Monday, July 30, 2012
What a different story inside. It seems all new.
And super luxurious.
Pictured here is the 600hL Hybrid model .
This seems to match anything in its class. And looks much better than the overly chromed and cheezy Jaguar XJ interior.
Job well done inside. It almost makes the exterior OK...
The Avalanche isn't new. It has been part of the Tahoe/Suburban family for some years now. So it has a familiar look, even it isn't a familiar site. At least where I live.
The Tahoe still looks pretty nice, and so does the Avalanche. Except for, well, what makes in an Avalanche.
The cheap looking black plastic trim above the pick-up bed.
Inside it is again pretty much the same story as in the Tahoe. Things do fit nicely, but everything is covered in cheap hard plastic.
Which could be OK in a $25 000 pick up truck. But my test unit was priced above $53 000.
Granted, it was loaded with pretty much everything. But still. $53 000!
For that price, it is still lacking an electric steering wheel control, bluetooth audio, and the key fob is the super cheapo looking one with a separate remote. Just like in the 90's.
(Nothing modern like push button start here.)
It does have a Bose sound system. That actually sounded worse than many base units I've heard.
The back seat is roomy, but not huge. You would think....
The "trunk" is actually not as practical has a hatchback. Like the one in the Tahoe or Suburban.
I guess it does work if you carry sheets of ply wood. But again, would you spend $53 000 for that?
The dive is very smooth and comfortable.
Although the transmission wasn't as smooth as expected.
Handling isn't too "truck like". For a truck.
But the worse part of the Avalanche, to me, is its horrendous gas mileage.
While it is rated at 12MPG in the city. The best I ever got, while really trying and driving slow, was about 8.
On the freeway, things didn't get that much better with 17MPG.
I am really not sure who this thing is for. It looks OK. Much less aggressive than the horrible looking Ford trucks.
But something that isn't that roomy and gets 8 MPG around town is really for a very few.
Yet, they sold an amazing 20 088 units last year alone! (over 80 000 Tahoes in the same period)
I guess if you need to tow a house, it'll get the job done....
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Here are pictures of the regular, non sport model.
Again, mostly new lights, bumpers and grille.
By next year, when the all new S class is out, pretty much all the competition to this car will be newer.
None of these others will offer a slightly revised 6 year old design for the price.
I am sure the LS is a very nice car. But when you don't have the cachet of a BMW, Mercedes or even an Audi, you should be doing something really special.
Somehow, they don't seem to be getting the point....
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Sunday, July 29, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Looks like the official sketches we saw a few days ago.
But it seems to have a different interior than the European Ceed.
Is this K3 different than our Forte?
Does the Forte get a new interior/ (Not as cool as the Ceed).
Here is the new Ceed's interior.
Which is really, really nice.
Comparing today's picture of the next version and the current one doesn't reveal an all new car.
Like some said, it just seems like a mid cycle refresh.
With mostly a new front and rear end. And that, after 6 years!
Nobody seems to be sure about these pictures.
Illustrations or not?
Let's hope they are fake.
They make the current generation look like a runway model.
This just looks like a bloated new GS. And the GS is the worst looking Lexus so far.
That poor little chrome line between the tail lights make the rear look so cheap. On such an expensive car.
We'll now for sure very soon.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Remember the Rondo?
Well, there's a new one on the way. This time based on the all new European Ceed. And again it will seat 7.
A much more modern car than the old Rondo I drove for a few days years ago.
And by the way, it might be time to retire the "Rondo" name. It has "cheap Kia" written all over it.
This next one deserves much better....
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Another teaser, although pretty revealing.
Showing what will be another very nice looking mid sized sedan.
Which was never the problem with the Mazda 6. As the current model still looks really good.
The problem is, no one knows about it.
Most mid sized car buyers don't even have Mazda on their radar.
So, unless they spend some serious cash into letting the world know this car even exists, they could have another good looking flop on their hands...
Ever wondered what the new Malibu would look like without the Chevrolet grille?
Look no further. Introducing the Holden version. Carrying the same name, Malibu.
I don't think it looks better. More chrome...
The new Malibu is still an more awkward version of the previous solid design. No matter what the grille is...
Monday, July 23, 2012
Just an illustration so far.
But the next mid sized Alfa will make it into the US as part of the Italian brand return to the new world.
Engines could range from a 2.0 Liter to a version of Chrysler's 3.6 Liter V6.
There is also a rumor that the sedan could be even built in North America.
And a cheaper Chrysler version could use the same platform.
With its own design.
In any case, it will be great to finally welcome back an Italian alternative to the Audi A4, Volvo S60 crowd.
Basically a "trunk added" version of the recently introduced European Ceed.
Which is a good thing.
Of course, these official sketches are a bit exaggerated.
Still, we can see a really nice looking compact sedan.
This is the real thing.
It looks like par of the chrome surrounding the windows is still covered.
Unless they have different trims for different markets...
Sunday, July 22, 2012
First good picture I've seen of the new rear color treatment.
No more back trim for 2013.
Which doesn't look as bad as I thought at first.
I still think the black roof was better. And I hear the black/tan interior is replaced by some beige/brown combo. (Which would be a shame).
The best news, if not a big one, is the 3 miles improvement for the electric range.
Still, another case of GM changing what doesn't need to be changed.
Like the used to do so many times before.
Instead of painting the roof body color, how about a sunroof option.
I hear bigger news are in store for next year. When the improved powertrain will be shared with the all new Cadillac ELR.
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Sunday, July 22, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
They always try to convince us the next LS will be this amazing looking and sporty car.
Which it isn't. It always ends up looking kind of like the previous generation Mercedes S class.
So, again, here is a teaser picture of the next generation. Are we supposed to think the car is so sleek and fast it is "smoking hot"?
It probably be another nice and quiet upscale car.
But smoking hot it won't be....
The big Kia, AKA K9, is now the Quoris. For overseas markets.
Not sure yet if they will be selling this in the US, but I actually saw one on the road in Hollywood a couple of weeks ago.
I must say, at first, from the front, it felt like a Maserati. Then it turned and I realized it was "the big Kia".
It does look big, and pretty impressive in person.
Depending on markets, a 290 HP V6 and a 334 HP with DI will be available.
So I guess no V8.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The previous version of the Note was never sold in the US. Instead what we got here was the smaller and cheaper Versa Hatchback.
Since our Versa hatchback hasn't been redesigned yet, some people are thinking we might be getting the new Note instead.
More than likely, we won't. The Note will stay overseas, including Europe.
Instead, we will probably be getting this: The Versa version of the Tilda Hatchback. Since the Tilda sedan is the same car as our Versa sedan already.
Which is too bad. The Note seems a bit better looking. Even though it's no beauty .
And a bit roomier too.
But at least, the hatch version of the Versa is a bit better looking than the awkward sedan....
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Another nice looking hatchback we are not getting over here.
The Spanish arm of VW has turned out a much better looking car than the Golf.
The new Leon is based on the same platform as the redesigned Audi A3, and the next generation Golf.
The interior isn't that exciting, but it's better than the Jetta's.
Engines range from 1.2 to 2.0 Liter.
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Saturday, July 14, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
This is basically a raised up version of the new V40 hatchback.
The really cool looking Volvo that isn't coming to the US...
There are now rumors we might be getting this one instead.
I guess Volvo still has this old idea that Americans don't like hatchbacks unless they are as high as trucks.
That would explain why we never see a Mazda 3, a Ford Focus or an Audi 3 around...
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Thursday, July 12, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Finally official pictures of the smallest Opel model so far;
It looks really cute. Although I still think it is trying very hard. Again, it is tough to compete with retro designs like the Fiat 500 as far as personality goes..
Engines offered include a 1.2 Liter with 75hp; Or 2 versions of a larger 1.4 Liter with 87 or 100 hp.
This is one Opel that will not end up as a Buick.....