Posts Tagged ‘sedan’

The Nissan Maxima is No More… Almost

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

2016 Nissan Maxima

If you walked up to the average US resident and asked them which name sounded more familiar, “Nissan” or “Maxima”, most of them would pick the latter. That’s according to Pierre Loing, vice president of Nissan NA product planning, from an interview between him and Automotive News.

And yet, even though the Maxima is a Nissans all the longest-selling nameplate in the US and more recognized than the brand name itself, just four years ago, Nissan almost axed the car from their lineup completely.

2016 Nissan Maxima rear

With the next-generation Nissan Maxima set to go on sale in the US in barely a week’s time on June 2, we’re certainly glad that Nissan decided to keep the family size sedan in their lineup. You’ve probably already seen the Maxima several times this year… It first debuted in a Super Bowl ad, then made its in-the-metal premiere at the 2015 New York Motor Show back in April.

What will be the eighth-generation of Nissan’s “4 Door Sports Car” is substantially sportier than the car you’ll find it Nissan dealerships today. It’s got Nissan’s new V-motion front-end design, complete with a lower, more aggressive roofline, a curvier body and an all-around better powertrain. The next-gen Maxima runs on a new 3.5L V6 that outputs 300 horsepower, which is a noticeable boost in performance over the current model year. In a classic “have your cake and eat it too,” Nissan has somehow managed to eke 15% more fuel-efficiency out of the upgraded engine, made possible by stripping and replacing a full 60% of the old engine’s parts.

2016 Nissan Maxima side

Inside, the new Maxima is even better. It boasts a truly plush interior with quilted leather, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a modern, premium-feeling design. Takeshi Yamaguchi, the VP for vehicle engineering and program management for the Maxima project, says, “When I look at this car, I’m proudest of the fact that it’s here at all.” Yeah, us too Yamaguchi. “And on top of that, I’m proud of the fact that we took the Maxima beyond where it was, instead of taking it backward.”

… Apparently that was the other option on the table. Nissan was thinking about gutting the sedan to make it cheaper to both manufacture and sell. Instead they went the opposite direction, and what they came up with is perhaps the best, most refined execution of a non-premium sedan we’ve seen in the past 10 years.

So, in a month as you start seeing those sleek new 2016 Nissan Maximas on the road, be thankful for the sight… It almost didn’t happen!


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Yesterday we got the great news that Mitsubishi has definite plans to revive the Evo nameplate. They didn’t say when, but high-level execs have all but guaranteed that the next Evo will be a high-performance hybrid crossover. That means it’s the end of an era for Mitsubishi’s budget-friendly sports sedan. Today we’re paying homage to the old Evo with a pristine auction find from just a few years back – a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR Premium package.

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR

As a 2010 model year, this Mitsubishi Lancer Evo would have been manufactured in the prime of the car’s 10th generation of production. Otherwise known as the Lancer Evolution X, these models were built on a newly designed lightweight 2.0L turbocharged inline-four GEMA engine. The engine is made entirely from aluminum, but still offers a great kick with 296 horsepower available under the hood. With the lightweight design, this Lancer Evo is one of the few sub-300 hp cars that can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

As an Evo with the GSR Premium package, this Lancer’s engine would’ve been mated to a 6-speed Twin Clutch SST transmission system with magnesium paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel. This car also would’ve been the first car to use Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, with stopping power provided by Brembo ventilated brake discs.

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR rear

The exterior is iconic – exactly what most people associate with the Lancer Evo name. It’s got that wide-open trapezoidal maw, a trio of hood vents, a blood red paintjob and a huge rear spoiler to define this car as a performance model. And those stylish treads you see in the pictures above are 245/40R18 Yokohama ADCAN A13C tires mounted with Enkie 12-spoke alloys with extra-high rigidity.

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR interior

Moving inside the car, this 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo has a surprisingly robust interior for being manufactured during the automotive recession. In the image here, it’s easy to make out the sculpted leather bucket seats with white stitching and the chrome accents around the cabin that match the magnesium paddle shifters. You also can’t miss that beautiful 7-inch LCD with built-in navigation through the Mitsubishi Motors Communication System (MMCS) and a sizeable 30Gb on-board hard drive. And you can rock out with a booming Rockford Fosgate audio system for your favorite tunes.

At the time of this writing, there are less than 10 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions up for auction in Japan. The one you see here is the best-looking one of the bunch with an overall rating of 4.5. To learn more about this Japanese car auction find, you can get a full translation of the auction spec sheet below:

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo GSR auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered May 2010, GSR Premium, FAT, AAC, service book, original AWs, power steering, power windows, leather, original navigation system, airbag, one owner, original BBS 18 inch AWs, Ralliart adjustable suspension, Fujitsubo muffler, Monster CPU and piping, AM rear diffuser, original HDD navigation system, Recaro black leather seats, optional lip spoiler, optional trunk lid spoiler, HID lights, smart key, Rockford Fosgate sound system, seats worn, door mirrors scratched, wheels scratched, scratches and dents, lower left side step cover A3, scraped under front bumper, front windscreen stone scratches, marks as per map”


Mitsubishi Dynamic Shield Coming to ASX, Lancer & Mirage

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 25th, 2015

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

We’ve learned this week that Mitsubishi plans to make some big design changes to their lineup to help improve their brand’s recognizability in both the US and international markets.

Remember the ‘Dynamic Shield’ front grille design showcased on the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander from earlier this month at the 2015 New York Auto Show? It’s pictured above if you need a reference. Mitsubishi apparently plans to make this Dynamic Shield design into their official corporate grille, similar to what Lexus has done with their pinched spindle grille and what Nissan has done with their V-motion design.

According to an interview between Mitsubishi’s US VP, Don Swearingen, and CarAdvice.com.au, they will first adopt the new grille on the 2016 Outlander Sport, otherwise known as the Mitsubishi ASX. He said, “The new brand identity that you see on this [2016 Outlander] will carry over. In the US, after this vehicle we’re going to first go with the Outlander Sport (ASX).” He went on to say that the re-designed Outlander Sport would be here by October or November of this year as a 2016MY.

But it doesn’t stop there… Mitsubishi plans to release a Dynamic Shield-styled Mirage sometime in the first quarter of next year. This is extra-big news because it also means that Mitsubishi plans to bring the re-styled Mirage sedan to the US next year too. We’re sure the addition of a stylish family sedan to their US portfolio will bolster sales.

Mitsubishi also plans to update their relatively stagnant Lancer with the Dynamic Shield design language, but Swearingen said it’s the lowest priority of the three. He said the changes may not be as drastic as what they have planned for the ASX and Mirage, but that they too should be here within the next 12 months.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage

This Japanese car auction find should give you a pretty good idea of where Mitsubishi is coming from with their Dynamic Shield design. Looking at a car like the 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage, it’s hard to argue with the efficiency of their vehicles.

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage rear

2012 would’ve been the first model year in the sixth-generation of the Mirage’s production, and while the lime-green hatch you see here is a bit quirky in design, it makes up for it by being the lightest four-door in any segment except for the two-passenger Smart ForTwo, which is hardly even a fair comparison. It also boasts the lowest drag coefficient in its class, which combines with the 1.0L petrol to offer an astounding 63 mpg on the Japanese JCO8 cycle without using an electric motor. Truly impressive.

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage interior

To learn more about this 2012 Mitsubishi Mirage auction find, keep reading below the auction sheet:

2012 Mitsubishi Mirage auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition C, first registered October 2012, G model, DBA emissions code, FAT, AAC, gasoline engine, Auto Stop and Go, electrical retraction mechanism on mirrors, rear wiper, smoked glass windows, original navigation system and TV, power steering, power windows, ABS, airbag, original navigation system, original TV, stone chips in front windscreen, interior grime, scratches and dimples and scrapes, wheel caps scratches, marks as per map”


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

After we learned that Subaru finally plans to bring a full-on BRZ STI model to the US, it seems fitting to highlight a Japanese car auction find from the Subaru tuning arm. Despite being the only STI model shared between Japan and the US, we went with a Subaru WRX STI because frankly it’s the most exciting STI variant that’s been offered to date. This is a 2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line Premium package.

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line

The Subaru WRX STI A-Line was introduced in Japan back in 2009 as a 2010 model year. It was essentially a sedan variant of the Impreza WRX STI… If you look at the two cars only from the front, they are nearly identical. However, the A-Line gets a number of additional improvements that help aim it at a slightly older demographic. The A-Line was, after all, meant to be an adult-targeted model.

Looking at the exterior, the Subaru WRX STI A-Line has all the trappings of a performance car. To help emphasize the A-Line’s sedan profile, Subaru pulled the rear overhang back by about 150mm, which adds a meager 10kg to the curb weight. You’ll also find a slight front spoiler, a hood scoop for extra powertrain ventilation, 18-inch forged aluminum alloys, and a rear diffuser with twin sports exhausts. And of course, you can make out the STI badging in the front and back.

