CNN reports: Small Nissan Versa aces crash tests. We like the Versa. It's cheap (more or less), roomy, and apparently safe! Woohoo! Of the three we checked out (Fit, Yaris, Versa) we liked the seats in the Versa the best.
You gotta be careful with the Versa, however. Nissan didn't see fit include all the safety equipment as standard (weak and stupid of Nissan), so make sure you check all the appropriate boxes before purchasing.
In fact, I reckon nothing significant has changed over at RenCen since we began this chronicle of GM's declining fortunes. Factories are closed. Departing workers have been paid off. Output has declined. New products have been launched. And? GM is still staggering around under the weight of the same old stodgy leadership, cannibalistic dealers, obstreperous unions, half-baked products, marketing misfires, "not an incentive really" fire-sales, Bacchinalian auto shows (how much is that Carmen in the window?), backdraft cash burn, etc.
Heh. (We had to get a dictionary for half those words, but it still qualifies as a "heh.")
That's a snap of the 2007 Chevy Malibu. Don't buy one. The 2008s will be far mo betta.
The Detroit News reports: Best of the Best. We're not fans of this pair, but their picks don't seem to be too off the wall other than to include the Cadillac Escalade which shouldn't be on anyone's list other than, "Best Car For @$$@%$^#."
The new CR-V is a good looking vehicle, remains the right size and has a decent fuel economy. This pair doesn't seem to understand Honda when they state, "There are some slight improvements, but overall it's not a huge leap forward." Honda never does a huge leap forward. They refine, refine, refine until the thing is near perfect and when you line it up to the competition it looks like Honda is years ahead of the others.
Also, to state "We tested a front-wheel-drive 2007 CR-V EX with no options and a bottom line of $23,445" somehow infers that the CR-V is over-priced and under equipped. But check it out for yourself to see if the 2007 Honda CR-V EX comes under equipped.
We don't even want a CR-V. At all. We tested one and while it was pretty good, it was totally not for us. Aargh, now we're all mad. Why do we even read that column?
"The movie 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' was terribly one-sided," Ernest Bastien, Toyota Motor Sales vice president for vehicle operations, said intensely. "It was not balanced at all."
If it's not surprising enough to hear Toyota defending GM, try this on for size: The film's director pretty much agrees.
"We let Toyota off the hook for how they subverted the program" to sell electric cars because GM had a higher profile, director Chris Paine told me over the phone Sunday.
The automakers, of course, don't think they subverted anything.
The movie also intentionally ignored Toyota's experience to make its case, Bastien said.
"We shared all our experience with the RAV4-EV," but the filmmakers intentionally omitted it, he said.
He said the movie's suggestion that GM "chose not to make money on a car people wanted to buy in California" is ridiculous.
"They spent a huge amount of money advertising that car in California," Bastien said. "People wouldn't buy them."
That's pretty weak of the movie maker to do that. In fact, it underminds his whole position. We believe the electric car is coming back and that it will be here in under 10 years. And it will catch on.
Toyota could announce by the end of the month that it will increase its 2007 global vehicle sales projections to 9.35 million, up a half million vehicles from the global sales expected for 2006, according to the Mainichi newspaper in Japan.
Many analysts have predicted that Toyota will surpass General Motors Corp. next year as the world's No. 1 automaker. GM sold 9.2 million vehicles worldwide in 2005. It has not provided full-year 2006 or 2007 sales forecasts.
What will be extra interesting is 2007 because auto sales in the U.S. are expected (not by us, just some fancy suit dudes) to fall. If we're all buying less, who is going to suffer the most? What are folks hankerin' for? A Toyota or a GM? To be honest, we're still hankerin' for a Dodge Charger. It pains us since a Dodge Charger totally means no free, dirty-hippie lovin'. It probably means a big-haired chick. How is that so bad?
That's a snap of a Dodge Charger. Because we have to have one. Have to. Maaaaahm!
Now this is one fancy-lookin' ride and unless Bill Ford gets himself into trouble, it'll be the talk of the day. We don't know too much about it yet, but this is a sure signal that Mercedes-Benz is not giving up the fight to Lexus.
What would a four-door Mercedes-Benz convertible look like? Now we know. Mercedes today released the first photos of its concept convertible based on the V-12 S 600. Named the Ocean Drive, the one-off convertible will be showcased next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
That's the snap of the concept that everyone is using, so, hell, we used it, too. Yeah, there's four doors on that sucker! Sigh, we're not much in the class department.