Wednesday, May 30, 2018

2019 Lincoln Aviator

This is great news for people who likes the concept (bellow pic)
It looks like the production model will look just like that concept.

The concept has been very well received, and the production version should prove to be quite a hit for Lincoln.
With big profits too boot, since this will basically be a luxury version of the all new Explorer.
And will have to be priced above the Nautilus (itself an updated $40 000 MKX)

It will compete with the $44 000 Acura MDX, the $48 000 Lexus RX-L and others.
But especially with the upcoming all new Cadillac XT6

Will crazy Marchionne kill Chrysler this Friday?

It sure looks like it...

There is a big FCA investors meeting this Friday, and a big rumor the crazy accountant will announce the death of Chrysler.
(Which is what he has been looking to do for for years now

After fake announcements of upcoming new models like a redesigned 300. Or a new crossover.
(That was probably all BS all along.) Since all he wants is raise the price of FCA stock so he and his buddies can make a fortune when leaving the company.
Which explains why all R&D money seems to be going to "big profit maker" Jeep.

A move away from cars is still not a good reason to kill the legendary American brand.
Ford didn't just kill its brand when they announced they would produce cars anymore.
Chrysler can be re-invented. But that takes smart "car" people who really want to do this.
A greedy/lucky accountant is not that guy..

Dodge is probably next. Another FCA brand with no new model in sight....

I personally thing someone should grab Chrysler/Dodge from Marchionne.
Probably a Chinese company. Anything.

What do you think?

(More on this rumor, HERE. From Autonews)

New Suzuki Jimny

It seems like we have seen so many pictures of this car already. Not just camouflaged spy shots, but pix like these ones. Of the real thing.

It's really too bad Suzuki left the US market a few years ago.
This would be a cute inexpensive small off road thing. Just like the original Samurai was in the 80's...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2019 Acura RDX pricing

The all new Acura RX starts at $37 300. Which is about $1300 more than the previous version.
(Not including a $995 destination fee)

The "base" model already includes the panoramic sunroof, 19 inch wheels, 272HP 2.0 Liter turbo and 10 speed automatic.
For $3200 more you gat the Technology package which includes front/rear sensors, blind spot info system, leather seats and upgraded stereo.
(This will probably be the most popular remodel)

A base BMW x3 starts at $41 000. 
A base Mercedes GLC sarts at about the same price.
The new Infiniti QX50 is a bit cheaper at $36 500.
The smaller Lexus NX starts at $36 000. 

So it looks like the new Acura is priced very well. 
Having driven the 2.0Liter Turbo/10 speed combo in the Accord, I can say this is one of the best powertrain around.
So the new RDX should be quite a fun drive.

Bellow is a detailed list of the pricing. 
(Click on the picture to enlarge it. )

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Mystery SUV...

Not sure what this is...

It looks pretty big. So it could maybe be that new full size Hyundai SUV coming up. Or the Kia version?
Or even the upcoming Genesis UV?

But it does seem to be an EV. Some large EV SUV? (Testing with a Volvo XC90)

What do you think?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

2019 BMW 8 series

These are just sent to me. 
Not sure if they are the real thing or not. But if they're not, they are probably 99% close to reality.

We have now seen so many spy photos of the new 8 series, and the seem to match.
So zero surprise here. 

It is a toned down version of the concept. (And kind of looks like a fancy Mustang.) 
Otherwise, I am not sure it will be more popular than the current 6 series coupe.
It is basically the same thing with a new name, for even more money...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hyundai Lafesta interior

This is the first time we get to see a bit of the interior of that all new Hyundai Lafesta.
We saw the exterior of the car a while ago, but the windows were blacked out.

As you can see, it is pretty much standard Hyundai interior stuff. Including the tablet sticking out.
The exterior is quite original. While the interior seems a bit more conservative. So far...

More pix of the Lafesta HERE

GMC Terrain Denali test drive

 The GMC Terrain looks much nicer and upscale than the previous version.
It is just a much more refined design. Gone is the rather cheap looking blocky shape.

It does look larger than it is. While it is the same size as a Honda CR-V, it somehow seems more imposing.
Which might just be what GMC wants. Since, unlike Honda, they are known as a truck company.

 I was just wondering what had happened to bumper regulations.
But forgot this is actually an SUV. Therefore not required to have bumpers.
It just seems weird at first to see the front hood go all the way to the end of the car, without any protection of any kind.

