Andrew Ling

Andrew Ling

Andrew is a proud car and tech geek who has worked in Surrey for over the last 10 years. He comes from a communications/marketing background and has worked for automotive-related companies such as Edmunds.com, BenzWorld.org since 1999. From track driving, to rally driving to autocross, he has done it all! When he’s not reading about the latest automotive news, he can be found outdoors snapping pictures at various events around town.
Automobiles

2018 BMW M5 review

In Chinese culture, the number six is an auspicious number meaning smooth and or well-off. Many people in China regard six as a fortunate number because it sounds like “flow” in Chinese. In fact, many businesses even display the number six to bring good fortune. Why am I talking about number six? Well it’s because this review is all about the all-new sixth generation BMW M5 (codenamed F90), which is likely to bring good fortunes to BMW thanks to clever engineering, blistering performance numbers, and a huge dollop of character that has been missing for the last few years. What is it? Over 30 years ago, BMW engineers decided to borrow the motorsport derived straight six-cylinder engine from the legendary M1 sports car and transplant it into the chassis of their 5-Series executive sedan. The E28 M5 was born and it instantly became the fastest production sedan available. With each...
Automobiles

2018 Nissan Maxima Platinum review

Most people would associate the words “mid-sized family sedan” with brands and models such as the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, the Ford Taurus, and of course the Nissan Maxima. Eight generations and almost 40 years later, Nissan’s flagship Maxima sedan still carries on proudly, but has changed quite a bit over the years from the square and mild-mannered Japanese-built Datsun 810 in 1981. Back in those days, the “Maxima” was actually just a trim line to denote a fully loaded and more luxurious version of the Datsun 810, a la “810 Maxima”. Today, the Maxima is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, with engines assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. What is it today? Rare are the model lines that span over two decades, but there are a few notable exceptions including the Maxima. Other models that prove the rule include the Porsche 911, the Chevy Corvette, the Honda Accord/Civic, and the Toyota...
Automobiles

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack review

What do you get when you take the Golf Sportwagen, add 1.5 inches of ground clearance and some rugged looking body panels? Say hello to the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack wagon. What is it? Following on the popularity of the Subaru Outback and Audi’s A4 Allroad, Volkswagen continues to offer consumers another type of crossover as a response to customer demand. Although it’s rather late to the game, the Alltrack joined Volkswagen’s Golf range as a 2017 model back in 2016. Basically, the Alltrack brings a pseudo-SUV appearance to the Golf Sportwagen. The right ingredients are all there: Volkswagen’s 4Motion Haldex-based all-wheel-drive system, plastic cladding around the wheel arches and on the door sills for a more rugged image. Polished satin-finished roof rails are a nice touch and worthy of even being on an Audi. Ground clearance is bumped up to 6.9 inches, helpful if you should find yourself needing...
Automobiles

2018 BMW i3s review

When BMW’s i3 first made its debut in 2015, it was regaled as the most revolutionary mass-produced electric car yet. Not only is the i3 able to fit four adults comfortably, it’s also able to retain reasonable cargo space while fitting everyone and everything in a package that has an overall length of less than four metres. However, buying trends over the last few years have still indicated that Canadians, including those who live in the city centre, still favour the flexibility of larger vehicles overall. The crossover/SUV/truck market is still booming, which puts it at odds with more compact cars. That being said, in the Greater Vancouver area, electric vehicle ownership is noticeably on the rise, as are the number of available high speed charging stations. Indeed, this is the current environment in which BMW Canada is launching their latest iteration of the i3, the 2018 i3s, a sportier...
Automobiles

2018 Nissan Qashqai SL Platinum review

Is the Qashqai the ultimate urban compact crossover? Despite the fact that Canada and the USA share a border, many things are just different North of 49th parallel. No disrespect to our Southern neighbours of course. One of these things happen to be our preferences in vehicles. Whereas the top selling car in the USA is a mid-sized car (the Camry), our top selling car in Canada is a compact car (the Civic incidentally). Perhaps partly due to our higher fuel prices, and perhaps slightly smaller waistlines, Canadians seem to prefer more efficient compact cars. With the Nissan Qashqai built following almost lock, stock, and barrel using the same formula (albeit it at 85 per cent of the size) as the Rogue, it is likely that crossover Canadians will find the Qashqai as appealing a choice as its big brother. What is it? More than a foot shorter than the...
Automobiles

