By on October 2, 2019

2019 Mazda Mazda3 rear quarter

If you’re a regular on these digital pages, you probably read how the revamped-for-2019 Mazda 3 is a very different beast depending on which side of the border one resides. The Canada-U.S. border, that is. Eager to keep cheapskates entry-level car lovers in a certain province satisfied, Mazda Canada saw fit to offer buyers greater choice than Americans enjoy down south, coupled with a very non-premium starting price.

Good stuff, in this writer’s books.

However, despite both countries having access to sedan and five-door variants, both offered with Mazda’s weather-conquering i-Activ all-wheel drive system, the Mazda 3’s Canadian sales trajectory doesn’t differ from that of its U.S. counterpart. (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2017

2001-2004 Ford Escape

About a quarter century ago, my father’s wife declared that she was tired of her 7-Series Bimmer and that she just wanted “a nice, basic car, like a Saturn.”

“Okay,” I replied, “sounds like a good idea. What options do you need?”

“Nothing special… just the standard things, the basic things.”

“Okay, what are those?”

“Power locks… power windows… A/C where you just pick the temperature number… tilt wheel… leather upholstery… a nice stereo… I want the mirror that gets dark where there are headlights behind you… the remote entry button thing… I don’t want hubcaps… cruise control… it should have some kind of theft alarm…”

“Let me stop you right there,” I said, “I don’t think you’re Saturn material.” Sure enough, her next car was a loaded Audi 100. The funny thing is that most of the things that she considered to be “standard equipment” back in ’92 actually are standard equipment in 2017. But the question remains: When it comes to equipment, how low can you go?

(Read More…)

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