Friday, July 29, 2016

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

 Looks like it is already in production. Or at least, some pre-production models are being built in the British factory.
We are supposed to be getting this model in the US as well.
(The one pictured here looks like it could be the sporty R model)

Things might change, or be delayed due to the British exit from the European Market.
Since England will now have to renegotiate trade deals with everyone, including the US.
If there is some kind of tariff, the car might just become too expensive to export.

Let's hope Honda finds a way around this...
Here is a picture I published a while ago. Obviously not the R version.
But probably the one we will actually see in the streets.

The new compact hatchback segment will be pretty crowded next year.
With older models like the Focus, Mazda3, Kia Forte5. But also all new noels like the redesigned Elantra GT, Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. Nissan will also bring a hatch version of the next Sentra.

All great news...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

2017 Infiniti Q60 price.

The all new Infiniti Coupe will start at $38 950. For the 2.0 Liter Turbo version.
(basically $40 000 after transportation)

Which is about $4000 more than the Q50 sedan it is based on.

Infinitis are just fine, good cars. And the coupe has always looked pretty good.
But they really do not have much of an image in the luxury car market.
Sad but true.

So let's see how it compares to its current competition:

-The BMW 4 series coupe starts at $42 845
-The Lexus RC 200T starts at $40 945
-The new Audi A5 (AWD only for now) starts at $42 150
-The new Mercedes C class Coupe starts at $43 575

Not sure what comes standard with the Infiniti, but they usually give you a bit more stuff than the Germans for the base price.
Still. It is not that much less than the competition.
Yet it has none of the prestige. And it doesn't have the super reliable reputation of the Lexus either.

I don't think the new Q60 will change much for Infiniti.
Their coupe will still mostly be invisible in the market place. No matter how good it is.

I think the only thing they could have done is come up with an amazing, stand out design.
But they didn't....

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

VW Beetle Dune Convertible Test Drive

I have driven a few versions of the current Beetle before. So this is a pretty familiar car to me. But this Dune model is all new.
Available as a coupe or convertible.

It is actually so new, that VW was not able to quote me a price on the car I was test driving for a week.
And while the coupe is on the VW site, the convertible version of the Dune isn't on there yet. (Last time I checked)
All I know is that my test car had a 1.8 Liter turbo. The one they use on almost every VW models in the US. With a 6 speed auto.
It didn't have features like GPS or the amazing Fender stereo system.
So I assume it is sort of a base model for the Dune series.

I was actually surprised by how much I liked the look of the car. Even the color!

In real life, it does have a great personality, and all these fake Crossover/SUV bits actually work.
The whole thing is just pretty charming.

Inside, it is standard Beetle convertible stuff. Except the colors.
Same thing here, I found myself loving that weird/odd/ and rather loud color combo.
The seats are great. And that dark yellow hue makes the interior even more fun than it is in the regular model.
The stereo worked fine. Apple CarPlay is great. But it is not as good as the great Fender system offered as an option.
No GPS but,  finally, VW offers a rear view camera on most of their cars in the US.
And it is a great system. as the camera is super sharp.
And it also comes with front warnings.
The color combo on these Dune seats looks great. At least to me...

Too bad you can't put much inside that armrest. Even my "not that big" camera couldn't even fit there. At all.
Looks like the Bug is finally getting LED tail lights. At least on the Dune version...
Looking really good.
The ugly spoiler is still there. Doing its job of "spoiling" a great design.
It just looks like a bookshelf. Quite ridiculous.
The very first thing I notice was how smooth the ride is. It feels actually smoother than the regular Beetle. The car rides a bit higher, and the 18 inch tires might be quite different.
But it really does ride almost like a luxury car. (Especially compared to the 20 inch tires on the Cascada I had a few weeks earlier)
But at the same time, the steering felt quite a bit heavier than other Beetle models.
Which is not a bad thing. Since I always feel that modern steerings are a bit too light for my taste...

Otherwise, the drive is pretty similar to other VWs with that same engine.
It is mostly smooth, and  quiet. But not as much as the competition. Especially new turbo engines from Ford and GM.
There is still a bit of turbo lag. It still feels a bit weird when starting from a stop.
Like if the engine had turn itself off. Similar to a hybrid.( Although It does not have that feature)

Otherwise it feels very solid and quiet.

