Articles by: Tim Plouff

Tim Plouff

Tim Plouff

Columnist at The Ellsworth American
Tim Plouff has been reviewing automobiles in the pages of The Ellsworth American weekly for nearly two decades.
  • On the Road Review: Toyota Sienna SE Premium AWD Minivan

    On the Road Review: Toyota Sienna SE Premium AWD Minivan

    Since 1984, many American families have utilized the virtues of minivans as a primary mode of transportation. An efficient one-box design that was more about function than style, the venerable minivan is clinging to the last vestiges of marketshare as the crossover onslaught has reduced consumer appeal and, ultimately, minivan sales. Last year, the five

  • On the Road Review: Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4

    On the Road Review: Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4

    While once only a small segment of the driving fleet, today’s compact and subcompact crossovers are now the leading automotive segment in America, displacing compact and midsize sedans like yesterday’s trash. Five-door crossovers are everywhere. Think of them while you drive — what are you meeting for traffic? Toyota RAV4s, Honda CRVs, Chevy Equinoxes and

  • Driving the Maserati Levante with “Mr. Maine” Bill Green

    Driving the Maserati Levante with “Mr. Maine” Bill Green

    CUMBERLAND — In 1914, two very disparate events occurred that would make large impacts on society in American as well as automobile styles, performance and general attitudes about luxury motoring. Event one was Henry Ford gathering several friends, including at the time Thomas Edison, Firestone tire magnate Harvey Firestone, naturalist John Burroughs, plus Presidents Warren

  • On the Road Review: Toyota Tundra TRD PRO Crew Cab

    On the Road Review: Toyota Tundra TRD PRO Crew Cab

    Sixty-one summers ago, a compact car called the Toyopet Crown went on sale in California. The four-cylinder engine provided a top speed of 78 mph for negotiating LA’s notoriously busy freeways. This $2,200 car was Toyota’s first offering in America. Last year, Toyota sold over 2.4 million new vehicles in America, making it the second

  • On the Road Review: Volvo S60 T6 Sedan

    On the Road Review: Volvo S60 T6 Sedan

    Volvo, once a part of Ford Motor Co.’s Premier Portfolio with Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, has aggressively moved beyond this ill-conceived marriage with the significant aid of new owner Gheely Holding’s financial resources. Selling well in China (home of Gheely) and doing better in Europe, its home turf, Volvo is doing better in

  • On the Road Review: Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Cabriolet

    On the Road Review: Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Cabriolet

    With summer in full swing, youthful minds wander to sports cars, convertibles and top-down adventures on warm summer evenings. Unfortunately, apparently not as many “sports” long for the wind-in-your-hair thrills found in a roadster or a cabriolet, as the choices for drop-top cars is thinning each year. Fortunately, the German automakers retain a fond appreciation

  • On the Road Review: Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid AWD

    On the Road Review: Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid AWD

    While many automakers are diving headfirst into the EV end of the automotive pool — despite modest consumer interest — Toyota is doubling down on its tried-and-true hybrid powertrain technology with its latest Corolla and RAV4 hybrid models. After a week with a brand-new XSE-trimmed RAV4 Hybrid, it is clear that this compact crossover is

  • On the Road Review: Mazda 3 Hatchback

    On the Road Review: Mazda 3 Hatchback

    Without any doubt, today’s compact cars are the best small automobiles ever offered from the automakers. Stocked with safety gear previously reserved for luxury cars, plus creature features that buyers crave, the latest compact offerings are neither cheap nor unappealing. Unfortunately, the crossover buzz-saw has decimated car sales of all stripes; since 2010, compact car

  • On the Road Review: Buick Regal Tour X

    On the Road Review: Buick Regal Tour X

    Decades ago, GM’s various car divisions dominated station wagon sales with an assortment of ladder frame-based, full-size, rear-drive models plus a variety of midsize front-drive wagons. Olds Vista Cruiser, Chevy Estates and Buick Roadmasters were but a few of these family vehicles that towed, worked and commuted before minivans and SUVs. Except for Volvo and