I went this year with the intention of spending time on vehicles that I will considering buying in the future. Sure, there was the requisite drooling over exotic high performance stuff as always and there was no dearth of those at the show, but I was also looking at family vehicles my wife would want to buy next. Anyway, here are the highlights and lowlights
Manufacturers that didn’t attend the show or I missed :
- BMW- Wanted to check out the new 3 series
- Volvo- Disappointed I couldn’t check out the V90 and new S60/V60 , was looking forward to this
- Lincoln- Forgot about it until I came out. Wanted to see the Aviator. I have sat inside the Navigator though
Manufacturers that I didn’t care about:
· Nissyawn- They were leaning super heavy on the Z and Gt-R Nostalgia but outside of those displays nothing much. My wife wanted to see the Leaf but felt the interiors were dull
- Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat
- Acura- They don’t deserve it with just a fancy paintjob TLX. I was totally expecting the turbo V6 TLX- TypeS to debut here and they disappointed big time.
Roughly organized thoughts on specific vehicles mostly from the perspective of my wife for a change:
* Mainstream vehicle that impressed us both the most- 2020 Subaru Legacy and Outback. Space, Interior quality and simple evolutionary design. The giant touch screen is what it is. Either you’ll get used to it or hate it. But as an overall package they work so well. And with the XT versions’ 2.4Turbo it wont suck , although I will reserve my judgement on the CVT until I drive one. My wife liked the new green Onyx edition Outback so much told me I should get that as my dad-car when we have kids (Well of course, DUH). You did good this time, Subaru.
* Luxury vehicle that impressed us both the most- Genesis G90. I was floored! The subdued design, quality of materials, space, ergonomics, comfort, attention to detail. And the back, seats were SO good I didn’t want to get out of them.It’s a budget Lexus LS and I’ve always wanted to own a large luxury sedan And I know despite it being a land-barge it would be good to drive because of the 3.3T. I have a definite soft-spot for Genesis but I so wanted this car. I wanted to show her the similar new Kia K900 as well but it wasn’t there. Did set some expectations that we cannot afford one unless it’s a 5 year old model depreciated to $30K or lower. IWe also looked the latest Lexus LS but the design outside and inside is too fussy. She liked the G80 as well but it was more plasticky. G70 was really good inside and out but was disappointing because of the tiny back seat that reminded me of the ATS. It is no longer on my list, too bad everyone says it drives excellent.
*She liked all the quirky tall hatchbacks/Crossovers. The new Kia Soul was her favorite and since she prefers electric/hybrids might consider the e-Soul next.
* She loved the new Ford Escape. Guess they know the target market well.
* Kia Telluride looks really good, she liked the interior a lot but felt it was too big. But she liked the Hyundai Palisade interior and exterior better.
* I did notice many cars look much better in person than in pictures, videos. The 2020 Sonata with its fish face was a pleasant surprise- in the right color it looks much, much better. Some interior plastics on that car could be better but overall much premium than the outgoing model
* The Jetta GLI is an excellent all round package and I was impressed by it save for some cost-cutting in interior plastics. My wife noticed it immediately and was able to compare that to Audi where the design elements were similar but the quality was much better. But when it comes to features, tech and performance for the money, it’s hard to beat in that segment. Looks good in that 35th anniversary gray.
* The new Arteon was there. It’s...nice. Looks better than a Passat
* Showed her the GTI, GolfR, she was surprised at the packaging but still felt it was too “compact” even if she does like hatchbacks.
* Dodge Charger R/T- She immediately pointed out the cheap dash material and the rubberized switchgear LOL, but felt it was comfortable and spacious to be a family car. However, she balked at the mention of “V8, 370Hp, 16/25 MPG” and her immediate response was “Why do you need 370HP, and where will you use it on your 5 mile commute that mostly has heavy traffic?” Valid points my dear but no one “needs” a 5.7 Hemi. I want it. This might be a tough sell, but ugh! It looks so good in that gray.
* Speaking of family sedans, we both liked the Mazda6 over the Accord. Mazda interiors won her over big time, plus the Accord is not a beauty contest winner, and sits just too low for even us to get in and out without falling down on the seats. The Mazda was large enough and comfortable enough to get her approval. Now if only they release the AWD 2.5Turbo soon.
* Mazda 3 hatchback looks gorgeous we both agree but back seats and visibility are bad for adults. Front seat is the place to be.
* Rav4 - She loves the “Rugged look” and the space, but told her the Adventure trim doesn’t come in the Hybrid version. Doesn’t matter, it’s on the list now.
* Ranger> Colorado for exterior and interior but I personally like how the RST trim Colorado looks in white.
* She likes this Regal Tour-X. “Why don’t you buy this? You like wagons” I wish I liked it enough to do so though. Wished we could have seen the V60, but we sat in an Audi Allroad and she liked that. She liked the Golf Sportwagen as well, especially the one in teal blue with brown interior.
* Of the luxury crossovers, she likes the interiors of latest Audis the best. Missed out on Lincoln, sure she would have loved seeing what they did with the interiors. Cadillac was a solid meh for her overall but liked how the new CT5 looked. And yes, that black C-pillar fake window is ugly.
* All the full size trucks are too over styled, some ugly and just too big. Agreed. But she was fascinated by the Rivian RT
* She liked all the Jeeps including the Renegade but the Cherokee trailhawk was her favorite. Always liked the Wranglers. The Gladiator is LOOONNG by the way.
Overall, we both pretty good idea of what we might want to buy next in a few years. Good to experience all the aspects of the car except for the driving where you can touch, adjust everything to your liking, try to get in and out and play around without the pressure and constant talking from salesmen.
If you want lots more pics this guy does a way better job than I ever could: