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I went to the LA Auto Show tonight, thought I'd post my impressions:
Best product on display: Mazda. The RX8 is a sweet machine that needs no introduction, but also the Mazda 3 (in particular the wagon) is a great-looking, tight little car with a very pleasing cockpit that competes well with everything in its class (i.e. Golf, Ford Focus, etc.). The turbocharged Miata on display was the best Miata I've seen: with bolstered seats and a sports-car demeanor it manages to reinvigorate a model that has become almost embarrasingly yuppified.
Booth attracting the most potential real-world buyers: For the second year in a row, that distinction seemed to belong to the MINI Cooper. They had at least half a dozen MINI's and every one of them had a long line to get a turn in the driver's seat. While a few other cars had equally intense attention from the crowd, the MINI is about the only affordable car that seems to turn people on. Keep on motoring!
Most pleasant surprise: The Jetta GLI. Maybe it is just an Anniversary Edition GTi with a trunk, or whatever. It was a great car to sit in and imagine driving. VW badly needs to get the next generation of GTis and Jettas on the market, but in terms of driver ergonomics I didn't see a single car that was as welcoming to sit in as the sported-out VW's (including the R32) with their extremely nice seats, dashboard layout, firm pedals and clear sightlines. I came home glad I drive a Volkswagen!
Biggest disappointment: The interior of the Chevy SSR pickup truck. Ladies and gentlmen, this vehicle starts at $42,000 dollars and has the cabin of a Dodge Neon. The cheap plastic and thoughtless design of this cabin speaks volumes about the essental lack at the soul of American car manufacturing. Nowhere else on earth but Detroit could deluded executives believe that the buying public is so aesthetically-challenged that they would happily spend that sort of moolah on a car and not get an interior worthy of a coach seat on Continental Airlines. (Kudos, however, to those who designed the car's striking and unforgettable exterior.)
Second-biggest disappointment: that the gorgeous interior of the marquis Phaeton was but a concept version. The for-sale Phaeton was hidden away in the back, and rightly so: it isn't much nicer than a Passat (pretty nice, mind you), while the one on the rotating stage was an eye-grabbing work of art. When I saw the concept Phaeton I thought, "VW is brilliant... they don't have the status of a Mercedes but they are going straight for the Museum of Modern Art crowd's sense of style to lure them away from traditional luxury cars." When I saw what the assembly-line Phaeton looks like inside, I wondered how a company could have a great marketing tactic sitting in its own showroom and not see it? (The couple next to me voiced the words that are likely to drive the Phaeton out of the marketplace: "Who would buy a Volkswagen when you could have a Mercedes for the same price?").
Saddest sight: The Oldsmobile pavillion. Enough said.
Ugliest convertible (here, or ever): PT Cruiser. Bleck!
Baddest machine: the Ford GT 40. Hands down. Grrrrrrrrrrow!
Most coveted (by me): (tie) Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works & the Lotus Elise.
Over and out...
 

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Re: Los Angeles International Auto Show (radiospace)

Nice write up http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
However...
Quote, originally posted by radiospace »
Saddest sight: The Oldsmobile pavillion. Enough said.

Don't you mean the Buick display - there is no more Oldsmobile.

>8^)
ER
 

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Re: Los Angeles International Auto Show (Peloton25)

Quote, originally posted by Peloton25 »

Don't you mean the Buick display - there is no more Oldsmobile.

>8^)
ER

They still have Oldsmobiles on display. It seems like this shutdown is taking forever. Is 2004 the last year??? Kill it already.
 

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Re: Los Angeles International Auto Show (Lwize)

Really? I only saw Buick.

I still think they should have killed Buick and improved on Oldsmobile. I guess Olds was starting to tread on the direction they wanted to go with Cadillac where as Buick was just as boring as ever.

>8^)
ER
 
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