NAIAS 2012

So we managed to attend the first public day of the NAIAS this year. I always look forward to the auto show, but this year, I’m actually car shopping again. I want to spend less on my auto this year, so I was looking at cheaper cars…

My summary of cars I was able to check out follows. (no particular order yet).

Chevrolet Sonic:
I had high hopes for this. It’s made in the US. Just up the road a bit on Lake Orion, in fact. However, I was very disappointed.

It looks like a small car. and it FEELS like a small car. The interior felt cheap and crappy. Hard plastic with unpleasing surface. The seat felt flimsy, and cramped.

I will likely not test drive. Poor execution.

Ford Fiesta:
I sat in a sedan model,a nd was not happy. It feels bigger than it looks, but it was CHEAP inside. The hatchback is MUCH MUCH better looking. It’s a tad over priced.

Honda CRZ:
Weird, FLAT floor in the driver area.Very low, maybe too low. No back seats. Otherwise, a fine, comfortable cocoon. I liked it. Maybe a wee bit over priced due to the hybird stuff… reminds me of the old Honda CRX’s.

Chevy Cruze:
Right on. Real comfortable, and the one I looked at had a snazzy interior I was quite fond of. Black with a red inlay, cloth. Very sharp. Note for Chevy: Y U OVERPRICE YOUR CARS SO MUCH!?!? Whatever makes this Chevy Cruze worth a $2000 premium over an identical Hyundai Elantra or even the Ford Focus??? My family always bought Chevy, GMC, Pontiac, etc. I can’t freaking buy them now because they overprice their stuff so much, it’s not even worth going to the dealer. Are they pulling Gardner White pricing?

(Story: My mom and I went furniture shopping once. We went into Gardner White. We found a couch we absolutely LOVED. It was PERFECT for my parents house. However, it had no price tag. So a salesman comes over and says “oh, that’s a $4,000 sofa. I’ll give it yo your for $2,000.” Dude… No it’s NOT. it’s a $900 sofa, and you’re trying to make me think it costs $4,000 and you’re giving me a deal at twice the real price! We walked out, and never came back. Chevy is doing the same stuff, as if they only want to sell to people STUPID enough to fall for that gimmick. Sorry, Chev. I’m not stupid.)

Ford Focus:
Perhaps the loveliest little car I saw, but I’m being silly. The Focus is as big as a current Fusion. It’s large, comfortable and very very sweet inside. I would LOVE to drive this. And I will. But Ford’s gotta do something about the price. Slap in an Auto and it adds $1500 to the price? To paraphrase the only funny thing David Spade ever said “are you nucking futs?” I like the hatch better, but the hatch adds another $1750 to the cost… that’s odd because…

Hyundai Elantra:
A virtual twin of the Focus, really. Gorgeous lines, comfy interior. Really really liked this. Will test drive. Price is excellent, about $17.5k… which is the price point I’m using for the Focus and Cruze. All three cars are about the same, so why does the Cruze cost SO much more for the same stuff, and the Focus costs   more than the Elantra? It doesn’t make sense, and I’m not going to pay an extra 4k because “it’s made by Ford/Chevy”. The Elantra is made in the US, for the US.

Hyundai Veloster:
I really looked at this for Dan, but this is a sweet ass car with style. It’s technically a 4 door, but one is buried on the passenger side and it’s a hatchback of sorts. Very nice interior, similar to the Elantra, but with more snazziness to it. A bit more expensive, really. The Veloster seems to act as the hatchback version of the Elantra, and I really like it.

Kia Soul:
Now, I also wanted to see the Nissan Cube, but Nissan had no Cubes. Alas. The Kia Soul is really quite nice. I honestly see no different in size/quality features between the Soul and my current Nissan Rogue. I will test drive the Kia Soul, and I suspect from Internet pricing, it’s the front runner.

What else? Well, I checked out the 2013 Ford Fusion (looks good, but I’m trying to figure out if it looks timely enough… will it look dull in a year or 2?), the Maserati Kubang (looks FABULOUS all the way around till you reach the front… which looks like someone lopped a model’s nose off and she’s bleeding everywhere. Eww.) Nissan Frontier (“small” pickup? yeah, right…), Honda Ridegline (I would LOVE LOVE this. It is cool as hell.) Smart ForTwo (lololololo. Golf cart.) Dodge Dart (very nice looking. Dodge/Chyrsler/Fiat is REALLY betting on this, but it has no real visual piazz to warrant such faith… so it better be spectacular to sit inside, and better yet to drive). Via Falcon. Corvette and Ford Raptor (the first 2 things I will buy when I win the lottery, after the diamond ring for my lady). A bunch of concepts.

Ford had a really fancy display area. Chevy was hugely busy. The concepts by chevy (code S or R) were interesting… one looked like a Camaro mated with an old Neon coupe… which looks better than it sounds like. Overall the show felt bigger and more impressive than recent years, in which the floor had actual ghettos (read: Cheap ass Chinese “imports” like Chery).

Parking was… are you freaking kidding me? We ended up in the Atwater St parking around the Ren Cen and took the People Mover around. Speaking of which, why is it going the wrong way now???

Did I look at the Infintiss, Lincolns, Maybach, etc? No. Whats the point?

We avoided Toyota (screw you, Toyota) and VW (while I like their cars, I dislike the people who like VWs because they’re all snooty snobaroonis… which probably says something about me too,alas.)

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