Sunday, March 27, 2016

2016 New York International Auto Show Review

Alexander Carabitses

It's no secret that I favor the New York International Auto Show over every other global auto show on the calendar.  One big reason is that, of all the major auto shows, it is closest to home, but I also think that its timing plays a key role as well.  Being the final auto show of the season, it is one one place where all of the major debuts from the current auto show season are gathered underneath a single roof.  At any rate, this year's auto show, once again exceeded expectations.  Yes, there were far fewer significant debuts than last year, but there were still many noteworthy introductions, which primarily consisted of crossovers and sports cars.  Land Rover, Ram, and Cadillac were the only brands not to debut new products at the show, while Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and McLaren were not present in any way, which was pretty shocking given how much money the latter two brands had invested in displays last year.  As for the prancing horse, Ferrari was not at the show, and actually hasn't brought a car to the show since 2011.

What about the brands that did reveal products?  Well I've prepared a very comprehensive post that should answer that question, while also revealing my opinions of other vehicles that have debuted throughout the 2015-2016 auto show season (with a good amount of live photos).  Please note that this post is NOT meant to be read in one sitting, so please, for your own convenience, pace yourself and enjoy...

Acura, unfortunately, did not bring the Precision Concept to New York.  However, they did bring a refreshed 2017 MDX that features the same front end as the concept.  I actually think that it works well, although every other aspect of the car is still either dull or disappointing.  Acura also showed the NSX GT3, a race version of the NSX, which was also very impressive.

Alfa Romeo showed the non-Quadriofolgio models of the 2017 Giulia in the US for the first time, and I honestly am impressed by them, especially their interiors.  They also looked a lot better than the model that I saw in Boston.  I'm sure that color and the car's position on the stand all had something to do with my distaste of the car at that venue.  The brand representative told me that the car will go into production in late summer of this year.  I responded by telling her, "OK", but in my mind I was saying "I'll believe it when I see it."

Audi had a beautiful, green Audi R8 on the stand, along with their New York debut, the 2017 R8 Spyder.  I honestly think that I prefer the new R8 Spyder over the coupe, and I have no idea why.  Oh, I also got my first look at the 2017 Audi Allroad which looked pretty dull, just like its sedan sibling.  However, it still seems like a great option for those who are considering a crossover, as it offers the crossover benefits of all-wheel drive and a higher ride hight.  If you can't afford an Allroad, please by a V60 Cross Country or a Subaru Outback, anything to keep the station wagon alive.

Bentley had two cars at the show, with the only one of note being the 2017 Bentayga, which actually doesn't look too bad.

BMW showed three vehicles to the US market for the first time.  The 330i Performance debuted to no fanfare whatsoever.  I mean, who truly wants a plug-in version of the worst generation of BMW 3-series?  On the opposite end of the spectrum, the brand also showcased the V12 powered M760Li  X-Drive (which will be the closest thing we'll get to an M7 for the foreseeable future) and the Alpina B7, which I love.  I also got a quick look at the M-sport version of the X4, along with new 2017 M2 and 2017 M4 GTS.  In the end, only the latter two cars were worth my time.

Bugatti didn't bring the 2017 Chiron to New York.  Instead, it brought a black Veyron, a vehicle that I have seen on numerous occasions at this very auto show.  You should be able to see it in the first photo of this post.  If not, here's a photo of the final Bugatti Veyron from the 2015 Geneva Auto Show to tide you over.
(Image credited to Bugatti)

Buick has had a very strong product cadence as of late, and the news continued at New York with the launch of the 2017 Enclave Sport Touring Edition and the refreshed, 2017 Encore.  The Sport Touring version of the Enclave is just a trim package for the final year of the first-gen Enclave. The refreshed Encore features a more aggressive, yet stylish and contemporary front end, while the interior has also been reworked.  I personally think that it looks good.  I also got to sit behind the wheel of the 2017 Envision, which I also think is very nice, with small details, such as the analog clock really making the vehicle seem very upscale.  My first impressions of the 2017 Lacrosse are very positive.  I think the exterior looks much more grown up and streamlined than the previous generation model.  After looking at the interior through the glass, I'd say that this vehicle has the best interior in its class.  As for the Avista Concept, astounding and phenomenal are the only two words that I can come up with.

After the initial belief that the new Black Chrome versions of the ATS and CTS were Cadillac's new debuts, none of those cars were at the show, meaning no new debuts.  However, I was finally able to sit inside the new XT5 and CT6, both of which I found to be very nice, with fit and finish being top notch on each of them.  I will say that the back seat of the CT6 is not filled with as many amenities as its competitors.

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 made its world debut in both coupe and convertible body styles (although only the coupe was on display), and I have to say that I am quite impressed by both its engine and design.  Chevy also showed a refreshed, 2017 Sonic, that while quite nice for a subcompact, isn't exactly the most exciting thing on the planet.  I unfortunately did not see the refreshed Trax, the Camaro 1LE, or the Corvette Grand Sport, although given how crowded the Chevy stand was, there was really no way to find them. I did manage to see the 2017 Cruze Hatchback, which looked very good; I also must say that it's about time that we got a Cruze hatch in the states. I had a seat in the 2017 Cruze sedan and found that to be pretty nice.  And then there's the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, a vehicle that I would deem GM's biggest accomplishment since the first-gen Volt. I also must say that it doesn't look bad.

(Image credited to Chevrolet)

Chrysler spent most of its time in New York touting the 2017 Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid, the former of which I had already seen.  I actually didn't care about the hybrid version enough to visit the Chrysler stand.  I should note that Chrysler did show a new vehicle at New York, dubbed the 2017 Chrysler 300S Sport Appearance Package.  It is what its name implies.
(Image credited to Chrysler)

Dodge took things down to a new low by launching the 2017 Charger and Challenger in Mango Orange.  That was literally their only news.  However the color does look great, and its nice to see that Dodge is still digging deeper and deeper into its history to please enthusiasts.  By the way, while walking through the stand, I managed to take a quick picture of the 2017 Dodge Viper ACR.
(Image credited to Dodge)

Fiat showed the 2017 124 Spider Abarth in US guise, and I have to say, this little roadster really looks good.  I also like the standard 124 Spider, although I have to admit that the Miata looks a little bit better.

Ford spent most of its time touting the 2017 Fusion (the photo you see is of a cutaway model), as well as the GT, which looks better than I thought it would in yellow.   As far as debuts are concerned, Ford honored the fiftieth (and tenth) anniversary of its partnership with Hertz Rent-A-Car by launching the 2017 Ford Mustang GT-H.  Shelby American also had a lot of input into this vehicle as well.  For those of you who want to know all of the details, click this link.  If you want to see pictures, the one than you see hanging from the ceiling of the Jacob Davits convention center is the best that you're going to get.

At the Genesis stand, I had a look at the 2017 G90 (formerly known as the Equus) and the New York Concept.  The G90 looks somewhat sedate on the outside, although it's still stylish; the backseat is surprisingly very luxurious.  As for the New York Concept, I have to say that I can see a lot of Aston Martin Lagonda in the front end, and a little of it in the side profile, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Overall, I like the design, and hope that most of carries over the eventual production version of this car, that is expected to challenge the BMW 3-Series.

GMC showed a special edition 2017 Terrain Nightfall, for God knows what reason.  While at the GMC stand, I was able to sit inside the new, 2017 Acadia, and I must say that GMC did a great job with the interior.  The exterior also looks a lot better and smaller in person than it does in pictures.

If you thought that that the new Honda Civic was nice, the brand ruined it by showing off one that was designed by Demi Lavato.  Long story short, she has no taste. Honda also showed the US spec version of the 2017 Clarity, along with the Global Rally Cross Honda Civic Coupe.  While I didn't see either of those vehicles on Honda's stand, I did see the Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype, which looked good, as did the 2017 Honda Ridgeline.  However, in regards to the Ridgeline, I don't think that GM should really be worried about this new truck stealing too many sales from them.  Oh, and this Indy Car was also on display.

(Image credited Honda)

(Image credited to Honda)

(Image credited to Honda)

Hyundai launched the ultra important 2017 Ioniq Hybrid, Plug-in, and Electric, all of which look to be very competent threats to the new Prius, and better looking ones at that.

Infiniti has an important new vehicle going on sale this summer, the 2017 Q60 coupe.  After taking one good look at it from all angles, I think its over designed.  Equally important is the facelifted 2017 QX60, which looks a bit better with its mesh grille.  The mesh grille also works on the brand's NY debut, the 2017 QX70 Limited.  It makes up for the rest of what is a butt-ugly crossover.

Jaguar showed the F-Type SVR in US guise, as both a coupe and roadster.  It looks great, and based on a promotional video that was playing at the show, it sounds great as well.  As for the brand's new crossover, the F-Pace, I think the vehicle is a big disappointment in terms of interior quality.  It's almost like it was designed to be low quality so that it wouldn't steal sales from the Range Rover Evoque or Land Rover Discover Sport. I do, however, like the exterior design, and wish the the vehicle hadn't been swarmed so that I could take a picture of it.

Jeep was stupid enough to pull their debut of the next generation Jeep compact crossover, in favor of revealing it this November in Brazil.  However, the brand did show two new version of the Grand Cherokee: the luxury oriented 2017 Grand Cherokee Summit and the off road oriented 2017 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, both of which look pretty good.

