Auto reviews

  • 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

  • On the Road Review: Acura RDX A-Spec

    On the Road Review: Acura RDX A-Spec

    Back in 1986, Honda’s new luxury car division, Acura, aimed squarely at the established premium car market with athletic, well-built and reliable cars that immediately altered how buyers felt about what they should expect from their hard-earned investment. With the compact Integra and the midsize Legend, Acura got a big head-start on Lexus and Infiniti.

  • On the Road Review: Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited

    On the Road Review: Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited

    In the late 1950s, Ford and Chevrolet launched a new generation of vehicles named Ranchero and El Camino. Big body-on-frame products but based on rear-drive full-size sedans of that era, these quasi pickups quickly created a niche clientele that readily embraced these urban utility vehicles. Fast forward to 2022. Hyundai’s all-new Santa Cruz could easily

  • On the Road Review: Ford Bronco Sasquatch

    On the Road Review: Ford Bronco Sasquatch

    The Alexander family has a strong connection to Ford Broncos. Which isn’t unusual all by itself, as many American families are anxiously anticipating their new Bronco, Ford’s latest activity SUV that is a spot-on designer’s imitation of the original. It’s just that the three generations of Alexander Bronco enthusiasts are pretty much a group of

  • On the Road Review: Jeep Compass Trailhawk

    On the Road Review: Jeep Compass Trailhawk

    A compass is a device to find direction or a craftsman’s tool to scribe circles. In Stellantis’s Jeep brand, a Compass is a roadmap to small crossover profitability. After a series of compact, entry-level crossovers named Patriot, Renegade and Compass, Jeep seems to be applying more resources into the redesigned Compass. The Patriot (a Compass

  • On the Road Review: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

    On the Road Review: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

    In early November last year, Jeep Vice President Jim Morrison came to New England to present several of his latest products to the assembled media. The return of the Wagoneer, a larger three-row Grand Cherokee L, a plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4Xe, plus this week’s featured vehicle — the new Grand Cherokee. As one of the

  • On the Road Review: Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback

    On the Road Review: Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback

    The 11th-generation Civic lineup will be comprised of four distinct models: sedan, hatchback, SI sport models and high-performance Type-R. This week we have number two in this programmed rollout, the recently released hatchback in top Sport Touring trim with the optional 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. Our fall review of the Civic sedan highlighted the new design’s

  • On the Road Review: Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition

    On the Road Review: Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition

    For over 20 years, the Forester has been the shorter, taller sibling to the Subaru Outback, a compact five-passenger wagon brimming with comfort, stability, wicked good visibility and overall convenience. Endowed with the brand’s stress-reducing symmetrical AWD, the Forester has pulled through deep snowstorms and pushed up greasy slick leaf-covered hills for thousands of Mainers.

  • On the Road Review: Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

    On the Road Review: Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

    Nissan hit a very big pothole several years ago and has struggled to get its wheels fixed ever since. After firing longtime CEO Carlos Ghosn and charging him with multiple crimes, which remain unresolved, certain business practices combined to shade dealer practices and consumer confidence. Several key products had also been neglected. Since 2019, Nissan