Monday, January 18, 2016

Mazda CX-4

This is pretty interesting.
Basically a production version of last year's great looking Koeru concept.

It is smaller than the CX-5 for a bit larger and sportier than the CX-3. And, unlike BMW's X4 and X6 series, which end up looking bloated , this looks very nice.

So far, people at Mazda are describing it as something for people who want more than a Mazda3 hatch. But not quite an SUV, like the CX-3 or 5.

I think this might turn out to be a good idea.
Something sportier than the rather blocky CX-5.

Looking at the Koeru concept, the "toning down for production" is pretty obvious.
Windows are taller, the front end isn't as aggressive. (Lights especially)
Everything is a bit softer in the production model.

But so far, Mazda has been showing us great production cars.
This one shouldn't be different...

No Future for the Avenir

You can stop dreaming.

Buick said there will not be a production version of the amazing Avenir concept from last year.
The 2017 Lacrosse is the closest thing we'll get...

Sad, but realistic. Since the Avenir would have been built on the same platform as the new Cadillac CT6. And it would have killed the CT6.

Cadillac's sad looking large sedan would have had no chance against this.

And you know what, I predict the same thing will happen with the equally amazing Avista Concept...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In, coming soon. From China

That's right..

GM has announced that, while the regular versions of the CT6 will be built in the US, the Plug-In Hybrid version will be exclusively built in China.
Even the ones sold in the US.

Pretty amazing, and I must say, sad. Cadillac is pretty much the most American of brands.
After the Buick Envision, GM is now getting ready to sell us Chinese made Cadillacs.
(They have already said that most Buicks won't be coming from the US within a few short years)

I guess, in a little while, it won't actually matter where things come from. We are already there with electronics where no one cars if every single one of them comes from China regardless of the brand.
So maybe there is nothing we can do about this.

I just feel sorry for the Cadillac workers. Who I am sure were pretty proud of putting together cars for such a legendary brand.
And also sad for GM. who doesn't seem to care.
But again, who really cares anymore...

On another note, I really don't think the CT6 in general will have much of an impact. I sat in the Plug in version, and, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the interior is shockingly crappy.
Not only worse than any of the competition, but worse than existing Cadillac models like the CTS or XTS.

Not a good trend...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Chevrolet Equinox Test Drive

 The current Equinox has been around for a while. It'll be 7 years old this June.
So it's fair to say an all new one is "around the corner". For sometime next year at the latest.
I hear it will also be a bit smaller. (Since the next Traverse will be shrinking too)

I drove the GMC version a few years ago. With a V6. It was just fine, nothing great.

The Equinox has been slightly updated outside last year, and I think it still looks very good.

It is also still very popular. With over 277 000 units sold last year. Which is about 35 000 more than the year before!
Quite amazing.

Inside, things have not changed for a while. It was fine 6 years ago, and just OK now.
All plastics are hard. Which is OK for the $23 000 base price.
But my test unit was over $34 000!

For that price, the radio was just an average unit. With a very annoying MyLink system.
Which would not show all playlists on my phone. And the screen was sometime not responsive at all.
Just not up to modern standards...

It is, however, very roomy. And comfortable. In a plain, slightly dated sort of way.

The 2.4 Liter engine (Yes, my $34 000 car didn't have the V6) is pretty quiet, as long as you don't push it. At all.
Past 2500RPM things get a bit rough and noisy. End, even though the great 6 speed auto is willing to downshift quickly, not much actually happens.
(It can get pretty bad with just 3 people on board when getting up to speed on the freeway.)

It is rated at 20/29MPG for the AWD model I was driving.
I did my best but only got 17 in the city.
And about 28 on the Highway.

By the way, these are the same numbers GM claims you can get in the all new GMC Acadia with the 2.5 liter.
(Since the new Acadia still weights around 900 pounds more than this Equinox, I seriously doubt these crazy numbers...  But I do have to admit, the 2.5 Liter is a lot quieter and smoother.  At least in the Impala I tested a couple of years ago)

I think 7 years is a bit long these days for a car. Everything changes so fast.
Small Turbo engines, Apple CarPlay etc...

I am sure the next Equinox will address all these problems.
But for now, if you get one, make sure you get some amazing deal .
$34 000 for this, without navigation, sunroof or a great stereo is way, way overpriced.

Hyundai Ioniq

Just a few new pictures. It is still not out yet.

And again, this should be a huge hit. Offering Hybrid, Plug-in and full electric versions.

Since the "ugly as sin" new Prius makes the previous one look like Marilyn Monroe,
the Ioniq should be a welcome addition to the market place.  Something for people who still value a decent looking car.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Road trip!

After getting this yesterday, I've decided to get out a town for a couple of days.

A fantastic drive so far...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2017 GMC Acadia MPG

GM is claiming 22 city and 28 HWY for the new Acadia with the newly available 2.5 Liter engine.

All I can tell you is: no way.
During a week with the Equinox, (Using that same engine) all I was able to get around town was 18. And yes, around 27/28 on the freeway.
So there is no way this larger SUV is getting 22 in the city.

And, they claim 17/25 for the V6. But wait! The current, 700 pounds heavier one, is rated at 17/24.
That's right, just a gain of 1 mile per gallon on the freeway.

Imagine all the engineering work it took to gain just 1MPG!

This is really weird, in a bad way. After all these years, an all new model is just getting a 1MPG improvement.
Oh sure, they'll advertise the hell of that 22/28 number. From an engine almost no one will get.

