Home  Car Chat Post


2019 Buick Model Changes


Buick's model year switchovers are starting early; we'll cover them as they occur. Bookmark this page and check it often!


2019 Buick Cascada

No changes.


2019 Buick Envision

The Envision, Buick's made-in-China mid-sized sport utility, gets a mild refresh, including a nine-speed automatic for its top-tiered Premium with more torque from its engine. The 2.0-liter turbo is still rated at 252 horsepower, but torque jumps from 260 pound-feet to 295, sure to improve acceleration.

For pocketbooks, the base price on the standard Envision lowers by about $1000.

An ionizing air purifier is now included on Premium models, as well as LED headlights.

Tire fill alert is a new standard feature: beeps the horn when the tires hit the correct pressure while airing them up. High-intensity discharge (Xenon) headlights are now standard, also. Sadly, the adaptive headlights are no longer offered.

A sprinkling of other improvements include: more powerful wireless charging, compatible with iPhone X; faster seat heaters; a switch to easily disable Start/Stop operation; an improved hands-free microphone; and a better rear view camera.

The refresh includes a new grille with wings stretching through the Buick logo across the grille's width. New taillights and new wheel designs round out the visual changes.


2018 Mazda Changes


2018 Mazda Model Changes

All the changes to all Mazda vehicles for 2018 model year. Stay tuned and bookmark this article, as we will be updating it periodically with new information.

Edited 2/25/2018: Added MX-5 Miata.


Mazda3 Hatchback

Smart City Brake Support is now standard across the board. This low-speed automatic braking system can detect, warn of and automatically brake to help prevent low-speed accidents (below 18 MPH).

The 2.5-liter engine with 184 horsepower is now standard on the Mazda3 Touring as well as the Grand Touring.

LED headlights are now standard on Grand Touring where they used to be an option.

The i-ELOOP capacitive brake regeneration option is no longer offered.


2018 Mazda6

A new turbocharged engine with at least 250 horsepower is borrowed from the CX-9. The standard engine gets cylinder deactivation to increase fuel mileage under a light load.


2018 Mazda CX-3

Smart City Brake Support, a forward collision warning and automatic braking system) is now standard on all models (previously optional, only available on Grand Touring).

Automatic on/off headlights and rain-sensitive wipers are now standard on Touring and Grand Touring (previously optional and only on Grand Touring).

Automatic climate control is now also standard on Touring.

Premium Package optional on Grand Touring includes new features: heated steering wheel, 6-way power driver's seat with memory.


2018 Mazda CX-5

Updates to the Mazda CX-5 include cylinder deactivation. Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Monitoring are now standard.

19-inch wheels standard on Grand Touring now also standard on Touring.

Lane Departure Warning, Radar Cruise Control, all-speed automatic braking (City Speed already standard), Rain Sensitive Wipers, Auto On/Off Headlights and Auto High Beams are now also available on Sport models, making them available across the board.

A 6-way power passenger seat is now offered: standard on Grand Touring. A front wiper de-icer is now optional on Grand Touring.


2018 Mazda CX-9

More safety.

For 2018 Smart City Brake Support is standard, a collision warning and automatic braking system. Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Warning are also both standard, now.

More sound insulation and easier access to the 3rd seating row are added for 2018.

Automatic headlights, automatic high-beams, and full-speed radar cruise control are all now optional on the Sport (base) model.

Grand Touring and Signature now include heated second row seats, heated steering wheel and a front wiper de-icer.

MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Smartphone integration, E911 Emergency Integration, and Advanced Keyless Entry and Start are now standard on all models. Heated seats are now standard on MX-5 Club models as well as Grand Touring.


2018 Tesla Model Changes

2018 Tesla Model Year Changes

Tesla Motors doesn't follow the automotive tradition of strict model year changes or of changing model year in the Fall. Tesla rolls out changes throughout the year without fanfare and begins producing models identified as "2018" starting Januray 1, 2018.

Model 3

2017 Tesla Model 3 LA Auto Show

The big news for Tesla is the Model 3, its entry level price and its mcuh higher anticipated sales volumes. Of the three, two of these elements are not yet in place: the Model 3 is only available in a Long Range model which starts at considerably more than the $36,000 base price. Also, manufacturing hiccoughs mean a 1-year or longer waiting period.

Model S

2018 Tesla Model S

Only All-wheel-Drive ""D" models are now offered, the rear-drive 75 is discontinued, as is the 60D, leaving the Model S 75D the entry-level model, with 518 horsepower from its front and rear motors. Also, the air suspension with adaptive shock absorber damping and load leveling is now standard.

Now standard on all models: power trunk, ambient interior lighting, lighted door handles, 3-position dynamic turning lights and fog lights. Leather seats are no longer offered.

Some sources indicate that Model S 75D models have 85 Killowatt batteris installed that are limited to output by computer to 75 Killiowatts. Similar offerings from Tesla in the past have allowed unlocking the extra juice for an extra payment, which begs the question, why keep the extra range from customers in the first place? The answer is quite innocent and logical: battery life is increased when the battery is not charged to full capacity or discharged totally, allowing lower warranty claims costs.

Model X

2018 Tesla Model X

Model X 90D models are discontinued. All the seats can be folded flat in the seven seat configuration. 


2018 Detroit Auto Show

2018 North American International Auto Show

aka Detroit Auto Show

For the first time in many, many years, we will not be personally attending the Detroit Auto Show. Due to weather concerns and scheduling conflicts, this will be a remote coverage, but still complete and unique! Just no pictures of pigeons.

North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards

Honda Accord

Volvo XC60

Lincoln Navigator

Most people are familar with the Motor Trend "Car of the Year;" some also have heard of the Car and Driver "Top Ten" or the Automobile "All Stars." The Detroit auto show has hosted a jury of up to 60 United States and Canadian journalists to vote on a car of the year and truck of the year. Starting in 2017 year, the award went to three winners: car, truck and utility.

The 2018 Honda Accord won the "Car of the Year," the Volvo XC60 won "Utility of the Year" and the Lincoln Navigator won "Truck of the Year." 



The new BMW i8 Roadster was introduced to North America at eh Los Angeles Auto Show; the Detroit Auto Show saw the introduction of the coupe. Reports that the new i8's would be 2019 models when they arrive were incorrect: they will be 2018 models.


2018 BMW X2


Honda Insight Prototype

The prototype for the third major generation of the Honda Insight Hybrid was revealed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

If you remember, the Insight, not the Prius, was the first hybrid sold in the United States. The Insight also was considerably more fuel efficient than the original Prius, though the Insight was only available as a two-seater.


2019 Ram 1500 Debut

The 2019 Ram Pickup debuted in Detroit, naturally.

Aluminum: The Ram's body is not all aluminum, but the tailgate and hood are, along with other parts. Instead, high-strength steel is key to the Ram dropping about 150 pounds, even as it gets even bigger.

Hybrids: ALL gasoline engines will be mild hybrids with regenerative braking, electric assist and automatic start/stop.

The exterior has a sleek new look; sadly, the crosshair grille that dates to the 80's is gone. But it was related to Dodge, and Ram is no longer part of Dodge, but a separate marque.


2019 Toyota Avalon Detroit Reveal

Following the full redesign of the Toyota Camry for the 2018 model year, it was only logical that the Avalon would be next. 

A new V6 (sampled from the V6 Camry) will produce over 300 horsepower and a revamped hybrid will probably be a twin to the one in the Camry Hybrid with 208 system horsepower and over 40 miles per gallon.

A substantially stronger chassis with no gain in weight is anticipated even with a two-inch longer wheelbase and a wider track and body. The new Avalon also becomes more aerodynamic. Avalon Touring will offer, for the first time in the Avalon, an electronically adaptive suspension that can change from soft to firm automatically.


Come See Star Wars Cars, the Classic Batmobile and Have Fun During Family Day at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show!

Nissan has come up with some cool Star Wars-themed concept cars, or maybe they are just non-functional props. Who knows, but after spending a substantial percentage of my life stuck in traffic I sure wish the laser cannons were real. The intimidating Nissan Titan below, equipped with the hefty laser cannon, looks like it could easily clear a path without even firing shot.

Star Wars Titan X

The Nissan Star Wars Murano below makes a perfect addition to the family for all the soccer moms and dads out there.

Star Wars Murano

There are some fun Star Wars games provided by Nissan, like an interactive one shown in the photo below — find your inner Storm Trooper!

Star Wars Games

The little ones will have a blast driving the electric cars (ages 5 to 8) on the on the driving course provided by the Slingshot folks behind their display area.

Slingshot Race Course

One of the STEM-related displays is “Hank the Robot” provided by Ford Motor Corp. He puts on a show every fifteen minutes. Check out the schedule in the link below for the family-centered programs and activities, and don’t forget to see the Adam West-era Batmobile, based on Ford’s 1955 concept car, the Lincoln Futura. Tomorrow's the last day of the show!

Hank the Robot

2018 Chicago Auto Show Family Day Schedule:


2018 Chicago Auto Show
McCormick Place
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60616
Feb. 10 - 18 (10 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Feb. 19 (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.)


Contact Us