A whole lot of exciting new cars are coming for the 2016 and 2017 model years and beyond. Here’s a look at our top five cars from the New York International Auto Show 2015:
This was probably the most eagerly anticipated car at the show. My personal Facebook friends list is about 68 percent car people, who either work in the industry or are dyed in the wool car people. I’ve found that they’re a pretty good barometer of whether or not a car is successful or not. I’d say the reaction to the CT6 was cautiously optimistic.
There’s nothing not to like about a full-size Cadillac with 400hp weighing in at less than 3700 pounds. The challenge for Cadillac now is that full size luxury sedans don’t exactly sell like hotcakes. Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series sales are in the tank right now, and a lot of those sales are the reason that Tesla was doing so well for so many months. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s pent-up demand for a real luxury car with industry-leading technology on board.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the Scion iM looks like it might be signaling some fun stuff to come from Toyota. I’m head-over-heels in love with the Scion FR-S, but a 2+2 with a tiny back seat isn’t exactly going to set all kinds of sales records. A sporty five-door hatch/wagon/whatever with decent power and a six-speed manual gearbox might.
There were a lot of people that liked the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. You still see them everywhere. Those people do not want a RAV4, no matter how you try to push it on them. People early in the buying cycle are priced out of that market, too. A sporty, fun, useful car for less than $20k is really exciting. This could punch the Volkswagen Golf right in the breadbasket.
Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack
Speaking of Volkswagen, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack has nothing but Subaru in its gunsight. Subaru has rested on its laurels in places like New England, because still — after all these years — there isn’t a lot of competition in the rugged all-wheel drive station wagon market. This car is it.
New Englanders were bananas for the Audi Allroad, even though it was expensive and flawed. The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack should at least mitigate the “expensive” part. Since Volkswagen already signaled that the Alltrack will be pretty well equipped compared to the standard SportWagen, it’s not going to be cheap, but our guess is that it’s competitive with Subaru’s offering. This should be a formidable competitor.
Honda Civic Concept
They called it a concept, but given Honda’s history of showing “concept cars,” what they showed at the New York International Auto Show is pretty well near production. The lime green Civic Honda showed here apparently isn’t a color that will be available when the Type R and Si performance models come online after the beginning of the 2016 calendar year, but regardless, the car looks great and a lot of things are pointing to the new Civic being a huge success.
First up, think about the marriage of VTEC, turbocharging and a six-speed manual. Hilarity will naturally ensue. Notoriously tight-lipped Honda isn’t talking about performance just yet, but with cars like the Focus RS on the docket for the U.S., it had better be pretty tremendous. Keep an eye out for news on this one.
Cars like the Nissan Maxima, the Kia Optima and the Chevrolet Malibu saw significant redesigns at the New York International Auto Show. They all got a little bigger, a little more powerful and featured a ton of crash protection equipment.
Here’s the challenge for those cars in 2016: None of that technology it is really unique to any of those brands, nor is it unique to cars that cost $32,000. For example, the Nissan Maxima features a number of technologies like a forward collision warning, lane departure warning and blind spot warning. All of that technology is also available on the redesigned Chevrolet Spark, in a car that currently starts at $20,000 less than the 2016 Nissan Maxima’s starting price.
The 2015 Chevrolet Spark is a shockingly engaging, fun car to drive, but it always felt a little unrefined. That all changes for the 2016 model year. This might finally be the subcompact Chevrolet that seriously challenges the imports.