I had the pleasure of spending the last couple of weeks adventuring around British Columbia with Toyota‘s brand new car, the 2018 C-HR. It was the perfect vehicle for both city and nature discoveries. Its ultra-sleek and unique design combined with Toyota’s best safety features, made it a reliable and fun car to drive, in all driving conditions.
Its two-toned colourful exterior turned heads everywhere I went. This car is without a doubt one of the coolest looking vehicles on the market with its modern design. Toyota did a great job imagining a car that stood out from the pack and pushed the envelop on a design standpoint. The vehicle’s standard 17″ alloy wheels and also diamond-cut lines, make it very pleasing to the eyes.
Toyota is renown for its top of the line safety standards and features. The Toyota Safety Sense P system includes lane departure alerts, pre-collision system with pedestrian and dynamic radar cruise control, just to name a few. The vehicle also comes equipped with 10 airbags, a monitoring system that alerts you if you have low fuel or washer fluid, an ajar door, etc. Moreover, the vehicle also offers the Toyota Star Safety System that features Brake Assist, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control and more! All of these safety features gave me peace of mind while exploring through the city and mountains and allowed for the safest driving conditions.
Performance enthusiasts will be happy to know that the C-HR contains a 144-hp, 2.0L, 4-cyl VALVEMATIC and a continuously variable transmission. You also have the ability to choose Sportmode, which transforms the vehicle in a simulated 7-speed sequential Shiftmatic transmission, making it that much more fun to drive. But with speed comes the need for a reliable breaking system, something that Toyota has not overlooked. The car’s braking system works with front and rear discs and an Anti-lock braking system, braking assist and electronic brake force distribution, which allows you to keep control of the vehicle no matter what situation may arise.
It’s impossible to talk about the vehicle without noting some of its great tech features such as the backup camera that comes up in the electrochromic rearview mirror, the rear cross traffic alert with blind spot monitor as well as the Smart Key system, allowing you to start the car with just the push of a button. And for avid music fans like myself, the car boasts an impressive sound system and all the jacks you could need to play your favourite playlists or albums while on the road.
All in all, my time driving around with the 2018 Toyota C-HR was very pleasant. It allowed me to discover new parts of British Columbia and drive through windy country roads, mountainous areas, the beach as well as the crowded streets of Vancouver. The C-HR is a car that has all the modern features a driver wants, a spacious interior and trunk for longer trips while never compromising safety or comfort for the driver and passengers of the car.
After having spent a great week with the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid this winter, I was thrilled to have the possibility to try out the new Toyota Tacoma TRD Profor the very first time on my recent travels to Oregon.
The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most coveted trucks on the market, especially out in British Columbia, as this has become the go-to truck for outdoor enthusiasts in the area. With 4×2 and 4×4 models to choose from plus the option of choosing your own engine and transmission combinations, cab and bed sizes, there’s definitely a model for everyone!
What I was immediately surprised by is the vehicle’s ability to handle the road as well as its interior comfort. Not only do you have an incredible view point from the driver’s seat but you also have access to a wide variety of accessories, that makes your drive the most pleasant. Things like the Cruise Control, Navigation, 7″ Display Screen, Bluetooth Capability, AM/FM CD with MP3/WMA Player, Audio Auxiliary Input Jack, USB Audio Input, 6 Speakers and Advanced Voice Recognition, allow you to relax while enjoying the road. They’ve also added a GoPro mount right at the top of the windshield, thus being the first to include that in the market.
The Toyota Tacoma‘s versatility is also a key feature. All 2017 Tacoma models include an independent front suspension of double-wishbone design with stabilizer bars and multi-leaf spring rear suspension. TRD SPORT models feature sport-tuned suspensions, while TRD OFF-ROAD models are equipped with Bilstein shock absorbers, so that whichever terrain you wish to venture out on, you can have full confidence that the truck will be able to handle it.
TheToyota Tacoma TRD Pro edition comes equipped with a 3.5 Litre, 6 Cylinder Engine, 6-Speed, Automatic transmission, Super Electronically Controlled Transmission (Super ECT) and Lock Up Torque Converter. For those more mechanically inclined, the truck also features Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), 4-Wheel Crawl Control, Multi-Terrain Select, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control, One-Touch 4WD, Vehicle Stability Control, thus making it the ideal vehicle if you want to pull an RV or trailer for your expeditions.
Toyota is also renown for its top of the line safety features. The truck provides a total of 8 Airbags, Seatbelt Anchor Height Adjusters, Front Seatbelt Pre-Tensioners and Force Limiters, Assist Grip, Front Tow Hook, Active Front Headrests with Whiplash Protection just to name a few significant items.
