Posts By: Mark Stevenson

By on June 13, 2017

After a four-hour journey that included a ferry ride across the Northumberland Strait from Prince Edward Island, we arrived at one of the largest import car meets in Atlantic Canada in Bedford, Nova Scotia. There, owners showed off rows upon rows of cars in varying states of modification and personalization, from tasteful to tasteless. My car club friends and […]

By on June 12, 2017

Mark Stevenson in 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S, Image: © Kayla Ross

Let’s keep this short, shall we?

This Friday will be my last day as The Truth About Cars’ managing editor. On Monday, I begin a new career elsewhere, outside of journalism but still in the automotive industry.

But this isn’t really a goodbye. I’ll be vacating the seat to sit in another as an editor-at-large here at TTAC, and will stay for as long as my replacement will have me.

Speaking of my replacement …

(Read More…)

By on May 25, 2017

2015 Nissan Juke, Image: Nissan

When you burst out guns blazing from the get-go, it’s sometimes difficult to follow up with an impressive sequel. Such is the case with the Juke, which will have no second generation — at least not in North America.

According to two independent sources familiar with Nissan’s future product plans who spoke with TTAC, the Japanese automaker will kill off the funky four-wheel-drive subcompact crossover after the 2017 or 2018 model year, and replace it — in body and name — with the Aguascalientes-built Nissan Kicks.

Representatives for Nissan said it would not comment on future product.

(Read More…)

By on May 18, 2017

2016 Mazda2, Image: Mazda

It was January of 2015 and I was standing in a small venue in Montreal. The space was dark save some access lighting and red spotlights pointed at a sheet-covered car.

A few moments later, the sheet was pulled off, and Mazda Canada announced the 2016 Mazda 2 would be coming to The Great White North.

Eleven months later, Mazda Canada would reverse that decision, citing other all-new products — namely the CX-3 and MX-5 — requiring Mazda’s full attention. After all, the small automaker didn’t want to spread itself too thin, and it wasn’t like the previous-generation Mazda 2 set the sales charts on fire — on either side of the border.

In America, Mazda North America Operations had zero intention of selling the subcompact in any region other than Puerto Rico. Yet, year after year since the model went on sale in other global markets, Mazda continues to certify the Mazda 2’s emissions system with the California Air Resources Board, effectively making it eligible for retail sale in any of the 13 “CARB states” and District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, Mazda says it still has no intention to sell the Mazda 2 in America. What’s going on? We reached out to Mazda to get an answer.

(Read More…)

By on May 16, 2017

#HondaFamilyOdyssey

Ripples on a pond. Waves on the ocean. On the surface, they’re innocuous. But make enough waves and you know’ll you’re either doing the right or wrong thing, taking the right or wrong action, getting the right or wrong result.

In this particular case, the waves were building in the form of private messages and an email from a public relations representative from an OEM. It read:

From: <OEM PR flack>
To: <Mark Stevenson>
Subject: Seriously?

Honda…

That was it.

Even with only two words, the email was a no-brainer. The flack was talking about the Honda Odyssey launch.

Just weeks before that email, some members of TTAC had an at-length discussion on our participation in the event as TTAC’s invite to the program sat unanswered in my inbox.

(Read More…)

By on May 11, 2017

AJAC Canadian Car of the Year 2016

We wrote about it. They listened.

For the general car buyer who simply wants good value from a reliable form of transport, awards can become a rat’s nest of contradictory information for those who don’t know how — or care — to evaluate the awards themselves. It behooves credible professional organizations to make their awards relevant to consumers.

It’s with this in mind that the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) evaluated its Canadian Car of the Year and Testfest programs.

After a thorough review, AJAC is significantly changing its testing methodology and scoring for Canadian Car of the Year — and it’s doing so for the betterment of car buyers.

(Read More…)

By on April 28, 2017

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

After the reveal of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Dodge Demon at the New York Auto Show, I thought all the hooplah would be over. We all did. Little did I know Automotive News’ editorial board would pen a screed calling for the Demon’s banishment from American roads, which then caused others to cry foul at the bylineless editorial, and subsequently triggered Larry Vellequette — the author of the original piece — to double down on his thoughts, name attached.

In the last piece, Mr. Vellequette claims, “It is still a stupid idea for Fiat Chrysler to outfit the Dodge Demon as a high-performance drag racer and then sell it to the motoring public in a form that makes it inherently more dangerous off the track.”

