View Full Version : Auto Show Review

02-21-2016, 02:22 AM
Here are my impressions, in no particular order.

I’ve been to every Auto Show since the late 1970s. I remember when it was at the International Centre on Airport Road. Anyway, parking in those days was free. Now it’s $30 at the Metro Trade and Convention Centre.

It’s a manufacturer show again this year. It switches back and forth between that and a dealership show sometimes. So the manufacturers hire community college marketing students and fashion models as “brand ambassadors”. The upside is better pussy. Alfa Romeo, Fiat, McLaren, and Grand Touring Automobiles have the best looking chicks. The downside is that the manufacturer representatives don’t know much about technology.
McLaren seems to have dropped the MP4-12C-LOL-~~~ and their new models are the 570S and 650S, or something like that. Nice looking cars. The front end looks like a smiling whale.
Maseratis are gorgeous of course. Even the smaller Gimli model. The new 3.9L turbo Ferrari 488 looks only slightly different than the 458.

For years now the manufacturers have been cheap bastards about the brochures. Now, they don’t even give away bags much. Toyota being a happy exception. And they often insist you fill out bloody passport applications on iPads so they can send you more email spam. In the case of Honda, they have special bag giveaways at 3:25, 4:15, and 5:15 PM. Yeah, seriously. It’s the marketing departments of the manufacturers coming up with gimmicks to cultivate possible new customers and justify their jobs to senior management.

BMW prices continue to get more and more ridiculous. $155k for a M6 Gran Sport. $73k for a 428i wagon. $107k for a M3. Makes Mercedes look like a bargain.

Speaking of, Mercedes has a C class 4 wheel drive diesel wagon for $52k. Damn impressive. Build quality of Mercedes is truly amazing. Love the New Mercedes C class. A loaded C400 is $65k which ain’t too bad.

The new Mercedes E-class has been restyled so it looks like the C and S class. Now Mercedes is all the same car, just different sizes: small, medium, and large.

If anyone can teach me how to use a Mercedes radio I’d sure like to learn. This is an industry wide problem. I can’t bloody figure out these car infotainment systems. By the time you get through the six levels of pull-down menus to change the radio station you’ve already driven off the road into a tree. ~~~~ all that. I’m keeping my 2004 Taurus.

Scion? That’s some city in The Matrix.

Three cars that are brilliant in engineering and quality but the ugliest things on the road: GT-R, Camaro, and Corvette.

Toyota and Lexus insist on putting these gigantic “dead pedals” in all their cars so you have no possible way of stretching out your left leg. The Venza dashboard continues to suck. Despite it being a huge seller, 2015 was the last model year for the Venza in America and 2017 will be the last year for the rest of the world. Pity. It’s almost impossible to find station wagons anymore.

Mazdas are all epic fails. The Mazda3 has such a cheap crap interior. Ugly chunky control stalks. I think the 2.5L 4 cylinder is the largest engine they offer in any of their models. They were so much better 5 years ago.

The Nissan Maxima is gorgeous! Like a luxury car and sports car perfectly blended together. Actually most Nissans are very nice, inside and out. The Moron-o is gorgeous. Buttons to remotely lower and raise the rear seats, and lots of legroom. I gotta say Nissan/Infiniti is really ahead of the game in style and features and value.

A Ford F-150 costs $77,000. And no diesel available. At least is has a great sound system. An F-350 with the 6.7L diesel is $85,000.

The ultimate drug dealer/rapper vehicle: Infiniti Q80 in black. Your rivals shall fear you.

Red Challenger Hellcat. Purple Charger Hellcat. Everyone bow down…..We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! And they now cost $81,000.

The Camaro has been restyled inside and out. It doesn’t look completely hideous anymore. It’s just kind of fugly now. Same horrible intrusive blind spots though. And the console lid is 2 feet long and the storage compartment underneath is too small for a can of pop.

GM has too many fails. I refused to touch the Chevy Impala since even with the so-called SS option it’s front wheel drive and no V8 option. The Chevy Equinox and Chevy Perverse are cheep cheep cheep. The Cadillac XTS sound system is an indecipherable mess of touch-sensitive….buttons? However I did find the Chevy Malibu a nice if boring car. And the Buick Escapade…Endeavour…what the hell was it called? Enspire? No. The midsize SUV…..arrrrghhhh….Evitra….no…Eclectic….oh whatever! It was a nicely built vehicle. Oh, and it seems all GMs are changing their door locks so that if you pull the interior door handle once, the door unlocks, and you have to pull it a second time for the door to open. Ugh. Chevy Cruze has wayyy too much plastic on the dashboard.

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio looks awesome and has very impressive specs. Manual transmission only. Don’t know how well that will fly in the North American market.

Most comfortable seats in any car in the show: Mustang GT. I don’t think they were the optional Recaro seats either. And the rest of the car is pretty ~~~~ing awesome too! I like the way they’ve taken it more upmarket. Inside and outside I think it’s the best looking Mustang ever. You feel like you’re in an airplane cockpit.

