powerful V6 engines and comfortable interiors/2



P1 Brief Body/x



The rear-wheel drive Chevrolet SS is closely related to the late lamented Pontiac G8 GXP/3




See what really goes in to making a luxury car/3



Fueel efficient four-cylinder engines, room for four and some innovative features/5



A scissor-doored electric/gasoline hybrid roadster that uses two motors at the front and an engine to drive the rear wheels/6



Moving away from the traditional VW look/7




Introducing the more sophisticated Mistubishi



2013 Ford Flex

The Ford Flex is one of those aptly named vehicles that gives buyers a sense of what they're going to get without even heading out to look at it - it's flexible for people and cargo; it's flexible for cruising and working; it's flexible in looks and practicality (ok, maybe not so much that one). Flex was created in the early 21st Century as a memory-invoking concept wagon and as a potential replacement for minivans that were deemed to be losing their appeal with people who wanted full-size transportation wagons. It was brought into production at Oakville, Ontario in 2008 as a 2009 model. In just four years, Flex has undergone some transformations to keep ahead of the styling curve, while maintaining the cues that drew so much attention in the first place. Chief among those is the retro-inspired "floating" roof - an optional lightly-coloured piece of metal that contrasts with the body colour and appears to float over the cabin due to tinted windows and blacked-out pillars. In our test Limited EcoBoost AWD (Flex also comes in frontdrive SE and SEL models, while all-wheel drive is available in SEL and standard on Limiteds), it also houses three separate sunroofs/skylights (a $1,750 option) that allow a decent amount of light inside the cabin. That may not sound like a big deal when you have all that window space, but the cabin itself is fairly squat, meaning that there are quite a few corners and nooks that wouldn't


New rules set up clash with oil industry, Republicans

KIM DIXON Reuters WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama pitched the first major environmental effort of his second term on Friday in a bid to slash smog-forming emissions from gasoline that have been linked to lung and heart ailments, setting up a fight with Republicans and the oil industry. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the socalled Tier 3 rules that would require refiners to cut the sulfur content of gasoline to 10 parts per million (ppm) by 2017 from the current standard of 30 ppm. Reducing sulfur in fuel helps car engines burn cleaner and reduces emissions of tiny particles, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides that can cause lung and heart illnesses. Oil industry groups and several Republican lawmakers blasted the rules and said they would drive up refiners' costs and provide little environmental benefit. "Consumers care about the otherwise receive natural light. Cabin occupants have spacious accommodations for legs and shoulders, with the middle row featuring two wide seats separated by a large console that can accommodate all sorts of items. They also get individual video screens mounted in the back of the front seat headrests, so they can each view whatever visuals suit their personal tastes best. The seat backrests fold flat to the cargo floor created by stowing the rear seats, but you have to flip the console cover forward for a flat-across floor. A handy button on the C-pillar flips each seat forward to allow access to the rear row. Third-row seats can also be manipulated at the push of a button - stowed, flipped and returned - individually or in tandem. They feature three positions, though two is a better arrangement. For safety purposes, the outside positions feature huge paddle-like headrests that take up a lot of rearward view (as does the centre one, if it's elevated to its effective level). When all seats are stowed, the floor is dead flat between the back bumper and back of the rear seats and allows the nearly cubed cargo area to be stacked to the rafters price of fuel, and our government should not be adding unnecessary regulations that raise manufacturing costs, especially when there are no proven environmental benefits," said Bob Greco, head of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the main oil industry group's lobby. The auto industry, which will have to take steps to meet the new regulations, backed them. The Auto Alliance, a group of 12 manufacturers, has said cutting sulfur content in gasoline has benefits including improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. Health advocacy and environmental groups also praised the move. The proposal will harmonize federal regulations with those in California, the strictest rules in the states, allowing automakers to sell the same cars in all 50 states. The proposal, which is subject to public comment and hearings before being finalized, comes as Obama attempts to win Senate approval for his nominee to head the EPA, Gina McCarthy. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri is trying to block her nomination until the agency moves forward with a project to repair a levee on the Mississippi River.


API contends the proposed Thursday, April 4, 2013 Editor Jan Murphy * 613-544-5000 ext. 109 * jan.murphy@sunmedia.ca

Juke Nismo

TheJuke holds an attraction with the younger enthusiasts4

Flex appeal for people and cargo

Obama pitches big anti-smog effort in environmental push

Consumers care about the price of fuel, and our government should not be adding unnecessary regulations that raise manufacturing costs, especially when there are no proven environmental benefits,"

Bob Greco



Tetris like. Even with the rear seats in use, there's large cargo area that extends below bumper level (the well where the stowed rear seats reside) with the only awkward arrangement being a cargo net that dangles a foot or so up from the bottom (but even with the floor created by stowed seats). Power to the Limited Flex is supplied by a 3.5-litre V6 (as are all Flexes) with the EcoBoost Limited getting turbocharging to add 78 hp (up to 365) and nearly 100 lb.-ft. o torque (up to 350). That turns the huge wagon into a fairly nimble machine to get up to highway speeds quickly or dart around traffic with the aplomb of a compact car (maybe even better than some compacts we recently tested). And despite gaining nearly 200 lbs. from the "regular" V6, the EcoBoost variant doesn't change the towing capacity any (still rated at 4500 lbs.). There's a price to pay for that power availability, though, and fuel economy is not as good as it perhaps should be, especially if you like the throttle response of the turbo engine. But when you're moving some three tons of people and cargo (at full load), we'll bet you gladly give up that economy for safe, quick passes.

Fact file

2013 Ford Flex AWD

Trim level: Limited As tested before taxes: $57,899 Options on test vehicle: DVD head- AD{65643379} visit RevellFordLincoln.com visit RevellFordLincoln.com rests ($2,100); Vista roof ($1,740); voice-activated nav system ($700); silver roof ($500); trailer tow pkg. ($500) inc.: trailer sway control; middle-row inflatable seatbelts ($250); middle-row console ($150); all-weather floor mats ($100). Freight/PDI: $1,550 Configuration: front engine/ allwheel drive Engines: 3.5L turbo V6/ 6-spd. automatic Power/torque: 365 hp/ 350 lb.-ft. Fuel (capacity): Premium recommended (70L) Fuel economy ratings (L/100km): 13.1 L/100km city; 8.8 L/100km hwy Observed fuel economy (L/100km): 13.7 over 557 km Warranties: 3 years/60,000 km (basic); 5 years/100,000 km (powertrain) Competitors: Dodge Grand Caravan; Honda Odyssey; Mazda CX-9; Nissan Quest; Toyota Sienna rules could increase refinery operating costs by up to 9 cents per gallon, while the EPA says it will cost less than a penny. Industry analysts attempted to parse the 938-page proposal and balance assertions from the EPA that the compliance costs would be modest with oil refiners' claims that they would be on the hook for costly fixes. "It is a political argument," said Kevin Book, a managing director at Clearview Energy Partners. He said the differing cost estimates stem from the different kinds of equipment needed to remove the sulfur. John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, said sulfur is one of the most difficult elements to remove from crude oil. "This will impact gasoline prices episodically," he said. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One the detailed analysis by the EPA refutes the industry's cost claims. Toll Toll Free Toll Free Free 1-(888)-904-9246 1-(888)-789-6239 Road Road38, 38, Verona, Verona, Ont. Ont. SEE OUR AD ON Open: Open: Mon. Mon. to Thurs. to Thurs. 9am 9am - 7pm; - 7pm; Fri. 9am Fri. 9am - 5:30- pm 5:30 pm PAGE 3 NOW NOW OPEN OPEN SATURDAYS SATURDAYS Mario Mario Crevier Terry Terry Gibson Gibson Dan Dan Gibbs Dan Gibbs Gibbs Jr. Jr. Bob John Ungar Greenwood John Greenwood d Nathan Revell Nathan Revell Rupert Storms Rupert Storms Noel Bateman Brad Revell JOE DUARTE Autonet.ca The Ford Flex has plenty of room for people and cargo, with adjustability provided by power controls to flip the middle row seats for access to the third row, and to manipulate the third row seats for more people or more cargo. Strengths: versatility; interior space; practical technology; EcoBoost power Weaknesses: third seat leg room; visibility limited at times

Report card

Economy: 2.0 - a big car and a turbocharged engine do not an economical pair make Value for $: 3.0 - gets pricey as you load up features Styling: 3.5 - one of the best looking classically styled vehicles anywhere Comfort: 4.0 - plenty of room and easy ways to expand and contract it Performance: 3.5 - turbocharging adds needed boost to a big vehicle Overall: 3.5 - nice-looking alternative to the traditional people/cargo movers joe.duarte@sunmedia.ca SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 3 He said it is believed the impact on prices "is pretty small, the impact on the industry is limited, but the health benefits that would be enjoyed if a rule like this were put in place are significant." Health groups say the rules will cut billions in doctors' bills. A study released by Navigant Consulting last year said the rules could cut healthcare costs for lung and heart diseases by $5 billion to $6 billion a year by 2020 and by double that amount by 2030. The EPA estimates total health savings from the proposed rules would be between $8 billion and $23 billion annually by 2030. It estimates some 2,400 premature deaths would be prevented by 2030. Republican lawmakers have tried to stop the push. Representative Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, the chairman of the House Energy and Power subcommittee, introduced a bill last year to stop the EPA from issuing the Tier 3 measures.

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