Browsing Tag

test drives

Chevrolet Spark Test Drive

auto, GEAR By August 28, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

I couldn’t possibly test a vehicle without the kids in tow.  I thought this Chevrolet Spark Test Drive would be a tough one for the boys, as the car was so compact (awesome for squeezing into city parking spots). But for the urban driver?  Amazing.

Safety-wise, the 10 airbags, great sight lines and Onstar phone services provide the driver with a ton of confidence.  You can’t really beat Onstar (and not just to ask a live person to send directions to the vehicle for the nearest Starbucks).  My kids know that if Mommy is ever in trouble, they press the red button and wait for emergency response crews who will track the car via GPS.  The peace of mind is priceless.

With USB connectivity for his tunes combined with great maneuverability and talent, my husband was able to back up within 1.5 inches of a pylon and became the proud recipient of the award for this feat (as opposed to the actual pylon award he received in recreational hockey).  I was thrilled to be able to tweet that my dear husband ‘won with an inch and a half!’.

The verdict?  A great economical and compact choice for big-city driving.  It may not be the best option for schlepping gear and multiple kiddos on playdates if you need more than 31.2 cubic feet of volume, but did I mention it comes in pink?


The Honda CR-V

auto, GEAR By August 22, 2012 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

I had the pleasure of driving with Yoyomama’s Annemarie Templeman-Kluit over the Sea to Sky Highway in a Honda CR-V.  Final destination: the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.  I was never very familiar with Honda, and after meeting Steven Weber and getting a mini-university education on the innovations within the CR-V, I feel like an expert.  (And I kind of geeked out while I listened.)  Wow!  Cool!  What’s a powertrain again?  (And why would all these car companies advertise the warranty on one when most of us have no clue what it is?)

We began our trip by loading the car.  Piles and piles of coolers, carseats, suitcases, beach balls, canoe paddles and hockey bags were piled on the floor.  I looked at the pile skeptically and took photos as Annemarie loaded up.  Ha ha.  But it all fit! I was shocked at how much space there was.

During the drive, we played jokes on each other with the voice-activated commands which culminated in Annemarie raising the passenger seat temperature so high that I was sweltering.  I later got her back but driving so quickly that she got a bit nauseus while Tweeting.  The car was so quiet we couldn’t stop gabbing.

Favourite things about the Honda CR-V:

  1. Noise cancelling wrap on engine.  It’s called something fancy but I just know how quiet the car is to drive.
  2. No bump in backseat floor because the stabilizers are on the sides of the car and Honda has figured out how to place the drive shaft lower down.  This allows for much more leg room if there is a passenger in the middle.
  3. The rear doors open 90 degrees, which helps immensely when loading kids into car seats.
  4. Voice activated commands so if you don’t like the person in the passenger seat, you can alter their temperature so they are uncomfortable.  Plus it only works with your own voice so your kids can’t change the music to ‘Wheels on the bus’.
  5. Storage to die for.
  6. Really smooth ride.
  7. You can put photos from usb onto your screen – perfect for a road trip!
  8. ECON mode saves on gas but the car lost a bit of pep.  Pedal to the metal baby.
  9. The backup camera has 3 lines and the dotted one shows you how far you can back up and still open the hatch.  So smart.
  10. You can pull a lever and the seats and headrests flip and fold down.  There’s another strap on the side of the car so you could pull the seats from this area too.
  11. There are mud flaps on the door so you don’t get mud and grease on your Gucci pants.
  12. The ice blue colour of our vehicle was like Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes and I think it made me look taller.
  13. The car was pretty high off the ground and had great visibility.  The windows are also low so kids can see out even if they are small.  I’ve always found that this helps distract the children who tend to dislike car rides.
  14. The front looked stylish and kind of reminded me or Mr. Moustache (not that I’m addicted to Angry Birds).
  15. There was bluetooth connectivity for syncing music wirelessly from your phone.  You can also sync texts to the car!


And the verdict?  Loved it.  Safety is obviously a huge priority for Honda, and the CRV is a great, spacious family choice.

Would it make a good Push Present?  Yup.  And she’ll still feel super-sporty and fabulous.

 Disclosure: UrbanMommies drove the Honda CR-V for 2 days and was hosted for meals and hotel accommodation.  As always, our opinions are our own.



Test Drives: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

auto, GEAR By May 18, 2012 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

This is not your grandfather’s sedan.  Touch screen, usb ports and detailed backup camera.  The embroidered Lincoln logo on the leather seats ensures you never forget you’re in a classy ride.  It’s hard not to feel like a rockstar while driving this car.

What we liked:

1.   It’s like a tank.  You are king of the road.
2.   It’s amazing on gas.  4.6 L/100 km in the city and 5.4 on the highway.  Estimated yearly fuel cost? $1,050.  (I think that’s what I currently pay monthly…)
3.  You feel like a techy brainiac while you drive.  You can see the fuel consumption and the gadgetry is exquisite, as are the AV capabilities.  “With nearly 10 gigabytes of hard drive storage for a music jukebox and built-in photo gallery, the system goes beyond functional to flat-out fun. You can access up to 2,400 of your favourite songs and view stored photos.”
4.  The drivers’ seat goes super-high for a short woman.  The seat has a 10-way adjustment.
5.  The trunk fits at least 20 bags of groceries.  Rock solid.
6.  Voice-activated navigation that shows up on the LCD screen and includes landmarks.

Not so much:

1.  Despite the sleek exterior and cool tech, I still felt old.  It could be because more grey hairs are sprouting though.
2.  The carseats were difficult to latch.  But I think that’s because of the cushy seats.  Still – the “Latch” system needs some work.

And would it make a good push present?

Absolutely.  Just don’t let the kiddos draw on the seats – they are covered in Bridge of Weir leather that comes from the British Isles.

Disclosure: UrbanMommies Media testdrove this vehicle for a one-week period.


TestDrives: Porsche Cayenne

auto, GEAR By October 3, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

The Porsche Cayenne as a Family Vehicle:  As we begin our roundup of luxury family vehicles, we’re making a few assumptions, like you can afford drop the coin on the hefty pricetags (or like to dream), and also that you don’t care much about juice boxes flinging over the seats and Cheerios smushed into the carpet.  That being said, the safety, convenience, and luxury of the cars we’ve been test driving will absolutely make you feel like the super-star Mom you are.