to the 2007 Acura RDX 4-door AWD.

Auto Insurance Rates Threatened

By Lee Romanov

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

TORONTO -- InsuranceHotline.com, Auto insurance policies include liability protection in case you cause damage or injury to another person.

We all pay for the drunk driver, but now we could be paying even more, due to an omission under your Ontario auto policy.

How Does Your Car Rate?

By Lee Romanov

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TORONTO -- InsuranceHotline.com, Canada's largest unbiased, online insurance rate quoting service, warns drivers that the type of car you drive can determine how much you pay for your insurance, but there is much more going on.

Automotive Oddities

Putting the "Car" into the Icarus Fable

by Jim Bray, TechnoFile Magazine
September 15, 2004

The cure to congested highways may be just around the corner if one man’s dream comes to pass.

Automotive Accessories

Compulsory immobilizers sure to decrease auto theft

by Frank Fourchalk
Sunday, July 9, 2006
After almost a decade of rising auto theft stats that peaked in 2003, car theft has dropped for the second year in a row.

Digital Data Device Monitors Your Motor

by Jim Bray, TechnoFile Magazine
Wednesday, April 5, 2006
If you own a fleet of corporate vehicles, you undoubtedly want to take care of them to get the most from your investment. And I'm willing to bet there are times when you suspect some of your employees may be giving their lead feet a workout on the company vehicles you provide them.
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