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  1. We’ve survived 2019 and are a year away from a new decade. Here are a few things that happened in the past year: Elon Musk was in the news a lot as he revealed the Mad Max-inspired Tesla Cybertruck to gasps, started to dig a tunnel beneath Las Vegas, opened a factory in China to build Model 3s, and was found not to have defamed a British cave explorer by calling him a "pedo guy" when he was insulted. To the dismay of short-sellers, Tesla’s stock price recently hit an all-time high. In the world of politics, the Mueller report was released with lots of anticipation but not much else. The sitting President became the fourth impeached, for abuse of power and obstruction over the Ukraine scandal, though the impeachment remains in limbo over rules of the Senate trial. The Boeing 737 Max aircraft was grounded after another crash in March, and Boeing’s CEO was ousted. The historic Notre Dame Cathedral suffered a devastating fire during renovations, and its survivability remains in doubt. Vaping is rampant among teens and resulted in several deaths. Anti-government protests in Hong Kong concerning extradition continue, as do raging wildfires in the Amazon rainforest and Australian bush. Prominent passings included designer Karl Lagerfeld, actor Luke Perry, baseball great Frank Robinson, socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, architect I.M. Pei, Chrysler savior Lee Iacocca, businessman and presidential candidate Ross Perot (who sold Electronic Data Systems to GM for $2.5 billion), retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, and shock jock Don Imus. The big news in the automotive world was the introduction of the C8 Corvette with a mid-engine layout, long the dream of Corvette engineers. The biggest surprise was perhaps its low $60,000 base price. GM filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, claiming that their negotiations, which allegedly involved bribes to former UAW leaders, resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of increased pay and benefits. PSA Group, manufacturer of Peugeots and Citroens, and which acquired Opel and Vauxhall from GM in 2017, is working on a merger with FCA. The resultant company would retain 13 automobile brands and be the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the world, behind VW Group, Toyota, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Peugeot still has plans to return to the U.S. to satisfy the demand from the handful of people who miss their 405s, 504s, 505s, and 604s. Buick announced that they were retiring the Regal and Regal TourX after the 2020 model year, which will leave them with an all-crossover lineup. Buick said that they are just giving buyers what they want, as 90% of their sales were crossovers. In 1998, Buick’s tagline was “Isn’t it time for a real car” when they didn’t have any crossovers or SUVs in their lineup. Departing vehicles included the Audi TT, Buick Lacrosse and Cascada, Chevrolet Cruze, Fiat 500 and 500e, Ford Flex, Toyota Prius C, and Volkswagen Beetle. I was barely on the C&G boards in the last year and can’t comment much on what’s been going on in the forums, but here are some of the best and worst things in the automotive world for the 18th annual edition of Cheers and Jeers: Cheers to Chevrolet for introducing the Best New Car in the mid-engine Corvette. The styling is a little disappointing with the sedan-like cluttered rear end, but the platform will allow it to have an electrified and all-wheel drive future with fearsome performance. Cheers to Cadillac for Best Reversal by bringing back real model names, at least on the electrified models. This announcement occurred a couple of years after Lincoln also decided to bring back names. Cadillac had some decent alphanumerics with the CTS, STS, and SRX, among others, but decided to lose whatever brand equity there was to the apparently short-lived CT and XT badging created under previous Chief Johan de Nysschen. Cadillac has many storied names that deserve to come back, but they also have had some great concept names. Jeers to Cadillac for Most Pointless Badging with torque numbers in Newton-meters rounded to the closest 50. Ideally, the only thing that people should know of Cadillac power and torque is that it is ample and the numbers should be irrelevant. Cheers to Ford for Best New EV, the forthcoming Mustang Mach-E. While the naming is highly controversial, the vehicle itself has the right form and styling to be successful if Ford can deliver on this aspirational vehicle. By comparison, GM seems to be faltering a bit on the EV front, with the Bolt largely unchanged except for a small bump in range since it was introduced for the 2017 model year. The many promised new EVs have yet to