Last week we saved some baby seals and dialed back “global warming”™ by driving the Escape PHEV. This week we’re chucking those baby seals and some dolphins on the barbie while burning down the rain forest in Brazil by driving around Ontario in the Bronco Wildtrack. Just kidding – we couldn’t find any dolphins. Anywho…
It’s been a while since we got some seat time behind the wheel of a Volvo… 10 year in fact!!! Wow – time flies. So what’s changed in the world of Volvo since the last time? Plenty has changed over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the Volvo of today is still as awesome as the Volvo of the past. This week’s test is a huge departure from the typical SUV infested roads of Canada – it’s a station wagon!!! It doesn’t have some newfangled label that the media people come up with – it’s a plain old station wagon – and damned if it isn’t still better than an SUV!
This week get some very limited seat time behind the wheel of the Maverick hybrid pickup truck – probably the hottest vehicle Ford have produced in decades. People have ordered their Maverick back in July 2021 and still haven’t received them yet – almost a year later. Due to the shortage of any available, we had to grab a quick test – courtesy of our local Ford dealership, (Grimsby Ford), so a big thanks to them. The order books closed for 2022 Maverick’s in February, so it looks like most people are going to be getting 2023’s…when they eventually arrive.
We’re doing something unique this week… We’re going to be embedded with a 2-car team that are doing the 2022 Gumball3000 that starts in Toronto. They’re coming in from Germany and we’re picking them up at the airport, getting the car + truck ready and prepped for the rally (it’s NOT a race). We’ll see the car and truck at the same time they see them for the first time…
The present-day Ford Ranger arrived in North America as an all-new model back in 2019, even though it wasn’t actually new – it debuted in Australia back in 2012. Back in 2019 we got our hands on the Lariat version and last year we had the phenomenal Tremor version – probably by far our favourite truck ever. This time we’re driving a Lariat with the FX4 off road package – it sits somewhere between our two previous Rangers. It’s essentially the final time to try the Ranger because the All-New from the ground up version will arrive early next year, as a 2023 model.
Last year we had the opportunity to drive loads of F-150’s during the lockdown. What has that got to do with the Ranger? Well, 99% of the people we talk to always say: “Why would you buy/lease a Ranger when it’s almost the same price as the F-150?” As someone that’s got plenty of experience driving both, it’s a no-brainer for me (and the wife) the Ranger wins every single time. It’s the better and more usable size of the two. It’s easier to drive, park and get in and out of. Unless you are towing big heavy trailers all the time, or you need a LOT of passenger space in the back, there is no need for you to get the F-150 over the Ranger.
It’s been a while since we drove an Escape Hybrid – 13 years to be exact! Partly it was because Ford discontinued the hybrid version, and partly because we never came away from the experience overly impressed. I just went back and re-read my article and it was less than complimentary (sorry Ford) about the interior plastics among other things. One thing is for sure, Ford has definitely improved enormously in the past few years when it comes to the plastics in most of their vehicles.
Battery swapping was once considered unsustainable option for charging EV’s, but the world’s largest battery supplier – CATL is now launching an entire business around it. The company is called Evogo and they claim they can do a battery swap in around a minute.
Chevrolet has just revealed the Silverado EV, the latest addition to GM’s Ultium-powered EV lineup, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. #ces2022
Last year we had the opportunity to drive loads of F-150’s. During the lockdown we were helping my brother-in-law, who works as the sales manager at the local Ford dealership, move trucks to/from other dealerships, so we’ve got plenty of experience with them. We’ve driven the entire range and have our favourite versions with the options we would pick if we were buying one.