Friday, September 30, 2022

2023/24 VW Golf: a look inside...

VW is currently testing a revised version of the current generation Golf. 

While we're not getting the Golf in the US anymore, we are still getting the GTI version.
Although it seems pretty rare these days. They only sold 6 537 of them in the US last year!
Far, far less than the 22 485 sold the previous year. ( I smell bad news for next year...)

The prototype of the "updated" model shows the same horrible screen VW has been using in everything lately. Starting with their electric I.D models. It seems they just want to manufacture (or buy) just one type of screen and replace everything else with it, whether it fits the car or not.
This screen in the current Golf/GTI interior just looks ridiculous.
Let's hope this is just some testing device and the production version will either keep the same screen setup or something a bit wider. 
But not this clowny and absurd device.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

2024 Mustang Turbo: new video...

This is what the base 2.3 Liter Turbo Mustang looks like for 2024. 

You notice it has a different front end from the GT. As usual. And, also, as usual, it will be the best seller of the new generation. As the GT has become a much more expensive proposition in the past few years.
(It's currently about $10 000 more than the base Ecoboost model.)
And of course, the horrible gas mileage isn't helping.

As we've seen earlier, the basic model will get terribly cheap-looking double tablet screens inside. While the "Premium" interior gets the wider double screen set up.
While that Premium option comes with many other features, like a nicer interior, better-looking wheels etc... It's also about $5000 more than the basic car...

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: US pricing...

 At $39 845, the new 2023 PHEV version of the Mitsubishi Outlander isn't that cheap. It's about $2000 more than the previous generation. But the current Outlander is miles ahead of what it used to be and a $2000 premium over the old one is well worth it. It also comes with a 38 miles EV range. Which is so much better than the previous generation's 24 miles max. 

While it is a huge premium over the non-hybrid model which starts at around $27 000, it is still a tiny bit cheaper than the smaller Toyota RAV-4 Prime. (The Outlander does offer a 3-row option). On the other end, it is about $10 000 cheaper than a Kia Sorento PHEV.

A 38-mile EV range is very useful for most people. They will have no problem charging this thing overnight and have almost 40 miles of electric drive every single day. Mitsubishi claims you can now use a fast charger on the PHEV and it takes 38 minutes to charge up to 80%. Which I think is totally useless. I cannot imagine anypne going to a fast charger and sitting there almost 40 minutes to just add a little bit over 30 miles of EV driving. 

Its price will also depend on features. For $40 000 the base PHEV might come with more standard equipment than the regular base model. Which hasn't been mentioned by Mitsubishi yet.

2024 Kia Sorento: new illustrations...


The Kia Sorento is getting a mid-cycle refresh in just a few months, for the 2024 model year. The illustrations above show a mostly new front end. And a slightly revised rear view. guess the new front end looks more like a Telluride, which is what they should have done in the first place. 

But the main problem with the Sorento, at least to me, is the super busy, messy, and almost tacky-looking interior. There is just too much of everything. Especially way too much silver-painted plastic trim everywhere. 

They sold almost 82 000 of them last year in the US. Which is less than the previous generation's average. (up to almost 115 000 in 2016)

It's really too bad since it has been getting mostly good reviews. And Kia makes it available as Hybrid and PHEV as well. Which is really rare in the segment. (although it starts at $50 000 with just 32 miles of EV range...). 

I really hope Kia will grace the 2024 model with a new interior. And how about a lower price for that PHEV?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

2023 Chinese market Honda CR-V: the stuff we don't get...


This isn't the first time the Honda CR-V gets more features in other markets. A 3rd-row was available in Europe for a while. And so was the oversized double sunroof. The supersized "roof window" is also available in the smaller/cheaper HR-V in China.

Here, we get a sunroof standard on the 2023 model. Even on the base EX. But that's it. And if you want 3 rows of seats, they'll try to sell you the more expensive and much larger Pilot.

I understand that 3rd row must be quite tight. But the larger sunroof would be really nice. At least on the top-of-the-line version. Why not?

The new 2023 CR-V will start at 0ver $32 000 in the US. All the way to $40 000 for the top-of-the-line Sport Touring. That's more than most of its competition. And quite a bit more than the previous generation. 

You'd think we'd be offered everything. At least as options...

2024 Subaru Crosstrek: new video...

The popular Subaru Crosstrek will be all-new for the 2024 model year.
We will see the US version very soon. The video above shows the Japanese version.

This "action-packed" video features all kinds of scary and dangerous activities. Like Camping! Snowboarding! Surfing! Climbing! And "hanging out with the girlfriend at night"!

Our US model should look pretty much the same as the one you see here. Engine choices are rumored to be the same as before. Although no one knows about the PHEV model. 
With a bump in EV range, it could be quite a hit. Especially if they can find a way to manufacture it in the US and qualify for the new federal incentives. (So far the Crosstrek isn't built in the US)

As you can see in the video, while the design is "all-new", only car fanatics and current owners will really be able to tell the difference between the current one and the 2024 version.