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line interior

Inside, the normal Subaru WRX STI A-Line comes standard with Recaro bucket seats wrapped in black leather and Alcantara. However, since this is an A-Line Premium package, you’ll get tan leather instead of the Alcantara mixture, and you’ll get tan leather wrapped around the steering wheel too.

You’ll also enjoy heated seats, cruise control, paddle shifters (which you can barely make out in the photo) and the central audio remote control. And don’t forget the aluminum pedals and built-in navigation that come standard in any WRX STI.

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line rear

Under the hood, the 2010 WRX STI A-Line was only offered with a five-speed automatic transmission with downshift control. This is where the WRX STI A-Line really separates itself from the normal WRX – it runs on a twin turbocharged 2.5L boxer four that outputs a hefty 300 hp.

What’s more?

The engine is equipped with an Active Valve Control System to maximize low-mid range torque, and a Tumble Generation Valve that helps optimize combustion. Plus, you’ll have insane stopping control with 17-inch front brake discs and 16-inch rear rotors.

To learn more about this 2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line, keep reading below for a translation of the auction sheet:

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered August 2010, STi A Line Premium Package model, FAT, AAC, one owner, brown STi leather seats, power seat, seat heater, xenon lights, Si Drive, power steering, power windows, original AWs, leather, airbag, original TV, original navigation system, ABS, original HDD navigation system with digital TV, paddle shift cruise control, push button starter, indicator door mirrors, coating completed, front windscreen scratched, interior grime, battery flat, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map”


Refreshed 2016 Lexus ES Debuts in Shanghai

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

2016 Lexus ES 300h

The refreshed 2016 Lexus ES has finally made its debut at this week’s Auto Shanghai 2015. Lexus says that they have taken their best-selling ES premium sedan to “the next level of elegance and progressive luxury.” You can be the judge of that as we continue reading.

2016 Lexus ES 200

As we suspected from the teaser we saw last week, the front clip of the Lexus ES has been re-sculpted to better fit with the rest of the automaker’s lineup. That means the new front fascia is even more aggressive with a bolder pinched spindle grille that no longer has a horizontal crossbeam splitting the grille in half. The extra-large grille is framed by a pair of arrowhead daytime running lights, new LED high-beams and triangle-shaped fog lights.

2016 Lexus ES 200 rear

In the back, Lexus has brought the same new L-shaped theme to the taillights, and you’ll find new chrome-tipped exhausts below the bumper, plus a new chrome license plate garnish.

Oh, and you can’t forget those new 17-inch alloys with directional spoke patterns. The standard ES sedans come with a 20-spoke dark grey wheel design, while the hybrid gets 10-spoke medium gray alloys. Plus, Lexus will offer four new colors for the 2016 model year – Amber, Nightfall Mica, Caviar and Eminent White Pearl.

Under the hood, our US readers will be offered the same powertrain options available in the current model year’s basic ES 350. That means a 3.5L V6 as standard, with a 2.5L variant used in the ES 300h’s hybrid system. However, international readers in markets like China, Russia and Taiwan will enjoy a new baseline model – the ES 200 – which uses a 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with unspecified output. However, in all markets the 2016 Lexus ES will run on a stiffer chassis than its 2015 predecessor.

2016 Lexus ES 300h interior

Finally, Lexus ES cabin gets a few new features to go with the additional exterior swag. Drivers will now enjoy an extra-large TFT display on the center console, complete with a Remote Touch controller. You’ll also find a new steering wheel and overall higher quality materials in the 2016MY.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

This 2013 Lexus LS would have also been fresh off of a facelift. This is one of the first Lexus models to use their self-repairing clear coat for the exterior paint, as well as the first Lexus to use their now-commonplace automatic high beam technology.

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport rear

However, as an F Sport there are some other noteworthy features, such as a sport-tuned air suspension, a sporty body kit, paddle shifters with “manual mode”, forged alloy wheels and Brembo brakes all make this car an exciting drive. This also would have been the first year that Lexus incorporated their corporate fascia – the pinched spindle grille – into the LS lineup.

