Sunday, August 31, 2014

VW Saveiro Pick-up

You guessed it, not for us.
Just like other interesting cars VW has in other countries, like the Up and Scirocco.
(The US market seems to just be an afterthought to them, really.)

This is for the Brazilian market, and just got updated. Mostly a new front end that looks like the new Golf.
Sure it is small, sure it is probably slow (With a small 1.6 Liter with 110hp), and sure it has a cheap interior.
Who cares! It's a cool small pick-up like the Subaru Baja used to be.

VW needs something cool. Anything.

And cheap!
It starts at around $14 000 in Brazil

I am sure there is a market for a small, sub $20 000 pick-up here in the US.
And whoever will be the 1st to offer one will just create a new market. (Or re-create one)

All we need is a little bit of good old fashion guts. From anyone....

Friday, August 29, 2014

Where do you live?

It's that time again.
I've done it before, I know.

But I am always interested in knowing where my readers are from.
Of course, I assume most of you read this from the US. But many of you don't.
These websites, no matter how small, can reach so far into the planet.

I do have a bit of a similar experience with other things I do. (One of them is working on TV shows)
Where you meet people from far away who know your work.
It always feel really special....

PS: So sorry about the previous pic. I didn't realize it was missing so many flags.
So here is an updated one. I hope you all find your country!

More pictures of the Buick Envision

Looking exactly like what you'd expect. A smaller Enclave.
From the back, it could be from anyone. It has that generic?kinda pleasant shape that almost all SUVs have these days.
Interior has a lot of wood trim that looks really fake (At least on that pic)

As I mentioned before, I think the new Lincoln MKC looks much better than this, inside and out.

I guess that's what happens when a brand (Buick) becomes more popular in China than its own country.
It caters to the (bad) taste of the new market...

More pictures of the new 2015 Kia Sorento

Kia is hoping to sell over 270 000 a year of these, worldwide.
So it's better be good.

It does look quite nice. More upscale than the previous version.
Also more "family" like. Dare I say more "minivan" like? (Why not...I just said it)

The 3.3 Liter V6 returns. And the 2.4 Liter also , in some countries. As well as a diesel, but that, of course, is not fur us.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Something you don't see every day...

Saw this inside a small upholstery shop in Burbank. (AKA "Beautiful Burbank")

Looked to be in great condition. Owner actually drives it once in a while.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2015 Datsun mi-DO

A new Datsun, yes. After the on-DO sedan, here is the mi-DO hatchback version.

These are for "emerging" market only.
So these new Datsun models will not make it to Europe or the US.

As you can see, this is a very cheap car. Which is fine.
What is not fine, and actually laughable and ridiculous, is the way Nissan officially describes it:

"The Datsun mi-DO is a practical yet sporty five-door hatchback with a strong masculine appearance: modern, robust and confident".
I haven't read that much PR BS in a long time.

The description should stop right after "practical".
Sporty, masculine, confident, modern etc... have no place here. Someone should look up the actual meaning of these words. (In what country does a car like this qualifies as "masculine" or "sporty"???)
This reads like an article from "The Onion".

Now about these names. mi-DO and on-DO....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2015 Volvo XC90

Well... It's been 11 years.
For something that doesn't look that great.

I mean, they've been teasing us with 3 great looking concept this past years. I mean great designs inside and out.
Telling us "The next XC90 will look like that! Yes it will!"
No it doesn't.

You could put any grille on that thing and it could be any luxury SUV. From anyone.

And the interior has nothing in commun (nothing) with any of the recent concepts.

I guess this is the "Jetta of luxury SUVs". Boring but not ugly.
It will start at about $49 000 in the US. Which is almost $10 000 more than the current model.
So they obviously think it is great.

So great that they will offer a "first edition" model at launch. And that one will be $66 000!
Sure, getting 316hp from a 4 cylinder is pretty cool.
But $66 000....

The T6 model will be a 2.0 Liter Turbo while the T8 will be a hybrid with 400hp.

So engines are quite modern.
Too bad the design isn't.

This is fine, but it could have been great...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

VW Jetta TDI Test Drive coming up.

I just got a Jetta TDI for the week.
So I will be reporting on it soon.

Last time I drove one, it was a 6 speed manual. And it was great.
This time I am stuck with the DSG. Which is.... "not that great". At all.

More soon.

2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Or at least a toy version.
Which gives us quite a good idea of what the real thing will look like.

This is supposed to replace the Freelander/LR2 model.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Citroen DS 6WR

This one is not coming over here.
It's not even coming to Europe!