The Beetle is usually rated at 25/34 MPG. (Not sure what the official numbers for the Dune are)
During my weekly drive I was able to get 25 in the City. Although it quickly went down to around 20 when I was having fun.
But on the freeway I had no problem getting over 38MPG

I really enjoyed my week with the new Beetle Dune.
More that I though I would.

It has a great, fun personality. And it drives great. The luxury car ride is an added bonus.

I am not sure of the price, but there has to be quite a premium over the regular convertible model.
Which starts at around $25 500. I would guess my test car was around $28 000. But who knows...

I couldn't help but comparing it to the Buick/Opel Cascada I was driving a few weeks earlier.
Sure, at around $37 000, it is a lot more money.
But..  For some reason, they are only about $50 a month apart when leasing.

For that $50, the Cascada is a larger, roomier car. Even though the Bug feels very solid, the Cascada feels even more substantial. With a real back seat where 2 adults can actually fit.
It also comes with much more stuff. It is larger and heavier and uses a little bit more gas. But not that much more.
And the engine is quieter and smoother.

In the most recent new car quality study from JD Powers, the Cascada scores very high as well.
While VW usually are not known for being reliable cars. (At least in the US. As they reputation in Europe is golden for some reason)

That's just a though . A very personal one, since most buyers won't really compare these two cars.
But since I really enjoyed driving both cars, I thought I would mention it...

Monday, July 25, 2016

2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

 Looks like the  Lancer is not dead yet.
At least in China.

This newish/improved/revised model is for the Chinese market.
In other countries, Mitsubishi will now concentrate on SUVs and Crossovers. A well as Plug-ins and EVs.

I must say, this does look more like a Chinese design to me.
This is the current model.
Which, I think, still looks OK. Especially for how old it is.
Sure it's boring, but it was never ugly.

These idiots just gave up on it years ago...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rimac Concept One video

This is pretty crazy. I mean how fast that thing reaches 100KM/H.

We've all seen super fast electric cars before, but this is always a thrill.
Plus, that thing looks great!

Here are pictures of the Rimac Concept one from "Rimac Automobili". (It's actually been around for a few years)

It looks fantastic.Specs are also quite amazing:
-0 to 60 in 2.6Sec.
-310 miles range

Too bad the asking price is about $980 000. With a predicted production run of just 88 units.

Rimac Concept One video

This is pretty crazy. I mean how fast that thing reaches 100KM/H.

We've all seen super fast electric cars before, but this is always a thrill.
Plus, that thing looks great!

Here are pictures of the Rimac Concept one from "Rimac Automobili". (It's actually been around for a few years)

It looks fantastic.Specs are also quite amazing:
-0 to 60 in 2.6Sec.
-310 miles range

Too bad the asking price is about $980 000. With a predicted production run of just 88 units.

Friday, July 22, 2016

2018 Honda Accord

A reader sent me this picture of an upcoming toy car.
And it looks a lot like the next Honda Accord.

At least it could be.
An all new Accord is due out next year. A big year for mid sized sedans since an all new Toyota Camry will join the party at around the same time.

The new Accord is based on a longer version of the current Civic. So it will actually be a bit shorter than the current model.
Also expect a 2.0 Liter turbo to replace the V6. Not sure if the base engine will still be the 2.4 Liter or the newer 1.5 Liter Turbo.

More pictures of the all new Acura CDX

So far, they claim this is for China only.
But you know the temptation of bringing it over here will be pretty strong.
Since any SUV from anyone pretty much sells in the US.

I am sure it is just a matter of time until this arrives in US dealerships.

It is based on the HR-V and is powered by a turbo version of the small 1,5 Liter engine with over 180HP.

But I mean, just look at that thing.. How sad is it to see how bad Honda's designs have become.
And the horrific looking grille is almost worst than what they had before.
The whole thing is so tacky and vulgar...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mystery car...

This was sent to me from Europe (From the plates it looks like the picture was taken in France maybe?)

Not sure what this is.
It isn't the new Renault Scenic. But still looks kind of like a minivan.

It might also be something obvious, or already out, that I am completely missing.
A next Picasso model from Citroen, or a Peugeot Minivan.
 It is pretty well covered up, so it's not coming out real soon.

