Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Buick Envision test drive coming up

I just got a Buick Envision to drive this week.
And I will be reporting on it soon.

I actually got the Envision partially because it has been in the news lately. 
Since GM is seeking an exemption from a possible 25% tariff.

The curent administration, claiming a national security threat, might be imposing such a huge tariff on foreign built cars. 
Since the Envision is one of the rare cars actually built and imported from China, a 25% hike in price would pretty much kill it.
(These possible tariffs would also increase the price of popular, US built models like the Camry and Accord, by about $1800)

So I was curious to drive one before they might go away.
Plus, it is pretty interesting to check out the quality of a car made in China. (The CT6 Hybrid I had a while ago was excellent)

This is a very hot segment right now where the Buick SUV competes with brand new entries like the new Acura RDX and Infiniti Q50.
As well as more established competition like the Audi Q5.

The one I have is a loaded Premium model with the 2.0 Liter engine and 9 speed auto.

I will try to answer any questions you might have.

Monday, August 13, 2018

2019 Honda Civic Sedan.

Just like the Coupe, the sedan version gets a slightly new face for 2019.

With a bit less chrome on the grille (But more on the bumper...)

Since the Civic is a huge hit for Honda, I do understand the very few changes.
They sold over 377 000 of them last year. More than the year before.
As a matter of fact, they sell more every year!

This is one super popular sedan in a sea of SUVs.

Good for them. 

2019 Honda Civic Coupe

The car on top is the 2019. 

 I really can't see anything new from the back... (Bottom car is the current one)

The Civic is still a very popular car in the US, and any changes to it is a big deal for Honda.
So nothing drastic here. 
Just the usual small mid-cycle changes. And just like what they did with the fit, it looks like they are cleaning things up a bit. 
Making the overall thing a bit cleaner. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

2019 BMW Z4

The production model is obviously the red one .
The copper car is the cool concept we have seen before.

And once again, BMW's production version disappoints.
They made it different enough to be lame. (And the cheesy back bits adds on do not help)

I mean, why even go through the trouble of designing, building a whole concept car as a giant tease and  turn the production version into some blah mess a year later ???
They did the same thing with the 8 series coupe.
Just a weird waste of money...

I am nost saying the Z4 will be ugly. It has always been a very nice looking car.
But why make everyone compare it to the much nicer concept???

The new one just looks like a mild update of the previous model. (Which came out back in 2009!)
Not better at all. 

(Thanks to a reader for this )

More pictures of the new 2019 Mercedes GLE interior

Not really sure what to think of this.

Like someone mentioned here earlier, there is a lot going on in here.
It looks like someone designed the console. Someone else designed the dashboard. A 3rd person designed the doors.
And they never really talked to each other.

Maybe this is better in real life. When you actually sit behind the wheel?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday nights at Bob's

Another gorgeous collection of beautiful and odd. Another night of mixed smell of gasoline and grilled meat...

Things could be worse.

Ford's future line up. Let's guess...

This picture was shown at some recent investor meeting. Showing the whole line up of Ford models. 
(Which could include European and Chinese models as well)

Lower center is the Mustang.
Which does look a bit different. The hood scoop isn't as wide as the current car, and maybe the grille doesn't seem as wide either. So it could be a new design or yet another refresh of the current car. 

Looks like the Focus Active is behind it.
Otherwise, it's mostly a sea of trucks and SUVs.
(Looks like the Bronco, with its flat top, is all the way back)

Make sure you click on the picture to enlarge it.
And let's guess all these models.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel: Why???

Why on earth would Mazda still bother with selling a diesel version of the CX-5 in the US??

They have been mentioning selling diesel engines here for many years. (So did Nissan for a while. Even mentioning a diesel Maxima)
Now the market is completely turned around as far as diesel is concerned . Even in Europe!

I guess this is a case of being too far along to cancel it? Or "GM is doing it so why not?"

Yes, the CX-5 Diesel will be competing here with the Chevrolet Equinox Diesel.

On the Equinox, it costs about $1500 to get the diesel over the standard 1.5 Liter Turbo.
On top of getting more torque, you do get better mileage.
28/39 MPG Vs. 26/32 for the standard engine.

But the Mazda CX-5 diesel will be rated at only 28/31 MPG.
While the regular 2.5 Liter version already gets 25/31 MPG.

Not sure how much the Diesel option will be, but no matter what, it will be too much.
Getting 26 MPG city Vs. 25 is never worth a price premium.

And in a few years, you would be "stuck with a diesel". If they are unpopular now, imagine how things will be in 3 or 5 years...

Thursday, August 09, 2018

2019 Audi A7 US pricing

The all new redesigned A7 will start at $68 000.
Which is actually cheaper than the previous model.
It comes with a 335HP V6 and a 7 speed auto.
The base model also now comes with a super large panoramic sunroof and 19 inch wheels.

For about $4000 more you get an upgraded bang & Olufsen stereo and other stuff. 
The $76 000 Prestige model even comes with laser headlights.

An expensive car sure. But less than its competition like the new CLS. (As the old one started at $75 000)
Nothing from BMW looks that good. Their mid size hatch sedan is what they now call the "6 series Gran Turismo". (it used to be the 5 series GT)
That one starts at around $70 000. 

Another hatchback, the Tesla model S starts at about $75 000. 

I think we will see quite a few of the on the road...

All new Chevrolet Corvette

These are supposedly pictures of the all new mid-engine Corvette. With obviously, much less camouflage than on previous shots.

