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LAIAS car impressions

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I opened and closed hundreds of doors, sat in a bunch of seats, fingered plenty of dashboards, and took a few pictures. After several hours everything seems about the same, with cars roughly being "nice", "acceptable", or "awful", and since you can't drive any of them, you're limited to styling, design, build quality, and fit-and-finish. There were only a few cars I genuinely liked or thought stood out.

In no particular order...

:puke:Sequoia - what an irrelevant POS; interior seems crude and unrefined, dash is right off the Tundra, the center console is like 2 feet wide; the only thing it has over the Tahoe are usable third-row seats

<_<Hyundai - what a lame brand; you can clearly tell they're trying very hard, with "ESC standard" windshield banners, flowers in modern pots, and whatnot, but they have no identity at all; the Veracruz seems alright (well-made, roomy, nothing wrong with it), but why would you buy one over an Acadia, CX-9, or Highlander?

:yes:CX-9 - perfectly fine car; interior packaging is nice, built-well; not crazy about the overplayed styling

:rolleyes:Highlander - nothing special; borderline "acceptable" and "cheap"

:huh:New Murano - completely forgot about it until after I left; why would you buy a Nissan anyway?

:unsure:Rogue - it's like a Pontiac inside; nothing really wrong with it, but nothing special; kinda cheap, I guess

:thumbsup:GT-R - a huge crowd of people wearing caps backwards formed a circle around it; I respect its performance, but give me a 911, M3, or even Vete

:idhitit:M3 - these new BMWs look very good in white; the stand was quite nice and the cars played V8 engine noise; exciting

:thumbsup:135i - looks good; agile; like the M3, it's perfect except for the image problem

:scratchchin:MINI Clubman - it's roomier but still not big, so might as well get the normal Cooper S, which I like

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:ohyeah:C30 - one of the most surprising; I love the styling, very unique and stands out; not too expensive

:yes:XC70 - based on the new S80, but makes so much more sense - costs less and faces easier competition; sooo comfy and soothing inside; very nice

:thumbsup:Volvo - Ford is usually good with branding, and their Volvo area was most impressive; all the reps were from Sweden - it's more expensive, but it makes a difference, and I liked the entire ambiance, light wood floors and all; very Scandinavian feeling; if only the actual dealers were this good

:huh:Saturn - mixed bag; their show effort wasn't as thorough as, say, Chevy, Cadillac, or even Saab, so it was dark and slightly underwhelming; AURA getting less and less interesting by the second

8)Escalade Platinum - looks better in person than in photos

:(Aveo5 - awful, but there was a red one with a mild body kit, fake exhaust, tint, and alloys, and that was surprisngly okay

:)Malibu - I still think the Accord (and Passat) is the better car, but the Malibu is a solid effort; everythings rather average, but it looks nice

8)9-3 - still by far the nicest Epsilon, IMO, but that's not saying much; updates help

:thumbsup:VW - Das Auto; as good as Volvo's area, actually even better, except for the reps; from the show it's my favorite brand; Crispin Porter + Bogusky is so damn good; I love the space up! concept

:ohyeah:Jetta SportWagen TDI - lovely; it looks great in black and 17" alloys; the beige/black leatherette interior was nice; great door slam sounds

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:scratchchin:Tiguan - really a surprise; looks great in person; interior is average in lower-spec models; competitive pricing and awesome powertrain (2.0T FSI, six-speed manual)

<_<Audi - like a more serious, more silver version of VW; R8 looks great in white, and I like the A6

:)Ford - Fusion/Milan and Edge continue to be both surprisingly nice; if the Malibu weren't brand new and "in" now, I'd probably prefer the Fusion over it

:blink:Lincoln - MKS looks fine - none of the "soft luxury"-type cars stand out anyway; MKZ is lame; MKX is decent

:thumbsup:Jaguar - the XJ is one of those cars that look better in person than in pics, same with the new XF, and come to think of it, the XK, too; I like Jaguar, I really do - it has the passion, soul, and character other luxury brands don't have

:rolleyes:Taurus/Taurus X - perfectly competent vehicles; just so damn aged looking

<_<C-class - I like the styling from the outside, but build quality seems worse, and there's nothing great about it

:huh:Flex - no crowd or interest at all; I loved the concept, but I'm slowly getting tired of it, and it's not even out yet

:)SX4 - roomy, worth looking at, nice alternative to Toyota, Honda, or whatever

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:lol:Chrysler Corporation - just so incredibly hopeless; most of their new products - Avenger, Sebring, Compass, Patriot, Liberty, Nitro - are so incredibly awful inside; minivans, Wrangler, and LX cars are okay

:stupid:LaCrosse - needs to die soon

:)Smart - an interesting curiosity

Ok, so basically I like...

VW

Volvo

Jaguar

BMW

Cadillac

Promising...

SAAB

Ford

Saturn

Blah...

Toyota

Hyundai

Kia

Edited by empowah
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Were the crowds very big around the T900 hybrids? What about the Malibu?

There was no interest in the SilveradoHy, likely because it wasn't placed in a prime location. The EscaladeHy and TahoeHy had some interest.

There was a Malibu Hybrid on a turn wheel, and two LTZs were parked nearby, mostly ignored. Chevy didn't make a big deal out of it.

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Not sure I agree with all your opinions but I did enjoy the read..

Thanks for taking the time to offer your perspective...

How was the Hyundai coupe in person?

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