Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Honda Civic Coupe test drive coming up...

For the next few days, I will be driving a Honda Civic Coupe.

I have never driven the current generation Civic. So this is new for me. And I was really curious, as they seem to be everywhere around here.
It is a very popular car for Honda. With over 325 000 of them sold last year.
And has sold more than the CR-V in the past 3 months!
And good to see a coupe version still alive!

Another proof that the sedan market is far from dead.
It can, in fact, be very healthy if you have the right model.

I have only driven it a little bit, but so far so good.
The engine is amazingly smooth and quiet.
But my top of the line Touring model still has manual seats...
(it should be powered, at least on the Touring version)

As usual, feel free to ask any questions you might have...




Tuesday, June 18, 2019

2020 Peugeot 2008




I always though the current 2008 was a weird mix of "blah" and somehow,"overdone".
(I saw a few of them in Europe over the past few years)

This all new second generation seems to be far less "blah". And much more stylish.
(Although that could also be seen as "overdone"...)

At least it will stand out in a crowd of small SUVs.
The current model is pretty small,  about 5 inches shorter than a Mazda CX-3.
The new generation is supposed to be a bit larger. So about the same size as the Mazda .

That is quite a bit of style for such a small car...
An all electric version will be available with a range of about 190 miles.


Since Peugeot keeps talking about their "eventual" plans to return to the US. I think this would be a really cool choice...


Just as a reminder, this is the current, first generation, version of the Peugeot 2008...

Hyundai Kona EV test drive


 As you can see, the electric version of the Hyundai Kona looks pretty much the same as the gas model.
Except of course, for the front end. Which doesn't have a proper grille.


I actually like the look of the EV much better. Since I am never a fan of big chrome grilles. Especially in small cars.
I think this is much more modern and cleaner design.




 It also mostly uses the same interior. Except for the console and the screen. the console is much more modern.
And similar to the futuristic Hyundai Exo. The larger screen now matches the width of the air vents below it. And the whole thing looks better integrated than the regular version.
the screen also looks much nicer and more upscale. The piano black finish is much better than the dark gray semi/matte plastic of the other versions.

The EV also has cooling seats, which I am not sure the gas one offers.


 The truck is exactly the same size.
Quite an achievement since it has all the batteries underneath.
Just a few years ago, a regular hybrid meant that half of the trunk would be filled with batteries.

 The Kona Electric also drives pretty much the same as the gas version.
It has very nice steering with a good feel to it. The suspension is a bit on the firm side.
but mostly comfortable.
Road noise is OK. It all depends on the road textures. Which means it is not always super quiet.
Something you do notice more since there is no engine noise.

But this is not a luxury car...

 The Kona EV is rated at 258 miles range. My car had been driven about 30 miles when it was delivered to me.
After driving 50 miles, the available range still read about 200 miles.

 I then plugged it in to make sure it was "filled up".
The next morning, the range indicated the 328 miles you see above.
I never drove 328 miles... But I drove over 200. At the end of the day, I still had about 100 miles available.

I understand that the indicated available range can be optimistic at times.
Still, I really think the 258 number is very conservative. I have read other (mostly European) reviews where the test drivers get a much longer range than advertised in various Hyundai and Kia EVs.

I think you should expect at the very least 270 miles

Since it is electric, the Kona EV is also much faster. the Eco mode can actually be used all day long.
The "normal" mode gets pretty fast. And the "sport" is actually maybe too much for this car.
The torque steer becomes very apparent. And it does get a bit annoying.

This is almost a case of too much power for what it is.
This is not meant to be a sports car.

In general, I think EVs can be too powerful. It is like all of a sudden everyone gets to drive a Corvette.
And not everyone is ready for it...

Like all EVs, the Kona Electric is quite expensive.
Although it starts at $ 37 000, my loaded model costs a bot over $44 000.
Which is pretty much in line with the Chevrolet Bolt.
But is also getting dangerously close to a Tesla Model 3.
Sure, for that price, model 3 has a shorter range. But it is a more upscale car, inside and out.

$44 000 is almost $15 000 more than the loaded Ultimate gas version.
In some states, you can still get almost $10 000 Tax incentive. but not for long.

To me, the best way to get an EV right now (it will change) is to lease it.
You can lease a Kona Electric for $369 a month.
These days, you could easily save at least $200 a month in gas money by driving electric.
Which means the Electric version would end up costing you less than the non-EV.
Which is available now for $229 a month.

For less money, you are getting a super fast, super quiet version of the Kona. And no gas.
If you lease it.

Like most electric cars, the Kona is a pleasure to drive.
And one of the best choices around.

Monday, June 17, 2019

2020 Renault Captur






Not sure if this is all new or not, but the 2020 Renault Captur looks a lot like the current model.
I guess it is different enough to be called "new".
The side windows do seem a bit smaller. Which is a trend in SUVs these days: less visibility.

The current Captur is still pretty cute.
I drove one for a few days when I was in Europe a few years ago.
It was fine around town but felt a bit light on freeways. It is basically just a cute inexpensive raised hatchback.


Which is OK...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

New Kia Seltos video teaser.





