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2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

Last year, the Lotus Esprit blew me away. This year, my vote for “Car of the Show” at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show has to be the Jaguar XC16. I’ve examined the car from all angles and I cannot find one in which this car looks awkward. If I could mix and match cars, I would take the GT-R in XC16 clothing. That would be my ideal dream car.

Moving on…This year’s Auto Show did not have as many concepts as last year. It felt a little bit more “toned down”, possibly due to the economy. Despite this, it wasn’t a bad show. I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to, but that was fine because much of what was at the LA show was also at the OC show. There were just a little more “high end” cars, but that’s about it.

Here is a quick run down of what was at the show and a few highlights

Acura – Nothing new. Their lineup was quite stale at the OC Show and it remained that way two months later at the LA Show.

Audi – A6/S6 and the A7/S7 were the new rides this year.

Audi S7 Audi S6

BMW – They showed off the iSeries which you probably have seen in most enthusiast websites/magazines. I also took some pictures of the concept a few years back. From what I understand, the i8 is supposed to make it to production with few changes (I am certain the glass doors are gone).

BMW i8 BMW i3

Buick – The Verano is ugly. Enuff said.

Buick Verano Buick Verano

Cadillac – Showed up the Ciel, which was featured at Pebble Beach and the Converj, which was at a previous auto show some years back. I believe the Converj will be either an electric or hybrid car and will have performance that matches it’s aggressive looks. Possible the next CTS-V? Perhaps.

Cadillac Converj Cadillac Converj Cadillac Converj Cadillac Ciel Cadillac Ciel

Chevrolet – I think you’ve seen enough Cruzes, Camaros, Coverttes and Volts to last you a while. NEXT!

Chrysler – As I was saying on the OC Show post. The 300 is one American sedan I would consider driving. Beats speaker system is truly insane for one that comes factory installed. I felt so gansta sitting in the backseat as the speakers were blaring Dr Dre tunes.

Chrysler 300 Chrysler 300

Dodge – Super Bee Charger in the House! The car looks mean! The HEMI looks meaner. Overall, I’m very happy to see Chrysler cars improving in such as short time. Now, I would like to see Chrysler pull a Volvo and start introducing some sweet leases for us.

Dodge Charger Super Bee Dodge Charger Super Bee Dodge Charger Super Bee

Ford – The Escape was really the only “new” car to be introduced. It didn’t exactly wow me, but I can see it stealing some of the CR-Vs dominance (you will see what I mean when you see pics of the production-ready CR-V).

Ford Escape Ford Escape

Honda – What a let down! The production-ready CR-V looks gutless! And if it drives anything like the old model, it’s performance will be gutless too! Check out the interior! Can we say weak sauce? Can’t wait to see what Consumer Reports does to the CR-V on their next review.

Honda CR-V Honda CR-V Honda CR-V

Hyundai – The Azera really wow’ed me. After talking to the product adviser and sitting in the car for a good 5-10 minutes, I came away impressed. The leather is soft and supple. The interior is well put together. The center stack follows the same overall layout found in most new Hyundais, but has a noticeably more “upscale” feel. The estimated MSRP is going to be in the low $30,000s, with most experts estimating it to be around $32,000. Everything, including Nav, comes standard. The only possible option (from what I am hearing) is the panoramic moonroof and maybe the window shaders, although those could be standard too. If you thought the Buick LaCrosse was the Lexus ES killer, think again.

Hyundai Azera Hyundai Azera Hyundai Azera Hyundai Azera

Infiniti – The JX35 was introduced as a 7-passenger SUV. Not impressed. It looks like a weak attempt at cloning the Toyota Highlander which can be had for thousands less (if you don’t care about having quality interior materials). I’d be surprised if they sell more JX’s than EX’s. I would have liked to see a concept version of the new G-Coupe based off the Essence. That would have been fun to see.

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Jaguar – XC16 all the way. This car is a beaut! If they would have given it a better sounding name instead of the typical “Letters + Numbers”, I’d name my kid after it. “Come here XC16!” just doesn’t have nice ring to it.

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Jeep – New Compass and Patriot look like baby GCs, except the proportions are all wrong. I know Jeeps are meant to be rugged, but they could have done a little more to the interior. In contrast, you can see the GC looks nice inside and out. Even the storage area looks high end with fancy chrome touches.

Jeep Compass Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Patriot

Kia – GT concept looks cool, but not as sexy as the XC16. It does show a lot of promise and possibly a glimpse of things to come. Michelle Wie gets a custom Kia Soul! I highly doubt she would be caught dead in one. Them Rappin’/Dancin’ Hamsters, on the other hand, are a hoot. They give the Soul some street cred. Definitely cooler than rolling in a cardboard box, toaster or dryer.

Michelle Wie Kia Soul Kia GT Kia GT Kia GT Kia GT Kia GT

Land Rover – Not much to say here. Doubt any of these rides will ever make it into production, but they are fun to look at.  They almost feel like they will transform into a robot at any moment.

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Lexus – More LF-A. *Yawn*

Lincoln – *Crickets*

Mazda – The CX5 actually look pretty good. You can totally see the styling cues of the Shinari concept on the front fascia. I really hope this crossover does well and gives the CR-V and Escape a run for their money.

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Mercedes-Benz – I’ve pretty much seen all of the “new” models on the street or in previous Auto Shows with the exception of the C63 Black Edition. This thing rocks. It’s like Europe’s answer to the mean-looking American car!

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MINI – See OC Auto Show…

Mitsubishi – I didn’t bother stopping by…actually, I don’t recall seeing them at the show. Maybe I stopped caring…

Nissan – Last year they had the Ellure. This year they had…NOTHING!

Porsche – Showed off their Panamera Hybrid and the usual 911s, Cayennes, Boxters and Caymans.

Porsche Panamera Porsche Panamera Hybrid

Scion – FR-S was in the house this year and it looks great! For those that have not been following the FR-S, expect about 200hp and a $24k price tag once it’s released. I don’t expect the production model to look too different unless Toyota decides to cheapen the experience some more. If the price is reasonable, this could very well be sitting in my driveway on day.

Scion FR-S Scion FR-S Scion FR-S

Subaru – Just like the FR-S, the BRZ should be priced and spec’ed at around the same range. There is talk of a STi trim, but I haven’t seen any details on that just yet. Originally, I thought the BRZ was the clear winner in the “looks” department, but after seeing them both in person, I have to go with the Scion.

Subaru BRZ Subaru BRZ Subaru BRZ

Volvo – Same cars as last year. Same cars as this year’s OC show. Nothing new to report.

VW – A Beetle R was on display and it still looks girly. Hood vents and quad-exhaust pipes do tone down the estrogen somewhat though. For the record, I don’t have a problem with the Beetle looking girly. It’s just that VW is trying so hard to market the Beetle as being more “unisex” and I just don’t think its happening. Maybe if they dropped a huge supercharger hood scoop? Nah….

Volkswagen Beetle R Volkswagen Beetle R Volkswagen Beetle R

Others – Here you will find some pics I took of the more “unusual” cars.

XD XD XD Morgan Aero Morgan Aero Morgan Aero Lotus Evora Lotus Evora

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2011 Orange County Auto Show

I know this post is a bit late since the LA Auto Show is in town and in full swing. I still think it’s a good idea to get some pictures and info out there so you can take a look at what’s new this coming year. The OC Auto Show isn’t exactly the best show in SoCal, but it’s good enough to get a feed for what’s currently out there. Most people hold out for the LA Show because it’s a much more “comprehensive” show than the one in OC. This show seemed more like a giant dealership more than anything. To avoid being repetitive (since I will be posting the LA Auto Show pictures right after this), I will just post the more “unique” photos from this show.

Acura

TL – Small revamp in styling, improved, but not quite the “prom queen”.
TSX – Limited Edition is mostly cosmetic changes. A sedan with sport aspirations.

Audi

A7 – Great looking sedan. Top notch interior quality and very unique design. Not sure of I like this one more of the CLS. I really dig what Audi has done with the Nav by integrating Google’s Navigation system. If you have ever used Google Nav on Android phones, you will know what I mean. If you haven’t, then you are really missing out.

Chevrolet/Cadillac/Buick

Cruze – If you haven’t seen the interior of the Cruze, you’ll be surprised. This car was at the show last year too, but I can’t get over how well Chevy has done with this car’s interior. If you have ever rented any Chevy, you’ll notice how terrible GM has been when it comes to interior quality.

Corvette – This is one way to get people to buy American…

CTS-V Coupe – My favorite American car. Just love the way the seats just hold you and never lets you go.

Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep

Charger SRT8 – The interior quality has really stepped up significantly. I’m still not crazy about the lines on the doors, but the front and back just looks mean! If I had to pick though, I would probably go with the 300. Less racer boy, more rap mogul.

300 SRT8 – Beats by Dr Dre is truly a sick audio system. It boosts my street cred just sitting in the back seat.

Grand Cherokee – Best looking 5-passenger SUV in my opinion. Quality is still suspect (my friend got one and it has been in the shop twice in less than a year), but it’s not surprising since it’s a first year model.

Hyundai

Veloster – Better looking in person…barely. From what I hear, it also looks much sportier than it drives. I would consider one, but only with a Turbo. The interior is nicely laid out, with good ergonamics. It is also feature loaded which makes it that much more attractive. Clearly targeting the 18-24 year-old crowd.

