Fun cars

You don't need to be going fast to have a lot of fun--but it doesn't hurt.

The Gestalt Convertible

Porsche's new Boxster may not soar, but neither does it bore.

Flying the new 'vette

Can a $50,000 car&emdash;made by GM no less&emdash;compete with an airplane?

The $62,000 3-Series

Don't get me wrong, I love the M3, but at this price?

Driving a cartoonist's fantasy

The Dodge Viper GTS is the ultimate power tool.

Mazda Miata

Buying a Miata nets you a whole lot more than a great car--you get to participate in one of the car world's richest subcultures.

Luxury cars

Much as I love going fast, traffic conditions really have tipped my mental scale in favor of comfortable interiors and great sound systems. But I still value an involving driving experience.

1998 Lincoln Continental

Just what it needed&emdash;more chrome.

Get them as filthy as you can

Land Rover's 50th-anniversary models are too good to keep on the road.

Audi A4 2.8 quattro

If a thing of beauty is a joy forever, this is the sedan I want to ride off into the sunset in.

Family haulers

Despite all of the inroads that vans and sport-utes are making on sedans, they're still the dominant force in the car market. Thank God for that, because there are some excellent four-doors out there, and all of them are more fun to drive than Tall Stuff.

Honda Accord EX

Accord Six is bigger in every way, better in most. But it's still as conservatively styled as ever.

Nissan Altima SE

The new, uglier, Altima does a surprisingly convincing imitation of a luxury car.

Volkswagen Passat GLS

The gods live in the details in this utterly conservative, but utterly enticing four-door. Think of it as an Audi A4 for ten thousand dollars less.

Honda CR-V

This remarkably usable tall car is full of great ideas and un-Honda like ergonomic oversights.

$15-19,000 compact cars

Over the next couple of months, I'll be reviewing a series of cars in the $15-19,000 (Canadian) range; after I tire myself, I'll probably do a wrap-up of the entire class.

A grown-up subcompact in a segment filled with cartoons

Though it's conservatively styled, the Mazda Protege's refinement and thoughtful interior quickly grow on you.

Base Acura 1.6 EL trounces Civic

Canada-only model, listing at just $300 over Civic EX-G is a surprisingly good value

Toyota Corolla VE

Can thousands of driving-school instructors be wrong?

Volkswagen Golf

Who knows why our market has so abandoned hatchbacks&emdash;despite its tacky interior, this VW is a practical gem.

Hyundai Elantra GLS

Dimples, dimples everywhere on a car that could teach the Japanese a thing or two about design and build quality.

Saturn SL1

The plastic car works better than expected, but you're still buying a great experience more than you're buying a great car.

Nissan Sentra GXE

There's a lot of fun underneath this car's generic dumpling shape.

Suzuki Esteem Wagon

Cheap, fun, and remarkably versatile, this wagon pushes more hot buttons than I ever expected it to.

Chevrolet Cavalier

There's a good reason that this thing has been the bestselling car in Canada for eight years straight.

Subaru Impreza

OK, so the Impreza I drove was the $26,000 2.5 RS version. But in any guise, this all-wheel drive compact is head and shoulders above everything in its class when foul weather comes along.

Ford Escort SE

The Escort's round little package packs a lot of driving fun, and a thoughtfully designed interior.

Volkswagen New Beetle

Sure, it's a Golf underneath, but no Golf ever inspired so many giggles. It's like having your own automotive ambassador of goodwill.

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