Finally Got to Shift a Jaguar F-TYPE, Kind’ve

At a recent Jaguar Land Rover event I spotted it above. There it was, in real life – one of my favourite cars is now available in manual.

Available on the 2016 model year F-TYPE and F-TYPE S, the 3.0 L V6 Supercharged engine can be paired to a 6-speed manual transmission.

Been waiting for this moment since its debut at last year’s LA Auto Show.

I was so excited I declared it one of my Top 5 Favourite Things about the show.

Of course the car’s computer can shift better than me, that’s not the point.

Happiness is the point #SaveTheManual

Hello new friend.

The car was display-only, so I just sat quietly doing this for 10 minutes and well, imagining.

Jaguar F-TYPE manual

Shifting gears makes you a better driver.

See my column, How to Shift Gears.

Keep your fingers crossed the snow holds off, because I’m on the schedule to get this car in 2 weeks.

Listen for superfluous revving, that’ll be me.



The 2005 BMW 325Ci that was Almost Mine

At an auction north of the city I found one of my dream cars. Remember when I almost bought that Dodge Magnum?  Same place. That 279 is my bidder number, that’s how close I came.

This 3-series BMW is one of my all-time favourite cars, specifically the E46 body in production from 1999 – 2006.

So beautiful.  Even the colour I want, windows already tinted good and dark.

And manual obviously, I would only.

230 hp
221 ft·lb
6-speed manual
0-100 km/h in 6.5 s

It’s ridiculous how good I am with this car.

No touch controls, no dash screen, so minimal inside, so me.

When I climbed inside though, it had an overwhelming feeling of having had the crap driven out of it. So those 220,000 km were likely very hard ones.

Plus there were several buts…

Clockwise from top left: 

– oil looks okay
but those rust spots found all around do not
– winter tires okay fine
but the car’s history report says thousands of work done, likely from an accident, and that’s the front bumper’s pressure release not sitting flush.

After leaving the auction floor Friday afternoon I stopped to take photos of my Land Rover outside an abandoned log cabin, when a stranger with a huge moustache pulled up and warned me against the car. It was weird.

Auction was Saturday morning, and still late into Friday night I didn’t know what to do, until I realized I was breaking my own rule – when there’s doubt, there is no doubt.

So I let it go.  And declared I am done with car auctions.

The end.



The 2014 Buick Regal, Really

It’s Buick’s all-new 2015 Regal.

They’re trying their guts out to delete the badge’s old-man-stigma, and have fully-refreshed most of their lineup.

The Regal is the family’s bratty youngster.

2014 Buick Regal
2.0 L Turbo
259 hp and 295 lb.-ft.
6-spd automatic / 6-spd manual
Starting at $34,895

Turbo comes standard and I repeat, comes in MANUAL.

The white is the standard Regal, the red is the sports version, the Regal GS.

Different dashes too – top is standard, bottom is GS.

There’s great detail in the interior’s finishings.

Look how the wood trim runs all the way across the dash.

Standard features include:  heated seats and side mirrors,  back up camera and rear pack assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, Cruise control, keyless entry, Bluetooth, SiriusXM and USB, all riding on 18″ aluminum wheels.

A clean, symmetrical interior.

For the longest time in China, if you drove a Buick you had arrived. Not a BMW or Benz… a Buick (the Emperor’s chose to be chauffeured in one is why.)

Top right – that’s a sharp door, and it doesn’t scream old man does it.

I was assigned to its launch in Cincinnati – review for the paper here, and here’s the Regal inside the world’s largest neon sign museum.

1 – it’s almost all large, hard buttons, none of this touch nonsense

2 – USB and power ports are easily accessible (you’d be surprised how often they’re not), cell sits on top

Buick is trying their guts out to re-invent themselves, add the Regal to your “To Test” list and give them a chance because…

… this is a sleeper of a sedan, built in Canada.



The 2015 Subaru Legacy

It’s Subaru’s fully-refreshed, entry-level sedan.

2015 Subaru Legacy AWD

– 2.5 L 4-cyl. boxer engine
– CVT automatic with standard paddle shifters
– 175 hp and 174 lb.-ft.
– starting at $23,495

Competitors: Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion

Short review – loved it for 3 reasons

1 – it’s available in MANUAL

2 – List of standard features is strong

This is the base model, and includes: heated seats, automatic up/down front windows, rear-view camera, 10-way driver seat, Bluetooth and USB, riding on 17-inch wheels.  But the best standard feature is reason 3…

3 – All-wheel Drive comes standard

Lowest price in the country for an AWD sedan. And if the Legacy’s competitors even offer it, it’s about a $5,000 upgrade.

1 – the base finishings and materials do a good job faking it

2 – the infotainment system is all-new too, replacing the disaster that Subaru’s system once was

3 – good rear seat room, see next paragraph

4 – really into that cell phone pocket

The backseat will easily house to two large humans, and the fabric is cozy.

There’s no heat ducts back there though, maybe the only negative I found on this car.

The engine is a CVT, which like any good Canadian auto journalist I despise.

But Subaru does a better job than most, see: first CVT engine I ever liked.)

Has a great launch, steering is quick, and although the handling is slightly soft it’s supposed to be, it’s a sedan not a sports something #s

(see the steering in action in the photo I used for my column, Solving Crimes using Car Clues)

Subaru seems to get forgotten, but this Legacy is going to start changing that.

Read my detailed review on Autonet.