Toyota

Camry – I am NOT a huge Toyota fan right now. Their cares are uninspiring and feel like appliances more than anything else. The incoming Camry is slightly less hideous than the outgoing model, but I still don’t see how they will outsell the Sonata.

Volkswagen

Beetle – Redesign and less girly. Still not as iconic as the original.

GLI – It’s here and the lease rates on this puppy are decent (not great though). Interior quality is still “bleh”, but the red-stitching helps.

Tiguan – It got a nose job to fall in line with the rest of it’s siblings.

Jetta Star Wars Edition – From a performance perspective, this feels like this….If it were a GLI, it would be more like THIS!

Lexus

GS350 – I’ve seen enough of the LF-A to last me a while, so only new thing to report here is the newly redesigned GS350. I barely notice the difference except for a more “linear” design and the Audi-wannabe LEDs.

Honda

CR-V – If only they would actually sell this concept and give us an optional beefier engine (turbo4 or small displacement 6) then the 2012 would be forgiven. I guess that’s asking for too much innovation.

Nissan

Leaf – If you were wondering how the Leaf looks like inside, here are the pics. If you were wondering how the interior materials feel; it’s all hard plastic.

MINI

JCW Cooper Coupe – One thing is for sure, MINI knows how to milk the living crap out of the MINI brand. I am waiting for the MINI Van (pun intended) to show up any minute now.

Land Rover

Evoque – It looks great for a compact crossover. Not sure how comfortable rear passengers will be with such a low roofline, but it really makes owning a crossover cool. I’m not sold on the 2-door model though. The whole point of getting a crossover is to have more practicality, otherwise, I’d get a coupe.

Volvo

S60 – This is the first time I’ve been so pumped about a Volvo as a lease. I’m not all that crazy about the schnoz of this sedan, but the rest of the car looks great. It is also a very good lease for those of you who are willing to give Volvo a try. I haven’t always been open to driving a Volvo (my sister has a few of them and they haven’t exactly been reliable), but as a lease, if the car looks good and the numbers look good, any manufacturer is worth a try.

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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!

LA Auto Show 2009

The 2009 Auto Show, overall, was worse than the 2008 show. That says a lot because the 2008 show wasn’t all that good either. However, considering the state of the industry in these economic times, one has to be surprised to even see an auto show these days. Before I get started with my list of highlights from the show, I’d like to point out that many manufacturers skipped out on this years show. Notable absentees include: Nissan/Infiniti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Saturn (obvious reasons) and Pontiac (even more obvious). The most surprising participant was Saab. Considering what’s going on with Saab right now, I wasn’t expecting them to be there at all. For all we know, their future may not extend past this holiday season. That would explain why the didn’t show their concept cars this year.

Now lets move on to my First Annual RwG Auto Show Awards! Remember these are personal opinions, which are open to debate. Chime in if you disagree!

Star(s) of the Show: I would have to give the Audi R8 Roadster and the Lexus LF-A the nod on this year’s show. Last year, the one that impressed me most was the Buick Riviera. This year, I didn’t even recall seeing it. Nevertheless, these two super cars are sexy and I wouldn’t mind having either one parked in my garage at some point in my life.

Runner-up: Fisker Karma/Sunset.

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Concept of the Show: I would have to give this award to the Honda P-Nut. Probably the strangest yet unique vehicle on the show (The BMW Vision came a close 2nd). It’s got the “cute” factor as well, so it doesn’t hurt. It sits three, in a “McLaren F1” formation, featuring the driver middle, allowing passengers to have a lot of leg room. Clever. Ladies, be sure to wear pants when driving this thing because oncoming traffic and pedestrians can see EVERYTHING through the windshield. 😉

Runner-Up: Volvo S60.

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Hybrid of the Show: Fisker Karma/Sunset and the Chevy Volt get the award for this category. The Karma/Sunset is cheaper than it looks; It has the looks of an exotic, but it comes in at under $100k. It also comes in two trims, Sedan and Coupe. Gotta Love It. The other winner, the Chevy Volt, should be selling for around $40k. It is a bit more expensive than the Prius, Insight, Civic and Fusion, but the fact that you can run it purely off the electric motor can potentially save you a load of money on gas over time (if you commute is less than 40 miles round trip). For me, I practically don’t have to pay for gas since my commute is 10 miles round trip. Added bonus? It doesn’t look like a pod (think Prius/Insight).

Runner-up: Ford Fusion.

