Category Archive: Road Test And Beyond…

Jan 18

Why Are So Many Auto Manufacturers Offering Electric Vehicles?

Road-Test.org, Electric Vehicles, Iain Shankland

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Almost every day now we’re seeing announcements of new electric vehicles arriving very soon. Although they’ve been around for a while now – the Chevrolet Volt is now entering its 2nd Generation, and the Nissan Leaf, which has been around since 2012 will be all-new for the 2017 model year. Ford have the Fusion, Focus and C-Max plug in/hybrid models and don’t forget the leader of hybrid cars/SUV – Toyota, as well as Tesla, Kia and now Hyundai.

It’s getting to the point that we’re going to have an abundance of electric vehicles to choose from in 2016 and 2017- and that’s a good thing. So why all this bombardment? Why are so many manufacturers jumping on the Electric Vehicle Bandwagon?

Range Anxiety
The biggest obstacle until now has been the limited range of electric vehicles. Who wants a car that only goes 84 miles (135 kms) – best-case-scenario (from Nissan) between a re-charge?! A re-charge that can take up to 20 hours when charged from 110/120 Volt outlet!! The Nissan Leaf is great if you never leave town, with its entirely useless 84 miles (135 kms) range (the EPA has it pegged at an even worse 75 miles/121 kms). If I left my house heading for Toronto – about 1 ½ hours away with bumper-to-bumper traffic I’d just about get there, but not home without a re-charge – talk about ‘range anxiety!! Nissan are touting the ‘NEW’ 2016 Leaf  will bump it to a “whopping” 107 miles (172 kms), so I’ll definitely reach Toronto, but still have to charge it to get home after spending the night in a hotel. Read the rest of this entry »

May 05

The Best Car Cleaning Article – EVER!

Road-test.orgAccording to the calendar, it’s Spring!  According to the thermometer, Spring is a myth here in South Central Ontario and we’re experiencing “Sprinter” (Spring/Winter). Regardless, in your region it’s either time to Spring clean your vehicle, or it soon will be!

If you’re interested in getting the best out of your vehicle in terms of performance, economy, efficiency, longevity, value and head-turning admiration, you should give it some special care at least a couple of times each year. That said, Road-Test.org has decided to bring you some Spring Cleaning tips for your vehicle. (While a thorough cleaning inside and out could take you half a day, there’s nothing wrong with splitting these tasks up into more manageable chunks that may fit better with your schedule. Just don’t cheat yourself – or your car – do them all!)

Interior

Clear out before you clean out. Grab a garbage bag for the trash and have a box or basket handy for all those items you will be keeping. Empty your vehicle of all the unnecessary bits and pieces that you’ve been carrying around. Throw out all the trash – check all the corners, crevices and under the seats. Check your glove box and give it a quick purge and tidy too – it’s amazing how many napkins you accumulate from the drive-thru! Put away your winter emergency kits, that bag of kitty litter you been lugging around in case of emergency, snow brushes, snow boards and especially those heavy hockey bags! Every little bit counts, and extra weight can create additional drag which means your vehicle is less efficient. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 05

Road Test & Beyond: Time For New Tires – Should You Buy From The TIRE RACK Or Buy Locally?

By Iain Shankland

If you’ve ever done a search on-line for tires or looked in any of the large auto magazines you’ve no doubt seen advertisements by a company called The Tire Rack. They have a huge selection of tires and rims for just about every make and model of vehicle sold in North America.

Is it worth it for Canadians to purchase tires or rims from the U.S. or is it just more convenient and cost-effective to keep your hard-earned dollars in Canada? What kind of hassles and cost are you going to have to deal with if you end up buying from the Tire Rack?

Funny you should ask…once again I took a financial hit to tell you the reader what you might encounter. I decided to use my wife’s hard-earned dollars to purchase a set of winter tires for her car and once again I did it incognito – I didn’t tell the site (Tire Rack) or the place that installed my tires, who I was and what I was up to until after the fact..

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 24

Road Test Special: Is It Ok To Leave Your Dog In A Parked Car?

(Summer Car Safety For Man’s Best Friend – Part 2)

Text & Images: Iain Shankland

You Wouldn’t Wear A Fur Coat Into A Sauna – So Why Would You Leave Your Dog In A Parked Car?

 

Now that you’ve recently had your eyes opened to dangers of flying dogs in moving cars, (Man’s Best Friend – Shouldn’t He Wear A Seatbelt Too?) I thought mid-summer would be the perfect time to talk about parked cars and your beloved pet. 

Every day, people around the world take their dogs (and sometimes cats, rabbits and ferrets) with them in their vehicles for trips of various lengths and reasons. Lots of people take their dogs with them everywhere, unfortunately they often don’t think about the dangers that can develop for their four-legged friends while they’re out and about.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 02

Road Test Special: Man’s Best Friend, Shouldn’t He Wear A Seatbelt Too?

Text & Images: Iain Shankland

 

Every day, people all over the world load their dogs into their vehicles. The trip could be short, or long, to the vet or off to the local park for a bit of exercise. People take their dogs everywhere – they visit friends, and they visit the dogs’ friends too. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that these outings can spell danger for their four-legged friends.

Remember the old days when you’d see a mother holding her new born baby on her lap as the family went off on a day trip? Those days are long gone. While most of us – either by choice or by the threat of a fine – wear our seatbelts at all times, but what about our dogs (or cats even)? Most people don’t even think about restraining their dogs when they’re in the car.

Maybe you’ve never even thought about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 01

Hybrid Vehicles – How Do They Work And Should I Buy One?

My main goal is always to learn if they actually sipped fuel as promised, or whether all the hype is just another game of smoke and mirrors that tree huggers have become so adept at feeding the general public by way of the media.

During my week with the vehicles, numerous questions came my way from friends, family and complete strangers. Most were confused about what exactly a hybrid is, and that got me to thinking – how many other people are confused about them? So, with my readers in mind, here is a brief explanation and summary of my experience with hybrids – the good and the bad – if there is any. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 09

Special Report: Is It Worth Buying A Hybrid To Save Money On Fuel?

We Take the 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid On A Summer Holiday To Get The Answer

Text & Images: Iain Shankland

Toyota Camry hybrid

A couple of years ago I drove a Toyota Camry hybrid on an extended run of a whirl-wind trip from Niagara Falls to the Road America Racetrack  in Wisconsin. We wanted to get there as fast as possible and return even quicker. To that end we succeeded in averaging 6.7 L/100km during our hour upon hour of highway driving at or in excess of 130 km/h for the vast majority of the trip. To say I was impressed would be an understatement – not just with the fuel economy, but also with the car as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »