Charging on 120V outlet...12 hrs!!!

My Next Ride – Chevy Volt

Special kudos to Leon S for finding the dealer that’s cutting some serious deals on the Volt this month. I went in without having to negotiate. Completely painless process. All paperwork was ready. Spent about 15 min signing papers. This is probably the easist lease I’ve ever done in the 12 years that I have been leasing cars. Here is how things shook out:

Leon S picked up his Volt and got a fantastic deal. I told him to have his dealer contact me following day. I inquired about a white Volt with only the safety package 1 and black cloth interior. The car was not on the lot but it was arriving next week. The offer was $500 due and $337 per month. The discount was a total of $6100. $3200 off MSRP, $2400 lease cash from US Bank and $500 lease conquest. I was at another dealership last weekend and was offered $774 due and $361 per month for a lesser vehicle (base model without safety package). I cross-shopped it with yet another dealership and the best they did was $1100 due and $335 per month. So here is were things get interesting…I was poking around the Volt’s website playing around with the car configurator. I noticed that the Volt look pretty sharp in red, but I was a turned off by the fact that the paint had a $1000 markup, so I didn’t consider it. However, while browsing through dealer inventory, I noticed that the dealer that Leon S used had a red one with leather and safety package 1 which is exactly what I was looking for. The price difference between the white one (that’s arriving next week) and this red one was only $605 bucks. So I had the dealer run some numbers and this is what I got back….$500 due at signing. $336 per month. $6500 discount ($3600 dealer discount, $2400 US bank lease cash and $500 lease conquest).  But wait! There’s more! $500 Costco Cash Card AND the $1500 state rebate. In-sane. I just couldn’t pass it up. So I rented a car one-way and drove 50+ miles out to get it Saturday morning.

So how do you calculate a lease for the Volt using the RWG Calculator?

MSRP $37625
Sale Price (after factoring all rebates) $31125
RES 39% + 7500 (federal rebate for EVs)
MF 0.00057 (1.37%)
Fees rolled in $1050 (total driveoff was $1550, but I wanted to roll in $1050 of it and only pay $500 at signing)
Monthly with 9% tax $336.58 per month.

The actual lease payment in the contract was $336.71. My estimate was within 13 cents of the actual payment. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

So far, I am enjoying the car. I think it’s a fantastic deal and I highly recommend it if you can live with it’s looks and size. My drive back from the dealership was about 59 miles. I used 0.9 gallons of gas (I was switching back and forth between full electric and gas) and I still had 15 miles in electric mode left. This year, I have been spending about about $213 per month on gas between my Sonata and the Pilot. For the coming year, I expect to easily cut that by half. My payments drop from $362 per month to $336 and I will have $2000 in my pocket in the next month.

I’m extremely pleased with this lease. Probably the best one I have ever done.

If you are a CA resident and are interested in a Volt, let me know and I will refer you.

My Next Ride – Part 1

Today I began my test drives. As you saw on my previous post, I have been looking at the following:

2014 Chevy Volt (quoted)
2014 Ford Fusion Titanium
2013 Infiniti G37 Journey Sedan (quoted)
2014 VW Passat TDI
2014 Honda Accord EXL V6
2014 Volvo S60 T5 Premium
2013 Lexus CT200h (quoted)
2013 VW GTI Wolfsburg
2014 VW Golf TDI

UPDATE: Shooting for the Volt. My first American car. Second one I’ve driven since my sister got a Pontiac Grand Prix back in 1992.

After driving the CT200h, I have decided to drop it off my list along with the GTI and the Golf. They are a tad too snug, making it tough to love. It’s not a bad car and it gets great gas mileage, but I am simply not convinced it’s worth $35k.

I will start out with my impression on the G37 and Q50 (yes, I check it out too). The G37 just felt natural to me. I felt so comfortable in it. Love the exhaust note, fit and finish. the console display does look a bit more “aged”, but to be honest, not a bit deal. Love the “rawness” of the G37. It really a well balanced sports sedan. Inventories seem to be VERY high in some dealerships so may not be tough to get what you want. I feel confident  that I can get a Journey for about 1st month + $350s with tax for 36-mo/12k per year.  The Q50 is great, it’s a more refined and roomier G. Quieter, so the “rawness and power” feel isn’t as noticeable. Still a very nice car, but I feel the infotainment console is a bit sluggish. Kind of like how MyTouch was when it was first introduced. In contrast, the Volt’s console is a bit simpler and responsive (more on that later). Overall, the G37 is my “nostagic” choice that could potentially be a keeper in the long run. I’m keeping this car as my “safe choice”.

Now, let’s talk about the Volt, shall we? There’s been a lot of confusing information floating around. I’m not saying it’s wrong. But I think that there are just a lot of assumptions being thrown around and it’s really rough to get a “skinny” on how things are truly done.

First off, the Volt’s numbers for Dec 2013 are: residual value 39% for 36mo/15k per year and MF .00057 via US Bank. Don’t bother with Ally. US Bank rates are better.

Second, $7500 federal credit  is applied to boost the residual value, making your lease more affordable. Whatever that 39% is, boost the residual dollars by $7500 and that’s the new residual value for the lease. I have been quoted 0.00091 as the MF. However, a friend of mine decided to pull the trigger on a Volt today and he got quoted .00057 thru US Bank. I’m thinking his is the base rate and mine is the “padded” one.

Third, state rebates. In the state of California, we get a $1500 rebate on the Volt. This is given via a check, which arrives about 6-8 weeks after you lease the vehicle. As of today, there is about $27 million dollars left in the program or about 48% of the entire pot.

Fourth, Costco Rebate. $500 Costco Cash after you lease a GM vehicle between now and Jan 2nd 2014. You need to have a “code” which you get via the Costco Auto program website. This is only for participating dealers. Check with Costco before you get the car from whichever dealer you are working with. Get the car, do a questionnaire and a rebate will be mailed to you afterwards.

Last, my target goal. I’m looking at a $37k MSRP model, 1st payment due. Approx $340-$350 a month with tax. 36mo/12k a year. Then I would get the $500 from Costco and $1500 state rebate, or an additional $55 per month in savings, making my effective cost around $285-$295 per month after all is said and done. Is this possible? I don’t see why not, my friend’s offer is $1550 at signing, $323 a month for a 36mo/15k lease.

As far as the car itself. I think it’s acceptable. It’s got plenty of torque. It’s smooth and being able to run 40 miles with out gas is great. In terms of interior quality and design, I think that it’s a bit “all over the place”. It’s not very cohesive and the infotainment system is kind of “all over the place” as well. There is such thing as too many options. I am computer guy and I use an Android phone. With that said, I found the Chevy’s computer system a bit too “feature rich”. The good news is that it wasn’t as sluggish as the MyTouch or the Q50s.

Overall, the Volt is really a tough deal to pass up due to the sheer amount of rebates available. It’s tough for me to give up $2000 on the table just like that, so unless something unexpected happens, you all should see some Volt pics on the Wall by month end.

What’s Going On – December 2013

I know it’s been a while since I posted a new message. Some of you are probably wondering if I went MIA again. It is safe to say that I’m still checking my messages and watching for website activity. If you have questions, feel free to ask them and I will do my best to answer them.

Lately…

I have been in the mist of at least 10 concurrent projects at work, so it’s been tough to sit down and find time to write to you all. I haven’t had much time to car shop either which really sucks because I only have until month end to take care of things. The good news is that I made some progress today by sending off a few quote requests. With that in mind, let’s move into my next topic…

My Holiday Wishlist

So I went to the LA Auto Show last week with the family and spent a solid 3.5 hours there. My little girl tagged along and hung in there like a champ. Unlike past years, I didn’t take any pictures because having a stroller and family members tagging along really makes it tough to take photos. The good news is that there really wasn’t all that much new stuff. For those of you intrigued by the MBZ CLA, I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t all that impressed by it. The interior really disappointed me because it did not scream “Mercedes-Benz”. On the flip-side, I was really impressed by the Audi A3 sedan. Fit and finish was impressive. I can only imagine how the S3 variant drives…*drool*. Unfortunately for me, these cars are just WAY TOO SMALL. Very tight quarters. Maybe I’m just getting old (and large), but it’s not all that easy to get in and out of those cars now. Anyway, going back to the real point, this auto show was really an opportunity for me to check out vehicles on my “lease” list and hopefully get some feedback from the wife. Without any further delay, here’s what I’ve been working towards…

Top Choices (in order)

2014 Chevy Volt (quoted)
2014 Ford Fusion Titanium
2013 Infiniti G37 Journey Sedan (quoted)
2014 VW Passat TDI
2014 Honda Accord EXL V6
2014 Volvo S60 T5 Premium
2013 Lexus CT200h (quoted)
2013 VW GTI Wolfsburg
2014 VW Golf TDI

The hope here is to get a real low payment, most bang for the buck and lowest operating cost (in that order). Fuel efficiency would be nice since the Pilot isn’t exactly a gas-sipper, but not crucial since my commute is only about 10 miles each way.

VOLT Update

In any case, I got an initial offer for the Chevy Volt tonight that looks like this:

MSRP: $35, 156.00
Your Price: $31,156.00

US BANK LEASE
3-years/10,000-miles
Drive-Off: $774.06
Payment: 361.26 (includes sales tax of 9%)
Rate: 0.00091

$500 Costco Cash Card (This promotions is going on for many GM vehicles through early January 2014)

Dealer “forgot” to disclose the residual, but I’m not too worried about it. As I said, it’s an initial offer so I’m just going to bring down the hammer after I test drive the car. No sense getting into the nitty-gritty if I end up disliking the car, right?

Got my hands on it…58.245%, not too shabby. So the key now would be to obtain the full $9000 credits ($7500 FED + $1500 CA) and they can sell the car for MSRP for all I care.

Stay-tuned folks! It’s going to be a busy month of December 🙂

G37 Update

Got a quote for the G37 Journey $811 at signing, $375 a month tax included. 62% / .00084 at 36mo/12k. Looks like there’s a lot more wiggle room.

CT200h Update

Received the quote with no lease rate information, but I was able to estimate the possible numbers…$550 at signing, $395 per month tax included. Based on those payments and the assumption that the residual hasn’t changed much since Oct (61%), I calculated the MF being about .00033. I will get confirmation tomorrow.

S60 T5 Update

VOLVO December numbers are in so check them out! I didn’t get a quote yet, but they look good! I will ask for a quote next week. Check back for an updated.

 

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Replacing the G – Round Two

I’m not quite sure how many rounds I will need in order to narrow the list down to my “top five” choices, but I can tell you that I have come much closer thanks in part to the 2010 OC Auto show and the test drives I have done so far. Here is an update of my “Wish List” along with some extra comments:

The Large SUV Group

  • Honda Pilot – This is barely making the cut right now.  Not overly impressed nor extremely disappointed.
  • Mazda CX-9 – It’s nice, it’s roomy and depending on the test drive, it could really be a contender.
  • Chevy Traverse – This car is relatively new, but it feels aged compared to Chevy’s newer offering. Even the GMC Acadia, which is practically the same SUV feels newer.
  • Toyota Highlander – Cheapness, is it’s weakness. Even a newly redesigned exterior can’t overcome the cheapness.
  • Ford Explorer – Much uglier in person, but I didn’t get to see the interior since they didn’t have a display model on the floor for people play with. Either way, I don’t think the lease will be attractive enough for it to warrant any consideration at this point. I may consider revisiting it down the road if an attractive lease pops up.

Overall, this group is starting to look really bad. I suspect the Pilot might get booted due to it’s styling and less-than-exciting interior, leaving the CX-9 as the top choice in this category.

The Compact SUV Group

  • Toyota RAV4 – Cost-cutting has really made this SUV hard to love. The hard plastics reeks of cheapness and the interior dash is uninspiring. Even if its inexpensive to lease, I don’t think I want one since Toyota’s lease program leaves much to be desired.
  • Ford Edge – This is a well-built SUV with a better-than-average interior. I haven’t seen any special leases on it, but it’s still early in the model year.
  • Infiniti EX35 – Test drove it a few weekends ago and my impression is that it’s a  solid crossover. It’s smooth over bumps, powerful, quiet and it drives like a G with higher ground clearance. There is also a lot of dealer cash on this car right now, which potentially knocks off a lot off the MSRP, making it a really good lease. Unfortunately I think it falls really short in two areas, cargo and MPG. It is still fairly practical since folding down the rear seats exposes quite a bit of cargo room, but I think of this car as a hatchback with poor MPG more than a true crossover.
  • VW Tiguan – Saw it at the show and I’ve driven it before; my folks also own one. Cargo wise its slightly better than the EX, but not by much. No Wolfsburg edition planned just for 2011 (yet) so my only choices would be the S and the SE trims.
  • Acura RDX – Test drove this as well and found it to be a serviceable crossover. I will not wow you, but it is all you should expect from Acura; Roomy and reliable with above average performance. The 4-banger turbo does not have a very noticeable lag which is impressive. Comes well-equipped, but it doesn’t have it all unless you go with the Tech. In my case, I can’t justify the cost. The exterior styling doesn’t really impress me much, but I think having an excellent lease program does.
  • Subaru Forester – I think it has a slight edge against the Outback. After looking at them side by side, I like it a little better.

If I had to guess, the Forester, Tiguan and the RDX will end up battling it in the payment department. I just don’t think Ford provides enough lease incentives to make the Edge a contender.

The Wagon Group

  • Audi A3 – I am a big fan of  TDI model, but I am willing to settle for a FrontTrak Premium. It’s driving dynamics shouldn’t be too different than my wife’s Jetta so I think it will end up coming down to a price war between the other finalists.
  • VW Jetta Sportwagen – Saw the TDI version at the show, love the Pano sunroof. Thankfully, it retains the nicer interior of the older Jettas, which is a plus. I did see the “new Jetta” and if you have seen “older” models, you will notice a difference. The interior materials haven’t been downgraded much, but the cabin certainly feels more “simplified”. The exterior styling isn’t too bad, but it feels more “vanilla” compared to the outgoing model.
  • VW Golf TDI – As nice as expected, looks like a more civilized version of the GTI and gets crazy gas mileage. Big fan, hopefully the lease rates will look good when the time comes.
  • VW GTI – I have to say, I am not a big fan of those cloth seats, but I love everything else.
  • Subaru Outback – I like it, but I have to admit that there are better cars. AWD certainly helps it’s case.

The Wagon group shows a lot more promise due to the more reasonable payments, practicality and fuel economy. My first choice would be the A3, but at this point any of these are a possibility.

The Sedan Group

  • Acura TSX – Acuras hold a special place in my heart, so this is a no brainer. I will likely opt for the Tech, but it all depends on the price.
  • Acura TL – Ditto on the TL. If a TSX with Tech were to be around the same as a TL base, I’d take the TL.
  • Hyundai Sonata – Saw the 2.0 Turbo and the Hybrid at the show, lovely inside and out. I got around to test drive the Limited model and I came away impressed. Quiet, smooth and with ample power. It’s no G37, but I didn’t expect it to be. Inexpensive, well-built and easy on the eyes. The closest thing to a win-win situation if there was one.
  • Infiniti G37 – I’ve been plagued with battery issues on my G37 this past year, with yesterday being the latest incident (I couldn’t get my car started for the 3rd time this year and I didn’t even leave any of my lights on). I think I will be skipping Infinitis this time around.
  • Nissan Maxima – Being the G37’s cousin dooms it’s chances. See above.

This is the “fall-back” category. I don’t think I would pick a sedan over the other categories due to my need for “room”. However, money talks and sedans have better lease programs than anything out there right now. The Sonata is a perennial favorite here, with the 2.0T being my top choice. My fall back would be the TSX, with the TL close behind.

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2010 OC Auto Show

Sorry for the delay in posting the photos. I’ve been busy this past week with work, nursing a sports related injury and spending time with family over the weekend. Anyway, the OC Auto Show was great and I got to spend a good four hours taking photos and “sampling” the goods. As far as concepts are concern, there weren’t many in this show. Then again, this show is a much small event than the LA, Detroit or NY Auto Show, so most of the cars on display were either models in production or soon to be released. Of all of the major manufacturers, only a few didn’t make the show (Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi); Not a huge loss if you ask me.

Here are some of my initial reactions about each manufacturer that showed up:

Acura – The TL’s “beak” really needs to go. The TSX wagon is hideous. The rest of the line-up gets a thumbs up.

Audi – Nothing new. I am personally targeting the A3 as a my possible “Next Ride”.

BMW – Nothing new. I didn’t spend much time there because it’s not different than last year with the exception of the new IS models.

Buick – The Regal looks nice and it’s cheap. A bit smaller than what I thought it would be, though.

Chevy – The Cruze was actually impressive. I think it should compete well against cars in it’s class.

Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep – JGC was probably the best looking offering they had (No surprise there). It’s a good looking SUV inside and out.

GMC – Probably the only brand that offered a “Concept”, the Granite. Interesting take on box-shaped transportation. Certainly better looking than the Cube or the xB.

Ford – I liked the Edge Sport and the Fusion. Not sore I would get the Fusion personally, but I would consider the Edge…as a matter of fact, I am.

Honda – They really did something funky to the tail lights of the Accord coupe; It flares out to the side. Really weird looking, not a fan of it.

KIA/Hyundai – Love the Sonata and the Optima. The 2.0T and the Hybrid look sharp. I’m highly considering the Sonata as my next car because of it’s combination of features and price.