This new Crossover from Citroen is, so far, for China only.
It is about 3 inches shorter than an Audi Q5 and is powered by 1.6 Liter engines ranging from 163HP to 200HP.
A 1.8 Liter Diesel with 140HP is also available.

It doesn't look bad. And I am sure it could find some buyers in Europe...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

All new Jaguar XE

This is it.
The all new compact sedan from Jaguar.

This picture was taken from the video posted above. Basically what you would see on the screen of your dashboard when you start the car.

So far it looks fine. The video also shows bits of the interior. (In a weird Tron-like computer animation.)

That's all we've got until next month, when they will show us the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Toyota FCV/Mirai

There is a rumor about "Mirai" being the actual name for the upcoming Hydrogen Toyota car.
Why not...

As you can see from the top pic, the real thing looks exactly the same as the one we saw just a few months ago (blue car)

Not sure about pricing yet. But over 400 miles range and 3 mn refill sounds pretty interesting.
And, as I was checking the map, it looks like we have many hydrogen stations in California. Where I live. ( I even saw one on Santa Monica Blvd the other day)

This could be quite interesting for some people.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

This new model will replace the LR2 in the US.
So it's not big.

So far they are only showing us the interior. Looking modern. (I guess this video wants to make us feel like an astronaut...)
Range Rovers have been really good looking in the past years. This is promising...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Buick Envision Interior

From what we saw earlier, the new Envision seems pretty conservative and quite generic outside.
At least on these pictures, the interior seems a bit more original.

These are actually pretty bad photos, so it is hard to say. (Also that red/black combo isn't for everyone)
It could be a case of "trying too hard".
Not sure about pricing, but being cheaper than the $36 500 Enclave, it could be competing with the new $34 000 Lincoln MKC. (Which is really, really nice in person...)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

R.I.P: Hyundai Elantra Coupe

The coupe version of the Elantra will not return for 2015.
Due to poor sales.

Of course!
A coupe should be more than a 2 door sedan.
It should have more style and look better than the sedan version. Or at least, be different.

Honda seems to be doing it right. Both the Civic coupe and Accord coupe have their own design.
And do not look like 2 door versions of the sedans that are based on.

A coupe with no more style than a sedan is really useless. And a lazy way to design a car...

Monday, August 11, 2014

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata

 There is a new Miata coming. In just a few days now.
And this is the 1st teaser for it.
Which looks like.. A Miata.

Expect the new model to be lighter and especially, more efficient with SkyActiv technology.

Here are pictures of the real thing, in the streets. Still camouflaged, and we can't see the front end.

Again, it looks like the new Miata might look a lot like all the other ones.
Which is good.

2015 Kia Sorento

Nothing except these 3 pictures yet.

It does look a bit larger. And more upscale.

The Sorento has been a big hit for Kia, with over 105 000 sold last year. If they can keep prices at similar levels, this could even be more popular.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Nissan Sentra Test Drive

 The Sentra is one of these cars you really don't notice around.
Actually, just like most compact sedans, Like the Civic, Corolla etc...
So I must admit, I wasn't too exited to be getting one for a whole week.

It looks fine. Nothing original or ugly either. Pretty much like a smaller Altima.

 Same thing inside. There is nothing wrong. But also nothing you remember.

Everything is well finished. (The doors feel surprisingly solid when you close them.)
It is comfortable and pleasant.
(Although, for my taste, there is just too much fake wood everywhere.)
The Bose stereo in my test car (SL) sounded very good. (Although not as goos as VW's Fender system.)
The one thing that bothered me was the seating position. Which in its lowest setting, still felt too high for me.
 At first, it really felt like a "gutless wonder". The combination of 130 engine and CVT transmission isn't going to be much fun.
But once you give up on going fast. You realize how smooth and quiet everything is.

Like... Like a car for old people.
This was almost a revelation. The Sentra works great as a car for older people looking for a compact sedan.
Everything is better when you don't push it.
Even the fake wood makes sense now! Even the higher seating position.

So after a couple of days, I started seeing the car for what it really is.
Very quiet, smooth, solid. Nothing looks or feels too modern.

They might not want to say it, but the Sentra is a perfect car for older people.
(Which is at odd with their TV adds)

It's more like a small Camry. It does everything very well. If you're not trying to push it.

So in that sense, I have to give it credit. A conservative car for an older, more conservative crowd.
With just enough tech so older folks won't feel too "out of the loop".

(It would be interesting to find out what the actual demographic for this car is.)

My SL test car was pretty loaded, except for leather seats. And it was still just $22 630.
Including sunroof, Nav, Bose etc...

This is really good. Pretty much the same as a base Altima. For a car that is still roomy enough for most people.