02-20-20

OTTAWA BOAT SHOW 2020

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oTTAWA bOAT sHOW

With an unrivalled selection ranging from powerboats, fishing boats and cruisers, to pontoons, canoes and kayaks, the Ottawa Boat Show is the largest boat show in the Ottawa/Rideau Region.

Come visit the Jim Tubman Chevrolet booth at the Ottawa Boat Show from February 20 - 23, 202 at the EY Centre.

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09-07-19

CLASSIC CAR SHOW ‘N SHINE

Car Show 6Calling all car enthusiasts!

Whether you love to shine up and show off your classic car or are a car enthusiast, we invite you to join us on Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 10am to 2pm for the annual Jim Tubman Chevrolet Show 'N Shine.  All makes and models are welcome.

Registration is just $5 plus there will be a BBQ, door prizes and music.  All proceeds raised will be donated to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and Cancer Research.

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08-05-19

RANDY’S TOY BOX SHOW ‘N SHINE

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InaugRandy's Toy Boxural Show this year being hosted by Hwy 43 Car Club in Greely. Jim Tubman Chevrolet is giving away $500 cash to some lucky show participant.  NAPA Manotick has donated a Radical Toolbox and tickets will be sold and drawn at the Show.  The event will be held at 6808 Hiram Dr, Greely, ON on August 5 from 9am to 3pm rain or shine.  Dash Plaques (first 100), Raffle Table, 50/50 draw, Food Vendor, Live Music, Great Prizes.  Learn more.

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03-12-19

OTTAWA VALLEY FARM SHOW

Farm ShowThe 2019 Ottawa Valley Farm Show will be held from March 12 to 14 at the EY Conference Centre on Uplands Dr.  Come visit the Jim Tubman Chevrolet exhibit.

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02-13-19

GREEN TRADE EXPO

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Green Trade ExpoMark your calendar for Eastern Ontario's premier green industry products & services showcase to be held on February 13, 2019 at the EY Centre from 8am - 3pm.  While there, come visit the Jim Tubman Chevrolet exhibit.

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02-02-19

CANTERBURY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION FAMILY FUN FROST FEST

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Join in somCanterburye winter fun at the Jim Tubman Chevrolet SENS Rink on Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 10 am - 8 pm.  The event will consist of numerous activities throughout the day such as skating lessons, figure skating show, skate with Riley the Racoon - Ottawa 67's and many more activities.  Also enjoy a Horsedrawn Sleigh Ride courtesy of Jim Tubman Chevrolet.

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07-01-18

CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS

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canadaDayCome and celebrate Canada Day with the community on July 1 at the Jim Tubman Chevrolet SENS Rink, 2185 Arch St.  Activities will take place from noon until 4:00 pm rain or shine.  Join us for a free BBQ & drinks, live entertainment, bouncy castle and much more.  See you there!

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04-11-18

Silverado

By Jil McIntosh, Driving.ca - In the world of truck advertising, torque and towing are kings.  It's an all-out war and there are some pretty impressive numbers out there, but there's more to a truck than just pound-feet and how much it can pull.

Those biggest numbers belong to the heavy-duty trucks - three-quarter-ton (2500/250) and one-ton (3500/350) - and I had the Chevrolet Silverado 2500.  The heavy-duty Silverado models, and their mechanically-identical GMC Sierra siblings, start with a 6.0-litre V8 gasoline engine making 360 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque.

My chariot carried the optional Duramax 6.6-L V8 turbodiesel engine, which ups the ante to 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque.  It's not a cheap upgrade; the engine is an additional $10,430 and it hooks exclusively to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission, priced separately at $1,445.  The Silverado 2500 starts at $42,070 for the Regular Cab 4x2 in Work Truck trim, while my Crew Cab 4x4 LTZ tester began at $63,065 with gas engine.

Adding the optional diesel engine and transmission, along with such options as a Midnight Edition black-out accent package, power sunroof and Z71 off-road package, brought it to $80,005 before freight and taxes.  In a nutshell, trucks ain't cheap anymore.

An all-new Silverado 1500 half-ton is coming for 2019, completely redone from the tires up.  The new heavy-duty versions usually lag at least a year or two behind, so expect the current-generation 2500 and 3500 to hang in for a while.

The Silverado's 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque slots in between archrivals Ford F-250, with a 6.7L Power Stroke diesel that makes 450 hp and 935 lb-ft of torque, and the Ram 2500, with a 6.7-L Cummins engine that cranks out 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque.  That's about it for your choices in this segment.  Toyota doesn't make a heavy-duty Tundra, while Nissan offers the Titan XD, a truck it says bridges the gap between half- and three-quarter-ton models, and with an available 5.0 L Cummins that makes 555 lb-ft of torque.

As for towing, turn off the TV when the oversized numbers start rolling up.  Tow ratings are a complicated science, and whenever an automaker promises you'll be able to haul an apartment building off its foundation, that's the very top number for specific truck configurations with a specific type of hitch.  It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Buy the truck that best matches your trailer.

I recently towed and hauled with all of the Detroit Three heavy-duty trucks in back-to-back testing, and all of them get the job done without fuss, but I give the nod ahead to the Chevy.  That Duramax-Allison combination is a match made in heaven; acceleration is smooth and linear with a heavy load, and braking is confidence inspiring.  The Silverado's exhaust brake sound is nowhere near as much fun as the Ram's booming hey-good-buddy-we-got-a-convoy blatt, but it does a good job of slowing everything down on deceleration.

All of these big trucks are meant to look intimidating, and the Silverado plays the part with its huge domed hood and squared-off styling (beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but I think the GMC Sierra is better looking).  At the back, GM uses a simple step into the bumper ends that's absolutely brilliant: Put your foot in, grab the handhold in the box side, and pull yourself up (and you need it, because trucks these days are needlessly oversized).  Ford gives you a tailgate-mounted step that works well, but requires you to pull it out and set it up, while Ram offers nothing more than a sliver of rubber-topped bumper when the tailgate's down, and I'm terrified that my toe will slip and my knee will slam into the edge on my way down.

Still, not everything on the Chevy seems as smart as its step.  The front bumper is cut out to provide airflow for the intercooler, but without a protective mesh over it, it looks vulnerable to stones and debris.  Meanwhile, the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank sits lot under the passenger-side rocker, waiting for a driver to bump over a tall curb.  The stock mirrors are also too small for the truck's size.  Why make a fuss over what it can pull, and then expect customers to pay $450 for optional towing mirrors?

The interior is a nice place to be, and the Silverado features supportive seats, a roomy second row with fold-up seats for extra storage, large centre storage console, and controls that are easy to use, even when you're wearing gloves.  And unfortunately you are likely to have them on in this truck.  While it sounds like a needless luxury, heated steering wheels are the new gotta-have-it feature, especially on a truck where the idea, at least in theory, involves some work outdoors in the cold.  The top-trim High Country has one, but not this LTZ tester, and it's a glaring omission on something that costs 80 grand.

Heavy-duty diesels are seldom an impulse buy, but if it's your first one, remember that in addition to the engine's initial stiff cost, it's also more expensive to service.  So ignore the big numbers in the ads and instead consider your needs, and buy appropriately.

Overview: Chevrolet's entry in the tow-and-torque wars

Pros: Impressive engine and transmission combination, simple box step, nice interior

Cons: A few missing items, considering its trim level

Value for money: Good

What I would change: Give it bigger mirrors

How I would spec it: LT trim; it is one step below, but still lots of stuff

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04-11-18

CHEVROLET BOLT EV WINS AJAC 2018 CANADIAN CREEN CAR OF THE YEAR

2018 Chevrolet Bolt

By General Motors of Canada, Toronto - The Chevrolet Bolt was named Overall Winner of the 2018 Canadian Green Car Award.  The Chevrolet Bolt was also named Overall Winner in 2017, marking the first time in the Award's six-year history that a vehicle has won back to back.  The Chevrolet Volt took home the award in 2016, making this the third consecutive win for the brand.

