Saturday, June 29, 2019

Cruising Instagram...

Back when...

- Back when families were buying wagons.
- Back when GM had a tiny cute concept under the GM brand.
- Back when Giugiaro was designing a Hyundai Concept.
- Back when Citroen was using pretty girls to advertise their ugly Ami 6. 
- Back when car designers were creating automotive history. And taking a Polaroid of it.
- Back when Cadillac had some crazy ideas about the next Fleetwood.
- Back when you could get a one-off Bentley from Pininfarina.

Friday, June 28, 2019

2020 Land Rover Defender

This does look like a fine update of the old design.
Although, as I mentioned before, the super fans of the old one might still hate it.
But really, some people will hate anything new.

Let's hope they planned for an EV version of this.

This could be a big hit for them if priced right. And if the reliability improves...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Honda Civic Coupe test drive.

 After almost 4 years, the current Civic is still one of the best looking compact cars around.
And it is really good to see that Honda has not abandoned the 2 door coupe version.

For 2019, Honda has redesigned the front and rear bumpers, mostly. Things are cleaner and simpler than before, which is good.

 My loaded Touring version came with LED headlights and these really good looking 18-inch wheels.

 The long coupe doors feel really solid. They are almost old fashion these days since it is really rare to see a new 2 door car around.

The console has plenty of storage and plugs for everything.
The "premium Audio with 10 speakers" sounds fine. But not as good as I expected from "10 speakers".

 Things have not changed much inside. Which is fine. The trim on the dash is slightly different. And it still seems a bit confused. Not knowing what it is trying to be. Metal or wood.
At least it's different...

The screen now has a volume knob.
Otherwise, everything looks and feels great inside the Civic.
I think it is still one of the most modern interiors in its class.

 The seats are fine. But even on the Touring version, everything is manual. (At least on the coupe)
And there is no lumbar adjustment. Which would be a welcome addition.

The passenger seat doesn't have a height adjustment either. So shorter people really feel like they are riding in a bathtub...

The back seat is surprisingly useable. More so than other larger coupes like the Camaro or Mustang. 

 And so is the trunk.
The rear seats also fold down. There is a lot of space in the Civic coupe for all your stuff.

The 1.5 Liter turbo is very quiet when you start up the car in the morning.

With 174HP, there is always plenty of power. And the CVT mostly works fine.
If you don't push it too much (like most CVTs)
Otherwise, things get a bit rough and noisy as you approach 3000RPM.
(Not sure if it is due to the engine or the transmission. )

Idle is silent, but not vibration free... With the AC off (When ON, the engine revs a tiny bit higher and the vibrations disappear) you do feel small vibrations through the seat.

The steering has a very nice feel. It is not as soft as many. But I wouldn't call it sporty. 

The suspension is firm, and sometimes a bit too much so.
I understand the coupe is a sportier choice than the sedan version. Which is fine. (Plus it does have a shorter wheelbase anyway)
But the rest of the car isn't that sporty anyway. 

The car always feels very solid and planted on the road. 
Road noise is about average. Which again, for a "sporty' coupe is just fine. As this is not a luxury car. 

At about $27 000, the Civic Coupe Touring is not that cheap.
But it doesn't really have much competition and is on par with other loaded compacts around.
But for the price, it really should have a couple of things like a power driver seat and lumbar support. 
A head-up display would also be nice.

The choice of interior colors is also very limited. 
On the Touring, it is only black. Unless you pick a white car (then you can get a grey interior option)

I think the best version is actually the $23 500 EX model.
Which already comes with a sunroof, high-end stereo, turbo engine, etc...

The Civic Coupe Turbo is rated at 30/37MPG.
I averaged 28 to 30 around town. But was able to get well over 40 on the freeway.
I actually averaged 45MPG on longer trips. Which is quite amazing.

The current Civic is a huge success for Honda with over 325 000 of them sold last year.
The good looking coupe is a great way to stand out a bit, while still buying a very popular car.
And it is still roomy and very practical. 

Here are all the pricing details of the Civic Coupe Touring I was driving.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Arnold pranking people at a car dealership

This is obviously done in partnership with the non-profit Veloz.

It is a cool idea. And it doesn't look too set up.

(Although they must have shot so much unusable stuff where people recognize him)

Some parts are actually pretty funny...

It is also weird to see this guy basically making fun of who he was in the '80s and '90s. And what he was seen driving at that time.

Honda Civic Coupe Drive video.

Here is a short video I made of the Honda Civic Coupe I was driving for a week.

This is shot from Paramount ranch to Neptune's Net on PCH.

(2 of my favorite places...)

