Sunday, February 14, 2016

2016 New England International Auto Show Review

Alexander Carabitses

Held in Boston every year, the 2016 New England International Auto Show serves as a great way for Bostonians and New Englanders alike, to check out the latest offerings from all the major automakers.  Boston is nothing more than a consumer show, meaning that there are not any debuts and the show is only open for a few days.  However, as I said one year ago, Boston is one of those larger consumer shows that, at heart, wants to become a media show.  Unfortunately, if that was the case, Boston would feature more limited-edition trim package debuts than Chicago does today.

At any rate, the Boston car show presented me with a perfect opportunity to gauge my first impressions of some new vehicles...

2017 Hyundai Tuscon: The new exterior design of the Hyundai Tucson is pleasing to the eye.  However, the interior is bland to the bone, to my eyes at least.

2017 Hyundai Elantra:  A somewhat bland, but functional interior, mimicked the Tucson, while the evolutionary exterior redesign features a vertically elongated Ford grille and larger Dodge Dart headlamps...completely unoriginal.

2017 Jeep Renegade: Jeep's interior design language carries over nicely into this small crossover.  Beyond that, I don't have anything else to say about this one.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica:  Seeing a preproduction Pacifica in Boston was a surprise, but a welcomed one.  This is the best looking minivan I have ever seen; the front end is identical to that of a Chrysler 200, while the rest of the vehicle features a nice form that should be appealing to many buyers.

2017 Mini Convertible:  With the top down, it looks better than the hardtop.

2017 Mini Clubman:  I look upon the new Clubman with mixed emotions.  Part of me thinks that the new exterior design is appealing (especially the back end) and upscale.  However, the front end is still the goofy evolution of the once respectable Mini front end.  This vehicle represents Mini's problem:  The brand makes cars that completely go against the brand name itself.  The new Clubman is pretty big, at least for a Mini.  Strangely enough, I still like the car.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia: I hate this car.  I just hate it.  The front end is overly aggressive, while the back end is quirky in terms of its proportions (taillights that look like the Hyundai Sonata don't help this car's cause one bit).  Oh, and on top of all this, from the side, the car looks like the old Chrysler 200/Sebring.  On a side note, I heard that this car also failed internal crash tests and drives like shit.  Way to go Sergio Marchionne, you really are nothing more than a self-proclaimed genius who doesn't understand that a vehicle needs more than two years to be developed.

2016 BMW X1:  This vehicle is a big improvement over its predecessor, in terms of both exterior design and interior quality.

2016 BMW 7-Series:  By far my favorite car of the show, the new 7- Series has a tasteful exterior design.  The car in Boston must have been the highest trim level, because the back seat was honestly the best part of the car.  Features like a tray table and duel TV monitors in the back, while the norm for this segment, are special to an average show-goer.

2016 Mercedes GLE 63 AMG Coupe: Butt-ugly.

2016 Mercedes GLC:  A decent exterior, but cramped interior make this car somewhat of a disappointment.

2017 Audi A4:  I guess Audi no longer cares about design.  I'm surprised that I was able to pick out that this was the new A4, because it looks more like a mild mid-cycle refresh.  The interior is decent, but I hate the air vent that runs the full length of the dash board.

2017 Audi R8:  More angular than the previous generation, but somehow, it is still painfully dull for a sports car.

2017 Lincoln Continental:  The new Continental has left the automotive press divided; some love it and others hate it.  I represent the former group, and say that this is the best car Lincoln has every done.  Sure, it is not as striking as the concept, but the hard points are still there and the design looks good.  Those who are complaining that this car is front wheel drive need to shut up.  Lincoln isn't on a quest to take on the Germans, rather, it is on a quest to conquer the near-luxury/sub-premium market that Buick, Acura, and Volvo occupy.

2017 Lincoln MKZ: The Continental front end doesn't look bad on this car.  The addition of physical buttons inside is a good thing too.  I still think that this car should be going on sale after the Continental, as common sense would dictate, but Lincoln doesn't see it my way.

2017 Cadillac XT5:  Smaller in person, but very stylish.

2017 Porsche Cayman GT4/911 GT3 RS:  These cars are being grouped together because my reaction to each of these is the same.  The exteriors are both gorgeous, while I can only image how much fun these cars are to drive.

2017 Buick Envision:  It is simply another good looking luxury compact crossover.  On a side note, the decision to import this car from China is logical, as more of these will be sold in China than anywhere else.

2017 Kia Optima:  The new Optima is by no means a bad looking car.  The interior, while not best in class (i.e. as good as the Mazda 6) features a nice layout and good materials.  The evolutionary exterior redesign is better than that of the new Hyundai Sonata, by far.

2017 Scion iM: While soon to be a Toyota, the iM is an average compact hatchback that I don't recommend you should buy.

2017 Scion iA: This rebadged Mazda 2 will also become a Toyota, but because it's a Mazda, it will be fun to drive.  This also means that the interior and exterior are ten times better than anything Toyota could ever do on its own.

2017 Infiniti QX30:  Based on the Mercedes A-Class platform, I must say that this new Infiniti vehicle looks better in person, even better than its Mercedes siblings.

2017 Ford Super Duty:  My opinion doesn't matter because Ford will sell a lot of these, but in my humble opinion the front end of this truck looks comical.

2017 Ford Escape: A nice refresh to an already great crossover.

2017 Ford Fusion:  Ford really played it safe with the refresh of the Fusion; not may people will even know that tis is the new model.  However, I can see why this is the case, as this was the first model to feature Ford's signature grille.  So far, every other Ford has received that grille in a refresh or a redesign, so there wasn't much that Ford could do within refresh.

2017 Honda Civic:  This redesign makes the Civic competitive again.  I'm still assessing whether I like the design or not.  I do know that this doesn't look like any other compact car on the road, which has to be a good move on Honda's part.

2017 Toyota Prius: I can safely say that this car is ugly inside and out. Click this link if you want to know what I really think of the new Prius's design.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze:  The new Cruze looks pretty good, at least on a stage.  Even though the vehicle on the stage was a low trim level model, the rest of the car still looks great.

That concludes the lengthy list of new vehicles that I saw in Boston.  My Providence Auto Show post will be up soon, as will my 2016 Chicago Auto show review, so stay tuned.  Thanks for reading and have a good week.

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