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: Jeep Patriot

    When we last looked at a Jeep Patriot, Chrysler Corp. was deep in the throes of financial insecurity with bankruptcy all but certain on the calendar. An amazing turnaround has occurred since those dark days, especially with the Jeep brand. The former Detroit “Big Three” automakers made several untimely operating decisions that led to their

  • On The Road Review: Toyota Highlander

    As the domestic auto market fragments into increasingly smaller segments, defined by slight variations in vehicle size, shape and performance parameters, one known remains constant — American drivers like their space and versatility. How else would you describe the rapid proliferation of wagons, crossovers and psuedo-SUVs — as well as minivans — that fill the

  • On The Road Review: Ford F-150 Ecoboost

    Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. has been pumping out best-selling pickup trucks for decades now, yet the F-series trucks have not always been class leaders in performance, refinement or capabilities. The latest Ecoboost-powered F-150 aims to erase any doubts about Ford’s commitment to its top-selling vehicle — the cash-cow that helps make Ford successful. There is

  • On The Road Review: GMC Terrain

    GMC, General Motors’ premium truck division, has enjoyed a sales rebound this year that isn’t often part of the total market story because, well, GMC doesn’t have quite the cache as some of the other trendy brands right now. GM marketers are out to change that. GMC’s sales are up 20 percent year-to-date, with a

  • On The Road Review: Mazda Miata

    In 1989, a small Japanese car company went to the Chicago Auto Show with a diminutive roadster, a little speedster that set enthusiast drivers’ hearts aflutter. After years of rumors and spy photos, the Mazda MX-5 Miata was on full display and ready for sale. Unlike other small cars of the time, the Miata was

  • On The Road Review: Nissan Altima

    The midsize sedan class is currently the industry’s most competitive segment as well as the grouping that generates the largest sales numbers. Including a bevy of strong competitors — Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Volkswagen Passat, Subaru Legacy, Dodge Avenger and Suzuki Kazashi — it is

  • On The Road Review: Hyundai Elantra

    Make no mistake, this week’s Hyundai Elantra is now a huge player in the compact sedan segment and in the words ahead we’ll attempt to tell you why. No longer a budget-car maker, Hyundai is firmly entrenched in the American marketplace and is rapidly climbing the sales charts. With stellar products such as the Sonata

  • On The Road Review: Ford Fiesta

    It’s mid-August as this is written and oil prices are starting to rise again after a momentary decline that saw values approach where oil pricing should be given the economics of the world — $50-60 a barrel — not the greedy $90-100 a barrel price that the Wall Street traders and international banks like to

  • End of the Road for Several Models This Year

    During the economic collapse of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009, several brands of car lines were terminated at GM, while Chrysler escaped with most of its brands still intact. Expect that brand and model attrition to continue for both manufacturers in the coming months as well as at several other automakers. A reflection of

  • On The Road Review: Toyota RAV4

    Toyota USA has had one heck of a year — with several months remaining. After weathering a safety and quality crisis that was not entirely justified, struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake in Japan, and just as production is able to ramp up to meet a rebounding retail market, round two of the economic