The Bolt EV, winner of this year's Zero Emission category, was selected by a panel of top Canadian automotive journalists from among six category winners as the vehicle that best combines environmental benefits and mass-market appeal.

The Canadian Green Car Awards recognizes vehicles, widely available in Canada, that combine impressive environmental attributes with strong mass-market appeal.  The assessments included criteria, such as fuel consumption, emissions and price, as well as the judges' evaluations of performance, driving experience, value, features and "green" qualities.

QUOTING:

"Chevrolet is honoured to accept the Canadian Green Car Award for the third consecutive year", said Ester Bucci, brand, product and technology communications manager at Chevrolet Canada.  "This award reinforces Chevrolet's commitment to offering an affordable, world-changing vehicle that delivers on the promise of an electric car for the masses.  Chevrolet is dedicated to continued innovation in electrification, that will bring the thrill of driving an electric vehicle to many more Canadians."

2018 BOLT EV BACKGROUND:

Chevrolet is proud to lead the market and sell more plug-in electric vehicles in Canada than any other brand.  The Chevrolet Bolt EV sets the range benchmark for an affordable EV capable of going the distance by delivering up to 383 kilometres on a full charge.  Bolt EV starts at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $44,300 (plus $1,795 freight charge and $100 air conditioning tax).  In Ontario, pricing can be as low as $31,911 after the eligible Ontario provincial incentive of $12,389.

About the Canadian Green Car Award

The Canadian Green Car Award is Canada's premier award recognizing vehicles with the greatest potential for environmental benefits.  The Award is an independent program developed by automotive journalists Eric Novak, Michael Bettencourt and Peter Gorrie, who comprise its steering committee.  The Award recognizes vehicles, widely available in Canada, that offer both impressive environmental attributes and strong mass-market appeal, since any product can have a significant impact only if it sells in large numbers.

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03-22-18

OTTAWA-GATINEAU INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

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The OAuto Showttawa-Gatineau International Auto Show runs from March 22 - 25, 2018 at the Shaw Centre (Ottawa Convention Centre).  There will be over 300 vehicles from 34 manufacturers on display including General Motors and the full line-up of Chevrolets.  Fun for the entire family.

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02-18-18

SKATING PARTY

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TeamLogue-SkatingParty-einvite-1-e1515892535714Councillor Jean Cloutier and Jim Tubman Chevrolet invite you to a Skating Party ... Sunday, February 18 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the Jim Tubman Chevrolet SENS Rink, 2185 Arch St.

Join us for a completely FREE family-friendly celebration, including snacks, entertainment, fun on the ice, and a snowman-building competition (weather permitting).  You are welcome to bring accessories to decorate your snowman.

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01-25-18

CHEVY’S DIESEL-POWERED EQUINOX IS CERTAINLY EFFICIENT, BUT BE PREPARED FOR SOME STICKER SHOCK

Equinox DieselBy Jil McIntosh, Driving.ca - Diesel engines have been around for more than a century, but North Americans have never really flocked to it for light-duty use the way Europeans have.  That hasn't stopped automakers from trying, though, and with its all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, GM offers an equally-new diesel.

The 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel is offered alongside two four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines: a 1.5-L unit making 170 horsepower and a 2.0-L engine producing 252 hp.  The diesel isn't the strongest of the three - its 240 pound-feet of torque sits between the two gas engines - but at a published combined city/highway fuel consumption of 7.4 L/100 kilometes, it's the most efficient.

Those fuel numbers are a big reason many automakers are sticking with diesel, especially a truck-heavy company like GM that needs to off-set thirstier members of the fleet.  As with all current diesels, you have to add diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, which automatically squirts into the exhaust system to neutralize pollutants.  The company estimates about 8,000 to 9,000 kilometres between refills.  So for most drivers, it'll probably be replenished during the oil change.

The engine is a clean-sheet design, engineered by GM in Italy and built in Hungary, and it's pretty heavy on tech.  The injection system can deliver fuel ridiculously fast - up to 10 times per ignition cycle - for quieter operation, and it has an intake port with a butterfly valve to swirl the air for better combustion.  The timing chain is on the back of the engine to further reduce noise.  I don't know if I'd quite call it a "whisper diesel" as GM does, but it's definitely nothing like the clattery versions of days gone by.

Pricing depends on the trim and driveline.  The Equinox starts at $25,445, which gets you the 1.5-litre gas engine and front-wheel drive; for all-wheel drive, it's $27,845.  The 2.0-L turbo-four runs from $34,020 to $37,445.  The diesel versions are the priciest, starting at $34,120 for front-drive models and at $36,520 for AWD versions, while my Premier Diesel tester was the chart-topper of the entire Equinox range, at $37,945.  Mine was then further equipped with the True North package, which adds such items as a power sunroof, navigation, ventilated seats and such electronic safety nannies as lane keeping and emergency braking, which took it to $41,945.

Overall, this new Equinox is impressive.  I like the size and the styling, and the new cabin is handsome and roomy.  The seats are supportive both front and rear, and the rears fold down easily to provide an almost-flat cargo floor.  There are dials and buttons for most of the controls, so changing the temperature or the radio volume should always be quick and straightforward, and the icons on the infotainment screen are large and simple to use.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, and there's an integrated Wi-Fi hot spot that can handle as many as seven devices, but you have to buy a subscription to stay connected once the trial period is up.

The driving experience is a typical commuter vehicle done well.  Handling is predictable, and steering is just light enough to be easy without feeling vague.  The ride is equally smooth and well planted, and you have to hit a pretty big pothole before you start to hear any bumps.  The all-wheel system runs primarily in front-wheel drive until the back wheels need power.  It can be disconnected via a button on the console, ostensibly for better fuel economy, although I'd rather spend whatever small amount of fuel it saves to have that all-wheel drive on tap should the conditions warrant it.

The engine gets the job done, but it's no powerhouse.  Don't expect the torque-rich, low-end power that you'd get out of a diesel-equipped sports model or truck.  For that matter, don't expect it to have superior towing capacity; both the 1.5-L and the diesel are rated for 1,500 pounds, while the 2.0-L can pull 3,500 pounds.

In my week with the diesel Equinox, I averaged 9.7 L/100 kilometres; that's well over the official number, although I'll cut it some slack because it was brutally cold weather.  All engines have an automatic start/stop feature that shuts them off at idle, intended to improve consumption and emissions.  What I really hate is that GM has ditched the over-ride button, so you can't disable this feature if you don't want the engine shutting itself off.

All Equinox models include such safety features as a rear-view camera, a rear-seat reminder, and a Teen Driver program that tattles if young driver's don't wear seatbelts, or if they speed or set off the safety nannies.  Still, forward-collision alert, emergency braking, bird's-eye camera, and lane-keep assist are only available as options on the top-line Premier models.  In a vehicle intended for families, why not offer them across the board?

Offering three engines provides lots of choice, although each has its pros and cons.  The 1.5-L costs the least, but it works hard; the 2.0-L is powerful, but it's the thirstiest and prefers premium gas.  The diesel is efficient, but the most expensive.  Overall, though, for ride, comfort, practicality and good looks, this newest Equinox is a really good machine.

Overview:  An excellent makeover of a practical sport use

Pros:  Quiet ride, comfortable seats, handsome styling

Cons:  Costly diesel option, safety features should be available on lower trims

Value for money:  Good

What I would change:  Let me shut off the idle-stop if I choose

How I would spec it:  The diesel in LT trim

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01-23-18

CHEVY’S NEW CRUZE DIESEL COULD BE THE SALVE FOR THOSE MOURNING THE DEMISE OF VW’S TDIS

Cruze DieselBy Peter Bleakney, Driving.ca - Just when you thought the diesel-powered compact car was dead in the water, GM comes rattling to the rescue.  The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, available in both sedan and hatchback, could very well be a salve for those who mourn the tragic demise of Volkswagen's cruelly deceptive yet otherwise excellent TDIs.

Up until that VW's emissions scandal blew up real good, the diesel-powered Golf and Jetta enjoyed cult status here in Canada, accounting for a sizable percentage of those compact car's sales.  Canucks have a penchant for diesels, and really, what's not to like?  Amazing fuel mileage along with gobs of relaxed torque is hard to dispute.

