Has design at Toyota and Lexus turned a corner?

Judging from Toyota’s cars, design has been an afterthought at the world’s largest auto maker, something tacked onto whatever the engineers came up with. Even when the company decided to place more emphasis on design, this meant adding more extraneous details to a shape that was largely beyond the designers’ control. As a result, the cars appeared neither coherent nor… More →

Two new crossovers from Volkswagen: Atlas and Tiguan

For some time Volkswagen has aimed to become the world’s largest auto maker. Their weak spot has been North America, where they lag far behind Toyota and General Motors. To rectify this, Volkswagen invested heavily in a new Tennessee factory and in two sedans developed specifically for what they perceived to be North American priorities: interior roominess and low cost.… More →

2018 Kia Stinger, my thoughts. And yours?

Partly because there were far fewer new cars revealed than in past years, the Stinger emerged as the star of the 2018 Detroit auto show (NAIAS). Some designers I spoke with from other auto companies were fans. What do you think of the exterior styling? Is it good enough to make people who would otherwise be buying Audis and BMWs… More →

Coming (maybe): a record number of new or redesigned car models

Merrill Lynch just presented its 26th annual “Car Wars” study at the Detroit-based Automotive Press Association. Their analysis tries to predict which auto makers will fare best in coming years based on how much of its product line will be updated. Overall, the auto industry will be launching more new or fully redesigned models over the next four years than… More →

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Acura Acura revealed the Precision concept. Though there’s virtually no chance that they’ll actually produce a car like it, hopefully Acura’s future production sedans borrow heavily from its styling and aggressively sporty character. Currently their styling is stodgy and boring and they don’t feel nearly as sporty as some past Acuras. cars more like this concept would get Acura back… More →

A different sort of truck; should Hyundai build it?

For some time Hyundai has been trying to decide whether to product a pickup truck. Pickups are a large percentage of the North American market, and are highly profitable for the companies with large shares of the full-size segment. But large pickups from Toyota and Nissan have barely dented the market share of the dominant Detroit companies. Could Hyundai hope… More →

2016 Chevrolet Volt: redesigned with more range

The Chevrolet Volt hasn’t been the breakthrough product GM had hoped it would be, at least not in consumer perceptions, where Tesla has stolen whatever fire it initially possessed. But the roughly 70,000 people who have owned one have tended to love it–the car has outstanding satisfaction scores. For the 2016 model year, GM has drawn on extensive feedback and… More →

New Design Language for Buick

After introducing the Cascada compact four-seat convertible, which has been available as an Opel in Europe for nearly two years but which won’t reach the U.S. rebadged and retuned as a Buick until this time next year, General Motors had a surprise. A large sedan concept, tagged the Avenir, indicates the design direction that will be taken with future Buicks.… More →