 The Denali grille is pretty much a huge chrome dish.
Like it or not, this is the way GMC chooses to remind you this is the expensive version.

 The interior is a very pleasant place to be. Everything feels solid.
The design has small reminders of the larger GMC trucks, which is fine.
The back seat is about as roomy as most mid sized sedans.
There is plenty of room in the trunk even wth the rear seats up.

 The wood trim GMC chose for the Denali (Not sure if it is also included in other versions) isn't very convincing. But maybe it works better with another color interior...

 The giant glass roof is fantastic. And one of the best features of the Terrain.
(unfortunately, a $1495 option, even on the Denali)
 The Denali seats look great and are very comfortable.

 Unfortunately, the passenger seats are not 100% power. As you can see, the seat back adjustment is still manual.
Which would be OK in lesser versions. But the Denali starts at over $37 000. And the version tested here is over $44 000.
 I know their new electronic gear system is pretty controversial. But I actually love it. I never had a problem with it. And it's actually quite fun.
What is ridiculous is the inclusion of a fake manual mode. No one driving this car will ever use it in the first place.
And the design of it is just ridiculous....
 The first thing I noticed about the Terrain was the size. It drives like a larger car. Again, I think it does fit with the GMC "truck image" and it is fine.
The steering is excellent, with a very nice refined feel. The suspension is slightly firm, but always smooth.

The 2.0 Liter engine is just excellent. It starts very quietly even when cold in the morning. And it is just always smooth and quiet at any speed.
The 9 speed automatic is quite amazing. Very quick and smooth. And always pretty much invisible .

The 2.0 Denali AWD is rated at 21/26MPG.
Which is pretty much what I got in my weekly drive.

 The "super chromy" look is a matter of taste (It isn't mine)

Otherwise, I do like the design of the Terrain. And how it drives.
But it has one big problem: price.

The regular model starts at around the same price as a Honda CR-V. Which is great.
But at $37 000, the Denali should not have any options. My test car had over $4000 of options. It doesn't make any sense to me. If Denali is top of the line, it should just be offered at one loaded price.

As it its, you can get most of the good stuff like the Bose stereo, Glass roof, 2.0 Liter, leather etc.... on a regular Terrain for about $36 000.
Not cheap. But more in line with the competition.

As usual, you can click on the picture above to see the detailed pricing of the Terrain Denali I was driving. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

All new VW Tharu

This could very well be a top contender for the "least original SUV design" award. 

A mix of everything else out there. A smaller Tiguan with an Atlas front end.
How lazy...

This new "smaller than Tiguan" VW SUV is the Chinese version. But we are supposed to also be getting something that size from VW in the US.
And it will probably be the same model, with another name.
(The Chinese model pictured here is offered with a choice of a 1.2 Liter Turbo or a larger 1.4 Liter. With a 7 speed auto. )

It just looks like a Tiguan. So I am not sure why they don't just send us over the shorter 5 seater version of the Tiguan.
And again, why this when they sell the cool/much nicer looking T-Rock in Europe (???)

As you can see, it looks really close to the Seat Ateca.
But the rear quarters are different. And so are the hood and front fenders. So they are not the same cars.

It just boggles the mind why they have so many models looking so similar. But yet different.
How efficient can that really be???

Chinese made Cadillac XT4 coming up

This looks like our US version. Except the Chinese badges of course. 

Production of the Chinese made XT4 will start in the fall. So far, for the Chinese market only.
Just like the XT5, also made in China for the local market. 

But who knows. We are already getting the Plug-in Hybrid version of the CT6 from China. 
I am sure GM is looking very seriously (like everyone else) at importing more models from China to the US. It must be so tempting.... Imagine all that money saved.

Since pretty much all US models sold in China are made over there, it  makes the recent Chinese government announcement of a "tariff reduction on foreign cars" pointless.

 It might just be a matter of time for most cars sold around the world to be imported from China. 

2019 Kia Sportage

 The Sportage is getting a few revisions for the new year.
As I mentioned before, I kind of like it. I think it is pretty minor and does not ruin the good design.

(the red car is the new one)

 Even harder to tell the difference from the rear...

And basically the same thing as before inside... (new one on top) At least no tablet.

Not sure why they even bothered....