The Ford exhibit consists mostly of crayon colouring activities. Something to keep Super Coupe owners busy I guess.
I was impressed with the Ford Edge. It was restyled in 2015 to look a little less like an egg. The materials and construction quality are great. Lots of storage space to hide your weed. Comfortable seats. Real buttons not stupid touch sensitive pads like the Lincoln MKXYZ.

Over at Lincoln, they’re bringing back the Continental as a super luxury cruiser, even though it’s really a Taurus. Now if they would bring back the Mark 8 and Town Car everything would be back to normal. Speaking of, the Taurus really needs a refresh. It’s such a nondescript box, even the SHO.

I sat in a Tesla for the first time. I must say I was impressed with the design and materials and construction quality. Too bad it’s so expensive despite the American federal government propping up the operation with a few billion dollars of corporate welfare. If you don’t mind a car with a range of 300km and requiring six hours to fill up instead of six minutes, it’s an impressive vehicle. They’re supposedly developing a cheaper car that will cost about $35,000.

The Fiat Abarth is $34,000 and made in Mexico. But finally, we have a Fiat that’s actually made in Italy. $40,000 for the Fiat SUV 500X or whatever it’s called. And it has the Dodge 2.4L Tigershark engine.

Over at Audi, no more RS5, and no more S6. The R8 was restyled a bit.

I used to like the Acura TL, but its replacement, the TLX, is really a cheapened down version of the TL. Except for the available 4 wheel drive, it doesn’t offer anything that the Honda Accord doesn’t. Not impressed with the MDX. Lousy legroom for such a huge vehicle. No remote levers or buttons to lower the rear seats.
I like the look of the new NSX. Supposed to be $190,000.

Even for an SUV, the Lexus RX has a very high floor. Depending who you are and what you’re lifting, this might be quite unpleasant.

Mitsubooshees? Ehhh whatever. If you love lots of black plastic they’re awesome.

I have a very positive impression of Subarus, specifically the Outback and the WRX. The WRX just had this awesome feel when you sat in the driver’s seat. Everything looked good, felt good, just seemed like a well-designed, quality car. Pretty much the same with the Outback. And the Outback has the easiest oil change of any car in the world.
Subaru is one of the few manufacturers left that doesn’t understand that if the doors are locked and an occupant pulls a door handle to get out, THE DOOR SHOULD OPEN! I hate having the car tell you “I’m sorry sir, but you’re not going anywhere.” Yeah I know, unlocking the doors in a separate movement is no big deal. But with all the technology put into cars these days, you’d think that programming the door locks to your preferences would be standard on ALL cars by now.

Swedish people must be crosseyed or something. Every time I sit in a Volvo, the instrument guage cluster is offset to the left of the steering wheel and driver’s line of vision by about a couple of centimeters. For some reason having to see that every time I drive would make me absolutely batty.

Jaguars have small interiors relative to their outside dimensions. Especially the F-Type. The new XE looks like a good competitor for the German midsize sedans.

The Chrysler 200 is designed and built very nicely. Definitely more style than the Camry. The Dart feels well built too. Funny thing, the Challenger feels a little cheaper inside than the Charger or 300. I like the look of the Scat Pack Shaker 392 a lot more than the Hellcat.

The Porsche Carerra is now a 3.0 Litre turbo. Not naturally aspirated anymore. The hidden reason behind this is because in China there’s a massive tax on cars with engines bigger than 3.0L. That kind of makes ALL 911s 911 turbos now.

Greg Coleman
02-23-2016, 07:12 AM
Good review as always but theres now way I'm going to pay that much to park or get in the place. I would also like to give my opinion to some of the big chiefs on their cars since I work on them day in and day out but I don't feel there is anyone there with half a brain or anything you say will just go in one ear and out the other so why even bother. I have to agree its nice to have a lot of little features and options to play with in these new cars but simplicity is the key to understanding and setting up all these things so you get the full use of everything. 2 of my friends just bought a new C-63 Mercedes and what nice cars they are but try and figure out how to set everything up good luck.One guy owns Dennys car wash and the other is a real estate agent and his pearl white machine with a black out package what a car. I figured out how to get it in race mode.Wow that thing is a beast.Did I mention he let me beat on it.All wheel drives are hard to do donuts in.

fast Ed
02-23-2016, 03:55 PM
Always enjoy your annual show review Michael !! :D


02-27-2016, 05:09 PM
Great reviews, Mike. You have a great eye for the ridiculous, especially when it comes from manufacturers so called engineering. Two pulls to open a door from the inside? Works great in any emergency situation. Who thinks up that sh**? A fully loaded Platinum F-150 is 78,000. I'm sure you could get a more realistic model for less.
I never did think that infotainment systems had a place in a car. Call it built in distracted driving. Drop down menus? Really? They should take out the screens (except rear view cameras are going to be government mandated by 2018) and just go back to rear buttons. Then you would have to go back to button counting, Mike.
Thanks again for spending the parking bucks for our entertaiment.