Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2019 Toyota Supra

Nothing really new.
Just yet another Toyota Supra spy shot.
It seems we have seen them for years now.

Let's just hope this won't be another super expensive sports car no one actually buys.
From these spy shots, it looks more like a Nissan Z competitor.
Which would be fine (The Z starts at around $30 000)

But somehow, I doubt it. Sharing the structure with the next BMW Z4 means "expensive"....
Even if a bit less than the BMW.

The Blade Runner 2049/Columbo connection

 I have to admit, I have not seen "Blade Runner 2049".
The original film is still one of my favorite. And I couldn't get myself to see a sequel to it.
I have heard since, that it is actually quite good. (And of course, now it's too late to see it in a good theater.)

But the one thing I noticed on pictures of the new Spinner "flying car" (Which doesn't look 10% as good as the original film's Syd Mead design) was that big "Peugeot" logo.
Yes, Peugeot!
 Even bigger on this model.

I can't find any mention of this on any official Peugeot site.
Peugeot does not sell cars in the US currently. So I am not sure why they would spend money on what is basically an add, in a big budget American film.
(Unless they have some sort of a deal for Europe/Asian markets???)

This is very strange as the logo is not hidden at all. A flying Peugeot....
 What it actually reminded me of is the Columbo TV show (Another one of my favorite)
As lieutenant Frank Columbo drove a Peugeot too! A very rare 403 Cabriolet.

So we have 2 very different American cops/detectives, both working in L.A. Both driving Peugeot cars.
Decades apart...

 Here is a picture I took on a parking lot at Universal Studio of one of the cars used for the series.
This was back in 2009. I have no idea if the car is still there, or what shape it would be in by now.

This is pretty sad...

And here is a 403 Cabriolet in perfect shape.
It was actually a very nice looking car. Designed by Pininfarina. 

2019 infiniti QX50

This also took Infiniti about a year to come up with a production model.
Except the QX50 concept was quite a nice and modern design.
And it seems like the production model will stay pretty close (Teaser above)

I think this could be quite a hit for Infiniti. In a boring sea populated by the  Mercedes GLK, BMW X3 and Even Audi Q5, this looks much more interesting and distinctive.

2019 Subaru Ascent teaser

The actual production model is the teaser above.
the other one is that "fake concept" we saw exactly one year ago.
I say "fake" because it is basically the production car with small "concept" pits like smaller mirrors, bigger wheels etc...

So it took Subaru a whole year to do that.

Unlike the Outback, the Ascent will face competition from basically everyone.
Since pretty much everyone already makes a 3 row SUV. I doubt the Subaru offers anything new compared to a Honda Pilot or Mazda CX-9...

2019 Aston Martin Vantage

This is actually a bit disappointing to me.
As the current vantage is still a super classy, timeless design. It basically still looks fantastic.

This looks like a toy.
Not as classy at all.
And the interior is downright vulgar. Not sure what Aston Martin is after. But this is really not what an Aston martin should be.

I guess it will fit nicely in a garage already filled with the new 2019 Mercedes G-Class and the 2019 Corvette ZR-1...

Lincoln just made the MKC ugly for 2019

 Of course, not everyone agrees.
But I think the grille on the new Lincoln continental is still one of the worst design I have seen in years.
Especially for a Lincoln, where they can pull amazing design ideas from their past.

And some suit had the bright idea to make that grille the new face for the whole brand.
So just like last year when they ruined the MKZ sedan with it, they are now ruining the good looking MKC SUV .  The larger MKX will probably follow next year...
(Some weird obsession that every single model has to have the same face, at any cost. )

I have to admit, the monster grille does look a bit better on the MKC than on the MKZ. Maybe because it is slanted a bit?

 Otherwise, the MKC is the same good looking car.
Still with is stupid name (It is taking a while for Lincoln to admit their stupid naming mistake and go back to real words...)
At least, no black wheels.
 Interior seems unchanged from before.
This was a really good design for a Lincoln face.
It took them years to adapt it to their production cars (Various concepts had it before)

Just too bad...

Mazda CX-5 Test Drive

 I think the Mazda CX-5 went from looking fine (previous generation) to looking great. (Current model)
It really is one of the best looking SUVs out there. At any price.

Sure, it is basically the newest in its class. (Besides the CR-V). So we'll have to see what Toyota, Kia, Ford, Hyundai, Nissan and others come up with next.

For now, I really think the CX-5 sits at the top of the design food chain.

 Same thing inside. Just look at it.

The interior is a huge improvement over the previous generation. And pretty much beats anything else out there for the price. (As well as many other more expensive models)

Everything looks and feels great and upscale.
The overall feel of the interior is very relaxing. It is very mature design, and it looks like everything has been well thought out.
The seats are very comfortable. The sunroof is actually quite large.
And very useful, since its opening starts ahead of the front passengers sitting position. (Many actually start so far backward they are useless)

 One thing I wasn't too crazy about wis the lack of Apple CarPlay. And the Mazda infotainment system requires you to go through menus that are just not as easy to navigate was an iPhone.
But I have to say, I was fine with it by the second day.

