Auto reviews

  • On the Road Review: BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    On the Road Review: BMW M440i xDrive Gran Coupe

    It was over two decades ago, late in winter, and the first of several memorable new BMWs made the pilgrimage to Downeast Maine courtesy of Automotion. That first sedan was a 5-series with a sonorous in-line six-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission (remember when serious cars likely featured a stick shift?). The car was

  • On the Road Review: Kia Sorento X-Line SX-Prestige

    On the Road Review: Kia Sorento X-Line SX-Prestige

    Georgetown is like many coastal Maine towns, with multiple villages comprising the expansive waterfront community. From Bay Point to Robinhood, and Georgetown Island to Five Islands, there are coves, inlets, ponds and three major rivers — Kennebec, Sasanoa and Sheepscot — to feast your eyes upon, as well as to pursue your leisure activity. Add

  • On the Road Review: Ford F-150 Limited Powerboost Hybrid

    On the Road Review: Ford F-150 Limited Powerboost Hybrid

    Jumping out of last week’s GMC Sierra Denali into our polished-silver Ford F-150 Limited with the Powerboost Hybrid option will surely invite some comparisons. Ford’s Powerboost uses the brand’s vaunted 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine and marries a 47-hp electric motor to the 10-speed automatic transmission. With 7.2kW of transferable power delivered via six outlets in

  • On the Road Review: GMC Sierra Denali 1500

    On the Road Review: GMC Sierra Denali 1500

    Full-size pickup trucks are essential to life here whether you work or play deep in the Maine woods, or along the rocky coast. From towing, hauling and just commuting, pickup trucks are practical and an often-necessary tool in our vehicle arsenal for a large majority of Mainers. So, it seemed only fitting that our handsome

  • On the Road Review: Nissan Sentra SR

    On the Road Review: Nissan Sentra SR

    Two big numbers stand out with this week’s redesigned Nissan Sentra SR compact sedan. The first, and still very important to many automotive buyers, is its starting price, $20,635 including destination fee. That is $300 less than the Hyundai Elantra, $500 less than Toyota’s top-selling Corolla and a whopping $2,200 less than the base Honda

  • On the Road Review: Honda Civic Si Sedan

    On the Road Review: Honda Civic Si Sedan

    For almost four decades, driving enthusiasts all over the globe have been savoring the lithe manners and athletic driving characteristics of Honda’s compact class Civic. Although the car has grown in every dimension through the years, now larger than many generations of the Accord, the Civic remains a fun and functional daily automobile for drivers

  • On the Road Review: Honda Passport TrailSport

    On the Road Review: Honda Passport TrailSport

    Late winter in Maine finds many rural roads suffering the vulgarities of the season. Plowed roads start to heave up as the frost goes deep under the surface, while culverts drop. Even recently paved roads crack and ice seeps in to create a vicious damage cycle. The resulting undulating surface becomes the ultimate test track

  • On the Road Review: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL

    On the Road Review: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL

    With gasoline street pricing quickly swelling past $4 a gallon during the visit of this week’s Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, automakers will soon feel a new round of pressure, as if two years of COVID-flu and computer chip constraints weren’t enough strain. Consumer focus will certainly shift toward efforts to maximize every gallon purchased, no matter

  • On the Road Review: A New Car Buying Saga

    On the Road Review: A New Car Buying Saga

    With the leaves dropping, my driving partner and contractor-wife finally succumbed to the reality that she needed a new vehicle. Her 2012 Equinox only had 85,000 miles, yet a rusting fender was a visual indignity she could no longer tolerate. A recent review of the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid also provided a solid option — a

  • On the Road Review: GMC Canyon AT4

    On the Road Review: GMC Canyon AT4

    Just before the crossover to 128/95 South in Peabody, Mass., there is a huge billboard for Boston-area mega-dealer Herb Chambers. The bold lettering sends a strong message, “You Only Live Once — Drive What You Like.” In the right corner of the sign is a lava orange Porsche Carrera leering at you. Almost exactly to

  • On the Road Review: Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

    On the Road Review: Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

    Several years ago, John Phillips of Ellsworth chided me for my lukewarm review of the car heavily favored by him and his wife, Jane — a Mitsubishi Outlander. John exhorted that his Outlander was “stone reliable.” He was correct; that generation of Outlander was a stone, and it was reliable, practically the only virtues exhibited