I will post my review soon.

2020 Kia Xceed

These are the first official pictures of the all-new Kia Xceed. 
Looking great.

So far, this will be mostly a  European model. Based on the Ceed hatchback.
(A version of the new Ceed is coming at lest to Canada as the new Forte5.
But no official plans for the US yet)

As much as I would like to see the Xceed in the US, I think Kia might have other plans. 
I am not sure there is enough room between the new Seltos and the Soul.
but on the other hand, they also offer the Stonic in Europe, which seems to be very similar in size to this new Xceed.

Why not...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More on the new 2020 Ford Puma

As we saw earlier, the Puma borrows most of its interior to the 2019 Fiesta.

While the exterior is unique.

It is about an inch longer than the Hyundai Kona. Or about 3 inches shorter than the Honda HR-V.
A perfect size for the US as well.
In Europe, it will be available as an ST sporty trim (pictured here) as well as a luxury Titanium version.

Let's hope the new Puma comes to the US as well. 

2020 Ford Puma

The new Puma looks pretty cute.
It seems like a high riding chunkier version of the current 2019 Ford Fiesta. (The one we don't get in the US)
Which it probably is...

At least in Europe, it will be available with a choice of 2 engines, both Hybrid.
And both using the 1.0 3 cylinder Turbo engine.

Inside it shares its dashboard with the 2019 Fiesta (The Fiesta interior is the bottom picture)

This is the same thing Ford did with the new Escape. Which shares its dashboard with the new 2019 Focus. The one not sold in the US.

A cost-saving measure we can't see in the US since we are not getting new versions of the Fiesta and  Focus anymore.

More on the all-new Puma very soon.

But so far, this seems to be quite attractive.
I guess it would go against the HR-V, CX-3, etc...

2020 Audi Q7

I would call this a very successful mid-cycle refresh.
While not all new, the 2020 Q7 finally looks good. (The current model is the white car)

I was never a fan of the super boring current generation Q7.
But for 2020, the changes are pretty important.
Even inside, where all-new dashboard and console bring the Q7 in line with Audi's more recent models like the A6/7 and Q2/3 and 5.
(I wonder whay they didn't revise the 2020 A4 interior at all. Making the A4 wthe only Audi with the old generation interior...)

Quite a drastic change without redesigning the whole thing.

Monday, June 24, 2019

2020 Land Rover Defender

We finally get to see what the all-new Land Rover Defender will actually look like.

And I think it looks just fine. So far it seems a nice modern rendition of the classic design.
But you know the puriss will hate it. Just like they hated the DC100 concept back in 2011.
Back then, Land Rover answered the concerns by saying it was not a preview of the new Defender.
I think it was actually pretty close...

Here is the DC100. An 8-year-old concept.
It seems to have much more personality than the real thing above.
The production design seems much more generic.
And, in any case, not such an improvement, considering it took them 8 years!

Not sure what is going on with Land Rover/Range Rover/Jaguar these days.
It seems that every week there is a new rumor of the company being for sale.
Promptly followed by a press release saying the opposite.

There were rumored about Peugeot being interested.
Which I think would not be such a bad idea.
They have turned around Opel into a profit-making brand in less than 2 years.
And they don't have a luxury brand SUV specific brands in their portfolio.
Why not...

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Cruising Instagram...

- Interesting early takes on the first generation VW Golf.
(We are so used to the round headlights, these square ones look really strange...)

- If the 1989 Cadillac Solitaire, or something close to it, had gone into production, Cadillac would be so far ahead of where they are now... Everything they have these days, 30 years later, looks at least 30 years older. How sad.

- Subaru XT. back when Subaru wanted their designs to stand out...

Saturday, June 22, 2019

2020 Cadillac XT-5

 Cadillac has made a few small changes to their popular XT-5 for 2020.
At least for the Chinese market. (the US will follow shortly)

And they are hard to tell. The one thing they should have done, to begin with, gives it a proper name.
Like Lincoln did when they updated the MKX to the Nautilus.

But it looks like Cadillac is not ready yet to admit these stupid XT and CT names are a mistake...

Otherwise, it looks like the inside of the grille is the only difference.
They didn't do as much work as they did with the 2019 CT-6 (which now looks fantastic in person)
Too bad...

Even less inside. The 2020 model is on top and it's hard to see anything new. Except for the slightly more upscale looking metalfinished door speakers.
Even the wood trim looks pretty much the same...
They really missed an opportunity here to make the XT-5 look and feel more expensive and luxurious. (that poor center console still looks so plain...)

They sold over 60 000 of them last year. So I guess they might be afraid to change anything...