Shopping and Sunshine: Find the Best New Cars at the Miami Auto Show

Best New Cars
Topless in Miami features some of the best convertibles, including the Nissan 370Z

Miami Inspires Fresh Ideas and New Designs; the Auto Show Is No Exception

Best New Cars

Snapping a selfie with the 2015 Z06 Corvette

Every time I come home from Miami I am inspired, ready to add flowered frocks to my wardrobe, wear blue eyeliner and eat new kinds of sushi. And this time, I’m inspired by some of the best new cars on the market, especially the Corvette Z06 convertible.

OK, maybe the Corvette is a stretch; with two kids, a husband, a dog and a weekly grocery run, it might still few years away from reality.

But visiting a car show while traveling is a great way to know if a Corvette could be a reality or not. It’s a great place to check out your dream cars, make your new car wish list and be inspired by cars you might never have thought of looking at. In the AC. On a weekday, weekend or evening. And, it’s fun.

So I will confess, I attended the Miami Auto Show as a guest of the show. But I will confess this, too: I was inspired to consider some new cars I’d never thought about before.

Topless in Miami: The Auto Show inspires you to soak up the sun in a convertible 

Best New Cars

Topless in Miami features some of the best convertibles, including the Nissan 370Z

So you have to start out at the Miami Auto Show by looking at the convertibles. At first, I was a little offended by the idea of “Topless in Miami,” the Miami Auto Show’s collection of convertible cars. But really, when you get off the plane and amble up to the rental car counter in Miami, you’re hoping to hear, “we’re sorry ma’am, this is all we have left” and then you’re handed the keys to a convertible (instead of the budget-friendly compact you reserved). At the end of your trip you go home thinking, ‘I need one of those in my driveway.’

Then, head over to Million Dollar Alley where you can see an array of cars worth of cruising Ocean Drive or Worth Avenue. There you can take photos of yourself with Lamborghinis, Ferraris and McLarens and decide which one looks best on you.

The real Miami Auto Show Test: Putting rubber to the road

Best New Cars

Ride and drive opportunities are outside the Miami Beach Convention Center

The Miami Auto Show has a great schedule of ride and drives that let you get behind the wheel of a Toyota, Ford, Kia, GMC, Nissan or Mazda for a spin around the block. We love this program because it lets you test out the car without the pressure of a salesman in the passenger seat trying to rush you through the purchase decision.

Cars you should definitely test drive are the Nissan Altima, a beautiful mid-sized sedan; the Nissan Murano, a gorgeously redesigned AWD crossover; the Ford Explorer SUV, which just got a makeover; the Kia Sorento, a crossover for the family who puts style at a premium; the GMC Canyon, a mid-sized pickup truck that has the gusto of a truck and the comfort of a sedan; the Mazda CX3, the new city-sized SUV from Mazda, and the Mazda Miata, the iconic two-seater sports car (there’s that topless lure again!).

Shopping: Miami’s second-best reason for visiting (OK, maybe third)

Best New Cars

The BMW 650i convertible is a sweet ride for Ocean Drive

For many people who attend the Miami Auto Show, they’ll do more of what they came to Miami for: Shopping. And the auto show is a great place to find your new car.

We took a tour of the Miami Auto Show starting with the Lamborghini police car and toured some of the show’s most popular brands. You can see the video here.

Then, we toured the luxury cars at the Miami Auto Show. You can see that video here.

Some of the best offerings we saw on the floor at the Miami Auto Show this year are:

Toyota’s all new RAV 4 is an exciting style update and has a lot of added technology, including a hybrid edition which will be in dealerships soon. The hybrid gets 33MPG, is loaded with luxuries including leading safety technology, and carries only a $700 premium over the $28,000 gas-engine version.

Best New Cars

The newly redesigned 2016 Toyota RAV4, which also comes in a hybrid version

The Hyundai Tucson will grab your attention at the Hyundai booth—it’s wrapped in gold foil and its cargo area is filled with footballs to celebrate the brand’s first ever sponsorship of the NFL season. If you can guess the number of footballs in the Tucson’s hatch you might win a prize—not the car, but an NFL store gift certificate. If you actually want to win a car, head over to the Hyundai Elantra display where you can enter to win an all-new 2017 edition which will be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show later in November.

Best New Cars

The redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson dressed up to celebrate Hyundai’s sponsorship of the National Football League

Another must-see is the 2016 Chevrolet Volt; its been redesigned and updated based on what its customers liked best about and and what they wanted to see Chevrolet add to it; the design was updated with more modern lines and the battery engine goes further on a charge now— up to 50 miles.

Also check out the Chevy Malibu. This is one of the more stunning redesigns in auto showrooms now; this is not your grandpa’s Malibu. The flowing lines, European sensibilities and attention to detail are stunning.

With a fatter budget don’t miss the Cadillac CT6, which is all about the drive experience. This sporty luxury sedan which will also come in a plug in hybrid in 2016. This is Cadillac’s newest all-new model and steps up the brand’s commitment to performance, competing with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.

And, on our ‘don’t miss’ list:

Best New Cars

The Kia GT4 Stinger concept sports car

If your taste runs more toward larger family cars, be sure to see the all new Ford Explorer, the array of beautiful new designs from Volvo, the  Land Rover and Range Rover exhibit.

Best New Cars

The 2016 Buick Cascada brings a new design language to a classic brand

And if you’re in the market for a convertible—back to that again and we just can’t help it!— check out the Jeep Renegade, which has removable roof panels so it’s semi-convertible, the BMW 650, the Buick Cascada, the Nissan 370Z and of course, the Mazda Miata, which won the Southern Automotive Media Association’s best in show for 2016.


Best New Cars

Be sure to do some sightseeing while at the Miami Auto Show; just a few blocks away is Gianni’s in the former Versace mansion on Ocean Drive


Best New Cars

The way to end the day at the Miami Auto Show: visit News Cafe for a refreshing cocktail

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Miami Auto Show, which provided my travel and accommodations in order to attend. Opinions expressed here are all my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss