Well, the 2009 Auto Show is on and we went, sat, talked, ate, oggled at Jill and honestly came back less than impressed. It makes total sense that the 2009 NY Auto Show be somewhat low-key, but come on! While we could go on about this, we did find some bits to get excited about.
If you don't want to read our long and stupid recap, here it is in two words: Hyundai Wins. Otherwise, here we go brand by brand:
Oh, Acura, you've lost your way. The quiet luxury division of Honda was never a big player like Lexus, but they did what they did very well. The 2004 Acura TL was a thing of beauty... until they redid it for 2009. Then we started to notice the other bits they were making. And none of it was inspiring. Acura introduced a new crossover last week called the ZDX. ZDX, really? Think you're gonna sell a lot of these? Hint: You won't. There is no way in hell this will be a big seller. Or an even decent seller. Right now, the only decent Acura is making is the TSX and we're not too chubbed about its styling. Oh, the other thing Acura is doing right is the interior door handles on the RL. But since the RL is being redesigned, you can kiss goodbye the convenience of not hanging out of the car to pull the door shut.
Man, these are cars are awesome. And by cars we mean the hotties in black in the Audi booth. Give anyone an S5 and they'll be Audi fans forever.
Yes, the 2010 LaCrosse is now a contender (we should say might because it's not for sale). And, yes, Buick did somehow pay off enough people to get itself to the top of the JD Powers list of something or other. But we're not all that confident Buick will be hanging around much longer. Buick might as well rent their bit of booth out to someone else.
Nothing worth mentioning. We think the CTS is finally decent. The STS and DTS still need to catch up, however. They will.
True story: We stood in front of Camaro and watched people hit their heads getting in. Ha! The Camaro represents GM. So friggin' great on the outside (Camaro is, by far, the best looking muscle car being offered), but just not well thought-out on the inside. The Camaro also exemplifies why GM is doing so poorly: Folks on the inside can't see what's going on outside.
Chrysler is so totally screwed. And WTF is up with Fiat wanting to do business with 'em? Didn't Fiat sneak out of its deal with GM by the skin of its teeth? Chrysler had nothing going on in its booth.
While we expect plenty of people to be sitting in them Challengers, we're pretty sure those same cars are going to be getting dusty on the dealer's lots.
Actually, Ford is OK. The Taurus is just way stinking big, but the new Fiesta, Focus and Fusion are all tops with us. And the Flex... is way sweeter than we could have imagined. At $44k (that's what a sweet one costs) it's a hard sell at the moment, but if you are supposed to buy a minivan and don't want to, get this. It's really bitchin'.
Who? Right. We got yelled at for slamming the electric's car door. Which we hadn't even slammed yet. Lots of cleavage in the booth, however. Not sure about slamming that.
Honda has a lot going on despite being the sleepiest company ever. Fit, Civic and FXC Clarity are all sweet. Accord is just too big now. And too buttony.
While one can say it's entertaining to watch GM destroy itself (we don't think it is, but one can say that) one can also say it's entertaining to watch a company reinvent itself. Hyundai appears to be such a company. It's very clear to us the Hyundai Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe will destroy the competition. Watch. These cars are no-brainers for folks looking for what appears to be a great car at a great price. While fuel economy is nothing to write home about (and if that's your issue then it's time to move on to another ride), refinement seems to be in place and the level of equipment you get is quite impressive. Hyundai let Toyota and Honda dispense with Detroit while it (Hyundai) kept itself out of the fight all the while refining, refining, refining. It won't be long before Hyundai finds itself close behind Toyota in terms of sales.
Chrysler is so friggin' desperate for good news, that its Jeep division announced the 2011 Grand Cherokee. Yeah, 2011. It's not done yet, but it's coming. We wonder if anything will come of it.
Did Mazda have anything cool going on? 2010 Mazdaspeed 3... Are these things selling? We tried to get into Mazda's media site, but holy cow, what a mess. Looks like sales are down 58% so far this year. Mazda's media web site, they're doin it wrong.
Mercedes-Benz updated the E-Class with stuff and more stuff, but the interesting bit was the car they aren't (yet) bringing over. It's a diesel and if there's enough of a demand for an E-Class car that gets 44 mpg M-B said they'd bring it. It's 50-state ready, too. We think it would be foolish not to bring it over here.
How in the hell is this division still allowed at the show? Holy cow!
Poor Saturn. The Aura is actually decent. We don't think they make any other vehicles, however. Poor Saturn.
The xB is huge now. Seems like keeps getting bigger. Whatever model of Scion had the hotties gettin their picture took in front of it is the Scion to get. Mercy!
Holy snore city, Batman. Or Olev. The 2010 S80 was announced but, really, really? Ford better hope for more from the Volvo team if it (Ford) expects to sell this division off. Sales are off 50% so far and it's not like there is any shining star that's going to turn it around. The only glimmer is the totally awesome C30, but that's a small car and profits in the small car world are small. Oh, by glimmer we mean sales are only off by 16% so far this year. In comparison, the XC90 is off by 66%.
VW didn't have a Jetta wagon in their booth when we were there and, really, that's the only reason we went over there at all. No wagon? Then we're not talkin!
For the record, Hyundai treated us to food and drink Tuesday night at a press event. We claim it had no influence over stance on the company, but we suppose that's up to you to decide.