Last Chance to Summer Road Trip is Now

Road trips are guaranteed fun, adventure, and consistently yield one of _those_ stories… “hey remember that time we went to Wherever HAHA the best memories yup.”

Meet Michael Palmer, the “CEO of Family Travel.” The Calgarian has road tripped over 900,000 km, part of which is detailed his upcoming book, No Tranquilizers! 17,000 kms, 63 Days, 3 Kids, 1 Van 

He teamed up with Canadian Tire, so we had a good laugh on the phone, talked cars, and here’s his list…

Michael’s Top 3 Road Trip Tips

1 – Safety First

Have it serviced, check and inflate the tires, you know the drill.

2 – Find a Rhythm

Arriving at 11pm one night, then 6pm the next, that will tire you quickly. Be consistent, find a rhythm. Michael drove those 17,000 km in 6-hour per day increments.

3 – Keep it Clean

“Things can get out hand real quick, ” Michael says.  He points out food is always coming in and out of the vehicle, and you don’t want a rotting-grapes incident like he experienced, “organization is critical.”

Plus, if you have to brake hard and suddenly, you don’t want stuff taking flight.

Canadian Tire introduced Glovebox, a new line of auto storage solutions. I attended the media launch in January, there’s a good weight and handle to the fabric.

Or do a 24-hour trip, they’re great, here’s one I blogged.

We live in the best country in the world,
go explore it!


No money was exchanged for this post.

Canadian Tire introduced me, he’s a fun guy and I like his list so I blogged it. This post has been a beta test of my latest idea.



How a Car is Conceived

Honda’s all-new HR-V goes on sale soon. During its launch in Miami a few weeks back, I interviewed Hayato Mori, Senior Manager of Product Planning, about how Honda dreamed it up.

I thought the process started with design, throw in a couple features and done – here is a new car that’s never before existed. I was very wrong. Research research research.

Read it online at Autonet.

Favourite line:

By now my eyes are rolling out of my head, “Hayato this is unreasonable! How can something be luxury inside, but for the lowest possible price?!” He just smiles, “that’s the game, Keri.”

Hayato and I.

You’ve met him before, when we talked about the differences between the original Civic and today’s: 1973 – When side mirrors were optional

Above is the presentation slide I’m talking about in the article. I’d have quit after this step, this is a dichotomy!  See last line of column.

Below is the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V.

Blog tag = Honda HR-V


Back to ‘Keri on Driving’ – Index



Introducing Honda’s All-new Crossover – the HR-V

Introducing Honda’s all-new subcompact crossover, the HR-V (non car-nerds: all-new means this car has never before existed, more here)

In Honda’s lineup, this HR-V is larger than the Fit, but smaller than the CRV.

Honda invited my blog to test it out in Miami, FL (more about that here.)

2016 Honda HR-V

1.8L 4-cyl CVT engine
141 hp
127 lb.ft of torque
Transmissions: 6-spd manual and AWD
Starting at: low $20,000s

Manual! Nice one Honda.

I tested both, and while driving impressions are embargoed until April 30th, what I will say is: it drives like a Honda, that is a compliment.

Clockwise from top left:

– steering wheel controls, and a clean instrument cluster
– driver’s door controls
– good-looking elongated vents eh
– a minimal centre console

Before beginning the design process, Honda conducted extensive research and found buyers wanted the styling of a coupe, with the utility of an SUV. I’d have given up at that point, that’s a total dichotomy.

But Honda pulled it off. For more on how, I interviewed Hayato Mori, Honda’s senior Product Planning Manager, read it on Autonet.

A dedicated phone area – storage, and all the outlets.

Here comes the one bad thing… can you spot it?

Missing is a hard button for volume control.  There’s one on the steering wheel, but nothing replaces a knob to quickly decrease the stereo’s volume.

But if that’s my biggest complaint, that’s nothing.

Plus the rear seats more than make up for it, and are a big part of what will separate this HR-V from its competitors: Honda’s Magic Seats.

Same seats found in the Fit.

They fold down practically flat (a rarity), and when in the up position, massive cargo will slide inside.

Available in 3 trims – LX, EX, and EX-L

The LX standard list of features is strong: heated front seats and mirrors, , 3 power outlets, body colour handles and mirrors, hill start assist, a backup camera with 3 angles (see animated gif here),  Econ mode, and all riding on 17″ alloy wheels.

Bump up to the second trim – EX – for a moonroof, LaneWatch, side mirror turn signals and keyless entry.

The EX-L top trim provides leather-wrapped steering wheel and seating trim, navigation, XM radio and a bunch of en-vogue driving aids I’ll never get behind. Choose the base or mid-level trim, forget this trim.

Prediction: this HR-V is going to dominate the segment. The styling is sharp (look at that aggressive grille), the functionality of the rear seats, it’s a Honda (reliable and fun to drive), and it’s available in manual come ON.

Competitors: Nissan Juke, Kia Soul, Mazda CX-3,  Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade

The HR-V goes on sale this spring, with pricing announced then.

Blog tag = Honda HR-V