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Old 03-22-2006, 08:00 AM   #1
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An American Perspective on Driving in Canada

OK -- I just got back from Calgary/Banff for a nice vacation with the wife and get some Winter activities in (and I love to visit Canada). So, Canadians, feel free to chime-in if my observations are off or if you'd like to add comments. (For Americans unfamiliar with Calgary and Banff, it's in the Candian Rocky Mountains and is similar to Denver and the surrounding mountain towns. Really breathtaking scenery and friendly people. The province (state) of Alberta is known for oil production, and is a vital link in the rail transport of wheat grown in the Central Provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the ports on the West Coast and back East). There are many National Parks, and abundant wildlife. Anyways, back to the cars...

This is what I noticed:

* The number one thing I noticed was the Acura 1.7 EL. For Americans, this is the previous generation Honda Civic with Acura goodies. This would be the perfect car that my wife and I have been looking for. Since they got rid of the Integra 4-door when the RSX came-in, we we're stuck with the expensive TSX. Something else I noticed -- didn't see a single Acura TSX up there. Do they even sell it, or is the EL its replacement?

* The following cars also unavailable in the US: The CR-V sized Nissan X-Trail, a number of Kia-clones (like the Chevy Aveo 5-door's twin the Suzuki Swift+).

* A random sampling of non-rental local cars parked along the street had the plug dangling for the engine block heater in 80% of the cars noticed (for the record the rental Chrysler 300 had a plug).

* Speed and red-light cameras are legal. In the 'States, this is of course an infraction against our civil liberties, but there you have to watch it. Out in the country the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police -- their noble steeds these days are Impalas and Crown Vics) weren't around all that often until the weekend. This is the National Police force, and could be the equivalent of a "State Trooper". Even still, I didn't feel comfortable driving over 5 km/h, so I played it safe. Most of the time it was snowing anyway.

* I don't know if this was a Canadian thing or a Chrysler thing, but the cruise control was on this ill-placed stalk next to the turn signal/wiper stalk on the left-hand side of the wheel. I had the toughest time getting used to how to work the darned thing, and it would get in the way of signalling. Speaking of which, Daimler Chrysler stole the tap-blinker system from BMW where you tap the blinker and it blinks 3 times (frankly I would've preferred 5, which is what I use to change lanes).

* Ah the metric system. I was getting used to the temperature numbers, but 60 km/h seemed pretty slow (which is like 35 mph). 110 was the limit out on the open road, which is close to 70 mph. The biggest hit was gas prices. We paid an average of 90-cents per liter which is the equivalent of $3.41/Gallon (in Canadian Dollars, and roughly $3.07/Gallon in U.S. dollars). That's pretty expensive -- I can see why fuel efficiency could be a big deal. Public transit is available in a wide variety of locations, which can take the stress off of that part of one's budget. Lots of folks walked or hitched rides.

* Daytime Running Lamps have been required for quite a while. On our car, if you signalled, the DRL on that side of the car would shut off while you signal. Also, I'm a big advocate of the side-marker turn signal indicator -- you know that little yellow oval light on the fender -- also very common there. That way you can see people merging if they are a lane away, but next to you.

* Hondas and Acuras were super common. If I wanted a used 2005 1.7EL, would it be possible to import it to the U.S.?

* (off topic) Again, the people were great and very helpful. Individual culture seemed to co-exist with other cultures instead of the U.S.' "Melting-Pot" mentality where you must assimilate. Now I can't speak for Quebec, though, that's a different story. They don't like me there too much. For the citizenry, the enviroment seemed to be on their minds - recycling, clean water and air, and preservation of natural habitat was evident, which I applaud.

That's all I have for now. I really don't know what I'm going to do to report the rental car in my Fleet Analysis Thread, as lots of Mountain driving, snowy road conditions, and slow-speed wildlife spotting took place. In closing, I think that Canadians displayed a genine pride for their Country and made us feel welcome. Thanks to all (especially the snowmobile instructor that got me out of a snowbank when I took a turn too fast and ditched it) for making the trip enjoyable.

RH77
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:52 AM   #2
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Here is what I noticed, the

Here is what I noticed, the countries with the biggest gas prices have the most effiecient cars.

I wouldn't mind having gas prices here in US $3,4, or even $5. If it does come to that I'll just quit my job and find a job I can walk to. Before I didn't have any working experience, now I do. So that makes finding a job a little easier.

The only car I really want is the European Honda Accord. I'd love to import that car.
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: Here is what I noticed, the

Quote:
Originally Posted by Compaq888
Here is what I noticed, the countries with the biggest gas prices have the most effiecient cars.

I wouldn't mind having gas prices here in US $3,4, or even $5. If it does come to that I'll just quit my job and find a job I can walk to. Before I didn't have any working experience, now I do. So that makes finding a job a little easier.

The only car I really want is the European Honda Accord. I'd love to import that car.
You make an excellent point. Remember last year when gas prices were $3/gallon? Suddenly everyone wanted to get a hybrid, ride a bike, or take the bus. I say that raising gas prices would be a good idea. The government has no place subsidizing oil companies. It makes it difficult for better technologies to be taken seriously.
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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Re: Here is what I noticed, the

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Timion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Compaq888
Here is what I noticed, the countries with the biggest gas prices have the most effiecient cars.

I wouldn't mind having gas prices here in US $3,4, or even $5. If it does come to that I'll just quit my job and find a job I can walk to. Before I didn't have any working experience, now I do. So that makes finding a job a little easier.

The only car I really want is the European Honda Accord. I'd love to import that car.
You make an excellent point. Remember last year when gas prices were $3/gallon? Suddenly everyone wanted to get a hybrid, ride a bike, or take the bus. I say that raising gas prices would be a good idea. The government has no place subsidizing oil companies. It makes it difficult for better technologies to be taken seriously.
I see that the government is coming out with new fuel rules, that is good for future cars. Also it's easy to increase a car's fuel economy by a couple of mpg with you add gears. We can't do that but manufacturers can. By adding more gears you'll have better accelaration and fuel economy. Remember I mentioned the 06 civic. The car drives 80mph at 2500rpm. I also pissed myself when I saw it when my cousin was driving it. My gearing is low but at 2500rpm I'm at 73mph. Plus the fact that I don't have any accelaration in 3rd and 4th. The civic has plenty of accelaration in 1,2,3.

The way everybody is driving the final should be in the 4.xx zone and the last gear should be below .50
Gearing could make a huge impact on fuel economy, so can airdonamics.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:09 PM   #5
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Excellent Point

Excellent point Compaq888. Higher gas prices tend to force efficiency, and as MetroMPG has noted, the top 5 cars sold in Canada are pretty fuel efficient.

The Euro Accord is kinda available here as the Acura TSX. It's nearly identical to the one over there, but inside it has the Acura goodies and pricetag. The TSX is at the top of our list for the next car to buy, but it's too darn expensive. Buying a used one isn't feasible either, since they hold their value. My Brother- and Sister-in-Law bought an 05, then traded the dealer practically even for an '06. Then the neighbor bought one. It all started in '04 when I showed my wife a picture of it on the Internet and she saw it at the auto show and fell in love with it, and mentioned it to her sister, so then they went and bought the same exact model that we wanted, color and everything (spite maybe) -- but at any rate $30K, that's a chunk of change. But then the neighbor saw the brother-in-laws TSX and went and bought one. Personally I hope my wife goes toward the Civic -- more practical. For me, the Integra will be my car until it blows up from all of my experiments on it.

RH77
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
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Importing Canadian Autos

We really want an Acura 1.7EL (Civic Clone with luxo features and good mileage). It's not sold here, so does anyone know if it's easy to import a used one from Canada? I know the speedo would need to be changed, but otherwise, it probably conforms to all U.S. regs.

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Old 03-23-2006, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: Importing Canadian Autos

Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
We really want an Acura 1.7EL (Civic Clone with luxo features and good mileage). It's not sold here, so does anyone know if it's easy to import a used one from Canada? I know the speedo would need to be changed, but otherwise, it probably conforms to all U.S. regs.

