Monday, June 30, 2014

2015 Ford Endeavour

The Endeavour is the name used in India for the Australian Ford Everest.

The Eversest has never been sold in the US. The new one will be based on the same platform as the new Ranger (also not sold in the US).
So it's a truck.

But the picture above was taken in the US. So now everyone thinks Ford will bring the Everest/Endeavour over here.

Who knows. I mean their line up is pretty crowded. Escape, Edge, Explorer.
I don't see room for anything else.

Do you?

2015 BMW X5 E Drive

Hybrids have not been very successful for BMW so far.
Way over priced, and mostly discontinued...

Still, there is a Plug-in version of the X5 coming out soon.
It uses a 2.0 Liter engine with the electric motor. And can get up to about 20 miles on EV mode.
Nothing new. Nothing amazing...

These should be cheaper options to be popular.

Friday, June 27, 2014

2016 Jaguar XE

This is the latest illustration of what the all new compact sedan from Jaguar could look like.

The front end matches the only official teaser we saw a few weeks ago.
But the rest looks too much like the XF.
I hope the real thing looks a bit more original. Just a bit more different than " a smaller XF".

Although, this is what the competition has been doing for years. Like Audi, BMW, Mercedes etc...
The "one sausage, different lengths" car design philosophy has been polluting our streets for quite a while now.

The real thing will be shown very soon, so there is still a bit of hope.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

2016 Toyota Prius

Of course, this is just an illustration.

But who knows. This actually uses some recent design elements we've seen from Toyota.
-Like an uglier version of the current model.
-Too many weird wavy lines.
-Just plain weird front end.
-A general feel of "trying too hard".

This could be close to the real thing...

PS: This was sent to me by a reader. So thanks!

2015 Cadillac CTS

Looks like the only change is the new Cadillac logo on the grille. (You can see the 2015 ATS in the background)

Not sure it's an improvement over the previous logo.
As it doesn't really look more modern.

The rest of the grille looks like it was redesigned as well. Now with 2 horizontal lines instead of 3.
Not sure why...

PS: Sent to me by a reader. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Ram Promaster City

This is Chrysler's answer to the popular Ford Transit Connect.

It was just a matter of time for more manufacturers to offer these kinds of small vans in the US.
As they have been around in Europe for years.

Now we have a version of the Fiat Doblo. (So this isn't an all new model.)
Power comes from a 2.4 Liter engine with 178HP.
And the whole thing starts at $24 000.
Which is about $3000 more than the Nissan SV200 !
And still $2500 more than the all new Transit Connect.

Not sure why the Ram/Fiat van is more expensive than its competition.
All I can say is that life will be very tough against the new Ford Transit Connect.
Especially if the small Ram is more expensive...

2015 Chinese Chevrolet Cruze interior

GM showed us the car a few weeks ago.
But these are the 1st pictures of the interior.
Which does look really nice (And even roomier than the Malibu, at least on these PR pix)

It is sad to see that China is getting the all new model while we are only getting the same old car with a new grille for 2015.
Which means it will be at least a year, or more, until we get this one.

Yes, this one. I know some people have said our US version will be different, but is has already been seen testing in the US, and it is the same car we see here.

Toyota FCV

 This is the production version of Toyota's all new Hydrogen car.
Looking a lot like the previous concept.

Which is, rather awkward .... To say the least.

Toyota is hoping to make history. And pretty much bypassing regular Electric cars with this technology.

Range is about 435 Miles. Which is great.
But it's not something you can charge at home...
I was actually surprised to see how many charging stations are in California.
As there will be over 100 by the end of the year.
So this is a car you can actually use.

(Obviously not for a cross country road trip, yet...)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2015 Ford Edge

I must say, this is looking really good.
Not all new since it is pretty much the same design as the concept version we saw last year.

I am not too crazy about the front grille, which does resemble Hyundai SUVs. 
But still. This is basically a Crossover version of the current Fusion, which is one of the very best driving sedan available today.

For the 1st time, the Edge will also be sold in Europe.

Standard engine (In the US) is the excellent 2.0 Liter Turbo with 245HP.
(Which is quite an amazing engine in the Fusion)
An optional new 2.7 Liter Turbo V6 with over 300HP will also be available.

I guess this will mostly do battle against the all new Nissan Murano. Another modern 5 seater Crossover.