So, can this diesel Cruze pick up where the compact VWs left off?  Will it ever garner the kind of love and emotion the TDI faithful still harbor in their hearts?  Will it spawn a new crowd, proudly willing to wield their stinky yellow pump handle?

I will say this: after a week in the saddle of the 2018 Cruze Diesel sedan, the on-board computer showed a heart-warming fuel consumption rating of 5.4 L/100 kilometres, and with diesel currently cheaper than regular gasoline, that's a sweet thing.  So yes, this diesel sedan delivers hybrid-baiting economy without the attendant weight and complexity of battery packs, electric motors and mega computing power.

However, pricing is an issue that weighs down the Cruze Diesel.  It's only available in the second-from-top tier LT trim, with the six-speed manual sedan starting at $24,395.  Add another 41,500 for the six-speed automatic in this tester, and that represents a $3,250 hike over the comparable gas models that run with a 1.4-L turbo-four making 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

The heart of the matter here is an all-new 1.,6-L turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, with a variable-vane turbocharger, and aluminum block and heads.  This Hungarian-built oil-burner is 20 kilograms lighter and a claimed 68 per cent quieter than the 2.0-L turbodiesel it replaces.  The engine is also available in the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers, so yes, GM seems serious about this diesel business.

While this new diesel's 137 hp might sound a bit paltry, it's the robust 240 lb-ft of torque available from 2,000 rpm that does the talking.  hooked to an excellent nine-speed automatic transmission that expertly slurs the gears while keeping the little oil-burner in the meat of its torque band, the Cruze Diesel never feels flat-footed.  There's always a big slug of torque at the ready to urge you forward from just about any speed.  It certainly feels more fleet than the gasoline car.

In Europe, this engine gets the nickname "fluster-diesel" - fluster is German for whisper.  indeed, once warmed up, it is a civilized unit.  Sure, there's an earnest - some might find it endearing - grumble emanating from under the hood when accelerating, but when cruising, it's as quiet as a church.  And with the necessary down-stream urea-injection exhaust scrubbing, it meets all North American emission regulations.  You'll need to top up the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) every 8,000 to 10,000 km.

There are a few reasons diesel engines are so much more efficient than gas engines.  Diesel fuel is more energy-dense, containing about ten per cent more bang-power per litre.  Additionally, parasitic pumping losses are reduced in a diesel engine because engine speed is dictated by fuel supply; it doesn't have to work to suck air through a restrictive opening (the "throttle", get it?)  And finally, the super high-compression ratio, needed to ignite the fuel because there are no spark plugs, contributes to more efficient combustion.

As for the higher price compared to gas-powered vehicles, chalk that up to robust construction and the extremely precise, high-pressure fuel-delivery systems.

In all other aspects, the Cruze Diesel lines up with the gas model.  It's an agreeable compact sedan with fine road manners that lean more toward comfort than sport.  however, its numb on-centre steering feel won't win over any Volkswagen fans.  Likewise, the interior quality trails the VW's, but you can say that about most competitors in this segment.

In the plus ledger, the Cruze's ergonomics are good in LT trim with an intuitive, seven-inch touch screen-based MyLink infotainment system featuring Bluetooth, USB, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus SiriusXM satellite radio.  you also get six months of free, full-service OnStar that spoils with turn-by-turn GPS navigation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot-spot connectivity, and more.

This tester had the $3,200 True North Edition Package that adds leather seating, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot and lane-change alerts, rear park assist and rear cross-traffic alert, a sunroof, ambient lighting, a colour screen in the gauge cluster, a pretty decent nine-speaker Bose audio system, and the touch screen is bumped up in size to eight inches.  spicing up the exterior is the RS body package ($795) and Cajun red paint ($595).

All in, we're looking at a pretty pricey Cruze; just north of $30,000 before freight and taxes.  I would also posit it is the best-driving Cruze, because the 1.6-L turbodiesel and the slick nine-speed transmission give this little sedan a relaxed, V6-like urge from step-off to highway cruise.

There's no arguing its parsimonious fuel sippage.  One could, however, argue-with the financial hit this 'fluster-diesel" inflicts on the Cruze's bottom line.  Justifying the cost would require driving it around the globe a few times.  We will accept fanatical, flag-waving, diesel enthusiasm as well.

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01-23-18

THIS ALL-NEW SUV PACKS SOPHISTICATED TECH IN A MORE ‘MASCULINE’ PACKAGE

2018 TraverseBy Jil McIntosh, Driving.ca - My Chevy traverse has a rattle in it.  It's a brand-new vehicle and it shouldn't have a rattle, but there it is.  Over a rutted road, there's an annoying, plasticky, nasty rattle that won't go away.  I touch parts and panels, trying to figure out what's making the noise.  And after all that, it turns out to be a loose cap on my water bottle.

I remember when SUVs were just trucky boxes of noise on wheels.  They've all been getting more car-like for quite a while, but it's still impressive when one's quiet enough inside that I can hear a wobbly lid.

The Traverse is all new for 2018, starting with a stiff new platform that gives it a comfortable and - as I discovered - very quiet ride.  The vehicle's overall length remains virtually the same from the last-generation model, but the wheelbase is longer, which provides more interior space.  The third-row cushions are still uncomfortably hard and flat, but there's now enough legroom there for most adults, and of course children will love being back there.  There's also an impressive amount of cargo space, even when the back seats are up, which is often a weak point for many three-row vehicles.

Naturally, the styling also morphs with this new model, with a more angular design that gives it a bigger-than-it-is look that GM's rep described as "more masculine" (although I'm not quite sure what made the last one apparently more feminine-looking).  in any case, it's a handsome beast.  The large windows provide good visibility, and while slightly bigger mirrors would improve that even more, all models come with a standard rear-view camera, and mid-level trims and up add a 360-degree view.

The new 3.6-litre V6 engine is the usual more-power-less-fuel improvement over the old Traverse, making 310 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.  Eventually it will be joined by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which will come solely in the new RS trim level, and only in front-wheel drive.  It's mostly aimed at urban drivers who don't want a bigger engine, although the fuel savings will be minimal.  The V6 with FWD is rated at a combined city-highway rating of 11.0 L/100 km, the four-cylinder at 10.5.  Even the all-wheel V6 isn't that huge a jump over the front-wheel model, with a combined rating of 11.8 L/100 km.

The V6 Traverse comes in five trim levels, starting at $34,895 for the LS and climbing to an eye-watering $58,495 for the top-line High Country.  The two lowest levels come in FWD or AWD, while everything else is all-wheel.  Even so, the all-wheel can be switched into front-wheel only through a dial on the console.  I'd leave it in all-wheel anyway, because the Traverse runs primarily in front-wheel, but distributes power to the back whenever needed to maintain traction, giving peace of mind with a very small difference in fuel economy.

The High Country exclusively includes a more sophisticated all-wheel system with torque  vectoring, which gives it more stability on sharp curves.  It may eventually find its way into lower trims, but for now it's kept at the higher level primarily because it's a costlier system to build.

There's a lot of technology in this new model, but one feature that grabbed my attention is a program in the electric power steering.  Turning the steering wheel the right way in a skid can help get you safely back on track.  if the Traverse detects it's going sideways, it will make the wheel easier to turn in the correct direction, and harder if your wrong move will make the skid worse.

The V6 is a smooth performer, as is the nine-speed transmission that's mated to it.  It includes start-stop, which shuts the engine off at idle to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, but while most manufacturers give you the option of temporarily disabling it, GM doesn't.  I much prefer having the choice.

My noise bottle cap aside, the traverse is a pleasant driver.  It feels smaller than it is, helped by the responsive steering and tight turning radius.  The seats are supportive, both on the leather- clad High Country and cloth-upholstered LT trim levels that I drove.

The wide centre console makes the front foot wells a bit tight, but there's good legroom for second-row passengers.  One middle seat can be slid forward while upright, so a child seat can remain in place while providing third-row access, and it's a relatively wide opening to get back there.