I really hope this is NOT the next Corvette.
This now just looks like yet another over designed looking super sports car. It really displays a vulgarity similar to many current Ferrari designs. 

If this is real, it means the Corvette went, in just one generation, from being the darling of semi-wealthy retirees to some generic sporty looking car we see outside douchy Hollywood clubs filled with Russian mafia types.

I must say, even though the camouflage seems mostly gone, many parts of the car seem still covered with weird fake bits.
So this could still be far from the final shape.

There is still hope, I guess....

Head over HERE for many more pictures. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

2019/20 Honda Passport

From these pictures, it looks like the all new Passport will not just be a 5 seater version of the Pilot.
(The next Pilot might actually become a 3 row version of this upcoming Passport)

Which is a good thing. Something different and really new.
I just wonder how big this is. Since the current CR-V is already quite large and roomy.

I guess this would be more upscale and use the Accord's 2.0 Liter engine.
But that all sounds a lot like the new Acura RDX doesn't it....

This will be competing with the Nissan Murano, Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge etc...

Head over HERE for many more pictures. (Including a dark and rather blurry shot of part of the dash. )

2019 Fors Territory Vs- Yusheng S330

As I mentioned earlier, the new Ford Territory is officially baed on the Chinese Yusheng S330.
From these pictures, it looks like they are actually almost the exact same car.
So this isn't really a Ford. 

It seems that only the front grille and bumper are new items on the Ford version. 

A few more changes inside. Which makes the Ford  more modern and upscale than the Yusheng version.
(Doors are almost the same. Looking a lot like the old Tiguan)

And by the way, the S330 is not new. It came out in China in 2016.
So this is a cheap move for Ford in order to grow their presence on the huge Chinese market.

2019 Mercedes GLE interior

It looks like Mercedes did a good job making sure the new GLE interior isn't a clone of the E-Class.

Although their recent exterior designs are getting simpler, their interiors seem to be more complicated every time.
With lots of lines, textures and shapes that don't necessarily  go together.
I guess nicer, official pictures will give us a much better idea.

(If they can avoid turning  on that cheesy "blue mood lighting"...)

2019 Ford Territory

The Territory is a new Ford for the Chinese market. 
It is not related to the model of the same name that has been on sale in Australia since 2004.

Instead, it is based on an older Yusheng platform . A Chinese partner of Ford
(So they are probably right about saying it is for China only.)

At least on the pictures, it looks pretty roomy with a nice and modern interior.
Apparently it is slightly smaller than the Escape.

From what I can see of the new Territory, it does look a lot like that 2020 Escape teaser on the right of the above picture.

Don't you think???

Sunday, August 05, 2018

New Chinese Geely SX11

Volvo's owner Geely unveiled a new small SUV called the SX11.

While not the typical Chinese copy/clone, it is reminiscent of many other designs. Yet, the overall thing looks pretty nice.
As nice as anything from other manufacturers around the world.

It is powered by a 1.5 Liter engine with 177HP. And a Plug-in Hybrid model will follow soon.
(It is about the size of a Honda HR-V, so 177HP is pretty good)

More pictures of the new Mercedes CLS Class for 2019

The CLS has always been Mercedes's stylish choice as a sedan.
It always cost much more than an E-Class. ($75 000) But looked much more modern and much less stodgy.

This all new model is mostly just an E-Class now. An E-Class sedan that tries to remind you of the original CLS.
Now they even share the exact same interior. With some small changes similar to the E-Class coupe.
It is basically a 4 door version of the E-Class Coupe. Not a different car like it used to be.

Sure, it looks nicer than the E-Class sedan. But the back seat is pretty small ( I sat in one)
Sure, it has that new inline 6 engine. But that will probably end up in the sedan and coupe very soon. 
You also can't get the large sunroof available in the coupe and the sedan.
And again, same interior. For about $16 000 more than the Coupe of the V6 sedan.
And that $75 000 is the price of the old one. You can bet this 2019 model will be even more...

But worst of all: why, oh why does Mercedes insist on showing pictures of their car interiors with that super cheesy and cheap looking blue ambient light???

Thursday, August 02, 2018

2019 BMW 3 series

Get ready for another healthy dose of "they all look the same" with the new BMW 3 series.

Now with BMW's new "bigger than ever" super chrome grille.
I guess there is still a market for the faithful. And those who think these are still some kind of a status symbol. Although that market is shrinking.
They sold 59 500 of these last year. A drop from over 72 000 the previous year. And a huge drop from 140 600 in 2015.
(over 77 000 units of the C-Class sold in 2017 and the year before)

After driving one for myself (As well as a 4 and 5 series) I was quite disappointed. The "ultimate driving machine" it is not... especially for the crazy asking price.

There is a rumor about an EV version of the next 3 series. Competing with the Tesla model 3.
(The Tesla looking like a spaceship next to that BMW design)

And yes, the Model 3 is now a big competition. Once they fill all their previous orders, they will turn out at least 20 000 of them a month. And many of these will probably be bought by previous 3 series owners.

This really looks like an old man's car designed 15 years ago.

2019 BMW X7

Comparing pictures of the concept from a couple of years ago, the new patent designs look pretty tame.
Thank God....
Things don't seem as vulgar as the concept.

But the production car looks pretty horrible. I mean it looks like something that came out 15 years ago. With a giant chrome grille.

I think this is really bad. I cannot imagine Mercedes not doing much better with the next GLS.
Or anyone else... I just wonder how many generations of crappy designs BMW can get away with before sales start going down...