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Surprise of the Show: Buick LaCrosse/Hyundai Genesis. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, GM and Hyundai…And yes, I remember what I’ve said about Hyundais and GMs. But these two sedans look and feel better than I ever expected. The Buick was elegant and fairly well built. Materials where plush and the didn’t carry the typical cheapness found in earlier GMs. The same can be said about the Genesis sedan. I sat in the backseat and was VERY impressed with the quality of materials. The leather was soft and cushy, plus there was a TON of legroom. The only question I have now is, “how do they handle on the road?”.

Runner-Up: Hyundai Sonata.

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WTF of the Show: Every show has a “WTF” car that just looks weird or makes you wonder what the designer was drinking/smoking when designing the car. This year’s award goes to the Porsche Panamera. I know there are a lot of concept cars that give off the “WTF” aura as well, but the thing about the Panamera that beats them all is that this vehicle is production-ready. Seriously? A 4-door Porsche hatchback?? Its like a flattened, stretched and lowered Cayenne or something. Really bizarre. What’s really funny is that there were these folks commenting about how “gorgeous” this car was and what not (dude peeking into the cockpit in the 2nd pic; the one with the flannel shirt. You know, your “typical” Porsche buyer. LOL.), so I guess they didn’t mess up that bad. But then again, there were some people out there that really loved their Pontiac Azteks too.

Runner Up: Jeep Lower Forty. Mini Concept.

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Here is the full gallery of pics I took at the show. The goods, the bads and the uglies.

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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!

A List of Chrysler Dealerships Shutting Down

Here is the official list of dealerships Chrysler plans to shutdown, courtesy of MSNBC.

Chrysler’s Latest Victims [PDF]

To my fellow Southern Californians, Union Dodge in Garden Grove (Trask/Brookhurst) is on the list. Bummer for them! I drive by it every time I go to the Boiling Crab and that place looks deserted. That’s pretty sad because Brookhurst is one of the busiest streets in the Orange County area.

What You Should Know…

Hello All!

Couple of quick announcements. Kudos to Randy for emailing the following info to me on BMW lease going on right now!

BMW of North America and BMW Financial has just announced an
unprecedented incentive to buy or lease in the next 8 days. Starting
today and running through February 2, the following REBATES* will be
available.

1 series: $1,000 on lease or finance contracts
3 series: $1,500 on lease or finance contracts
5 series: $2,500 on lease or finance contracts
6 series: $3,000 on lease or finance contracts
X3: $2,500 on finance contracts
X5: $2,500 on finance contracts

* rebates available only on finance or lease contracts through BMW Financial

These rebates are available in conjunction with the current lease and
APR specials offered by BMW of North America.

Also, DON’T FORGET to check out the forum. BounceWithB will occasionally post interesting bits of auto news. Right now, he’s got some info on Chrysler’s Employee Pricing + 0% Financing offer!!! I know I know…its a Chrysler, but still, 0% interest we’re talking about here!

http://www.ridewithg.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=17

That is all for now!

Lease Calculator 2.0 and other News…

Lease Calculator 2.0

I know, you are all probably eagerly anticipating December’s lease rates and the best thing I got for you right now is an updated on the Lease Calculator. Well, don’t be too disappointed! The new lease calculator is rather nifty. I added some new fields such as “Sales Tax Paid in Advance”; “Previous Balance” (for those who plan on carrying over some negative equity from their existing vehicles; monthly payment calculations assuming you roll in all fees into the lease; and monthly payment calculations assuming you pay inception fees in advance. Cool huh? I thought so. I based it loosely on my own lease contracts. I still haven’t exactly decyphered their system yet…but it’s only a matter of time.

Lease Rates

Patience…if you haven’t noticed, they usually surface around the 2nd week of each month, while some (Audi) will carry over through a good portion of this month since they just released last week.

Buying

It is a good time to buy since we’re looking at year end right now. 2008 model clearance is on! You waited all year long to buy a car, this is as good a time as any. Lot of “Winter” promotions with low APR going on right now. I said it before and I will say it again, no lease will beat 0% financing. If you are looking to lease a car that offers 0% financing, consider buying it. Specially since a lot of those 0% financing deals are for 60 month terms.

Auto Industry and the Economy

GM builds 4 similar SUVs (Acadia, Enclave, Outlook, Traverse) across 4 different brands…WHY!?!?! Need I say more? If they can’t learn to manage their company, they don’t deserve a bailout. That’s what I mean. I hear a lot of the “if the gov’t isn’t going to bail us out, the economy will end fall into a depression, etc…” That may be true, but that’s a half truth. It sounds more like someone is trying to save their own skin.

Downtime

I will be away on vacation starting Christmas until January 10th. That means I will be MIA for approximately two weeks, most likely with limited internet access. Hopefully you can all survive without me for that time period. 🙂