Connectivity is the big deal these days, and all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, seven- or eight-inch infotainment screen, Wi-Fi hot spot and a rear-seat reminder lest a child be forgotten back there.  The screen itself slides up to reveal a hidden storage cubby, and you can set a PIN to lock it.

Canadians have consistently been buying more SUVs than cars, and so automakers have been putting their efforts into making their people-movers better.  There are a few minor flaws, but overall, this Traverse revamp is pretty impressive.  It's roomy, it looks good, and it drives well, and that's what most people prioritize in a family vehicle.  Just be sure to secure all drink-container lids before driving.

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01-10-18

THIS HIGH-PERFORMANCE SPECIAL EDITION IS THE MOST POWERFUL TAHOE EVER

2018 tahoeBy Lesley Wimbush, Driving.ca - Enormous size, stump-pulling power and comfortable trappings used to be enough for fans of these rolling behemoths.  Who knew that a full-size SUV that sprints from 0-to-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds while still maintaining the ability to tow up to 8,400 pounds was what they really wanted?

Introduced at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, the Chevrolet Tahoe RST - which stands for Rally Sport Truck - starts with an appearance package and builds all the way up to a bad-ass performance truck with powertrain and suspension components borrowed from the Camaro ZL1.

With 49.3 per cent of the market share, the full-size SUV segment is an important market for GM: one out of every two sold is either a Tahoe or Suburban.  A three-row, eight-passenger, body-on-frame vehicle available in either rear- or all-wheel drive, the Tahoe competes against the Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia, sister vehicle GMC Yukon and its biggest rival, the Ford Expedition.  Tahoe sales are nearly double that of the Expedition's in the U.S., but in Canada it trails the Ford by a few hundred vehicles.  While the rest of the segment is powered by big V8 engines, the Expedition has a twin-turbo V6, and near-premium luxury features.

For 2017, the Tahoe lineup received more equipment and interior features, and a Premier model to replace the LTZ as the top trim level.  New standard equipment includes the Teen Driver System (allowing parents to monitor their youngster's driving habits), back-seat reminder, active grille shutters and an updated MyLink infotainment system.  The options list was also expanded, with an upgraded rear entertainment system, more USB ports, automated emergency braking, the illuminated bow-tie grille emblem from its pickup siblings, new 22-inch rims and a Midnight Edition appearance package.

And now the most powerful Tahoe ever: the RST.

While the base RST starts as a dechromed appearance package available on mid-level LT trims, retaining the standard 5.3-L V8 and six-speed powertrain and adding blacked-out grille and 22-inch rims, the top-spec Premier model can add the 6.2-L Performance Package, available on both rear- and all-wheel-drive Tahoes.  The package consists of the L86 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque mated to the same 10-speed automatic transmission found in the Camaro ZL1.  Available are six-piston Brembo brakes, and the Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension system, which can assess road conditions and respond within milliseconds.

A 30-mile loop of not-very-inspiring Fort Worth suburban landscape is all we've got to evaluate our fully loaded Tahoe RST.  There's no RST badging anywhere on the vehicle: a glimpse of red Brembo calipers peeping from behind the spokes of the blacked out, 22-inch wheels, and two steely black tips from the optional Borla exhaust (which reportedly offers a 28 per cent improvement in flow) are the biggest visual clues.

Inside is a low-key leather interior: functional, comfortable but not particularly memorable.  There are other colours available that are more striking than our tester's black.  The infotainment screen is somewhat small in these days of panoramic display.

Seating is comfy, with room for seven or eight, depending on whether you opt for a second-row bench or available captain's chairs.  Our tester features the optional power release that easily drops the second-row seat for easier access to the third row, a rather cramped but admittedly useful space.  In all, there is a maximum of 2,681L of cargo space.

Despite its bulk, the Tahoe has very good road manners.  It is quiet and composed over bumps, without allowing any disturbances to enter the cabin.  It's fairly quiet until you tromp the gas pedal, when the small-block EcoTec3 V8 roars to life and the Borla exhaust answers with a deep-throated rumble.  This is the first time this engine has been available in the Tahoe, and if it doesn't quite offer Corvette-style performance, it does move the nearly 6,000-lb (2,720-kg) vehicle along with surprising swiftness.

We weren't able to confirm the sub-six second 0-to-100 km/hr sprint time, but suffice it to say the RST is pretty quick.

The Brembo brakes do a great job of reining it back in.  Once off the freeway, we travelled over some rather ratty pavement.  Although the big rims were wrapped in performance rubber, the suspension absorbed most of it without any harshness, yet at the same time the vehicle felt nicely planted without exhibiting any wallow.

Our U.S.-spec vehicles were rated at 17 mpg city/22 highway (13.8L/100 km city/10.7 highway) but featured active cylinder management, shutting down half the cylinders when not under heavy load and effectively converting it into a more efficient four-cylinder.

So, is there really a demand for such a special-edition, high-performance utility vehicle?  Well, in addition to the Tahoe RST we just tested, and its sibling the Suburban RST, Mercedes has been relentlessly churning out new AMG-badged crossovers, Chrysler has a 700-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk powered by a Hellicat engine, and its new Dodge Durango boasts 475 hp, launch control - and a towing capacity of 8,600 lbs.  Suddenly the Tahoe RST sounds almost reasonable.

Available now in Canadian dealerships, the 2018 Tahoe starts at $64,045 for the LT 2WD, $67,345 for LT 4WD and $75,070 for the Premier 4WD ($1,795 destination/freight charge included).  The RST appearance package is $2,995.  The RST 6.2-L Performance Package is an additional $3,395, for a total of $6,390.  Add $4,130 for the Brembo Brake Package, and $1,620 for the Borla Exhaust.

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12-21-17

NEXT-GEN SILVERADO REVEALED AT CHEVY TRUCK CENTENNIAL EVENT

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SilveradoBy General Motors Canada - The past and future met today with the introduction of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado, at an event celebrating the first 100 years of Chevy Trucks.  Many guests in attendance were some of the brand's most passionate fans and owners.

"Our owners' passion for the Chevrolet trucks is truly humbling," said Alan Batey, president, of GM North America, and global head of Chevrolet.  "Many of our owners depend on their trucks for work and play, personalize their trucks in astonishing ways and pass their loyalty for Chevy Trucks down from generation to generation.

"For the Chevy Truck Centennial, we wanted to recognize the customers who have made Chevrolet part of their lives, and have them help kick off the next 100 years of Chevy Trucks."

The 2019 Silverado 1500 is all new from the ground up and leverages Chevrolet's experience building more than 85 million dependable, long-lasting pickups.  It also reflects feedback from more than 7,000 people on what they wanted in their next truck, the most customer research in the company's history.

The 2019 Silverado's strong, modern design advances Chevrolet's history of industry-leading pickup design.  It's a legacy built on decades of experience with models such as the Advance Design trucks of the 1950s and the C/K series of the 1960s.  Those trucks set the standard for pickup design in their eras, and currently are some of the most coveted vintage trucks on the market.  The next-generation Silverado is poised to change the face of trucks again, with a breakthrough design that is unmistakably Chevrolet.

The new Silverado also delivers improved capability and performance.  For example, a higher-grade alloy is used in the roll-formed, high-strength-steel bed floor, contributing to a bed that is more functional and lighter weight.  This use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing is evident throughout the Silverado, resulting in a significant reduction in total vehicle weight and improved performance in many measures.

As no two truck customers are alike, the next-gen Silverado will offer an expanded range of models, more engine/transmission combinations, and more technology and convenience features to help customers with their ideal truck.

The new Silverado LT Trailboss is one of eight 2019 Silverado models.  It integrates the off-road equipment of the Z71 package as well as a two-inch suspension lift.  Unlike aftermarket lift kits, the Trailboss suspension is fully tested, validated and warrantied by Chevrolet.

The 2019 Silverado will make its public debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, exactly 100 years after the first Chevrolet trucks were delivered to customers.