Koenigsegg brought back the Agera One:1, but the big news was the US debut of the 2017 Koenigsegg Regera.  This vehicle looks stunning in person, and I honestly cannot wait to see a head- to-head comparison test against the new Bugatti Chiron.

Kia launched a completely redesigned 2017 Cadenza.  For those who are confused, the Cadenza that was launched in Detroit in 2013 was a facelifted version of the first-gen model that has been on sale globally since 2010.  Also on the stand was the 2017 Optima Plug-in Hybrid and the 2017 Niro, the latter of which looks a lot better than the new Sportage.  Finally, there was the ostentatious Telluride that is actually quite ugly in person.

Land Rover didn't show any new products in New York, although I had my first look at both the 2017 Range Rover Sport SVR and the 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible, which, if the Nissan Murano Cross-Cabriolet was any indication, probably won't sell well.

In my mind, the 2017 Lexus LC500 and LC500h (the latter car made its US debut in the Big Apple) are simply a work of art.  Sure the performance will be great, but the styling is radical and beautiful.  Now, if you hate Lexus's new design language, then you'll hate this car, but love it or hate it, when you see this car in person for the first time, it is almost certain that the first words to come out of your mouth will be "Holy Shit!"

You may also coin the same phrase when you see the massive gullwing door on the Lincoln Navigator Concept, a vehicle that manages to cram exquisite design into a body-on-frame SUV.  The interior was inspired by luxury yachts, features a certain type of seat that can actually be removed, and if you open the lift gate, you'll find a futuristic wardrobe. The latter two features won't be in the production version of this big SUV, but the overall, Range Rover inspired exterior body work will certainly carryover.  The gullwing door won't make production either.

Lotus had a black Evora 400 on display.  I honestly do not understand the affinity that some people have for black cars, because I personally can't stand them.

I'm going to interrupt with a quick intermission. In last year's New York Auto Show post, I had mentioned that I had seen it all, the ups and downs of the industry, etc.  I feel that I can say the same thing about the displays at the auto show.  Many of the luxury brands, including BMW, Jaguar, and Lincoln had exclusive owners lounges.  From BMW's owners lounge, which was on the second story of their display, it was easy to see half of the main show floor, along with many other displays.  The brand even had an M1 in the lounge.  In my mind, the high quality displays from every brand signals that every brand is a true reflection of last year's recored sales.  Now let's get back to the review.

Maserati showed the US version of the 2017 Levante crossover, which goes on sale next month.  I unfortunately wasn't able to get too close to the vehicle because Maserati has a strange system in which they let small groups of people onto their stand for certain periods of time.  At any rate, I think that this new crossover looks very good in person, although I can imagine some people will be comparing it to the odious QX70 I mentioned earlier.

Mazda showcased the MX-5 Miata RF (Retractable Fastback).  Rather than having a retractable hardtop like the previous-gen Miata, Mazda has incorporate a Porsche 911 Targa theme into this new car, meaning that when the roof is up, you basically have a Miata coupe.  This, along with the Lincoln Navigator Concept, was one of the biggest hits of the show.

There were five world debuts at the Mercedes-Benz stand.  First there were refreshed versions of the 2017 CLA Class (including the CLA 45 AMG); frankly, the news surrounding this model was very light and forgettable.  The 2017 AMG GLC43 does not strike my fancy, at least not as much as the 2017 AMG E43, the brand's third debut.  Mercedes' fourth debut was the new C63 AMG Convertible, which made up for the brand's God awful fifth debut the GLC Coupe and AMG 43 version of that vehicle.  While it looks better than the GLE Coupe, this vehicle has a rear end that looks too round and bulbous.  However, its interior is much nicer than that of its main competitor, the BMW X4.  Speaking of nice interiors, Mercedes has truly stepped it up a notch, regarding its interior design and quality.  I sat it the 2017 S Class Convertible and the 2017 E Class, and found myself quite impressed with the interiors in each of those vehicles (specifically the ambient lighting in the E Class.  However, the brand's best interior is by far that of the S Class Maybach, pictured below, along with the 2017 C 63 AMG Coupe.

After skipping last year's show, Mini returned to New York (and to the auto show circuit for that matter), launching of the 2017 Mini Clubman ALL4 and the 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Convertible.  The latter is exactly what its name implies, while the Clubman ALL4 is the first all-wheel drive version of the Clubman; both models will be on sale later this year.

