Sunday, November 18, 2018

Chevrolet Equinox Redline test drive

 I think the equinox is a pretty nice looking SUV.
I am not a fan of these "Redline" packages Chevrolet offers on a few on a few of their cars.
I just don't like black wheels or black trim where chrome should be.
But that's just me.

The Redline option also limits the choice of interior colors.

But the design is modern and pleasant.

 Same thing inside. Nothing stands out, but nothing is really wrong either. Everything feels fine and is where it supposed to be.
Nothing weird here, but not much personality either.
And most plastics still feel hard and a bit cheap. But that's also the case in many of the competition.

Again, the black/grey cloth combo of the Redline package isn't much fun. Other versions have a much nicer choice of colors.

The 8 speaker stereo is also fine. And also, nothing special.
Apple car play works well. Except for that rather stupid GM safety feature that limits your choice of Playlists to "recent playlists" once you start driving.
(Which is stupid and annoying)

 I have to say, I do like cloth. It's kind of refreshing not to see leather on seats these days.
And the ones in the Equinox are fine. They are also comfortable and have quite a sporty shape.

The center armrest is pretty high, and actually super comfortable. In general, the driving position is really great.

 The back seat is roomy. Since these "compact" SUVs are now slowly replacing the mid-sized sedan s the car of choice for many families.

 There is a lot of trunk space being the rear seats. Also a pretty large hidden area under the trunk floor.

And the holw thing is pretty huge when the seats are folded down. And it all is very flat and convenient.
 The Equinox I tested had the great GM 2.0 Liter Turbo engine that GM uses on tons of their cars and SUVs.
And it is always great.
Very quick, smooth and quiet all the time. A perfect combo with the equally great 9-speed auto.

 The steering actually has quite a nice feel to it. So do the brakes.
Combined with the excellent powertrain, this makes for a very nice and engaging drive.

Except for the ride. With the 19 inch tires from the Redline package, things are very, very firm.
Actually too much for family transport.
Every single bump or road imperfection is felt. And I am not sure this is what most people would want in this type of car.
But again, the redline option is not for everyone.

 The 2.0 Liter Equinox is rated at 22MPG city and 29HWY.
As usual, I was not able to get 21MPG in the city with this engine.
The most I got was 18.

But it was very easy to get 32 on the highway.
Since my test cr was a FWD model, I would expect the AWD to do worse.
The Equinox is really a nice SUV to drive.
It also has a lot of power with the 2.0 Liter Turbo.
A problem, at least for me, is the Redline package. Which limits the color choices, inside and out, and comes with a pretty rough "sporty" ride.

But I think its main problem might be the price. Without the unnecessary Redline option, my test model would still be around $32 000.
And still no luxury options like a high end stereo, sunroof or leather seats.
For that price, you can get a loaded Honda CR-V EX-L or even the Touring model.
(Sure, the CR-V has a less powerfull 1.5 Liter engine...)

But the main threat seems to always be the great Mazda CX-5.
The CX-5 is just in another class altogether, for about the same price or less.

And since the super loaded 2019 CX-5 Turbo will start at around $35 000, it will still be cheaper than a 2.0 Liter Equinox with all options.

 I think the Equinox is still a really good choice. If you can keep the prices down. And be careful with

Click on the picture above to se all the pricing detail of the car I was driving.

2020 Buick Lacrosse Avenir

Looks like GM is spending some money on the Buick Lacrosse for the next year.
the whole front of the car is being redesigned. Also, upon close inspection, it still only involved the plastic parts. Bumper, grille, and headlights.
But they managed to give the car a whole new face.
Just like they did with the 2019 Cadillac CT6.

Not sure it is such an improvement. (The CT6 is)
To me, this looks even more like a big Opel now. 

Same thing in the rear.
New lights, bumper, and trunk.
And again, it doesn't really look better to me.

The one thing they need to change with the Lacrosse is the base engine.
it is still using a version of the previous model's 2.5 Liter "Light hybrid".
Which is basically, stupid.
This luxury car needs to be V6 only. (The smaller Regal already uses the great 2.0 Liter so that's out for the big sedan.)

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Looks like the Hybrid version of the new Corolla sedan is coming to the US.

Seems like a no-brainer since the current Prius uses the same platform.
So this could end up being a sort of "Prius Sedan".

Why not...

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan (US)

These are the first official pictures of the all-new Corolla sedan for the US.

The L, LE and XLE versions will get the familiar 1.8 Liter engine with 139HP.
While the SE and XSE will be getting the 2.0 Liter from the hatchback with 169HP.

The 1.8 Liter models get 16-inch wheels while the 2.0 Liter get 18 inches.