show up in the U.S. In January GM President Mark Reuss said that Cadillac would take the lead in electrification efforts and that it would be the final effort to turn the brand around, which places an air of desperation around the brand. Jeers to Porsche for having the Least Efficient EV in the much ballyhooed Taycan. The EPA range for the large 93.6 kWh battery is only 201 miles. By comparison, a Tesla Model S with Ludicrous mode and a 100 kWh battery has a 345 mile range, and the non-Ludicrous model has a 370 mile range. Audi and Jaguar are also having difficulties with efficiency, and this shows how far ahead Tesla is. Cheers to Subaru for the Most Impressive Sales Record for the 93 months of consecutive year-over-year sales gains, which finally came to an end in October, but which is probably just a temporary blip amidst a strong vehicle lineup. Jeers to GM, FCA, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia for Worst Eco Move by siding with the current federal administration in denying California from setting its own emission standards. By being able to regulate its emissions, California has been able to clean up the previously smoggy skyline, and this move would increase fuel consumption and harm air quality. Cheers to California Governor Gavin Newsom for doing what car buyers do, make a judgment on the vehicles they buy, by choosing not to purchase sedans from the aforementioned automakers. The State of California is also requiring that sedans owned by the state government to be electrified. Ford may be the largest beneficiary, at least until the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi go out of production in a year or two. Jeers to the Federal Communications Commission for Worst Safety Move by proposing that a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum that was intended for automobile safety instead be used for wifi. Their reasoning is that there has been limited progress for usage of the spectrum for Dedicated Short-Range Communications (the outgoing CTS being the first and only production vehicle to install it) for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications amid competing DSRC and 5G LTE technologies and the lack of a federal mandate. However, nearly 37,000 people are killed in traffic crashes every year on public roads in the U.S., and technology using the spectrum has the potential of saving thousands of lives every year. Limiting the usable spectrum may limit the safety opportunities. Hope everyone has a safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year!
  2. Finally, some good news out of Cadillac. The current batch of alphanumeric names is probably the worst in the business now that Lincoln abandoned theirs. EV is the future, BEV or otherwise. Our household is on our second EV, and next year we'll get our third. We're never going back to ICE.
  3. Cheers and Gears has a policy of no political talk on the boards, but it's impossible to do the traditional review of the year's significant events without mentioning some of the actions of the federal government that so permeate the news and our lives. Those who get their delicate sensibilities easily offended are urged to skip this post and go elsewhere, such as link. That said, here are some of the things that happened in our country: The deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history occurred in Parkland, Florida in February. Teenagers became vocal activists, in stark contrast to timid politicians, and reignited the gun control debate. “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years for sexual assault in September. That same month the confirmation hearings for Judge and beer-lover Brett Kavanaugh furthered the national discourse on sexual assault. The mid-term elections in November resulted in 40 House seats turning from red to blue and ending one-party rule that had no checks and balances to the executive branch of government. The occupant of the White House is incapable of speaking the truth but instead speaks what he wants to be the truth. The actions of the self-proclaimed stable genius seem to be designed only to further his political base or to punish his perceived enemies. Advice is not taken from experts in the field but instead by morning talk show hosts and radio personalities. The lack of response to the October brutal killing of U.S. resident and Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi ordered by the Saudi crown prince known as MBS showed that moral authority has been abdicated and replaced by the bottom line and dictator envy. Immigrant children of families fleeing hostile regimes were separated from their parents and placed in chain-link cages in detention centers. The ongoing Robert Mueller investigation into Russia hung over the entire administration