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Page 16 · Richmond Review

Friday, January 31, 2014

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Welcome Welcom me to the driver’s seat

Durango is yet another example of what Chrysler is doing right. I enjoyed my entire time with it and so did the rest of the family. Zack Spencer

Visit the Durango gallery at DrivewayBC.ca

One bad Durango in a good way The 2014 Dodge Durango test truck was the perfect Christmas treat. This is the perfect kind of vehicle to have when you need to cart around extra kids and family from events like skating parties to Christmas dinners to anything else that needs getting done over the festive season. With three rows of seats and seating for six or seven passengers, the Durango is a large comfortable vehicle for any large family or a family of four that needs to take extra people to soccer or hockey practice. The Durango tester was the top of line Citadel model with a beautiful two-tine interior, large polished wheels and classy looking grille. It was not fitted with winter tires but we had no skiing plans, plus all Durango models come with AWD as standard equipment. Looks I can’t remember the last time a large SUV turned heads but this model had passersby, friends, and family all taking notice. Several neighbours commented on the stylish “racetrack” rear light bar that has migrated from the Dodge Dart and Charger sedans to this big SUV for 2014. Because of standard AWD and other packaging changes, the starting price is higher than direct competitors, the Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder. Both those vehicles have a base model that starts around $30,000, the Durango, in contrast, starts at $39,995 and tops out at $51,995. This Citadel model, with options, is over $60,000. The base model comes nicely equipped with 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and

Bluetooth streaming to name a few. Dodge believes the $43,995 Limited model will be the volume seller thanks to a backup camera with sensors, heated seats over the first two rows and a higher level of interior trim.

take extra passengers regularly, I would opt for the less expensive bench seat that allows room for 7 people inside.

Drive The big update for 2014 is the introduction of an I can’t remember 8-speed automatic transmission to help limit the Inside the last time a large amount of fuel this big Updates to the interior SUV turned heads rig uses. When matched for 2014 include a new to the base 290hp 3.6L steering wheel that conbut this model had V6 the official fuel rating trols two new screens on passersby, friends is 12.4L/100km in the the dash. The first is the and family all taking city and 8.3L on the intuitive and very quick highway. The optional uConnect screen in the notice 5.7L V8 with 360hp uses centre of the console. All Zack Spencer much more fuel and is Durango models, except rated at 15.6L/100km in this top Citadel, get a the city and 9.1L on the 5-inch unit; this trim gets highway. Over two weeks, in almost the 8.3-inch version, which is too bad. 100 per cent city driving and short trips, The second screen is embedded in the I used a whopping 20L/100 in the city. instrument cluster and can be customIf the Durango were allowed to stretch ized. I tried my hand at this but never its legs on the open road that number really mastered it. The biggest selling would have been much better. Handling point for the Durango is the amount of space it offers over three rows for 6 or 7 passengers. My youngest son loved climbing into the third row and could actually stretch out. I even tried it out and can report that adults have plenty of room in any seat. The Citadel model came equipped with a stunning two-tone interior featuring black carpets and tan seats. This contrast won over my wife who wouldn’t have looked twice at a Durango but after the first week she admitted how much she enjoyed the experience. If you

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welcome to the driver’s seat.

to advertise in this weekly feature call today at 604.247.3704

is first rate thanks to a Mercedes-Benz derived platform (GL-Class). There is a good amount of road feel but bigger bumps are eaten up with no fuss. Verdict This latest Durango is yet another example of what Chrysler is doing right. It is loaded with the latest technology, has a class leading 8-speed automatic, attitude and room to spare. I enjoyed my entire time with it and so did the rest of the family, we even gave it a name, “The Badongo” I don’t know why, but it really is one Bad Durango. If I can read the tea leaves for a moment, I would bet the EcoDiesel will be coming to the Durango, hopefully sooner rather then better. The Lowdown Power: 3.6L V6 with 290hp or 5.7L V8 with 360hp Fill-up: 12.2L/8.3L/100km (city/highway V6) Sticker price: $39,995-$51,995 zack.spencer@drivewaybc.ca

Question OF THE WEEK:

When shopping do you drive into a parking lot space or back into it? Please explain why you have made that decision.