Saab – Yawn.

Volvo – XC60 is freaking awesome. It’s too expensive, otherwise I would seriously consider getting one even if the quality/durability may be questionable (it is a lease after all).

Subaru – Nothing really new except a really pimped out STi. From a styling perspective, it doesn’t look any different than the one from last year.

Toyota – Cheap plastic all over the freaking place. It’s like Toyota took a page out of GMC and Ford’s “how to build a cheap car” manual. This is like Bizarro World. Seriously.

Supercars – I don’t keep up with the Maseratis, Ferraris and Lambos of the world so I didn’t know what to look for. I do know the Sesto Elemento wasn’t there. Not that ride is impressive.

Jaguar – New XJ looks pimping. It’s elegant and loaded with tech. I like how the dash and console look so clean and elegant.

Volkswagen –  VW is changing the way they package their vehicles, which will be similar to what Honda/Acura does (which shoud simplify the shopping process).  2011 Jetta gets mixed feelings from me due to the simplified,  “downgraded” interior.  My wife wasn’t a big fan of the new exterior either (compared to her Wolfsburg) and I have to agree with her. I think the Jetta lost a lot of it’s “personality” in the redesign. I think of it as a jogger wearing a suit, not exactly the sporty/playful image I’ve come to love about the Jetta.

Mazda – Nothing new on this show, but I do know Mazda has a sweet new concept called the Shinari, which looks insanely good. I’m hoping they bring it in for the LA Auto Show next month. That would be spectacular.

Lexus – The IS gets a “F” option package which mimics the ISF in style but not in performance. It’s like the M package that’s offered on the 3-series.

Cadillac – Caddy has a good number of cars in the show and the best one of them all is the CTS-V coupe. I don’t know what C&D was talking about when they said the interior was “gimmicky”. Whatever, I think its a fabulous car if you have $500-$600 bucks to burn per month (or so).

Without further delay, here are some pictures from the show! Enjoy!

g37main

Replacing the G – Round One

I know I am jumping the gun by doing a write-up about my “next ride” considering I have another 10 months left on my lease. However, my wife has began dropping hints about what my next ride should be. “Something practical, something bigger…something that will keep your paws off my Jetta” she says.  Sadly, it looks like my G37 has become rather impractical and the wife has finally put me on notice.

I can’t say I blame her because in recent months, her car has become the designated “airport shuttle”. If that wasn’t bad enough, we have also been using her car to haul some furniture from Office Depot and weekly trips to Costco. Unfortunately, it seems that life has finally caught up with me and I can no longer ignore the other “needs” in life.

So now I am faced with a dilemma….what exactly can I get that will fulfill the following requirements…

  • seating for at least five people
  • practical cargo space
  • above average performance
  • similar or better MPG than the 18/24 I am getting now
  • costs no more than what I currently pay ($1300/$424 per month), preferably, less!

After careful consideration over the past month, I’ve come up with a general “Wish List” of potential cars/SUVs that may satisfy my needs.

The Large SUV Group

Honda Pilot
Mazda CX-9
Chevy Traverse
Toyota Highlander
Ford Explorer

The Compact SUV Group

Toyota RAV4
Ford Edge
Infiniti EX35
VW Tiguan
Acura RDX

The Wagon Group

Audi A3
VW Jetta Sportwagen
VW Golf TDI
VW GTI
Subaru Outback

The Sedan Group

Acura TSX
Acura TL
Hyundai Sonata
Infiniti G37
Nissan Maxima

For the next few months, I will take the time to do some test drives in order to narrow down the list some more. Keeping in mind the requirements listed above, I would love to hear your opinions and any recommendations you may have.

ocmain

2009 OC Auto Show

I was on hand at the OC Auto Show this weekend browsing through the latest and greatest from a handful of manufacturers. It was somewhat disappointing to see that some big name brands didn’t show up, but then again I can’t really blame them. Come November, the Los Angeles Auto Show should be in town, so there isn’t much of a spending that kind of money to promote your vehicles twice in the same market. Nevertheless, the OC Auto Show was solid because it was not too crowded and I got to hope into practically every single car. Hopefully, you took advantage of the free ticket I posted on the previous OC Auto Show post. I ended up realizing that the ticket was only FREE for Thursday and Friday. For Saturday and Sunday, it gives you a 50% discount for up to 4 tickets; still a pretty good deal.

