Monday, November 30, 2015

All new 2016/17 Mercedes E Class

We will see the real thing very soon.
But so far, even with all that pixelated stuff, this is the best picture of the new interior I've seen.
And, as expected, it looks exactly like a cross between the C-Class and the S-Class.
No surprises here...

Also, the mix of a wide angle lens and this huge BFG type human driving the car makes the new E-Class seem like a tiny clown car.

Just saying...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Genesis G90

This is the replacement for the Hyundai Equus.

And, so far, looking the part of an expensive sedan. Unlike the new Cadillac CT6.
(Which is such a huge disappointment in real life)

They claim it will cost the same as the current model. So figure around $62 000.
(although it might actually be cheaper since the base model will now be a V6)

They still say it is a competitor to the BMW 7 series and the Mercedes S Class. Which is it not. Since BMW and Mercedes buyers (especially high end) almost never look at anything else.

But now that is is its own brand (kind of) and not sold as a Hyundai, it might actually have a much better chance against Lexus and Cadillac.
Plus, it will (hopefully) get all the advertising money that comes with launching a new brand.

I think this could repeat what Lexus did with the original LS sedan .
An attractive, less expensive,  alternative to some of the established players. (Lexus was also brand new then)

The current LS sedan starts at around $73 000.
The poor CT6 starts at $54 000. But that's for a 2.0 Liter Turbo.
Otherwise you pay $56 000 for the V6. Or $65 000 for the V6 Turbo AWD.

As for leasing, (Since most of these big sedans are leased anyway, Lexus offers the LS for $799 a month with $5000 due at signing.
While the current Equus is $669 a month with $2500 due at signing.
Not that huge of a difference. (Although again, the V6 would be less.)

The G90 V6 might be priced at around the same, or even less, than the CT6 V6.
While looking 100 times more like the luxury car it is supposed to be.

This could be interesting...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2017 Kia Forte Facelift

I really like the Forte.
Especially the current generation. I really nice blend of conservative and modern design.

I think this "facelift" is useless.
I even think the new front end is worse. Much worse! (what do you think of that?!)

This is all kind of ridiculous...(At least they didn't rename it "Costanza Jr.")

Monday, November 23, 2015

2016 Kia Codensa

Sure, it looks a bit slicker when compared to the outgoing model.
But not that much better...

The current one is really nice. Inside and out.

The new one will be more like the new Optima inside. Which isn't the best. And certainly not an improvement.
Plus, this one already looks  a little bit like the new Volvo S90.

I really wonder why they still bother. They sold only 5898 units last year.
Which is a really low number. Even if the new one doubles or triples the sales, it'll still be really low.
(The outgoing LaCrosse still sold 35 526 units last year. And 97 271 for the newer Impala!)

Good luck.

2017 Subaru Impreza Sedan

 So, there was yet another Impreza Concept at the autoshow last week. ( You can still see it in L.A)
And now, we can see a prototype of the real thing.
And, as usual, it is quite a let down. As you can see.

Now when you compare it to the current one (above), it even doesn't seem that modern either...
I mean sure, it is better. But we are taking about 2017 here. 

And by the way, this is the "old" 2010 Impreza concept. 
Which still looks a million times better than the production car. 
But also, to me, still looks more modern than this week's concept.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kia Optima wagon

I remember last year, back when they unveiled the Sportspace Concept (Red car above). Kia mentioned that  there wasn't going to be a wagon version of the "then" Next Optima.
Now we know that was all BS...

This will probably be sold mostly in Europe. Where it will compete with wagon versions of the VW Passat, Ford Mondeo, Opel Insignia, Renault Talisman, Peugeot 508 and even the Mazda6.

Auto Show Quick notes: Interiors

 The new Mini Clubman is really roomy.
This could truly work as a compact family car. On top of that, everything feels and looks good.
(Except the never ending amount of shiny bits everywhere...)
On the other hand, this is sad.

The US/China Only Passat interior looked old when it came out back in 2011. Almost 5 years later all it gets (At least inside) is some new trim. Barely.
So now it looks... really old.

At the show, the Mazda6 sits about 20 feet away from the Passat.
And what a difference 20 feets make!  It is quite amazing. The Mazda feels and looks like another class of car altogether. While pretty much at the same price.

It seems that about anything it its class has a much better interior than the Passat.

Friday, November 20, 2015

2017 Volvo S90

 !st official teasers for Volvo's next big sedan.
It will be based on the same platform used by the XC90, which has, so far, been getting great reviews.

Not really a surprise. Since we have seen pictures of the toy version for months now.

Still, a really good looking car. Something different from the German crowd or E Class, 5 series and A6.
And probably much nicer inside than the poor new Jaguar XF. (See "blocky doors" posted earlier)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BMW Compact Sedan Concept

 They're not calling it the 1series sedan, but that's pretty much what it is.
We all know by now that a new 1 series hatch is due out pretty soon. Based on the same platform as the Mini and BMW Active Tourer.
And a new sedan style will be added to the lineup (After years of rumors). So they can finally sell it in the US.
(Where, you know, we apparently don't like hatchbacks...)