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10-11-17

CHEVY CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF ICONIC TRUCK DESIGN

Iconic Chevy

By General Motors, Dallas - One hundred years ago, Chevrolet introduced the 1918 One-Ton, setting the stage for a century of iconic trucks.  To commemorate this milestone, the brand is looking back on 10 of the most iconic designs in Chevy truck history.

While Chevrolet truck design has changed radically over the past 100 years, one thing has always been true: Form has followed function as the trucks evolved to meet the customers' changing needs.

"Today, the Chevrolet truck design studio is focused on purposeful design that creates personality and customization options for a wide breadth of truck customers," said Rich Scheer, director of Exterior Design for Chevy Trucks.  "Looking back on the past century of truck design, I realized that Chevrolet designers have been focused on the same goals since the very beginning."

Here are 10 of the most iconic Chevy trucks in the past 100 years, along with a design perspective for each from Scheer:

  • 1918 One-Ton: The first production truck from Chevrolet was inspired by vehicles used in plants to move parts and pieces from place to place.  In the simplest terms, this is an example of form follows function.  It was a rolling chassis featuring an open cab, an inline four-cylinder engine and an open frame allowing customers to install the body that fit their unique needs.  One striking design element is the beautiful badge, which was clearly a designed element of this truck.  The front, the proportions and the dark blue, almost black color make a very sophisticated bowtie, even by today's standards.

1929 International1929 International Series LD: The 1929 was the first Chevrolet truck to feature a closed cab, which created the potential for what we know as interior design today.  As with all designs, once the functional elements were defined, more comfort- and style-focused features started to become important for truck buyers.  It's amazing how fast they went from the purpose-built 1918 truck to a more styled, closed-cab truck.  This is also the time when we started to introduce color.  The color combinations on Chevrolet cars and trucks from this period are something I still love today.

19381938 Half-Ton: This was the first truck designed in the newly formed Art and Colour department, which was later to be known as Design Center, by Harley Earl and his team.  (Earl became GM's first design chief.)   This year also saw the designs of cars and trucks deviate, as Design realized the need for trucks to have their own identity.  As such, it is arguably the first example of Design's influence on trucks.  The proportions really evolved from the earlier designs, creating a lower and longer truck with a styled grille and elegant, swept fenders.

19471947 3100 Series: This is one of the most iconic designs in automotive history.  If you mention a vintage Chevy truck, I think almost everyone will picture this model in their mind.  It was such a departure, advertisers coined the phrase "Advance Design," because it was bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before.  The five-bar horizontal grille is a departure from vertical grilles of the past and was the very beginning of what became a signature of Chevrolet truck design.  You can see that the fenders are more integrated and the lamps are on the wide part of the vehicle instead of inboard, giving it a wider, stronger presence.  The result is a very handsome design with great proportions.

19551955 3124 Series Cameo Carrier: Known as the Task Force truck, the Cameo Carrier is Chevy's first Fleetside design.  The bed surface is flush with the cab and fender, making for one complete, elegant shape from front to back.  It was also Chevrolet's first bumper-to-bumper styled truck, as styling didn't stop at the back of the cab.  During this time, styling became a selling point for cars, inspiring more focus on design for trucks as well.  This was definitely the heyday of American automotive styling and ornamentation.

19671967 C10 Fleetside: This is the first truck that I really fell in love with.  It's a beautiful, sleek design with a hint of wheel flare.  I also really appreciate the line that flows away from the top of the bed line and the beautiful balance with the front of the vehicle.  This is a feature that can easily go wrong, but the designers of the time did it so right.  The body side has a strong shoulder that tapers toward the rear.  The Chevrolet bar on the front fascia connects the headlamp center with the bowtie - a design element that is still consistent today.  This time period is also when metallic paint was introduced, which highlighted the subtleties and body lines that weren't as obvious before.

19731973 C30 One-Ton Dually: This third-generation C/k square-body truck was the first crew cab dually to market, and many consider it to be the first modern Heavy Duty Truck.  The design reflects a dramatic increase in capability for customers who used their trucks for both work and recreation.  It is simple, tough and purposeful, similar to the earliest Chevrolet trucks.

 

19881988 C/K 1500: The C/K 1500 was the first truck design influenced by aerodynamics.  This generation had great design reach, meaning it looked very advanced for its time.  That is especially true for the new interior design, with a low instrument panel, pod-like setup and even buttons that looked futuristic.  This truck still looks modern and sophisticated 40 years later.

1999 Silverad1999o 1500 LT Z71: This was the first generation that used the Silverado nameplate.  It also introduced many of the modern design elements that customers associate with current Chevy truck design, especially the iconic Chevrolet front end.

 

 

20072007 Silverado 1500: The 2007 Silverado is simple, modern and powerful, featuring exaggerated wheel flares and a clean body side.  It's another evolution for Chevrolet trucks in creating their own identity on the road, with distinctive front and rear ends.  This truck brought back the "tough truck" look and feel, even though it was still heavily influenced by aerodynamics.

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10-02-17

CHEVY HONOURS TRUCK CENTENNIAL WITH 100-DAY CELEBRATION

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Truck Centennial

Customers encouraged to join celebration with Special Edition Silverado and Colorado, an event at Texas Motor Speedway and more

By General Motors, Dallas - Model year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first production Chevrolet truck.  A century and more than 85 million trucks later, Chevrolet has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.  To celebrate the Chevy Trucks Centennial, the brand is honoring the owners who have made Chevy Trucks a part of their lives for the past century with a 100-day celebration featuring two new Special Edition trucks, the national rollout of the Truck Legends customer loyalty program and more.

"The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us, and is equally important to our customers," said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks Advertising and Marketing director.  "That's why we will be celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks over the course of the next 100 days.  It's important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment."

Chevrolet kicked off the Centennial Celebration today at the State Fair of Texas, where the brand announced four ways customers can celebrate the Chevy Truck Centennial:

  • New 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Special Editions
  • National rollout of the Chevy Trucks Legends program
  • Branded merchandise featuring Chevy heritage bowtie
  • Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration on December 16, 2017

From the beginning, Chevrolet Trucks has focused on making the best possible vehicle to meet every customer's needs.  After building specialized trucks to serve its factory, Chevrolet introduced its first trucks to customers in 1918.  They included the half-ton Light Delivery and the 1918 One-Ton truck.  Both were offered with an open chassis behind the windshield that allowed customers to choose between purchasing or building a specialized body for their vocation.

A century later, customer choice continues to drive Chevy Trucks.  Chevrolet is still the only manufacturer to offer customers a three-truck portfolio - featuring the Colorado, Silverado and Silverado HD - and a full line of special editions, giving customers more options for the perfect truck to fit their needs and personal style.

2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions

The latest additions to the Chevrolet Trucks portfolio of special editions, the 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions feature design elements inspired by Chevy Trucks throughout history, including a distinctive Centennial Blue paint colour and exclusive heritage bowtie emblems and 100 year badges inspired by colours and design cues found on early Chevrolet Trucks.

"The Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions are a result of collaboration between Chevrolet Design, Engineering and Marketing, to commemorate the history of Chevy Trucks," said Rich Scheer, Chevrolet Trucks director of Exterior Design.  "Both vehicles offer our most enthusiastic fans a way to demonstrate their love for Chevy Trucks and celebrate the Chevy Trucks Centennial with us."

The Silverado Centennial Edition is available on the LTZ Z71 crew cab and the Colorado Centennial Edition is offered on Z71 crew and extended cab models.

Vehicle Highlights

Silverado

  • LTZ Z71 trim; Crew Cab
  • Front and rear heritage bowtie emblems
  • 100 year door badge
  • Spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem
  • Accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems
  • Centennial Blue exterior paint
  • 22" painted wheels with chrome inserts
  • 22" all-terrain tires
  • Chrome tow hooks
  • Chrome bowtie on steering wheel

Colorado

  • Z71 rim; Crew Cab and Extended Cab
  • Front and rear heritage bowtie emblems
  • 100 year door badge
  • Spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem
  • Accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems
  • Centennial Blue exterior paint
  • Body-Color rear bumper and front grille surround
  • LT Optional 18" wheels with monochromatic cap
  • Chrome tow hooks, belt molding, mirror caps and door handles

Connecting Truck Legends Nationwide

To connect with the most loyal Chevy Truck customers across the country, the brand is rolling out its Truck Legends program nationwide.  The program recognizes customers who own a Chevy Truck with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, or who have purchased or leased more than one new Chevy Truck in their lifetime.  Chevy Truck Legends was launched as a Texas-only pilot in September 2016 and grown to a community of more than 5,400 loyal Chevy Truck customers.

In addition to Truck Legends branded merchandise and access to an exclusive members-only online community, Chevrolet will periodically offer Truck Legends members once-in-a-lifetime experiences leveraging Chevrolet's partnerships.  These experiences could range from front-row seats at concerts, to attending sold-out Major League Baseball events, to getting a sneak peek at new Chevrolet models.

From Ball Caps to Bass Boats

In addition to the special edition Silverado and Colorado and the expansion of the Truck Legends program, Chevrolet is commemorating a century of trucks with a wide range of special merchandise featuring the heritage bowtie emblem highlighted on the Centennial models.  And for true enthusiasts, a special Centennial Edition bass boat will be offered by Phoenix Boats and a Centnnial Edition enclosed trailer will be available from inTech Trailers.  All merchandise is available at ChevyGearUSA.com.

The Phoenix boat and 24-foot inTech trailer, which is large enough to haul a car or other recreational toys, will be designed to complement the Centennial Blue paint and special edition badging.

Chevrolet has also built a customized 1967 C-10 show vehicle to commemorate the 100-year milestone.  It will be shown during the State Fair of Texas through October 22 and will be on display at the SEMA show in late October.

Chevy Trucks Centennial Event

The 100-day Centennial Celebration will conclude with a Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration event on Saturday, December 16 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The event will feature opportunities to experience the latest Chevrolet products, a chance to meet Chevrolet fans like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other exclusive experiences.

The event is free to attend but space is limited to invitation only.  Truck Legends members will be the first to receive more information on the celebration and invitations.

"This event is Chevrolet's way of thanking owners for putting their trust in Chevy Trucks for 100 years," said Piszar.  "We look forward to celebrating the past, present and future of Chevy Trucks with our customrs."

Fast Fact

The 1918 Chevrolet One-Ton truck was powered by a four-cylinder engine rated at 36 horsepower.  Its top speed was 25 mph.

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09-28-17

THE BEST VEHICLES FOR USING A CAR SEAT

2018-VW-Atlas-child-seatsen

By Auto123.com - One of the factors families shopping for a new vehicle should take into account is the ease of installation and use, as well as the effectiveness, of infant or child car seats.  Is the seat easy to install?  Is the anchoring system user-friendly?  Can you get your child in and out easily?  Will the child be comfortable?

A highly practical annual ranking published by Cars.com rates vehicles by these and other measures.  Right in time for Child Passenger Safety Week, we take a look at the new 2017 list for you!

Explains Jennifer Newman, editor-in-chief at Cars.com and a certified child passenger safety technician, "Proper car-seat installation can be a daunting task for many parents.  Automakers have added Latch systems to make the process a little easier and less stressful, but not all of these systems have been created equally.  That's why we test them in nearly every new vehicle.  We want parents, grandparents and caretakers of young children to understand their options and which ones are the easiest to use."

In total, 65 different 2017-2018 models were evaluated beginning in September of last year, but only the 10 best-performing models, which have earned the best possible A rating in each criteria, made the final list.  In addition, each of these models offers sufficient space to fit at least two car seats.  The list runs the gamut from outdoorsy vehicles like the Impreza to utility models like the Equinox and the Atlas, as well as luxury models from Lincoln, Mercedes and Genesis.

  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2017 Genesis G90
  • 2017 GMC Acadia
  • 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
  • 2017 Lincoln Continental
  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz C Class
  • 2017 Subaru Impreza
  • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
  • 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
  • 2017 Volvo S90
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2018 EquinoxBy Brian Harper, Driving.ca - Yes, General Motors is a King Kong-sized global manufacturer, and its Chevrolet brand as American as baseball, apple pie and all that other stuff, but the Equinox is still built in Ontario - at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll - so I look beyond any obvious flaws in my argument to consider the crossover to be at least quasi-Canadian and, therefore, worth rooting for.  (And, yes, I maintain a certain amount of pride for all vehicles assembled in our nation, regardless of the automaker's origin.)

It's not as though this particular Chevy is an underdog; though it isn't the top seller in the ultracompetitive compact crossover segment - that would currently be the also-built-in-Ontario Toyota RAV4 - it is definitely a player.  Within the Chevy model range, the Equinox is the third in sales in Canada, behind the Silverado pickup and Cruze sedan/hatchback.  And it will likely surpass the Cruze within a few months.

The 2018 model year sees a new, third-generation version, one that sheds a considerable amount of weight - about 180 kilograms - to become leaner and more responsive in comparison with the previous model.  But, more importantly, the new Equinox sets aside its traditional engine lineup - normally aspirated four-cylinders and V6s - for a trio of turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains, including a diesel.

There are LS, LT and Premier trim levels to choose from; the tester was a high-level Premier 1LZ with the base 1.5-litre turbo four and a six-speed automatic transmission.  Putting out a reasonable 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque, the small four is impressively smooth and lively, not just when puttering about town, but also on the highway.  For comparison, the same-sized engine in the Honda CR-V delivers 190 hp but only 179 lb-ft of torque.  Oh, it's not going to win any stoplight drag races (zero to 100 km/h in about 9.5 seconds(, but the all-wheel-drive Equinox tips the scales at a trim 1,605 kg, so it's not overly burdened, feeling quite nimble when turning corners and such.  Plus, the AWD system is disconnected from the rear axle when not in use, improving efficiency.

Initially, though, I felt that were the Equinox to be loaded up with people and luggage - or perhaps towing a small trailer - ticking the box for the 2.0-L turbo (with a far more substantial 252 hp/260 lb-ft, plus a nine-speed automatic) or the 136-hp 1.6-L diesel (236 lb-ft) would be more prudent.  Yet, after putting some 700 km on the odometer with a quick trip to visit friends, I might reconsider.  The crossover handled four adults aboard without missing a beat, and delivered a parsimonious 7.8 L per 100 km - primarily at highway speeds - fuel economy to boot.  Unless you get aggressive on the throttle, the six-speed shifts up early to promote efficiency.  Mind you, southwest Ontario is mostly pancake-flat terrain; the 2.0 L or diesel would probably be a better bet if higher elevations or more varied topography was involved.

Though decidedly fresher in appearance than its doughy predecessor, the new Equinox still blends in with the bulk of the models in the compact crossover segment, rather than standing out.  Design cues for the vehicle came from the aerodynamically shaped Cruze, Malibu and Volt, stalwart Chevy models all, but not known for their drop-dead gorgeous exteriors.  Chevrolet debuted a particularly striking crossover concept called the FNR-X at the Shanghai Auto Show in April; the new Equinox would have made much more of a statement if it had borrowed some of the concept's styling.

But whatever disappointment there might be with its outward appearance - and I will be the first to say that looks are purely subjective - was mitigated by the Equinox's bright and cheerful cabin, highlighted by the tester's two-tone black and tan seats and dash area.  However, the dashboard itself was not the better soft-touch plastic, which, considering the crossover's nearly $39,000 price tag, smacked of unnecessary cost cutting.

The instrument cluster is first rate, with a configurable information display front and centre.  The same goes for the eight-inch centre console touch screen, with clearly marked icons for a variety of functions.  These include the latest connectivity technologies, such as MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot.

Heated seats and a remote starter are standard on all trims.  The Premier is highly contented and includes such features as dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, power windows, door locks and liftgate, power heated outside mirrors, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-zone alert and rear-view camera.

As for cargo capacity, the Chevy's "kneeling" rear seats - the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatbacks are lowered - enables a flat rear load floor for easy loading and up to 1,798 L of space, including 846L behind the back seat.

There's much to like about the redesigned Equinox: fuel efficiency, and impressively smooth ride, good handling characteristics, up-level interior and competitive pricing.  Still, the compact segment is crazy competitive, and the Chevy has to contend with something like 16 rivals, including such heavyweights as the RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Ford Escape.  Whether the Chevy can elevate its status is up for debate, though it's not for a lack of trying.  The 1.5-L engine might not be to everyone's tastes, but the Equinox's ace in the hole is the fact that there are alternatives.

Overview:  Five-passenger compact crossover

Pros:  Roomy for its size, multiple engine choices, made in Canada

Cons:  Mainstream styling, AWD must be engaged

Value for money:  Good

What I would change:  AWD should activate automatically

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07-20-17

David Purdy CorvetteDavid Purdy's Corvette has a new decal for this weekend's Cannonball Rally.
The event will run over the weekend and features three different tiers of
difficulty, ranging from 500 miles to 2,500 miles.

By Michael Chen, The Nugget - Organizer David Purdy wants to make one thing clear about this weekend's inaugural Cannonball Corvette Rally.

"It's not a race.  It's about having fun, getting your car out of the garage," says Purdy, who is president of Bobcaygeon-based web development company Turn Key Web Solutions.

"The one thing I don't enjoy is going to a hot parking lot and standing around all day with my car."

The event features different tiers of racing ranging from a "light edition" 500-mile rally on Saturday to a 2,500-mile rally that runs from Tuesday to Saturday.  The event has different routes for Northern and Southern Ontario, with the 500-mile Northern route ranging from Bobcaygeon to Bancroft, with a stop in North Bay.  The 1000-mile route goes as far as Pickering.

Purdy has previously organized more than 80 motorcycle rides under the Cannonball Ride banner.  "I do all the layout, I do all the legwork.  It's just about finding like-minded people who actually enjoy getting out and driving," he says, adding that his motorcycle rides now average 8,000 to 10,000 riders per event.  "My plan next year is to have eight car rallies coming out weekend after weekend."

For Purdy, these events are an outlet for him to pursue his own passions.  "I'm not about making money.  It's just about going out and having some fun because, if I didn't do it, it wouldn't happen," he says.  "If someone else had done it, I wouldn't need to do it!"

Purdy says the free rally will require drivers to stop at various car dealerships to pick up business cards.  Participants start from the closest dealership to their home and end when they arrive back home with all the cards.

Purdy expects anywhere from 300 to 500 cars at the event.

 

Find out more at www.cannon-ballcorvetterally.ca

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06-22-17

DEDICATED OFF-ROADER DOESN’T GIVE UP MANY MANNERS FOR THE ASPHALT

Colorado

By Costa Mouzouris, Driving.ca - The engineers at Chevrolet are a sneaky bunch.  They needed an excuse to get out of the office and have some off-road fun, so they conceived a plan that allowed them to participate in several off-road rallies across the U.S., and on the company's dime, no less.  They disguised these thinly veiled recreational diversions as "engineering tests" and headed out to renowned off-road parks and trails across the States, where they proceeded to cross deserts, climb rocks, wade through deep mud, plow through sand dunes and snake along tight, technical trails.  Their excuse was the 2017 Colorado ZR2.

These tests were done in conjunction with Multimatic, the automotive engineering firm based in Markham, Ontario, which helped develop the ZR2's suspension components, and it's the resulting DSSV (Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve) suspension that contributes significantly to the ZR2's off-road ability.

Perhaps best known lately for manufacturing the Ford GT, Multimatic also builds suspension dampers mostly for motorsports applications, which can be found in cars competing in Formula One, DTM, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indy Lights, and the list goes on.  Chevy's first collaboration with Multimatic came with the 2014 Camaro Z/28.

Peek under the ZR2's fenders and you'll see blue and gold anodized, aluminum-bodied shock absorbers that resemble premium aftermarket items rather than OEM parts.  These shocks incorporate Multimatic's DSSV damping technology, which features position-sensitive damping that varies the damping rate depending on how far the wheels travel, while external reservoirs enhance cooling.  Barring any external damage, the shocks are designed to last the life of the vehicle.

You can't just bolt on a set of Multimatics to a regular Colorado though, because new control arms provide more wheel travel.  Wheel track has also been widened by 8.8 centimetres, while ride height has increased by 5 cm.

Other off-road-enhancing features include electrically locking differentials, 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires on 17-inch wheels and an abundant application of skid plates to protect the undercarriage.  The added off-road equipment has dropped payload by about 300 to 1,100 pounds (135 to 500 kilograms), while towing capacity is 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg).

Visually the ZR2's most striking feature is the front bumper, which has cut-outs that expose the front tires, giving the pickup an aggressive stance, while providing additional clearance when rock climbing.

Powertrains are shared with other Colorado models (except the base 2.5-litre gasoline four).  The standard engine in the $44,215US ZR2 is the 3.6-L V6 that claims 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic.  For an additional $4,090US, you can get the 2.8-L turbodiesel four, which claims 181 hp and 369 lb-ft and powers the wheels through a six-speed auto.  Initial numbers put combined fuel consumption at 13 L/100 km for the gasoline engine and 10.7 L for the diesel.

Despite the added ride height, it's easy to climb into the cab, where you'll find the familiar Colorado cockpit, the biggest difference being the added buttons in the centre stack that lock the differentials.  Interior amenities include heated front seats, wireless phone charging, an eight-inch touch-screen infotainment system with MyLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE on-board Wi-Fi, a rear-view camera, and sliding rear window.

Other standard features include keyless entry, automatic cruise control, a spray-on bed liner, damped tailgate operation, a full-sized spare mounted on a matching aluminum wheel, and a trailer package that includes a hitch, seven-pin connector and a trailer-brake controller.

Since the emphasis is on off-road driving, our test drive includes a high-speed closed course that emulates desert racing, and an off-road loop that takes us to Bangs Canyon and the Tabegauche Trail just outside of Grand Junction, where we perform some serious low-speed rock crawling.

The high-speed course is laid out on sand and hard-packed dirt, and includes tight bends, higher-speed sweepers, and several jumps.  Approaching one of the jumps at about 70 km/h launches the ZR2 into the air, with all four wheels dangling from the chassis.  Anticipating a hard landing I brace for a body-jolting impact only to be greeted by a surprisingly cushy touchdown.  The added suspension travel combines with the shocks' position-sensitive damping to soak up the landings without bottoming, while allowing excellent straight-line stability upon touchdown.  Even higher speeds over these jumps result in equally soft landings, a true testament to all of the engineers' "testing" done before the ZR2 hit production.

The rock-crawling portion of the test drive is equally impressive, especially since our hosts did not drop tire pressures from standard for convenience.  With the transfer case switched to 4 Low and both differentials locked, the ZR2 treads effortlessly over some impressive geological features, including rather tall stone steps.  While it's impressive to see pictures of trucks driving over obstacles with one wheel high in the air, the truth is that this is more a demonstration of electronic torque management than actual off-road capability.  The ZR2 negotiates the extreme step course without ever getting a wheel in the air.

Aside from its taller stance, there are no concessions made in ride quality on the road.  The ZR2 is remarkably composed and quiet, with only a faint howl coming from the aggressively treaded tires.

The collaboration between Chevy and Multimatic has proven that you really don't have to give up everyday comfort to be able to take serious weekend forays deep into the woods.  It's also smaller and capable of squeezing into tighter spaces than the full-sized Ford Raptor.

Of course, if you're not serious about off roading, you really don't need the ZR2; you can spec the Z71 with the V6 or the diesel (starting at about $37,000) and save several thousand dollars.  But if you spend weekends on the trails with your off-roading buddies, the ZR2 can climb rocks and handle the toughest trails along with the most capable competition, and even among modified custom jobs, right off the showroom floor.

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06-21-17

CANADIAN SALES MORE NUMEROUS THAN EVER IN MAY 2017; CANADIANS PAID MORE THAN EVER, TOO

2017-Honda-Civic-hatchback-1977-honda-civic-hatchback-1-610x407

By Timothy Cain - Canadian auto sales surged to record levels in May 2017, surpassing the previous monthly record from April of last year by an 8-percent margin and topping 200,000 units for just the second time in history.

