Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New "Karma" promo video

Pretty amazing. This has to be the ultimate PR BS video.
This new promo video for Karma (no more Fisker, or even "Elux) manages to actually say nothing. For a whole 1 minute and 28 seconds.

The last words are "are you going to wake up?". Yes. Really...
It sounds like a weird translation of Chinese text. (Which it probably is, since this is now a Chinese company)

Besides the weird video (Which could very well be about VW these days) , I still think the Karma is one of the best looking car on the road. And I do wish them well, since I'd like to see more of these on the road.

So there...

2017 Fiat 124 VS. 2016 Mazda Miata

Just though I would try to compare the two.
From these pix we have all seen these last couple of days.

At first (from grainy phone pix, I know) , they do seem quite different.
The hood of the Fiat seems quite a bit longer, taller.  Which I personally like.
So does the trunk. There might be a new crease line running along the side (Hard to see, but it could be an attempt to match the original design)

I haven't been a big fan of the new Miata, so the Fiat does look better to me.
I also really like the silver finish around the windshield.

But inside... It's just too bad. Both cars look exactly the same.
I mean, the new Miata does have a really nice interior. But I really wish Fiat had spent just a little bit of money to make their model  more special. Come on....

Here is the original convertible version of the old Fiat 124.
The Pininfarina design still looks fantastic.

You can see the new one is just a Miata trying very hard to look a little bit like this.
Maybe it'll work.
(We'll definitely have to wait for better pictures)

What do you think?
(You can take the poll on the top left of this page.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Honda Fuel Cell FCV sedan

That looks weird. Not as weird and ugly as the Toyota Mirai. But still.
This is very, very awkward.

There is a bit of the new Civic in the front fender. Some Crosstour on the sides.
Let's hope the next Accord doesn't borrow too much from this...

New Mazda Coupe Concept

That could be great!

Seems like most car makers have abandoned the affordable coupe.
(Except Honda). Besides the obvious choices like the Mustang/Camaro/Challenger trio.

There was a rumor a while ago about an all new coupe based on the Mazda6.
So maybe this is a preview of that model.

We will know everything in a month.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mercedes GLC EV coming up?

 Looks like there is no exhaust pipes on this prototype driving around.
Which, logically, would mean an EV.

Plus, Mercedes Execs keep mentioning a shift from diesels to EVs and Plug-in Hybrids.
Since many European countries are actually seriously thinking about regulating Diesel big time (France even mentioned a total ban in a few years)
And that was before the current VW scandal/mess. Which might accelerate things.

This is the official European version of the new GLC.
Not only does it have tailpipes, but the bumper trim is slightly different. As well as the tail lights (?!)


Thursday, September 24, 2015

2016/17 Mazxa CX-7

 We just saw the super good looking Mazda Koeru concept a few days ago. And now the production version (probably called the CX-7) has been caught.

As you can see, they look almost the same.
Which means another really good looking Mazda is coming soon.

Same thing inside. (Production version on top)
Where things are really close to the concept. Except the screen and shifter.

It looks like Mazda is doing the same thing as Nissan. Where the CX-5 competes with the Rogue.
And the new CX-9 will go against the 7 seater Pathfinder.
But in between, there is room for something higher end, more luxurious and slicker.
Like the Murano.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Buick Cascada price

Buick's first convertible in many years will start at $34 000.
It comes standard with a 7 inch screen, 7 speaker stereo, 20 inch wheels and a 1.6 Liter Turbo with 200HP.
A premium version will cost $3000 more.
I am not sure 200HP will be enough to be fun. GM could have maybe squeezed their great 2.0 Liter in there (Or maybe they couldn't...)
Still, the more expensive and smaller Audi A3 Cabriolet comes standard with the 1.8 Liter from the Golf. So no 200HP there...
Besides, the Cascada is 3 inches longer than an A5.
So I think it is priced right.

I cannot wait to see them in the streets as I was always a big fan of that design.
And to test one soon....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

GMC Canyon test drive

 After a week driving the big Silverado, I was wondering if the smaller Colorado/Canyon would make more sense.
I mean, the Silverado is fun (kind of...), but it is quite a chore to drive around in the city.
And that horrible ride on the freeway...

So GMC sent me a loaded version of the new Canyon.
I think it looks great. (Especially with the Emerald green color, a $495 option).
And the oversized GMC grille seems to work on the smaller truck.

Even though it feels like a compact after driving the Silverado, it's not. The "short bed" version I had is still over 10 inches longer than a Chevrolet Impala.
A long bed is available and that adds another 12 inches!
Plus, at least my AWD model, it is really high. Almost a foot taller than the Impala.

So it is still a "big thing" to drive around. It might be "mid sized for a truck", but still bigger than a full size sedan.
 The one GM sent me had a dealer installed tonneau cover. A $615 option.
Which makes this truck more like a car, since now you have a lockable trunk.
But it's not that easy to remove when you need to carry big things. (Which is kind of the point of a truck..)

 Inside, it feels much more like a car than the Silverado. Mostly because of the console and the shifter between the seats. But also the "more normal" size.
Everything looks nice and simple. And it all feels very solid. (except the turning signal stalk)

The optional Bose stereo sounds good. But still, to me, not worthy of the Bose name. (It's not better than some really good base systems.)

The seats are very comfortable.

 The back seat is pretty roomy. But not nearly as much as in a (shorter) large sedan.

 The whole thing is very nicely finished. It's not luxury sedan level, but it doesn't pretend to be.

 The 1st thing you say when you turn around is "Thank God for rear cameras". (As a matter of fact, you'll say it every time you turn around)
The top of the headliner is really high. And without the camera, it would be really tough to see a car.
A pet, ot a small child.
 The first thing I noticed was how much nicer the ride was, when compared to the 2 door Silverado.
It is still trucky, and even a bit hard sometimes. But that's expected.
It is just fine for every day use.

The V6 is pretty quiet. Although not as super quiet and smooth as the big 4.3 Liter from the Silverado.
It does a great job moving the truck around in the city.

But things do change when you get on the freeway. For some reason, it seems that most of the 305 horses from the 3.6 Liter engine are taking a break. A very long break...
Combined with a transmission that doesn't really like to downshift, and you get a very frustrating experience. You basically have to push it most of the time to move.
It's really bad on long hills. Where the whole thing feels like a 4 cylinder.
(I cannot imagine what the actual 4 cylinder is like.)

The version I was driving (V6, 4WD SLT 4 door) is rated at 17MPG city and 24 Hwy.
I did get 17 in the city, but up to 28 on the freeway.
Which is actually really good, I think.

The version I drove was loaded at $41 785. Which, at first, seemed really expensive to me.
Until I compared it to the 4 door loaded Silverado (High Country) I drove last year. With pretty much the same equipment (plus a V8 of course). It was $52 000.
Mileage was 14/20.
So by going for the "small guy", you are saving about $10 000. And even more on gas.
Sure, the High Country is roomier and carries more stuff.

But for most people, I think the Canyon/Colorado is really the way to go...

2017 Buick Lacrosse

Buick is, so far, only teasing the front end of their redesigned large sedan.

It does look nice. But as we saw before (last week's spy shot) it won't look anything like the stunning Avenir concept from last year. (Maybe the Avenir might become another sedan, above the Lacrosse.)

We will see the whole thing next month at the L.A auto show.

2016 Nissan Altima

 THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how a mid-cycle refresh is done. And done right.
The difference between the 2015 and 2016 models is obvious.
And it seems that it actually didn't require more new parts than the lame Passat refresh.
(hood, bumper, lights etc...)

Even inside, (2016 model above), they changed a few things. The console is new.
Mileage gets even better at 29HWY.
Seems like there is some new tech inside, but no Apple Car Play. (too bad)

So of course, once again, the Altima looks very much like the Maxima.
Which, again, might not be the best for the Maxima...

It seems that Nissan is always having trouble convincing people to by the Maxima since the Altima is pretty much the same size car. They really need to rethink things a bit...

Monday, September 21, 2015

2016 VW Passat: "major facelift"

Another lie from VW: "the 2016 Passat is getting a major facelift".
More BS!

All it is getting is a "regular" facelift! new hood, lights, grille, number etc....
Inside. Nothing really new. ("New" one on top). New trim, new wood color, details, that's all. Same old looking interior.
(It looked old a few years ago so it's not really looking great now)

Same engines. 1.8 Liter Turbo and V6.
And they claim the diesel is still available. Although it's NOT. As VW has stopped selling all diesels in the US. For a while at least.
You'd think at least they'd put a version of the Jetta's great Hybrid system. But no...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Something you don't see every day...

At least in the US.
I was in Burbank yesterday when I saw this yellow Ford Ecosport.
Which is sold pretty much around the world, but not in the US.
I couldn't tell if the plates were from Canada or Mexico?
But it wasn't a Michigan plate prototype.

Too bad Ford isn't selling this here. Seems like everyone has something that size in the US now.
Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade etc...

Maybe they are waiting for the next generation...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2017 Buick Lacrosse

Looking good. If not great.
(After showing us the Avenir concept last year, expectations are pretty high.)

This looks like a big Insignia (Regal) Which is fine.
It is quite a slick looking large car.

There are already talks about using the same Hybrid system as the brand new Malibu. Which would then compete with the Avalon Hybrid.

More pictures of the redesigned 2016 Jaguar XF

Actually looking better in a classier color.
(Although the profile is still more Subaru than Jaguar)
I still don't like the interior. The lower part of the console is fine, the rest doesn't belong in a Jaguar.

That vast, flat aluminum area covering most of the dash never looks good. In any car.
And, in a Jaguar, it should be wood.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

All new 2016 Honda Civic

Here is it, the all new Civic.

The first thing I noticed was... the pictures!!
And how bad they are! I mean really. A huge company like Honda cannot hire a decent photographer to launch one of their most important model ever????
Look at that super crappy photoshop job on the top 2 photos.
This is really bad and gives a horrible first impression.

Now for the car. It does look super modern. (I think it could look great in better pix)
The interior seems pretty upscale. Despite the weird color on the shitty pix. (is it a black interior? Dark grey?)
Everything seems pretty high end for a compact car.
This could be great in person.

Engines are also new.
LX and EX models are getting a new 2.0 Liter with 158PH, and a 6 speed manual or CVT
EX-T and EX-L models get the 1.5 Liter Turbo with over 170HP. CVT only

Honda claims the 1.5 liter will get over 40MPG.

it looks much longer on the pictures but is only about an inch longer than the current model.
But about 2 inches wider.
Coupe and hatchback versions are coming out later.

More soon. (Maybe even better pix...)

What do you think?

2016 Renault Megane

 We saw this car a few days ago. But I thought i'd post a few more pictures of it.
It looks really nice! I mean this isn't a luxury car. It is from a mainstream brand.
Competing with the Golf. Nothing super fancy.
Just something looking really good, classy, solid and tasteful.

Meanwhile, in Toyotaworld, we have this...