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  1. bobo

    Cheers and Jeers for 2017

    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!
  2. bobo

    Cheers and Jeers for 2016

    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!
  3. bobo


    Congratulations on the job. You've come a long way since your angst-filled youth. Glad things are working out for you.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. bobo

    Which Would YOU Rather Drive?

    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.
  7. bobo

    RIP Nauti II

    Sorry to hear. It's a difficult decision to put a companion down. Dogs give much more than they ask for.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. bobo

    Cheers and Jeers for 2015

    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!
  11. bobo

    New car..on the cheap?

    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.
  12. bobo

    LA Auto Show: 2016 Honda Civic Coupe: Comments

    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.
  13. That appears to be the current Genesis logo used in other markets. It looks a little too much like Bentley's logo. This appears to be the right move given the number of Genesis owners who replace the Hyundai H logo with the Genesis logo.
  14. bobo

    Squeezed Into A Minicar - Your Choice?

    I like the Fit a lot except for the dorky styling. It feels big inside. Haven't seen the new Spark up close, but I think it has potential. Not a fan of the other cars, though I would consider a Fiat 500e for a city car.

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