Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2020/21 Kia Optima

Still covered up. And it is hard to see anything we haven't seen before.
It looks like the side chrome part running from the base of the windshield to the rear trunk could have quite an interesting design. And so does the rear window.

The front end looks like it is slanted "backward" a bit. (With the tip of the hood sticking out more than the grille) Something we have also seen in spy shots of the upcoming Sorento.
So this could be a new corporate design feature for future Kia designs.
(reminiscent of the 1996 Mitsubishi Galant)

The all-new Kia Optima is due in September. So it shouldn't be long before we see much better pictures.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

New BMW 3 series Touring

I think this is much nicer looking than the sedan. Sure, it has the same interior. Which seems better than before.
But still not as nice as the new Volvo S60/V60.
Just like the Volvo it also offers a nice panoramic sunroof. 

But, unlike the Volvo, it is not going to be sold in the US.

Which is really too bad. Of course, BMW is not interested in selling this in the US since they are making so much more profit from their ever expanding SUV line up.
While I do understand the economics of pushing a higher margin product, I still think wagons would be much more popular than they are now if advertised corectly. Or at least as much as SUVs.

And these are not cheap! The new V60 starts at about $40 000 for a cargo the size of  $24 500 Honda CR-V.
We also need more cheap wagons.

More pictures of the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

It looks OK. 
This will give Chevrolet something much nicer than the current Trax to go against the Honda HR-V and others.
Although GM has already mentioned it is not replacing the Trax.
But will be positioned between the Trax and the Equinox.
Gaint against cars like the all-new Kia Seltos.

Th interior looks pretty decent and quite roomy. And it seems to have a cool panoramic roof option (at least on this Chinese market model)

Power comes from a 1.3 Liter turbo with 158HP with a CVT.

Available in the US early 2020.

Monday, July 29, 2019

VW I.D Crozz production version caught.

This is the first time we et to see prototypes of the production version of the I.D Crozz and I.D Crozz 2 concepts. (Which might change its name, just like the original ID Concept became the I.D 3)

The production car looks very different than the concepts they have been teasing us with.
It actually has a whole new shape.
It looks like only some design details will be carried over.
Like the wavy side crease. Which is actually very similar to the current Touareg or Audi Q5.
The rear shape is much more upright. And the cool futuristic rear lights of the concept are not there anymore.

I am sure this will end up looking fine. Just not like that concept.
Which is bad news for the upcoming I.D Buzz. So far that concept is actually pretty nice.
And wonderfully retro.
I am afraid the production version will look like another minivan instead of the original concept.
Which would be a huge mistake for VW.

Another one in a long series...

More pictures of the upcoming compact EV SUV HERE.

Cadillac XT-6: early reviews are in...

This one from "Motor One" seems to sum things up for me.

Basically, they are about 10 years late to the "non-truck-based'" 3 rows SUV market, and it is not that great.
GM based it on a smaller platform than the Buick Enclave.
So the wheelbase is shorter.

It still looks like it was designed years ago. And the interior is the same as the XT-5.

And on top of that, it starts at over $52 000. Which is about $12 000 more than the roomier and better
looking Buick Enclave. (And almost the same price as the loaded Enclave Avenir)

To me, this is yet another Cadillac mistake. With so-so styling and overpriced.
They were able to slash the pricing of the new CT5 by making it about $10 000 less than the CTS.
But it looks like they are stuck with the XT6.
Since it is a Cadillac, is has to be priced higher than their Buick model.
Even if it isn't as good...

And I am not even mentioning the competition!
Especially the $51 000 Lincoln Aviator...

Good luck.

Read the full review HERE.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Acura RDX A-Spec AWD test drive. And camping.

I did drive an Acura RDX last year. And Acura was kind enough to lend me another one.
This time, with the sporty A-Spec package.

The RDX, in my opinion, is one of the nicest looking SUVs around. It does look quite sporty and upscale.
But I have to say, the A-Spec color combo is not my favorite. As I am not a fan of black wheels and red seats.

The A-spec package is mostly a cosmetic one. Except for larger, 20-inch wheels.
Otherwise, it is very similar to the technology package. With a few more things.
The A-spec adds the larger wheels, special seats, 16 speakers and black trim.