and netted more than 30 indictments or guilty pleas. At the end of the year, one third of the federal government was shut down over funding the southern border wall. The Camp Fire in California leveled the town of Paradise in November and killed more than 80 people. It was the worst U.S. wildfire in the last 100 years. California’s Governor Brown proclaimed that massive fires were the new abnormal as wildfires ravaged all parts of the state after years of drought. Brick and mortar retail continued to take a beating. Toys R Us, under the crushing debt of a leveraged buyout, shut down in June.. Sears declared bankruptcy in October and was on the verge of liquidation by year end. Prominent passings included Arizona Senator John McCain, 41st President George H.W. and former First Lady Barbara Bush, actor Burt Reynolds, physicist Stephen Hawking, singer Aretha Franklin, actress and director Penny Marshall, Microsoft’s Paul Allen, evangelist Billy Graham, writer Tom Wolfe, and playwright Neil Simon. In the automotive world, Ford announced in April that it was killing off traditional cars other than the Mustang and a Focus Active model that was later canceled because of tariffs. The range of electric vehicles continued to increase from having denser cells in batteries and more cost-effective battery production, but no breakthrough battery technology, such as solid-state batteries, has yet been introduced. Jaguar introduced the relatively inefficient I-Pace, EV, and many more luxury EVs from the likes of Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz will be coming to market soon. The Faraday Future EV, which was expected to cost close to $300,000 and be built at a former Pirelli tire factory in Central California, appeared to be dead after a major backer in China who had pledged $2 billion pulled back. However, at the end of the year it was back alive after a settlement was made with that investor. The march towards fully autonomous vehicles continues, with Tesla claiming that the technology is ready for Teslas less than two years old. Waymo introduced driverless ride-hailing in Arizona with modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids. In March Waymo had announced purchasing 20,000 Jaguar I-Paces by 2022 for driverless ride-hailing. In November, the Chevy Volt was killed with the federal tax credit becoming halved with GM meeting the milestone of selling 200,000 EVs. The Volt was a groundbreaking vehicle that did not meet sales projections, and the current generation was cramped and not what SUV-buying masses wanted. Unfortunately the rumored crossover successor does not appear it will become a reality. The large Chevrolet Impala, Buick Lacrosse, and Cadillac XTS and CT6 were also killed. The not quite a flagship CT6 was competent and attractive but never caught on with consumers. The groundbreaking Super Cruise will live on in other vehicles though. With these vehicles being canceled, GM is closing five factories in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and Canada. In December, Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault and Nissan who saved Nissan, was jailed for financial misconduct on allegations that he was enriching himself through accounting fraud. His family feels that there was scheme to remove Ghosn because of his desire to merge Renault and Nissan, a move that is unpopular with some in Japan. On a personal note, I still have not been spending much time on the boards because life has kept me busy in other directions. My personal transport mode of choice remains my human-powered road bike, and my household still has two fully electric vehicles, though one will soon be departing at end of lease. That car will be sorely missed even though it is considered a compliance car to meet California’s EV mandate. It was one of the best vehicles I have ever owned, and I plan to have a write-up here in a couple of months. And finally, here are some of the automotive highs and lows of the past year in the 17th Annual Edition of Cheers and Jeers: Cheers to Elon Musk, despite his erratic behavior, including smoking pot during a radio interview, insinuating that a rescuer of the flooded Thai caves was a child molester, and claiming that he had the means to take Tesla private, and thus raising the stock price but resulting in a $20 million fine, for Best Save by being able to deliver Tesla Model 3 vehicles as promised and keeping the company solvent. What helped was putting together an assembly line in a tent in the parking lot. Elon Musk also started building a network of tunnels in Los Angeles by his tunneling company known as The Boring Company as a way to avoid surface congestion. Cheers to Ford for Best Revival by bringing back the Ranger after an absence of 8 years. Full-size pickups have