For those who have never been to the OC Auto Show, this is a much smaller venue compared to the LA Auto Show. The most notable absentee was Mercedes Benz. I found that to be somewhat strange considering BMW, Audi, Infiniti and Lexus put up some seriously strong showings there. Now the highlight of the show was probably Saturday’s Hawaiian Tropic Bikini contest. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, the crowd had gotten pretty big and it was hard to see much of anything. I also happened to be with my wife, which pretty much explains why I didn’t get to see anything as well. Nevertheless, I did bump into some rather attractive booth girls and there were a few bikini models did roam around the show taking pictures with attendees.

Now lets go back to the cars shall we! 🙂

Acura: The fellows from Japan had the usual lineup, TSX, TL, RL, RDX and the MDX. They also brought in the production ready model of the ZDX, which looks looks like an oversizedd futuristic sports car with 4 doors and a big trunk. My biggest complaint? The color. Why on earth would you debut a production ready vehicle in a crappy brown color?! Great car, crap color.

Audi: Audi brought in all of their cars in glossy white and left the LED lights on to add to the COOL factor. Too bad they put the price tag on these cars too. Talk about sticker shock! One of the most surprising things about the A5 is the trunk space, its freaking HUGE for a coupe.

BMW: The BMW section was a bit bland. I didn’t spend much time there, but I did get the wife into a M3 and she loved the supple leather seats. Her direct words “wow, the leather feels nice”.

Buick: Buick showed off the new Lacrosse and that’s about it. It looks very Lexus-like. Why not just buy a Lexus?

Cadillac: They showed up the CTS trims and their new concept coupe, the Converj. They had this lady presenting the vehicle and talking about design philosophy, etc…then she asks “Do you have any questions? Like when its coming out or how much it will cost? Well it’s not coming out, so there’s no price for it”.

Chevy: Chevy brought out the big guns by displaying a full-sized version of Bumblebee of the Transformers. They even brought in an Autobot-branded Camaro to post next to it. Then my wife and I stood next to them and posted with them. LOL. It was quite entertaining. GM also brought out some of their high-end Corvettes and Camaros and displayed the Stingray Concept; VERY awesome looking as you can see.

Chrysler: Yawn…

Dodge: Double Yawn…

Ford: Probably the biggest disappointment for me was 2010 the Ford Taurus. That center console is freaking MASSIVE! I felt claustrophobic in there and that’s a pretty big car. Not only that, the plastic interior panels reminded me of BouncewithB’s company car, the Dodge Nitro. I could literally PUSH some panels in exposing huge gaps between them. You won’t see that in an Audi A6.  I spent about 5 minutes sitting next to this British guy inside the Taurus and all we did was whine about how Ford has disappointed us yet again.

GMC: Nothing too exciting, just the usual suspects.

Honda: The only  “exciting thing” was their hydrogen powered car that I’ve seen three times already.

Hyundai: Wife really liked the Genesis Coupe and proceeded to diss my G37 as having a “BIG BUTT” compared to the Genesis. How RUDE!

Infiniti: Wife, again tried to make me feel good by telling me the Moonlight White on the EX35 is much better looking than the Ivory Pearl on my G37. Gotta love her. 🙂

Lexus: New HS looks like a bigger more expensive high-tech Prius. Sat in the IS-F and I have to say that that car feels way too cheap inside for a Lexus.

Mazda: I noticed all 2010 model have the massive fish-lip that the 2009-2010 Mazda3 and Mazda6  came out with; yup, that includes the RX8.

Mercedes Benz: A no-show. Lame.

MINI: Sat inside the Clubman with the wife at the wheel. She proceeded to feel claustrophobic (like I was in the Taurus) and jumped out. Looks like we’re not getting a MINI after the TSX.

Nissan: I don’t think I made it there.

Subaru: Took a few pics of the STi. Good looking hatchback if I do say so myself.

VW: The new Golf / GTI are out and they look much better in my opinion. I would probably consider a 4-door GTI as my weekend car since its compact yet has more cargo room than my G37.  I spent some time looking at the Tiguan as well. My folks recently picked one up so I wanted to see what it was like. Its not the most luxurious car out there, but its well-built and has a nice interior.

Volvo: The new S60 and the C30 looked better in person. Their new crossover SUV XC60 looks wicked with dark tinted glass. I still wouldn’t lease one yet since I still remember my sister’s horror stories about her S70 back in the day.

Anyway, I would go on and on about the show, but I’m sure you guys want to see the pictures, so here you go!