You know it's going well when, in a virulently anti-car market, passenger car sales increase, year-over-year.  And in the fifth month of 2017, car sales did indeed improve, growing 3-percent beyond May 2016 levels.

You know it's truly going well when, in a market that had already seen pickup truck market share climb to 20-percent, pickup truck sales jumped 38-percent to form 22-percent of the industry's volume.

And you know it's going exceptionally well when, in the span of just one month, the relatively small Canadian market purchases and leases 217,000 new vehicles at significantly higher prices than in the past.

According to Desrosiers Automotive Reports, Canada's auto industry climbed above 200,000 sales for just the second time in history.  Up to 11-percent, year-over-year, Canadian sales improved by roughly 22,000 units despite outside-the-norm declines from BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Volkswagen.

While losses at a handful of its brands - including a 30-percent dive at Jeep and a 25-percent downturn at Chrysler - clearly diminished some of its potential, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles still says the automaker sold more vehicles in May than ever before.  FCA volume was up 5 percent to 33,186 units.

The Ford Motor Company led all automakers with 34,475 sales, a 17-percent year-over-year improvement that drove the company to its best May since 1989.  General Motors' 36-percent improvement to 31,149 sales produced the best May for GM since 2009, including the best month in Cadillac's history.  Record sales were a common theme at numerous other auto brands as well, from Audi to Honda to Porsche.

That incentives are high is not news to Canadian car buyers.  According to J.D. Power figures revealed by Automotive News Canada, the average new vehicle discount in May 2017 measured $5,800 2-percent higher than in May 2016.

But the typical new vehicle transaction price grew by roughly $1,400 in May 2017, driving the average transaction price above $37,000.

Selling more vehicles, and selling them at a higher price?  Automakers will take that.  Not only are Canadians optioning up existing vehicles, but redesigned vehicles are arriving in Canada with base prices that reflect the weakening Canadian dollar.  The 2018 Honda Odyssey, for instance, sees its MSRP rise 12 percent.

At the heart of the market, where affordability is key, the Ford F-Series - Canada's leading line of vehicles - reported its second-best month ever in May.  Ram P/U sales reached record levels, nearly catching the No. 1 Ford.  The Honda Civic, Canada's top-selling car, was up 5-percent to 8,616 sales, 11-percent of all car sales.  The Ford Escape, a historic Canadian favorite, reclaimed its old position and led all SUVs/crossovers thanks to a 26-percent jump to 5,397 sales.

Meanwhile, May's extraordinary Canadian auto sales achievements, particularly in the light of steady incentives and rising ATPs, have led forecasters to increase their annual forecasts.  Canadian auto sales reached record levels in each o the last four calendar years.  Through the first five months of 2017, Canadian auto sales are up 5 percent.

If that rate of growth continues, Canadians will, for the first time every, buy and lease more than 2 million new vehicles in 2017.

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06-12-17

CHEVROLET’S COMFORTABLE AND GROWN-UP EQUINOX NOW PACKS A SURPRISING PUNCH UNDER THE HOOD

2018 Equinox

By Peter Bleakney, Driving .ca - Originally launched in 2005, the Cambridge-built Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover became a cash cow for General Motors thanks to the segment's ascendancy to North America's vehicle of choice.  The first-gen Equinox found more than 2 million homes, and in Canada it was Chevy's second-best seller behind the Silverado pickup.

Ah, but time waits for no crossover mired in the past.  To keep up with the raging tide of competitive iron, the Equinox now moves into its third generation for the 2018 model year, getting an all-new structure, tidier dimensions, sharper looks, updated tech and a new base engine - a 1.5-litre turbo-four putting out 170 horsepower 203 lb.-ft. of torque - mated six-speed automatic transmission.  It also sheds up to 180 kilograms, depending on the trim.

The 1.5L engine in the Equinox, which we sampled earlier this year, is smooth and reasonably fuel efficient.  But for those seeking more punch, Chevrolet answers the call with this 2.0L turbo-four that makes 252 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 rpm.  It works in tandem with a nine-speed auto.  The Equinox now leaps to the head of the class when it comes to segment power, edging out the speedy Subaru Forester XT with its 250 horsepower, the 245-horsepower Ford Escape and the Kia Sportage, which develops 237 HP from its 2.0L turbo-four.

We sampled the top tier-Premier AWD which layers on such goodies as two-tone leather, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, memory settings for driver's seat radio and mirrors, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a hands-free powered lift gate and rear park assist, plus 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a few chrome bits on the exterior, and more.

Escaping the confines of congested Nashville, the 2.0L Equinox feels relaxed and certainly more fleet than the base 1.5L engine.  With it's stiff structure, targeted sound insulation and standard noise cancelling, Chevy has fashioned one of the more serene and comfortable riding vehicles in the segment.  Ride quality is excellent, and while handling might be not as sharp as the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5, the Equinox cuts a clean and controlled path on these undulating roads in rural Tennessee.

The nine-speed automatic was developed by GM in-house, reflecting an industry trend to get a wide ratio spread while also keeping engines within a fuel efficient rev range.  Hats off to GM for tuning this transmission to avoid unwanted ratio "hunting" and excessive lag when calling for acceleration.  The first five gears are closely stacked and slur between each other mostly unnoticed.  Under light throttle loads, the nine-speed wants to keep the 2.0L turbo just under 1,500 rpm, but unlike some others with multi-gear transmissions - the new Jeep Compass comes to mind - there's no pathological aversion to downshifting here.

As these were U.S.-spec Equinoxes, we observed 24 MPG on this mix of highway and winding two-lane roads.  Plus, not only does the Equinox run on regular grade fuel, an auto start/stop system is standard across the line.

The first stop is the hamlet of Leipers Fork, about an hour outside of Nashville.  If you're looking for a killer fried chicken sandwich and some fried green tomatoes, drop in on the friendly folks at The Country Boy diner.  And if you're looking to jam on some funky vintage instruments, wander two doors down to Serenite Maison.  There's an old Kay standup bass leaning in the corner - been there for decades, they say - along with a selection of Gibson and Martin guitars hanging on the wall.  No, they're not for sale - I asked - they're purely for the pleasure of anyone who wants to play them.

Chevrolet has the 2018 Equinox armed for connectivity.  Standard is Chevy MyLink infotainment system with wireless audio streaming, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and one year of OnStar that bestows, among other services, a 4G LTE wireless hotspot.

The Equinox's dash looks to be lifted right out of the Malibu, which is no bad thing as all the controls, major gauges and menu structure are clear and logical.  The cabin looks good dressed up in this two-tone tan-and-black combo, but lesser trim models in all black are a bit dour.  The quality of materials is not up to class leaders like the CX-5 and the Sportage, and some of that faux-chrome trim hints of an old-school GM hangover.

The front seats are comfortable, and rear passengers are not left out here, getting plenty of headroom and legroom, two USBs, a power adapter, a 110-volt outlet and heated seats.  It doesn't stop there - rear seat riders can actually choose whether they want warm butts and/or backs.

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A raft of new radar and camera-based safety kit is on the menu, including surround vision, forward collision alert and automatic braking, plus lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist systems.  Additionally, the standard Rear Seat Reminder warns if a child or dog is left in the second row.

There's plenty of functionality in the 2018 Equinox.  The 60/40 split second row easily folds forward with a low-effort fluid motion, creating a flat and smartly configured load space.  There is a decently sized hidden compartment under the floor.  The hatch opening is large too, although you'll find more cargo room in a CR-V, Forester or Toyota RAV4.  With the 2.0L turbo engine, the Equinox's tow rating leaps to 3,500 pounds.

Landing in dealerships now, this accomplished crossover with its bigger engine, grown-up comfy road manners and class-leading technology is the second prong in the Equinox's assault on the compact crossover segment.  Later this year, the Equinos will get a 1.6L turbodiesel engine with 136 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque.

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