Posts By: Matthew Guy

By on December 7, 2016

1990 Eagle Talon

Chances are, if you read TTAC as part of a balanced breakfast, you probably had more than a few toy cars scattered around the house like rice at a wedding when you were an OshKosh B’gosh-clad tike. These diminutive metal replicas lurked deep within the shag-pile carpeting, lying with their pointy sides up, waiting to rend bare feet asunder.

In later years, these toys were supplanted by trips to real dealerships, where I no doubt made a nuisance of myself as a prepubescent boy who was interested in examining the new metal for that model year. There are three models whose image remain firmly imprinted on my mind after seeing them for the first time through the lens of a youngster’s eye. Surely, you’ve got one too.

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By on December 7, 2016

2017 VW Golf

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that might not be the best of its range but represents a merciful departure from the rattletrap boxes of sadness which, not too many years ago, used to be hawked by OEMS as their base wheels. Here’s an example.

Sure, it’s easy to mock Volkswagen these days. The diesel emissions scandal has scuppered the brand in the eyes of a number of consumers, adding to traditional VW stereotypes such as high repair and maintenance costs. All the same, excluding an entire brand from consideration because of a single wayward trimline is akin to throwing out a fifty pound sack of potatoes because of one rotten spud.

In the past, Americans treated hatchbacks with a degree of disdain generally leveled at soiled copies of Utne Reader. The Golf is definitely one of the better hatchbacks out there. Does its base S model pass the Ace of Base litmus test?

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By on November 30, 2016

1995 Buick Riviera

Let’s play a game: I’ll name a few cars and you tell me if you think they’ll ever be found plying the roads of their real life namesake. Ready? Sebring. Ha! Corsica. Pfft. Monaco. Nope. Colorado. Wait, hang on; that one actually works.

You know another one that works? The Buick Riviera, especially in its first and final iterations. Not unlike the stunning Avista concept unveiled back in January, the 1995 Riv dropped jaws with its curvaceous  sheetmetal when it debuted at auto shows in the mid-90s. Unlike the Avista, though, they actually built the Riviera. The gamble paid off because once in production, it piled up first-year sales like cordwood.

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By on November 23, 2016

2017 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

The Jaguar F-Type has been around since 2013 creating leagues of bug-eyed gearheads whose jaws invariably hit the ground when they finally see one in person. It’s one of those rare cars that looks a gazillion times better in the metal than on paper. The slinky Coupe version showed up in dealers a year later, with Jaguar periodically adjusting trim levels and feature content.

An alert reader (thanks for writing in!) hinted we should use the F-Type for this series, and I was buoyed by the suggestion. Why? It’s well-known I tend to choose the largest engine and loudest colour available when spending my own hard-earned dollars on a vehicle. Yet, the base V6 F-Type appears to make a compelling case for itself.

Does one need to pop for the F-Type’s optional bellowing V8? Let’s find out.

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By on November 17, 2016

2017 Jeep Compass

Our esteemed Managing Editor doesn’t exactly hand out Lifetime Achievement Awards like Tic-Tacs, so when he does, we know he’s serious. The previous generation Compass was widely (and rightfully) derided for its faux-off-road pretensions and Playskool interior. It wasn’t just TTAC who knocked the thing in recent years; buff books piled on, too.

For FCA, the Jeep brand is essentially a license to print money. All of its models are doing well, even the Compass which, in the U.S., is on its way to having its best sales year since it was introduced a decade ago. Yes, you read that correctly. Armed with that knowledge, and the current hot-as-fire compact crossover segment, one can scarcely imagine the sales gains they will make with this, the handsome new Compass.

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By on November 16, 2016

2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

No one talks about this car anymore. When it was introduced a scant seven model years ago, many noises were made about Hyundai’s newfound ability to compete with the Camaro, Mustang, and G37 of the day. Since then, marketeers at Hyundai carved Genesis into its own brand, leaving the Hyundai-badged Genesis Coupe an outlier on the Korean automaker’s showroom floor. Headed for the chopping block at the end of this year, dealers are likely eager to shift these two-door coupes off their lot and out of their floorplan.

That’s great news for bargain hunters seeking performance.
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By on November 15, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Fans of trim packages from the ‘90s take note: Chevy is reintroducing its ZR2 package, this time for their mid-sized Colorado pickup.

Chevrolet revealed a Colorado ZR2 concept two years ago at the L.A. Auto Show and the rumour mill has been awash with recent reports of a reprise. Now, Chevy has officially announced its butch off-road variant … this time with a diesel.

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By on November 9, 2016

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

A few weeks ago, Ace of Base looked at a base model truck from The General. The thing is, at an instant ramen price point, the compact truck is a rear-drive-only affair. Let’s now imagine a base-model shopper who doesn’t care about payload or bringing home grandfather clocks from estate sales but does want their power shuttled to all four wheels. What to do?

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By on November 2, 2016

Ferrari 488GTB

By all accounts, the Ferrari 488GTB is an incredible machine. Twin turbos coax 661 horsepower from V8 displacing a scant 3.9 litres (my own 3.9-litre V8 cannot accomplish this feat), hustling its 3,362 pounds to felonious speeds in under four seconds. Slick aero and really weird door handles contribute to the 488GTB having 50-percent less drag and 50-percent more downforce than its predecessor.

Like the Porsche we examined a few weeks back, Ferrari has perfected the art of making doryloads of money on each transaction. Buyers can spend upwards of $100,000 on superfluous options that don’t make the quarter-million dollar supercar go any faster. A zero-option Ferrari exists only in the realm of unicorns and healthy fast food. But what would the 1 percent find in their driveway if they custom ordered such a machine? Let’s find out.
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By on October 26, 2016

2017 Lexus ES350

This will not be my most popular Ace of Base. Why? Well, the general consensus of most gearheads is Lexus sedans are awash with gravitas, exhibiting all the excitement of a sleepy sloth and the soul of plain oatmeal.

That’s you and me, though. The harsh light of reality reveals a legion of people in our nation with their Diamond Anniversary in the rearview mirror and a regular booth at the Golden Corral. Their backs ache and their feet hurt. Truth be told, they’d probably rather not be driving at all, preferring to stay home and watch NCIS reruns.

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