California Autos Examiner

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Seeing videos like this just makes all the more convinced that we should all be driving cars that meet modern safety standards.  My rule of thumb is to keep your car 10 years or newer.  Just think about how many safety advances have been made, even since 2000!


Friday, January 07, 2011

Volkswagen New Mid-Sized Sedan...Worth the hype?

Well folks, here it is.  Pretty conservative, don't you think?  How much you want to bet on a de-contented interior?  Just when the Americans and Koreans up their game, VW starts cheapening their prime stuff.  I hope I'm wrong on the interior!


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

2011 Honda Odyssey MEGA MIX


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Duramax Diesel struts its stuff

I love a good diesel engine and when combined with engine braking it is even better. Growing up in logging country, the sound of Jake Brakes was very common.  I never minded the putt-putt sound of Jake Brakes, but it drove some people nuts.  No worries, this Duramax's engine braking won't send anyone from the hills.  Enjoy the video!

If you really want to relive the action, you can buy this Peterbilt Jake Brake switch cover.  Fun!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

More wagon than you have a right to?

It is no secret that I love wagons.  Wagons of all shapes and sizes.  Sadly in this country, wagons keep getting screwed over.  Mercedes pulled its C-Class wagon when the latest C-Class debuted, BMW is pulling its 5-Series wagon in favor of the oddly shaped and hugely overpriced GT, Volvo (V70 wagon is leaving the US) and Subaru (Legacy wagon is long gone) seem to feel that they can only sell wagons that have been puffed up to look like crossovers (they are probably right), Ford is repackaging the former Freestyle as the new Explorer and the list goes on.

Enter the Cadillac CTS Sportwagon which proudly proclaims, "I'm just a wagon, not a jacked up, pseudo utility vehicle."  Bold.  Of course, it must battle the brand's own SRX crossover and Cadillac has already had to adjust the wagon's pricing because consumers were choosing the SRX "for a few dollars more."

Now Cadillac is testing the waters with this CTS-V concept wagon.  While many blog readers have been screaming for it, I am unclear as to how many would fork over 60+ grand for such an all conquering wagon.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Mercedes R-Class gets better looking

I have always liked the idea of the R-Class, I've just never liked the family hauler in person.  Just compare the redesign model with the current edition below, see what I mean?

I doesn't look nearly as much like an ant eater.  Combine with the available BlueTEC diesel and I am very interested!  Of course, by interested I don't mean that I'd buy one.  The starting price on a current edition BlueTEC is $51,675 with delivery.  Throw in some popular options and you are looking at 60 grand and you  don't even get real leather for that price.


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Toyota makes it official: Lexus CT 200h hybrid will be sold in the United States

Lexus CT 200h (Courtesy: Lexus)
Toyota officially announced that its Lexus CT 200h hybrid hatchback will be sold in the USA and will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show.

The announcement ends months of "Will they?  Won't they?" speculation on whether or not the premium hatch will join the Lexus HS 250h as Lexus' second dedicated hybrid and fifth hybrid vehicle its United States line-up.

You can view a nice gallery of exterior and interior Lexus CT 200h photos in the slideshow below this linked slideshow.

The new CT 200h is arguably much better looking than the HS, but some petrol heads have wondered out loud if a premium Lexus hatch would resound with US buyers.

Conditions seem to be changing in the US market when it comes to hatchbacks.  One has MINI to thank largely for the acceptance of premium hatches here in the United States although a supporting case can certainly be made for the Volkswagen GTI.  Over the next few years, many well-equipped hatchbacks will be pouring into showrooms from a wide variety of manufacturers, a great development for US buyers.

A premium Lexus hatchback has been rumored since 2005 and was envisioned by master auto illustrator Mark Stehrenberger in this drawing (please note that while Autoblog used this picture in 2009, Mark actually penned it years in advance). 

If you read this CarSpyshots.net forum thread dating back to 2005,  it is interesting to read so many comments about how a Lexus hatchback would likely never be sold in the USA.  It is a testament to how far this market has come in five years that few question the decision today.

Full Toyota press release is quoted below: