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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


2011 Land Rover Lease Rates – September 2011

The Land Rover lease rates leave a lot to be desired this month. The discounts are simply not there for a vehicle in this price range. The MF is nice on the LR4, but the residual is a deal-killer. Unless you can get 10% off the MSRP. I really don’t think leasing a LR makes sense. The only bright spot here that I can see is the Range Rover Sport HSE. It has high residual that helps offset the MF. There’s also lease cash on it, which helps keep the sale price down. However, I still don’t think it’s worth leasing unless you can get closer to 10% off MSRP. In So. Cal. TrueCar is indicating about 5% off MSRP with the lease cash. That’s not a lot for a ride at this price.

Here is a sample calculation based on TrueCar’s Southern California sale price and do not include local taxes. Please note that your dealer calculations may vary due to local fees/taxes.

MSRP – $60,495
Sale Price – $57,327 ($1000 lease cash applied)
Monthly – $790+ tax
RWG Rating – 80.2

For Dealer Quotes, Click Here.

36 Month – Residual 49% of MSRP – .00079 Base Rate

36 Month – Residual 48% of MSRP – .00121 Base Rate

36 Month – Residual 45% of MSRP – .00154 Base Rate

36 Month – Residual 55% of MSRP – .00135 Base Rate

36 Month – Residual 48% of MSRP – .00134 Base Rate


2011 Land Rover Lease Rates – August 2011

It’s been a while since I posted anything Land Rover related, and for good reason. Their lease rates used to stink! Well, do still do, but not to the extent they used to. Chase is currently providing the financing for Land Rovers and the numbers look half decent. Unfortunately, the discounts leave a lot to be desired (I’m seeing 5% off MSRP on the RR HSE on TrueCar). That’s tough to work with due to the high price tag of these vehicles. There is also some cash on select LR models which can be used on a lease as long as you finance through Chase, but I don’t see how that helps much.

The current offer on the LR4 is $699 a month (plus tax) with $2995 due at signing (excludes fees and taxes). Based on a $54,250 MSRP, leased through Chase. Expect to pay to pay a lot more than this if my estimates are $699 per month (plus tax) with inception fees due at signing, based on a $48,500 MSRP.

Those who shop for Land Rovers really love this vehicle and won’t settle for anything else. Those who are looking for a deal, typically look elsewhere. I have never driven one, so I don’t understand the allure. But for this type of lease payment, I’d rather drive something else.

Here is a sample calculation based on TrueCar’s Southern California sale price and do not include local taxes. Please note that your dealer calculations may vary due to local fees/taxes.

New Customers
MSRP – $48,500
Sale Price – $46,912
Monthly – $699+ tax
RWG Rating – 75.2

For Dealer Quotes, Click Here.

36 month | 15k miles | residual 51% | .00116 base money factor

36 month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00158 base money factor

36 month | 15k miles | residual 47% | .00192 base money factor

36 month | 15k miles | residual 57% | .00170 base money factor

36 month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00171 base money factor

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.



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.


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.




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.



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.



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

November 2008 Lease Rate for 08 Land Rover LR3

My Take: I watched the new James Bond movie this weekend and I noticed Ford spent a good chunk of their marketing cash advertising their line up. I probably saw the LR3 more than any other Ford on the film. On a side note, an old beat-up Ford Bronco got some screen time, imagine that! Anyway, Ford Credit lease rate are terrible right now, so avoid leasing through them. Go with an independent bank or find one using Leasecompare.com if you don’t have one.

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LEASE CALCULATOR (requires MS Excel)
THE LIST, monthly list of car rankings on monthly payments

2008 Land Rover LR3 SE
24 Month – Residual 38% of MSRP – .00321 Base Rate
36 Month – Residual 31% of MSRP – .00351 Base Rate
48 Month – Residual 24% of MSRP – .00393 Base Rate

2008 Land Rover LR3 HSE
24 Month – Residual 37% of MSRP – .00321 Base Rate
36 Month – Residual 31% of MSRP – .00351 Base Rate
48 Month – Residual 23% of MSRP – .00393 Base Rate

Rates provided by Leasecompare.com

July 2008 Lease Rate for 08 Land Rover Range Rover

Land Rover Range Rover HSE
24 Month – Residual 58% of MSRP – .00024 Base Rate
36 Month – Residual 48% of MSRP – .00135 Base Rate
48 Month – Residual 39% of MSRP – .00177 Base Rate

Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE
24 Month – Residual 62% of MSRP – .00165 Base Rate
36 Month – Residual 52% of MSRP – .00242 Base Rate
48 Month – Residual 42% of MSRP – .00266 Base Rate

* Residuals posted are for 15K miles/year. Add 2% to Residual for 12k mi/yr and 3% for 10k mi/yr on all terms
** Rates provided by Tarry Shebesta from Leasecompare.com

My Take: Now is as good a time as any to jump into a Range Rover HSE for 24 months. The MF is LOW. The Residual is not too bad if you opt for the 12k yearly miles on the 24mo lease. This probably the better deal of all the SUV lease rates I’ve encountered thus far. I don’t like Range Rovers personally, then again, I don’t like many SUV’s…I’m more of car guy.