Monday, June 23, 2014

2015 VW Passat engines.

The Passat will be all new for the 2015 year.
In Europe that is...
In the US, we will be getting a revised version of the current car next year. (Let's hope they do a bit more work than with the "almost exactly the same" 2015 Jetta...)

These are the engines available for the new model in Europe:

-1.4 Liter 125HP
-1.4 Liter 150HP
-1.4 Liter 180HP
-2.0 Liter 220HP
-2.0 Liter 280HP
-Hybrid 211HP
-1.6 Diesel 120HP
-2.0 Diesel 150HP
-2.0 Diesel 150HP
-2.0 Diesel bi-Turbo 240HP

While most of these would be too underpowered for the US, there are some familiar engines on that list.
Like the 2.0 Liter Diesel 150pHP or the 2.0 Liter with 220HP.
But really, why don't we get the 190HP version of the diesel? And the new 240HP one sounds amazing!
Also, it looks like the 2.0 Liter with 280HP could be replacing out V6 option pretty soon.

And. Why don't we get 211HP out of the Hybrid over here?
So far, the Hybrid is only available in the Jetta, with 170HP.
From my experience, it is a great power train (with a 7 speed auto) and does get about 45MPG in the city as well as on the byway, in real life driving.

Let's hope VW finds it in their heart to bring some of these over here.

2015 Seat Leon X-perience

The Leon is already one of Europe's best looking wagon.
Now they came out with an Outback type version of it.
With AWD. And the mandatory "off road look" bits all around.

It still looks really nice. Like a smaller Outback. The glass roof option is especially cool. (Something Subaru should be offering)

Here will will be getting its cousin, the Golf Wagon early next year. And maybe later, also an AWD off road looking version. Which would be.. nice....

Friday, June 20, 2014

2015 Mazda2

The next new model for Mazda will be the small Mazda2.

We saw a concept version a few months ago. And it looked great.
The illustration above shows what a toned down production version could look like.

The second picture shows what the interior is like when driven by a pudgy middle aged guy.

This is it for now.
But more is coming up soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco

A surprise addition to the all new Sonata.

This new Eco model is powered by a smaller 1.6 Liter Turbo with a new 7 speed automatic.
It still has 177hp, and gets 28/38MPG. Sounds pretty good.

Until you compare it with the regular 2.4 Liter engine.
Which makes around 195hp. But still gets 25/37MPG.

It gets even worse when you compare prices. The new Eco is about $2100 more than the regular model!

It is one thing for VW or Audi to charge about $2500 for for their Diesel models that get over 50MPG HWY in real live driving. (And about 33 in the city)
But I cannot imagine people paying over $2000 more for a car that gets 3MPG more in the city. (And just 1 more on the highway).
This feels like what GM was trying to pull a few years ago with their "Mild Hybrid" system (also called Eco) Same story there, where expensive technology was used to gain about 3MPG. No one bought it.

Not sure what's going on here with Hyundai. It would make sense if the 1.6 Turbo was the base engine, replacing the 2.4 Liter.

Otherwise it's a scam.

Electric Golf Wagon?

Looks like the wagon version of the new Golf.
Sold in Europe and coming to the US soon.
But... This one is actually electric.

So far, there has been no news about an EV version of the new wagon. (The electric E-Golf hatch is coming out soon)
And it was caught in the US.


2015 Opel Corsa

 The big news for Opel at the Paris auto show this year will be a new Corsa compact.

As before, it will compete in Europe with cars like the Ford Fiesta and the VW Polo.
I personally don't think it looks better than the current model. Or more modern, at all.

It's fine, but not much of an improvement. At least as far as the design goes.

Back in 2006, when the current model was introduced, Bob Lutz did mention that the Corsa would be sold in the US.
Not the one being introduced then, but the next generation. Which is the car pictured above.

I just wonder if GM is still thinking about selling the new Corsa over here.
I am sure that, back in 2006, it was intended for Saturn.
But now, most Opel models are becoming Buicks over here.
So maybe this is our next small Buick.

Here is the current model, introduced in 2006.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2015 Peugeot 508

 The 508 is one of these invisible cars.
I saw a few (very few) while I was in Europe last year. And was actually surprised how bland they look in real life.
It's almost sad.