The A-spec has the same excellent and roomy interior. Similar to all versions of the MDX.
Except for the seats and various trim.
The seats are very comfortable.
Everything feels very high quality. The doors feel really solid.

The trackpad still takes a bit of time to get used to. But once you personalize it, it becomes very quick and easy to use.
And of course, that sound system I praised in my previous review is still amazing.
One of the best at any price...

Suede inserts and red on silver dials are specific to the A-spec.
The dials are a bit harder to read in direct sunlight.

The ride is pretty much the same as the other versions. Even though it does have larger 20-inch wheels.
It is always solid and comfortable. The sport mode doesn't really change things that much.
While the Sport + firms things up a bit more.

The steering is also the same. Which means pretty light and not that sporty. But always smooth and very precise.

The 2.0 liter Turbo/10 speed combo is still a delight.
The engine has a nice muted growl when you push it. Otherwise, it is always very smooth and super quiet.

The RDX A-Spec is rated at 21/26 MPG for the AWD version. (The non-A-spec is rated at 21/27)

Last time I was able to get 21/30.
For some reason, I was not able to get more than 19 around town this time.
And a little under 30 on the freeway.
So I guess the 20-inch wheels do make a difference after all...

Yes, I went beach camping with the RDX.

There is plenty of room for two with the rear seats folded flat.
Plus the sound insulation makes things very quiet inside.

And there is still a large cargo area under the cargo floor, for extra stuff.

While I really love the Acura RDX, I would not pick the A-spec package.
Ther is nothing wrong with it. But I do prefer the extra equipment that comes with the (more expensive) Advance package.
I would rather have a front and surround-view camera, a head-up display, etc.. than black wheels and red/black seats.
The real wood trim on that package is also pretty nice.

But that is all a matter of taste.

No matter what version you pick, the RDX is still one of the best deals around as a luxury SUV.
Starting at around $37500. Including the giant panoramic sunroof and many more features.
The loaded Advance package model is still around $45 000.
Which is really much less than its competition.
(and Audi Q5 starts at $43 000!)

This is really a great car at the right price.

More pictures of the Chinese Ford Edge new interior.

Besides tesla, I think this is the largest screen I have seen in a production car. So far...
Not sure if this is available in the regular 5 seater version. Or if it will be offered in the US.

It looks like an experiment. The tablet really doesn't seem to blend well at all with the rest of the carried over interior.

Sorry, but even in ST clothes, that big 7 seater, longer version of the Ford Edge does not look sporty.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Chrysler Pacifica AWD or EV testing.

I just saw this today.

Some Chrysler Pacifica prototype. Testing something.

The Hybrid version of the Pacifica usually has a tailpipe visible on the right side under the bumper.
I couldn't see anything on this one. (could be the picture...)
Could it be a pure electric version?

There were a few rumors about the Pacifica just a few months ago.
Like a new design coming out "really soon". But that hasn't happened and it is still too new.
Plus, this prototype had nothing covered.

There is another rumor about AWD becoming an option very soon.
Which could be it.

What do you think?
AWD Pacifica? Or EV?

2020 Cadillac XT-5

 Let's hope no one was expecting anything big for the new year.
Cadillac has only made minuscule changes to the XT-5.

(The 2020 model is the grey one)

Same thing inside (new one on top)
Where the only changes seem to be a new shifter design and the infotainment wheel on the console.
Instruments seem to be different as well.

The big news is the standard engine. Which is now a smaller, less powerful 4 cylinder turbo instead of the V6.
I guess the standard V6 made it too close to the new XT-6. Which does come with a standard V6. The new base engine is yet another "new or revised" version of GM's 2-liter engine, with 237HP.
A lot less than the previously standard V6 with 310HP. (now an option)

Could we please get back to real names? (like Lincoln did)
And also, isn't it time for a new Cadillac logo?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ford Edge Facelift. (China)

Ford has been selling a 7 seater version of the Edge in China for a while.
It looks like it is already time for a mid-cycle refresh.
That redesigned front end looks pretty lame.
At least on the bad picture...
The whole thing seems a bit too soft now. And old looking.

Inside, there is now a huge vertical screen covering most of the console. I mean, it almost looks ridiculous.
I wonder if this is coming in the US Edge as well. 

Here is the current model.