Nsap's LAIAS Notes

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Thread: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

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    Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    A rundown of the show, what was good and what wasn't.
    www.GMInsideNews.com
    November 24, 2013
    By: Nick Saporito


    After spending most of the week in Los Angeles with my bros Alex (Bigals87z28) and Austin (ausrutherford) and two days at the big show, I've compiled a list of my take on the non-GM content of the show. Please enjoy.

    Jaguar F-Type Coupe - There really isn't much to say about this car. It is sexy as all hell in person and if I was infinitely wealthy, I would probably buy one just to have in the garage to look at.

    Mazda3 - I'm going to go ahead and call this car the best mainstream vehicle on the North American market. The exterior design is very complex in person and keeps your eyes entertained as you follow each crease and line in the sheet metal. The higher end cars look expensive, and virtually have no bad angle. Inside is a similar story with the BMW-esqe design theme and high quality materials. There are a few cheap bits and pieces, but overall this interior shames everything else in the segment. And then I looked at the window sticker to find that the car had features like adaptive cruise for $32,000...yeah, if you want a compact car...you better be buying this.

    New MINI - Like most of my colleagues, I'm not impressed. It looks like a big frog with a smile on its face. As Alex said, "There's something off with the headlamps."

    Toyota Corolla - Why are people still buying this...thing? I got inside it and spent a fair amount of time in it. The material quality is dreadful to the point it takes away from what is a relatively attractive design. The "insert here" switchgear and 1980's calculator display that is a clock are hilarious. If this interior was in a GM product, GM would be raped by the media and consumers alike.

    Audi S3 - Love the exterior design of this car - a lot. In fact, I give it the nod in terms of exterior design over my own ATS. Inside is a different story, where the design feels a little cheap (materials are good, though) and Audi's sea-of-black color strategy looks drab. Had this car been available when I ordered my ATS...I can't promise it wouldn't be in the driveway - assuming it drives as good as it looks.

    Mercedes S63 AMG - Alex and I ended up taking a small nap in the back of this car, right on the show floor. For 20 mins we sat there just taking in the shear attention to detail this car as in the interior. We decided GM should have meetings in this car so that the level of which flagship Cadillac's need executed is engrained in their minds. Alex also almost ejected an attractive woman from the front passenger's seat.

    Infiniti Q50 Hybrid - Looks good from the outside, albeit a bit bland. Inside the material quality is so-so and the infotainment system is downright bizarre. It has two touchscreen displays on the stack, which looks ugly and the interface reminds me of a Palm OS device from the early 2000's.

    Lincoln MKC - It looks really good in person, and the interior has the level of craftsmanship it needs to be taken seriously. This thing will do very well pending decent marketing support.

    Infotainment (observation) - I didn't fully grasp just how far ahead the Detroit OEMs are in terms of infotainment. All of the imports infotainment interfaces look so juvenile and antiquated next to the likes of Cadillac CUE, Chrysler UConnect and MyFord Touch. This isn't terribly surprising to me - American's love to multitask more than any other Nation, so it only seems right that our OEMs are ahead in multitasking. A shining example of what I'm talking about can be found in comparing driver information centers. Detroit is churning out full-color, hi-res displays in the clusters that can tell you everything but your blood type; the imports in many cases still have calculator displays in the gauges.

    Interiors (observation) - I fully understand why most of the mainstream media has stopped bitching about GM interiors; the best interiors are now coming out of Detroit. Seriously, GM in particular has an amazing lead in this area right now. They went from the worst interiors to the best.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by nsap
    Audi S3 - I can't promise it wouldn't be in the driveway - assuming it drives as good as it looks.
    Be glad you didn't. Browse the auto dealer forums some time. When they talk about trades that should be sent straight to auction and not re-sold... Audis are always in the list.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Re: the MKC interior - I saw this same thing in the MKS last year. Despite not having the currently fashionable stitched dash cover, the dash is quite elegant. The level of precision in the construction is commendable, and the great simplicity and cleanliness of the design is unmatched - super clean. The overall effect, while not lavish, reeks of quality.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Toyota is a joke these days.
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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    After spending yesterday at LAIAS, the thing that struck me most is the difference in interior design and execution between the newest GM vehicles and those that have received a recent MCE. We've all known that there's been improvement, but in viewing these cars side-by-side, the difference could not be more stark.

    Take the Traverse, which received an MCE just one year ago and compare it to the new Impala. The Traverse is downright crude and almost cheap by comparison. The Impala LS that was on-hand, by contrast, was very upscale and more than livable, even at a sticker price that was about $10,000 less than the Traverse 1LT that was also present.

    On a similar note, the Cadillac CTS has the best-executed GM interior EVER. Pictures do not do it justice, and I would put this up against anything out of Germany up to a $100k. It's that good!
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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    A $32K 323?

    No....no....I'm sorry.....no.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by MCGARRETT View Post
    A $32K 323?

    No....no....I'm sorry.....no.
    Or pay $26,000 for the worst value in the segment - Cruze.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Yeah, I understand dollar devaluation, and that vehicles have more mandated equipment than ever. And that a Mazda 3 today is brushing up against the compact class. It is still disconcerting though to remember my 1992 Protege was $10,800.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Great report. I disagree about the Mazda though, got to be one the top 5 ugliest cars in the last 3 years. Certainly not worth $32000.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    I really like the new Mazda 3. Like you said -- in the nice trim with the big wheels, it looks really good. I think the proportions are just about perfect for a compact hatch, and I love that red color Mazda seems to use a lot these days. My biggest criticism is the CLA-like nav screen. My next car will probably be almost exclusively for commuting, and the 3 is a perfect candidate.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Well for what it's worth, there are lower level trims of the 3 at more reasonable prices. $32K is loaded to the gills and probably some dealer adds.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Thanks for the thoughts Nick. Are the interior materials of the Corolla really that bad?

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    I sat in a 2014 Mazda 3 at the dealer while buying the 2013 model and the interior really did feel like a luxury car, very nice.
    My 2013 has a decent if stark interior, all black, with kind of bizarre small screens with different background colors and limited options. The dials and knobs also feel cheap. The 2014 is so much better it's ridiculous.
    I hope the 2014 Mazda 3 rides better than the 2013 however because the suspension of my car feels cheap. Just making a car stiff as hell doesn't make it a driving car, IMO. The ride on the freeway over grooved pavement stinks and unless the road is smooth as silk the car sometimes feels unstable. The Cruze kills this car in suspension comfort, although the Mazda wins when it comes to engine, steering, seat comfort, and hopefully reliability.

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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    nsap, did you hear any rumblings on a CTS coupe or any other gossip in your travels around the show this year?
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    Re: Nsap's LAIAS Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by FenwickHockey65 View Post
    Toyota is a joke these days.
    I have to say I agree with you on this, but as usual the major media and gullible public just continue to suck them up in the name of perceived value/resale/reliability when others, esp. GM as this is after all a GM based site, continue to improve immensely and are overall as good or better than they are.

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