Wednesday, December 02, 2020

2022 Kia K900: mid-cycle refresh coming up...





Of course, Kia is working on another new model. This is an almost insane number of new cars Kia/Hyundai?genesis is coming up with these days...

The big Kia 900 came out just a couple of years ago. I have to say, I have only seen 2 of the previous generation. And none of the current one (Except auto shows)
I guess I am not the only one since they only sold 392 of them in the US last year. 392!!!

I guess it would be logical for Kia to drop this model from their US lineup, but who knows...

It looks like it is getting a major redesign up front and back. The front end already resembles spy shots we have seen of the new K7 sedan (now called K8 for some reason)
Otherwise, most of the body looks the same. No word about the interior revisions or powertrain.

While these are a strange buy at $60 000 and over (Even a Genesis G90 makes much more sense), they are probably fantastic used car deals. As you can already get a used 2019 model for $40 000. 
And I have seen 2017 models with low miles (previous generation) for just a bit over $20 000.
That is a lot of car for the money!



 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

2022 Acura MDX: teaser...

 



The top photo is a teaser shot for the production version of the 2022 Acura MDX. While the bottom one is the 'concept' we saw just a few weeks ago. Which was basically the production model with a couple of different trim details (why did they even bother???)
This means, there will be zero surprises when the production version is officially unveiled next week.

It will come standard with a 3.5 Liter V6. And a Type S model will come later in 2021 (late spring) with the 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo from the TLX Type S.

The new MDX platform will also be used for the next Honda Pilot and Odyssey.


Monday, November 30, 2020

Acura TLX test drive: coming soon...

 

I will be driving the new 2021 Acura TLX sedan this week.

The version I have is a loaded SH-AWD with the Advance package. 

So far, the car looks very nice in real life. The interior is also very luxurious in person. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have...

2022 Kia EV: new photos...

 




Just a few more photos of the all-new Electric model from Kia.

Which will share its platform with the upcoming Hyundai iOniq as well as the new electric Genesis hatchback.
This will almost instantly give the Hyundai Group 3 new electric models. Let's hope they can all have great EV range. These days, it seems most manufacturers are stuck with around 250 miles. With a 300 miles battery option.
It would be great to have an affordable model that starts at 300 miles...



2023 Subaru Crosstrek: keeping things similar...



 The Crosstrek has been a big hit for Subaru. With over 144 000 of them sold in 2018. And a bit less in 2019 (131 152).

The current generation Subaru Outback came out in late 2017 in the US. And, as you can see, Subaru is close to having the next generation ready. (Although it is still about a year and a half away.)

Of course, we don't know much yet. All I hear is that it (And the Impreza) will be based on an evolution of the current platform. And the car you see above was one of 3 proposals at the time the picture was taken. So the actual thing might be a bit different. 

Not sure about powertrains, but the larger 2.5 Liter newly available for 2021 could become the standard engine in the next generation. 

Although by 2023, Subaru will really need to offer a more serious electrification option. The current $35 000 "hybrid" version with its 17 miles of EV range is quite ridiculous. (The cargo area is also seriously shrunken on the hybrid)




Sunday, November 29, 2020

2022/23 Mazda CX-50: new illustrations...

 



These new illustrations for the upcoming Mazda CX-50 look like a complete guess.

A design like this would be a complete departure from their current design language. And I have not heard it would be the case.
All we know so far is that it will replace the current CX-5. And will be based on Mazda's all-new RWD platform. It will share its platform with the next-generation Mazda 6 sedan.
It will also get the all-new Inline 6 cylinder engine as an option.
The base engine is still supposed to be a version o the current 2.5 Liter. Some reports mention the availablilty of the 2.5 Liter Turbo as well. Between the base engine and the new 6 cylinders.
While others claim the turbo 4 will just be replaced by the new 6.
There is also mention of a more "coupe-like" design. Which these illustrations do not show.

I think these are basically all wrong... There is still hope. So far, Mazda has done really well, designing really good looking cars and SUV's...


