Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2017 Honda Odyssey

Apparently, this is actually the next Honda Odyssey for 2017. (So I've been told)

It is still pretty covered up. And it looks like... A minivan.
So don't except anything original.

So far I think the best looking one out there is the new Kia Sedona. Which does have a really nice, almost non-minivan, interior.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2017 Buick Envision

This is the first batch of the new Buick Envision, heading for the US.
From China....

So this is it. Chinese made Buicks are coming.

GMC Yukon Denali XL Test Drive

The current Yukon/Tahoe/Suburban might be only a little over 2 years old, but they are already super popular.
Around L.A, they are pretty much everywhere.

Last year, GM sold over 152000  Tahoes/Suburbans, and over 71000 Yukons/Yukon XL.
Which is quite amazing.

They also seem to have replaced the TownCar as the favorite choice as a luxury ride to the airport.
(Or to the local Sleazy Hollywood "PullDown" club)
And they do look quite handsome. In a big brick sort of way.

The interior is nice too. Although I am still not sure why they still use the old 70's style column shifter. (Obvious cost saving?) But I got used to it pretty quickly. Even though it does cheapen the whole interior feel and look.

That interior is otherwise pretty nice.
 But, there are still a few cheap plastic bits here and there.
And the fake wood does a great job at... looking fake.

The Bose stereo sounded really good. But the interface got quite annoying a few times.
Like going back to shuffle without being asked to do so. Or just stop playing stuff altogether. etc...

The seats were surprisingly flat and hard.
(Quite a surprise to me since most GM seats are now really good)

Here is a shot of that beautiful "wood like thing".

And, of course. It is super roomy. Front and back. Even the 3rd row seats.
And the back in the long version (Similar to the Suburban) has a huge truck. And a giant space when all the seats are flat.
(That's pretty much the point of getting something that huge isn't it...)
On the road, it is, of course, very quiet.
But, the big 6.2 Liter V8 wasn't as super smooth and quiet as the smaller 5.3 Liter unit available in its Tahoe twin. (or the regular "non Denali" Yukon)

The new 8 speed transmission is mostly fine. But can also be a bit rough at really low speed around town.

The 6.2 Liter Yukon is rated at 14/21 MPG for the 4WD version I had for a week.
I could only get 12MPG in the city. And I was trying very hard...
But got 23 on the Highway.

The ride is pretty smooth, but not as isolated as I thought it would be.
It always lets you know that, no matter how much money you spent, this is still a truck, not a car.

Talking about price, the Denali version I had was priced at $78 825.
Which included about $8000 worth of options.

For my money, I would skip the Denali altogether and get the regular Yukon.
You can still get la loaded version with leather, sunroof etc... And the smoother 5.3 Liter engine
And save around $15 000.

This is something I had to try.
The "Camping in the Yukon" night. And it works. There is more than enough room behind the front seats for an inflatable mattress for 2 people.
And all the extra stuff you need for a cool camping night by the beach.

And with a total of 3 screens, it was a great way to watch the Larry Sanders show again.

Monday, December 21, 2015

2017 Buick Regal Tour X coming up?

GM patented the name TourX for the next Buick Regal.
Which is good news. Really.
(The pic above is just an illustration of the Opel version)

That'll be yet another wagon type car competing with the Subaru Outback.
Since VW is also sending us the AllTrack version of the Golf Wagon.

The European Opel version of the Regal (The Opel Insignia) has been available as a wagon for years.
And also as this AWD version called the Country Tourer.

(The "X" in TourX probably stands for AWD)

Are wagons slowly making a come back in the US???

2017 Honda Odyssey?

Just a few more pictures of that Minivan prototype spied in the L.A area.

I was told it was the next Honda Odyssey. Which does make sense.
So I guess next year's big news will be the battle of minivans, between the new Odyssey and the new Town & Country...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Acura NSX Insane Price

 Not unexpected, but still shocking. The new NSX starts at $ 157 800.
Yes. almost $160 000 for the Acura.
That's not all. With all options it goes up to $207 500!

I sat in it at the Auto Show. (Obviously I have not driven one)
And I can tell you that at least from inside, it is NOT worth $160 000. It looks and feels nice, of course,
But not better than a loaded $40 000 Acura sedan.

And, something they don't really understand, at that price a brand name does matter.
Very few people will spend that money for the actual performance of the car.
 All these expensive cars are very fast, handle great and look good.

What people want is to be seen in them. It might be sad, but that's how it is....

I am not sure who would ever consider this at all????

 As far as being seen in an expensive car, you can hardly beat an Aston Martin.
Since they all look great and super expensive, you might as well get the "cheapest one".
Which is this V8 Vantage model. Which starts at $124 000.