Want to learn more? Just keep reading for a full translation of the auction sheet below:

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport auction sheet

“Interior C, exterior condition B, first registered April 2013, LS460 F Sports model FAT, AAC, DBA emissions code, navigation system, leather seats, TRD sports muffler, front sports package, sunroof, original navigation system, ABS, airbag, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, seats have wrinkles, glue marks on dashboard, film on windows, front windscreen stone scratches, marks as per map”


2016 Lexus ES Teased Before Auto Shanghai 2015

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Last week our first teasers for the upcoming Auto Shanghai 2015 started rolling in. Our first teaser was for the new Nissan Lannia – a car developed exclusively for the Chinese market. Today’s teaser has a bit more international appeal… It’s a teaser for the new 2016 Lexus ES, which is scheduled to get a mid-generational facelift for the 2016 model year. Check out the teaser below:

2016 Lexus ES Auto Shanghai teaser

Just to give you a little background, the current Lexus ES is a full-size luxury sedan that’s about three years into its sixth generation of production. It’s one of Lexus’ most important cars in their lineup, and we’re sure it’s one of their hot sellers in the Chinese market. After all, the mid- and full-size sedan segments seem to be where it’s at for the Chinese business class… The Lexus ES is the perfect fit for that trend.

Lexus didn’t give us much to go on along with the teaser. In fact, they gave us literally three sentences’ worth of information, all of which you can find below:

“The Lexus ES established a unique and important position in the luxury sedan segment with its elegant styling, extraordinary quality, and Lexus’ best-in-class service when it was introduced in 1989. More than 1.7 million units have been sold globally over the past 25 years.

The new Lexus ES maintains its classical elegance while conveying a more dynamic experience and luxurious craftsmanship.”

Looking more closely at the teaser image, we can see a number of distinguishing design features for the 2016 Lexus ES facelift. First and foremost, we can see that the headlights have been restyled, most notably with that extra-prominent swoosh LED sitting below the fixtures.

We can also see that the pinched grille gets a thicker-looking chrome outline, and that it probably takes up a bigger chunk of the front clip as a whole. In fact, if you look closely, it seems that the horizontal bars that sit behind the Lexus logo on the grille will now extend all the way down the fender instead of stopping halfway down as they do in the 2015MY (which you can see above). That should serve to open up the design and present a much more aggressive, but fluid face for Lexus’ premiere midsize sedan.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Lexus RX

2014 Lexus RX

Unfortunately, there are no Lexus ES sedans up for auction in Japan at the time of this writing. However, this gives us an excellent opportunity to find a model that Lexus recently showcased in New York – the Lexus RX.

2014 Lexus RX rear

This is a 2014 Lexus RX, and as you can see it’s in excellent condition. Like the 2016 model year shown in New York, it has a crisp and clean design, however the 2014MY looks a little less edgy and angular than its facelifted successor. That’s a good thing for some drivers!

2014 Lexus RX interior

Of course, the real appeal for any luxury crossover is almost always going to be the interior, and the same holds true here. Leather seats… Plenty of space… A bright and vivid navigation display… What’s not to like?

For more information, get a full translation of the auction sheet below:

2014 Lexus RX auction sheet

“Interior A, first registered August 2014, RX350 Version L model, AT, AAC, sunroof, original AWs, power steering, power windows, leather, original TV, original navigation system, airbag, wheels scratched, light scratches at left rear side and left front side, marks as per map”


Honda Says Bye-Bye to Crosstour for 2016

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 10th, 2015

2014 Honda Crosstour

Yesterday we looked one of the most successful Honda/Acura models of the past decade up for auction in Japan. In a fitting contrast, today we learned that Honda plans to get rid of one of their worst-sellers for the 2016MY. That car is the Honda Crosstour, and it will be officially axed from the lineup for 2016.

Note, this is NOT the same car as the Honda Accord Tourer which is available in some markets.

2015 Honda Crosstour rear

The Honda Crosstour, previously known as the Honda Accord Crosstour, is an awkward fusion of sedan, station wagon and crossover. It’s designed to have the looks of a sedan, the space of a station wagon and the underpinnings of a crossover. It’s a little unfair, but you can see how the car earned itself the nickname “The hunchback of Honda”… People perceive the Crosstour as bulky and unattractive without any of the perks that normally come with bulky and unattractive cars.

The result of this awkwardly implemented design concept is a remarkably slow-selling model. The Honda Crosstour debuted in 2010, and its monthly sales only ever peaked at 2,900 units during that year. According to Good Car Bad Car, the Honda Crosstour has yet to sell more than 750 units in one month since the start of 2015. It’s been a full year since the car managed to consistently sell over 1,000 units a month.

2015 Honda Crosstour interior

According to Honda’s official statement on the Crosstour’s cessation, they believe that the Honda HR-V launching any day now is the right direction for their crossover lineup:

“The crossover segment has evolved and we believe the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V launching later this spring will create new value for crossover shoppers and play a more significant role as a gateway model for the Honda brand to drive light truck sales growth. This move will allow the East Liberty Plant to focus on meeting demand for the CR-V and a refreshed 2016 Acura RDX and, as announced last month, expand light truck production in early 2017 with the Acura MDX,”

The statement reveals another core reason behind the Crosstour’s demise, which is that it will allow them to optimize manufacturing capacity. The Crosstour is currently manufactured at Honda’s East Liberty, Ohio plant… Getting rid of the low-selling model in 2016 will allow this plant to focus solely on other crossover models like the Honda CR-V and Acura RDX.

Honestly, we don’t think that the Crosstour had to be doomed from the start. After all, the BMW X6 does just fine and it’s really not too far off from the current Crosstour.

2015 BMW X6

2015 BMW X6

However, the Crosstour was one of the first cars that Honda promoted primarily on social media, and they did NOT do a very good job. The photos they shared were ugly, and the original “Accord Crosstour” naming scheme was confusing. The result was a flood of negative comments and shares… Not exactly a great start. In fact, it was so bad that the Crosstour never took off, despite dealerships offering rock-bottom prices in recent years to try and clear out their stocks.

So long, Crosstour. Honestly, you won’t be missed.


2016 Nissan Maxima Swoops into New York Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Official 2016 Nissan Maxima

The 2015 New York Auto Show is officially underway, and one of the first cars to break cover is the new 2016 Nissan Maxima. We’ve been anxiously awaiting this car’s official debut ever since Nissan showed us a brief little snippet of the car in their Super Bowl ad spot. For the New York reveal, they opted to show the Maxima in a stunning royal blue, and as you can see it looks spectacular.

Nissan is calling their new Maxima a throwback to its roots as a “4 Door Sports Car”. This makes sense since their conceptual preview for the new Maxima was called the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept. Apparently, this sportiness is an image that they always have wanted to convey with their Maxima… While we certainly wouldn’t agree with the title in previous years, this new version actually lives up to the name, at least in looks. In fact, this Maxima looks sportier and more refined than some premium cars in the segment.

2016 Nissan Maxima profile

With that being said, it should come as no surprise that this is the best execution of Nissan’s latest V-motion front-end that we’ve seen to date. The front fascia is bold and eye-catching, but not overly literal… It’s not like they just plastered a big V on the fender. We love the mesh grille that peeks through behind the Nissan logo, and the angry-looking boomerang headlights perfectly accentuate the front clip as a whole, as well as the sporty two-tone alloy wheels.

Nissan also made upgrades to the powertrain. The 3.5L VQ-series V6 engine has had a full 60% of its parts exchanged or upgraded, and the new powertrain outputs a very decent 300hp. They’ve also managed to increase fuel economy by 15% over the 2015 model year for a manufacturer estimated 30 mpg. No official EPA rating though, so take that with a grain of salt.

2016 Nissan Maxima Interior

Even after all that, the interior is definitely the part of the car that most definitively separates the new Maxima from much of its competition. The picture pretty much speaks for itself… The interior looks incredible with leather seating and a bespoke two-tone color scheme. There are five trim levels, but you won’t need to pay extra to get the best of the tech. amenities… NissanConnect, navigation, Remote Engine Start and that huge 8.0 inch touch-screen that you can’t miss in the pictures all come standard for every trim level.

2016 nissan Maxima rear seats

Speaking of trims, three of the five trim levels for the 2016 Nissan Maxima are brand-new – SL, SR and Platinum – and the car will go on sale in just a few months in “early summer 2015”. Starting price is $32,410. We’ll have to wait until then to judge the car’s driving dynamics, which has probably been the biggest struggle for recent Maximas.


Scion iA Sedan & iM Hatch Coming to New York

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 20th, 2015

Scion has really big plans for the upcoming 2015 New York Auto Show. They’re going to unveil not one, but two new production models at the event, which is set to take place in the first full week of April.

These will be the first additions to the Scion lineup in over three years, which is about 25% of Scion’s 11-year lifespan. As you continue reading, you’ll get a peek at each of these new cars and learn what we know about their debut in a couple of weeks.

Scion iM Hatchback

2015 NYIAS Scion iM Teaser

This is the easy one… You may remember the Scion iM Concept (pictured below) from the 2014 LA Motor Show just a few months ago in November. Well, this is the production version of that car, and it’s basically just a US-spec version of the European Toyota Auris.

2014 Scion iM Concept

It’s possible that the iM will replace both the xD and xB in Scion’s current lineup – basically they’d be replacing two low-sellers with one (hopefully) high-seller. At least, if the Auris’ European performance is any indication.

It should be noted that while the Auris is offered in Europe with a myriad of powertrains – gasoline, diesel and hybrid – we’re guessing that the Scion iM will only be offered in petrol form. At least for starters.

Scion iA Sedan

2015 NYIAS Scion iA Teaser

The Scion iA requires a bit more guesswork, as this is a car that we haven’t seen before. At least not by the iA name. However, the automotive blogosphere seems to have reached unanimous agreement that this will be the Mazda2-based model we’ve heard rumors about since the new hatchback’s launch last year. Except, Toyota’s version would be a sporty, budget-friendly four-door sedan.

2015 Mazda2 hatchback

If the Scion iA is indeed the Mazda2-based model – complete with Mazda’s Skyactiv powertrain and technology suite – then this is really big news for Scion. Skyactiv has continued to be a huge hit with drivers everywhere, and adding it to the Scion lineup can only improve sales. Scion VP Doug Murtha shared a similar opinion…

“We’ve been eagerly waiting for this moment and are excited to introduce our new Scions in New York,” he said. “Both the iM and iA are tremendous additions to our lineup and will appeal to young people with different perspectives and needs. These cars represent the evolution of Scion and are kicking off a new wave of momentum for the brand.”

On the whole, this is looking like a really smart move from Scion, and we can’t wait to see both cars in New York; especially the iA sedan!


2016 Acura RLX Gets AcuraWatch & Reduced Trims

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package

Acura is looking to simultaneously simplify and revitalize their lineup. They’ve been systematically revamping some of their low-performing models like the ILX and TLX, both of which have done quite well since their respective upgrades. The 2016 Acura RLX is next on the list with under 200 sales in January of this year. But, Acura believes they can boost performance by injecting more bang-for-your-buck into their flagship sedan.

The biggest upgrade Acura is adding to the RLX is the addition of their new AcuraWatch safety suite. AcuraWatch is, as the name implies, a collection of electronic driver aids including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warnings
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Monitoring
  • Road Departure Mitigation (which will also debut in the new 2016 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot)
  • Surround-view monitor, which gives you a birds-eye view of your RLX (Advance trim only)

As you can see, that’s quite an extensive range of safety features! It should be noted that AcuraWatch is available on all trims, but only included as standard on Technology and Advance RLX models.

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package Slate Silver

The other change that will apply to all trims is a slightly re-tuned suspension. The 2016 Acura RLX will run on a softer rear stabilizer bar, lower spring rates, new front and rear shocks and new spring mounts. All in all, these changes are aimed at improving overall ride quality with lower levels of road noise nad vibration.

Under the hood, the 2016 Acura RLX remains exactly the same. That means you’ll get a 3.5L V6 that outputs a very decent 310 horsies paired with a FWD 6-speed automatic. Or, you can opt for the RLX Sport Hybrid and get an AWD 7-speed dual-clutch transmission hooked up to three extra electric motors – one in the front, two in the rear – which together increase total system output to 377 hp.

Note: This is the same type of hybrid system as used in the new Acura NSX supercar.

2016 Acura RLX Technology Package

Despite all of this, the biggest change that most average consumers will notice is the removal of last year’s base trim, since navigation is now standard on all models. Acura has gone the minimal route with just three trims for 2016, down from five for the previous model year.

2016 Acura RLX interior

On sale now, the starting price is $50,950 for the Acura RLX, then $54,450 for the Technology Package and $60,450 for the Advance Package. The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid will start at $60,450 when it hits showroom floors later this spring.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

Now here is a car from Honda which needs no updating. It’s one of Honda’s newest models, having been on the market for a mere three years since its launch near the end of 2013.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ rear

Under that pearl white hood you’ll find Honda’s next-gen sport hybrid i-DCD system that combines a 130 hp 1.5L direct-injection engine with a 30 hp motor and Honda Real Time AWD. That mouth-full of technology gets you a staggering 63.5 mpg by US standards.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ interior

We love the sporty black accents that dot the car’s exterior, and it’s hard to argue with those eye-catching gunmetal alloys. Learn more about this pristine Japanese car auction find below the official auction sheet:

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ auction sheet

“Grade S, interior A, exterior condition A, FAT, AAC, safety package, LED headlights, DVD video, CD, Bluetooth, SD audio, USB, auxilliary at front and rear, rear view reversing camera, power steering, power windows, original AWs, ABS, airbags, marks as per map”