Monday, September 30, 2019

2020 Opel Mokka

This does look really nice. What a departure from the current model (Sold as the Buick encore in the US)
Since Opel is now owned by PSA, the next Mokka will be based on a Peugeot platform.
Unlike the current one.

These are not the real thing but illustrations. But they do show a very nice design direction for future Opels. Unlike the new Corsa, which looks too much like a Peugeot with the old Opel face. 

This one above would be great.

It is really too bad GM gave up on Opel. Although they have quickly become profitable under PSA.
Something GM was not able to do in many, many years...

This is the current Mokka.
Our Buick Encore...

Mercedes C-Class test drive

 I was in Europe a few weeks ago, and had to rent a car for a few days.
I didn't request a Mercedes, just the typical "Golf equivalent".
But, as it often happens, I was bumped up to a better car. In this case, a Mercedes C-Class sedan. And I though I would write about my experience with it.
Since I have not test driven Mercedes models as of yet. (And I was actually curious...)

Of course, we do not get the diesel engine in the US. So it is hard to completely compare it to a US model.
Plus, I am sure some settings might be different as far as suspension etc...
Otherwise, this is pretty much the same care we get here.

This one had a AMG package. Upgraded wheels and interior. A double sunroof etc...
I figured the equivalent of this one would probably be around $50 000 in the US (Without the diesel, of course) Since the US C-Class starts at around $41 500.

The current C-Class came out over 5 years ago. But its interior still looks fine and pretty modern.

Although in real life, all that silver trim looks rather plasticky.
And as you can see on these pix, there is a lot of it. Everywhere.
It just ends up looking busy more than upscale.

The back seat is actually pretty roomy. The rear part of the center console includes vents. But not much else...
The seats in general are very comfortable.

Everything works fine, but nothing really feels like I would expect in a $50 000 car.

The shifter is also quite strange, very Prius-like and not very intuitive.
The wood trim is ok. Nothing really high end.
The stereo sounds fine.
The doors feel OK, but nothing like an old Mercedes. And nothing like current, much less expensive cars (like the Accord or Passat)

Basically, I kept thinking this was not as nice as the loaded Honda Accord I test drove  recently.

On the road, the car does feel well planted. But again, like many cars these days.

The suspension is comfortable, but not amazing. The steering is a bit light, like most new cars.
Everything does feel fine, but again, nothing better than a current Accord.

As a side note, the diesel engine was surprisingly noisy. And felt much less refined than most VW Diesels I drove a few years ago. (Before Dieselgate..)
The 2.0 Liter offered in the US is probably much nicer.

I think it is getting harder and harder for "luxury" brands to offer something special. Something worthy of the huge premium over a "regular" brand.
Since "non-luxury" cars have gotten so much better in the past few years.

The current C-Class, while very nice, doesn't really feel special.
Since I drove a couple of them recently, I kept comparing it to the Honda Accord.
The Accord is a wonderful driving car. It feels even more solid than the C-Class. Has more power and is far roomier.
It offers about the same amount of tech. Has a wonderful ride and steering feel.
And will no doubt be more reliable than the C-class in the long run.
All this, while costing about $15 000 less (For a loaded Touring model)
The same could be said of a few other cars too.

Since I am not someone who is willing to spend over $15 000 for a luxury badge on the hood,
I guess the C-Class isn't for me...

Friday, September 27, 2019

2021 Genesis GV80

These new pictures of the Genesis GV80 SUV look a lot like this other set I posted earlier of the next Generation G80.
 I am not sure if they both come from the same place, or if they both are computer generated.
( they seem to be)
Even if they are CGI, they could still show us the real thing.
The car in the G80 photos seemed a bit more squared off than the spy shots.
But these seem to be closer to the spy pictures of the all new GV80.

If these are the real thing, it would be pretty sad.
It would end up so far from the concept. That squared off rear end is almost as bad as the Bentley Bentayga.

Let's all hope these are totally fake...

This is the very nice looking concept Genesis showed us 2 years ago.
Which looks quite stunning compared to the illustrations above...

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

2020 VW Golf

Always a bit sad to see the next generation Golf (top) next to the current one.
It just makes you realize how little the design actually changes from one generation to the next.
Why even bother...

The top prototype is the new plug-in version. And still has a bit of camouflage on the lights. Otherwise, this is it...

The next generation Golf is not scheduled for the US market anymore (But it is for Canada)
We will only get the GTI version.

Mercedes GLB price

At $36 600 (including destination), the new GLB is, of course, priced in between the $34 300 "old" GLA. And the $42 500 GLA.
The GLA is due for a redesign very soon.
And that GLC is much more expensive. So basically, the GLB looks like the best deal.