Mitsubishi, the least exciting automotive nameplate out there, launched two new vehicles at the show.  The first is the 2017 Mirage G4 sedan (a sedan version of the Mirage).  The second is the 2017 Outlander PHEV (a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander).  The Mirage G4 will be on sale soon, while the Outlander PHEV goes on sale in the fall.  Now that we have not out of the way, I think we can move on.
(Image credited to Mitsubishi Motors)

(Image credited to Mitsubishi Motors)

Nissan launched the Titan XD without the Cummins engine, while the brand also showed the light duty version of the Nissan Titan (after previewing it in Chicago).  However, the big news for the brand was the launch of the refreshed 2017 GTR, a car which hasn't been updated since debuting in the fall of 2007.  Power and performance have been improved, while the interior has also been upgraded.  Unfortunately, the exterior, while tweaked, is still pretty much the same.  I'm sure most people won't care, but personally speaking, the design doesn't do anything for me.  It still looks a hell of a lot better than the brand's Chicago debut, the 2017 Armada, which I just so happened to spot.
(Image credited to Nissan)

(Image credited to Nissan)

The US debuts of three Porsches took place in New York:  The 2017 718 Boxter, the 2017 911R (all of which are spoken for by the way), and the 2017 Macan I4 Turbo.  While the latter vehicle is unexciting and looks just like any other Macan out there, the two aforementioned sports cars are just wonderful vehicles.  Both their designs, and performance are bound to capture the hearts of car enthusiasts everywhere.
(Image credited to Porsche) 

Rolls Royce showed the 2017 Phantom Drophead Coupe Black Badge and 2017 Wraith Black Badge in the US for the first time.  These are basically blacked out versions of the two models that they're based on.  In the meantime, I can buy a blacked out Chevy Impala (or any other vehicle), so why would Rolls Royce do models like this if they are suppose to be unique and exclusive? I have no idea.

It felt so strange walking through the Scion stand, knowing that this would be the last time the brand would be present at an auto show.  Toyota celebrated the brand's death by bringing several of its old concept cars to the show, while also showing the 2017 TC Release Series 10.  Even though the TC won't be absorbed into the Toyota lineup like its siblings, it will at least get to be Scion's last new vehicle.  Also on the stand (although not a debut) was the XB Parklan Edition, the final iteration of Scion's iconic box on wheels.  Scion, you will be missed.

Spyker brought the C8 Preliator to Manhattan for its North American debut.  This car seems to get better and better with each update.

Subaru used the New York Auto Show to showcase their all-new 2017 Impreza sedan and hatchback. While these vehicles look less dramatic than the concept versions that debuted earlier in the auto show circuit, I think that Subaru did a better job than they normally do when transitioning from concept to production.  I also think that the new sport trim does a good job of improving the looks.

Toyota had a very busy New York Auto Show, as it launched four new vehicles, three of which are refreshes: the 2017 Highlander/hybrid, the 2017 Corolla/fiftieth anniversary special edition, and the 2017 86 (the replacement for the Scion FRS).  Toyota also announced that the Scion CH-R Concept has now been badged as a Toyota, with the production version expected to go on sale around this time next year.  Now Toyota's biggest piece of news in New York was the 2017 Prius Prime.  Formerly known as the Prius Plug-in, this car has 22 miles of electric only range (which is pitiful compared to the competition), but the exterior design is very different than that of the standard Prius.  The silhouette is identical, but the front end and rear taillights are different.  Ladies and gentlemen, I think that we have finally found a good looking Prius!  There were also some other attractions in the Toyota stand, including the i-Road and this strange Murai.
(Image credited to Toyota)

(Image credited to Toyota)

(Image credited to Toyota)

Volkswagen brought the Tiguan Active Concept over from Detroit (it still looks stupid), the BUDD-E electric vehicle for its North American auto show debut (it sadly looks like a brick in person, and "production version" of the 2017 Golf Alltrack, which goes on sale in the fall.  Apparently, the one that debuted last year was just a prototype.

Volvo announced the pricing of the 2017 S90, which starts at $47,000.  This is honestly quite expensive, but after sitting inside, I can say that its defiantly worth it.  Volvo also showed a few special edition models, dubbed the 2017 S60 and 2017 V60 Edition.  Volvo also showed the 2017 XC90 Excellence, which is an ultra luxurious version of the XC90; in this crossover, the back seat is the place to be.
(Image credited to Volvo)

(Image credited to Volvo)

(Image credited to Volvo)

Well that wraps up my truly comprehensive 2016 New York International Auto Show Review.  Like many recent shows it is apparent that due to low gas prices, consumers are flocking into showrooms to buy crossovers, SUVs, and pickups.  Of course there are also those who can buy sports cars, many of which have had their development funded through the profits earned by strong sales from the past few years, and record sales last year.  The displays are massive and the cars are fantastic, year after year, and honestly I am so grateful to be able to see these vehicles in all of their glory.

Below I have photos of some classic cars that were on display in a booth for the Vintage Automobile Museum of New Jersey (along with some other miscellaneous pictures) from the show, so feel free to peruse those.  Thanks again for reading, Happy Easter to all those who celebrate the holiday, and have a great week!

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