“This year’s edition of the show is not dazzling in terms of exciting new cars but it’s still La-La Land in presentation and the crazy customized cars are never disappointing…”
Los Angeles, California.
The Los Angeles Auto Show is a media favourite for its wild and wacky exhibits and sunny climate.
It heralds the start of a long North American Auto season that rolls through frigid conditions in such frequently ice-bound places as Detroit, Montreal, Toronto and Chicago.
This year’s edition of the show is not dazzling in terms of exciting new cars but it’s still La-La Land in presentation and the crazy customized cars in the sideshows are never disappointing. That said there are some important everyday cars making a debut. Information and pricing is sometimes scant but here are the top hits.
The all-new 2017 Hyundai Elantra made one of the biggest splashes because yet again this South Korean manufacturer is set to renew and expand its entire fleet during the next few years. Its recent announcement that it plans to launch a luxury brand – Genesis – also drew hundreds to the stand to pore over the compact Elantra.
The sixth generation model is value packed in terms of standard feature and its February release is sure to boost its market share. Prices have yet to be fixed but it will be competitive in the popular market segment.
It has striking looks and Hyundai says it’s inspired by the dynamic precision found in fighter jets. Appropriately, therefore, the cockpit is driver-oriented in layout.
There is no jet engine under the hood but it should whisk people around speedily and economically. The 2.0-litre Nu four-cylinder engine is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Chevrolet launched the all-new 2016 Cruze, set for sale next spring. It’s larger, lighter and roomier than the 2015 model, with more rear legroom. An all-new, direct-injected 1.4-litre turbo engine generating an estimated 153 horsepower will be under the hood, matched to a six-speed manual transmission (auto available).
Nissan’s popular Sentra compact sedan has been upgraded for 2016 model year with revised exterior styling, refreshed interior and added content. It should be in showrooms before the end of the year.
The Nissan premium brand – Infiniti bravely launched its all-wheel drive QX30 crossover into a crowded market. Not much information available yet.
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction, though they won’t be on the road until next summer. It will be powered by a turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-litre, 160 hp engine, available with manual or automatic transmission. Looks a bit like an earlier generation Mazda Miata – now the MX-5.
Interestingly, Fiat’s sibling Alfa Romeo brand exhibited its 4C Spider – the roadster will set you back a whopping $76,495. For that you get to hit 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and wind it up to 258 km/h.
The roomier fourth-Generation Kia Sportage crossover should revive the Korean company in the market place but ironically its biggest competitor will be its stablemate Hyundai’s Tucson!
Scion provided some eye candy with its C-HR Concept, named for its compact size and high ride height. Surely it will make it to production.
The five-passenger Honda Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell car will be made available in late 2016 initially to customers in California. Its range is expected to be in excess of 480 kms, which makes it a viable commuter car. Now all that is needed is the refuelling infrastructure.