He’s not wrong. Drag radials come fitted to the Demon from the factory, and he claims they’re “prone to lose traction in even a light morning mist under that much torque — regardless of electronic intervention.” I won’t argue with that.

But I will argue with the logic upon which Mr. Vellequette bases his call for exorcising this Demon from America’s roads, and who he thinks should do something about it.

(Read More…)

By on April 27, 2017

It’s been a year. On this very day one year ago, I took delivery of an oval-badged, ovoid-shaped, three-cylinder hatchback. My 1.0-liter Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta, with its five manually-operated forward gears and turbocharged torque has provided 12 months and over 10,000 miles of mostly trouble-free driving. Two oil changes and no need for other maintenance have kept operating […]

By on April 4, 2017

Mark Stevenson's Former 1995 Ford Bronco, Image: © 2011 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Over the past few weeks, Jack and I have driven down the road of nostalgia as we contemplated the fate of our past fleets. Thanks to TTAC’s resident wrench and automotive P.I. Bozi Tatarevic, we were able to find closure; Jack’s Oldsmobubble went to the great crusher in the sky, while my Bronco continues to ply the roads of Oklahoma City before it meets a similar fate in a not-so-distant future.

Now it’s your turn to play “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

(Read More…)

By on March 29, 2017

technical-difficulties1

UPDATE

Everything is good now. Comment away on your phones, dear friends.


We’re having an issue with the site today where a bug is redirecting logged-in mobile users from TTAC’s main page to the forum. Currently, we don’t know when the issue will be fixed.

In the meantime, we have a workaround: log out of your commenter account on mobile. I know — it sucks. But for now, that’s the only solution we have.

Sorry, folks :(

By on March 23, 2017

Mark Stevenson's Former 1995 Ford Bronco, Image: © 2011 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

It was 2011. I’d just lost my job working in the lower 48 while on a TN visa. Uncle Sam has some strict rules when it comes to trying to find another job when you’ve lost your sponsored “NAFTA” ride, so I needed to get out of Texas in a hurry and back to my homeland with all my possessions.

There was just one big problem: I had too many vehicles, and needed to decide which part of my motorized fleet to cull before the journey.

(Read More…)

By on March 3, 2017

Fictional Autonomous Ford in Super Bowl Commercial

They roll in weekly. We watch them. We rub our hands together with schadenfroh glee.

I’m speaking of Tesla Autopilot crash videos.

Like a train wreck, we seem unable to avert our eyes from videos depicting the Silicon Valley darling’s sheetmetal kissing concrete dividers and other animate and inanimate objects. Time and time again, owners of Tesla’s Autopilot-equipped Model S and Model X vehicles throw caution to the wind and let the computer issue orders in situations when it’s imperative there be human intervention.

And it’s not going to change — not tomorrow, not ever — until we alter course. That’s because we’re trying to answer the wrong question when it comes to autonomous mobility.

(Read More…)

By on March 2, 2017

Dodge Demon Driveline

Like a professional dancer performing north of the Arctic Circle, the Dodge Demon’s strip tease is arduous and painful, beginning with a parka, moving on to the moccasins, then the toque, and … you get the idea.

But the latest installment of the Demon’s online strip tease may have just nuked an earlier rumor regarding the new SRT’s driveline.

Subaru fanboys — this angel of rubber-shredding death (probably) isn’t for you.

(Read More…)

By on February 23, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback LT Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

It wasn’t long ago that the Detroit Three were fending off the Japanese on home soil as the Land of the Rising Sun cranked out reliable car after reliable car for the American masses. Then came the Koreans — Kia and Hyundai — who brought over cheap metal to win market share but quickly turned around their quality and reliability woes and produced some of the best products in the industry.

So why is it that, after 108 years of building automobiles, General Motors still manufactures abysmal garbage?

(Read More…)

By on February 17, 2017

2017 Buick Model Lineup from Buick Website

“Buick revealed its Cascada convertible, an elegant four-seater that will go on sale in the USA in the first quarter of 2016. This marks another example of the two brands’ successful collaboration, which already includes the jointly-developed Buick Encore and Opel Mokka, the Buick Verano and Opel Astra notchback as well as the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia,” proclaimed Opel in January 2016, just ahead of the Cascada’s reveal in Detroit.

One paragraph. Four products that intrinsically link Opel and Buick.

It’s no surprise, then, that General Motors’ possible sale of Opel to Peugeot has those in and out of the RenCen wondering: What of Buick?

(Read More…)

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