Other wise, can anyone here guess what it is?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

2017 VW Tiguan LWB

This is "supposedly" the US version of the all new VW Tiguan . The long wheel base version that will be available with 7 seats.
A shorter 5 seater version, similar to the one available in Europe, will be available too.
The larger model will only be built in Mexico and be exported all over the world. (Or wherever they need 7 seats in a compact SUV...)
This is the shorter Euro model.
As you can see, the "big one" above isn't that much longer. At all.
So don't expect super roomy 3rd row seats in there...

Still, this should be enough for most people. And I do predict the new Tiguan will be quite a hit in the US for VW.
Probably becoming even more popular than the Jetta over here.
And also bad news for the larger "still unnamed" Crossover based on the Crossblue concept...

Monday, July 18, 2016

2017 Hyundai Accent

No surprises here. The all new Accent will, again, try its best to look like a small Elantra.
(Which itself tries to look like a small Sonata)

Everyone is doing it, so why not. Right?

At least this one seems to look much more upscale than the current model. And 100 times better than the "segment best seller" Nissan Versa Sedan.

All new 2017 BMW 1 series sedan

We've know for a while it was coming. So here it is.
Looking like any other BMW sedan designs form the last 10 or 15 years.

BUT. It is their first front wheel drive sedan. Using the same platform as the new Mini Cooper and BMW Active Tourer.
Which is fine, since most people won't really care.
All they will care bout is that BMW badge they could now have for about $30 000.
Just like the Mercedes CLA or Audi A3,
all these cars need to do is look like their more expensive relatives.

So far, BMW is keeping this one for the Chinese market.
But with such competition with Audi and Mercedes, I can't imagine this car not being offered in the US soon.
Since the A3 and CLS have been really good to Audi and Mercedes in the US.

2017 Honda Avancier

So far, this is only intended for the Chinese market.

(We have seen the new Avancier before, these are just some pictures I hadn't seen before)

It is positioned above the CRV. But it is still a 5 seater. No 3rd row here.
It is also powered by a more powerful 2.0 Liter Turbo engine.

Interior looks OK, in a super boring japanese car interior sort of way.
At least it is not as offensive as the exterior design.
Which is one of the worst I have seen in many years.

Let us all prey that Honda never ever imports this thing over here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

All new 2017 Jeep SUV

These are new pictures of the long awaited model that will be replacing both the Patriot and the Compass.

So this is supposed to be larger than the Renegade but smaller than the Cherokee.
I am not sure what that really means. The Cherokee isn't that much larger than the Renegade to begin with.
But I guess Fiat's Boss is crazy about Jeep being such a cash cow. (For now)
So there will be plenty of new SUV's under the Jeep name.

So far so good. The spy shots have been showing a nice design.
Like a small Grand Cherokee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra GT/i30

Since a new Elantra came out last year, a new hatchback "GT" version is just around the corner.
It is the same car sold in Europe as the Hyundai i30.

So again, the GT will have a different interior (Similar to the Euro version) than our US sedan.
And, just like the sedan, it looks like the new Hatchback will be a bit more conservative looking.

This will not only do battle with the usual Mazda3 and Ford Focus hatchback. But also with new comers as the 5 door Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze hatchback .

It looks like 2017 will be a great year for those looking for a compact hatchback.

(Thanks to Steve for these pictures)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All new Renault Megane Sedan

We've already seen the all new hatchback model a few months ago.
Now Renault is showing us the sedan version.
And it looks pretty good.

This will compete with cars like the Ford Focus sedan in Europe.
But really, this isn't a large market over there. In that segment, hatchbacks are way more popular . Like the Golf. (The Jetta is not even offered in many European countries)

But, this would make a great "next' Sentra over here.
I think it's about time Nissan/Renault merges the Sentra and Megane into one car.

The Sentra over here is behind almost every other car in its class.
The new Megane uses the same CMF platform many Nissan models already use.

I know they do offer the Pulsar hatchback in Europe. And the next generation is supposed to be sold over here and the Sentra Hatchback.
I am just hoping the next Sentra/Pulsar inherits a lot of the new Megane design.

It needs it. Badly...