Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Honda UR-V = 2018 Honda Passport?



 These are pictures of the Honda UR-V.
Sold in China. It is above the CR-V. Seats 5.
And looks almost exactly like the HONDA Avancier I mentioned a few days ago.

It just seems to be a toned down version of the weirdo Avancier.
(Especially up front where it doesn't have the horrible chrome parts on the side of the hood.)

Since Honda is about to bring a 5 seater SUV to the US. And they have registered the name Passport again.
I really thing the car above will become the US Honda Passport for 2018.
I mean it's already there, ready to go. No new design needed!

Sure, it's not the prettiest thing. But it fits right in with the CR-V and Pilot.

 The interior is fine.
I can't really see any difference with the Avancier.
Here is the Avencier.
I guess the whole front is different. Even the front fenders?
It has more chrome, yet a smaller grille than the UR-V. Go figure...

So it might just be a higher end version of the UR-V.

Our Passport might be powered by a version of the 2-0 Liter Turbo that is coming out for the all new 2018 Accord.

It will be interesting to see how popular it will be next to the CR-V.
The Murano doesn't seem to be that popular for Nissan.
They sold about 87 000 of them last year. (Just about 18 000 more than the Maxima)


But the Murano starts at about $30 000.

I think Honda would be wise to price the Passport below the Pilot, which also starts at around $30 000.
With a base price of around $26 000/$27 000, it will have a much better chance.
About $2000/$3000 more tan the CR-V seems about right.

Get ready for another "not 100% ugly but still not good looking" Honda!

All new Jaguar XF Sportbrake

After claiming there wouldn't be a wagon of the current XF generation, here it comes. And very soon.

This is the first official teaser/picture of it.

Yes I do like wagons. But I really don't like the current Jaguar sedans.
Jaguars should always be special, and their current sedans are anything but.

The XF still looks like a 90's Subaru from the side.
And the interior is terrible. Actually unacceptable when compared to any of its competition.

So I am sure the wagon style might look sleeker than the sedan. But that interior will be the same.

A shame when compared to the current Mercedes E-Class wagon, and especially the great interior in the
Volvo S90.




Monday, April 24, 2017

Nissan Rogue Sport pricing.



 The all new "slightly smaller than Rogue" Rogue Sport will start at $ 22 380.
(The US Rogue Sport is basically a US version of the Euro Nissan Qashqai. )

In the US, it is priced around $1000 more than the Juke. But about $2500 less than the regular Rogue.
And there is about 4 inches less legroom in the Sport, compared to the Rogue.

All versions get a 2.0 Liter Engine with 141hp and a CVT.
Which could be just fine.



It's kind of strange that Nissan chose to "facelift" the Euro version right after finally introducing the car in the US.
The orange car is our Rogue Sport, while the blue one is the Euro 2018 Qashqai.

I actually like the simpler look of the US version much better.


The Rogue has been a big hit for Nissan in the US.
They sold almost 330 000 of them in 2016.

I know there is an idiot Nissan fanboy who has been commenting multiple times here about the Rogue
being the best selling car in the US. ( I might have deleted the idiotic posts...)
Which is of course not true at all.
Since it was beaten last year by the CR-V (357 335 units), the Rav-4 (352 156 units).
And even sedans like the good old Camry (388 618 units) and the Accord (345 225 units)

And there is the other dimwit who posts almost daily "Toyota hate" stuff.
But that's another story....





Saturday, April 22, 2017

Toyota Hiace in L.A

Just thought I would post this (Why not...)

I was at USC today, and saw this. (Another guy had noticed it too)
You know, when the corner of your eye catches something different?

This looked slightly odd. Turns out it is a Toyota Hiace, not sold in the US.
But it has Mexican plates.
It think it looks pretty nice. For what it is. A refreshingly simple design from Toyota.

Seems like our Mexican neighbors are getting a lot of cars we don't get. I also saw both Peugeots and Renaults around L. A with Mexican plates in the past few years...