Yes, the Aston is almost $35 000 less than the NSX...

 Another great choice: the all new Mercedes AMG GT. I sat in one as well, and I can tell you that it looks and feels twice as expensive as the Acura.

But. At $130 800, almost a bargain next to the NSX!

 And there is always the stunning BMW i8. Which is always quite a sight when I see one.

Again, much cheaper than the Acura since it starts at $141 700 (!)

OR... You can do the right thing and get 18 1976 Chrysler Cordobas. All with the Corinthian Leather option. (more pics HERE)

Which would actually be the best and coolest way to go.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

 Yes, after about 10 years, there is an all new Ridgeline coming soon.
Next month.

Honda only sold 13 389 of them last year. But over 50 000 back in 2006.
So there is some potential here.

But, as you can see, it'll look nothing like the cool overly optimistic "official sketch" above..
(The first official picture on top shows the real thing.)
Nothing modern. So far, it looks like it is trying really hard to look like a real pick up truck. Which it isn't. From that angle at least, it could be a Ford or Chevy truck.

 If you have something different, why not make it look different.

Sure the current one is old. But at least they tried something different .

Mystery Minivan caught

A few more pictures of this upcoming minivan.

I guess most people seem to think it is either the next Sienna or Odyssey.

So far, I am tempted to go with the Honda Odyssey.
Like someone noticed, the shape of the headlights and grille seem to match with what we are seeing on the CRV/Pilot front end.

I will be getting more pictures of this soon.

Acura Precision Concept

Acura will be showing this all new sedan concept at the Detroit Auto Show this year.

They say it " shows the styling and proportions of the next generation of Acura sedans".
But the only sedan model they have scheduled (or should be) for a new design would be the RLX.
That big super boring Legend replacement.
(The one nobody knows it's still around.)

So this could be a preview. As their other models are still too new. Except the ILX usually follows the Civic by a year or so. But this looks larger.

And please, (while you're t it), bring back the name "Legend".
And "Integra" a year after that.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Volvo C90

Volvo seems to have copyrighted a bunch of coupe names. Like C60 and even C40.
Which means the next S60 sedan will also come as a coupe, and maybe a convertible.

That would put Volvo right up there with Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Who are offering now pretty much every possible version of their various series.

And, a coupe version of the super good looking new S90 sedan seems like a no brainer.
We already know a wagon is coming.
A coupe and convertible would be a great addition. Matching what Mercedes has been doing with the E-Class.

Next Toyota Sienna/Honda Odyssey?

This was just sent to me. It was taken in the US.
And I am just not sure what it is...

I know it's not the new Chrysler Town and Country (I thought it was at first)
But the grille, headlights do not match what we have already seen.

Some new Hyundai Minivan? Both the Sienna and Odyssey are due for a new one pretty soon. I guess.

(I will post more pictures of this very soon, so keep checking.)

What do you think?

This is, by the way, the front end of the all new 2017 Chrysler Town and Country.
As you can see, not the same as the one pictured above...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hyundai Ioniq

More teasers of Hyundai's all new model.

Looking really nice. And not weird at all. I really think it will steal sales from the new weirdo Prius. (As it should)

On top of that, they will offer 3 models. A "regular" hybrid. A plug-in. And a full electric EV version.
So basically, with just one car, they are going after the Prius, The Volt and the Leaf!

I really can't wait to see more of this.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2016 Infiniti Q50

 Very subtle changes fort the Q50 sedan. Nothing anyone will notice.
(2016 on top)

 Same thing inside.

The big news are under the hood.
The old "smooth but thirsty"3.5 Liter is gone.

Now replace by the new 2.0 Liter with 208HP standard.
Or the 3.0 Liter Turbo with 300HP. And a 400HP version is now also available (!) called "Red Sport 400"

The "old" Hybrid version with the 3.5 Liter is somehow still on the menu.

Seems like a lot of changes. making the good looking Q50 even more competitive than before.
And now with Mercedes engines!

2016 Infiniti QX60

 The 2016 model is the blue one above.
Small changes, but it works. Really. The grille, headlights and new wheels all look very nice.
I know the Infiniti is very close to the current Nissan pathfinder. But after test driving both, I can tell you the Infiniti is a much nicer and premium experience.
For some reason, it all feels much more solid than the Nissan version.
It is also one of the quietest and smoothest SUVs I have ever driven.

So big changes were not needed.
It keeps the 3.6 Liter V6 and the Hybrid Option (No longer available on the Pathfinder)

Inside, its pretty much the same as before. (New one on top)
Again, not a bad thing.
And with new 3 layer glass, it is supposed to be even quitter than before.

Although, it might soon be time for new engines at Infiniti.
265HP from the big 3.5 Liter V6 isn't great these days.