The Honda Accord got a dramatic makeover for 2018 that also included a pair of turbocharged engine options. I spent a week driving a top-of-the-line Touring model with the 252-hp 2.0L engine and 10-speed transmission and came away impressed with the car’s performance and roomy interior. However, I’d like this car even more without its push-button transmission controls.
Category Archives: Mid-size cars
1. Fun in the run-of-the-mill
Malibu, in southern California, is sexy and sunny. A car named after such a place must be a sleek convertible, right? Nope. It’s a family sedan, and a bland-looking one, but if you can believe it, this is the most interesting-looking Malibu since the mid-1970s.
2. Simply motivated
Just as the look is what we expect from a mainstream sedan, so is what’s under the hood. Our test car had the base engine, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder; the only transmission is a six-speed automatic. Ho-hum.
3. Good on its feet
But start driving, and you discover there’s a little more to this car than meets the eye. Okay, it’s not exciting, exactly, but the steering is quite good, and the Malibu handles better than I expected it to.
The 2.5-litre engine has an auto stop/start feature that shuts the engine off at stoplights, to save fuel. In my chilly winter test, it only worked about half the time, typical for this technology in cold weather. When it works, its operation is largely transparent, better than similar systems in some more expensive cars (right, BMW?), and contributed to a respectable fuel consumption average of 10.7 L/100 km.
5. Touchy, touchy
Touchscreens are quickly becoming a staple of car interiors. Chevrolet’s version of this technology is called IntelliLink. This one’s better than many, but still doesn’t always respond the first time, which not handy when you’re trying to, you know, drive a car. In fact, the best thing about this touchscreen is the storage compartment hidden behind it.
6. Never look back
Small, oddly-shaped side mirrors seem better suited to sparing you the worry of what’s behind you, rather than aiding visibility.
7. Put some junk in this trunk
Making up for that, perhaps, is the trunk, large enough to fit (for example) a two-drawer filing cabinet and a printer stand at the same time.
8. Identity crisis
A few people asked if it’s fun driving “a cop car.” Nope, that’s the larger Impala, I reminded them. This sedan is good at what it was designed for, but as those cases of mistaken identity illustrate, if you want something that’ll leave a lasting impression, Malibu – the place – is a better bet.
Transforming a car that was forgettable (or that you’d maybe wish you could forget about after driving it) into one that looks very promising is one thing; endowing the new car with driving characteristics that live up to those looks is another. Read my full review of a car that’s been transformed for the better—much better—at AutoFocus.ca.
For the first time in a long time, Honda has a hit on its hands with the redesigned 2013 Accord. Click here for my review at Autos by Sympatico. In short, there is very nearly nothing wrong with this car.
Honda has worked its HFP (Honda Factory Performance) magic on the Accord coupe, but the spell didn’t quite turn it into the fabulous sporty car they’d like you to think it is. Click here to read my Autos.ca Test Drive.
Those who don’t “get” Toyota’s Prius probably never will. For those who do, though, there’s even more to like in the 2012 Prius V, one of two new variants added to this hybrid poster child’s lineup. Read my Quick Spin review at Autos.ca.
The MazdaSpeed6, sold in 2006 and 2007, was a rarity in being a high-performance car based on a garden-variety family sedan, the Mazda6. With a turbocharged motor, all-wheel drive and the only transmission being a six-speed manual, this monster had all the right ingredients for four-door fun. The shame of it, is that it wasn’t built to withstand the rigours of being driven the way it was designed to be. Click here to read my Autos.ca used review of the MazdaSpeed6.
It’s a shame that this second-generation Ford Fusion hasn’t proven as durable as its predecessor. Read my Autos.ca used car review to learn what to watch out for.
This is a Tale of Two Hybrid Systems.
What’s in a name? An awful lot if yours is Camry.
This mid-sized Toyota has practically defined the term “family car” since it was introduced in the early 1980s, its name becoming closely-associated with things like reliable, practical and generally awesome.