It looks cute. Exactly like it is supposed to be. A smaller 3 series.
Just like the Audi A3 looks like a small A4.
Even inside, once you get past the crazy "Show car bits and lights", it's pretty much the same but smaller.
So it'll work. People want their BMWs. And it they can get one for less money, they will.
And, being FWD, it might actually be about as roomy as the 3 series.
This is the real thing testing in Europe.
Which looks pretty much the same as the concept.

Goodbye Art Fitzpatrick

Mr. Fitzpatrick and his partner Van Kaufman did amazing illustrations for GM for decades.
Amazing artwork that would make generations dream about new cars.

These beautiful illustrations made the cars look even better. By cheating a little bit. Making then lower and wider that they actually were.
All in such a wonderful realistic way, unlike the crazy (vulgar) exaggerated "official sketches" we see these days.

Mr.Fitzpatrick was drawing the cars while Mr.Kaufman was doing the backgrounds.
They would both spend time un Europe every year scouting for beautiful and exotic locations. Coming back right on time to illustrate all the new year's models.

Amazing skills that are now gone.
(The horrible pictures Honda has published for the release of the new Civic, sedan and coupe, are ugly enough to make you cry.)

You can see much more of their beautiful work HERE

AutoShow Quick note: Mazda VS. Fiat

I must be in the minority, but I do like the Fiat version better than the Miata.
I was a big fan of the previous version Miata. (Test drove it twice)

But I cannot warm up to the current (more aggressive) design.
So I do like the Fiat "clone" better. (except when compared to the still stunning 1966 original Pininfarina design)
It does have a different design, and the front is a bit longer.
Which I like.

The interior is exactly the same. But you can order this brown color. (I think the Miata now comes in black only. Except for that limited "launch edition")

It was also really fun watching all the long/boring PR BS introducing the car. And its "Italian heart".
The whole thing was about being Italian etc... Never, of course, mentioning the Mazda link. Ever.

It should also end up being the most reliable Fiat ever made. (Since it is built in Japan alongside the Miata).
Another plus...

What do you think?

AutoShow Quick notes: Doors.

 Jaguar XF sedan. Boring outside, boring inside.
Doesn't look or feel like a Jaguar. This interior door design is as blocky/uninspired as they get.

 Meanwhile, inside the Mazda CX-9...

AutoShow Quick notes: New Cadillac interiors

 I finally got to sit inside the big CT6. A car that, I think, is such a disappointment in the pictures I had seen to it.
In real life. It is big. And... we'll. Still disappointing.

It looks really, really boring. And even awkward. (I mean look at that cut line for the trunk!)
There is just zero of the style or flair needed to make this a Cadillac. (Or even a contender)

As for the interior, the one they have on the show floor is really bad. 
I am sure it might look a bit better with the wood. But the one I saw looked just too cheap.
(And look at this boring console design)
The plastics were also just not up to the competition.
It just didn't look of feel upscale. At all!

Which is trange since Cadillac's interiors have been really excellent for the past few years.

A small weird note. This looks like a glove compartment, but there was no way to open it.
So I'm not sure it is one. (Maybe an electric switch hidden somewhere?)
But again, it was a cheap feeling piece of place plastic...

 Then I went inside the new XT5 SUV.
The newest of Cadillacs!

And again, the interior is really a step down (or more) from the CTS/ATS.
I mean, I like simple. But a Cadillac needs to be upscale. Just look at the Lincoln MKX interior posted earlier(!)
This just doesn't cut it.

It seems that while everyone is getting better (Except Audi), Cadillac interiors are getting worse.
I wonder what is going on...

AutoShow Quick notes: Lincoln MKX interior

I was really impressed by the new Lincoln MKX. A very nice looking SUV. And an even better interior.
And it starts at about $3000 less than the new Lexus RX350. (The one that was design in Bizarro world)
I just noticed how nice of a place this would be to travel. Or just drive around every day.
Good job Lincoln!

Now I just hope they won't force the new horrific Continental mouth on it next year like they just did with the MKZ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Infiniti Q30/QX30

 They are basically the same car. The QX is just a raised up AWD version of the Q.
And they both look great in person.

I am still surprised that Infiniti decided to bring both to the US. Which is great news.
I think they look as good (maybe better) as the Mercedes GLA they are based on.

 And they are roomy.
The top picture shows the back seat room for the QX30.
While the bottom pic is from the larger Q50.

Interior is really nice. (Although they might have gone a bit overboard with the stitching, since it is everywhere). Everything feels good and really solid.
And yes, as you can see, many of the switchgear is straight from Mercedes.

I cannot wait to see pricing on these.
And hope it is a hit for Infiniti.