Photo Gallery
Login
Powered by Squarespace
Monday
Mar302015

2015 Lincoln MKC

 

2015 Lincoln MKC 2.3 Ecoboost

2.3L 4 Cylinder Ecoboost 285 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Platinum White with Ebony Leather Interior

The photo gallery / slide show of the MKC...Click

We have been captivated by the looks of the MKC for some time. Spending a few days with one merely reinforces that its an handsome, well proportioned compact utility.

With good street presence that often generates a second look. Especially in Platinum White.

Our tester is the top of the line 2.3 Ecoboost version with a myriad of options. Including an immense panorama roof.

The distinctive grille immediately communicates that its a Lincoln, and perhaps Matthew McConaughey is lurking from somewhere. 

From our perspective its "right sized" in the ever increasing CUV segment. Its not a full size, or a mid size, its the right size luxury urban utility.

The interior is well designed, and finished, with limited luxury touches. All the features and options are present, the THX sound system is very good, the heated and cooled front seats, back up camera, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel to name a few.

The center screen controls are relativey easy, and reasonably intuitive. The dash mounted gear selector is distinctive to Lincoln.

The front seats are comfortable and multi power adjustable as you would expect. The rear seat provides good leg room to accommodate adults, and obvious with folding seat backs to increase the cargo area.

The exterior puddle lighting with the Lincoln crest illuminated on the ground is quite cool.

You can configure the MKC...here.

The drive...

We had an opportunity to drive a few hundred highway kilometers. Its a smooth and relaxing highway cruiser, while the smart cruise control maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead. On surface streets the engine has appreciable levels of torque that belies its 2.3 liters of displacement. Providing an interesting and endearing substantial torque moment for most situations. The shift algorithm of the transmission is finely calibrated with imperceptible shifts.

Between the back up camera, parking sensors, and cross flow traffic alert, navigating parking lots suddenly becomes a simpler task.

The steering feel, suspension tuning, brakes are calibrated for surface street and highway cruising, and comfort.

From our perspective in a competitive CUV segment the MKC holds its own, and is worth experiencing if you are considering a CUV.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Handsome Styling
  • Impressive Torque
  • Ample interior space
  • Superior highway cruiser
  • Effective use of technology

 

The short review

 

 

Monday
Mar232015

2015 Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX Elite

3.5L V6 290HP with 9 Speed Automatic Transmission

Basque Red Pearl with Ebony Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the TLX...click

A few months ago we reviewed the outgoing TSX, a car that caught our attention.

We did not pass up the opportunity to spend a few days experiencing the replacement.

This TLX is bristling with technology, and impressed us. Its obvious that the folks at Acura sweated the details to have the various technology perform and function in a seamless fashion. 

Technology from tensioning seat belts if the stability program engages, a fast heating steering wheel, heated seats that turn on automatically just to name a few. In addition to the double screens in the center of the dash. Its a technology cool car.

You expect subdued, conservative styling from Acura, this TLX from our perspective flows smoothly, which again captures the attention of the owner if not passers by. The street presence is discreet, although it clearly conveys the message that its an Acura with the iconic grille.

The jewel eye LED headlamps are unique, and distinctive. While becoming a feature of the Acura brand.

The 5 Star safety rating reinforces that Acura engineered a solid, safe car.

The interior is well crafted for an entry level luxury car, the choice of materials is good, most panels have a pleasant tactile feel. The seats are confortable, and power adjustable, as you would expect. The premium sound system which is almost infinitely adjustable delivers a solid sound experience. The dual screens in the center of the dash from our perspective are a novel way to display the information that is usually on only one screen. The various controls and functions are easier, and intuitive when divided between 2 screens.

Rear seat leg room is adequate for adults. The rear seat folding seat back augments the versatility of the trunk space.

You expect a full complement of options, the TLX delivers. It was bitterly cold on a few morning and the automatic heated seats, and almost instant hot steering wheel where totally cool.

The drive...

Its an Acura, its solid, inspires confidence, the steering is precise, the brakes are good. The engine delivers a good level of performance accompanied by an authoritative growl at higher revolutions. The 9 speed transmission is smooth especially in the normal mode.

You can select various modes from normal, sport and sport plus. Sport from our perspective is the most attuned mode with increased responsiveness from the throttle and crisper shifts. The car provides excellent traction in snow, with quick and responsive, ABS, traction control, and stability program.

You can configure your own TLX...here.

This TLX is competent while inspiring confidence, with discreet technology that comes into play when required.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Pleasant flowing styling
  • 5 Star Safety Rating
  • Bristling with discreet technology
  • Dual screens
  • Responsive engine with 290 HP
  • Shift control on the console

  The quick review

 

 

 

Tuesday
Oct282014

2015 Jaguar F-Type

2015 Jaguar F-Type Roadster

3.0L V6 Supercharged 340 HP with 8 Speed Automatic Transmission

Red Metallic with Jet Black Performance Seats

The photo gallery/slide show of the F-Type...Click.

This F-Type captures the imagination, awakens the senses, exudes passion. We know that styling is a strong attraction, but when its combined with tradition, and passion it becomes an automotive aphrodisiac. 

The street presence is powerful, attracting constant attention, second, third looks, and gawkers. Generating constant wow moments for onlookers.

Jaguar is well versed in working with aluminum. They let their passion flow with the aluminum of this car.

We could keep on going...the styling of this car is superior to all the other roadsters in the segment. In our own deliberations..."would your rather have X or the F-Type" the F-Type always came out ahead.

The interior is well executed, with good materials, enhanced by contrast stitching. This tester had the optional performance seats which are phenomenal with their support and myriad adjustments...totally cool. The 380 watt Meridian sound system is not what you would expect, we would opt for the optional Meridian with double the watts. The round analog gauges are traditional while the center screen display is the modern touch. 

The recessing center vent provides a smoother dash when motoring with the top down and the climate control system turned off.

Its a wonderful snug roadster fit, you immediately become part of the car. The operation of the soft top is quick, efficient, and simple not having a cover once the top is opened.

How does it drive?

The V6 coupled to the speed shift 8 speed is a brilliant combination especially in sport mode. The shift algorithm is well thought out with quick shifts, while holding gears for the appropriate time especially in sport mode.

The exhaust sound is a feast for the senses, its almost an exhaust musical instrument reinforcing what the engine and transmission are doing. Obvious that with the top down this feast turns into a concert.

The car is quick, nimble, while constantly inciting towards exuberance. Its a fun roadster, with instant shifts when using the paddles which includes a blip of the throttle. The brakes are powerful, the steering is quick and precise. The suspension is firm while being compliant, always composed and reassuring.

The aluminum body, feels like a solid billet, even on broken pavement with no squeaks or rattles from a convertible.

Its a wonderful toy, especially with a lighter color interior than the all black of our tester. 

If you are seeking a roadster there are a few offerings although from our perspective none exude passion like the F-Type. Make it a point to experience an F-Type, the styling, the exhaust note, the ease of operation of the softop are a few features that will grasp your attention. 

Did we mention styling and passion...

The quick review

 
Monday
Sep082014

2014 Silverado 1500

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab 4x4

5.3L V8 355 HP with 6 Speed Automatic transmission

White Diamond with Jet Black leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Silverado...Click.

We were anxious to spend a few days with the new Silverado, especially that the last time was a few years ago with Clifford.

The competition in the pick up segment is at epic levels in Canada. Yes... discovering this new Silverado generated excitement.

By now you have concluded like us, that grilles on pick ups are massive. This Silverado does not disappoint with a huge grille, complemented by softer lines, its an appealing truck.

The street presence is unmistakable how can you miss that its a pick up, and from the grille a Chevrolet. This tester finished in Diamond White had the luxury look too.

The quiet interior is immense ready to accomodate a work crew or a family, putting any car to shame, and with a myriad of features, including heated and ventilated seats, complemented by an immense sunroof, directly competing with any luxury car. 

Obvious the console facilitates working in the truck, the outlets enable charging, and using various smart devices. 

The instrument layout caught our attention with the small gauges on top, its refreshing to see actual gauges with needle indicators.

Chevrolet refined the interior of this new Silverado with a larger center of the dash screen, a huge panorama roof, a power rear sliding window, a great sound system. In addition to paying attention to details, enhanced by contrast stitching. Agreed most folks also come to expect luxury car features in a top of the line crew cab, obvious this Silverado does not disappoint.

This pick up has the uncanny ability to constantly communicate that its ready to work, its prepared to perform a task. Even the ride improves and smoothes out with a few hundred pounds of stuff in the bed.

Lets not the forget that this pick up has a frame, a 2 speed transfer case with a low range for the 4x4, its a configuration to work, compared to most urban SUV's.

How does it drive?

When a pick up drives like a pick up, feels like a pick up, constantly communicates that its ready to work, its an endearing feature. We get the feeling that the folks at Chevrolet ensured that its a pick up. It certainly has enough power, the 6 speed automatic has a pick up algorithm to smoothly carry or pull a load, the steering is on center, the brakes are strong. 

Its a great cruiser, effortlessly maintaining highway speeds, and feels a little cumbersome navigating parking lots, its remains a crew cab which is huge compared to most cars.

What struck us is the myriad of improvements from the previous version, the gauges in the dash, the steps in the rear bumper, the soft open of the tailgate, the quieter cabin to name a few. The improvements all add up to make a compelling, and capable pick up. 

 

The quick review

 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug272014

2014 Cadillac CTS V Sport

2014 Cadillac CTS V Sport

3.6 L Twin Turbo V6 420 HP with 8 Speed Automatic transmission

White Diamond with Kona Brown / Jet Black Leather interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the CTS V Sport...Click.

By now you are aware that we have some sort of a soft spot for Cadillac. There is something about all the latest Cadillacs that is appealing to us. Obvious that one finished in White Diamond, quickly captures our attention.

Yes Cadillac owns the "pearl white" finish for its cars. 

Now factor in that its a CTS V Sport and it becomes a very interesting car, although a little pricey with a base price of $74,495.

Cadillac's have their own distinctive styling, which produces a compelling street presence. The bolder grille, distinctive vertical LED's. and square exhausts are by now unique to Cadillac.

The interior is inspiring, and superbly finished, the 2 tone leather is elegant, the texture of the wood paneling is unique. Starting with CUE and all the other features that you expect are all present, complemented by an impressive sound system.

You can configure your CTS V Sport...here.

If you had doubts that Cadillac can develop a discreet performance model without resorting to the all out V version with the supercharged V8. This car will reassure you.

This V Sport embodies our perspective of a luxury car with waftability, its elegant, its discreet, its quiet, while delivering an astonishing level of performance. 

The twin turbo V6 with the well calibrated 8 speed automatic is a powerful combination and the transmission has a precise shift algorithm which is well matched to the capabilities of the engine. Yes...when the turbos spool up its exhilarating. The Brembo brakes are reassuring, the steering is precise, the suspension is inspiring. 

The folks at Cadillac have done their due diligence with this version of the CTS. The car instantly communicates that its competent, it has a strong level of power, it has all the features, its right up there with the best in the segment.

There is a special something about luxury cars with a higher level of performance that sets them apart, and reinforces the traditional "luxury factor"...this CTS has an abundance of the something. The entire Strada editorial team was impressed by this car.

We can keep on going here, suffice it to say that this car inspires.

If you are considering a luxury sedan with a higher level of performance than the base engine. While not desiring the "boy racer" versions that many German manufacturers offer. You owe it to yourself to experience the CTS V Sport. 

This CTS will recalibrate your perspective of a luxury sedan that performs.

 

The quick review