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Trans-Canada Highway

Reporting on the automotive industry, including recalls and other news, motorsports and blog posts

Traffic will move faster if you 'cheat' and merge late at a bottleneck: study

JORDAN CHITTLEY

We’ve all experienced it – there is construction or an obstacle or just a reduction of lanes ahead, forcing a bottleneck where all the cars must slow down to merge. It sucks.

In fact, bottlenecks are the single biggest contributor to road delays, says a new study released Wednesday by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). Bottlenecks bring more people to a halt than crashes, bad weather and construction.

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Bolt, Pacifica, and Ridgeline named car, utility and truck of the year

STAFF

The Chevrolet Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Ridgeline were named winners of the North American Car, Utility Vehicle and Truck awards on Monday, as the North American International Auto Show kicked off in Detroit.

The Bolt, an all-electric sedan introduced to the market in late 2016, won car of the year over the Genesis G90 and Volvo S90. The Bolt can travel more than 375 kilometres on a single charge in favourable weather.

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Ford F-Series, Honda Civic are Canada's top-selling truck, car of 2016

STAFF

The Honda Civic retained its title as the best-selling passenger car in Canada for the 19th consecutive year despite a slight decrease in sales, while Ford continued as the top selling brand overall, led by the F-Series truck as the top selling vehicle in the country.

Sales of the Civic amounted to 64,552, down 0.6 per cent from 2015 . Overall, Honda Canada reported a five per cent increase in sales, with a total of 186,676 units by the Honda and Acura divisions. It’s the third consecutive year of record sales.

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The most searched car in Canada in 2016

JORDAN CHITTLEY

The Honda Civic, recently redesigned and re-launched as a hatchback, was the most searched car on Google in 2016.

“It has been a best-selling car, or one of, for years, and is creating buzz and excitement in the market again,” said Deepak Anand, head of industry, auto, for Google Canada, in an e-mail. The Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car for 19 straight years. “When you have a popular car with lot of interest for future sales, you do very well in search growth.”

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Banning gas cars and a new minivan: The most popular Drive stories of 2016

JORDAN CHITTLEY

 

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The 38 safest new cars on the road

JORDAN CHITTLEY

After crashing, measuring and testing all of the 2017 models, the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded 38 vehicles the top rating.

The IIHS, which rates how well cars perform in crash tests, said 10 fewer cars received the highest designation this year after it raised standards for headlight performance. Only seven of these 38 are available with headlights that earned a good rating.

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Rolls-Royce begins testing its diamond SUV in the rough

TOM MALONEY

The next step in Rolls-Royce’s Project Cullinan is traction and cold-weather testing above the Arctic Circle this winter, followed by exposure to extreme desert conditions in the Middle East.

The fully developed Rolls features new all-wheel-drive suspension, lightweight aluminum architecture, raised ground clearance, a high roofline and a relatively rugged appearance.

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Car insurance rates rising in Toronto - and vary wildly, depending on where you live

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Car insurance rates may be decreasing on the whole in Ontario, but they are rising for Toronto residents and continue to vary wildly between neighbourhoods in the city.

A recent Kanetix.ca study shows the average rate in Canada’s largest city for a single 35-year-old with a clean driving record in a 2013 Honda Civic is up $88 a year from last year to $1,886. And rates vary by as much as $955 a year, depending where you live.

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Nissan's Rally of the Titans touches down in Toronto for the Grey Cup

DARREN McGEE

 

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Road tolls: Will they actually reduce congestion?

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are among the most congested cities on the continent – ranking second, sixth and ninth, respectively, according to TomTom data.

The average person living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) spends about 65 minutes commuting each day, and all that gridlock costs the region up to $11 billion per year, according to a C.D. Howe Institute study.

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Minivan shortlisted for Green Car award for first time

JORDAN CHITTLEY

 

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The 10 most expensive cities in Ontario for car insurance

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Car insurance rates across Ontario are decreasing, but not as much as promised by the Liberal government and they vary wildly between cities.

The 10 most expensive cities are in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton region. The most expensive is Brampton, where a single 35-year-old driver with a clean record would have an average annual premium of $2,392 – 65 per cent higher than the provincial average of $1,448, according to data collected by Kanetix.ca, which ran quotes for every city in Ontario based on the same driver profile.

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Avenir won’t be a Buick model – it will be a trim level

JERMEY SINEK

Remember Buick’s stunning Avenir sedan concept from the 2015 Detroit auto show? It seems the name does indeed have a future in the Buick line-up – though not in the way we’d hoped.

In essence, Avenir will be a sub-brand – a flagship trim level that will be to Buick what Denali is to GMC trucks.

“We’re taking a lot of what we learned from Denali,” said Buick design chief Helen Emsley. “You start small and then you grow.”

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Building a better highway: Driverless car lane from Vancouver to Seattle proposed

STAFF

HOV lanes between Seattle and Vancouver should be turned over to self-driving vehicles, says a private venture-capital firm envisioning the not-so-distant future.

The move, says a report issued Tuesday by Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, would theoretically increase individual productivity, enhance road safety, and boost the connection between two booming cities enmeshed in the technology sector.

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GM releases Canadian pricing for all-electric, Tesla-fighting Bolt EV

JORDAN CHITTLEY

The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt will cost $42,795 plus a $1,600 destination freight charge in Canada, General Motors announced Tuesday.

However, after all applicable rebates in Ontario, that price is $31,434 plus freight on the base model. The Bolt will be the most affordable long-range electric vehicle in Canada and a test of whether its powertrain technology is ready to go mainstream.

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Chevrolet's electric Bolt beats Tesla's Model 3 on range

STAFF

 

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Free Wi-Fi is what keeps Canadians happy when having their car serviced: survey

JORDAN CHITTLEY

When Canadians have their cars serviced, what they really want is free Wi-Fi while waiting and for their service advisors to use a tablet when explaining the work, finds a study by J.D. Power.

The survey of 12,340 Canadian owners with vehicles between four and 12 years old found that when having work done on a car, access to Internet is one of the least-offered amenities, but generates the highest satisfaction score.

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Ontario raising vehicle sticker renewal fee, has almost doubled since 2011

JORDAN CHITTLEY

For the sixth year in a row, the Ontario government is raising the fee for renewing vehicle validation stickers.

As of Sept. 1, renewal stickers in southern Ontario will cost $120 for the year, up from $108 currently. In northern Ontario, the fee rises to $60 from $54.

While a $12 increase may not seem hefty, the renewal price has almost doubled since 2011.

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'Forbidden fruit' Honda Civic hatchback returns to Canada this fall

JORDAN CHITTLEY

The Honda Civic hatchback returns this fall to the Canadian market after a decade-long absence.

Similar to the 10th-generation Civic sedan, the new hatchback will have a more aggressive look with sharper lines. The five-door will also be the basis for the high-performance Type-R.

“We’re bringing back the much-anticipated sporty, stylish and sophisticated Civic Hatchback to Canada, as we amp up the performance of our incredible Civic lineup with each new model,” said Dave Gardner, senior vice-president of operations for Honda Canada, in a statement.

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World's most efficient vehicle sets record: 11,000 km on equivalent to 1 litre of gas

JORDAN CHITTLEY

A team of German graduate students has set a Guinness World Record for the most efficient electric vehicle.

The Eco Team from the Technical University in Munich and its teardrop-shaped, three-wheel car went around Audi’s test track in Bavaria earlier this month achieving an efficiency rate of 1,232 kilometres per kilowatt hour. If it were a gas car, that would be the equivalent of 0.009 litres/100 km or 26,135 miles per gallon.

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