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Old 02-14-2015, 10:52 AM
1,916 posts, read 2,405,165 times
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Totally subjective and highly opinionated impressions from the Grand Rapids car show, the first show of it's type that I have attended, complete with museum cars from the local car museum, some assorted exotics and the mainstream and not so mainstream car makers.

First-Volvo and Mercedes, easy. They didn't show up. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, fellas!

Ford-my lovely bride summed up the display with the comment "pretty colors" . The new F150 was there and at some point I think the Big 3 might just build their trucks on a Peterbuilt platform. The new Mustang was a big draw, and I did like it but I liked other cars better. I'm not sure what Ford is up to with the Transit Connect passenger version...the Transit is a great utility car but I can't imagine the school run housewife paying $31K to drive a vehicle that homely. What will it do that the Flex wont? The Fiesta ST looks like fun and the Fusion would be better as a liftback like you can get in the UK.

Nissan-a group of disgraced automotive stylists were shown the back door by Hyundai and found a new home at Nissan. Or there are some really good drugs at Nissan. Inifiniti is even worse, ugly awkward Nissan designs with chrome and widgets. Nissan, before those stylists destroy your reputation and make every car as attractive as a first generation Tiburon, fire that group, send them to Renault.

VW-GTI. Looks like fun, it's comfortable, ready to hoon it up with the rest of them. The rest of the line is OK, except the Jetta has a distinctly made for middle America look and feel and blandness about it. The new Sportwagen is based off the Golf, not the Jetta, so really, why do you need it? We rented a Jetta a couple years back and can't imagine writing a check for one for the next 4 or 5 or 6 years.....And no CC on display, the one VW that I really like the look of.

Alfa-they brought in a 4C and holy cow.....that thing is art. The paint fairly glowed about it's lovely Italian lines, it was roped off, a guard was on hand, and nobody I heard uttered a harsh word about it. No I can't afford one, but a fella can dream.

Jaguar-the best looking car on hand was the F-Type, and and I loved it inside and out. The bride, who hails from the UK and has a heritage in the auto industry, completely approved, not only of the exterior and interior but the workmanship evident in the build. The sedans were also very pretty, and looked like a fabulous way to tour the countryside, truly, I think, Grand Touring as it was meant to be. The Indians have obviously out some money into Jag, revitalized it, did the job that Ford failed at. We had stopped by the Jag dealer on our last trip to GR, and they had nothing to show us. They'd sold it all. That speaks to me about how the new Jag is doing, they can't keep cars in the showroom.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:14 AM
1,916 posts, read 2,405,165 times
Reputation: 2283
BMW-we just bought a used 2006 525 and used this weekend getaway as a shakedown cruise. We found it to be a mostly wonderful way to travel except for the passenger headrest not quite resting the head. I was interested in the new stuff of course, kinda like the lines of the Gran Touring 4 series and the 3 series coupe on hand-but I wasn't impressed with the interior. Our old 5 feels very posh inside, very high end, all leather and nice feeling plastic, the new BMW's didn't make me feel as pampered. My understanding is that they are trying to use recycled materials to be all earth friendly. Stop it, BMW. You are supposed to be rat bastards, not all warm and fuzzy and panda loving blue angel people. Save that crud for the i3.....oh lord what were they thinking? Recycled felt interior? My bride said "interior by Ikea" and that's what it feels like. It's $47K but BMW will lease it to you for $199, they obviously intend this car for lease rather than purchase and that's sensible given the technology. When the tech is moving fast, leasing is a better bet than buying.

Ahhhh, now the i8-if we have to run around in giant battery powered model cars I might just be able to stomach the i8. But at $136K, it'll be a while.

Lexus-the only Lexus to catch our eye in the RC. And it is a bad-ass looking car, but doesnt quite get all the way into truly gotta have it territory as it still exudes a certain Japaneseness. It's a problem I see with Japanese cars, they don't have that extra specialness about them, they get soo close sometimes but then they inject a small seed of corporate blandness into them and it lets the whole car down. . I sit in the car and think "1980 Nissan 300ZX", all of the whiz-bang but none of the passion. I'm sure it performs like stink but all the while you'll be driving it, see a BMW or Audi or even a Vette go by and think "I maybe could have had one of those". As a side note, someone brought a GTR and I had the same impression. The performance can't be faulted but there isn't the presence one expects from $135K worth of supercar.
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