Posts by: Jim Corbran

YET ANOTHER UNUSUAL FRENCH CAR INVADES NORTH AMERICA…

YET ANOTHER UNUSUAL FRENCH CAR INVADES NORTH AMERICA… by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist In what might be considered bad timing in the face of cheap gas prices, France’s Renault has landed its Twizy electric cars on the shores of Canada. Okay, maybe it’s not a car after all, as Groupe Renault’s official press release calls the Twizy 40 (its official Canadian nameplate) a quadricycle. With a top

HARD TO TELL WHERE THE PANTS END AND THE SEAT STARTS…

HARD TO TELL WHERE THE PANTS END AND THE SEAT STARTS… by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist If you were around in the 1970s you may recall a few cars from American Motors which featured Levis®-inspired interiors. Maybe you even remember the much rarer 1973 VW Jeans Bug, which also featured a denim-inspired seatcovering material and door cards, along with exterior striping, badging, and special whee

ICE ICE, BABY!

ICE ICE, BABY! by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist This one can either be filed under “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” or “Better Late Than Never.” Ford has just announced that the new 2017 Escape, available this spring, will offer a windshield wiper de-icer as part of its optional Cold Weather Package. Working much like a rear window defroster, the Escape’s windshield will have heat elements embedd

THESE CARS’LL HAVE YOU WAGGIN’ YER TAIL!

THESE CARS’LL HAVE YOU WAGGIN’ YER TAIL! by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist So if you’re thinking of moving to Europe, and you’re a fan of Ford’s Fusion, you’re in luck as Ford sells pretty much the same car over there called the Mondeo. An upscale version called the Vignale (vinny-AL-ay) has a few more bells and whistles. And here’s a big bonus — across the pond there’s a nifty-looking station

CHEVY RE-VOLTS…

CHEVY RE-VOLTS… by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist The second generation Chevy Volt has hit the showrooms, looking a little less like an odd electric car and more like a mainstream automobile. Which will hopefully be more appealing to the masses. The first Volt was a good car for what it was (although the interior was a bit of a downer) and it made Chevy’s name in the plug-in hybrid game. The ne

MADE IN… WHERE?

MADE IN… WHERE? by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist If you’re thinking that the photo looks like a Buick Enclave that’s a little… off, you’re pretty close. Think of it as an Enclave that shrunk in the laundry. It’s Buick’s new entry in the midsize crossover category, and it’s the venerable old Flint, Michigan automobile manufacturer’s first — are you ready for it? — Chinese import. Come to think

WHAT’S NEW? — 2.0

WHAT’S NEW? — 2.0 by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist A few more new model introductions from this year’s just concluded North American International Automobile Show in Detroit: 2017 Buick LaCrosse — the LaCrosse was touted by many as a Lexus competitor back when Buick introduced the newly restyled 2010 models. I always thought it looked like it spent too much time at the buffet table. This time

WHAT’S NEW?

WHAT’S NEW? by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist A few nuggets from this year’s North American International Automobile Show in Detroit: Kia Telluride concept — this SUV reminds me of the new Volvo XC90. Upright, squarish… rather handsome, actually. I especially like the suicide doors. It’s loaded with technical stuff inside, some of which (along with styling cues) will probably appear on future K

JUST DRIVE, SHE SAID

JUST DRIVE, SHE SAID by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist And when she said that (“she” being either the car highjacker in the 1992 Richard Paul Russo short story Just Drive, She Said, or the backseat cab fare in Stan Ridgeway’s 1986 song Drive, She Said), I highly doubt she was talking to the car. I realize that time marches on, but I personally have zero interest in cars that drive themselves, a

SINISTER-LOOKING TRAX

SINISTER-LOOKING TRAX by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist Looking around it seems these days a lot of people like their vehicles the same way I like my coffee. Black. And it’s not just the paint jobs, but the trim and — maybe most importantly, the rims. The blacker the better. Years ago the only black rims you saw were the steelies which showed when your hubcaps fell off. Or were stolen. Nowadays