Ask ten people who grew up in Vancouver to see how many of them have been to Bowen Island, and you might be lucky to find four people. Considering it’s only a 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay (that’s closer than Abbotsford!), you’d think more people would have been there before. It costs less than $40 by ferry to get your car across, and even less if you want to just park your car in Horseshoe Bay and walk across.
Planning this overnight trip was a breeze as I found a great Airbnb for around $120/night. Tunstall Bay was just a 5 minute ride down the road from us and offered a nice view from a rocky beach.
Unwinding with Jasmine and a Bowen Island Brewing IPA on the deck with a view.
We were pleasantly surprised to find several great restaurants on Bowen Island. I highly recommend Tuscany for their wood oven pizzas, and Snug Cafe for brunch/lunch. After lunch, we had a few hours to kill so we celebrated Canada Day in Snug Cove, as there was a Canada Day fair complete with live musical performances that day. Bowen Island is such a great getaway spot for a day or overnight trip. It was our first time there and we had an amazing time.
We really enjoyed our overnight stay on Bowen Island and would definitely return again to explore more of the island once Jasmine gets to an age when she can actually hold her own on a small hike.
2017 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid
I have always been a fan of Honda Accords, right back to when our family used to own one in the early 90s. I remembered them to be practical, efficient, easy to maintain, they looked good, and kept their value well. I love the styling of the current generation Accord, as it looks much more refined and grown up compared to previous generations. I’m finding it increasingly more and more difficult telling Hondas and Acuras apart, and I suppose that’s not a bad thing as I wrote about it here last year. Cabin space is ample in both front and backseats, and trunk space was large enough to easily accommodate our stroller and all our bags. The leather seats are quite comfortable too, making this a great family road trip car. Even with an infant seat in the back, there was still plenty of space back there and you don’t really feel the squeeze quite like you do in my Audi Q3.
I was delighted to learn that the 2017 sedan comes in a hybrid option, which I was very interested in trying. With gas being so expensive these days, I may be in line to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle sooner than later. The Accord Hybrid comes with a 2.0L gas motor that’s paired with an electric motor. I found the 2.0L gas motor really struggled on hills, and at times the Accord felt really underpowered, as the car seemed to be confused about whether to gear up or down when you stepped down on the throttle, and acceleration was very slow, even when not driven on Econ Mode. I’m really looking forward to the 2018 model, which will be completely redesigned and apparently they’ve upped the driving fun factor of the car.
Fuel economy is insane! You could get almost 900 km on a tank, and with my normally heavy foot, I was even able to squeeze out nearly 400 km on half a tank of gas. Yes, you heard right, one of week of driving and I only went through half a tank of regular (yes, regular!) gas. That’s about double the mileage that I would normally get with my car that takes premium gas. Check out the photo below (pics or it didn’t happen, right?). Half a tank of gas left and 432 km of range left! And I drove all week within the city, with the A/C on most of the time too.
Now let’s talk about the HondaLink infotainment/GPS system. I’m not sure what happened here, but they seem to have taken a step backwards here. I don’t remember it being this bad other older Hondas and Acuras that I’ve tested. Honestly speaking, it felt like the GPS was a Garmin system from the early 2000’s, and in general the infotainment system was quite laggy even during normal operation. I’m sure it’s just a software issue that will get addressed in future updates. I also had problems pairing the Bluetooth to my phone. I use Google Hangouts on my phone from time to time, and in my Audi, I am able to use Hangouts with Bluetooth. I was unable to figure it out in the Honda, as I believe that the Bluetooth only supports normal phone operation. One other thing that I miss on this vehicle is analog volume and tuning knobs, but I heard they’re making a comeback in next year’s Accord.
Interior space and comfort
Unmatched fuel economy
Not user-friendly GPS and infotainment system
Awkward on windy roads and hills
If fuel economy and comfort are high on your list, then this might be the perfect car for you. If you’re looking for a highly technological vehicle that’s fun to drive, you might not find it here.
Disclaimer: We were not compensated for this blog post. The vehicle was a loaner and all thoughts and opinions are our own.