Corbran's Corner

2016 NISSAN ALTIMA

2016 NISSAN ALTIMA by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist Today we learn not only about the new Nissan Altima, which should be available in late November, but also a bit about the man behind Nissan, chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. First of all, about that surname. The “s” is silent, and the “gh” has the same pronunciation as “ghost.” It rhymes with the English word “tone.” There, that was easy. Ghosn

2016 FORD FOCUS RS

2016 FORD FOCUS RS by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist You don’t even have to be an… ahem, old guy to remember when the Ford Focus was known primarily in the USA as a compact economy car. It still is. There has been the occasional spark — like the 2003 SVT Focus, whose tuned powertrain and suspension, along with a sportier interior and special styling cues, gave some hope to the Blue Oval Hot Hat

TOYOTA PRIUS 4.0

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist As many hybrid car manufacturers simply throw a hybrid powertrain into one of their vehicles, Toyota’s Prius continues to be a brand of its own. If you’re going to be different, Toyota figures you may as well look different, too. Honda had the same thought 15 years ago when it introduced the two-seat Insight. But buyers didn’t exactly flock to it because it was

CHEVY VS FORD: CHAPTER UMPTEEN

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist I was sitting in my crappy old sedan at a red light on Niagara Falls Boulevard a couple of weeks ago behind a shiny new Bright Yellow (yes, that’s the actual color name) Chevy Camaro. Seconds later, a guy pulls up next to me in a new Triple Yellow (see above) Ford Mustang GT. I see him eyeing the Camaro, with a look on his face which said “I wish I were next to

BMW X1 2.0

BMW X1 2.0 by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist The Bavarian auto manufacturer has recently announced the second generation of what it calls its Sports Activity Vehicle — the X1. So, what’s new? More interior space (both for passengers, and cargo at 58.7 cu. ft.); increased fuel efficiency (up by 17 percent); and new styling (BMW calls it “rugged proportions, a powerful presence and dynamic lines

PORSCHE EXPERIENCE CENTER

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist As the press release said: “Germany may be our home. But our heart is an Atlanta.” Yes, the iconic (Teutonic?) sports car manufacturer runs a 27-acre site in Atlanta where owners and fans of Porsche cars can immerse themselves in the brand. One-on-one driving instructions on Porsche’s test track and off-road courses are available to hone your driving skills, tr

2015 IKCO Samand LX

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist Now here’s something I’ll bet doesn’t often cross your mind: what kind of cars are the Iranian people driving these days? Guess what — it’s not Fords or Chevys. Nor is it dilapidated old iron from the 1950s-era like you see in Havana. No, Iran actually has its own automotive industry. One of the companies is called the Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), and t

2016 NISSAN TITAN XD

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist Up to now, just about every model of the full-sized pickups sold in the U.S. has been revamped in the past year or so. Soon, later this year according to Nissan, we’ll be able to say every model, as the totally revamped 2016 Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab will hit the showrooms. Nissan has kind of been an also-ran in the full-sized pickup sales race. But they&r

BACK-TO-SCHOOL CARS

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist Like it or not, now that August is here it’s time for us to be bombarded with back-to-school articles, sales, and lists. And this is one of them. But it’s one you never would have read about when I was a youngster: cars for your student to drive back to school in. We went back to school in either a school bus or public transportation. Or walked. But nowadays th

CANADA, OUI. ÉTATS UNIS, NON.

by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist Driving down the street the other day, I saw a small crossover vehicle which looked to be a Kia, but was not a model which I readily recognized. Luckily I caught up to it at the light, and found that it was a Kia Ronda. A car I had completely forgotten about. This thing was such an improvement over the previous, rather dowdy-looking Soul-based Rondo, that I dec