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Subdude

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I totally agree! The Focus we have in the US is just terrible. I had a rental Focus (forget the model, it was a 5-door hatch) in Ireland and it was very pleasant to drive. They have a newer model than we have, though. Another problem is that Americans see small cars as cheap, and so the automakers make them cheap. In Europe, they don't mind small, but want luxury, and so they have all these great little cars.

I believe that the next version of the Focus will once again be shared between Europe and America. Probably the US version will be decontented to hold down the price. I had a rental Focus myself and the clutch kept getting stuck in the "down" position. Kind of annoying.

What do people think of the Kia Soul? I just saw one for the first time, and it struck me as not being for shy types.

Kia_Soul_Vanilla_Shake_02.jpg

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Speaking of near-luxury Japanese cars, I drove a 2008 Lexus IS350 today. Loaded up with navigation, backup camera, bluetooth, and a luscious 306 HP engine. I wasn't sure what to expect, as Lexus isn't my cup of tea. But in my short test drive, I came away very impressed. For me, it has a nice combination of luxury and sport. Unlike the BMW 335, which is sport, then luxury, the IS350 is more the opposite. The interior materials felt terrific, and the acceleration was strong. Not too firm. The only thing I didn't care for was the back seat. It was very comfortable, but the gun slit rear windows combined with a black interior, makes for some claustrophobia. A tan interior would help.

This car has moved up to the top of my list, with the 335i second, and the C350 a distant third.

Just get the Lexus. You won't regret it. I positively ADORED my SC 400...it was such an endearing car.

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Just get the Lexus. You won't regret it. I positively ADORED my SC 400...it was such an endearing car.

I second the notion for getting the Lexus. I've had my IS300 for almost 8 years, and even though I saved up money for a new car... I just have no reason to trade it in. It looks and drives like a new car.

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I second the notion for getting the Lexus. I've had my IS300 for almost 8 years, and even though I saved up money for a new car... I just have no reason to trade it in. It looks and drives like a new car.

I drove another IS350 (this one at Bayway Lincoln of all places), and really liked it. However, my partner was very negative on the tight back seat. I agree that it is small, but is probably about the same as a 3-Series, with the same style wedge back door that makes ingress and egress tough for older people (like my parents). We are going to drive a new 2009 VW CC VR6 this week, and see if I like the feel of a larger car.

I also recall how much shopping for a new car is love/hate. I don't like the high-pressure sales feel of the dealerships (prefer Carmax for that reason), and I hate to waste the salesperson's time when we really are still looking at different options. Plus the cars are freakin hot this time of year, which I guess means you can adequately test the a/c!

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Finally got to drive the Volkswagen CC (VR6), and I have to say it's a fantastic car. It's big, at least for me, but the ride is great--softer than the BMW, and about the same as the Lexus. Controls feel good, and the interior is top quality.

The dealer let me take one home for the night, a pleasant surprise, and the extended test drive is having its intended effect! If the price is right, it might be a contender.

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Finally got to drive the Volkswagen CC (VR6), and I have to say it's a fantastic car. It's big, at least for me, but the ride is great--softer than the BMW, and about the same as the Lexus. Controls feel good, and the interior is top quality.

The dealer let me take one home for the night, a pleasant surprise, and the extended test drive is having its intended effect! If the price is right, it might be a contender.

Be sure to test drive a Sebring 'cause that's what you're going to be spending a lot of quality time in while the VW is broke down.

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Be sure to test drive a Sebring 'cause that's what you're going to be spending a lot of quality time in while the VW is broke down.

LOL, you may very well be right. I have had very good reliability with my 2006 GLI, only a couple of warranty issues. That body style came out in 2005, so in theory they had some time to fix design issues (I hadn't heard of any during my research at the time). However, at the same time, I have a friend who just got rid of his 06 Passat 3.6L and had a terrible experience with it, but then of course he bought a MB that has been less-than-reliable as well. So it's a chance--a sterile but reliable Japanese drive, or an emotional but unknown European drive? I have been following people's experiences on the VW forums, and so far so good, though only a few have more than 20k miles on theirs. I am taking that uncertainty into account in the price I would be willing to pay for the car (and the extended warranty I will likely buy later on through my credit union).

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LOL, you may very well be right. I have had very good reliability with my 2006 GLI, only a couple of warranty issues. That body style came out in 2005, so in theory they had some time to fix design issues (I hadn't heard of any during my research at the time). However, at the same time, I have a friend who just got rid of his 06 Passat 3.6L and had a terrible experience with it, but then of course he bought a MB that has been less-than-reliable as well. So it's a chance--a sterile but reliable Japanese drive, or an emotional but unknown European drive? I have been following people's experiences on the VW forums, and so far so good, though only a few have more than 20k miles on theirs. I am taking that uncertainty into account in the price I would be willing to pay for the car (and the extended warranty I will likely buy later on through my credit union).

Well, signed the papers tonight on a new CC VR6 with an incredible touch-screen navigation system and an even better price than I tought I would get (thanks Recession!). Very excited to pick it up tomorrow, though I'm dreading trying to keep the black paint clean!

2009_vw_cc_07.jpg

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Well, signed the papers tonight on a new CC VR6 with an incredible touch-screen navigation system and an even better price than I tought I would get (thanks Recession!). Very excited to pick it up tomorrow, though I'm dreading trying to keep the black paint clean!

2009_vw_cc_07.jpg

Niceee. What made you get the CC instead of the IS350?

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Well, signed the papers tonight on a new CC VR6 with an incredible touch-screen navigation system and an even better price than I tought I would get (thanks Recession!). Very excited to pick it up tomorrow, though I'm dreading trying to keep the black paint clean!

2009_vw_cc_07.jpg

Nice! Enjoy it!

That Mitsubishi just doesn't do it for me.

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Thats a very nice car but, I wonder if people would pay 60k for a car from Hyundai.

Will this be Hyundai's Phaeton? I think so. You can go upmarket to a certain extent, but at that price point, people want status, status, status. Be it flashy BMW or MB, or understated Audi, it's just degrees of status. Hyundai has nothing to pull people into their dealership. A generic looking luxury sedan isn't going to do it. Oh, wait a minute, If this was 1985, I could be substituting Hyundai for Lexus. Well, what do I know...I like the Phaeton.

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Niceee. What made you get the CC instead of the IS350?

Ultimately it came down to the back seat. I love the feel of the IS350 (felt at home in it after owning an 02 Acura TL-S for a few years), and the interior materials were great. Dealer experience would have been great as well, but that back seat is just so small.

Edited by travelguy_73
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Will this be Hyundai's Phaeton? I think so. You can go upmarket to a certain extent, but at that price point, people want status, status, status. Be it flashy BMW or MB, or understated Audi, it's just degrees of status. Hyundai has nothing to pull people into their dealership. A generic looking luxury sedan isn't going to do it. Oh, wait a minute, If this was 1985, I could be substituting Hyundai for Lexus. Well, what do I know...I like the Phaeton.

I think so too. Hyundai has been improving but the Equus won't go no where. Also the more I look at the Equus the more it resembles the looks of an Infiniti imo.

Looks like VW has'nt learned from their mistakes because the Phaeton is coming back to the U.S (see post #297 on pg.15)

2011 Phaeton

2011Phaeton_1.jpg

Edited by Urbannizer
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Well, signed the papers tonight on a new CC VR6 with an incredible touch-screen navigation system and an even better price than I tought I would get (thanks Recession!). Very excited to pick it up tomorrow, though I'm dreading trying to keep the black paint clean!

2009_vw_cc_07.jpg

Good luck man...

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Thats a very nice car but, I wonder if people would pay 60k for a car from Hyundai.

Hyundai-Kia just passed Ford in global sales to become the fourth largest car maker (after Toyota, GM and VW). They must be doing something right. Toyota, Honda etc all started out with cheap cars and gradually migrated up. It's a time-honored strategy.

I don't think the problem with the Phaeton was that it was sold by VW who were known for cheap cars. I think the problem was poor quality and dealership reputations.

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Hyundai-Kia just passed Ford in global sales to become the fourth largest car maker (after Toyota, GM and VW). They must be doing something right. Toyota, Honda etc all started out with cheap cars and gradually migrated up. It's a time-honored strategy.

I don't think the problem with the Phaeton was that it was sold by VW who were known for cheap cars. I think the problem was poor quality and dealership reputations.

I think the main problem the Phaeton had was it looked way to bland for the price point. Through all the reviews it seemed like a great car with great features for the time. I dont remember who said it but they said "The Phaeton was a car for the rich that didnt want to appear rich." I would personally rather have an A8 even though they share the same platform.

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I think the main problem the Phaeton had was it looked way to bland for the price point. Through all the reviews it seemed like a great car with great features for the time. I dont remember who said it but they said "The Phaeton was a car for the rich that didnt want to appear rich." I would personally rather have an A8 even though they share the same platform.

I would argue that the prior generation A8 looks just as bland, yet did markedly better attracting buyers. I recall a Top Gear or Fifth Gear episode, I think, where they drove the Phaeton in Germany and had multiple bits and pieces break on them. Quality control issues, for sure.

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I would argue that the prior generation A8 looks just as bland, yet did markedly better attracting buyers. I recall a Top Gear or Fifth Gear episode, I think, where they drove the Phaeton in Germany and had multiple bits and pieces break on them. Quality control issues, for sure.

I think the A8 was better designed for that size of car, but anyone buying a car at that price point I think would naturally overlook VW and head straight to Audi. Maybe your right with the quality, I haven't seen those videos.

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Not the best pics but the 2011 Sonata has been caught uncovered.

Autoblog

Not bad at all! Funny that here I am complimenting a Hyundai and thinking that Honda has a lot of work to do on their styling to get back into the game. There isn't a single current Honda/Acura product, save for the MDX, I think is attractive.

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Not bad at all! Funny that here I am complimenting a Hyundai and thinking that Honda has a lot of work to do on their styling to get back into the game. There isn't a single current Honda/Acura product, save for the MDX, I think is attractive.

From the pics, it does looks great but from that 2nd pic, it looks just like a CC. The front looks like a Solora though overall its a big improvement over the current Sonata. Hyundai has been stepping up their game. I agree with your statement about Honda. The accord looks boring and the Pilot looks fugly (except for the interior, very nice). The only Honda I like is the Element. All the acura's look horrible except for the RDX and MDX.

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Not the best pics but the 2011 Sonata has been caught uncovered.

2011_Sonata3.jpg

2011_sonata2.jpg

The front end looks very similar to the Camry.

Toyota-Camry-Nose-450.jpg

I agree with the comments regarding Acura and Honda. Acura's styling in particular has become a turn-off.

I also think they've ruined the Accord with mishmash styling and by making it a large car. Strange how a compact car becomes a large car over a couple of decades. It's still a decent vehicle underneath, but...ehh. I was also hoping the Insight might be a sportier hybrid competitor to the Prius, but the reviews seem to indicate that Honda took too many shortcuts. Too bad.

Edited by barracuda
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I believe Hyndai is a more upmarket brand in various other markets. Somewhat like what Lexus is here. I think the Genesis shows a little bit of what we have been missing. I hear the car is great but I've not read any reviews. Someone here at work has one and they love it. We'll see.

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Well, signed the papers tonight on a new CC VR6 with an incredible touch-screen navigation system and an even better price than I tought I would get (thanks Recession!). Very excited to pick it up tomorrow, though I'm dreading trying to keep the black paint clean!

2009_vw_cc_07.jpg

No need to worry about keeping the paint clean. Simply don't clean it... Just leave it. Like I do.

Nice car... what part of Houston did you take that photo? I sure would like to live in that spot...

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Not the best pics but the 2011 Sonata has been caught uncovered.

2011_Sonata3.jpg

Autoblog

The front end looks very similar to the Camry.

Toyota-Camry-Nose-450.jpg

The headlights on the Sonata make it look agressive. Like its mad at you. The camry has 4 slim bars going across its grill while the Sonata has 3 bigger ones. They don't look that much similar to each other.

Edited by Urbannizer
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I believe Hyndai is a more upmarket brand in various other markets. Somewhat like what Lexus is here. I think the Genesis shows a little bit of what we have been missing. I hear the car is great but I've not read any reviews. Someone here at work has one and they love it. We'll see.

Hyundai and the other Korean brands have always had some expensive cars in their home market, but I don't believe Hyundai overall would really be considered "upmarket" in any other market or even remotely comparable to Lexus.

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Has anyone seen the 2008 Honda Accord? In pictures it comes off as kind of ugly and loaded with styling cliches. Why have they turned the Accord into such a boat? I guess it is the first law of car manufacturing that for some reason, each generation needs to be bigger than the last.

600-Accord-span.jpg

I kinda like it in certain colors and mod levels. I think Acura is driving the ship these days, and the new Acura (based on the same body design) is a beast!

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I kinda like it in certain colors and mod levels. I think Acura is driving the ship these days, and the new Acura (based on the same body design) is a beast!

Which Acura, the TL?

2009_acura_tl_large.jpg

Btw I wish Acura would switch back to words to name their cars. I can never remember the letter code without looking it up.

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Which Acura, the TL?

2009_acura_tl_lage.jpg

Btw I wish Acura would switch back to words to name their cars. I can never remember the letter code without looking it up.

I wish they would make their cars larger and sportier. Right now they are all just overpriced hondas. No thanks.

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4Runners are nice now, but they resemble nothing of what they originally started as. I had a 1990 one and love it. Back in college a friend had an even older one that was basically a truck with a permanent bed cover and a back seat. The engine is way better now than it was, much more efficient and more powerful. But it's a mom car now. no more truck. I wish I had kept mine.

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The Mahindra Pick - Up and Scorpio is coming to the U.S. Expect the pick-up to be here by the end of 2009 and the SUV in 2010.

Black%20front%20three%20fourth.jpg

Rear%20threefourth.jpg

mahindra-pickup.jpg

The pickup will be the first light duty diesel powered pickup we've had here in the US in a while. I hope it does well. It'll appeal to folks who want a truck for basic hauling needs and don't need a bunch of extra bells and whistles.

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