The truck’s roomy and cozy interior as well as its bold and stylish exterior, will make truck enthusiasts and new passengers enviable.
In summary, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Prowas the ideal companion for my adventures out in Oregon. Below is a short recap video of my adventures with the truck! For more info on the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, go here.
If you are on the hunt for the perfect vehicle for living in British Columbia and also want to help out the environment, then you may want to consider giving the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a test drive. This compact crossover is the ideal car for all of your BC lifestyle needs. Whether you’re an adventurous couple, a traveling single or a young family looking to explore all that BC has to offer, the RAV4 Hybrid should be your number one pick.
With fuel prices continuing to soar, the sale of Hybrid vehicles across Canada has increased 45.2% since 2015, thus allowing consumers to save money and also help out the environment at the same time. Hybrid drivers use about 30% less fuel than regular cars, thus reducing their carbon footprint. The switch to Hybrid is a no-brainer because it does not affect or change one’s lifestyle or habits, other than allowing them to frequent the gas station less often.
The RAV4 Hybrid is an incredibly versatile car that features some of the best innovative technology, comfort and safety features currently on the market. Some of my favourite features that come with the car are the Toyota Safety Sense P – including the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, which are very helpful for driving around busy downtown Vancouver. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control also allows for maximum safety when going on some longer trips. The heated front seats and heated steering wheel also allows for utmost comfort while traveling in the winter time.
The RAV4 Hybrid also has a ton of room for passengers both in the front and the back and with up to 73 cubic feet of cargo capacity, you can comfortably take your friends with you on your next sporting expedition out of the city.
The RAV4 Hybrid offers 194 net system horsepower Hybrid Synergy Drive, built around a 2.5L four-cylinder, Atkinson Cycle engine. Some additional standout characteristics are the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control System (TRAC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and the All Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i), which is essential when driving on wintery Canadian roads.
Moreover, you know your friends and family are safe when traveling in the RAV4 Hybrid thanks to Toyota’s excellent safety standard, which include eight airbags, a back-up camera, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the Vehicle Proximity Notification System, just to name a few.
The RAV4 Hybrid‘s vibrant Electric Storm Blue colour, 18″ Aluminum Alloy Wheels, sleek black interior and sporty features allows you to ride in style all around British Columbia and wherever your adventures take you.
I was back on the road this weekend visiting yet another region of Southern Ontario for the very first time with Ford Canada. This weekend’s travels brought me to Prince Edward County.
Growing up I heard a lot about Sandbanks so I was excited to finally make the trek up that way and see some of the things that are new and exciting in the county.
For the trip, I had the pleasure of driving Ford’s brand new hybrid the C-MAX Energi. This was my first time driving a hybrid and to say I was excited would be quite the understatement. I’m all about finding ways to be more environmentally friendly on a daily basis and driving a car like the C-MAX Energi is also a step in the right direction. Just driving around with a green Ontario license plate was a big sense of pride for me throughout the weekend.
The C-MAX Energi combines a high-voltage lithium-ion battery and electric motor with a gasoline engine allowing for both gas/electric hybrid driving. You can fully charge the vehicle in 2.5 hrs using a 240-volt home charging station or 7 hours with a 120-volt outlet. The EV Mode on the car also allows you choose your mode of driving – electric only, gasoline only or a combination of both. Furthermore, the dual-LCD next-generation SmartGauge® with EcoGuide allows you to get real-time information to help maximize efficience from the C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid.
The car also comes with all of Ford’s signature features such as the voice-activated SYNC® 3 system, available active park assist, rear view camera and reverse sensing system, heated front seats, etc.
My weekend in Prince Edward County started off with an exploratory drive of the area before heading to the stunning Drake Devonshire for a delectable dinner. Though this property is often talked about in all PEC-related things, it’s well-worth the visit and lives up to the hype.
Saturday morning we headed to North Beach, one of the many beaches in the county but one that is definitely less crowded and more wild than Sandbanks. You can park right outside of the National Park to avoid paying parking fees and can just walk to the beach from there. The beach is stunning because of its clear blue water and sandy bottom. The mix of rocks and sand on the bluffs, make it the perfect spot for a picnic or day-trip.
I also discovered an amazing little café called The Vic Café located in Picton. It’s THE spot if you’re looking for healthy, vegan food options for brunch, lunch and dinner. This super cute space offers some of the yummiest bowls and smoothies as well as homemade treats. I could have eaten there the entire weekend if I would have wanted to.
I couldn’t go to Prince Edward County without stopping by the Shed Chetwyn Farms. I have always loved alpacas but my love for these animals grew even fonder when I watched the hilarious alpaca eating an apple video on YouTube a few months ago. Low and behold, the exact same thing happened this weekend at the farm. You have to watch my video below, it was the funniest thing. These animals truly are special!
Cheese being one of my favorite things, I wanted to go on a little “cheese crawl” while I was in the area. We drove all the way across the county to the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., where we met the owner and her partner who taught us about the place’s history, etc. They produce all of their cheese on-site and the company prides itself in environmental and sustainable practices. They offer a $10 cheese plate that allows you to taste a selection of 5 cheeses. They also have great outdoor space where you can relax and enjoy the pristine view.
Another stop on the cheese crawl was Black River Cheese, a company that has been around in the county since 1901. Though this is a much bigger cheese company and production no longer takes place at the shop, it’s a great place to taste and buy some of their cheese.
Finally, another spot to visit on a “cheese crawl” would be the Windhover County boutique farm. This farm offers not only accommodations, special events but also farm to table organic cuisine and the possibility to grab a delicious cheese & charcuterie platter. They also have the sweetest animals on property: Dave the donkey, Molly the mule and a handful of chickens and sheep.
Our Saturday ended on a high note at the Mustang Drive-In. This super unique outdoor cinema experience runs all summer long with movies for the entire family. Admission is $11 for adults and offers you the possibility to see two movies back to back.
Before we headed back to the city, we stopped by Trenchtown Wake Park a brand new cable park for wakeboarding that opened up just two weeks ago in Trenton. The two co-owners, who are longtime friends, have been working on developping this project for the past six years. After hearing that the city was going to build a new marina and building soccer fields on the old one, they seized the opportunity to build a new business in the area. The cable wakeboarding park is equipped with state of the art installations, kicks and jumps. A must-try!
All in all, we had yet another epic weekend with Ford Canada. I really think a car like the C-MAX Energi is the car for the future. I hope more people will turn to hybrid or electric cars and that they will become more affordable and more common on the road.
For more information on Prince Edward County, go here. A big thank you to April from The Sportsman Motel in Picton for her help with this weekend’s trip. Make sure you check her motel for great local accommodations in PEC.
April being Stress Awareness Month, I partnered up with Ford Canada to learn more about being mindful behind the wheel. Mindfulness is one of the subject matters that I’ve been exploring a lot more as of late. I have been trying a bunch of different apps and challenges to become more mindful in all aspects of my life.
With the help of the brand new 2016 Ford Edge, I went on a mindfulness adventure last weekend to explore some of the gems in and out of the city.
There are a ton of great features on the car that make you feel a lot more at ease while driving. Some of my favorite features include the 10-Way Power Driver’s Seat, that allows you to sit the most comfortably, the Voice-Activated Navigation and Entertainment System that allows you to stay focused on the road and keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times without having to lean over, Heated and Air Conditioned Fronts Seats, Front 180-Degree Camera and Rear View Camera for maximum security and the BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert that lends an extra hand while driving.
For this mindfulness weekend, I was also able to get a one on one session with Toronto yoga-instructor YuMee Chung, who gave me some helpful tips on how to stay calm, mindful and comfortable behind the wheel. Some of her tips are:
Tip 1 – Take Time To Stretch Before You Drive – either by doing the Triangle Pose or other stretches that are familiar to you. It will loosen up your muscles.
Tip 2 – Sit With Care – using the 10-Way Power Driver’s Seat you can find the perfect seating position to provide low back support. You can also use the heated seat to soothe lower back pain.
Tip 3 – Set Your Shoulders – Sit tall and roll your shoulders back to avoid slouching. You can also avoid “tech neck” by bringing your chin back until your earlobes hover over your shoulders.
Tip 4 – Get A Grip – Avoid clenching your fists when driving. At a stop light, you can rotate your wrists and give your hands a good shake.
Tip 5 – Slow Breath In, Deep Breath Out – It helps you destress, clear the mind and energize your body.
With these new tips in hand, I took the Ford Edge to Cheltenham for a picnic and a hike at the Cheltenham Badlands. The drive in the countryside was incredibly peaceful. I made sure to take deep breaths and enjoy the relaxing drive and the present moment. Leaving the city, even if just for a few hours always makes me feel so energized and inspired.
On Sunday, I took the car with me to the stunning Aga KhanMuseum in North York and to the Scarborough Bluffs. I rarely get to go that far north or east since I don’t own a car so I was thankful to have the opportunity to visit these two beautiful locations.
I really enjoyed driving in the Ford Edge throughout the weekend. With the sunroof open, the sun shining, light music playing and open roads in front of me, it was hard not to be mindful and enjoy the present moment. The car made me feel at ease, made me feel secure and offered me all the little extras to made my mindfulness adventure the most memorable.
Growing up, the word Toyota was always synonym with the following adjectives: durability, reliability and quality. The Toyota Corolla was also the “it car” when I started driving, many of the kids at school bought used Corollas. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to drive a handful of different Toyota models but had never spent time driving the Corolla. I was therefore extremely excited to have been given the chance to re-familiarize myself not only with Toyota but also with the new Corolla.
I spent a week test driving the 2015ToyotaCorolla S in and around greater Toronto. My initial thought when I first saw the new Corolla was how sleek and cool the exterior looked. Some of the features of the Corolla I love the most are:
– 6.1” Touchscreen Display Audio with Bluetooth® and 6 Speakers (having great sounding audio in a car is so important)
– Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof (my favorite way to get fresh air and enjoy the sunshine during the warmer months)
– 17” Aluminum Alloy Wheels (sleek sport wheels!)
– Integrated XM Satellite Radio (XM radio was key for the longer distances that I did with the car during the week. So much more enjoyable than just having regular radio)
– Premium Navigation (which included voice recognition and could easily be used to get to your destination of choice)
– Softex Simulated Leather Seating Surfaces (so much better than leather yet with the same kind of badass feel, easier to clean, eco-friendly and more durable!)
– Smart Key System (which allowed me to get into the car without using the key. All I had to do is approach the car with the key in my bag, press and hold my finger on the handle and the car would unlock)
– Electrochromic Rear View Mirror with Digital Compass (always helpful when backing up or parking)
I took the Corolla with me to all of my week’s adventures. I went SUPing at the Scarborough Bluffs, went to spend time at the Humber Bay Park, went swimming in High Park, went on a special movie date and also took it to Clarington for the Spartan Race.
During the week, I got to test the many features of the car, got to bring it through different terrain, whether it’d be the highway, the city streets or on country roads. The car reacted well on all the different terrains. It was high enough from the ground to go over branches and trees in the countryside and had enough horsepower to perform quick lane changes and for speeding up quickly on the highway.
The car’s fuel efficiency was incredibly surprising. I was astonished by how little the car consumed in the entire week I had it, both in the city and on the highway.
Another great feature of the Corolla is its spacious and clean interior. The trunk is big and there’s plenty of legroom and foot room for both the passengers at the front and those riding at the back, which is key for longer trips.
Key safety features: the car’s 8 airbags, Whiplash-Injury-Lessening (WIL) front seats, Tire Pressure Monitoring System as well as Toyota’s Star Safety System™ featuring six advanced accident avoidance safety technologies.
It comes as no surprise that the Toyota Corolla is the #1 selling compact car in North America. For more information on the car, you can visit the Toyota Canada website here.
Last week I had the privilege of test driving a brand new Chevy Cruze Diesel from Chevrolet. I was extremely excited to be partaking in my first ever test drive and to be able to take this beautiful car home for the week!
Since I first got my drivers license 12 years ago, I’ve had the chance to rent a handful of cars for work and vacation. In addition, I also owned a car for over three years. It goes without saying that I’ve driven my share of vehicles over the years and none of them had been a Chevrolet.
It was therefore with much enthusiasm that I picked up my Chevy Cruze last Monday. My goal for the week: take the Chevy Cruze on as many adventures as possible to really see what the car was made of!
First off, I was thrilled to see I was getting a beautiful red car (red is my favorite!) for what would be one of the coldest week’s I’ve ever spent in Toronto since I moved here four years ago. Immediately when I sat down in the car, I was excited to see all of the car’s gadgets. The first thing that really caught my attention was the MyLink radio that came with a voice activated system, which could also work with Bluetooth or with the touch screen display. I was happy to see a USB port, auxiliary audio inputs (we’re in 2014 and some cars still don’t have them!!) as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Since I always forget to bring my audio cable with me, I was happy to have some extra radio stations to choose from with the Satellite Radio feature.
Other things that immediately made me happy were the comfortable heated seats, that could easily be adjusted, Cruise Control, the Rear Cross Traffic Alert (which made it so easy to park all week!!) as well the spaciousness of the car. For a compact vehicle, I was pleasantly surprised by how big the trunk was and how much legroom was available for those sitting in the back seats.
So I took the Chevy Cruze on its first adventure, which consisted in first going to work and then spending the night running errands at Target and Ikea in Mississauga, two stores I rarely get to since I currently don’t own a car.
