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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

[REVIEW] 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Traditional sports car enthusiasts may lament the lack of all-weather high-performance all-wheel-drive sport wagons available these days. However, market trends beg to differ. The relatively recent phenomenon of the four door super Sports Utility Vehicle has resulted in a eclectic new sub-niche of family go-getters with over 400 horsepower. As Jaguar’s first SUV, the F-Pace has managed to make an impression for itself despite being in a market segment mostly dominated by the German quadruplets of Audi, Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. The Italians have also joined the party with the Alfa Stelvio. And now, JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations team has finally breathed on the Jaguar F-Pace. The result really is a bit special. Who is SVO, you might ask? Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) is a specialist team of Jaguar Land Rover designers, engineers and technicians dedicated to enhancing the performance, luxury and capability attributes of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles....
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 BMW 330i xDrive M Sport

The iconic BMW 3-series has long been a benchmark for sports-sedan greatness. When you look at the history of the 3-Series as a whole, it’s easy to see how the model got to where it is today and why it is still regarded as the benchmark of the compact sport sedan class. 40 years on, this all new G20 3-Series doesn’t offer up any surprises. With the Bavarian having more rivals than ever thanks to new global players in the game, both electric and gasoline powered, this seventh-generation 3 Series has to do more and be more to be competitive. After all, the 3 Series is central to what BMW is all about. It is the epitome of the company’s highly successful and brilliant “Ultimate Driving Machine” marketing campaign. So the question is, with almost all of its components being entirely different from the last, has it raised the bar?...
Automobiles

[OPINION] Are BMWs still the Ultimate Driving Machines?

BMW would like its customers and prospects to believe that its “Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline is still true, whether it’s the latest 3, the 5 or even the 7-passenger all-new BMW X7 SUV. In order to evaluate the truth to this statement, a small group of Canadian journalists were recently invited to Vancouver Island to evaluate the company’s latest product offensives that have been mounted in order to succeed again its competitors. Do people still care about the Ultimate Driving Experience? I’ve often thought about why I find driving to be as enjoyable as I do. To literally be in control of a machine under one’s foot, going from 0-100 km/hr in 2nd gear, and literally feeling thrust behind one’s back. There’s nothing quite like it. The more twisty the road the better. It’s almost the same feeling, the same rush that I can remember after learning to ride a...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Nissan Leaf

Can you believe that the Nissan Leaf has been around since 2010? Back then, Elon Musk was still struggling to build up Tesla into a motor vehicle company, but yet Nissan was already quietly promising to provide clean EV motoring for the masses. Today, the Nissan Leaf is in its second generation, and the world’s all-time best selling highway-capable electric car with global sales totaling well over 400,000 Leafs.   What’s new? The first-generation Nissan Leaf made its debut to the masses with a winning formula - Nissan’s rock solid reputation for quality and reliability, a relatively affordable price, a highway-capable top speed, and national availability through Nissan’s dealer network. Sure it only had about a 117 kilometre range in the best conditions, but nonetheless, Nissan proved that the Leaf’s familiar five-door family hatchback appearance was appealing to mainstream buyers. Over the years, Nissan brought out bigger batteries and increased...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 MINI Cooper hatchback

The 2019 MINI Cooper may look the same as its predecessor, but beauty is certainly more than skin deep. With the proliferation of MINI variants these days from the 5-door hatchback, to the Clubman wagon, to the successful MINI Countryman SUV, it’s easy to forget that what started off this back to retro craze for the brand was the basic Cooper three door hatchback. Although the outside may seem similar to the 2014-18 MINI Cooper, the new car is underpinned by parent company BMW’s new UKL platform which has already spawned the second-generation BMW X1, X2, and the latest Clubman and Countryman. Moreover, UKL has also allowed MINI to develop its first plug-in-hybrid, the Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 plug-in hybrid. With MINI’s extraordinarily complicated product launch strategy taking years to completely unroll, the core focus of this review is to evaluate whether the centre of the MINI universe, the...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Chrysler Pacifica S Limited

A 1994 Chrysler all-wheel-drive minivan transported my parents, their friends, and my friends for almost 10 years. For a young immigrant family new to Canada, the Town & Country was ideal, ferrying lumber for the backyard fence, skis for the weekend, or us kids on field trips. When it came time for me to learn how to drive, the van also served as the first vehicle I learnt to drive on. In fact, I even took my driving test in the van. Sure, the Town and Country wasn’t perfect. The driving position was slightly askew, and after the warranty ended, the centre console plastic trim unceremoniously started flaking. Fortunately, my parents were spared from any of the common transmission woes, and the all-wheel-drive system performed flawlessly even towards the end of the vehicle’s life. Minivan travel today Chrysler invented the minivan category over 30 years ago, setting the standard in...
Automobiles

[REVIEW} 2019 Dodge Ram Rebel Hemi V8

Getting pickup truck owners to convert brands is an immensely difficult task. Even General Motors has somewhat of that issue between its Chevy and GMC offerings, the Silverado and Sierra. Therefore you can imagine how much more of a hill it is to climb for other competing manufacturers. Pickup truck owners continue to wage bragging rights over stats such as towing capacity, horsepower, torque, and more. Often for many buyers, the final purchase decision still comes down to brand loyalty. Therefore, for manufacturers, it’s an all-out war as the designers crack their heads to conjure up the latest innovative storage solution, increasingly more luxurious interiors, and new technological toys to improve not only ride and handling, but day-to-day safety and usability as a work vehicle. What’s new? The second, third, and forth generation Rams all featured a front-end design inspired by a big-rig with its oversized front grille. Although this...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Infiniti Q60 3.0t Luxe Coupe

The Q60 is Infiniti’s stab at the premium sports coupe market. Based on the Infiniti Q50 sedan, it has only one Japanese rival, the Lexus RC coupe. However, the field is currently crowded by European rivals such as the Audi A5 coupe, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, as well as the venerable BMW 4-Series. Infiniti has an uphill battle as these brands currently own the lion's share of the market partly due to their upscale reputations for heritage, quality, and sportiness. What’s the appeal? These days, increasing number of luxury auto manufacturers are offering their formerly rear-wheel-drive only coupes with all-wheel-drive variants. No longer does owning a sports coupe have to be an oxymoron to the word “winter”. Just swap out the all-season or summer tires for a set of good snow tires, and you are set to go for a Canadian winter. However, two door coupes still fall into the...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 BMW X4 M40i

BMW has been relentless focusing on the SUV/coupe sector for the last few years. The X4 is just one of the products of this focus. When it was first introduced in 2014, many people, auto journalists included, were perplexed by its purpose. More expensive than the X3 it was based on, almost as costly as the larger X5, but less practical, one wondered why it even existed. However, it’s obvious now that BMW knew what it was doing as the old X4 sold like hotcakes moving more than 200,000 units globally in the four years since its introduction. In Canada alone, over 4,400 units have been sold to date. It’s no surprise then, that Munich’s finest engineers and marketers have followed up with an all-new second generation X4, based on the new-for-2018 G01 BMW X3. Following the same basic recipe as the original, the X4 now sits neatly between the...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Jaguar XF S

A few years ago, Jaguar was still playing to its old-world aesthetics. The S-Type sedan played on the lavish chrome, the quad circular headlamps, and the traditional leaping Jaguar hood ornament that recalled the British firm’s heyday in the 1960’s. There was no doubt that driving it could make you feel like you borrowed your great uncle’s car. Exterior When the XF made it debut in late 2007, its utter rejection of retro design was something fresh, something new, and something the world hadn’t seen before from Jaguar. It was this shake up of some of the design vestiges of the 1950s and 1960s that arguably allowed the firm to move forward with its design language. The XF has now been in its second-generation platform since 2016. For model year 2019, it gets some improvements in exterior and interior trim, as well as technology, in order to keep it competitive...
Automobiles

[NEWS] Cadillac Live: A new way for Canadians to shop for Cadillacs

The US is Canada’s biggest trading partner, and conversely, Canada is the US’s second biggest trading partner (behind China). Sharing the world’s longest land border at 8,893 kms, both our countries are literally joined at the hip physically, economically, and often politically. Generally speaking, Canadians have often taken the lead of our American friends when it comes to many matters. However when it comes to the next level of car shopping experience, GM Canada has chosen Canada, and specifically their Cadillac portfolio of luxury vehicles, to pilot an all new way to bring the showroom to consumers’ personal spaces where they can relax and ask questions in a low pressure situation. What is it Cadillac Live? Recent data from Google shows that most car buyers start their research online versus through a dealership visit. Moreover, in the retail sector, 74 per cent of people will likely switch brands if they...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe

The BMW 4 Series first arrived as a coupe version of the 3 Series saloon back in 2013, before the manufacturer sliced the roof off to create the 4 Series Convertible a year later. The number '4' was used to denote the sportier versions of the more sensible and more practical 3 Series models, despite the 3 moniker's near 40-year history. Shortly after the 4 Series Coupe and Convertible, BMW released the Gran Coupe, a sleek four-door model to rival the Audi A5 Sportback. While the 4 Series Coupe and Convertible replace models that have traditionally been part of the 3 Series range, BMW would rather we think of the 4 Series line-up as a new and more prestigious breed than the Three. This upward mobility is in no small part a response to the success of Audi’s A5 range and, indeed, the 4 Series Gran Coupe – with its...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate

South Korea is among the most advanced automobile-producing countries in the world today. Did you know that the automotive industry in South Korea is the 5th largest in the world when measured by automobile unit production and automobile export volume? Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Motor Group, with more than two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Hyundai Motors − which employs 900,000 worldwide, has seven manufacturing bases outside of South Korea including Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, India, Russia, Turkey and the U.S. They sold a staggering 4.4 million vehicles globally in 2012. Their latest effort, the totally redesigned 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, signals the South Korean auto industry’s coming of age stronger and clearer than ever. State of the Union The forth generation Santa Fe competes squarely in a marketplace now filled with other midsized crossover vehicles. These crossovers blur the line between...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Lincoln Continental

The “Continental” nameplate has long been associated with the best that Lincoln has to offer, but is it still the company's flagship? Introduced in 1939 as a personal vehicle of Edsel Ford, the only child of Henry Ford, the “Continental” name referred to the exterior of the coach-built convertible having been given European “continental” styling elements such as a rear-mounted spare tire. Produced for over 55 years across nearly eight decades, as of 2019, there have been ten generations of vehicles with the “Lincoln Continental” moniker. Within the company model line itself, the Continental hasn’t always been the flagship model having served several roles from its base model sedan to flagship sedan. There was even a short-lived Continental Division back in the mid-1950s. After 2002, Lincoln withdrew the Continental, replacing it with the MKS in 2009. But in 2017, after a 14 year absence, the nameplate was revived again, this...
Automobiles

[REVIEW] 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature

For years, Mazda has been the underdog of the Japanese carmakers, steadily churning out great—sometimes even phenomenal—cars that, undeservedly, rest just slightly beneath the radar for most car buyers. Case in point here is with the company’s largest vehicle, and in one of the most competitive segments - The 3 row family SUV. Mazda raised the bar for the seven-seat segment when it launched the CX-9 in 2016 as a 2017 model. Its competitors have mostly caught up in most areas, yet Mazda is pushing forward with further updates for its market-leader having already introduced a round of improvements early on. What is it? Being a smaller and arguably more nimble company does have its benefits. Every manufacturer wants to make more money by selling more vehicles, however since Mazda isn’t necessarily burdened by the same requirements to meet massive sales quotas, one could say that they are able to...
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