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: 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

  • On The Road Review: Nissan 370Z

    KENNEBUNKPORT — Summer arrived just in time for the New England Motor Press Association’s annual junket for the region’s media folks, plus the manufacturers’ public relations staffers, to travel — by ragtop — from Brookline to this seaside port for a particular Maine-based crustacean feed. After gorging oneself on pie, cornbread, chicken and other assorted

  • On The Road Review: Toyota Scion tC

    From late 1970 until 2006, Toyota sold a sportily styled coupe/hatchback car called the Celica. During seven generations of this fuel-efficient compact, Toyota created tons of sales as well as untold fans of the brand as the Celica had an almost cult-like following among certain drivers. In many ways, the Celica defined a whole generation

  • On The Road Review: Mini Cooper Countryman

    For loyal disciples of BMW’s resurrected Mini compact car brand, the notion of a larger ‘Mini’ is almost abhorrent. The multiple virtues of performance and character are all defined by the car’s inherent tiny-ness; making a bigger car defies the whole principle of the brand. Well, things change — and often for the better. This

  • On The Road Review: Seven Days with the Chevy Volt

    Due to the benefits of 20/20 vision, we have 15 years of operating history that have proven the science behind Toyota’s Prius Hybrid-powered car is sound and economically viable — an alternative-powered vehicle that works in real life. Toyota has sold over 2 million Prius hatchbacks all over the world, with two new models coming

  • Sales Trends: Are They Telling Us Anything?

    Half of the sales year is in the books. The prognosticators and crystal ball experts can’t decide if gas is going to be more or less expensive or whether the economy is going to grow enough to carry auto sales up, down or sideways. Well, what we have is actual sales data — the numbers,

  • Limestone Event Satisfies the Lust for Speed

    LIMESTONE, Maine — For the third time in recent years, the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, has hosted The Maine Event — an all-out speed war that tests man (and woman) and their machines to see how fast each can go. The Loring Timing Association is a local organization focused on man’s

  • On The Road Review: Ford Explorer XLT

    For over 15 years, the midsize Explorer SUV was a key component of Ford’s domestic product offerings, with class leading sales and high profit margins. That all started to change when first, Explorers started rolling over after underinflated Firestone tires popped and inexperienced drivers overreacted, and secondly, when the first wave of the economic malaise

  • On The Road Review: Chevrolet Camaro SS

    “America Still Builds Rockets” is Chevrolet’s ad campaign — and YouTube sensation — for the current Corvette. By extension, Chevy’s retro-styled Camaro muscle-car owns a piece of that philosophy as well. After an absence of six years, Chevrolet rolled out the latest Camaro in 2009. Designed in America, built in Canada and riding on a

  • On The Road Review: BMW X3

    As the cars from German automaker BMW have continued to expand their market share in America, eclipsing more established rival Mercedes, it has been the brand’s proliferation of sports activity vehicles that has surprised the most. While Mercedes has always had an extensive lineup of ‘trucks’ — a list that continues to grow today —