Monday, December 31, 2012

Chevrolet Tahoe test drive.

 This will be the last thing I drive in 2012.
I drove the Hybrid version earlier. But never this "regular" one.
Which isn't really different.

The look is familiar as the current model has been out for about 5 years. An all new one is due in a little over a year. And this next one will be based on the recently introduced 2014 Silverado pick up.
Which looks pretty horrible.
Let's just hope the Tahoe will not borrow too much visually from it's messy pick up cousin...
 The interior has that 80's GM feel to it. It was actually nice 5 years ago. But now, the "hard plastic everywhere" look and feel is quite dated.
Especially in my $57 000 test car. Yes, $57 000 .
Which makes the $55 000 Infiniti JX I tested last month feel like a bargain.

 Something else that is really dated is the column shifter. With useless "manual" mode.
 At least the interior is roomy. And feels really solid.
The drive is of course very trucky. It is always moving, up and down, sideways etc...
The suspension achieves the unwanted goal of feeling soft, and uncomfortable at the same time.
As most bumps are not absorbed very well.

The transmission is smooth. But not very responsive to most downshift requests.

The big 5.3 Liter V8 engine is quiet and smooth. And very thirsty.
GM claims 15/21 MPG. 15 in the city seems an impossible goal, as my best number was about 12.
But I had no problem getting 25 on the freeway.

As I mentioned before, $57 000 is a lot of money for a truck based SUV with a rather cheap looking interior and driving dynamics of a 1980 LTD wagon.
The Infiniti JX's design isn't for everyone. But the interior is miles ahead of the one in the Chevrolet.
For less money. (You can even save 1000s more by getting its Pathfinder cousin.)
And it seems a lot roomier, especially the trunk where the rear seats fold flat. Unlike the Tahoe.

Its car like ride is also vastly superior. And it easily gets about 20MPG in the city. Which is almost twice as good as the Tahoe!

I don't own horses, don't ever have to tow anything, so I have no use for a truck based dinosaur.
Like 90% of people who buy these things mostly to carry their kids to school.

But somehow, there seems to be quite a market for these as I see many around every day.

Go figure...

Friday, December 28, 2012

How about a few more 2014/C7 Corvette guesses...

These kind of match what we've seen of the rear design.
With the more rectangular shapes etc...

No matter what it ends up looking like, it seems they are not really after a new demographic...

2014 Buck Lacrosse

As a reminder, here are some pix of thec

 These are obviously the Chinese version of the Lacrosse.
But so far, the Chinese and US versions have looked the same. So these changes could very well end up in the US next year.
I don't really like what I see. After a few years on the market, I think the Lacrosse is still a very good looking car. The changes outside don't really seem to improve anything.
And the current interior is one of my favorite. My only critisism is the overuse of cheap looking plastic chrome.
But this "new" interior really seems like a step down. Not at all as slick as the current one.

As a reminder, here are a few pix of the current model.
The console design is so much more modern than the spy shots above.

Let's hope the "revised" version stays in China...

2014 Infiniti Q50

The Q50 will replace the G sedan early next year.
So here we have a small teaser of it. Just the headlight so far.

Not sure what engine it will be getting, but you can bet the big and thirsty 3.7 Liter V6 won't be the base engine anymore.
If it is offered at all.

We will be seeing the whole thing an just a few days.

Small changes for the Volvo XC60

Pretty insignificant. really...
Just making sure it looks more like the all new V40.
Which is not sold in the US.

This is what we should have here in the US: the super good looking V60 wagon. Instead of the XC SUV.
But in a dumbass move, Volvo decided, a few years ago, that they were not going to sale wagons in the US anymore.

Who is running the show over there???

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How about a few more pix of the Qoros GQ3 sedan

Why not.

Looking a bit better from these angles.
But really, does the European market really need yet another brand?
They seem to have plenty of choices as far as cheap sedans go.

I guess this would compete against the Dacia brand for the lowest end of the market...

Monday, December 24, 2012

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

An all new Corvette is just around the corner, and these are the 1st official info we have.
It looks like it comes from the actual manual. Or something...

So far it looks like a blend of the current model, the new Viper and way too many lines everywhere.
But I am sure the real thing looks much better and more impressive.

Still, I am a bit sad they didn't go for an all out retro look. The Corvette has so much history.
Or an all out modern look.

So far it looks like yet another version of the design from the 80's. Which wasn't the best.

We'll see the real thing in just a few days.
And besides, the current one is a blast to drive, and this should be even better....

2014 Mercedes CLA

Finally, the real thing.
The all new compact Mercedes sedan that will be coming here next year. Battling mostly the all new Audi A3 sedan.
It also would be really nice to see good pictures of it, without the assy black wheels...

That's coming up soon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

All new Qoros sedan

 This is supposed to be China's best attempt to the European market yet.
A joint $1.5 Billion venture between Chery Automobile and Israel corporation (Whatever that is...)

Although it was design by the same guy who did the Mini, it is quite boring. Maybe that's what the idea of a European car looks like to a Chinese corporation.
They also claim the car will earn 5 stars in European crash tests. We'll see.

No other news so far, except it might be powered by a 1.6 Liter Turbo engine.
If they want to crack the European market, they need to get a Diesel. Pronto!
Just ask Chinese owned MG who still sells less than 1000 cars a year in Europe.

This is what they used as a teaser last year. Quite optimistic...

What could have been... Mercury Cougar

Looks like the 1st version of the Cougar was supposed to be a Mustang clone.
Thank God it didn't happen.

This illustration seems to be daed from 1962. Or 2 years before the Mustang.
And a full 5 years before the 1st production Cougar.

I just wonder what happened. Maybe they wanted to make sure they had a hit with the Mustang first.
Who knows...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The future is now.

Just picked up a friend at LAX a couple of days ago. And saw this, for the 1st time.
Rows and rows of EVs. Most of them charging up.
Something we will see everywhere in a few years.

It was just a great sight. And made me happy...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Infiniti cars will be "Q" now...

As you can see, Infiniti will be renaming all their cars and SUVs starting next year with the new G.
Which will be called the Q50.
And just like BMW just did with the 4 series, the coupe version of that car will not be the Q50 Coupe, but the Q60.

And all SUVs/Crossovers will be called QX.

Not sure it really is an improvement, but if it keeps them happy, why not...

2014 Cadillac ELR

The picture on top is a teaser of the production version. The bottom one is last' year's concept.
Seems that so far GM has done a pretty good job at keeping the production car as close to the concept as possible.

I can't wait for this car. Which is pretty much Cadillac's version of the Volt. Let's hope they kept it a hatchback. And maybe added a sunroof option as well...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2013 Honda Brio Amaze

 Do not worry, this "Amaze" is not coming to the US.
It is staying mostly in India and Thailand where it is built.
Still, it has to be one of the worst Honda design, ever produced anywhere.

Of course it is cheap. But this is no excuse. Pretty shapes and good proportions do not cost more.

It is about 15 inches shorter than the current Fit. Even with the ugly trunk sticking out.
Power comes from a 1.2 Liter engine with 90hp. 5 speed manual and CVT are available.
Seems that Honda has been pushing CVTs lately...
This is the "regular" Brio. Not a beauty contest winner, but much better looking as a hatchback.
A car that small should never have a trunk in the 1st place.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More pictures of the 2013 Mercedes E-Class

Not sure if the rounded headlights really work with the straight lines in the rest of the car, but I still like it better than before.
It went from "kind of ugly", to "kind of boring".

I still wish they had done more inside. It looks like they just added an analog clock...

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Yes, 2014. From these pictures it might very well be 1985.
I am not into trucks. At all. Still, by now you'd think they could put just a little bit of styling in these.

This makes the 1997 F150 look like a spaceship...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All new Skoda Octavia

This looks to be based on the Jetta. Although I am not sure. It is just about 3 inches shorter than the VW, and seems to be a hatchback.
No matter what, I think it does look better than our Jetta. A classic look yet a bit more original than the VW.  Even inside.
And Skodas are cheaper than VWs...

Engines include a 1.6 Liter diesel and a 1.8 Liter with 180hp.

2013 Mercedes E Class

I still think this is a nice improvement.
It's just too bad it didn't get a new dashboard, like the C Class did last year.
The current, and carried over design is just really boring and not that upscale at all.

Revised coupe and convertible are coming up next...