RH77

the new gen EL (Acura CSX) ... for the same price you can get a 06 honda hybrid

TSX is described as the best FF drive sedan on the market. IF you get the 6spd OH MANNN!!!!!!! you lucky son of a #@!)(#*!)@

as for the EL 1.7 its pretty much my car with four doors, nicer seats, acura logo and maybe suspension is tuned a bit. Other than that its still a honda with 3000 more msrp than the top of the line honda civic.

Comes with more airbags too.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:44 PM   #8
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Re: Importing Canadian Autos

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the new gen EL (Acura CSX) ... for the same price you can get a 06 honda hybrid

TSX is described as the best FF drive sedan on the market. IF you get the 6spd OH MANNN!!!!!!! you lucky son of a #@!)(#*!)@

as for the EL 1.7 its pretty much my car with four doors, nicer seats, acura logo and maybe suspension is tuned a bit. Other than that its still a honda with 3000 more msrp than the top of the line honda civic.

Comes with more airbags too.
Good info. I've driven the 6-speed TSX and yes, what a complete package of awesome handling, smooth shift action, keeping the revs up -- but don't remind me. That car is for my wife who can't/won't drive a standard shift. So the automatic with the tap shift is what we'd get. It's still fun to drive but I need a clutch to be happy. It's her turn for the new car.

The thing is, we've been looking for something in the Honda/Acura lineup between the RSX and TSX like the old Integra 4-door, and the EL hits it right on the mark. I'll have to research this CSX 1.8L or even a used 1.7.

The question still remains, how do you get a Canadian car registered in the U.S.? Maybe I'll have to dig into the Code of Federal Regulations (again). Been doing that all day with the FDA's regs.

RH77
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Excellent Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by rh77
Excellent point Compaq888. Higher gas prices tend to force efficiency, and as MetroMPG has noted, the top 5 cars sold in Canada are pretty fuel efficient.

The Euro Accord is kinda available here as the Acura TSX. It's nearly identical to the one over there, but inside it has the Acura goodies and pricetag. The TSX is at the top of our list for the next car to buy, but it's too darn expensive. Buying a used one isn't feasible either, since they hold their value. My Brother- and Sister-in-Law bought an 05, then traded the dealer practically even for an '06. Then the neighbor bought one. It all started in '04 when I showed my wife a picture of it on the Internet and she saw it at the auto show and fell in love with it, and mentioned it to her sister, so then they went and bought the same exact model that we wanted, color and everything (spite maybe) -- but at any rate $30K, that's a chunk of change. But then the neighbor saw the brother-in-laws TSX and went and bought one. Personally I hope my wife goes toward the Civic -- more practical. For me, the Integra will be my car until it blows up from all of my experiments on it.

RH77
I'm making a different point. Yes the Honda accord is here as the TSX, but I'm talking about the one with the diesel engine!!!

You get a honda that weighs 3000+lbs and that gets 50+mpg. The only other diesels there are WV or VW or whatever it is. Their electrical systems are so unreliable. I'd feel safer in a honda anyday.

The TSX here in the US is nice, you get a 2.4 liter that has a good topend(very rare) and it comes with a 6 speed manual.

Here is another car option... Since you don't want to spend 30k on a car why don't you get your wife the 2007 camry V6???

It gets 22city/31freeway, runs on regular, 268hp and runs low 14's in the 1/4 mile STOCK! Not to mention it's a 6 speed auto that has a manual mode. Did I mention it only costs $23k??
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Old 03-23-2006, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:It gets

Quote:
It gets 22city/31freeway, runs on regular, 268hp and runs low 14's in the 1/4 mile STOCK! Not to mention it's a 6 speed auto that has a manual mode. Did I mention it only costs $23k??
My argument against this car is why would I want to buy a car for a lot of money that gets terrible gas mileage, and is also worthless in any kind of fun racing.

Thanks for this stuff too, I talked about it a lot today at a sudan peace march,
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