Auto Show Impressions, What Looks Good and What Needs Improvement

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First impressions really say a lot, especially for a car. While test driving is the best way to truly see how well a car performs, I don’t care to actually do that. Therefore, I will present my first impression thoughts on what stood out both good and bad.

Ram: The 1500 Limited and Longhorn trims are truly competitive with luxury cars. They offer the material quality and level of details you expect from Mercedes. While Ram still lags behind in technology, it is still a few steps ahead of Ford and GM. Wood trim, leather, high quality plastics are a few steps above their competition and the Ram is still the only truck with an air suspension for a smoother ride and a selectable ride height. What puzzles me is that Chrysler is capable of making a good truck, so why is the rest of their lineup so bad? A line of crossovers and SUVs with this level of quality will skyrocket sales. A Suburban sized SUV will truly catapult profits especially with the 1500 Limited interior.

In person, the quality and level of detail is amazing.

Chevrolet: The Tahoe/Suburban look great and leap frog the Ford Expedition. Ford should be sweating as their biggest advantage, the independent rear suspension is now gone. The new Chevy SUVs are also more spacious. The new C8 Corvette is also going to be a huge hit if they can keep up with production. The labor dispute forced them to cut production for 2020 and push those orders to 2021. Chevy’s biggest question mark is Silverado pickup. The inside looks as if it came out in 2010, not 2019. It is that dated. It was dated before it was even released. You would never guess it costs the same as a Ram 1500.

Hyundai/Kia: They are on a roll with the new Palisade/Telluride. They can’t keep up with demand for them. The new Sonata sedan is a class above the Camry and Accord as well. At the rate Hyundai/Kia is going, Toyota and Honda need to step up. If only they can figure out how to manage the Genesis brand. The dealership experience is subpar.

Mercedes: It pains me to say, but Mercedes is operating on branding alone at this point. Subjectively, all of their cars and SUVs are fairly bland, but have stellar interiors. The smooth, plain design isn’t aging well and cheapens the car. It’s really their newest models that are the biggest disappointments. The A, CLA, GLA, GLB interiors are just not good. See Hyundai/Kia above. They look great in pictures, but in real life are filled with lower quality plastics and seating surfaces. However, this won’t matter as all of these cars start in the $30K range where buyers are ok with it to get the Mercedes badge.

It looks fine in pictures, but doesn’t hold up in real life

Everyone Else:

Mustang Mach E: This is going to be popular. If they can reach the promised range, this looks very cool in person and is priced well enough
Nissan Sentra: Someone at Nissan showed up to work, this looks great for the compact class
Mazda: Great exterior and interior but can’t overcome Honda and Toyota brand for reliability. Dealership experience is awful too
Genesis G70: 85% of a BMW 3 at 75% of the cost. They are on the cusp of being truly competitive. Fix engine refinement, technology, and dealership experience
Lexus: They need to move quicker. The Germans update cars almost twice as regularly and the Koreans and Americans are starting to step it up
Acura and Infiniti: Someone tell them to show up to work. Their entire lineups need refreshing
Cadillac: The XT6 is GM laziness at its best. However, it is priced to sell and offers the Cadillac badge. The CT4 and CT5 sedans are practically invisible. Look for these to struggle and possibly be gone after one model cycle.

The Mustang Mach E should be a big hit later this year.

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