Here is a new video teaser of the upcoming Kia Seltos.



We have seen pictures of the whole thing (HERE) taken during a photo shoot.

We also have teaser illustrations of the interior (HERE)



So far this looks really nice. Especially for something about the size of the Hyundai Kona.

So it won't be that expensive either.



I am actually looking forward to this...

2020 VW Sharan Minivan



The Sharan is VW's European minivan. It has never been sold in the US.
The one we had here for a while, a few years ago,  called the Routan, was just a Dodge Caravan with a VW face and a few small other changes.

The current Sharan is in its second generation. The current one came out in 2010.
So it is more than about time for an all-new one. Pictured above.

It gets side creases similar to the new Touareg (The one we don't get)
And the current VW face.

And it already looks quite nice. It would actually be a nice addition to the US lineup.
But I have not heard anything about VW bringing a minivan over here. So this will probably stay in Europe and China. 
Or maybe even become a Chinese market exclusive....

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fisker SUV teasers



So far, this looks really cool and modern. (Especially the real picture at the bottom)

It also looks like a production-ready model. Fisker not only claims it will be built in California, but it will start at under $40 000! With a 300 miles electric range available.
Which would be quite amazing. That means at around the same price as the Tesla Model Y. But also pretty much the price of a Chevrolet Bolt or Hyundai Kona EV.

We are supposed to see a driveable prototype in December.
And hopefully, the real thing next year.

Let's hope they can do it...


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2020 Kia Cadenza





Pretty big changes for this cycle refresh of the big (but not the biggest) Kia sedan.
The front end is all new, and that grille is quite massive.
It could very well be a severe case of "too much" in real life...

New, more interesting lights in the rear.

And that new dashboard and console inside.
The whole thing is nice but underwhelming in these pictures.
I hope better shots are available soon. 

No matter what, always remember that someone once described the Cadenza as "all the luxury car you need".

I actually would be very interested in test driving one...

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

More pictures of the new 2020 BMW 3 series Touring







I think it looks just OK.
This is a world where we have really, really good looking wagons.
Especially in Europe (Where this will be staying)
Like the new Volvo V60. And even the "not so new but still gorgeous" Mazda 6 wagon.
They also have the stunning new Peugeot 508 wagon.

I also think inside the Mazda looks better. And the Volvo is just in an other league.
This really seems for the "BMW or nothing" buyer...

2020 Hyundai Palisade pricing



I also posted the Kia Telluride prices.
And it is quite amazing to see they are almost priced exactly the same. (Although the Kia has more trims)

The Hyundai/Kia prices are fine. But nothing really cheaper than the competition.
The Telluride has been getting mostly great reviews lately.
I am sure the Palisade will get the same praises.
But I don't really see the point of 2 models that compete with each other.
One is not sportier than the other. Or more luxurious.

Is the Kia supposed to be the sporty one?

Of course, designs and interiors are totally different. But they don't really have very different personalities...
Sure, GM does that with the Traverse and Enclave.
But they are in different price segments.

The Telluride and Palisade cost the same.


2021 Mazda6 Coupe illustration


Sorry, but no.
These Japanese illustrations are 100% wrong.

First, that front end looks like a Hyundai. And there is basically zero chance to see a 2 door coupe version of the next Mazda6.

What we will see is a more upscale sedan.
A brand new RWD platform with an equally new 6 cylinder.

Which really goes against any current trends. Which are mostly smaller engines and electrification.

But I hear Acura is also getting a new 6 cylinder Turbo ready.
For use in their next sedan. Which could be RWD and even called "Legend" again.

Sure, a new RWD 6 cylinder Acura Legend does sound great. But won't it be a bit too late?
I guess a 6 cylinder plug-in hybrid car would be pretty nice...

Hyundai Kona EV test drive coming up...

Just got this.
Have not had time to drive it yet.

But so far, I do like the EV's front end much better than the regular Kona. No more "big grille on a small car" syndrome.
And the interior has a much nicer/upscale console and screen.
Which is great.

As usual, please ask me any question you might have about the car.

2020 Ford Escort



 It does have a nice Twilight Zone ring to it: "2020 Ford Escort"...

The Escort was revived in 2015 as a cheap, sub-Focus model for the Chinese market.
I guess it is time for some revisions.
Inside and out.
A new front end, rear lights.
Inside, mostly a larger screen...



Here is the current Chinese Escort model.
A conservative/cheap small sedan.

We are not missing anything...

2020 BMW 3 series Touring



Looking exactly as expected. A wagon version of the new 3 series sedan.
No surprise here. Like most recent BMW designs, this is a small incremental change compared to the previous one. Even if its "all new".

It is actually pretty good looking. BMW wagons usually are. Just not "new" looking...
And these little triangles in the bumpers are as horrible as they are on the sedan.

More pictures of the all new 2020 Mercedes GLB





Still looking cute and attractive. Now we get to see the trunk and rear seats.

Which, of course are really tiny. But, when folded, that cargo area looks pretty huge for the car's size. Which is really great. 
(I also hear the second row can move back a bit. Like the new Escape.)

I think this could actually be a serious competition to Mercedes's own GLC.