So I went with a group of TDI people to NAIAS, and I have Thoughts™.
Namely, I wasn’t really impressed with any of the new cars I saw. So, in order of seeing them...
Honda Insight: Eh, it’s a Civic Hybrid. It’s something that needed to happen, but meh, boring.
Mercedes-Benz G-Class: It looks just like the old one, and they’ll never be used properly.
BMW i8: I actually saw this, but didn’t realize it was updated.
BMW X2: Meeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Volkswagen Jetta: Interesting that they actually had some colors in the VW booth, and one of the Jettas was orange. Otherwise, eh, it’s basically a Škoda Octavia where the rear glass doesn’t open, and they added a quarter window in the C pillar (that’s a Passat design trope, not a Jetta one). The Mk1 Jetta they had was more interesting.
Hyundai Veloster: I didn’t pay much attention to it, but huh, that’s a second generation?
GAC GA4: I didn’t actually look at the GA4, but some of their other stuff. Nowhere near as terrible as the Chinese cars in years past. Still not good. And they didn’t even bother to localize their infotainment to English for the cars at the show.
Ram 1500: Interesting that the V6 gets a mild hybrid standard and the V8 gets one optional, but meh, it’s a bloated full-size truck that won’t be used as a truck.
Chevy Silverado 1500: Interesting that there’s a straight-6 diesel, but see above. And, it wasn’t like they had an engine that you could look at, so meh.
Ford Ranger: Interesting that they’re bringing it, although I’m not a fan of their powertrain option. I get why they did it though - people will buy this and haul a bed full of air, and the 2.3T’s probably perfect for that. It’ll haul something heavy, effortlessly, the three times it’s asked to do it, and then it’ll be a 2.3 liter the rest of the time.
Ford Mustang Bullitt: Meh, yet another Mustang.
Toyota Avalon: I approached this one from the back. Not bad, not bad, peek inside, that looks nice, get around to the front, DEAR CEILING CAT, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, TOYOTA? It’s not as bad in person as it is in photos, largely because you’re looking down on it, but eurgh.
I think that’s all the debuts I actually noticed.
Favorite car of the show: The fuckin’ Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Which isn’t new, they debuted it two years ago, and they had ones open last year. But it still seems like an amazing road trip machine - hold six people in comfort, four of them in pretty much total comfort (seriously I could’ve easily fallen asleep reclined in that second row), and get 32 MPG while doing it? And, 33 miles on the battery? Yeah, not bad. Also, I think that sums up the show - the car I found most interesting is the one I could most easily sleep in.
Saddest booth of the show: No contest, it’s Mitsubishi... but then it was a dealer that ran that booth, outside of the show floor. And, the Mirage G4 had a bunch of stuff left in it, like, wtf? They could’ve at least had an Outlander PHEV, the closest thing to something interesting that Mitsubishi has, too (and the only thing that people have actually looked forward to), but nope.