Friday, November 27, 2020

2022 Kia Sportage: new illustrations...

 



There has been a few crazy looking illustrations of the upcoming 2022 Kia Sportage before. But these seem to match closely the latest spy shots we have seen.

Which is too bad. As it ends up looking like a very generic design with a super weird front end. That front end is actually offensive...
Otherwise, it could be something from anyone. Even GM.

A boring design with weirdo details isn't a great recipe for a nice looking car. Let's hope this is off. Maybe the real thing looks a bit better and more original.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

2022 BMW Gran Coupe: now with the Bugs Bunny teeth...


As usual, the BWW 4 Series Gran Coupe will basically be a hatchback version of the 3 series.
(Or a 4 door hatchback version of the 4 Series coupe)
And this time, we have proof that it will indeed be getting the huge grille from the 4 series coupe and convertible.
This is not a surprise and was totally expected. But it will be interesting to see how it looks on a longer, 4 door car. My guess it that it will look a bit better than on the coupe... (Plus we are almost getting used to it by now)

What do you think?


 

Mystery Hyundai SUV: how small can they go?

 

This looks really tiny. Making the Venue look big...

This is probably not for the US market. Maybe not even Europe.

It looks more like something for South America or India. And these are huge markets for Hyundai. So far, it actually looks quite interesting. Like a little cube.

Speaking of the Venue, I have not even seen one on the road yet. I know sales have been terrible for everyone in 2020, but Hyundai has sold only 11 900 units of it this year so far. Which is about 5 times less than the Nissan Kicks. 

Obviously, the US market would not be interested in something even smaller...

2022/23 Vw I.D6: new photos...

 




The upcoming VW I.D6 (could also be called I.D7...) is a new model above the current I.D4. 
Based on last year's I.D Roomzz concept.
The production model actually looks more like a raised wagon than an SUV. Which is fine.





While the exterior does look similar, the interior of the production model looks nothing like the concept (above)
It will probably end up looking close to the I.D4 inside. You know, to "save cost"...


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: new photos.

 




We still do not know much about the all-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pick-up.
Except that it will be built in the US, and based on the same platform as the new Tucson.

This means it could be offered as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid as well as the regular engine.
Such versions would make it a unique choice. Being based on the new Tucson, it will be a bit smaller than the Honda Ridgeline, also car-based.
I think there is a big market for a reasonably sized pick-up in the US. Affordable with a hybrid option would make it even more popular

This could be a very big hit for Hyundai...



2021 Honda City Hatchback: the ugly duckling...

 







The best thing that can be said about this new "Honda City Hatchback" is that it seems quite versatile.
(Bottom pic)
Otherwise, its only reason to exist is that it is probably cheaper than the Fit in some countries. Although it is larger. (??)
This new City Hatchback makes the new Fit/Jazz look like a futuristic spaceship.

It looks like something Honda designed over 10 years ago. A cheap car that looks even cheaper.
When you compare this to the new Nissan Note I just posted earlier, there is really no excuse. It is like a joke.

Power comes from a small 1.0 Liter Turbo with 120HP. Which is fine for its class. 

This is, of course, not coming to the US. And will not be missed...


This is the City Sedan released last year. Showing that Honda has achieved the amazing feat of making their hatchback version look much worse than the super boring sedan it came from. 



2021 Nissan Note: official photos...






I think the all-new Nissan Note looks really good. Especially, considering this is a cheap car. 
It gets a new e-Power powertrain. Which consists of a small 1.2 Liter gas engine acting as a generator to the main electric motor.
It will be followed by a fully electric version with 2 motors early next year.

As mentioned earlier, the new Note is not scheduled for the US. But I really think it could be a good idea to bring the EVmodel as something a bit cheaper than the Leaf.



 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Cadillac CT5 3.0 test drive.





The Cadillac CT-5 is one of these cars that does look much better in real life. It is a modern and rather simple design. A very good looking sedan with very nice RWD proportions. 

The only let down is the black plastic rear side window. Which, of course, should really be a bit larger and made out of glass.
Although it was harder to notice on my black colored test car. And, IMO, it also should have been a hatchback, like the Escala concept.






At first, I thought the interior looked a lot like the smaller and cheaper CT-4. But it is actually very different. As soon as you get in, it feels like a much more expensive car than the CT4. (My loaded CT5 was only about $3000 more than the CT4-V I was driving a few weeks ago.
Everything feels really solid and well made. 

It also looks really good, especially with the color combo I had. Too bad it came (again) with this carbon-fiber lookalike (or is it real?) finish on the dashboard and doors. It seems every Cadillac has this now (Although I have seen the CT-5 with real wood finish) 

The interior is a great place to be. But in late 2020, its main problem is the recent competition.
Especially the one from the new Genesis G80 sedan. And the fantastic interior of the redesigned 2021 Jaguar XF. When compared to these, the CT-5 is just not up to that level.
Cadillac really needs to revamp all their interiors with a design similar to the new Escalade. 
Which is one of the best and most modern around...
As it is, the CT5 has a very nice interior, but it needs to be more special.


The rear seat is actually surprisingly roomy. And very comfortable. But again, the rear of the center console isn't as upscale as in some of its newer competition.


The model I had for a week was powered by the 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo, which is a $3500 option on all CT5 models (Except the CT5-V). 
With 360HP, there is basically always more power than you need. 

While the 10-speed auto is very responsive, it is also not invisible, at all. While the shifts do feel very smooth, you do hear them quite a bit. As the engine revs up quite a bit with every upshift. And that is in the normal mode, not in sport.
This makes the engine a bit noisy around town, where there is a lot of shifting going on.
It would be fine in Sport mode of course.  But not in the regular mode. As this makes the car feels a bit too sporty for a luxury sedan.
In general, the 3.0 V6 isn't as quiet as it was in the CT6 I test drove last year.

It is still mostly very smooth and quiet, but as I said, the whole thing is a bit sportier than expected. Which, at least to me, doesn't make much sense in the "Premium Luxury" version. Especially when Cadillac offers a "V" version.
This should just be super luxurious...
( I guess this is still the result of previous years under Johan de Nysschen who was trying hard to turn Cadillac into BMW...)


Once on the road, the CT5 is extremely quiet and comfortable.
It has a very nice steering feel. And the suspension soaks up almost all bumps. (But it is still not a magic carpet)

The CT5 V6 is rated at 19/26MPG.
As usual, I did struggle to match the city rating with only 17 to 18MPG. But easily got over 31MPG on the FWY.

The CT5 is a great car to drive and be driven in. 
But the competition isn't resting. At around $37 000 to start, it is priced well under other sedans in its class. (It is even cheaper than the new Acura TLX!)
My loaded car was priced at $56 770. Or around $53 000 with the 2.0 Liter engine. 
Which is still less than the new G80 (the Genesis can also get much more expensive w options) 
And a bit more than a loaded TLX.
And Jaguar lowered the price of the XF to $45 000, with that great interior. 
Otherwise, all of its German competition costs much, much more.

I think the CT5, like most current Cadillacs, is too afraid to just be a luxury car. And is trying too hard to be sporty. Sport should be for the "V" models.  But anything called "Premium Luxury" should just be luxurious. There is nothing wrong with that, especially for a Cadillac.
No one would blame a Cadillac for being focused on Luxury...

As it is the CT5 is a great sedan. It just needs a more spectacular interior, like the Escalade.
I was told at the Escalade event last year (Or was it early 2020?) that it will happen. All Cadillac models will eventually be getting a similar interior. 

Let's hope it comes soon...








 

2022 Ford Focus: the facelift...

 








It looks like the "regular" Ford Focus is getting the same revisions we just saw for the "Active" version.
(New car in white)

Again, the main change outside is upfront. While there seems to be nothing new to the rear of the car.
Same story inside. Where it is getting a revised dashboard with a larger screen. That screen sits a bit lower and seems better integrated than before. (slightly...)
Since we don't have the Focus in the US anymore, we should see this interior in an upcoming revision to our Ford Escape.