Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 Boston Auto Show Review


Alexander Carabitses

This past weekend I made my annual trip to the New England International Auto Show, which this year received a new, simpler name: 2017 Boston Auto Show.  This name change is honestly quite logical, given that New England consists of six states, five if you consider Connecticut to be a part of the tri-state region.  For my new readers or those who have forgotten, the Boston Auto Show is not a large auto show that receives media coverage equivalent to that of Detroit, New York and LA.  Rather, it is one of the many regional auto shows across the US that is meant to give consumers a taste of what is available on the market today.  For me, it presents an opportunity to sit inside many of the hot unveils from the previous auto show season, while even getting a first glimpse at some others.  So without further delay, here are my first and second impressions.

2018 Aston Martin DB11:  I have to say, this is not a bad looking car.  The styling is admittedly bold by Aston Martin standards, with the front quarter panel right behind the wheels looking somewhat unfinished.  If this is a sign of things to come from the brand, then their cars may finally become as aspirational as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Mclarens.


2018 Hyundai Ioniq:  Better than a Prius both inside and out, that is for certain. Some would consider the interior to be a bit bland, but given how whacky the Prius looks inside, this bland look is quite welcoming.

2018 Mini Clubman John Cooper Works:  Not many differences from the mainline Clubman that I sat in last year.  I know that this car is way too large to be considered a Mini, yet it is still my favorite vehicle in their range.


2018 Mini Countryman:  At first glance, this new crossover looks quite comical, particularly because of the square headlamps.  The interior is fine, as it is identical to every other Mini.  However, I'd still rather have the Clubman, simply because I don't consider myself to be a person who would buy a crossover.




Every Mitsubishi:  Stay away.  I don't care how poor or desperate you are, just stay away.  The Outlander is the only decent car in the range and I'd give it a grade of a C+.  With the Lancer Evolution gone, everything else is complete crap.

2017 Infiniti QX30:  Underwhelming interior and overdone exterior.  I have nothing positive to say about this car.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E Class Station Wagon:  One of my favorite cars of the show.  I already love the interior of the E-Class, and now combine that with the utility, practicality, and sporty stance of a wagon, this car is easily the must have family vehicle of the year, as long as you have a lot of money to spend of course.  By the way, the trunk has two rear-facing jump seats.



2018 Audi A5/S5:  I didn't get a chance to sit inside, but I can still report that the interior is nearly identical to that of the A4 and Q5 (see below).  As far as the exterior is concerned, the car already looks somewhat dated, at least in coupe form.  However, I am still eager to see the Sportback in person.



2018 Audi Q5:  The exterior looks awkward and the interior is decent, but not spectacular.  The interior is also quite cramped, which was what I found most surprising, but it should still prove to be functional for smaller families.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman:  Every Porsche was locked, but that did not stop me from admiring the great looks of this car, which don't differ much from the pre-facelifted version.

2017 Porsche Panamera:  This car is a dramatic improvement over its predecessor in terms of exterior styling, and this is coming from someone who loved the old car's design.  It will be pricey, but unlike the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, and Mercedes S-Class, it has character.




2017 Kia Sportage:  I finally got the chance to sit inside this handsome looking crossover; after doing so, there is one simple word that I can use to describe the interior: cheap!

2017 Lincoln Contiental:  Now in all fairness, I have been in love with this car since it debuted as a concept back in 2015.  Still, despite any bias that I may have, I did find the interior to be somewhat lacking in terms of the quality of materials  However, there is a sense of occasion when sitting in this car, whether you are in the front or the back, and that is one of the most important components of luxury cars.


2017 Lexus IS: I hate the front end revisions of this car with a passion.  Like I said in my NAIAS review post, Lexus does not know how to make a good mid-cycle refresh, or worse, is unable to because of how bold and aggressive their current styling is.


2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia:  Although this is my third time seeing this car, I can't help but love the way this car looks, and every review of this car has been very positive.  Apparently the engine is smooth and peppy, while the brand achieved the perfect combination of tight steering/handling and a smooth ride.


2018 Toyota CH-R:  Undoubtably the ugliest vehicle on the market, aside from that ugly-ass thing called the current Prius.  Some passers by also comment on how bad the thing looked, with one person saying "That's got to be the ugliest thing on the planet."  I don't care how good of a sub-comapct crossover this thing is if I need to wear a bag over my head to drive one.


2018 Ford Ecosport:  The proportions of this car are better than I expected them to be, and honestly, it looks to me like Ford could potentially have a winner with this little crossover.  Sadly, I wasn't able to sit inside, as this was a pre-production model, but it still looked nice and simplified, especially when compared to the interiors on some of Ford's other products.

2017 Buick Lacrosse:  As much as I like the exterior of this car and the overall appearance of the interior, I must admit that some of the plastics that had to be there, simply because the styling called for them, could have been a little bit better.  Otherwise, I'd still recommend this car over a Lexus ES or Acura RLX any day of the week.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt:  Like the Lacrosse, this car suffers from poor interior quality, at least when compared to other cars like the Malibu. I will give them the benefit of the doubt because they needed to do something to keep the cost down, especially since they are losing $9,000 on each one that they sell.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox:  A vast improvement over the current car, at least in terms of the exterior.  The vehicle was on a turntable so I wasn't able to judge the interior.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid:  It was on a turn table, but I can tell you that the interior design will be identical to that of the regular Pacifica, which I will be able to report on next week when I finally have my chance to sit in it at the Providence Auto Show.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas:  If Volkswagen is riding their US future on this vehicle, I can safely say that they have a lot of work to do.  Th exterior is only decent, somewhat dull.  The interior design has the same problem, and to make matters worse, the interior is also very cheap with the plastic wood trim on the dashboard being an example.  I do wish VW the best of luck with this vehicle because their future rests on it, and I do hope that others can overlook the faults that I found.

2018 Rolls Royce Dawn:  This is undoubtably my favorite Rolls Royce of all time.  This mostly has to do with the interior, which I unfortunately couldn't experience because I'm not wealthy enough to be invited into the display by the local dealer.


2017 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder:  Its a roadster version of the Hurricane Coupe.  That's it.

I would be remised if I failed to mention the only vehicle debut from this year's show.  On occasion, an automaker will reveal a new vehicle at this show and receive absolutely no media coverage whatsoever.  This year it was the US debut of the 2018 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S, which is the first Bentley sedan to break the 200mph barrier.
(Image credited to Bentley)

That's all I have for now.  I will be back next week with coverage from the Providence Auto Show.

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