Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chevrolet Volt test drive. Part one.

 I got the Volt yesterday. For a week.
It had an EV range of 45 miles when delivered to me. (Not the full 53 I was hoping for...)

Still, plenty for a few day-drives.
I was curious about the gas mileage when the car is not in EV mode.
So I used the "hold" mode, which saves "the juice" for later. A very cool feature.

 As you can see. For these few miles, MPG was very impressive.
But I also noticed that it did use some of that juice. By the end of the day, in the "hold" mode, my total EV range was only about 39 miles...
(The picture above was taken today, after charging)

At the end of the day, I plugged it in. At a regular 120 outlet. So technically, it should take about 13 hrs to get a full charge.
Which I didn't need since it still said "39".

But, about 13hrs later, I was still at "just"  49 miles. Not the 53 miles advertised for the full charge.
Maybe that plug at the lot where I parked the car was defective? Or something else...
Who knows.

 The rear hatch is really big. And quite heavy.
But the inside cover is just a rather flimsy cloth sheet. Unlike the solid stuff found in most other hatchbacks. Maybe to save weight?
 Someone was asking me about rear legroom. so here it is.
I am 5'11" and drive pretty far from the steering wheel, and that's what's left behind me.
Which isn't bad. Technically, the new Volt has a bit more rear legroom.

And here is what it looks like whith an actual super good looking human.

Someone was also asking about visibility. 
And I was mentioning the rather high position of the rear window.
So this is what it looks like when you turn around. 

Not that you really need to, since it comes with a back up camera.

So far there is plenty of power all the time. If you drive in a relaxed manner, the engine almost never comes on during normal city driving.
And when it does, it is much quieter than before. It just seems to be far away...

Next, I will try to compare MPG when the battery is completely empty.
And, of course, check the actual range of the full EV mode.

2017 Acura MDX

So far, the MDX has always looked pretty boring. And bloated.
This teaser sketch shows the next one might be quite different.
And with, finally, a new grille.
(It took Honda so many years to admit they had a grille design nobody liked.)

It looks quite busy, but could also be pretty interesting.

We will see the whole thing at the upcoming New York auto show.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Chevrolet Volt test drive coming up...

Just got it. For a whole week.
Haven't driven it yet.

So go ahead if you guys have any questions.
I was a big fan of the previous one, so I cannot wait to drive the new one.

Monday, February 22, 2016

2017 Hyundai Ioniq EV

Apparently, the "pure electric" version of the all new Hyundai Ioniq will be getting a 105 Miles range.
Which puts is well bellow the all new Chevrolet Bolt.
But on par with the new version of the Leaf which is rated at 107 Miles.

The 105 miles rating is from the Korean version, so things might slightly change for our US model.

The Ioniq will also be available as a regular Hybrid and a plug-in model.

All new Renault Scenic

Another really good looking Renault.
Looking almost futuristic. But at the same time, much mrs substantial than previous versions.

This will compete in a hot segment in Europe.
One that almost doesn't exist here. Except maybe for the Ford C-Cmax.

It could be a cool idea for Nisssan to get this over here.
It wouldn't be that hard to compete with the lame looking C-Max with this.
Why not?

Renault Megane Estate

Another really good wagon from Europe.
But this time, unlike the Volvo V90, we are not getting it.

The new Megane is a great looking "Golf size" hatchback. And the wagon version doesn't disappoint either.

Nissan has recently mentioned something about our next Sentra being offered here as a Hatchback.
Maybe it's time to bring this Megane over here as the next Sentra.
And the wagon too!

I guess not. Instead, we'll probably see the Euro "much-lamer-than-the-Megane" Nissan Pulsar hatch merge with the Sentra.
While in reality, they should all merge with the Megane...

Friday, February 19, 2016

2017 Maserati Levante

About zero surprise here.
As it just looks like raised up hatchback version of the Ghibli sedan.

No specs have been released yet. Except it will be available with gas and diesel engines.(duh...)
And an 8 speed auto.

It doesn't really look better, or as good as many other SUVs out there.
I think the current Cayenne looks better than this. (And there's a brand new one on its way!)

New Volvo V90 video

No old guys
No fake presidents
No talking

Just a great looking car in a great looking environment.
Just enough to make you want one.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Something you don't see every day.

That would be "rain". The thing we really don't see every day over here.

And when it rains, something magical happens in my neighborhood: new, weird cars appear.
Yesterday alone I saw this old Citroen DS and the rare "last Saab 9-5".

I can't wait to see what the next rainy day will bring...

2016 Ford Ranger

No, we're still not getting this.

Of course, Ford might be afraid to compete with it's own "giant cash cow" F-150.
But Chevy did it with the Colorado, and it seems to be working for them.

This Ranger came out a few years ago, but got some changes for this year, and still looks really good. Of course they would sell here. The land of pick-up trucks.
We might be getting the next generation, but why wait??

It comes with a 200HP 3.2 Liter 5 cylinder engine. Or a 2.2 Liter Diesel with 130 or 160HP.

Oh well....

2017 Volvo V90

Another great looking wagon!
And this time, we will be getting it in the US!

It looks fantastic, has the same amazing interior as the S90 sedan. A glass roof.
And even a plug-in hybrid option with a 30 miles EV range.
This could be the perfect family luxury car.

As it looks so much nicer than the blocky XC90.