Also, this is not a touch screen. At least not 100%. It is when the car isn't moving. As soon as you start going, the touch function is disable and you have to use the controls on the console.

Again, something I got used to.
 The sound from the Bose system on the model I was driving was pretty great.
Although, like with all other Bose car systems, not super loud.

 There are plenty of wonderful details like these around the interior.

This really feels like the interior of a premium brand. (Much nicer than the A4 wagon I drove last year for a few days. A car that was over $10 000 more than the Mazda)
 Back seat room is fine. Not as much as a large sedan of course. But this is a car that is just a little bit shorter than a Honda Civic.

 The grand Touring model even comes with rear seat haters. That foldable armrest also came with its own USB plug.
 Plenty or room in the truck, even with the rear seats up.
 And with the seats down, there is even room for my old walking shoes...

As you can see, the new CX-5 is quite popular. (over 112 000 of them were sold last year in the US)
The first thing I noticed is how quiet the CX-5 is.
The 2.5 Liter engine is pretty much always super quiet and smooth. (and basically silent when cruising on the freeway.)

The CX-5 AWD I was driving was rated at 23/29 MPG.
I got between 22 and 26 in the City.
But had no problem achieving over 36MPG on the freeway. So the official numbers are actually very conservative.
The ride is very solid and smooth. It, again, feels like a more expensive car.
The steering is excellent. Not like the over boosted feel you get in most cars this days.
It does have a real feel to it. This is a fun car to drive around.

The transmission is very quick to react when you want more power. Otherwise shifts are invisible.
There is also a "sport" mode on the console. Which does affect the shifting quite a bit. By holding the gears much longer.
But I couldn't really tell much difference in the suspension or steering settings. (And truly, the steering does not need a sportier setting. It is just great the way it is.)
When I posted that I was driving a CX-5 for the week, lots of people were asking me about the power.
Many seem to complain that it is too slow (most of these complains I am sure come from people reading reviews and not actually driving the car)

In the 7 days I had the car, I was a few times by myself. Most of the time I had another passager. And a few times I had 4 people on board. I drove city, freeway. Up hill and down hill.
And I never felt it didn't have enough power.

It never ever felt slow. So I am really not sure what people are talking about here. I know many journalists love to compare everything to their beloved BMWs,(which are NOT the "ultimate driving machines" by the way) and they take everything on a track.
I don't.

I try to drive cars like real owners would.
And for that mission, the Mazda CX-5 always had enough power.

I know the Mazda6 sedan is getting a turbo option for 2018. And many hope the CX-5 might follow suit.
It might. Why not. But it is really not needed.
And if they ever offer it, I am pretty sure few people will pay the extra cash for it.

There is also a very nice and useful head display as part of the Premium  package.
It even knows local speed limits. And stop signs!

I really enjoyed spending a week with the Mazda CX-5. And I highly recommend it.
A quiet, roomy, comfortable and great looking SUV. All at an affordable price.

The top of the line Grand Touring AWD starts at $30 695.
Mine had a $1830 premium package that added memory settings for the driver seat, power passenger seat, heated rear seats and the "active driving display".
(You can also save around $1200 by getting the FWD version)

Find out more about the CX-5 HERE. And price all different versions HERE.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Audi Q5 L

And of course there is a long wheelbase version of the Q5 in China.
I mean why not.

It seems that every model gets an extended version of itself for the Chinese market.
I am all for more legroom in the rear seats of cars, sure. But why not just offer the long version in the first place?
This is actually strange....

2019 Jeep Cherokee

Looks like the revised 2019 Cherokee is getting more conventional headlights (Just when most people started getting used to the design)
It never actually bothered me, but I guess most Jeep people are pretty conservative and don't like things to change too fast or too much.
So they are dialing things back for 2019. (The red one is the current model)

It will now look a bit more conventional, like the Compass.

HERE are pix of a couple of prototypes of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee

2019 Mercedes G-Class interior

Yes, THIS is what the next G-Class 4X4 looks like inside.

The amount of chrome, disconnected shapes and various cheesy chrome bits is staggering.
This will sit on top of the food chain of vulgar vehicle choices for rich douchebags and Russian mafia types.
Following the long tradition of the current model.

I wonder if there will be a true simple, hardcore 4X4 version of it.
Like this guy OTTO. (Which, to me, portrays the best the Mercedes G-Class can be.)

But I guess not. As Mercedes seems to relish catering to the most vulgar of the wealthy clients.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Another teaser fo the 2019 Mercedes CLS

 Again, nothing we haven't seen before.

As the CLS will have the exact same interior (with 4 doors instead of two) as the E-Class coupe and convertible.
And these 2 models already have the same interior as the regular E-Class sedan. Except for the dashboard vent design.

The only "new" in the picture is the horrible red lighting everywhere.
Also the red colors of the vents. Hard to say if it is some weird lighting effect or just stupid red plastic. (That would be really terrible)

 Here is the dashboard of the E-Class Convertible
And the coupe.

All three are the same.

Why pick this part of the car to show in a teaser???