?

QUESTION OF THE WEEK!

Go to drivewayBC.ca to submit your answer.

Safety Tip: With road visibility limited at this time of year, it is more important than ever to pay close attention to traffic controllers and be patient when driving through construction zones. They are putting themselves in harm’s way to keep construction workers and all road users safe.

Find more online at

drivewayBC.ca

Look for more driveway features and information online at

drivewayBC.ca


Friday, January 31, 2014

Richmond Review · Page 17

A FAMILY OF OVER-ACHIEVERS. THE NEXT GENERATION OF AWARD-WINNING MAZDA VEHICLES WITH SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY AND BOLD KODO DESIGN. 2014 MAZDA 3

Winner of the best new small car (under $21,000)

2014 MAZDA 3

2014 MAZDA 6

Winner of the best new small car (over $21,000)

Winner of the best new family car (over $30,000)

2014 MAZDA CX-5

Compact utility car of the year

GT MODEL SHOWN FROM $27,650

GT MODEL SHOWN FROM $33,990

2014 MAZDA6 STARTING FROM $26,290* BI-WEEKLY FINANCE OFFER

$162

with $0 down at 3.94% APR for 84 months on finance price from $26,190 †

2014 MAZDA3

GT MODEL SHOWN FROM $35,245

STARTING FROM $17,690* LEASE FROM $79** BI-WEEKLY AT 2.49% APR for 36 months. $1,600 down. Taxes extra.

2014 CX-5 STARTING FROM $24,990* BI-WEEKLY FINANCE OFFER

$152† with $0 down

at 2.99% APR for 84 months on finance price from $24,890

PLUS NO PAYMENTS FOR 90 DAYS††

A M A Z I N G O F F E R S AVA I L A B L E O N R E M A I N I N G 2 0 1 3 ’ S !

2013 MX-5 2013 MAZDA5

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0 PURCHASE FINANCING FOR UP TO 85 MONTHS x OR UP TO $7,000 CASH BACK ON REMAINING 2013’S. %†

604-278-3185 DL #11029

2 stores - Online and in the Richmond Auto Mall

www.signaturemazda.com

††No Payments for 90 Days (payment deferral) offer is available on new in-stock 2014 CX-5 models and only applies to purchase finance offers on approved credit. No interest will accrue during the first 60 days of the finance contract. After this period interest will begin to accrue and the purchaser will repay the principal and interest monthly over the term of the contract. Offer available Jan 3-31, 2014. †0% APR purchase financing is available on select new Mazda vehicles. Other terms available and vary by model. Based on a representative example using a finance price of $31,045 for 2013 MX-5 GS (L2XS53AA00)/$24,890 for 2014 CX-5 GX (NVXK64AA00)/$26,190 for 2014 Mazda6 GX (G4XL64AA00) at a rate of 0%/2.99%/3.49% APR, the cost of borrowing for an 84-month term is $0/$2,726/$3,367, bi-weekly payment is $131/$152/$162, total finance obligation is $31,045/$27,616/$29,557. Taxes are extra and required at the time of purchase. **Lease offers available on approved credit for new 2014 Mazda3 GX (D4XK64AA00) with a lease APR of 2.49% and bi-weekly payments of $79 for 36 months, the total lease obligation is $7,757, including down payment of $1,600. PPSA and first monthly payment due at lease inception. 20,000 km lease allowance per year, if exceeded, additional 8¢/km applies. 25,000 km leases available. Offered leasing available to retail customers only. Taxes extra. *The starting from price for 2014 Mazda3 GX (D4XK64AA00)/2014 CX-5 GX (NVXK64AA00)/2014 Mazda6 GX (G4XL64AA00) is $17,690/$24,990/$26,290. Cash discounts vary by model. $7,000 cash back only available on 2013 MX-5. All prices include freight & PDI of $1,695/$1,895 for Mazda3, Mazda6/CX-5. PPSA, licence, insurance, taxes, down payment and other dealer charges are extra and may be required at the time of purchase. Dealer may sell/lease for less. Dealer order/trade may be necessary on certain vehicles. Lease and Finance on approved credit for qualified customers only. Offers valid Jan 3 - 31, 2014, while supplies last. Prices and rates subject to change without notice. Visit mazda.ca or see your dealer for complete details.