Not sure about pricing yet, but the "more expensive" XC90 starts at around $45 000.
So maybe this would start at around $40 000?
Which would be a very decent price. Considering the other options in that segment.
The Mercedes E Class wagon starts at around $61 000 (Although AWD is standard in the US)
And the smaller Audi Allroad (An A4 wagon) is over $43 000 (AWD as well)

On another note. To Volvo:
How about better picture of your great looking cars?!

Same thing when they unveiled the S90 sedan.
Grey cars in boring pictures!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New Chrysler 200 & 300 commercials.

These are some of the saddest car commercials I've ever seen. I don't mean to blame the actors. It's not their fault, really. (Except accepting that job)
But the idea is horrible. The writing should be punished.
Jokes don't work. You can tell it wants to be funny but it's not, etc...
The worst.
Plus, we can't even see the cars?! All they talk about is patriotic/election/fake politics BS.
Not really enough to actually sell a car.
Who is this even for? I mean who wants to buy a new car from two old guys pretending to be the president?!?!

After announcing the premature death of the Chrysler 200, now they advertise it???
Who is going to actually buy one now?

And that poor "5 years old" 300 sedan has no replacement in sight.
They were supposed to be working on a next one based on the new Giulia platform.
But the Alfa has had many troubles lately. (Weird handling, not passing internal crash tests etc...)Due to "Crazy Marchionne"s mandate to come up with a brand new platform in just 2 years.
So now it's late. Very late...
(Since he blamed the designers for the 200, he'll probably blame the engineers for he Giulia.)

As I mentioned before, I think Marchionne's goal is to kill Chrysler/Dodge, and sell Jeep/Ram to someone else. Anyone. As long as they give him money for it.

It is sad to see such lame commercials trying to sell what are very decent cars.
Cars doomed by the crazy guy running the company...

But!. To make everyone feel better, here are some GREAT old timey Chrysler commercials.
Cool cars with a cool actor! And you actually see the car! They were proud of it!

Back when the guy in charge actually cared.

More pictures of the all new Kia Optima Wagon

It just looks so nice...

All new Kia Optima SportsWagon

What a good looking wagon this is. Really.

The current Optima is not as original as the previous one, which is too bad. But it does look really good in real life.
So this should be great.

A slightly raised up AWD version of this would look so much better than the heavy handed, blocky Subaru Outback.
Just imagine. And it even has a glass roof option.

But.. Of course, just like everyone else, Kia would rather sell us "higher profit  margin" SUVs.
So chances to see this in the US are slim at best.
About the same as the also gorgeous Mazda6 Wagon...

2017 Fiat 124 Spider European price

The European press is reporting a 34 000 Euros price for the new Fiat Convertible.
Which is about 4000 Euros more than the equivalent 160HP version of the Mazda Miata.
(A cheaper, less powerful version is also available over there)
The Lusso model would be 2500 Euros more.

In the US, the Miata starts at $25 700. Using the same math, it would put the Fiat at around $30 000.

I think that is a lot.
I am really not sure Fiat can charge much more than the Miata over here.
It doesn't have such a great image to begin with...

Of course, it does depend on equipment etc... And how Fiat wants to position the car in the market.

Nissan Altima Spy shots???

These were actually taken today, and sent to me by a reader.

It seems really strange for Nissan to camouflage this car, since it is the current 2016 Altima.
I checked everything, and I can't see anything new.
Maybe a very early mule for the next "all new" model, due out in a couple of years?

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fiat Toro "Sport Utility Pick Up"

So far, they claim this is only for the Brazilian market.
Even though the design screams "Jeep".

I think Fiat would be stupid to not sell this as a Jeep Pick up in the US.
Ram does need a smaller pick up, but this just looks so much like a Jeep already...

Engines in Brazil are a 1.8 Liter gas or a 2.0 Liter diesel.
So this is probably quite small.

They'll probably use the 1.6 Liter Turbo and the old "always poorly reviewed" 2.4 Liter for the US market.

I am not a pick up truck person, but I really think there is a growing market for these.

The sad part is that it would be yet another Jeep model.
We are getting only Jeeps. No more Dodges, no more Chryslers....(Except the Minivan)

Another Renault Alpine Concept

The Alpine is almost like Alfa Romeo in the US: they keep saying it's coming back. But nothing yet.

Everyone thought the new car would be shown this eek, but all we got is another concept.
"80% close to the production model " this time.
Who knows...

When it finally comes out (Maybe before the end of the year), the new Alpine will be competing mostly with the Alfa 4C and Porsche Cayman in Europe.
And of course, not here.

Although, being a Renault, we might see some of it (platform?) in the next Nissan Z?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mercedes C-Class Convertible teaser

Looking great already.
An even cleaner design than the coupe (The stupid rear bumper "air vents" seem to be gone)

A new convertible is always good news to me.
This looks to be quite a treat.

Even though it might still start at above $45 000. it should still be quite a bit cheaper than the current $62 000 E-Class convertible.

Friday, February 12, 2016

2017 Audi Q2

Here we have what will be Audi's smallest SUV, the new Q2.

"Sportier" and more modern than the Q3, it is based on the newer MQB platform.
So it's basically a Golf.

After seating an a Q3, I'm not sure why they would want to even go smaller.
But, I guess it makes sense in Europe.

Not sure about US sales yet. But I remember a few years ago when they said the Q3 would "never" be sold in the US.
It came here about 3 years later.