Family SUVs and Trucks Still Dominate, And Santa’s Sled, This Year Led by 797 Horses
You might have heard us say that there is no better place to car shop than an auto show.
That’s because there is no pressure to buy, no salesmen trying to sell you a car. In fact, you can’t take a car home with you. Just lots of great information, photos, and memories that hopefully will lead to your next new car.
And December is the BEST time of the year to car shop. Automakers and auto dealers are counting down the days until the end of the year and want to sell as many cars as possible.
The Los Angeles Auto Show kicks off today and runs until December 9th at the Los Angeles Convention Center downtown, offering consumers plenty of time to stroll the two halls filled with value cars, luxury cars, and even a few concepts. We spent two days looking at all the exhibits and here are our favorite offerings.
Gladiator: A Truck From Jeep
Yes, a truck! And yes, it’s great! This makes so much sense: Jeep drivers love getting off the grid, and now they can bring their bikes, ATVs, and trailers with them in the Jeep Gladiator. Rolling into dealerships in April 2019, these trucks are designed to give owners the full Jeep experience with the capability of a pickup.
Honda Passport 5 Passenger SUV
Honda had a hole in its SUV lineup: while many families love the 8 passenger Pilot, and many love the small CRV crossover, Honda didn’t have an offer for buyers who wanted something in between. Well, now they do. The 5 passenger Passport is slightly smaller an a bit more agile, yet offers plenty of cargo space and AWD capability.
Hyundai Palisade 7 Passenger SUV
Just as Honda had a hole in its lineup in the mid-sized SUV category, Hyundai was missing a true 3-row SUV, one that can easily accommodate passengers in the third row. No longer. The South Korean automaker introduced the Palisade, a full sized SUV with room for everyone.
Lincoln Aviator Luxury 3 Row SUV
Lincoln is on a roll these days thinking about how it can best pamper and soothe its customers, innovating things like the 30-way front seats, modern design featuring premium materials and a 30 speaker sound system that sounds like a concert hall in a car. The Aviator takes Lincoln’s mastery to the next level with things like a fully keyless operation— owners can open, start, drive and lock the Aviator with their phones, a plug-in hybrid that will improve MPG and offer pure electric driving, and a third row in a mid-sized SUV. And, we loved that the Aviator was introduced to audiences by the new president of Lincoln, Joy Falotico, one of only a few women to head a car brand.
Finally … the BMW X7 (with a crystal gear shifter!)
Buyers have been waiting for this for a long time: A full-sized, full-luxury SUV from BMW. The X7 not only adds a true adult-sized third row to BMW’s most popular selling type of car—the company builds and sells more X series than sedans— but in true 7 series style, the X7 offers the most luxury, including automatic center row seats and a crystal gear shifter that lets you hold jewelry in your hand all the time.
Don’t Go to Volvo to See the Cars
Because Volvo wants you to see beyond just the vehicles on the stand: they want you to see all the things their cars can do for you. Features include a partnership with Amazon Key, which allows packages to be delivered directly to your car; partnership with Google that will fully integrate Google’s voice, search and other features into the infotainment experience; and Care by Volvo that offers customers a fully managed ‘subscription’ experience in which Volvo takes care of insurance, maintenance and more.
See the Evolution of Design in the Mazda 3
Mazda revised its ever popular 3 Series sedan and hatchback for the 2020 model year, adorning it with new flowing lines, sculpted sides and upgraded interiors. The hatchback edition is particularly cutting edge, harkening to the Ferrari FF hatchback, which has a more rounded, distinct and fast look.
A Redesigned Kia Soul For More Sport and Space
Kia buyers have been so loyal to the Soul that it’s the only remaining box-shaped crossover on the market. And, they’ve loved it so much that Kia is rolling out three new editions: The GT touring edition filled with comforts, the XLine with a sportier look and feel and the Soul EV, which will bring the al electric driving range up to 240 miles on a full charge. For the new model year, Soul has an updated look with new taillights, a sleek-looking new front end and a modernized profile that preserves its past but takes it forward, too.
A Prius for All Seasons … Because Now It Has AWD!
Yes! Finally! The Toyota Prius has been available in all wheel drive in Japan for a while but not in North America. Until now. And that is a great thing for those of us who love great hybrid fuel economy and the versatility and reliability of Prius but deal with snowy weather, gravelly driveways, steep hills or simply need a bit more capability on the road.
Don’t Miss the “DeerCat” Santa Sled at Dodge
Yes, it would make us happy to see a Hellcat deposited among Santa’s gifts, but if Santa Claus wants to keep this gift for himself, we understand: The designers at Dodge modified a Hellcat body adding sled rails — cleverly attached with the Dodge double slash logo — an open roof and open doors so that Santa can easily hop in and out. The Hellcat’s 797 horsepower engine should give Santa plenty of power for taking flight to make record time on Christmas Eve and give the reindeer a little time off this year.
A Few More Exhibits We Loved
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Nice contrast of new and old. The new is the VW ID Buzz cargo EV van, which has reportedly been approved for production as part of VW’s electrification push over the next few years. The old, of course, is the classic Type 2 Transporter. #volkswagen #volkswagenidbuzz #volkswagentype2 #volkswagentransporter #laas #laautoshow #laautoshow2018 #carsofinstagram #instacars #cargeek #ev #electrifyamerica