Canadians Dominate the Auto Industry

Canadians dominate the auto industry – but we’re pretty quiet about it – which is why this week I’d like to do some bragging, politely.

I’m singling out Nissan, BMW, GM, Chrysler, Ford and Toyota, then the auto journalists too.

Read it online at Autonet.

Favourite line:

The ending – last 3 paragraphs:

And then there’s the Canadian auto journalists – and I think this is indicative of our culture – we are consistently booked into one of two waves… 


Back to ‘Keri on Driving’ – Index



Manual VS Automatic Sales

Chart of sadness.

These stats are from JD Power & Associates – an official auto marketing research, and stats tracking company. So, sadly these numbers are correct.

I don’t get it – manual is more fun, more control, makes you a more alert driver, and they’re cheaper to buy.

Wrote a “how to shift gears” column, here. So easy guys; really, you could train a monkey.

(it’s a Fiat gear shift)

The All-new 2014 Fiat 500L

Fiat has introduced a brand-new car to their lineup of two. Two! Smallest fleet ever eh. I like it; instead of a ton of so-so cars, they do 2 well.

One engine, one style, but endless customization options. Even dash options.

Or this.

If this is your look, re-invented retro and vintage, this is worth test-driving.

The L stands for Loft, not long, because of the huge headroom height inside the cabin. It’s spacious, and would transport 4 adults comfortably. And the seats configure 3 different ways; excellent cargo area.

The 1.4L engine is a Turbo, with plenty of torque, 184 lb.ft, and when coupled with the 160 hp, some sporty handling and responsive steering. It’s fun to drive while still being functional. Get it in manual.

This review made it up to the Sun; doesn’t always happen.

Read it online at

Driving a Fiat, awkwardly.

Photo by Jeremy Sinek, my driving partner down in Baltimore. This one, too.

Read about that trip here.


Home from Baltimore

Hi hi

I love how travel came with this job, I didn’t know that was going to happen; sweet surprise.

Early 6am flight home, traffic to downtown is awful in the morning eh, got some life admin done, then fell asleep at my desk in a weird position for a bit.

Today’s Autonet news is about how Hertz has added a fleet of supercars to their rental offerings (Ferrari, Aston Martin), here: ‘Hertz gets Fancy’. This week’s column made the cover today (about rims, “they’re like butter”), and just finished the outline for next week, (about car nerds). Also just got down the rough copy of my Fiat review; short answer is good, and review will print next week.

I’ll update here properly soon promise, I’m behind on email sorry, going for a little walk now, thanks for always checking back xo


Photos from Baltimore, Maryland.

I was there with Fiat to test their 2014 all-new 500L. It’s a five-door five passenger version of the Fiat you know, the 500 (I had one in the winter).

Will dedicate a post to the vehicle, short review is: if this is your look, you’re going to love it; base model comes well equipped; it’s a turbo engine; good value for money; great cargo space; get it in manual.

Had to buy a carry-on suitcase, I’ve been using that green duffel bag seen in my sidebar.

You never check your luggage on a press trip, no one does, so then you’re that guy who makes everyone wait.

Learned that the hard way, at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

Baltimore is a port town.

And all its industrial areas have been renovated, it’s a good looking, vibrant city. Baltimore really surprised me.

And get this – it’s one of the fittest cities in America.

There are no fast food restaurants in the city centre; you need to drive 10 miles outside of downtown to find one.


Big-time foodie movement if you like that stuff.

Dinner outfits.

Only dinner photo I took.

I’ve noticed at these events, that this crowd has really great phone etiquette. Cels get stored out of sight, no one is ever sitting all zoned out on their screen, it’s really refreshing.

Not my camera.

Wouldn’t know how to operate one of those.  If I could get away with it, I’d photo everything with my phone.

The camera belongs to my driving partner, Jeremy Sinek – veteran auto journalist, and chief road-tester over at MSN Autos.

We laughed a lot. Ape arms urgh.



The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo

The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo is easy to photograph, and beautifies a blog.

First press car of the new year, and I turned over the odometer to 4 digits YES (5th car I’ve broken in).

It probably looked like I was a new driver when I first picked it up.  It’s a big engine for the size and weight of the car, with a short wheel-base and high centre of gravity; this is a potentially twitchy recipe.

I was using the brakes like in my Jetta, wrong. Apply 30% of that pressure, that’s better.

Don’t get confused, this is a ‘drivers car’ – it doesn’t belong in the ‘compact car’ category.

The backseat is small for passengers (but who wants ’em).

And the trunk is tiny; that’s a small bag. Note the seats fold down – a weekend-away worth of stuff and 2 passengers would be no problem. But beyond that, doubtful.

This is a great second car for someone who loves driving.

You have to stay switched on while driving, which is fine, but not all the time.  Sometimes you just want to cruise to get some milk, or run the dog to the groomer.  That’s why I say second car.

High performance means high level of care, remember – The Thing About Nice Rims is This

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo

Starting at $15,995
This one $18,495

Get it in manual, and spend the extra few bucks on a turbo.