As the 2018 New York Auto Show develops two recent trends have come to the fore: the D-pillar “side-line” and the move towards free-standing infotainment screens. Here, we’ll look at the former, evident in new cars such as Acura RDX, Nissan Altima and Toyota RAV4. Clearly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone will have their own [Read more…]
In this section of the blog, you can find opinions about all kinds of matters related to the automotive industry. Corporate strategies, future technologies, past, current and future models, you name it.
Actually, you can really name it:
* Do you want to know more about a certain subject related to cars or to the automotive industry? Or do you want an analysis of an automotive subject? Let me know, I will write about it!
* Do you have an opinion on a car, brand or another automotive matter? Be my guest, send in your article and I will publish it!
The unveiling of the next generation of German cars often comes with low expectations of mildly-evolved styling, solid-but-unspectacular engineering changes and, crucially, the exact same pitch to the exact same group of customers as the last model. Which is why the debut of this, the third-generation Volkswagen Touareg designed with Chinese [Read more…]
The past few years have seen a re-emergence of a long-dormant trend – for mainstream brands to launch dedicated sub-brands. The most recent example of this trend is Seat’s new Cupra sub-brand, which is heading to Geneva with the Cupra Ateca, a Seat Ateca with the Volkswagen Golf R’s 4wd drivetrain, and the Cupra Ibiza Concept, [Read more…]
After a long period of scoops, previews and teasers, Volvo finally revealed the new V60 wagon yesterday. And it’s a bit of a stunner – elegant, well-proportioned, with a great-looking interior and plenty of those little touches that make Volvo stand out from among the competitors. The model’s debut means that the brands quest to replace its entire [Read more…]
Looking ahead, even one year, can be very tricky. Last year we nominated one brand and two models as potentially doing well in 2017 and we were somewhat right with them: Honda did gain market share at +0,7% compared to -5% for the overall market, and that’s not a bad performance at all for a brand that’s not known for its huge swings in sales or share thanks to a stable product range, low fleet sales and apathetic approach to incentives. [Read more…]
For the third year, in what is becoming an annual tradition here at CarSalesBase, we are using the incoming new year as motivation to reflect back at the previous year and look at its success stories (see here for the 2016 success stories, and here for the 2016 disappointments). Also find our disappointments of 2017 and our predictions for 2018. Let us know in the comments below if you agree or disagree!
The first generation Mercedes-Benz CLS was launched in late 2004 and stood out with revolutionary styling for a brand that had mostly been very conservative in the design department until that time. It had simple and elegant lines, and especially the character line running from the front wheel arches to the rear lights was a great touch. However, in my opinion it hasn’t aged very well. If I see one on the road nowadays, it looks a lot older than the 7-13 years it currently is. The strange shape of the headlights is mostly due to that, but also the fact that those headlights seem to fade a bit over the years. Perhaps it also doesn’t help that some (second or third) owners have made customized “improvements” to their cars, including oversized wheels. The second generation, launched in 2011, fixed the weird headlight shape but also lost its simple and elegant design. In line with the Mercedes-Benz styling of this period, it had expressive lines on its sides and pronounced rear wheel arches. The latter actually work quite well on the CLS, simply because it was more coherent with the rest of the car, as opposed to the the E-Class, where they were ditched during that model’s facelift. The addition of the Shooting Brake version gave the 2nd generation CLS another boost in positioning the CLS as the odd one out in the Mercedes-Benz line-up. The proportions of both the CLS coupe and the Shooting Brake worked much better than those of the smaller CLA versions.
Warm welcome or cold shoulder is a new series here on CarSalesBase.com, where we discuss the sales performance of new models in their first year or so on the market. How have they performed in terms of sales: above or under expectations? What could be the reasons for their success or failure? And what do we expect for their future – will it improve or get worse?
First we tackle the Alfa Romeo Giulia, simply because it’s one of the most talked-about launches in recent years and by far the most popular car here on CSB in terms of pageviews. As always, feel free to join the discussion by commenting below or answering the poll at the bottom.
We’ve discussed a handful of new model introduction of this summer in part 1, and will continue with a few other newly launched cars that we think will either hit, miss or just don’t stir our senses at all. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Kriss and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.
BMW 6-Series Gran Turismo
I get it, the 5-Series GT, which was actually based on the platform of the 7-Series, has been more of a commercial success than it was an aesthetic success. And by renaming it 6-Series they can make the new generation more expensive, because it has a higher number. Cynicism aside, this car should’ve been called the 6-Series GT since the first generation. And I get why that appealed to the people who’ve bought one: it was more spacious and almost as luxurious and comfortable as a 7-Series for less money, all while being less ostentatious than said 7-Series. And there are plenty of shoppers in this price range who couldn’t care less about the looks of their car, as long as it did best what it’s been bought for. With the new generation they’ve actually succeeded in designing a somewhat graceful car, thanks to stretching it by almost 9cm (3 inches) and lowering it by 2cm (almost an inch), which makes it a lot less bulky than the 5-Series GT. I’m actually starting to warm to this car the more I look at it. And it’s also a great alternative for those who’d love to drive a comfortable BMW and can do without the sportiness that BMW has to put into the 5-Series sedan (and wagon) in order to keep its reputation of maker of sports sedans.
I have mixed feelings about this car. From a rational, sales-oriented perspective, BMW did exactly what it had to do to build on the moderate success of the first generation – it based it on the tour-the-tech new 5-series, made it better-looking (less ugly?), and gave it a posher name. But it remains, at its core, a fundamentally contrived and ungainly car, sort of a 5-series for people who will benefit from the extra space and the easier entry/exit that the higher driving position affords (so, basically, plus-sized and older people). And while the 6-series GT is less environmentally-unfriendly than SUVs, it makes for a much less attractive look on the roads.