Around the Track with Alex Tagliani

It’s a 2013 Honda Civic HFP.

(Honda Factory Performance: tuned out of the box, limited edition)

Non-car nerdsAlex Tagliani is one of Canada’s most beloved racers.

He blew up in 90s, and has been killing it since. He races for Honda in the IndyCar series.

He wouldn’t remember, but we met last year. I arrived at Honda HQ to pick up a Fit, and accidentally walked into a meet & greet.

Also from that day.

Nice.  (so nice, might give this photo its own post).

Filmed two days before the Indy, at the second annual ‘Honda Manual School’.  Here’s a couple more videos from that day.



First Comes Smooth, then Comes Speed

That’s the rule of learning to drive well, fast – first comes smooth, then comes speed.

I’m good at  neither.  I’ll get it done, but it won’t be elegant.  But I have great enthusiasm, and the appropriate amount of aggression.  Just need more seat time.

Here’s what it should look like:

Note how smooth; I’m filming this freehand.

Driving is president of FEL Automotive, Chris Bye.

It’s a 2013 Honda Civic HFP

(Honda Factory Performance: tuned out of the box, limited edition) –

It was Honda’s second annual ‘Manual School‘.

I brought Niki along. She’d never shifted gears before, but left feeling confident enough to buy her first car in manual YES mission accomplished.

With her is Daniel, whom you’ve met before hi hi.

(here’s the first annual ‘Manual School’ – there’s 3 videos)


This is Car Swap Day

What it is to swap cars and drive a different one each week.

It’s almost always Monday.

Round trip = 135 km, 3-ish hours in this example.

Many manufacturers are located just off the 401.

Going from 1 to 2 – starting at home downtown, then it’s north to return the 2013 Civic to Honda, Canada.

Proper etiquette is to gas and wash it before handing the keys back.

Where the keys go.

Longtime fan of the Civic. Read my full, technical review of the 2013 sedan here.

Now climb into my 1999 Jetta, which has been parked at Honda.

Remember to remind myself:

“From a brand-new car into the opposite, brake sooner Keri.”

The trip will always be in traffic.

On the map 2 to 3, and park the Jetta at Chrysler.

That sign does not get old.

Now I’m in the Chrysler anti-chamber; if you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

Picked up this week’s car, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart Limited.

You might recognize the name from the muscle cars of the 70s.

This year, Chrysler brought the name back to life; it’d been dormant since 1976.

I might have a review for the paper coming up about the Dart, so saving my interior shots for that.

And it’s too soon to state any opinion.

Now home, 3 back to 1 on the map.

And that is Car Swap Day.





I Designed the ‘Keri Eco Car

I’ve got an idea to make a gas-powered car achieve hybrid fuel consumption numbers….

I really believe a car like this would sell well. I am not alone in wanting a feature-free car.

Read in online at

Favourite line:

… remove all the stuff… couple this light-weigh car with a modern fuel efficient engine and ta-da – the result is a gas-powered vehicle that boasts fuel efficiency on par with a hybrid powertrain.

My last line was cut – I said this was the perfect vehicle for Mazda to make, because it is.

Interesting eh… how the Civic has almost doubled in weight since its debut, and a 2013 Lincoln Navigator weighs much more than than a giant 1970s Cadillac.

Where this column was published from.

I’m in the States here. I’m getting pretty good at keeping it all together and meeting deadlines while travelling, which is good.


Back to ‘Keri on Driving’ – Index

My First Ever Car Review – 2013 Honda Civic

It was published last week.

How it looked in print, across Canada, in the big newspapers that you have to unfold to read, ha.

(Read it on

Favourite line:

… the 2013 is noticeably more upscale than previous Civics, bringing a subtle classiness to the car.

I gave them high report card marks.  Not because it’s my first one and I’m being a pleaser, but because I like it that much.

I would, and do, compare other cars to the Civic.

Non-car nerds: the industry turned its thumbs way down at 2012 Civic, so this 2013 was heavily anticipated.

I’ve been driving different press cars for 16 months now, but have never written about it so technically, so filled with specs and math.

Until this, I’d written news and opinion pieces only.

All my columns: Keri on Driving         All my news articles

I had to get 3 months under my belt at the paper, before I was allowed to do a review.

After this printed, now I feel like a real auto journalist.

Remember the embargo 3 weeks ago?  

It was for this.  I went to Honda Canada one morning, walked into a classroom-type setting, with some of Canada’s biggest auto journalist names. I was the only girl.

We were informed of the changes to the new model, then were each given 15 minutes to test drive AND photograph the car (this is normal in the industry).

I was like omg :O ermahgerd. So I went last, and kept the car for 45 minutes and 300 photos.

Despite all that, the paper still had to use some stock images (gallery here), because my photos were weak, and it never occured to me, to check for my relection in the paint.  Rookie move.

I’ll leave you with a video; click here to watch me drive the high-end version of the Civic (HFP), on a track, at an airport, with great enthusiasm.