gotten too big and expensive, and mid-size trucks hit the sweet spot for many buyers. The Ranger will come only with a turbo 4 when it goes on sale early in the year, which may limit its appeal. It will soon be followed by a reborn Bronco. Cheers to GMC for the Best Innovation, the MultiPro tailgate on the new Sierra. The ingenious bed extender and built-in step is elegant in its operation. Jeers to GM for Worst Eco Move by having worse fuel economy in several variations of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra despite a weight loss of up to 450 pounds in the brand new trucks. Even the first 4-cylinder in a full-size pickup, quite the bold move, has lower MPG than its predecessor V-6.. Cheers to Lincoln for Best Resoluteness by remaining relevant building on the success of the Navigator with the new Aviator, rechristened Nautilus, and suicide-doored version of the slow-selling Continental. Once thought to be relegated to second-tier luxury car status, there is no sign of slowing down. With the Ford Division purging of almost all cars, it is unknown what will happen to the Lincoln MKZ and Continental sedans, but it would not be surprising to see them go. Jeers to Worst Styling Sin for any vehicle with a so-called floating roof with a partially blackened rear pillar. Some of the worst offenders are the 2020 Kia Soul and the GMC Terrain, which has a tiny window between the C and D pillars to prioritize style over functional visibility. Almost as bad are all the oversized front grilles filled with solid black plastic, which demonstrate a lack of styling imagination. The most distinctive parts of vehicles are now often the lighting. Cheers to Hyundai and Kia for making the Best Affordable EVs with more than 250 miles of range. The Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro EV, and Kia Soul EV will sell for around $30,000 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. Jeers to Nissan for the long-range Leaf E-Plus being a No Show at the Los Angeles Auto Show as had been planned. It has been speculated that the vehicle was pulled because of the Carlos Ghosn situation, but Nissan is letting itself be overshadowed by other EVs, and the lack of liquid-cooling for the current Leaf remains a concern for the longevity of the batteries. Hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!
  4. Well, that was a fast year. Here are some of the things that happened in 2017: A new American President was sworn into office and found to be a truth-challenged, serial golfing narcissist whose primary goal appeared to be undoing all the achievements of his predecessor. His own crowning achievement was a windfall of wealth to corporate America and its officers at the expense of the lower and middle classes, future generations, and blue states. A series of hurricanes swept through the Gulf of Mexico and ravaged Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. The country's deadliest mass shooting occurred in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Festival from a madman in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Last year's abundant rainfall in California gave way to some of the worst wildfires in California history that wiped out communities. In Hollywood and Washington D.C. the “#MeToo” movement gave power to sexual assault victims and toppled entertainment and political titans. The fidget spinner fad peaked. Prominent passings in the entertainment industry included Mary Tyler Moore, Sean Cassidy, Adam West, Roger Moore, Tom Petty, and Chuck Berry. In the automotive world, passenger sedans continued to fall out of favor, with the future of the Chevy Impala and Ford Fusion in doubt. Cadillac will be consolidating several sedans under a single nameplate. New versions of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord were introduced. The march towards fully autonomous vehicles continued, and Uber inked a deal with Volvo for fully autonomous vehicles. Vehicles that went away include the Viper, Buick Verano, Hyundai Azera, Honda Accord Coupe, Nissan Juke, and Volkswagen Touareg. GM rid itself of Opel to the PSA Group, which decided it overpaid and wants half its money back because of vehicle emissions and what they deemed to be the lack of a credible plan to get the fleet to conformity. In the aftermath of Dieselgate, Volkswagen is going all-in with electric vehicles. China, France, and the U.K. look to ban new vehicles with internal combustion engines in about 20 years, and California considers the same. GM, Volvo, Toyota and others announced major electrification efforts for their fleets within five years. I was barely on the C&G boards the past year because of job and family, and my interest in personal transportation has shifted to human-powered two-wheeled devices and EVs (my household has two). I have cobbled together the 16th Anniversary Edition of Cheers and Jeers, but I'm unfortunately unable to note whatever drama has been happening in the forums since I wasn't here enough to experience it. Here are some automotive highlights and lowlights: Cheers to Lincoln for Best Move by bringing back real names. The MKX is being reborn as the Nautilus with its refresh as Lincoln goes with a nautical theme. If only Cadillac would rid itself of the awful CT and XT naming convention. Cheers to Tesla for Best Car Reveal by surprising everyone and bringing out a new Roadster from the back of the Semi after revealing that. The Semi is also significant for its moderate $150k cost and up to 500 mile range if they can deliver. Jeers to Tesla for the slow roll-out of the Model 3, which was not ready for prime time and beset by welding issues. Cheers to Mazda for Best New Engine Technology with their Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition gas engine that is projected to have 30% better fuel economy when introduced in the 2020 Mazda3. Cheers to Chevy for the Best Truck Reveal in the surprising introduction of the new 2019 Silverado at the Chevy truck centennial celebration at the Texas Motor Speedway. Cheers to FCA for increasing sales of the aging Ram, even surpassing the Silverado for a few months. Ford, with the new Super Duty trucks, increased domestic truck sales the most and outsells Silverado and GMC Sierra combined. Cheers to Kia for Best New Sedan for the Stinger. Who would have imagined that once-lowly Kia would sell a RWD or AWD car that is competitive with the BMW 3 Series? It helps to have talent that was at Audi and BMW. Jeers to Honda for Most Disappointing New EV for the class-lagging Clarity with only 89 miles of range. Only the Fiat 500e and smart fortwo electric have lower ranges now that the Mitsubishi i-MIEV and Mercedes B250e are no longer sold in the US. The Plug In Hybrid and Fuel Cell versions of the Clarity are decent though. Wishing all a safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year!
  5. 2016 was a year that almost everyone wants to forget. The election season that seemed to go on forever ended with the surprising election of a thin-skinned accused sexual predator demagogue and reality TV host to be 45th President of the United States. This extremely unpopular candidate had nearly 3 million fewer votes than the almost equally unpopular runner up. The Zika virus hysteria hit a fevered pitch. The Pokemon Go fad came and went. Transgender people using bathrooms consistent with their identities seemingly became the most important topic for legislatures across the country. The Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando was the deadliest mass-shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history, with 49 people killed. The Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California, was the deadliest building fire in the U.S. in 13 years. There were terrorist attacks around the world, including in Syria, Brussels, Nice, and Turkey. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones were recalled twice and continued to catch fire and be banned from airplanes. Prominent passings include David Bowie, Prince, Muhammed Ali, Antonin Scalia, Nancy Reagan, Morley Safer, John Glenn, Arnold Palmer, and Fidel Castro. At the end of the year, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and her mom Debbie Reynolds passed on. In automotive news, U.S. sales continued at a near historically high rate. Genesis was launched as Hyundai’s luxury brand instead of just being Hyundai models. There was a Volkswagen settlement for about 450,000 TDI owners and regulators valued at almost $15 billion. Google branded their autonomous driving program Waymo, and discussions with Honda were announced. FCA already had a working relationship with them and plans for 100 autonomous Pacificas. Various automakers became involved with ride-hailing companies. Toyota's subbrand, Scion, went away, with three of the four models continuing as Toyotas. Traditional sedans continue to fall out of favor as the crossover market seems to have no letting up. Miniature CUVs are the new big small things. Cadillac and and Ford are looking at scaling back their car plans to focus more on crossovers. Big topics on the C&G boards were the Chevy Bolt, the direction of Cadillac, and pushrods or overhead cams for the Corvette. The site got a major software update (thanks, Drew!). Unfortunately, I have had precious little time to spend on the C&G boards because life has been busy with work and parental responsibilities. But here are some of the highlights and lowlights I have been able to gather in the last year for all things automotive for the 15th Annual Edition of Cheers and Jeers: Cheers to the Chevrolet Bolt as the Best New Production Vehicle. The 239 mile range is game-changing for an affordable EV. The packaging and build quality are good. However, Jeers for the lumpy styling and mediocre aerodynamics. https://www.cheersandgears.com/articles/news/chevrolet/its-official-2017-chevrolet-bolt-to-offer-238-miles-of-range-r3777/ https://www.cheersandgears.com/articles/news/chevrolet/chevrolet-bolt-design-has-a-lot-of-interior-space-but-is-a-bit-of-mess-in-terms-of-aero-r3718/ Cheers to the Lincoln Motor Company for having the Continental be a ray of light, with promising sales numbers so far, better than the Cadillac CT6. The styling is a little too frumpy, but it’s a nice attempt at a serious luxury car. Cheers to FCA for introducing the Best Minivan with the class-leading Pacifica, including the Hybrid variant. The unremarkable sales numbers are not necessarily indicative of how much improved it is over the previous Town & Country, though the quality-challenged Dodge Grand Caravan remains available as a budget buy. Jeers to FCA for their Dead Brand Walking, Dodge. It was 2009 when Ram was separated from Dodge. This year the Dodge Dart (and sister Chrysler 200) were killed off to free up factory space to build more profitable SUVs and pickups. The future of Dodge is questionable as the Viper just died, Durango is slated for demise, and the Grand Caravan, while continuing for now, will not be replaced. The aging Charger, Challenger, and Journey are still slated to get Fiat and Alfa-based replacements, but with the Chrysler brand down to the 300 and Pacifica only, it makes you wonder whether the Dodge models will be folded into the Chrysler brand. Jeers to FCA for the dishonest inflated sales reporting. There was immense pressure to keep the increasing sales streak alive, but when they couldn’t, they faked it. https://www.cheersandgears.com/articles/news/chrysler/fca-admits-sales-streak-ended-three-years-ago-makes-changes-in-how-it-reports-sales-r3691/ Cheers to Volvo for Good Design. Despite being wholly owned by Geely, the current batch of vehicles remains largely true to its roots with its Swedish focus on safety and stylish lines in a Scandinavian way. The new S90 and last year’s XC90 are cutting edge, practical, and desirable. Cheers to Elon Musk for his Marketing Genius and convincing 400,000 people to put down refundable $1,000 deposits on the upcoming Model 3. Tesla got its share of bad news over the year with its semi-autonomous Autopilot contributing to the fatal crash of a Model S by mistaking the side of a big rig for the sky and quality glitches over its new Model X. Cheers to Buick for producing the Best Concept Car, the stunning Alpha-based Avista, though it unfortunately will not see production because there are not enough coupe buyers to support it and the Camaro. A new Riviera would still be a nice flagship for Buick, which has embraced becoming primarily a SUV brand, not unlike Acura. Honorable mention goes to the Cadillac Escala, which was willing to break with some traditional styling elements but comes off looking a little generic. https://www.cheersandgears.com/articles/auto-show-news/detroit-auto-show/2016-detroit-auto-show-2016-buick-avista-concept-r3271/ https://www.cheersandgears.com/articles/news/cadillac/cadillac-escala-concepts-previews-the-future-of-brand39s-design-r3737/ Cheers to Mazda for building jewel-like, fun-to-drive cars that Honda used to build. Mazda sales are down slightly, but they will look at going upscale and not try to be all things to all people. Cheers to Honda for Best Determination with giving it another go with the Ridgeline pickup. The looks are entirely conventional and boring compared to the old model. It drives very much like a Honda Pilot with an open back, not like a really serious truck, but it still fulfills the needs of many people. If only GM had done a Lambda pickup or a new generation of Avalanche. Cheers to William Maley for his new car reviews and dfelt for keeping us abreast on the alternative propulsion news with some excellent reading. Wishing all a safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year!
  6. bobo


    Congratulations on the job. You've come a long way since your angst-filled youth. Glad things are working out for you.
  7. Hey trinacriabob. Nice to see you stop by and give an update on your LaCrosse. W-bodies were decent cars but didn't have the best packaging. Good to see that yours has been reliable for the most part. Perhaps the 2018 Regal could be a contender if you decide to replace your LaCrosse.
  8. I wanted to buy an RX-8 when they first came out, but the dealers had $4,000 added dealer markup. I'm glad that I didn't end up with one of these oil-burners. As for the question, I might prefer the Camaro.
