Articles by: Tim Plouff

Tim Plouff

Tim Plouff

Columnist at The Ellsworth American
Tim Plouff has been reviewing automobiles in the pages of The Ellsworth American weekly for nearly two decades.
  • On the Road Review: GMC Sierra AT4X 1500

    On the Road Review: GMC Sierra AT4X 1500

    The pickup wars are heating up. Generating huge income for the automakers just as they are being pressured to spend billions to build battery-electric-vehicles, the Big Three’s pickup brands — Chevy, GMC, Ford and Ram — are going to have to deliver the big bucks necessary to make these dreams possible. For buyers, this means

  • On the Road Review: Honda HR-V, EX-L

    On the Road Review: Honda HR-V, EX-L

    Almost 40 years ago, Honda was on its third-generation Civic small car. Sensing American taste for all things larger, with more people and parcel space, brand managers created a five-door wagon version of the diminutive sedan/coupe. In 1985, they added a button on the dash to activate a part-time 4WD system — Real Time 4WD

  • On the Road Review: Nissan Z Performance

    On the Road Review: Nissan Z Performance

    In October 1969, American auto enthusiasts were feasting on big, powerful Plymouth Road Runners, Dodge Charger Super Bees, Ford Mustangs, Mercury Cougars, Pontiac Firebirds, and of course Chevy Camaros and Corvettes. However, a sudden shift occurred when a little-known Asian automaker named Datsun introduced a lithe, compact coupe called simply the 240Z. Powered by a

  • On the Road Review: Subaru WRX Premium

    On the Road Review: Subaru WRX Premium

    Normally, it takes three to four years for a new car model to grow through planning, design, engineering, cost-sourcing and assembly-line production before it becomes real. Makeovers, or model revisions, take half that time and usually result in a much improved yet familiar product. Such is the case with our Blue Pearl Subaru WRX four-door

  • On the Road Review: GMC Sierra 2500 Denali Duramax

    On the Road Review: GMC Sierra 2500 Denali Duramax

    As the navigator and I meet delivery driver Tom, a man approaches us and wants to engage. We are exiting the new Acura Integra, while Tom has been waiting for us in an Ebony Twilight Sierra Denali we are about to receive, the utter blackness of the massive truck almost menacing. The visitor is smitten

  • On the Road Review: Genesis GV70 Prestige

    On the Road Review: Genesis GV70 Prestige

    New car company start-ups come and go, especially right now as rising interest rates, essential parts shortages and rampant inflation are quickly sapping the liquid funds of numerous electric vehicle makers that only a few months ago were crowing about their future success. Many won’t last through the summer, as the cruel reality of today’s

  • On the Road Review: Mazda CX-30 Turbo

    On the Road Review: Mazda CX-30 Turbo

    At first glance, the CX-30 easily fits Mazda’s current design theme, with a face shared with several other models — including the top-selling CX-5 compact crossover. The CX-30 is slightly smaller, and really feels like a tall car as you can see over the roof, unlike most crossovers, and actually replaces the departed CX-3 in

  • On the Road Review: Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

    On the Road Review: Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

    When you have a new vehicle as extroverted looking as this Electric Lime Tacoma in specialized off-road trim called TRD Pro, it only seemed prudent to balance my perspective with another driver, like Bill Green — owner of a ’15 Tacoma SR extended cab model. Bill, the very popular longtime host of the TV show

  • On the Road Review: Toyota Highlander XSE

    On the Road Review: Toyota Highlander XSE

    All of our press cars arrive freshly cleaned, fully gassed and ready to rock and roll for a week. But if you live in Maine, especially rural Maine, you are keenly aware of the short interval for which your clean, shiny car lasts as more than weather conspires to sully your handiwork. So, frequently our

  • Commentary: Economic tsunami looming

    Almost 50 years ago, October 1973, Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal led OPEC to create an oil embargo against nations supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War with Egypt — namely the U.S, Britain, Canada and others. The resulting economic panic became the initial Oil Crisis, and forever altered geopolitical energy consumption. Government regulations and mandates

  • On the Road Review: Ford Maverick Hybrid Pickup

    On the Road Review: Ford Maverick Hybrid Pickup

    A traveler heading Downeast on Maine’s Route 1 coastal route might be tempted to peel off at Waldoboro, the crossroads that leads south to the scenic Medomak River and Muscongous Bay, or follow the less-traveled Route 220 north. Meandering through farm country, this rural byway will lead to clever little settlements like Stickney Corner as