VW Jetta GLI test drive




 Since the current generation came out back in 2010, it is now a very familiar shape.
It was never super modern to begin with, but it has aged really well.
The GLI with its great looking 18 inch wheels does looks really sharp.


 The interior is also 7 years old.

The dash board is now made of a softer plastic. And some piano black pastic covers many areas.
The steering wheel was changed.
Otherwise, things are.. Well. 7 years old.

So depending on how you see it, it is either "out dated" or "classic".


 For once, my test car came with the standard 6 speed manual. Which is great.
This is really the way to go with the VW 2.0 Liter Turbo.
Since the 6 speed DSG always ends up feeling weird in one way or another. The 6 speed is the right choice.

Sure, the engine is still a bit gravely sounding. Especially when cold.
But at least there is no DSG lag. Or weird behavior at low speed or in reverse.
The manual his also a pleasure to use.

MPG is rated at 23/33. I got about 24 around town, but had no problem hitting 38 on the freeway.
So, as with most VWs, gas mileage is better than the official numbers.

The steering is excellent. If a little bit light for a sporty car. But since the Jetta GLI is not as punchy as the GTI, it seems just fine for this car.


The Jetta GLI is a fun to drive, roomy car. About as roomy as many mid sized cars out there.
It's actually one of the best things about the Jetta.
It also has that super solid feel VWs have. That most Asian cars do still do not have.

The drive is sporty. But not as much as the GTI.

It's not as punchy. The ride is of course firm. Which is fine.
Except for the rear passengers. Over bad roads (Like that 405 FWY north of the airport...), people in the back seat will be pretty miserable.


So the Jetta GLI is still a very nice car.
Too bad that in 7 years VW didn't find the time (or the money) to get us a new interior.
Now it is really behind its Golf cousin.

And its main problem the days would be the new competition.
Mainly from the new Hyundai Elantra Sport. Which has been getting some great reviews. (I am trying to get on to test drive)
While costing thousands less.
And a new Honda Civic Si is just around the corner!




Friday, April 21, 2017

The 2018 Lexus NX new face.


I guess. There are some differences.

But this is so slight, I'm not even sure current owners will notice. This is pretty ridiculous.
I mean I know the "mid cycle facelift" is some kind of a tradition in the car business.

But really. In this particular case: why bother????

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Honda CR-V Hybrid coming to the US.

When asked about their plans to add hybrid versions to all their SUVS, here is what the Honda guys were saying at the Shanghai Auto Sho:
"CR-V is a logical part of that, and we will announce timing for the US at a later date"
That's PR BS code for " it's coming to America".

Not sure yet if it will be coming from China or not. (The CR-V for the US is built in Ohio)

Apparently, it uses the same powertrain as the Honda Accord Hybrid.
That car has 212hp. And gets 49mpg in the city and 47mpg Hwy.
Which is really good.
Since the CR-V is actually about the same weight, we could see almost similar numbers for the SUV.

Which would put it ahead of anyone else in that segment.
Where a Nissan Rogue Hybrid only gets 33/35.
The Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid gets 34/30.

Only the smaller Kia Niro gets a better 52/49. But again, it is smaller...

This would be a great move for Honda in the US. If priced right that is....
Which means, it might have to be imported from China in order to be affordable.
Not something crazy like $5000 over the regular one....


Who knows....

2018 Genesis G80 Sport

I am not really interested in the sport version of that Genesis G80 sedan, to tell you the truth.

But actually fascinated by that horrible plastic cover for the front radar.
It's that rectangular piece of plastic behind the grille.

The one that doesn't match the rest of the grille.
The one that still has chrome on it instead of black.
The one that sticks out like a sore thumb.

I guess they thought they would save a few bucks by using the same parts for all models.
Except the "Sport" has a blacked out grille.

And this starts at over $55 000!

Really...

New 5 seater Honda SUV coming out soon?

This is the latest rumors.
From a lot of different sites. (Not sure where it started).