Page 18 · Richmond Review

Friday, January 31, 2014

driveway

Mazda drives away with 3 of 12 best new model awards Mazda bagged three of 12 “Best New” 2014 model year category awards announced by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. The triple award sweep (Mazda3, Mazda3 Sport and Mazda6) had to taste extra sweet as Mazda only had three entries in a field of over fifty vehicle entries. This also positions Mazda with three (of the final eight) contenders for overall 2014 Canadian Car of the Year. Automobile Journalists Association of Canadaaward wins in both Best New Small Car categories (under $21K and over $21K), gives the Mazda3, in various forms, an impressive total of nine trophies over its ten year history. The Mazda6 is also a repeat winner, with previous category wins in 2009, 2005 and 2004, its introductory year. Both the new Mazda3 and Mazda6 are now SKYACTIV-equipped vehicles and offer outstanding fuel economy. The category winners now go on to compete for the top honour of being either the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2014 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. The overall winners will be declared on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the beginning of media day at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. As for the 2014 Mazda3, it is the third vehicle to be built using Mazda’s Skyactiv Technology, behind

the Mazda CX-5 SUV and Mazda6 sedan. The platform used to build this all new Mazda3 is a shared chassis with the other two Skyactiv products. They elongate, widen or shorten the platform to suit each vehicle. In this case, it is slightly shorter then the CX-5. In fact, the new Mazda3 is lower, wider and slightly shorter than the last model but the wheelbase has been stretched by 60mm. This pushes the wheels out to the corner of the car, providing a solid stance and improving interior space. Then Mazda went about hand forming the body to produce a style that conveys motion, even standing still. Sold as a sedan or hatchback, the long hood, sweeping lines and powerful stance make a statement in a class that can be rather subdued. The goal for this latest model was to have a dynamic looking interior, fitted with materials and features not typically found in a compact car. The dashboard is covered with, not only a soft material, rather a plush-feeling dash. Then there is the dash-mounted communication screen placed in the centre of the dash. This is standard on the middle GS and upper GT trim; the base GX is not so lucky. The driver can touch the screen to access music, navigation and phone settings but once the car is in motion the screen is only adjustable through a rotary dial controller between the front

The 2014 Mazda3. seats. Mazda places three, easy-tomemories, buttons above the dial for access to the most common functions. On the top GT model there is even a heads-up display that sits right on top of the driver’s instrument cluster, helping to keep the information high enough that it focuses the driver’ s attention on the road. The seats are comfortable and can be fitted with leather on the top model. Even though Mazda lengthened the wheelbase by 60mm, the back seat isn’t long on legroom.

By developing the direct injection engines, chassis and transmission at the same time, the Mazda engineers were able to shed weight. The lighter platform and powerful 2.0L 4-cylinder with 155hp is a nice match on the base and GS trim levels, driving either a 6-speed manual or all-new 6-speed automatic. The top GT is equipped with a 2.5L engine with 184hp but is only available with the automatic. I’m surprised that the manual is not offered with this engine, as driving enthusiast will be attracted to

this engine right away. On the road, the steering is very quick and the feedback well above average. The previous Mazda3 was at the top of the class in terms of driving dynamics and this new model takes it to a whole new level. I’m confident in saying that this new model feels like a much more expensive car. The standard features list is strong, including keyless entry, push button start, Bluetooth and USB connectivity for $15,995. If you equip the base model with air conditioning and automatic transmission, the price jumps to $18,795. The middle GS trim is the place most Canadians will shop and the range is from $19,695-$22,595 for things like heated seats, leather steering wheel, rain sensing wipers and more. The top GT with the larger engine, 18-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, Bose stereo and navigation, ranges from $25,855-$$29,855. As you can see, the price can ratchet up rather quickly. The upside is that this is a car that can provide solid, fun to drive transportation, wrapped in a stylish package. Higher-end models feel like a much more expensive car, with qualities not found previously in this class of car. So, the price might be justified. I truly believe that Mazda is onto something, this is the best car in the compact class. —Zach Spencer and Bob McHugh

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