Sunday, April 30, 2006
It seems the US (Camry's largest market) is getting the "worse" version...
Australia is getting the Aurion. A slightly modified Camry.
And now, China is getting this version of the Aurion. Called the Camry.
As you can see, the subtle changes make it look a bit more upscale than our Camry.
Who gets the best one???
Saturday, April 29, 2006
There is a death rumor floating around the Solara these days...
The Camry based coupe will be slightly revised for 2007.
With a new grille and LED tail lights among other things. And although you would think a move to the new 3.5 liter V6 would be automatic, the Solara might not even get it. (that's a weird rumor if you ask me, since Toyota is saving $1000 on each 3.5 compared to the 3.3...)
But is might not be redesigned when the regular cycle is over, the 2009 Model year.
I just drove a Solara convertible a couple of weeks ago. And I thought it was a great car. Solid, quiet and a pleasure to drive.
Toyota is trying to come up with a car that would "attract a different demographic" but still based on the Camry.
My bet is on a new 2 door hardtop convertible with a new name.
By then, even the Sebring will have a hard top, and I don't think Toyota would be far behind...
Friday, April 28, 2006
Here are some new details of the next CRV.
The pictures of the exterior confirm the illustrations I posted here a few months ago.
And they finally got rid of the outside spare tire, unlike the new US RAV4..
The only engine will be the familiar 2.4 Liter with maybe a boost to 170hp.
And, as you can see, it has a proper hatch.
The 3rd picture shows the interior door panel and the headlight. (duh...)
I have more but cannot post it yet.
We'll know everything this summer...
Still pretty covered, but you can already see one slick looking sedan.
With a small chrome line surrounding the windows (still black on this one).
Match this with the CBS pictures I posted last month of the front end, and you have what I think could be one of the best looking sedan around.
The new Outlander is now officially Japan's best selling SUV.
A good thing for Mitsubishi. Many people had written them off the map.
I remember when, back in the 80's, the Galand was praised as one of the best sedan you could get by most of the US press.
And, as you can see, there are already plenty of after market parts available for the Outlander. At least in its home market.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
What is it ???
I'll give you a hint: I don't know.
It could be the next Corolla. Or the next "larger and more upscale" Mazda 6.
I don't think it's a Nissan. It is too early for the new Galant. And it doesn't look at all like what the new Lancer is supposed to be...
Anyone with inside info out there???
At least it's a fun way to spend a few minutes on the web, right?
I usually do not post personal messages.
But my roommate and I want to wish a Happy Birthday to Freddy Gorgeous.
We met Mr.Gorgeous a while ago while looking for a new agent. He's tough on the outside, but actually a pretty nice guy.
You can read all about it
I never noticed this. The boring Audi Roadjet concept has a weird and unusual feature: an espresso machine between the rear seats!
You in their right mind would allow people to make coffee in the car while you're driving???
Why not put a sink back there?
Audi needs to think about more exiting designs before they install coffee machines in their cars...
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
That is a clean looking small SUV.
I really like the 2 part hatch. Where the lower section opens flat. Makes it really easy to load stuff.
With features like Bluetooth, Navigation and Keyless entry, it is one convenient package.
it might actually steal sales from the new and pricey RAV4.
We'll know more when the announce prices, but it is looking good so far...
Here is an early picture of the CTS for 2007.
As you can see, only the wheels and the grille are new. And that's pretty much it.
What this car needs is a new interior, not new wheels...
The big news are for 2008 with an all new car.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Well... Not for us that is.
This is the new Escape for Taiwan. The same country that gets the new Ranger.
The interior isn't that new from the Escape/Tribute we get here, but it is still nicely updated and much more upscale looking. At least on these pictures.
And the front end doesn't look as trucky as our 2007 Model.
Is Ford paying more attention over in Taiwan than in the US?
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Even more and better picture of the new Coupe.
I didn't notice the side turn signal marker just in front of the wheel. A nice touch. Even if it is similar to the Nissan Z.
I also noticed the lack of glass roof. Offered in various other BMW models.
I guess if you want more light you can always get the convertible...
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Sunday, April 23, 2006
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I had read about a navigation system in the new Altima but could get any pictures of it.
Well, here it is.
The whole thing looks very nice.
Some people have compared the interior to the Pontiac G6.
But I hear from people who actually sat in the car that the quality is much, much better than the Pontiac...
This could be a great car....
Buick is in a pretty bad situation right now.
And it is mostly because the've been selling a lot of crappy cars for a long time. And people just got tired of getting screwed...
The Lucerne is for now, their top of the line model. Trying to get past Park Avenue owners back, and also get new customers into the brand. That is one tough job...
First, I have to say it is a pretty nice looking car. On pictures it seems a bit like the new Passat. But not so much in the flesh.
It looks much longer. It actually looks a bit too long, almost out of proportions.
The front still has a very traditional chromy grille. Something they might have to get rid of if they are serious about attracting a younger crowd.
The rest of the car is very clean and tasteful.
Inside, it looks like a Jaguar. Well, kind of...
Again, a very classy and simple look. Almost too simple. The center part of the dash almost looks empty. A bit too plain.
Plastics are not all soft, but they are of very good quality. The seats are just OK. The lower back has no support at all, and the headrests are "way back there". But that might be another story with the optional leather.
All the switches and dials feel great and smooth.
One thing I noticed is the lightweight feel of the doors when you close them. They do feel thin and cheap. So does the trunk.
Unlike the Avalon or the Azera.
Pretty surprising in such a large car.
The iPod plug is a great feature. But where do you put the iPod?
The cup holder is way back past the shifter...
That auto shifter by the way, is pretty awkward. It feels too tall (or the console is too low) and is pretty rough to move around. At least it is where it should be...
But the interior is generally a very nice place to be. With a super roomy back seat, and also a huge flat trunk.
On the road, the car is very, very quiet .
The engine is fine most of the time. Although it is never as smooth as the Japanese competition. It also sounds really rough just when you start from a stop. I've noticed that before with the GM 3.8 Liter.. Seems like they can't, or don't want to, do anything about that.
There is enough power, but that's about it. Nothing more.
At least it's not too thirsty. On my daily commute (about 30% freeway), I averaged 21MPG of regular.
If you need more, get the V8.
The brakes feel great. And so does the steering. Very light but precise and never loose.
And unlike cars like the Maxima, it doesn't feel like you are playing a Nintendo game.
The ride is very smooth without ever being too soft.
I really enjoyed driving this Buick for a few days.
It is a fine car until...
Well, until you check out the competition Mainly the Toyota Avalon and the Hyundai Azera.
Both cars have more power and a more refined engine. And the Azera feels does feel like a more expensive car.
That is GM"s main problem. Their cars are fine until you check out the competition. It seems that they live in their own bubble and don't get out into the real world.
My "base" car was around $26 000. Maybe quite a bit less with rebates.
For that price you don't get a remote or full power seat. It's not that cheap.
The Avalon starts at $27 300 ($25 000 on carsdirect).
And the Azera starts at $25 000 ($22 800 on carsdirect)
Both cars have much more standard features than the Buick, and a much better engine. They also feel more expensive.
The Azera has one of the best made interiors out there.
If you get a V8 Lucerne and add options, then you fall into Lexus territory.
The Buick Lucerne is still a good choice for those looking to get a comfortable full size car.
It is good looking and very quiet. With a very comfortable ride.
But so is the competition.
I cannot really imagine anyone, with an open mind, choosing the Buick over the Toyota or the Hyundai.
Unless you are taken by the design, or must own a Buick...
It is, like most GM models, a car for those who do not want
to "shop around"...
Friday, April 21, 2006
Without the fake wood, that interior looks pretty plain...
And look at the back seat! Who can fit back there?
Why even bother with the whole thing at all. Most people don't even know about Suzuki.
Is a stretched Vue/Equinox the answer to put the brand on the map???
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Los of chrome on the new Escape.
But it might actually look better in person.
I always kind of liked the Escape. Except for some cheap looking, and feeling, interior parts.
If they address these problems it could be pretty nice.
I know it's not really "all new", it seems that none of the Ford SUVs are ever all new anyway.
With gas prices passing the $3 a gallon mark, the Hybrid should be even more popular if they decide to boost production.
In L A it seems that almost every new Escape I see is a Hybrid...
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Thursday, April 20, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
It seems that quite a few people (at least on this site) are a bit disappointed with the new BMW 3 series coupe design.
There might be a cure available to us late next year. (Or whenever they make up their minds...)
The new Alfa Romeo Brera Coupe and Spider Convertible are in the same price range as the new BMW Coupes.
And they both look amazing.
Alfa's quality has improved a lot in the past years, while BMW has not. (To put it mildly))
Would anyone here consider an Alfa in the US over a 3 series????