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Croc

My impressions

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Went to LAIAS today.

GM impressions:

Volt is awesome. Decent crowd around it. Interior looks good, and the exterior is awesome. Taillights look cool, kinda like the neon Lincoln Mark VIII in the way they glow.

SAAB had a concept that looked cool as hell, but it won't be produced.

The production SAABs with eyebrow headlights look sick. Lots of attention there.

Pontiac G6 were the 2009.5 (labeled as just 2009 though), but the upgrades are well worth it. The window sill in the back (at least the coupe, all I had time to sit in) is still Fisher Price, but the other interior upgrades make this car at least presentable. Fascia updates are an improvement. This should sell better. Really, the interior looks worth the price...FINALLY.

G8: HOT. I die. D. I. E. Die. Where's the trunk release? Couldn't find one, but the trunk is huge. Why isn't it selling better?

CTS wagon was on a turntable, but it looks good. Rear is kinda SAAB 9-3 SportCombi, though. Not necessarily a bad thing, but most buyers will think it's a rebadge, unfortunately. SIDENOTE: where are the door locks? They look auto-only, which is a huge safety deficiency in my book. I demand a manual latch I can open when the power locks fail, which they do from time to time.

XLR: New fascia looks fantastic, and the interior update is generally good, but the guages need an update badly. These look like they came from the 80s no joke. NOT IMPRESSIVE.

Didn't have time to see the Traverse, but I'm very familiar with the lambdas as a whole, so I'm sure it's just as good as those are.

FORD:

Mazda3 is awesome in person. The pictures on here don't show enough of the front details, but the grille does NOT look too happy in person. Rear is very dynamic, and the interior is better than the Cruze mockups we've seen. Sorry fanboys, but the Mazda3 kicks butt with a cleaner-looking interior. Buttons and knobs also had great tactile feel.

Fusion/Milan. Fusion looks less busy in person out back, but it still isn't what I'd call fresh-looking. The crosshatching on the taillights looks dated in an early-90s Pontiac kinda way. Front and interior are good, though. Milan looks great in person. A real standout. As for the interiors, they are an improvement over the current, but marginally-so. They will get dated very quickly, but Ford is pretty adept at incremental interior upgrades, and these are strong foundations. The Fusion's body-colored interior accents are awesome, and if wood trim is offered on the Milan it should be passable-to-good.

MKZ: Much improved rear, par for the class interior.

Toyota: Their Venza looks good, and that is the first complement I have ever paid a Toyota. Damn them.

Ferrari: The new California is HOTT. Huge crowd, it just looks awesome. I want one. Oh, and the trunk is upholstered in Alcantara. I'd buy some designer luggage just to fill that space up.

Not sure if I forgot anything, but this was a quick breeze-through for me as I really only cared to look at new stuff, or things I haven't previously been able to crawl around in.

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Did Chevy have Camaros on the floor, and were they letting you sit inside them? That's what I'm really looking forward to.

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Did Chevy have Camaros on the floor, and were they letting you sit inside them? That's what I'm really looking forward to.

Other than the Volt, I didn't have time to see any Chevrolets. I do believe I saw a Camaro or two, but I don't remember if they were on turntables or not. Sorry!

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I went today as well.

Among the Big 3, Ford was by far the most impressive. They had product specialists everywhere, interesting technology demonstrations, and nice graphics and well-lit displays. GM and Chrysler were dark and empty in comparison.

The Fusion really is more of a refresh than a new model. From most angles, the car looks mostly the same. The changes are nowhere as drastic as seen in the Focus or Escape. The dashboard is different, but apart from the bigger nav screen, frankly it's no better than the old model's - that is, decent squishy materials, dated ambiance - especially compared to the new 6 - and lacking in width.

The Mazda3 is fantastic. I didn't like the old one - too sterile, cheap, and bland - but this new one is much, much nicer and far more interesting. It definitely has a premium feel, and I'd say it has the nicest interior in its class. It manages to look somewhat techy without being as weird as the Civic, and the details are elegant and sophisticated. Mazda must have raised the H-point for the seats, because it's nowhere as confining as the old car.

I like the new Mustang. Sheetmetal is nicely sculpted, and the interior is great, apart from the brittle door panels. Looks more expensive and detailed than the current one, more Aston Martiny.

The MKZ has improved taillights. They make the car look wider when lit.

The Verve sedan (Fiesta) is hot. There were crowds gathered around it.

Ford TransitConnect - what a cool and functional van. It seems very heavy-duty, like a commercial vehicle. Definitely not something delicate and car-based like the Rondo, 5, HHR, or Element.

I'm not crazy about the Volt's styling - but it's about the battery technology underneath, not the looks.

GM production cars I like: CTS, G8, and ASTRA. Cobalt interior is truly horrifying now. I really don't care for the Malibu.

The GMT900s were the only full-size pickups that didn't make me feel ridiculous inside. The F-150, Ram, and Tundra all have ginormous, out-of-reach swaths of dashboard and center console. I'm 5'11" but I feel like a midget trying to climb aboard.

The new 7 series is ugly and unimpressive inside. I greatly prefer the old model's, which resembled modern furniture.

Frankly, all BMWs were underwhelming. They're great to drive, but when stationary, they don't feel special at all. Same with Mercedes.

I really liked the Audis - they're all immaculately made and have fantastic interiors. The new A4 S-line with black Alcantara interior was pure sex. Awesome seats and steering wheel. Audi had a nice, well-lit display, too. All the cars were white.

The VW section was also very well done. The Rabbit, even though it's a lame duck, has the best build quality of any small car. I could spend all day opening and closing the doors and hatch.

Honda - my favorite Honda is the Odyssey. Best. Minivan. Ever. Who cares about the cheap and chintsy Fit when gas is $1.99/gal.

Toyota - nobody cares.

Subaru - reg is right, the Forester is uber nasty inside.

Volvo - I like. None of their cars had the typical immediately noticeable flaws that one notices at an autoshow. Truly "premium" cars, I suppose. C30 and V70 are both very nice.

I love the Range Rover. They have an image problem, but the interios, as always, are frickin' amazing, especially in white with piano black wood. LR3, LR2, and Range Rover Sport - not so much.

Jaguar - I like the XJ. Old man's car, sure, and depreciates like crazy, yes, but I like the interior ambiance of polished wood, chrome switches, and buttery soft leather.

Mitsubishi and Suzuki - please go away. Kia brings nothing to the table.

Hyundai - Genesis is unbelievably bland. I'd rather get a slightly used GS350, if I were into that sort of thing.

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Did Chevy have Camaros on the floor, and were they letting you sit inside them? That's what I'm really looking forward to.

No, there were two SS models - one in black, one in silver - both roped off.

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empowah, did you see the Porsche showcase? Did you laugh at the vintage model with the horrible spiderwebbing in the paintjob? I was like, "shouldn't they have fixed the paint up to display at the autoshow?" Ditto with the rusted tailpipe.

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:useless:

I hate having my photograph taken, and just the mere thought of my reflection being caught in the glass or shiny black interior plastic on some of these cars prompted me to leave the camera at home.

No really, my photos wouldn't be any better/worse than what's already out there on the internet. Go see the damn things in person. And no one has answered any of the questions I posed in my brief impressions.

And anyone in LA, I'm down for going again this weekend, just PM me. I had a friend with me on a time crunch so I couldn't stay at the show for more than an hour.

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g8 trunk release is a little black button in the glove box the same way as the GTO was....old school style....autoblog couldnt find it either lol

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g8 trunk release is a little black button in the glove box the same way as the GTO was....old school style....autoblog couldnt find it either lol

Seriously? OK that's retarded. Bad GM, and worse Holden, for f@#king that up in the first place.

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o cmon, the SX4 is cool!

mazda is on a roll i guess. new 3 and 6 are strong entries. the 3 is alittle overdone, but is very good. why do people buy civics?

emp, what Astras did they have? I am waiting for them to get the price right on an XR 5 door with all the trimming for me. a loaded astra with twin panel roof really comes off as premium with the leather and all of that.

when do the 09.5 updates for the G6 hit the showroom?

Edited by regfootball
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empowah, did you see the Porsche showcase? Did you laugh at the vintage model with the horrible spiderwebbing in the paintjob? I was like, "shouldn't they have fixed the paint up to display at the autoshow?" Ditto with the rusted tailpipe.

That 550 Spyder was Jerry Seinfeld's - but yeah, they should have fixed it regardless.

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o cmon, the SX4 is cool!

mazda is on a roll i guess. new 3 and 6 are strong entries. the 3 is alittle overdone, but is very good. why do people buy civics?

emp, what Astras did they have? I am waiting for them to get the price right on an XR 5 door with all the trimming for me. a loaded astra with twin panel roof really comes off as premium with the leather and all of that.

when do the 09.5 updates for the G6 hit the showroom?

There was a white Astra XR 3-door with leather, 18" wheels, and automatic - which was hot.

There was also an XR 5-door with leather, 17" wheels, panoramic moonroof, and auto - which was also nice. The build quality isn't as nice as the Rabbit's, and the interior door handles are too small, but all in all, it was so much better than the Cobalt.

Both were pricey and didn't have enough MPGs for 138 horsepower. The manual is a must... saves $1000 or so and adds 2 MPG.

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The production SAABs with eyebrow headlights look sick.

:yes: One of the mine directors has a black 9-3. Awesome to see it on the road with the eyebrows lit.

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Lame...

One Camaro is the "Black" SEMA showcar, and the other is a pre-pro, no production cars until February - so this is no surprise.

Thanks for the reviews, guys.

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Just got back from the show, here are some random thoughts...

Ford did have the best display of the Big 3, followed by GM, then Chrysler.

Sat in a Challenger, it was eh.

Sat in the back of a G8... it's cavernous!

Finally sat in an Astra... it was what I expected.

Word from a guy working the Chevy floor is that today is the last day for the Volt at LAIAS, as it will be taken to DC.

Spykers are sweet!

Going on Thanksgiving is nice, cuz the show is rather empty.

Signed up to win a Fusion hybrid, wouldn't mind if it happened.

Standing and staring at the Camaro hasn't gotten old, even after seeing the concept in Detroit (at the debut) and at last year's LAIAS.

CTS wagon and V are awesome.

Honda Insight looks pretty good.

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There was a white Astra XR 3-door with leather, 18" wheels, and automatic - which was hot.

There was also an XR 5-door with leather, 17" wheels, panoramic moonroof, and auto - which was also nice. The build quality isn't as nice as the Rabbit's, and the interior door handles are too small, but all in all, it was so much better than the Cobalt.

Both were pricey and didn't have enough MPGs for 138 horsepower. The manual is a must... saves $1000 or so and adds 2 MPG.

go to truedelta.com and othersites.....real world mpg with manual trans astras is mid thirties. draggers have gotten mid eights to 60 with astra 5 speeds. the astras motor is refined and smooth overall. smoother than the impreza i can tell you that with certainty and smoother than the rabbits growly fuel sucking 5 too.

build quality is similar enough to the rabbit. as far as power, its more than the civic and corolla, eh?

take one out for a spin, the apprehension goes away pretty quickly.

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SAAB had a concept that looked cool as hell, but it won't be produced.

More wasted money

The production SAABs with eyebrow headlights look sick. Lots of attention there.

I agree! I had forgotten how awesome they look.

Pontiac G6 were the 2009.5 (labeled as just 2009 though), but the upgrades are well worth it. The window sill in the back (at least the coupe, all I had time to sit in) is still Fisher Price, but the other interior upgrades make this car at least presentable. Fascia updates are an improvement. This should sell better. Really, the interior looks worth the price...FINALLY.

Good to hear.

G8: HOT. I die. D. I. E. Die. Where's the trunk release? Couldn't find one, but the trunk is huge. Why isn't it selling better?

The market and NO PROMOTION (!!!) Hell, I even forget about the G8 and I'm a Pontiac enthusiast... Maybe it has to do with the lame name or lack of advertising in general.

FORD:

Mazda3 is awesome in person. The pictures on here don't show enough of the front details, but the grille does NOT look too happy in person. Rear is very dynamic, and the interior is better than the Cruze mockups we've seen. Sorry fanboys, but the Mazda3 kicks butt with a cleaner-looking interior. Buttons and knobs also had great tactile feel.

As ugly as it is, I'm sure it'll sell WAY better than the Cruze... It isn't "mercan" after all (Or, people aren't smart enough to realize it is, at least)

Fusion/Milan. Fusion looks less busy in person out back, but it still isn't what I'd call fresh-looking. The crosshatching on the taillights looks dated in an early-90s Pontiac kinda way. Front and interior are good, though. Milan looks great in person. A real standout. As for the interiors, they are an improvement over the current, but marginally-so. They will get dated very quickly, but Ford is pretty adept at incremental interior upgrades, and these are strong foundations. The Fusion's body-colored interior accents are awesome, and if wood trim is offered on the Milan it should be passable-to-good.

Sounds like you had the same reaction I did.. The refresh is nice, but it's not exceptional.

Toyota: Their Venza looks good, and that is the first complement I have ever paid a Toyota. Damn them.

Saw the concept in Charlotte complete with giant "TOYOTA PROTOTYPE VEHICLE" letters on the windows. I walked right past it without even stopping, as did most of the crowd.

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