But of course, most of the cool stuff is optional. Like the panoramic sunroof. Leather seats.
Ventilated seats. AWD. High-end sound system.
Only one engine is available. A 2.0 Liter with 221HP.

At least it's not "crazy expensive". And could compete well against the Acura RDX and others.
The GLB does offer a 3rd-row seat (probably an option?)

Live pictures of the 2020 Nissan Patrol

On these pictures, the new front end looks like it blends better with the old design. 
The previous official shots made it look quite futuristic.
I guess this is an OK revision that doesn't cost Nissan much to accomplish.

Inside, the double screen console looks quite outdated already.

I wonder if a revised version of the Infiniti version is coming next...

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2020 Ram 1000

The 1000 is a new compact pick-up truck from Ram.
It is basically the same truck as the Fiat Toro, sold in south america for a few years.
And I think it looks pretty cool
It is also not being considered for the US. 
Why not?

I think this is a mistake. Not everyone (even here) wants a huge truck. The new crop of "not really compact " trucks like the Colorado and Ranger are not that compact anymore.
And they are also pretty expensive.

I really think there is a market for something like this over here. 
It is alreayd being built and sold. And it is based on the Jeep Renegade platform.

I am sure a small "lifestyle" pick-up for under $25 000 could find buyres in the US.
And FCA would be the first to offer one.

Ford is also working on a small pick-up based on the new "not for the US" Focus.
Which is also not considered for the US. Yet....

2020 Nissan Patrol/2021 Nissan Armada

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is basically the same truck we have now.
With  revised rear and front ends ends. And a new console. As the interior also seems mostly the same. 
(looking like a cheap Las Vegas Suite on this picture)

The US will have to wait a bit to see this as the 2021 Armada since the 2020 model (unchanged frm 2019) just came out.
I am nost sure these futuristic looking headlight belong on that old design. (from 2010) But I guess Nissan thinks it might give them a few years before they need an all new one. Why not...

Sunday, September 22, 2019

2020 Kia Optima

Nothing we have not seen before. Another camouflaged new 2020  Kia Optima on the road.
Still looking like it should be a hatchback...

More very soon. 

2021 Jaguar XJ illustration

While it looks OK, this illustration from Autocar (based on Jaguar's own recent teaser) looks more like a sport car than a luxury sedan.
I think the upcoming XJ EV should still convey a sense of luxury and elegance that has been in the Jaguar DNA for decades. (Except in the last few years...)

The new XJ should not be a Porsche Taycan competitor. But something closer to the upcoming Mercedes ELS electric sedan. Not all expensive EV buyers want a sporty car. 

So let's hope this is not a taste if things to come. 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cruising Instagram...

Today we have a bunch of things that never happened. And a few that did. Barely...

- A design study from the early '80s for a second-generation Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon.
Which never happened...

- A weird but cool 3 row Cadillac wagon.

- A very interesting "next-generation" AMC Gremlin wagon proposal from 1976.  

- Some fantastic looking concept car. (Any idea what that is???)

- An early 70's design for a second-generation Chevrolet Monte Carlo

- The always cool Pontiac Firebird Type K Concept car from 1978.

- An early, and quite futuristic, design idea for the Chevrolet Astro van.

Friday, September 20, 2019

2020 VW Viloran Minivan

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VW'snew Minivan for China looks like a Golf 8 on steroids.
The rear lights seem very similar. And the chrome bits upfront also resemble the next-generation Golf.
Otherwise, it looks like it is based on the Atlas SUV.
Since the interior looks almost the same.
(Look at these 1990s looking uninspired door panels...)

Of course, this is not coming over here. And it's not coming to Europe either. As this will be, so far, for the Chinese market only.
Where minivans still sell in pretty high numbers. Buick sold over 144 000 units of the GL8 minivan over there last year.
While the best selling minivan in the US, the Chrysler Pacifica, sold about 118 000.

Sales of minivans in the US are not what they used to be, but they are still good numbers. All above 100 000 a year, except for the old Sienna (which will be new next year)
Since it looks based on the Atlas, this Viloran cannot cost a fortune to build.
I wonder why VW doesn't try to sell this over here at all...

(another dumb move???)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

More pictures of the revised 2020 Buick Verano

This is a mid-cycle refresh for the current generation Verano sedan.\for the Chinese market.
The one that was never sold in the US (or outside of China as far as I know)
It is again, basically, an Opel Astra.
That new front end looks even more like an Opel than ever.

It is now powered by a small 1.3 Liter Turbo engine. So probably not that quick...

A really nice looking upscale compact sedan. That keeps selling very well in a country where sedans are still popular. And anything from Buick seems to be a big hit.