The thing that I most liked after my first day of driving was the Side Blind Zone Alert, a super neat feature on my side mirrors that alerted me any time there was a vehicle in my blind spot. I know that even if I’m a super prudent driver, there’s been several close calls where I’ve almost gotten into an accident because I didn’t see a car when I was changing lanes. I think having this safety feature on your car will greatly reduce your risk of having that kind of accident.
Tuesday the adventure began with a drive to work (driving to work reduced my commute time by 45mins!) and after work I took the Cruze to my favorite place to shop for healthy food in the city – Whole Foods Market. Driving around with the Cruze reminded me of just how lucky people are to not have to carry big grocery bags around with them on the streetcar or outside. Shopping with a car is so hassle-free. I then followed that up with a nice dinner at the current Toronto hotspot – Playa Cabana Hacienda. I had heard a lot about it but had yet to visit because it is pretty far north in the city. They have an amazing churros poutine dessert, it’s to die for! I capped off the night with a little visit at my friends’ album release party.
On Wednesday I took the car again to meet one of my girlfriends at my favorite vegan restaurant in the city – Hogtown Vegan. Look at that Southern Combo below, it was SO Yummy! The day was really cold so I made full use of the heated seats and features like the defogger. I think it’s so important when driving in the winter time to have a good defogging system in your car as well as good wipers because of all the dirt and slush that gets thrown onto your windshield while driving.
I was really excited about my Thursday adventure because it was an activity I’d been meaning to do for quite some time but had never been able to get there. I decided to take Offner, my partner in crime, to Skyzone, the indoor trampoline park located in Mississauga. It was great to take the car on the highway again to see just how great the traction, acceleration and suspension was. The car proved to be solid on all fronts! We had such a blast at Skyzone- not only did we get to jump around on all sorts of trampolines but we also got to do flips, play basketball and dodgeball. I totally recommend checking it out!
Friday after work, Offner and I headed to Polson Pier to watch the sun set. Polson Pier is my favorite view of Toronto! It was a cold but beautiful day so we also took that opportunity to take a few lovely pics of the car.
I couldn’t believe that after 5 consecutive days of driving to and from work and around Toronto and Mississauga, I was still left with more than half a tank of gas!
All week I had done a bunch of city driving so I was excited to take the car to the country side and on the highway for a longer period of time. So Saturday, Offner and I headed up North to spend the day antiquing. What made the trip even better was that it was snowing during the entire day, which made it the perfect occasion to see how well the car handled the snow. On the 4+ hrs of driving we did, never did we feel unsafe. The car reacted well when I needed to break rapidly, steering was easy and the car was also heavy and sturdy enough to not slip very much while driving over snow. We were both very impressed! The Cruise Control was super easy to use and always a relief to have when driving several hours. Though we didn’t find what we were looking for, we did bring back some cute little vintage teacups!
Sunday we took the car on a last spin around the city. We made full use of the radio system, listening to new tunes loudly in the car. As a music fan, I can say that the makers of this car definitely did a good job with the sound system. Every type of music we listened to sounded great.
Before returning the car on Monday morning, I filled up the tank with diesel. I had never driven a diesel car (except a tour van!) before but my dad has always owned and vouched for diesel cars. A lot of cars in Europe still run on diesel but it seems a lot rarer here in North America. I was astonished at how great the Chevy Cruze was on gas. An average of 4.2L per 100km (67 mpg) on the highway & 7.5 L per 100km in the city? Amazing! What I also learned about the car after doing a bit of reading is that the 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel or as they call the Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has the best highway fuel efficiency of any gasoline or diesel powered car in Canada. In addition, the car also meets the very strict new clean diesel standards plus the noise and vibrations that were once associated with older diesel cars are no longer there.
All in all, my 3 favorite things about the Chevy Cruze Diesel were:
-Side Blind Zone Alert
– MyLink system
All in all, I truly had a wonderful week with my Chevy Cruze! I was sad to say goodbye to the car but the Chevrolet staff were super kind and even offered me a lift to work after dropping off the car at the dealership.
If you’re on the lookout for a new car, I highly recommend checking out the 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel. The car is safe, has every feature one could possibly want/need, is cool and will give you more bang for your buck!
I’m incredibly excited to have been asked to test drive the brand new Chevrolet Cruze Diesel for the week. I have been in many Chevrolet vehicles since I was a kid so I’m excited to get to spend a week with one of their latest and greatest models, to get to know all about it! I’ve heard lot’s of great things about car: comfort, gas mileage, state of the art gadgets, etc.
I picked up my red hot car this morning and have a full week of activities planned for my #ChevyCruze: snowboarding, antiquing road trip, etc! You can follow my adventure on my twitter: @melsays. I will also have a full blog recap of my week with my car next week!
Welcome to the family pretty little thing! What should we name her?