  9. The 1987 Brougham used the same grille design as the '81 deVille/Fleetwood with the infamous V8-6-4. The '87 had different front turn signal lenses with the Cadillac crest and cleaner-looking side moldings. The wire wheel covers were also slightly different. As for the question, I'd take the M3.
  10. Sorry to hear. It's a difficult decision to put a companion down. Dogs give much more than they ask for.
  11. The E-Class used to have a unique look. The C and S-Classes always looked similar. Now they all look the same, with that worn bar of soap look. I liked the 2003 to 2009 E-Class a lot, except for the weak V-6 engine. The outgoing E-Class did nothing for me. Benzes no longer have any appeal to me, except for maybe the Metris van.
  12. When I was at the L.A. auto show, I was surprised at the lack of attention that Chevrolet was giving the Malibu. It was just kind of there. The car itself seemed nice enough, with much better packaging than the outgoing model. However, if I were getting a new sedan now, I'd get an Accord, even though it's in its fourth year of this generation.
  13. At the beginning of the year, in the sports world, the New England Patriots were deemed cheaters with quarterback Tom Brady allegedly throwing underinflated balls in a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. Two weeks later the Super Bowl closed with perhaps the worst call in the history of the game by the losing Seahawks. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk, was made a hero by some marriage traditionalists by refusing to do her job in issuing same-sex marriages licenses and was sent to jail for it. Lots of people got sick eating at Chipotle from an E.coli outbreak in July. In September, it was Pope-apalooza as Pope Francis, whom the right wing cannot stand, visited Philadelphia. Also in September, NASA declared that water once flowed on Mars. Donald Trump emerged as the Republican frontrunner in presidential politics as a hapless Jeb Bush and other establishment candidates failed to gain traction. The more Trump appealed to the lowest common denominator, the higher his ratings went. In November, there were terror attacks by ISIS in France, followed by an attack by a radicalized murderous couple in San Bernardino, California, which shook the feeling of security on our own soil. The year ended with a new Star Wars movie and Bill Cosby booked into jail on charges of sexual assault. A few other notable people and things from 2015, provided with a minimum of comment: Cecile the Lion, Caitlyn Jenner, Ashley Madison hacking, pharma douche Martin Shkreli, Back to the Future II predictions, spontaneously combustible hoverboards, and man buns. Prominent passings included blues musician B.B. King, baseball player Yogi Berra, actor Leonard Nimoy, and on the last day of the year, singer Natalie Cole. Some of the favorite topics on the C&G boards were the Camaro and Mustang rivalry, Cadillac’s declining sales numbers, and the wisdom of going to fully aluminum bodies for Ford pick-ups. Self-driving cars were mocked and extolled, Electric cars were mocked and extolled. There was a large influx of new members from the Motor Trend boards, and they breathed new life into the forums. The board platform was mostly stable this year, with just some obligatory server issues in September. And now, here’s the 14th Annual Edition of Cheers and Jeers for the best and worst of C&G and the automotive industry from the past year: Jeers to Volkswagen for the Worst Corporate Malfeasance for their “Clean Diesel” debacle. While nobody was killed by VW’s surreptitiously polluting diesels, as compared to unrecalled vehicles with known defects, Dieselgate showed the casual contempt the company has for its customers. It will be a long time before they will be able to redeem themselves. http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/85606-vw-news-epa-alleges-volkswagen-used-software-on-diesel-vehicles-to-skirt-clean-air-rules Cheers to Tesla for the Most Awesomest Performance Sedan in their Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode. While Elon Musk has his detractors, and some resent the amount of government funding that Tesla has taken advantage of, there’s little denying that their vehicles are technological tour-de-forces or that their performance can rival supercars, with Motor Trend reporting a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.6 seconds and a quarter mile in 10.9 seconds for the Model S in Ludicrous Mode. There was a lot of news out of Tesla this year, with the introduction of their new Model X crossover with falcon wing