2024 Kia EV9: a look inside...

Strange to see a Kia EV9 prototype still covered in so much camouflage, when Kia showed us much more just a little while ago.
By publishing photos of a prototype with very little camouflage showing almost the whole thing...

Inside, it will, of course, be very different from the crazy concept we saw last year. The screen seems much taller and not as wide. Mostly because there are probably 2 of them instead of one in the concept. 

Too bad car production is still so messed up these days. It's hard to tell if a car would be popular otherwise. (I haven't actually seen a Honda CR-V )
It would be very interesting to know if, in normal times, such an odd design would be popular. Also interesting is what probably will be the very first 'affordable" 3 rows EV.

Kia is still introducing lots of new models these days, although most of them are very hard to get. Which insane markups.
I guess Honda and many others are in the same boat...

It's just strange to see so many new models introductions while the cars are so hard to actually purchase...


2024 Hyundai Kona: a look inside...

 The 2nd generation Hyundai Kona has been testing for a while. We've seen a multitude of spy shots and illustrations. Today, we get our best look at the interior so far.

We see one giant screen. It also seems slightly curved and very imilar to what we can find on the new Genesis GV60.

The whole thing seems a major step up from the current interior. I drove 2 versions of the Kona a few years ago and the interior already felt quite old looking. And pretty drab.

What we see here is already a huge improvement.

2023 Polestar 3: new teaser...


We saw the profile of the new Polestar 3 a few months ago.
Now we get to see what it looks like from the rear. 

We will see the front end and interior on October 12th. 

The first version we will see is rumored to produce about 510HP. Following the Polestar 2 footstep, a single motor with a longer EV range will be unveiled later.
The Polestar 3 is also rumored to share its platform with the new Volvo EX90. And both will be produced in the US. (And China for the local market)

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid: pricing...

The regular Hybrid version of the new 2023 Kia Niro will be available in 3 versions:

- LX: $26 490
- EX: $29 090
- SX: $32 490.
(All prices exclude $1295 destination)

It is a larger car than the 2022 model, but also more expensive.
Here is the 2022 lineup:
- LX: $24 690
-LXS: $26 090
-LXS Special Edition: $27 590
-Touring Special Edition: $29 890
-EX Premium: $31 990.

Obviously, the base model is quite a bit more expensive. But the top of the line version is only a few hundred more than before. 
The 2023 version improves on gas mileage with a 53MPG average vs. 50 for the 2022 model. While power stays the same at 139HP.

It is still about 5 inches smaller than the new Honda HR-V. And the Niro, as before, doesn't offer AWD.
A loaded 2023 HR-V FWD is around $29 500. 
Not sure about what comes standard in various versions of the new Niro. But it just seems a bit pricey.
Sure, at least it's a hybrid. And a huge improvement over the previous one. (at least from the photos)

It will be interesting to see how much the PHEV and EV versions will be.
The 2022 models are priced at $29 560 for the PHEV and $39 990 for the EV.
With only 26 miles of EV range, the PHEV comes a little short.
If they can add 5 to 10 miles for the 2023 model, it would really be the best one to get. For not that much more than the Hybrid.
The EV will be in a very tough spot. 
The $40 000 model will compete against the $30 000 Chevrolet Equinox EV. Which will be very, very tough... Especially since it won't qualify for the new Federal incentives (but the Chevy will)

Good luck...


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Study: college students dream of a Tesla...

Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

But according to a new study report, it's true. 

79% of college students drive a used car. For 47% of them, that car is over 10 years old. And most of these cars are Toyotas (16%) and Hondas (15%). Which does make sense, since these are the affordable brands people recommend the most. Next, we see Chevrolet and Ford, both at 10%. And Nissan at 8%.

31% of the students spent under $10 000 on their cars. While 28% spent between $10 000 and $20 000.

The stuff they dream of? 15% of them want a Tesla. While only 6% dream of a Mercedes or BMW. This is a huge difference and shows the amazing power of the Tesla brand. It seems most of these students will probably get a Tesla as soon as they can afford one.

With all its faults, Tesla has created quite an amazing brand image. It might shrink a bit with time. Due to competition, and especially obnoxious behavior from Elon Musk. For now, it still works...

BMW XM: production Vs. concept...


As we've seen before, the production version of the last year's BMW XM concept looks very similar.
But is also quite different.
At first, they basically look the same.
Then you notice how much smaller the production grille is.
The overall design is also much more conventional. especially if you compare the front hood and fenders. The production door handles also look quite old-timey for such a modern car.
And the rear lights aren't as modern as the ones on the concept. At all...

And of course, that gold trim is just awful. But that might just be specific to the version pictured above.

Inside, things are very different. Unfortunately. The concept's interior was really nice and modern. While the production versions look like many other BMWs. (At least it's not as horrific as the iX.)

More on the new XM soon. It will be powerful, fast, and very expensive...

Monday, September 26, 2022

2023 Cadillac CT-6: new interior...


While the CT-6 sedan isn't sold in the US, it continues its career in China. Where it will be getting some substantial changes for the new model year.

And these changes include a brand new interior. As you can see, things do look all new in there. With a much more upscale look and feel. Including the great curved screen from the Lyriq and Escalade.

We will never see this in the US. But the XT-4 is also getting a new interior in a few months. One that will also include the curved screen.

2024 Jeep Wrangler: new spy shot...

 The current generation (JL) Wrangler came out 5 years ago. Production started in November 2017.

Which means it would be pretty credible to see a few changes next year. For the 2024 model year. This recent spy shot doesn't really show many changes. (Maybe the lights?)

I keep hearing about a full EV version coming out. But I'm not sure if the current platform can support this. Although Jeep has already shown 2 electric "Magneto" concepts. Both use a new 800-volt battery pack. The latest one from last April produced an insane 625HP. While the 2021 concept was rated at 285HP. (no word on the range)

It seems it wouldn't be that hard for Jeep to actually produce an electric Wrangler. And sooner than later.

It doesn't need to have 625HP to be a really cool Jeep. As far as range, something close to 300 miles would also be OK. 

The Wrangler above might or might not be an EV. It could also just be any of the upcoming revised versions. With a few exterior changes and maybe more changes inside.

(Thanks to a reader for the pic)

2024 Cadillac Lyriq: new color spotted...

The Cadillac Lyriq is unfortunately available in very few colors in the US. At first, the new Cadillac EV was only available in black or grey.

For 2023, dark blue and white were added. While interior choices are still either black or a very light grey.

From these photos, it seems some kind of light "baby blue" will be added soon. At least overseas. We've seen this color before a few months ago. But this is the first time I see the new light brown interior color. Which looks great in other Cadillac models. And should be just fine in the Lyriq.

I really wish Cadillac would add more exterior colors. I know Tesla started a trend by getting away with very few color choices. But it sucks. Expensive cars should really give you more choices. And GM has some really nice colors in their palet.


2023 VW Atlas Cross Sport: Teramont twin...

The VW Teramont is the Chinese market version of our Atlas.
I had seen photos of the regular Teramont/Atlas facelift before, but not the 5-seater version yet.
(Called the Atlas Cross Sport here)

And it does look pretty terrible. The new droopy headlights just look weird. And sad.
The worst part seems to be the redesigned rear end. With tons of black plastic now added to it. And super cheapo-looking plasticky and tacky tail lights.
The interior seems mostly new, compared to our version.

This could be nice, since, at this point, anything would be an improvement.


2024 Mustang GT Convertible: video...

It might not look that different from the current generation. It also looks a bit like a Camaro. But the new 2024 Mustang Convertible is indeed a good-looking car no matter what.

Still, it's really too bad about the gimmicky/non-descript/messy interior...

Honda Integra Hybrid: Chinese market only...

Before Acura unveiled the new Integra in the US, Honda had shown us a new sedan for the Chinese market called the Integra as well.
Which is just a slightly modified version of our Honda Civic sedan.

A hybrid version of the current Civic came out a few months ago (not in the US yet), and now, of course, we see the Integra version of that Hybrid sedan.
Again, a Chinese market model only.

Unlike the Civic Hybrid, the Integra Hybrid does get an all-new front-end design.
Inside the only difference seems to be a slightly redesigned console...


Thursday, September 22, 2022

2024 Toyota Prius: more spy shots...

I know it's still covered up in camouflage. But so far, this is already the best-looking Prius I've ever seen.

This is shaping up to be one super sleek sedan. You can already see Toyota's new front-end design. Similar to the Chinese market bZ3 electric sedan. And a few concepts we saw last year. And it already looks 100 times cleaner and more modern than any Prius we've ever seen.

The difference is especially striking when compared to the current generation. The next one looks like an amazing metamorphosis compared to the current ugly duckling. This could actually look great. And put the Prius name back on track.
If the specs follow the new design that is. 

The Prius does need something more. More than a great design.
As I mentioned before, I think a PHEV should be standard, now that so many cars are available as a "regular' hybrid.
PHEV SUVS are now getting close to a 50-mile EV range.
The next Prius needs to push the envelope with something over 70 miles. Which, for most people, would be plenty to almost never use a drop of gas.

If the Prius can look that good, I wonder what they'll do with the next Camry!


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: coming soon...

 While Mitsubishi used to be pretty popular in the US, things have gone from bad to worse in the past few years.

The "semi" bright spot is the new Outlander. Which has gotten mostly good reviews. And does look much better in the flesh than in photos. It's basically a Nissan Rogue underneath, and for some reason, priced almost the same. When it should be cheaper.

The good news for 2023 is the arrival of a new PHEV version. While the previous generation could only get 24 miles of pure electric range. The next one is rumored to get from 47 to 50. Which would be more than its competition. The RAV-4 gets 42 miles. The Tucson PHEV is rated at 33 miles. The Kia Sorento at 32 miles. Etc...

Almost 50 miles would put the Mitsubishi ahead of everyone. And would really help differentiate it from the Rohuw, which doesn't even offer a regular Hybrid.

The 2022 model was priced at around $37 000. Not sure how much the new generation will be. But the RAV-4 Prime starts at over $40 000. While the Tucson PHEV starts at $35 400.

If Mitsubishi finds a way to lower the price under the Tucson, they will have a very attractive product.