Thursday, July 30, 2009

Renault cars for Saturn?






Renault is officially reporting talking to Saturn's new owner, Roger Penske, about providing him with cars for the US brand.
It was reported earlier that the cars would actually come from Samsung in Korea.
But Renault is already selling cars in Mexico, so it's not so far fetch to think we might be getting real Renaults over here, and not Korean models.
Here are some pictures of the various Megane models which would make a great replacement for the Astra.
And even the Laguna would make a nice Aura...

What do you think?

More picture of the all new 2010 Suzuki Kizashi






-2.4 Liter engine
-6 speed manual or CVT
-AWD option

Besides AWD, which most people don't need and don't want to pay extra for, the new Suzuki sedan doesn't seem to offer anything special.
I am sure it is a really good car, why not. But there are so many good choices in this segment, why would anyone pic this car?

Good luck with that one...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Buick GL8?



The GL8 is a Buick minivan that has been sold in China since 2000.
It is based on our old Pontiac Montana. And does look different than the old Buick Terraza sold in the US a few years ago.
The next model will be based on the design of the Buick Business Concept shown last year.
But as you can see, it is toned down. A lot...
And I'm not sure what it is based on since GM abandoned the Minivan market in the US.
It could just be a new design on the old platform.
And not coming over here any time soon.

This is the 2000 GL8.

Suzuki Kizashi. Production VS. Concept



Just enough changes to make it lame and almost unattractive.
The concept looked production ready, years ago....

Suzuki Kizashi


I guess this is supposed to be unveiled tomorrow.
But no one seems to care, really...
A smallish mid sized sedan from a manufacturer that most people have never heard of.
Plus, there is nothing about the car that stands out from the crowd.

I am sure it's a nice car. I just don't see who will ever actually buy one...

2010 Hyundai Sonata



Looks like the all new Sonata will be getting a glass roof option.

That's pretty much a first in the US for that type of cars (The Maxima is a class above, at least in price)
If they do offer it in the US that is. The Honda Fit has it overseas but not here.
Plus, it is something the competition does not offer in the US. The upcoming Honda Accord hatch will have that option, but not the sedan.

With avery new detail coming out, it looks like the new Sonata might be a formidable competition for the established players.

With the Genesis and new Sonata, Hyundai might finally be getting some of the respect it deserves...

Kia "VG" Sedan



The replacement for the nightmarish looking Amanti is finally coming soon.
From what we've seen in spy shots of the actual car, these rendering are the usual overly optimistic and aggressive.
The real thing won't look that exciting.

I guess there is a market for a good looking upscale yet affordable sedan. The Genesis seems to be doing well.
This will be smaller, cheaper and FWD, but could end up doing quite well against the Maxima and Avalon.
For a lot cheaper.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2010 Lincoln Mark LT


The Lincoln version of the F150 is back for 2010.
Only in Mexico, so far.

The previous model was pretty much a flop in the US, but I guess there is enough demand in Mexico for a new one...

More pictures of the new VW Polo






The one were supposed to get in about a year.
Our version will be built in Mexico, and it also might be a sedan version. At least at first.
Competing with the new Ford Fiesta, among others...

Good times coming up for small car buyers.

2011 Saab 9-3?


Maybe...
From what we saw with the new 9-5, Saab isn't going to do anything crazy or futuristic anytime soon.
So it could end up looking like that.

They sold about 125 000 cars in 2007, and about 35 000 less in 2008.
You know 2009 won't be pretty.
The new owners hope to pass the 100 000 mark again with the new 9-5.
But it's really the 9-3 that will help them out. And it is long overdue.

Chevrolet Agile




The Agile is an upcoming model for Argentina.
Not sure what it is, or even what it is based on. All I can think is the Opel Corsa with a different design.
Maybe...

2010 Acura MDX



The MDX was the first Acura model to use the new "belt buckle" grille design when it came out a few years ago.
So the the revision isn't drastic. It seems even toned down a bit. Or maybe I'm just getting used to it.
But I do think it looks a bit better than before.

It has a new 6 speed automatic, but HWY mileage is still just 21 MPG. Which is something Acura should really be a shamed of.
21MPG on the Highway in 2010??? Really?

I even got over 25 driving the Infiniti FX35 a few months ago, and I didn't think it was so great.

But the real joke is the "smaller than MDX" revised 2010 RDX AWD that gets only 17/20 City/Highway out of its much smaller 4 cylinder engine...

New Fiat Grande Punto



Well, not all new. Mostly a new front end and interior.
But the whole thing makes it look more upscale than before.
We are still supposed to see a version of it in the US. Maybe as a sedan.
I think both the sedan and hatchback would give Chrysler something to compete with the all new Euro Focus coming to the US next year.
GM will finally have the Cruze. Chrysler should get something.

This is the current Grande Punto front, so you can see...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nissan's new all electric car



Nissan is supposed to be unveiling an all new electric model this week end. And maybe 2 more .
So far only these teaser shots are available. And no specs.

Although I've heard about 100 miles per charge for on of the models.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Next Ford Focus?


Who knows, it's just another illustration.
But the real thing will probably be pretty close to that.

The current one is actually a very decent car to drive, but it really needs a better design

New Ford Puma coming up???


At least Auto Express seems to think so.
Sure, it would be easy enough for Ford to base a cool looking small coupe on the new Fiesta.
But I'm not really sure there is such a large market for this type of car.
And I guess Ford is concentrating their resources on what sells.



Here is a cool commercial for the "old" Puma shot in San Francisco a few years ago. Where it was never available, with Steve Mc Queen, who never got to drive one...

ANew Saab 9-5 interior



A better picture, I think.

Plus a shot of the car next to actual human beings...

Honda CRV Test Drive



-HOW IT LOOKS.
I think the current CRV looks much better than the trucky looking designs from the 2 previous versions.
But some people actually liked the look of the old ones better.
The current model finally looks like what it has become: a replacement for many sedans.
We've all seen so many of them around too. As I was driving it I noticed that CRVs were everywhere around me.
It's almost weird.

-HOW IT IS INSIDE.
I have to say, I don't like the interior. Especially in the depressing grey color of the one I was driving.
It seems that Honda has been using the same grey and beige since the 80's.
And every surface uses hard plastics. Sometimes it's almost OK. But here, they do look hard and cheap.


-One good thing about the interior: it is roomy. The back seat has much more legroom than a similar size sedan. And most than other SUVs in the price range.
But look at the picture below. My EX model doesn't even have a proper console. Just this weird tray that you can fold. So you can't really hide anything.
Except in the two very small glove compartments in the dashboard.
You have to step up to the EX L (W. leather) to get a small console. A weird design if I ever saw one...

The stereo in the EX is just OK. Again, the EX L has a better one. At least it has an iPod plug.


-HOW IT DRIVES.
-Ride.
The ride in the CRV is excellent. Even just a bit firm, which is great.
It feels pretty wide and much more stable than the Nissan Rogue.

-Steering.
The steering is also a bit firm. Which is good. Nothing floaty or loose.

-Engine.
The engine is always quiet and smooth. And there is enough power for this car.
It is one of these 4 cylinder engine that makes you wonder why you would ever want a V6.
But gas mileage isn't that great. City driving returned about 17 to 18 MPG. And I squeezed 28MPG on the FWY.
My average for the week was 19.5 MPG.
That's just a little bit better than what I got with a Lexus RX 350. (18) But I did get 31 HWY with the new Murano.
Every time I drive a small SUV with a 4 cylinder, I am surprised about the mileage not being that great.

I guess they are still heavy and tall....

-Transmission
The 5 speed isn't the smoothest. It is OK, but I could always feel the shifts.
Which would have been fine a few years ago, but now, most transmissions are smoother.
But it it pretty responsive.


-SO?
Don't get the CRV if you want to have fun driving. Because it's not fun. It does everything it is supposed to do.
But it is strictly a transportation machine.
It that sense, it reminds me of the Camry. There is nothing wrong with it, and owners love them. Just like the Camry.
It is pretty much the Camry of small SUVs.
With no personality whatsoever.

It has that "small Minivan" feel to it. Hard to explain. I just was never looking forward to driving it.

The CRV EX FWD is $24 200. You can get them for at least $2000 off.
But right now, you can also get a $26 500 Mazda CX-7 Touring for well under $22 000.
The Mazda does everything better than the CRV, and is a joy to drive. And has an amazing interior.
The CRV is fine, but I would never get one as long as Mazda makes the CX-7



Here is a picture of the upcoming revised 2010 model.
Changes will pretty much be the new front end and some very slight revisions.
I really don't think adding more chrome makes things that much better. How about a nicer interior instead?

Friday, July 24, 2009

New small Lexus


This has been a rumor for years. A small Lexus that would compete with the BMW 1 series hatch and the A3 in Europe.
We are supposed to get a taste of it in September as a concept. With a production version coming out next year.
It might also be a hybrid only model .

Not sure yet when we will see it in the US. It would have to be cheaper than the IS250...

2010 Acura RDX




Not all new, just slightly revised. With the Acura belt buckle grille...

And now available in 2WD. But still, even without AWD the HWY mileage is only 24MPG.
A shame really, for a 4 cylinder car in 2010.
That's what I got in my Infiniti EX test drive. With a big 3.5 Liter V6! And AWD!