The revised front has a much stronger personality, giving the car a more upscale look as well.

One of the last Peugeot models sold in the US, the 505, was pretty much the ancestor of this car.
Here is the current front end design.

2015 Mercedes CLS

 The usual mid-cycle changes for a Mercedes. New lights, bumpers etc..

Inside, basically the same thing. Now with the iPad like screen sitting on top of the "rather old looking" center console.
A 9 speed auto is also new. Not sure of engines for the US yet. (If we are getting it with a V6 or not...)
Just for fun. Here is a pic of the one we are still not getting over here: the cool looking wagon.
because, you know, "the US don't like wagons"...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chinese made Volvo S60 coming to the US!

According to Reuters, Volvo plans to sell Chinese made S60 sedans in the US as early as next year.
We've hear this before.

What we haven't heard before is the news about selling the long wheelbase version of the S60 over here.
The S60L, which was designed specifically for the Chinese market. With over 3 inches more rear legroom.
(Interesting since Infiniti also chose to sell it's long version of the Q70 sedan over here as well.)

I guess this is a cheap way to offer a larger sedan. Instead of waiting for an all new S80. Which might still be years away...

So are we ready for Chinese made cars yet? Chinese made Volvos?

2016 VW Tiguan

These are just illustrations and NOT the real thing.

But it does fit VW's current designs.
The all new Tiguan will come out early 2015. (And who the hell knows when in the US...)

It will not have a small 3rd row seats (Like the new Rogue).
Being based on a longer version of the MQB platform it will be roomier than the current model.

Otherwise, let's just hope we don't have to wait 2 years for it over here. Since it is a pretty important model in VW's US lineup.

After all these SUV concepts they've shown us over the past few years, finally one that will see production...

Monday, June 16, 2014

2015 Mercedes CLS

LEDs! It's getting LEDs!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Nissan Rogue SV AWD test drive.

 Yes, I know. I've already written about the new Rogue. Not that long ago.
But Nissan sent me another one for a week, so ... Why not?
At least it is a different version. Not a top of the line model like the 1st one I had.
And it had the 3 row seat option.
Which is pretty rare for a "compact" crossover...

And I still think the new Rogue looks really good. By the way... In case you were wondering...

 Inside too. This version didn't have leather, but the cloth looked and felt really good.
As I am not the biggest fan of leather anyway, I would be just fine with this.

I also like Nissan 's recent interior designs. Most of them are a pretty relaxing place to be.
And they choose really good color combos.

The standard 6 speaker stereo was fine. But, as in other Nissans, not very loud. (For some weird reason...)

 The back seat is about as roomy as a mid sized sedan. Which is just fine. You can adjust it to make more room behind, for the poor souls stuck in the 3rd row.
Actually, you have too. Since there is no leg room whatsoever back there when the 2nd row seat is in the back position.
 Even with the 2nd seat moved all the way forward, no adult can fit in the 3rd row. ( I tried).
Plus, you would actually seat on the floor with your knees up to your chin.
It is only good for baby seats of kids under 5... And even then, they would seat so low they couldn't see out the window.  It's like a "small kids cave" back there.
 With the "mostly useless" 3rd row down, the trunk space is pretty impressive.

Otherwise, it drives pretty much the same as most modern Nissans.
-The steering feels very artificial. But somehow feels quite firm (a good thing) on the freeway.
-The engine isn't the quietest or smoothest, but it's just fine most of the time.
-The CVT works very well.
-Mileage is good at 23 City (But under the 25 official number) and 32 HWY. ( I got a little bit over at almost 35) So it is a bit less than the FWD version.

It's just a very nice car. There is nothing really wrong. (But also nothing that stands out.)

These so called "compact crossovers" are becoming more and more popular and are replacing many mid sized sedans. They are basically as roomy, a bit shorter and with the convenience of a hatchback.
And most people seem to like sitting higher. (not me)

The new Rogue is a really good choice.

One thing I would like to mention, is how great the color on my test car was.
It is called "midnight jade". (A blend of dark green and brown.) One of the most interesting hue I have seen in a while.

My test car started at about $26 000, for a total of $29 500 with a few options  (Premium and Family packages).
Not cheap, for a car with cloth seats, and no sunroof.
But you can save by getting the FWD version, and skipping on the "back seat cave" 3rd row option...