Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's possible to 30 mpg on the highway with the V-6 Camaro?

I've never been a Bow Tie fan, I've been a Blue Oval fanatic most of my life.
But when I read recently that the 2010 Camaro in LT trim with the V-6 can get up to 30 mpg I was amazed! Now, that's if you drive like a sane person, but still even if you only get 25 mpg, you have to realize that the "base" Camaro has 300 hp! And unlike the Mustang, the Camaro has a fully independant rear suspension. None of that skipping rear on harsh country roads.
Sure the V-6 Mustang is a beter bargain, but with only 210 hp and the solid rear axel, it could be worth the extra coin for the Camaro.

Monday, April 17, 2006

That wascally wabbit is back!

Now to me, this was one of the biggest hits of the NY show. No VW didn't make a big production about the Rabbit, in fact it was just there, open for anyone to sit in and poke around, pop the hood and generally climb all over. The reason it's going to be a hit, is the target price of $15k.
The Rabbit on the floor had a 2.5L I5 making 150 hp and 170 lb ft of torque, still delivering 30+ mpg on the highway, for the price of a Yaris, Versa or Fit. Now I had already fallen for the new GTI, but the Rabbit was just as impressive in it's own way, sure it's not a pocket rocket, but it looks like a great car that will leave you with some pocket change. I'm looking forward to learning more about the new Rabbit, a needed return to VW's roots.

Friday, April 14, 2006

NY Auto Show has promising vehicles from all over

I've been going to the New York Auto Show since 1977 and have only missed 3 shows in all those years. Today I was not disappointed. I of course was impressedwith the Caliber, and finally saw the Compass which shares it's platform. I was also really impressed with the new VW Rabit.

I'll be posting more details about what I saw on Monday, but if you live near New York, make a point of attending the show. There are a lot of exciting vehicles to see and you can sit in many of them. Don't forget to go down to the "truck" area, as some of the imports are down there, like Suzuki and Kia. And of course there are chances to win new cars around every corner.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Calibers in dealers now, just saw one today

I was talking to a friend yesterday and he was telling me that he had seen a Caliber on the road already. I was certainly surprised that they were on dealer lots already. So I went to my local Dodge Dealer today, and they only have one left, the others had all been sold. Now the one they had was a base model in white, so it didn't really apeal to me, but it gave me an opportunity to get a feel for the size and utility of the car. And it's small, but has a nice solid feel to it. The unit on the showroom floor had a sticker price of $16,500 with the 2.0L I4 and CVT "AutoStick" transmission. It had the "ChillZone" storage compartment, Ipod holder and cup holders that are lit from beneath ( I guess so you can find them at night. Powerwindows, a single CD player stereo and a fairly nice cloth interior were also featured. I haven't had an oportunity to test drive it yet, but have been talking to a salesperson who will call me when more come in stock.

I inquired about a manual transmission, and was told it would have to be ordered, so that's disapointing. And the manual only seems to be available with the base 1.8L rated at 148 hp and 125 lb ft of torque. While that's not going to win many drag races, it does indicate milage of 28 city/ 32 highway, and is more power than a Scion Xb for similar money.

I priced on on Dodge's website, with what I consider must have options in the SXT trim levle and it came out to $18,500. Not bad for a leather interior and moonroof equiped car. I'm seriously considering it, an amazing thing considering that I've not been a Mopar fan in recent years. But the value looks good and the styling isn't as emasculated as a Scion.

VW GTI Mark V, brings back some of the original but with 200 hp!

Are you old enough to remember the original GTI? I am and it was a unique product at the time. In the US small cars weren't supposed to be quick and agile, they were just supposed to get you from point A to B and blend in. But the GTI didn't blend in, not that it shouted "boy racer" no it was subtle, just some badges and minor trim differentiated it from the Rabbit/Golf it was based on. But car enthusiasts could tell, and the GTI started the entire "hot hatch" segment for us Americans. Over the years the GTI grew larger and more expensive and less relevant. But not anymore, the new fifth gen GTI is going back to it's roots. Keeping it simple, but fast.

I heard that a friend of mine just got a new GTI, and even though I bleed Ford Blue, I'm impressed and jealous. It's one of the few foreign cars that interests me. It's also one of the few cars that I don't hate in white. But the highlights for me are the 200 hp and low $20k pricetag. Sure if you want DVD navigation and every option you'll spend over $27K, but if you're careful you can keep the price down. I also have to say that I love the new marketing campains for the GTI, the FAST and the Un-Pimp my ride commercials.

This is going to be a winner for VW, and their customers.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dodge Caliber, I don't usually like 5 doors, but this seems interesting.

I haven't been a big Dodge fan over the years, having only owned one out of 17 cars. But the last few years have been exciting at the pentastar. Everyone knows about the Magnum / 300 / Charger triplets. And of course the Neon SRT4 was an impressive performer. But what else from the Dodge boys was interesting? The base Neon seemed dated when compared to the Focus or new Chevy Cobalt. So I was surprised that the new Caliber actually touched a nerve for me. And I'm not talking about the upcoming 300 hp SRT4, I'm talking about the everyday Caliber in the STX trim.

New powertrains from 1.8/2.0/2.4 liters and the possability of a new Common Rail Diesel, as well as distinctly Dodge styling, and some very interesting interior options. They have a new feature called the "Chill Zone", basically a cooler for beverages and a new speaker option for the tailgate, that I wouldn't go for myself, but 15 years ago would have really had me. The Caliber can be a great first car for a college student or even a useful vehicle for small families. Standard front wheel drive and available all wheel drive seem to offer something for almost everyone.

Could this be the first vehicle to bring me into a Dodge dealer? I'm looking forward to test driving one. It could be on a short list of cars I would buy. I would only be itnerested in a manual transmission, so it's either the base 1.8 or the 300 hp SRT4. It's nice to dream, but I'd probably stick to the 1.8, or if a CRD would be availalbe with a manual I'd jump on it.

Prices start just below the Scion Xb and grow with options, but power is better and combined with styling, this could be big trouble for Scion.

Update, click title for commercial clips from Jalpnik.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dodge Hornet

The Dodge Hornet concept shown at the Geneva auto show, is a B-Segment model that Chrysler is thinking of for the European market. I had heard they are searching for a partner to build it. I'd like to see it come to the US market as well. They have the supercharged gasoline verision shown here, and a proposed Diesel version.