Cape Breton is beautiful, and the Cabot Trail is one of the world's great oceanside roads.
But cell service throughout (on Rogers anyway...) and WiFi access at some of the quaint hotels we stayed at are iffy at best.
So while I did drive this 2013 Chevrolet Malibu yesterday, I couldn't blog/Facebook/Twitter about it until now.
My preview test is or soon will be on-line at wheels.ca, and in the dead-tree edition of Wheels this Saturday.
To save you the suspense, the new Malibu is handsome (you can see that for yourself), is significantly upgraded inside, and offers a quiet, comfortable, reasonably nimble driving experience.
It's an all-four cylinder power train line-up: new 197-horse 2.5 litre; existing 182-horse 2.4 litre with 15 extra electric ponies for passing in the ECO variant (from the same mild-hybrid system used in Buick's eAssist models); 269 horsepower 2.0 litre direct injection turbo (delayed availability - order now; you'll get it maybe mid-October).
So, pick your performance/fuel consumption trade-off.
Starting at $24,995, Malibu appears to offer good value for money in what is an increasingly tough market segment.
With Honda Accord, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat all new or substantially upgraded within the past twelve months (or next three weeks), that leaves the still-stylish Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima corporate cousins as the oldest major players in this field - they date way back to 2011!
No duds there.
Determining how well Malibu does against this All-Star crowd will be at least partially answered at next month's Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Car of the Year Test Fest, when several of them will be competing for Best New Family Sedan.
Meanwhile, I can tell you that Malibu at the very least belongs in that conversation, on that radar screen, in that swim lane.