doors, attempt to break into the Michigan market with company-owned stores, breaking the Consumer Reports rating scale with a theoretical score of 103, and being dropped as a recommended buy by CR due to reliability concerns, though 97% of the owners would definitely rebuy the vehicle. http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/85352-tesla-announces-updates-to-the-model-s-including-ludicrous-acceleration-mode Cheers to the Best Post by hyperv6 in bringing some measured thought into the discussion of the rising cost of the 2016 Camaro. An excerpt: “To be honest we pay a lot but we are getting cars today that can not compare to anything in the past content and quality wise. The Camaro here in question could take to a track and in street form out run many race cars from the pony era. Lets face it too that V6 here would out run most model Camaros from the 60's also out stopping and turning too.” http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/85511-trim-levels-pricing-configurator-for-16-camaro-revealed/?p=768496 Honorable Mention to Drew Dowdell in describing the underwhelming FWD Mercedes-Benz compacts: “the name I coined for the CLA and GLA are Mercedes-Pretendz” http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/84736-cadillac-confirms-335hp432-lb-ft-20l-plug-in-hybrid-for-ct6/page-2 Cheers to Lincoln for the Best Naming Move in giving their upcoming sedan a real name, the storied Continental, instead of a jumbled mix of letters and numbers. Alas, the Mk plus random letter nomenclature appears to be sticking around for the other vehicles besides the iconic Navigator. How is MkX better than Aviator? In other naming news, Cadillac dumps the name of its best-selling SRX for XT5, and Mercedes rechristened ML and GLK to GLE and GLC, the latter of which was last used by Mazda 30 years ago on the “Great Little Car” econobox in the lineage of the Mazda3. http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/84760-lincoln-news-under-consideration-lincoln-may-return-to-actual-names Jeers to Lexus for the Worst Styling. Lexus has taken their “L-finesse” to ghastly new extremes in their latest creased and folded vehicles, with the almost universally hated spindle grille becoming even more prominent. Moltar calls the look “angry robot” in describing the new RX350. http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/84640-new-york-auto-show-2016-lexus-rx-comments Dishonorable Mention to the contorted new Toyota Prius. http://www.cheersandgears.com/topic/85565-toyota-news-revealed-2016-toyota-prius Cheers to GM for their continued weight loss in their new vehicles for better performance, handling, and economy. For instance for Chevy, the new Camaro, Cruz, Volt, and Malibu have each lost between 200 and 300 pounds despite being vastly improved. Cheers to Chevrolet for having the Best Mid-Size Pickup, in the Colorado. The updated Toyota Tacoma was not able to meet the standard set by the Colorado The new Duramax diesel makes that Colorado that much more compelling, and the sales numbers show the strength of having competitive product. Jeers to Acura for being the Most Irrelevant Brand. Their only vehicle worth considering is the MDX, and the new lackluster TLX was a lost opportunity. The forthcoming $155,000 NSX weighing 3,800 pounds probably won’t do much for them. Finally, Cheers to all the staff and members of C&G. The strength of C&G is the quality of the members, and the new members have certainly been high quality. Suaviloquent, oldshurst442, and others, including even Wings4Life, have added tremendously to the site. Cheers to William Maley for his road test reviews, which are really coming on their own. Cheers to all! Hope everybody has a safe and healthy Happy New Year!
  14. I bought myself a 2006 ION 3 sedan a year ago for $5,500 plus tax and license, and it had 52,000 miles on it. This car replaced my Prelude as the daily driver/beater, and I have put 8,000 miles on it (I still have my Silverado and IS300). I was actually searching for an ION because they are cheap and I like the plastic body panels. Some days I feel like a Sentra would have been a more substantial and less crude car, but for the most part, I like it and it's been trouble-free other than the driver's door window stopped going down (window actuators seem to be a common problem). Mileage isn't great overall, around 25 mpg, and acceleration is leisurely unless it's punched.
  15. It looks like a mess in the pictures. I'll see it in person on Friday at the LA Auto Show and see if my opinion changes.

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