Very disappointing. Especially since GM has a great, smooth and powerful 2.0 Liter Turbo engine available.

2017 GMC Acadia

I do like this. Sure, it's not that original. But it is very tasteful with great proportions.
And it does look more upscale than before.
The grille especially looks much more refined than the blunt design they've been using for a while.

It is a bit smaller than before. (And about 700 pounds lighter). But can still seat up to 7 people.

Now the base engine is a 2.5 Liter. Which, I think, is a terrible idea.
I just drove a Chevrolet Equinox (review coming soon) for a week with that same engine.
And it was slow!!! I cannot imagine that weak engine in a larger/heavier SUV.

Otherwise the 3.6 Liter V6 is still an option. And the only one you'd really want.
(And from my previous experience with it, it's not that fast either...)

Monday, January 11, 2016

2017 Lincoln Continental

Again, what we saw last year was not a concept, really.
It was this production car with more chrome. A lot more chrome.

I didn't like it then and I like it even less now.
As I said before, this should have never been called "Continental". That name comes with a history, heritage and prestige this doesn't have at all.

Outside it doesn't look any better than any sedans from Acura. It's not ugly. Just invisible.
Inside, the vulgar looking chrome from last year has been replaced by some horrible looking wood trim (At least in the version pictured above)
And just like outside, it has zero personality.

I really like recent Lincolns. I drove a MKZ for 3 days and really liked it. And their new MKX and MKC are great.

They were on the right path. What the hell happened???

2017 Honda Ridgeline

This, is very sad and crappy...

I mean really. What were they thinking???
The Ridgeline was a "truck" for people who don't need or want the usual pick up. Something different.
Now, it is still car based. But tries really hard to look like a real truck.
And actually ends up looking more boring and old than any other pick up available.
(And it's not even out yet)

Who is this for now???

It doesn't look much roomier than the GMC Canyon I drove a while ago.
The Canyon looks 100 times better than this. I also observed 17/28 MPG with the V6 Canyon.
I doubt the Honda will do much better (Although I have to admit, it will probably be faster and smoother)
I really hope they lose money on this one.

There is really no excuse for crap like this in 2016...

Lexus LC500. More pictures

Still looking quite stunning.

It could do without all that grey plastic trim around the lights, but that's OK.
Still an amazing design, I think.

Inside too. Except the "all beige" interior isn't really my taste.
I think it would look much better in a tan/black combo.
(Which is probably available)

And while I'm at it, I'll also wish for a glass panel to replace the carbon fiber top. Why not...

The V8 produces 467HP. Connected to a new 10 speed Auto.

A hybrid version is coming soon (With a V6). Not sure if that will be available in the US or not.

Truly a 21st century Lexus.

2017 Lexus LC500

Simply looking stunning...

This is the production model. I repeat, the PRODUCTION MODEL.
Lexus has done an amazing job at turning the concept from 2012 (Already...) into a production car.

Well with the wait.

This is the concept. (Second version of it)

A Hybrid version will soon join the V8 as well.

More details coming soon. Very soon...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2017 Ford Fusion

The model pictured above is the new Sport version.
It comes with a 2.7 Liter Turbo V6 with 325HP and AWD.

I really like the Fusion. I think it is one of the very best mid size car available in the US.
It drives and looks great. (It also has a more European feel than any VWs sold here.)

The changes to the front and rear do not ruin the great design. Thank God.

Inside, it looks like the main change is in the center console. Where the shifter has now disappeared.

 Here are a couple of pictures of the current version.
So we can all remember the recent past...

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

 That's right. The Town & Country is dead.
I guess it sounded too old timey for "new Chrysler"

It looks fine. But not amazing. ( I think the new Kia Sedona does look much better, especially inside)
That chrome window surrounding looks pretty thick.
And the interior, at least in the version pictured above, has some weird red trim that just shouldn't be in a car (Just like that awful gold trim in the 200)

Otherwise, the whole thing looks like a Minivan version of the Chrysler 200. Which is OK.

It is powered by their usual 3.6 Liter V6 with 287HP.
But there is a very interesting plug-in Hybrid model now.
It has the same V6 plus an electric motor. And can do about 30 miles on EV mode.
Which is actually pretty good. Better than most plug-in cars. And almost as much as the "old"

2017 Mercedes E-Class

We've seen it before. These are just a few more pictures.
I actually like the new Volvo S90 much better. Especially the interior.

For 2017, the base engine in the US will be a 2.0 Liter with 241HP and a 9 speed auto.
As you can see above, a plug-in version will also be offered soon.

The current model offers a diesel as the base model in the US. Priced at $52 650.
Other wise you can get a V6 for $53 100.
So basically, for 2017, the new 2.0 Liter replaces the V6. (But I bet it won't be cheaper...)

Buick Avista Concept

This looks really nice. In a classic sort of way.
It does feel a little bit generic. Much more so than the great Avenir concept from last year.
Although on some pictures (rear view) it does look quite aggressive...
Apparently this is based on the Camaro/ATS RWD platform.

And the crazy concept interior is telling us that we're not going to see this as a production model any time soon. Which is too bad.

The design could be a preview of the next Regal/Insignia. Especially the front part.
(Although these models will have 4 doors and FWD)

The concept is powered by a new 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo with 400HP and an 8 speed Auto.