So far it does look OK. But as usual, the all-new Mazda3 might be an amazing competition. For both the sedan and hatchback.

Here is the full Corolla line up for other countries.
Since we are not getting the cool looking wagon version in the US...

2020 Toyota Corolla (Chinese market)

And now for the actual Corolla Sedan, not the Levin.
Although this is still the Chinese Market model, with a different bumper than the car teased a few days ago.
So I guess the US version will still be a bit different. Although the profile and rear end could be exactly the same. ( I mean how many versions of the same car can they offer???)

2020 Toyota Levin/Corolla

The new Corolla sedan and its "Levin" cousin are being unveiled in China today.
As you can see on the first picture, the front end (bumper/grille part) of this Chinese market Levin version is actually not the same as the Corolla teaser Toyota released a couple of days ago. (HERE)

So the rear end of our Corolla could also be a bit different. We will know very soon since the Corolla will be shown tonight as well...

2020 Honda Passport teaser Vs. Acura RDX

I know, it is way too early to compare these two.
And the Passport teaser shot above doesn't show that much.
But I still think these two could be related since it would be too costly to have 2 different platforms for similar sized models.

Someone was questioning on a previous why there is even a need for a new model between the CR-V and Pilot.
But that is what the new Chevrolet Blazer is (Between Equinox and Traverse)
The Nissan Murano (Between Rogue and Pathfinder)
The Ford Edge, (Between Escape and Explorer) etc...

They just want things to be " all SUVs all the time" now...
The Passport will be the Honda Accord of SUVs. 

2020 Honda Passport teaser

The all-new Passport will be unveiled on the 27th. Making its Auto Show debut in Los Angeles the next day.
As expected, it will be positioned between the CR-V and the Pilot. And will seat 5.
(Which sounds a lot like a Honda version of the Acura RDX)

The Passport was designed, developed and will be built in the US.

I think the RDX is one of the best SUVs available today, so a more affordable Honda cousin sounds great.
I can't wait to see this...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2020 Jeep Gladiator

 It took Jeep 15 years to finally come up with a pickup version of the Jeep Wrangler.
The Gladiator is finally almost here.

And it looks exactly like what it is: a pickup truck version of the Wrangler.
Which is perfect. This will probably be an instant best seller for Jeep.
Unless they price it way too high. (The current Wrangler already starts at around $31 000.
Which is much more than the Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger...)
 Here are some of the official specs.

And here is the 2005 Concept.
The one everybody told Chrysler to build ASAP. But they never did...

I guess better late than never...

Head over HERE for more pictures and info on the new Jeep Gladiator.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Chevrolet FNR "CarryAll"

I guess with a name like "Carry All" this thing must have 3 rows of seats.

This new FNR is, so far, for the Chinese market.
It is hard to tell if this (distorted due to perspective) picture shows a concept or a production car.
My guess is a concept since I can't see any door handles.
But it also looks very production ready.

It seems to follow the style of the all-new Chevrolet Orlando (also for the Chinese market only)
But larger.

I guess this is an "all SUVs all the time" schedule for Chevrolet in China.
While they seem to be pushing tons of new SUVs in that market, they still offer sedans. Like the Malibu and Cruze. 

New Toyota Corolla Sedan teaser

The new teaser shows the new sedan version will have a different front end from the hatchback.
Which consists mainly of a different bumper/grille plastic section. (Metal parts and headlights seem the same)

The logo has also moved north to the small part in front of the hood.

All new Aston Martin DBX SUV.

Of course, this is the final insult. Another blasphemous move from a luxury brand.

But after seeing how much money Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and even Rolls Royce are making selling SUVs, who can blame them, really.
Money seems to be the only drive these days. 

At least it looks a bit weird. Which could end up being a little bit interesting and have some personality?

These are official pictures from Aston Martin, show the DBX prototype do what future owners will never do: get it dirty in the mud.

I guess the next one to fall is Ferarri...

2020 Mazda3

 Even though the all-new Mazda3 appears to be yet another modern and attractive design from Mazda, it is actually toned down a lot from the Kai concept.
Which, I guess, was inevitable. But a bit too bad.

Still, compared to the current Golf (and probably the next one), the new Corolla hatchback, Civic hatchback etc...
It will probably be one of the best looking compact car in the business. Again.

Same thing inside. While the concept was really original, the production version has changed just enough to be much more mundane.
The screen integration is not as cool as the concept was. At all.
But again, when compared to most of its competition, this is probably one of the best out there.

We will see the whole car in just a few days. And I will be at the Los Angeles auto show to report.

See all the spy shots of the new 2020 Mazda 3 hatchback over HERE