Many call it a shorter 5 seater version of the Pilot.
The scary part of this is the fact they already have a 5 seater SUV above the CR-V. In China.
It is called the Avancier. And it is one of the worst Honda design ever.

Just look at these:








I posted about the Avancier before. (HERE and HERE)

Back when I though this thing would never make it to the US.
But now, of course Honda wants to add another SUV. Who doesn't?
And this one is already being made, it's ready to go!

I just hope someone at Honda will wake up and realize this is an atrocity.
The US needs something better, simpler. Just a little above horrible would be great.



I have to admit the interior is actually quite nice.
Maybe too much fake wood though...

But it would fit above the CR-V.

Let's hope Honda will do the right thing and keep the Avancier overseas.
As it is quite a disgusting site the way it is now.

But, I have to say. Most people do get used to almost anything.
Even horrible designs...



More pictures of the Chinese Hyundai iX35



Not sure what else to say than : please keep it over there.

The shape is kind of weird and old looking.
That huge chrome grille is the epitome of vulgarity.

This needs to never make it over here.
And let's hope this isn't Hyundai's new "design language" for their upcoming SUVs....

2018 Acura TLX LWB


The long version is (obviously) the red one at the bottom.

Acura has not said how much longer is the Chinese version. But it does look quite different.
Much more so than on the Volvo S90, where it's hard to see the LWB difference from outside.
This one does alter the roof design quite a bit.

I am starting to think it might not be a bad idea for Acura to sell this over here.
I remember when Infiniti did that with the Q70.
(not sure if it worked for them or not, since that car isn't popular anyway...)

But it seems to work for Volvo with the S60 LWB sold here as the S60 Inscription.
(Which starts at about $3000 more than the base model.)
And now, the only S90 sedan available in the US is the LWB , which is standard for 2018.

It's not like Acura has a super popular sedan above the TLX or something.
It's not like if they were selling us a great luxury sedan called the "Legend" or anything....

I'd say let's make the LWB standard on the TLX and claim more room than any of the competition.
Why not?

What do you think?


2018 Buick regal sedan for China


 This is the sedan version of the new Opel Insignia.
The one most people (including myself), predicted would become the US version.
Instead, as we now know, we are only getting the hatchback and wagon version.

This the hatchback (For Europe and the US)
As you can see, GM did a great job at "hiding" it.
As it looks pretty much the same as the sedan.

If they do look so much the same, I just wonder who would ever pick the far less practical sedan version???

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

All new Hyundai iX35 for China


There is an all new ix35 from Hyundai. But this is apparently for the Chinese market only.
In the past, the ix35 was pretty much the same car as the Tucson.
And it still is. At least in Europe.

So I am not sure if this is a preview of the next Tucson. Which would be kind of early since the current model came out only about 2 years ago.
Or maybe, Hyundai realized the ix35 was too modern and slick for the Chinese market.
And they had to pronto redesign something blocky and old looking? With a super chromy grille?
Just for China?

Maybe?

Chevrolet Fnr-X Concept





The new Fnr-X ( can you believe "fnr" actually stands for "find new roads"!!)
is a really nice looking design.
At first I was wondering why this didn't become the new Equinox??

Then I read it is a plug-in Hybrid.
So it might very well be based on the Volt.
An SUV based on the Volt would be a great idea for Chevrolet.
As the Volt is still ahead of pretty much every other plug-in hybrid cars on the market as far as EV range goes.
Even if they lose a few EV miles to the heavier SUV shape, they will still be ahead of anyone.

I bet a design close to this on the Volt platform would sell great.

What do you think???

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Toyota "Fengchao Fun" Concept

Fun... Okay....

This is supposed to be a preview for an upcoming Toyota sedan for the Chinese market.
It is also based on the US Camry platform.

But it doesn't really look like the Camry to me. At all.
I just wonder if this might also be a preview of the next Avalon.
Since the Avalon is also based on the Camry. Why not.

More on this soon....