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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.

Infiniti JX35 Infiniti JX35 Infiniti JX35

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.

Jaguar XC16 Jaguar XC16 Jaguar XC16 Jaguar XC16 Jaguar XC16

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.

Land Rover Concept Land Rover Concept

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.

Mazda CX5 Mazda CX5 Mazda CX5 Mazda CX5

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!

Mercedez-Benz C63 Black Edition Mercedez-Benz C63 Black Edition Mercedez-Benz C63 Black Edition

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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2011 MINI Lease Rates – May 2011

If you were expecting the Countryman to lease well, think again. A base model already starts in the low $300s, so once you add on a few options, expect to pay upwards of 400s. Not sure I would recommend this, specially since the RWG rating is so crummy. I’d give it a pass for now. The Cooper seems much more promising since it has a lower mf and a much higher residual.


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.

2011 Countryman
MSRP – $22,350
Sale Price – $22,117
Monthly – $319+ tax
RWG Rating – 75.7

For Dealer Quotes, CLICK HERE.

2011 Cooper
36-month | 15k miles | residual 65% | .00170 base money factor

2011 Cooper S
36-month | 15k miles | residual 57% | .00180 base money factor

2011 John Cooper Works
36-month | 15k miles | residual 48% | .00185 base money factor

2011 Countryman
36-month | 15k miles | residual 60% | .00185 base money factor

2011 Countryman S
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00185 base money factor

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The Wall: BouncewithB’s 2011 MINI Cooper S

Name: BouncewithB
Location: Louisiana
What He’s Got: 2011 MINI Cooper S
What It Cost: $420/ month, 36 month 10k/year, Only 1st payment at signing. 27,900 msrp. 26,900 selling price.
My Take: Lately, I’ve become very interested in the “1st monthly only” leases where you roll the DMV, doc fee, bank acquisition and simply pay your 1st month payment. I think of this approach as a easy way to move from one lease to another without having to fork out thousands to cover the drive-off fees.  I think B’s new MINI worked out well specially since its custom ordered and definitely much cooler than previous MINI, the “Short Bus“. Just look at the rims! Wicked cool.

Want your ride featured on RIDE with G? Send your pics over to thewall(at)ridewithg.com

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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!

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2010 MINI Lease Rates – October 2010

logo_miniMy Take: I’m a bit surprised to see how high the money factor is still. Not sure I would recommend it unless a lot of lease cash and discounts can be had since the numbers don’t look too favorable this month.

FIND A MINI DEALER NEAR YOU

2010 Mini Cooper S
36-month | 15k miles | residual 53% | .00190 base money factor

2010 Cooper Convertible
36-month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00190 base money factor

2010 Cooper S Convertible
36-month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00190 base money factor

MINI Incentives from Edmunds.com

2010 MINI Cooper Lease Rates – November 2009

logo_miniMy Take: High residual values make the MINI a fairly good lease despite the higher than average money factor. Just make sure you don’t opt to buyout the lease at the end of your term and you should be fine. Despite the lower MF on the S, the Base model is the better value since the S model’s residual value is 5% lower than the Base. The good news about the S is that it’s a cheaper lease than last month.

  • Visit THE LIST for a list of recommended leases for the month.
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2010 Mini Cooper

2010 Mini Cooper Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 66% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 63% | .00215 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper S Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 65% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00170 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 48% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 52% | .00207 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 43% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Clubman Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 65% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 62% | .00195 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 49% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Clubman S Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 63% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 60% | .00215 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 47% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 60% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 53% | .00207 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 45% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Convertible
24-month | 15k miles | residual 60% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00207 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 44% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Convertible S
24-month | 15k miles | residual 57% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 55% | .00205 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 41% | .00207 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Convertible John Cooper Works
24-month | 15k miles | residual 56% | .00207 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00207 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 40% | .00207 base money factor

2010 MINI Cooper Lease Rates – October 2009

logo_miniUpdate: Found the rest of the rates for all Coopers. My Take: The 2010 MINI numbers as not as good as the 2009 models due to a huge hit on the residual values for the newers models. My recommendation would be to shop for any remaining 2009 model because you will get a better deal out of them. The October lease rates shoulbe the same as the September numbers for all 2009 models.

  • Visit THE LIST for a list of recommended leases for the month.
  • Support the site by requesting your quotes from Yahoo! Autos. Click Here to get started.

2010 Mini Cooper

2010 Mini Cooper Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 68% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 61% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 51% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper S Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 65% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 48% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 61% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 55% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 46% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Clubman Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 68% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 61% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 51% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Clubman S Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 66% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 59% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works Coupe
24-month | 15k miles | residual 63% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 56% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 47% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Convertible
24-month | 15k miles | residual 63% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 47% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Convertible S
24-month | 15k miles | residual 60% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 55% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 43% | .00217 base money factor

2010 Mini Cooper Convertible John Cooper Works
24-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00217 base money factor
36-month | 15k miles | residual 53% | .00217 base money factor
48-month | 15k miles | residual 42% | .00217 base money factor