Tag Archive for: Auto

Over the last two decades, Americans are buying fewer hatchbacks and station wagons than they used to. But data has shown the public likes them if they ride a bit higher, with optional all-wheel drive and have the feeling of an SUV, which has given room for the crossover market to take off. Toyota answered with the hugely successful RAV4, and they are hoping to continue that success with the all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR

The C-HR is smaller and less expensive than the RAV4, and was originally designed for Toyota’s Scion brand.  The car is quite sporty and has excellent handling. It also has an extensive list of standard safety features, which alone are good reasons to consider the C-HR.

The Toyota C-HR is well-equipped in its base XLE form, with dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights,  and traffic-adapting cruise control — as all standard. The C-HR starting price does cost more than the competition in its class, but we do recommend the XLE Premium trim. But it doesn’t cost much more than the XLE and includes features such as heated front seats and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.

The car’s sporty styling delivers. It’s fun and nimble when going around turns, but the engine’s 144 hp doesn’t provide much torque.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive and tested well when driving over 100 miles on one trip. The vehicle does have a lot of tire noise.

The dashboard ergonomics are easy to use, and very pleasing to the eye.

If you want lots of storage space, you won’t find it here. Aside from a small bin in the front there is cargo space behind the second row, but it’s not substantial.

Overall, the car is fun to drive, with excellent handling and great styling. People notice when you come around the corner.

C-HR Photo Gallery

We brought the 2017 Camas 11/12 All-Stars to have some fun with the C-HR. As you can see, a lot of people can fit into the car. 🙂

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For the last 30 years the Nissan Sentra has been an able car with good gas mileage and a proven reliability record. It was the car seen at the high school student parking lot, in front of college dorms, on daily work commutes or driven by young families.

It’s been the car that COULD, and has been a very practical part of the American scene.

The completely redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra continues that tradition, but it also earns some serious style credentials. It almost feels like the car grew up, and is ready for a different phase in its history as it competes in the small sedan market. Its nose gives it a more sophisticated presence while the redesigned taillights have an Infiniti aura. And it also has a more aerodynamic look than the previous model.



This new model rests on an all-new platform that is about two inches longer and 150 pounds lighter.

The SL model we tested had a gray interior that was practical, surprisingly roomy and cleverly designed. The dashboard ergonomics were impressive, but also simple, with a fun-to-use touch command center. You instantly felt comfortable and in control of the car’s electronic features.

Nissan engineers were generous with interior space, giving the car plenty of head and legroom with enough space leftover for a nice size trunk. It was enough to haul four baseball gear bags, catcher’s gear, and four school backpacks with room to spare.
We tested the Sentra on winding Pacific Northwest roads and freeways, and spent a lot of time touting it around the city. Though no racecar, the Sentra has adequate acceleration and a solid ride for 1.8L four-cylinder vehicle (putting out 130 horsepower). It moved when we needed it to, and we arrived at each destination in style. It handled corners well.
The CVT transmission was designed to be more compact and economical and it performed quietly in both city and highway driving.
The SL model starts at $19,590 MSRP and touts 39 mpg highway/30 city. We feel that’s a very good price point for a car in this class. During our weeklong test period, the Sentra averaged 29.2 miles per gallon. And we did a lot of city driving.
Nissan offers the car in eight exterior colors with seven interior trim options. The SL comes with the following:
  • 4-cyl. engine
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Up to 30 cty/39 hwy mpg
  • Bluetooth
  • iPod input
  • Satellite radio
  • Side/curtain airbags
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Navigation system (optional)

It also had a kicking sound system with Bose speakers.

The Sentra comes standard with anti-lock brakes, stability control, front and side curtain airbags, as well as active front head restraints.

Our verdict: The 2013 Nissan Sentra has stepped it up a couple of notches in terms of style, design, space and comfort but has maintained its roots as being a practical car with good gas mileage.




When Kate Braidwood entered the Scion “Motivate” contest the last thing she had in mind was really winning.

But win she did.

Braidwood, co-owner of Wonderheads touring theater company, would ultimately win a brand-new Scion xB, $10,000 cash, and a business mentorship.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: This is a short interview with Kate and her husband (watch at 720p HD).http://youtu.be/0Uhq1j55vNs

It’s been a fun ride.

“I am so stunned and pleased by what’s happened,” said Braidwood. “When we entered the contest we had to write about our company and make a video about who we are. We sent it to Scion and were one of 50 semi-finalists that got invited to a conference in Southern California.”

Launched in October, the Motivate program drew applications from all over the country that described individuals’ variety of entrepreneurial goals and efforts around art, fashion, music and film. A panel selected 50 semi-finalists to participate in a three-day workshop last month in Santa Monica, Calif. with leading entrepreneurs covering topics such as growing sales, establishing a physical space and online development. The participants incorporated new insights learned into their Motivate entries and final winners were chosen.

Out of thousands of entries, Kate was only one of 10 talented and passionate young entrepreneurs who won. Other winners included authors, publishers, a backpack manufacturer, designers, artists and musicians.

All winners will be individually paired with a relevant business mentor for future career-building and had their choice of any Scion vehicle. The remaining semi-finalists each received a $1,000 grant and left the workshop with helpful industry knowledge that they can apply to their business moving forward.

“We’ve learned so much and winning the prize, it means the world to me and my business,” said Braidwood. “I won the Scion xB and that will make a huge difference for my company. It’s a touring theater company, and we’ll be able to tour safely and fit everything we need to in our car.”

Other winners planned to use the new vehicles as part of their marketing efforts by wrapping them with custom designs. Winners already had plans for how they would invest the prize money back into their businesses, including new equipment and increasing their online presences.

“The Motivate winners live and breathe the passion Scion hoped to find and elevate through this first-ever program for young entrepreneurs,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “These individuals’ continued success is what we wish for all of our customers, who continue to show us they relate to forging their own paths and creative expression. In its 10 years, that passion remains part of the Scion story.”

Kate co-owns her touring company with husband, Andrew Phoenix. You can learn more about their business at www.wonderheads.com

You also learn more at www.scion.com



Kate Braidwood and her husband, Andrew
Phoenix show off their new Scion xB.


Kate lives in Portland, OR, but spends six to eight months touring
the United States with her theater company.