2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0T AWD Sport Review

If you didn’t already know, the Infiniti Q50 is the replacement for Infiniti’s highly successful G35 (later G37) sedans and coupes. With rear-wheel-drive, optional all-wheel-drive, and styling that set it apart from the traditionally conservative Japanese vehicles, the G35 proclaimed to the world that the guys at Infiniti were serious about competing with the BMW boys from Munich. Despite winning many auto review comparisons, the public voted with their wallets and the BMW 3-series sedan sales figures proved that the BMW cachet and the proof behind the Ultimate Driving Machine slogan was simply too great, too true. These days, Infiniti seems more content, and perhaps rightfully so, to position the G37’s replacement, the Q50, as a different sort of alternative to the BMW 3-Series, and less so as a direct competitor. This is probably a smarter move as it allows Infiniti to play on its strengths such as reliability, fit...
AutomobilesNews

OpenRoad Auto Group acquires Mercedes-Benz Surrey

Mercedes-Benz Surrey, on 104th Avenue, has a new owner. OpenRoad Auto Group, B.C.’s largest automotive retail group, announced the acquisition of Mercedes-Benz Surrey on May 30th, 2018. This newest addition to the OpenRoad family is the company’s first Mercedes-Benz store. Formerly owned by Silverstar MB Inc, Mercedes-Benz Surrey first opened in 1999 on Fraser Highway and later moved to its current location at 15508 104 Avenue in Surrey in 2002. With over 1,200 associates representing 19 automotive brands at 23 locations in the Lower Mainland, OpenRoad Auto Group is one of Canada's Best Managed Companies, a CADA Laureate, and a recipient of multiple Canadian Best Employer Awards. “Mercedes-Benz has always been an aspirational brand for us, so to be able to partner with Mercedes-Benz Canada to represent one of the most premium automotive companies in the world is a very exciting opportunity for us,” said Christian Chia, CEO of OpenRoad...
Automobiles

2018 Volkswagen Golf R Review

The original flavoured hot hatch In the mid-1970s, a handful of European auto manufacturers began offering performance-orientated version of their small economical hatchbacks. Coupled upgrades in handling and performance but yet retaining much of the practicality of the hatchback design, these vehicles quickly became very popular amongst those who didn’t need or want a dedicated sports car as a daily driver. Volkswagen has a long and well-regarded history in this niche, starting with the arrival of their fun-to-drive hot hatch in the form of the VW Golf GTI. The boxy first-generation (Mk1) Golf was fitted with front wheel drive, a “row it yourself” manual gearbox, and a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. By today’s standards, the 100+ hp engine and top speed of just 182 km/hr seem rather pedestrian. But 30 years ago, it was the bees’ knees. Remember there was an energy crisis back in the 1970s and those were...
Automobiles

2018 BMW X1 review

Does BMW’s smallest SUV live up to its name? When the first-generation BMW X1 first made its debut, many wondered if the marketplace was ready for yet another BMW model, let alone another BMW Sports Activity Vehicle. When the second-generation X1 made its debut in Spring of 2015, BMW proudly announced that more than 730,000 units of the first-generation X1 had been sold globally. Therefore this provided irrefutable evidence that the world’s audience was indeed ready for yet another premium-badged compact utility vehicle in the marketplace. Overview Despite being the smallest BMW SUV, the BMW X1 treats the premium compact segment with a potent shot of the company’s Sports Activity Vehicle DNA. The original X1 was based on BMW’s 3-Series, and hence was rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive-based. However, the current model X1 is built on BMW’s compact UKL platform, also shared with the MINI Countryman and Clubman. The UKL platform was designed to...
Automobiles

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Review

2017 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid Did you know that Toyota wasn’t the first manufacturer to come out with a hybrid vehicle to the North American market? Before the start of the current millennium, in 1999, Honda snuck in the original Insight hybrid into the U.S. market, beating the Toyota Prius by just a few short months. However, as hard as they might have tried and in spite of arguably superior engineering, the “Prius” model name has reigned supreme, and Honda hybrids have not posed a serious threat to the Toyota brand. Back and better than before The Accord hybrid isn’t totally new. Also sold in the 2014 and 2015 model years, production was paused for the 2016 model year as the company moved production from the Ohio USA plant back to Sayama Japan. Regular Accords are still built in Ohio today. Honda isn’t too concerned about the Prius because it...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2016 Subaru Crosstrek

The compact utility vehicle (aka CUV) market has continued to expand year over year over the last few years. Less econobox-looking and visually more rugged than the standard compact car, it is not surprising why young couples or families have flocked to this market segment. In rainy Vancouver, the added availability of all-wheel-drive on most of these CUVs is an added safety net. After all, no one wants to be stuck when escaping the city with friends on a weekend jaunt up to the local ski hills or campsite. Anton Pawczuk, Subaru Canada’s Director of Product Management and Sales Training says that the emerging “subcompact’” utility crossover segment continues to experience considerable growth as consumers are moving away from not only compact cars but traditional utility vehicles as well. Much of this growth is expected to be from new or freshly redesigned models. Sensing profits at hand, or at least...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2016 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

The definition of “remarkable” is “worthy of making a remark”. When I drove the Acura RLX for the first time almost a year ago, I thought that it was a competent albeit slightly boring large luxury sedan. The same could be said to apply to the RLX Sport Hybrid, but in its case, beauty is far more than skin deep. It may not look it upon first impressions, but this is one of the most advanced sedans currently on the market. While it still is a bit of an uphill battle for Acura to get their brand in front of those shopping for a large luxury car, I think that the RLX Sport Hybrid has a much larger chance of being “remarkable” due to Honda’s know-how in hybrid technology. From the car company that brought you the legendary Acura NSX and well, the Acura Legend, let’s take a closer look...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Several years ago, Mazda’s divorce from its 30-year-plus partner, Ford, deprived the Japanese brand of critical economies of scale. Many who loved the company’s affordable fun cars were worried that with the gravy train of low-cost access to platforms and drivetrains gone, Mazda would be in trouble. With the race to develop ever more efficient engines and lower curb weights driving up manufacturing and development costs for all manufacturers, Mazda’s future seemed uncertain. Fast forward to today and if there is one car that showcases how much Mazda still has to offer, it would be the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Let’s take a closer look at this icon built by the boys from Hiroshima. History In 1990, the debut of the Mazda MX-5 Miata marked a revival of the affordable rear-wheel-drive sports car in a stripped-down roadster format. It was an instant hit and buyers lined up outside Mazda dealerships and...
AutomobilesEvents

Our Top 5 picks at the 2015 Luxury & Supercar weekend

If you’re a car enthusiast or a five year old boy, this is arguably as good as it gets in Vancouver. With the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance happening just a few short weeks ago in Monterey, California, the Luxury & Supercar weekend returned to Vancouver’s Van Dusen Botanical Gardens with this year’s stash of exotic super cars, rare classics, high end pianos, and fine jewellery. With over $200,000,000+ (yes that’s 200 million) worth of highlights, it’s nice to see that for the sixth year in a row, Vancouverites won’t have to travel south of the border to see the latest supercars or award winning collectible classic cars. Vancouver’s Luxury & Supercar Weekend is considered by many to be the most prestigious automobile lifestyle event in Canada. This year’s show continues to bring together an impressive assortment of rare and expensive automotive toys. One of last year’s major themes was based...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2015 Lexus RC F

When Lexus was first introduced in 1989 in the United States of America, the idea of a formerly unknown Japanese luxury brand that would compete fender to fender with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz seemed utterly preposterous. However, within a few short years, Lexus’ first luxury sedan, the LS, shocked the world with its quality and value for money. The final production model, a result of hundreds of prototypes, the work of over 1,000 engineers, and over $1 billion, pioneered new ground. The birth of Lexus truly forced the German luxury brands to re-invent themselves. No longer was just heritage and pomp sufficient to sell cars. The whole idea of the luxury vehicle had been re-defined and also included a dealer network that was trained to give both its sales and service customers unprecedented attention. Fast forward to today and Lexus is now sold globally. It has become Japan’s...
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