Thursday, November 19, 2015

AutoShow Quick notes: Doors.

 Jaguar XF sedan. Boring outside, boring inside.
Doesn't look or feel like a Jaguar. This interior door design is as blocky/uninspired as they get.

 Meanwhile, inside the Mazda CX-9...

AutoShow Quick notes: New Cadillac interiors

 I finally got to sit inside the big CT6. A car that, I think, is such a disappointment in the pictures I had seen to it.
In real life. It is big. And... we'll. Still disappointing.

It looks really, really boring. And even awkward. (I mean look at that cut line for the trunk!)
There is just zero of the style or flair needed to make this a Cadillac. (Or even a contender)

As for the interior, the one they have on the show floor is really bad. 
I am sure it might look a bit better with the wood. But the one I saw looked just too cheap.
(And look at this boring console design)
The plastics were also just not up to the competition.
It just didn't look of feel upscale. At all!

Which is trange since Cadillac's interiors have been really excellent for the past few years.

A small weird note. This looks like a glove compartment, but there was no way to open it.
So I'm not sure it is one. (Maybe an electric switch hidden somewhere?)
But again, it was a cheap feeling piece of place plastic...

 Then I went inside the new XT5 SUV.
The newest of Cadillacs!

And again, the interior is really a step down (or more) from the CTS/ATS.
I mean, I like simple. But a Cadillac needs to be upscale. Just look at the Lincoln MKX interior posted earlier(!)
This just doesn't cut it.

It seems that while everyone is getting better (Except Audi), Cadillac interiors are getting worse.
I wonder what is going on...

AutoShow Quick notes: Lincoln MKX interior

I was really impressed by the new Lincoln MKX. A very nice looking SUV. And an even better interior.
And it starts at about $3000 less than the new Lexus RX350. (The one that was design in Bizarro world)
I just noticed how nice of a place this would be to travel. Or just drive around every day.
Good job Lincoln!

Now I just hope they won't force the new horrific Continental mouth on it next year like they just did with the MKZ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Infiniti Q30/QX30

 They are basically the same car. The QX is just a raised up AWD version of the Q.
And they both look great in person.

I am still surprised that Infiniti decided to bring both to the US. Which is great news.
I think they look as good (maybe better) as the Mercedes GLA they are based on.

 And they are roomy.
The top picture shows the back seat room for the QX30.
While the bottom pic is from the larger Q50.

Interior is really nice. (Although they might have gone a bit overboard with the stitching, since it is everywhere). Everything feels good and really solid.
And yes, as you can see, many of the switchgear is straight from Mercedes.

I cannot wait to see pricing on these.
And hope it is a hit for Infiniti.

2017 Buick Lacrosse

Again, the current Lacrosse is a car I really enjoy. So I don't think this is such a improvement, really.
I mean it is nice. But I really was expecting something more.
Something a bit closer to last year's Avenir concept.

The interior is very nice too. But so is the current one.
And that soft scoop over the rear wheels is a bit too reminiscent of what they've already done on a bunch of other GM cars. Like the Impala, new Malibu and even the new Cruze.

All new Mazda CX-9: the surprise

I have always been a fan of the current model.
And from the pictures, this all new one looked quite similar, which is fine.

But in real life, the whole thing looks much more muscular and refined.
(A Mazda rep told me they are moving it up the scale)

And the interior is downright luxurious.
Not only it is better than any to its competition.
But better than some luxury brands. The whole thing looks and feels more upscale than the $56 000 Audi Q7. (which I must say, is even worse in real life....)

Another great job from Mazda!

All new Mazda CX-9

Looking pretty great. And one of the best interiors around. Much nicer than Murano and any Lexus competition.

2017 Buick LaCrosse

Still looking a lot like a big Malibu. But a really good looking one. 
Interior looks really good in real life. Much  (MUCH) better than the cheap looking CT 6 interior...

Finally. After all these years.... Alfa in the US

2017 Lincoln MKZ

I really think that new front end ruins it. I mean now they will try to stick that Continental concept grille on everyting???
Just when they started looking nice...

2017 Fiat 124

I know this is a Miata with a new body. But since I am not a huge fan of the new Miata design, I actually like this Fiat version better.
Miata fans won't like it. And Fiat purists might not either. Seeing this as "not a real Fiat".
What I see is Italian design built in Japan. Which sounds like a great thing.

The only engine announced so far is the 1.4 Liter Turbo with 160hp.
6 speed manual or Auto.

I am seeing the real thing today and will report on it really soon.

The one major let down is the lack of an original interior design.
The Mazda's is fine. But still, I was hoping for something different, and more fun, for the Fiat version.
(Miata pic above)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2017 Buick Lacrosse

 I have always been a big fan of the current Buick Lacrosse.
It is (still) a really good looking car. With a very nice interior. And it really is a pleasure to drive.

But I must say, I was expecting a bit more for the all new one.
I mean, this looks fine. Slick. But it just doesn't seem such a big step forward.
Sure, when compared to what Audi does (Squaring off and tracing current designs), this is much better.
At least it doesn't look like the previous one...

These pictures are from China, so there is still (a very tiny bit of) hope that it is the "Chinese only" version. Something GM did with the new Cruze.

I will know in a few hours. As I am heading to the Los Angeles Auto Show early tomorrow morning.

 I knew I saw this shape before...

I mean really. This is a bit too close .

By the way, this is what they teased us with last year. As the future or large Buick sedans.

I guess not. Or not yet...

2017 Jaguar XE prices

There will be 3 engines available in the US:

-2.0 Liter Turbo with 240HP.         Starts at $34 900
-2.0 Liter Diesel with 180HP.        Starts at $36 400
-3.0 Liter V6 Turbo with 340HP.  Starts at $41 700
-All with 8 speed Auto.

For some reason, I though there was not going to be a 2.0 Turbo in the US.
I had heard the diesel was going to be the base engine for the US.
Either I was day dreaming (which does happen a lot), or they changed their minds after the VW nightmare...

These look like very decent prices for a premium brand.

A 3 series BMW 320 starts at $34 145. But that's their "super base" model with only 180HP.
To get something similar to the XE 2.0 you'll need to step up to the 328.
And that one starts at $39 345. Or about $5000 more than the Jaguar.

An Audi A4 will start at $36 825. But that's for the current model. (The new 2017 will be more).
And of course, the C Class isn't cheap.
It starts at $39 875.

Even when compared to its non-European competition, it is still a good deal:
-Cadillac ATS 2.0 Liter Turbo : $36 240
-Infiniti Q50: $38 055
-Lexus IS: $38 265

So basically, the new Jaguar is cheaper than any other competing models.

It will get even more competition from the new Audi A4 and the Alfa Romeo Julia.
But so far, the A4 looks pretty terrible. Worse than ever before, especially inside.
And, at least from pictures, the Alfa looks very generic.

I didn't like the XE at first. But I actually saw one in Europe a few months ago, and it looked pretty good in person.
I will be seeing it for myself tomorrow and will report with comments and pictures.

I think Jaguar might very well have a winner here...