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The O.C.

CA Inland Empire Auto Show....!

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Hey you CA boys......don't forget that the Inland Empire Auto Show started yesterday and runs through this Sunday out in Ontario in San Bernardino County......

http://www.ieautoshow.com/

The show is small enough not to expect any new intros, etc., but if you want a bit more touching, rubbing, and stroking of the current cars out there on the market, head out to The I.E.....!

I'm going on Saturday.....will probably be there from noon through the afternoon.......

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If I didn't have a billion projects to get done in the next few days I'd make the drive and go. Unfortunately, I just cannot. Boo!

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If I didn't have a billion projects to get done in the next few days I'd make the drive and go. Unfortunately, I just cannot. Boo!

Spoil sport.....

Let's hang out again soon......we must....especially if I'm gonna make the move to Lost Wages.......

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If I didn't...well...I don't have any excuses...Granted, do I need any to justify my stance on not wanting to go to the IE?

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If I didn't...well...I don't have any excuses...Granted, do I need any to justify my stance on not wanting to go to the IE?

LOL....and it's going to be like 100 degrees out there today.

At least I can go, look at cars, then go back home to my Orange County paradise.........

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Yea OC and Nick, we gotta do a meet up soonishly. I'm free after May 7th until the 14th, and might be able to spare an hour or so after the 30th (April).

Edited by Croc
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Yea OC and Nick, we gotta do a meet up soonishly. I'm free after May 7th until the 14th, and might be able to spare an hour or so after the 30th (April).

We can all go see "Speed Racer" on my birthday!!!!!! (It opens 5-9-08.)

(j/k I think.....you guys are prolly way too young to appreciate.....LOL)

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OK......as small a show as it was, there were a few interesting cars to see in person now that they've debuted at much larger shows. Here are my random thoughts on the I.E. Auto Show: (Some positive, some negative.)

* Chevy Traverse: HOT.....something about the front end seems too bulbous and bulky compared to it's platform-mates. But overall, a winner. I especially like the combination of Enclave-like beltline that sweeps up at the rear with a blacked-out "C" pillar (compared to Enclave's body-color "C" pillar.) Interior looks like a better-executed (re...less cutlines in the dash, etc.) version of the Malibu interior.

* G8 GT: They only had one, a grey one with the black/red leather interior. I have to seriously admit that, yes, this interior looks better and feels better than the original cars I looked at in Detroit. Perhaps those WERE pre-production units. The interior isn't class-leading still, to my eyes.....but definitely good for the price....and actual STYLE-wise, I think it looks very good. This car's pricing structure makes it an absolute STEAL when you see what you get at Dodge for so much money more (Charger R/T.)

* Cobalt: Absolutely the cheapest and nastiest interior in the class (or even below the class.) This has been my major harping point on this car for years now but yesterday just reinforced my opinions. I'd strongly argue that even the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio have superior fit-and-finish, switchgear, and overall design. Spectra and Elantra are even better. I will say that I like the Cobalt's seats....seems supportive with decent cloth, and I think the instruments are nice to look at and easy to read. The rest is damn near garbage. Comparing it to the Astra's interior only makes me wanna pound my fists even harder.....

* '09 Sonata: Talking about interiors, this Hyundai upstages Malibu and AURA easily. I still can't get over Malibu/AURA's cheap door panels, poorly thought-out center stacks, and details like lack of rear-seat armrest, etc. The new Hyundai looks and feels like a class above. (Although I'd still ANY DAY take a new Malibu over a new Sonata because overall I think the Malibu's a much better car....and the Malibu interior IS stylish....just not that well put together IMHO.)

* '09 Acura TSX: OK....looks pretty good in person, but there are some very bizarre styling lines/details that pop out at you depending on where you stand beside the car. Interior is nice, obviously....well put together, attractively styled. AWESOME 6-speed shifter that looks and feels like it came right out of an S2000. But this car makes me beg the question "why?" Why not save $5,000 and get an Accord EX-L NAV with the 190-hp L4 and 5-speed manual transmission? You'll really have to want the sharper TSX handling and "Acura" badge to fork over so much more dough. Get your Accord in a color like black and put some "bling" wheels/tires on it....and you have your "cut-price" TSX. Especially with the Honda having an interior just about as plush and stylish as the Acura.

* '09 Nissan Maxima: This car I LOVED way better in person. The car they had was a deep red and it really looks imposing in person. The headlights ARE wierd, but somehow seem to work. The profile of the car, and the surface details along the beltline are really attractive. Second-guessing I don't see this car competing with the G8 too much.....it's too "Asian" and FWD. But, I do see it putting some scare into the Infiniti G35 sedan! To me, the new Maxima looks way more imposing than the G35...and looks way more unique.....and it's got an interior just as nice as the Infiniti's. So, take the FWD/RWD difference out of the occasion, and I'd take this new Maxima ANY DAY over a G35 Automatic......even with just a lowly "Nissan" badge. (Then again if I wanted a RWD sport sedan like the G35, I'd never get a Japanese one. It would be American or German......)

* '09 VW Tiguan: Saw this in Detroit....and I still like it. Why get a RAV4 or CR-V over something German-engineered? Well I guess many people would....but not me. I like this new little VW SUV....seems small and maneaverable, yet has decent interior room and cargo capacity. Interior is up to usual VW Group standards.....and of course I love that VW Group 2.0T engine.

* '09 Lincoln MK(whatever-the-f*ck-the-correct-letter-is): The new sedan looks imposing when you are standing up next to it on the floor. I still don't like the FWD, or the heavy-looking sides.....but I like the car. It's BIG. And in many ways outclasses the new Jaguar XF in some details. The interior is okay.....nice....but doesn't necessarily excite me. This car's pricing could be it's biggest asset. The guy said it's supposed to start at around $36K. For that money, it's a much-more imposing and impressive car for the money than the more-expensive STS (even if STS is proper RWD.) And it's scary to think you can get such a bigger, roomier car for CTS money. I'd still get the RWD CTS any day....but in the marketplace, it could put up a good sales fight scare for the Cadillac......(non-enthusiasts looking for as much room and "luxury" for the money.)

* Rest of GM: The rest of the GM stuff was there and we're all familiar with it...the excellent CTS, full-size trucks and SUVs, and the new Saturn products.

(EDIT: Chevy HHR SS: What's with charging $95 on the window sticker for a "Driver Sport Seat" that looks oddly different than the non-bolstered passenger seat? Who in the industry does this? Was cost-cutting such a big deal? Then charge me another $95 and give me a passenger seat that matches....! Wierd...strange....odd.....)

Edited by The O.C.
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(EDIT: Chevy HHR SS: What's with charging $95 on the window sticker for a "Driver Sport Seat" that looks oddly different than the non-bolstered passenger seat? Who in the industry does this? Was cost-cutting such a big deal? Then charge me another $95 and give me a passenger seat that matches....! Wierd...strange....odd.....)

IIRC, in a magazine article it was written that it was done that way so the passenger seat could still be folded down. Still lame, though.

The Lincoln is the MKS. Strangely tall looking in person, I thought...but still interesting.

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IIRC, in a magazine article it was written that it was done that way so the passenger seat could still be folded down. Still lame, though.

The Lincoln is the MKS. Strangely tall looking in person, I thought...but still interesting.

Thanks.

Lame though.

How often are you actually going to need to fold down the passenger seat? I know it's kinda a nice feature.....but 95% of the time, it's not gonna be folded down....and you have a passenger seat that doesn't match the driver seat.....

The MKS looked better this time at ground level (not up higher on a turn-table.) You are right it does still look tall.....but somehow they've masked it better than they did with the Taurus/Sable/500/Montego IMHO.

I couldn't imagine picking the MKS over a CTS.....but I have to admit it's a bitchin' competitor to the STS at a way lower price (as long as you don't mind FWD.)

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