2012 New York Auto Show: Winners and Losers

Posted on 06. Apr, 2012 by in Auto News

Many of the press conferences at this year's New York Auto Show was packed with several debuts, as if the automaker knew that to make this the last opportunity for a splash before the summer lull between international showcases. The jam-packed schedule brought a number of important debuts, and Cars.com 's Mike Hanley editors, Kelsey Mays, Joe Wiesenfeld fields and Joe Bruzek attracted the show floor in search of the show winners and losers.

2013 Nissan Altima

Mike Hanley: Winner
The redesigned Altima all-new sheet metal keeps the sedan the appearance of current in the rapidly changing family car segment, but its efficient four-cylinder engine – with a projected fuel economy of 38 mpg on the highway – is strong with buyers focused on gas prices resonance. The competition will not be, but the new Altima as it looks, what it maintain its impressive sales momentum has.

Kelsey Mays: Winner
Nissan is the latest to expose the absurdity of the automaker to build an optimized fuel economy version, which marketed heavily on dealer lots but find weariness. The Altima, a game-changing get 27/38 mpg city / highway with no optional equipment, which some other four-cylinder family cars by double-digit percentages. Interesting styling and comfortable seats help their case. Cabin materials not pass the class, but they are competitive with the Camry, Accord and Fusion.

Joe Wiesenfeld fields: Winner
It was not long ago that the Altima was one of the few relatively stylish sedans in this class. Now there are several, and the 2013 can not overtake not compete in this regard. But I agree with the guys, and I like the overall interior materials. They did not mess up.

Joe Bruzek: Winner
The midsize Altima, the $ 21,500 starting price an automatic, 38 mpg highway rating, and standard features than last year, which may be enough to seal the deal for the value shopper and raise their eyebrows at the auto show.

2013 SRT Viper

MH: Loser
It pains me to call a high-performance animals such as the 2013 SRT Viper is a loser, but I was not with the SRT design direction it was impressed. The headlights and lower grille crosshairs are new and unique, providing an insight of what could have been the car, but the rear of the front fenders, the 2013 Viper is a dead-ringer for the first generation car. I take the 640-horsepower V-10, SRT team, but this snake has to molt this.

KM: Winner
I'm on the other side of it. Chrysler needed its supercars like Universal Pictures needs another "American Pie" sequel to revive again. But Chrysler pulled it off – and yes, Stifler's mom would go to this. The styling looks like the Vipers of the past, but the inside is like the old Viper ground-level rigor with some luxury touches. In an era of rising gas prices and increasingly high mileage rules, I love the idea of a 8.4-liter V-10. Kudos to Chrysler, also avoid an automatic transmission.

JW: Loser
I feel Mike pain. In a sense, the Viper is a celebration of the resurrection of Chrysler, and I'm sure like me for V-10s and stick shifts am. But the hood … I'd say it looks like the love child of a modded Pontiac Grand Am and a Lotus Elise, but that offspring. Might actually easier on the eyes Call it the SRT Viper is moving another loser. What we need from the Dodge name away next? The Challenger? Sure, that's a good idea.

JB: Winner
I have three trips to the Dodge / SRT stand on day one of the two media have made day, a look at the Viper GTS and snap photos with my phone. The relapse form of Viper profile is perfect, but there is freshness to the front and back, which not only recycles ideas from the good old days. The 2013 Viper is undoubtedly a super sports car from every angle, up close or from across the show floor.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

MH: Winner
Some may complain Impala continued reliance on a front-wheel-drive platform, but the redesigned 2014-model is stylish and promises economical, too. I like the Camaro design elements that are part of the front-end, and the back is much slimmer than the associated Cadillac XTS. The rear seat is not as roomy as the car outside bulk suggests, but this car will go a long way towards freeing the Impala its rental fleet image.

JW: Winner
I'd rather see a larger rear seat and small trunk, as in the Volkswagen Passat, but I think the Impala do well. GM has proven that to build a high-quality interior, but the first version of the new Malibu (the Eco) is doubtful. This is better, and it is free of that horrendous touch-sensitive controls.

JB: Winner
To the faithful and rear wheel drive Impala hopeful: Accept the Impala will be front-wheel drive and be happy with what the Union rolled into the most competitive and unique looking Impala since the last 1996 Impala SS from the assembly line. I'm not saying it's as cool as the '96 SS, only that everything in between is not even close.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, Santa Fe sport

MH: Winner
The five-seat Santa Fe Santa Fe sport and larger three-row (do not get me started on this naming scheme) both look like winners for Hyundai, a brand that did not have a lot of losers lately. The enhanced design has an athletic form and seamlessly integrates Hyundai hexagonal grille while the interior is rich looking for the segment.

JW: Winner
The Santa Fe is largely responsible for Hyundai resurrection in the U.S. market, but it was the forgotten model than other Hyundai intros and redesigns have racked up awards and accolades. The company has not missed a beat with this, either. All extras, including a rear seat that slides back and forth. If the ride is more comfortable than the Tucson, it is a big win indeed.

JB: Winner
Hyundai has been winning big, but there was not much attention to car buyers with two or more children. Introductions have been almost completely sedans, coupes and hatchbacks. The Santa Fe addresses the perfect hole in the lineup. With style, space, five-or seven-passenger configuration and promises of high fuel consumption

2013 Lincoln MKZ

MH: Loser
The MKZ has its share of cool features, like a huge glass roof and a pushbutton selector but I'm not convinced the new face of Lincoln will bring luxury buyers back to the brand – especially with a great-looking Fusion sedan in neighboring Ford showrooms. Lincoln's brave attempt to make the split-wing grille work, but it could go time for the brand in a different direction.

KM: Winner
I sat in the MKZ and the new Lexus ES back-to-back. In severe restrictions – cabin materials often change between the car show and car rental – impressed the MKZ cabin. The rear seat could be bigger, and MyLincoln Touch for me just like always, but otherwise cabin materials show excellent consistency. Premium finishes define the front-wheel-drive entry-level luxury segment, but you do not have to look far to see the Lexus in some cut-rate plastics. The sharp-looking MKZ sweats the details.

JW: Winner
I have a hard time calling any car with this extensive an application MyLincoln Touch a winner, but I found the front end more elaborately finished than the overly blinged concept car at the Detroit show. I do not know if I like the pinched fastback design, but it is unmistakable, and I respect it. Maybe I'm just in a generous mood.

JB: Winner
I welcome the Lincoln MKZ styling. Now, take three quarters of the car. You could have drawn a Lexus and we know exactly what we expected in a redesign, but the MKZ has. Surprises at every turn with cool features and sleek styling as the fastback rear I'm not on the front of the split-wing grille, sold or screams old Lincoln.

2013 Toyota Avalon

MH: Loser
If the idea was to put a massive lower grille on the Avalon to it acting aggressively, do not bother. Oh, that's the grid huge all right, but it just does not work with the rest of the car design work. Compared to the polished lenses of the Impala, the Avalon seems almost unfinished comparison.

KM: Loser
Is there a reason in this segment? Shoppers are drifting away from large sedans. Sales of full-size cars slipped 5.9% in 2011 as buyers chose almost four family sedans – a segment which improved 7.9% – for every big car. The Avalon delivers on the major auto goods with a comfortable back seat and decent cabin materials, but similar money will probably buy a mid-sized luxury car.

JW: Loser
Agreed. Honestly, this car is probably a few pen strokes away from being a cohesive, classy unit. Something just is not right about that nose.

JB: Loser
Avalon is the run of plankton? Because that is what the massive whale looks into the mouth of a grid as it tries to inhale. I'm on board with the rest of the car as the rear styling and interior. I just can not get past that cartoonish grille.

2013 Lexus ES

MH: Winner
The Lexus ES bears' new hourglass grille good, and the rear is inspired by the flagship LS. What really impressed me, though, was the all-new interior and premium appearance. The addition of a hybrid model – the ES 300h – comes at just the right time.

KM: Loser
The ES looks sharp, but the evidence is to clean Lexus, the cheaper plastics under arm level, especially along the center console, between now and when the ES hits dealers. When entry-level luxury car from Lincoln to Infiniti can clothe their interiors with consistent quality, has to Lexus, its game.

JW: Winner
As I said in the Up Close both versions are classy, neat designs to an extent Lexus vehicles historically. I do not object to the inner quality, but I'm just a fussbudget regional class. Mays is world class.

JB: Loser
I could not get over how similar the ES 'interior and exterior of the GS looks compared. I think it's good for buyers because the ES ES probably considerably less expensive than the GS, but if I were a GS owner, I would get upset because someone all the same style points for less money.

2013 Subaru XV Cross Trek

MH: Winner
A Subaru Impreza on his toes, keeps the XV Cross Trek the Impreza hatchback versatility and styling. We have seen how successful has been with his Subaru off-road themed Outback, and the brand is following the same playbook with this model. Sales are expected to follow.

KM: Loser
The Impreza is an impressive little car, but I'm wondering why a few inches clearance costs 2-3 mpg in EPA ratings. Undoubtedly, there are some additional weight is in debt (full specs on the car are in the pipeline), the modest performance of the Impreza is already dull. I wanted the cross Trek like, but the numbers left me worried.

JW: Winner
As science officer Mr. Spock, you should know that ground clearance and tire choices are just as important as weight. You should also channel your maternal DNA and recognize that this is a cool little car, and that's more than enough for the people.

JB: Winner
The XV Cross Trek looks to be a fantastic little offroader with a cool attitude and lifted look-at-me eye-catching orange color. I would throw on some meaty tires to fill the additional wheel gap, but otherwise this thing is ready for some EXTREME camping. No, I do not know what that means.

2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

MH: Winner
The 6 Series Gran Coupe is ridiculously expensive compared to the similarly sized 5 Series sedan, but great views and a reasonable amount of interior space for front and rear occupants in this new must-have car in the world of the coupe-like luxury cars.

JW: Winner
I'm not sure if I would have recognized this as a winner if it were not for the Audi A7, a car that is similar to paper and unexpectedly more fire under the non-car people than any other model I since years have seen lights. The Gran Coupe is a clever adaptation of the newly revised 6 Series. And I'm a sucker for semigloss paint.

JB: Winner
This car oozes cool. The 6 Series Gran Coupe on display in New York featured an Alcantara suede headliner, which is wrapped around the inside of the roof and the bottom of the column and is complemented by matching carpets.

2013 Porsche Boxster

MH: Winner
Look closely, and you will see a number of styling changes to the 2013 Boxster the exterior, including a rear spoiler, elegantly integrated with the rear lights look. The interior is more upscale, too. The current Boxster is a great-handling Roadster and the new one will be measured against him as well as its competitors, but the 2013-model on the show floor looks great – except for the color of gold.

KM: Winner
Sharp styling, especially in the back draw, the new Boxster. The interior of Porsche has the latest equipment, and the car remains its mid-engine balance. Summer could not come earlier.

JW: Winner
I loved this model since day one, and I'm pleased to see it get a redesign, which looks like a redesign – not just Porsche usual MO Even better, it's a good-looking redesign, especially around back. The tail light / spoiler ridge could go either way, and the designers made it work.

JB: Winner
Mike is right – I had to look closely to appreciate the changes to the Boxster. I am the most back to how slick the rear spoiler lip made integrated with the rest of the body design. It's a sleek design that will always know to appreciate and not typical of Porsche, "Well, folks, it's all new underneath but looks the same out there."

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

MH: Loser
The updated GL-Class was almost in the avalanche of new models that debuted at the show lost, and the effort to find this big SUV seemed wasted, as the small updates for outdoor and indoor use are.

KM: Winner
I agree with Mike, but Mercedes still merit for packing outstanding second and third-row space in a car, which is much shorter than a Cadillac Escalade or Infiniti QX56. Should improve mileage about 20%, Mercedes says, what could the diesel GL some decent numbers.

JW: Winner
The GL-Class TKO'd the R-Class directly from the U.S. market, so in that respect alone, it's a winner. The power folding seats are also here, as they were a few years in the E-Class Estate, which impressed us executed. There is plenty to do in the GL like it when you're not anti-or anti-luxury SUV.

JB: Winner
The GL power tumbling second row has convinced me. I played with the seating configurations for at least 10 minutes in awe of all involved and the mechanical interlocks, and springs and motors whirring to quickly draw the line to the front in the third row access. Plus, the GL looks chiseled and has now replace a stylish interior, the recent boring inside.

Acura RLX concept

MH: Loser
The advanced propulsion technology and emphasizing the interior are the highlights of this concept, which is an almost finished version of the new Acura flagship sedan, but the design has disappointed me. Although Acura shield grille was attenuated down to other models as well as on the RLX concept remains a lot displeasure over the design. It's time for Acura to develop a new face for the brand.

KM: Loser
Like Mike said, brings the right flagship RLX levels of technology. But the styling was not for me, and Acura decision to sell off a lower mileage, front-drive version of the car hurt cachet when it comes to market.

JW: Loser
I did not get in the RLX, but I can not imagine it could be compelling enough to become a winner there. This is a dÇjÖ vu: another opportunity for Acura, something that is going to do to change its course and assets. And another opportunity missed.

JB: Loser
Cool sedan, Acura.

Not.

Sorry, I just finished "Wayne's World", and the RLX looks like it came from that era. I agree with the other guys: Acura tech and gadgets is great, but the RLX completely accessible to the auto show floor.

Infiniti LE concept

MH: Winner
The lack of supply in the face of this concept makes the car look a little strange, and Infiniti corporate grille seems out of place among the thin headlights, but it is a striking sedan overall futuristic interior with enough controls to go with the electric drive.

KM: Winner
An electric luxury car fascinates me, and finally to bring the plug-in Cadillac ELR, Infiniti could have the space under a handful of electric (or electric car with extended range) exotics.

JW: Winner
Sure, bring it on. The more EVs better if you ask me, and I think the technology is even more attractive to luxury car buyers. However, someone needs to point out that the wireless charging is obviously less attractive when people find out it's slower or uses more energy than the oh-so-uncomfortable conducting method.

JB: Winner
The current electric cars for sale command a lot of money. By packing more functionality, style and a luxurious driving experience in an all-electric small sedan might want the LE concept for buyers with the right budget and mind-set, however, by the awkwardness of the cars like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i put

BMW X1

MH: Winner
BMW smallest crossover looks a little like a tailgate from some angles, but it is characterized by easy entry and exit thanks to these deep-seated attitudes and more passenger space than its small size makes suspect. If too tiny crossovers a hit in the luxury segment are, BMW is an early lead with the X1.

KM: Loser
A smaller back seat and ho-hum cabin materials mar an otherwise tidy package. Buick and BMW are the first of several to give the baby crossover luxury excursion. Is it just me, or are there still too many micro-segments?

JW: Winner
I'm with Mike on the inside space issue – better than expected. I love cars, and when a car must look like to attract American buyers, so be it.

JB: Winner
What has convinced me of the X1 greenhouse-like visibility with tons of glass give a great look over my shoulder, which is not bad many small hatchbacks and SUVs. In combination with the powerful and efficient turbo four from the BMW 328, the entry-level X1 could start a whole new luxury segment in the U.S., and possess it. I will take in Le Mans Blue Metallic with the M Sport Appearance Package.

Mazda Takeri concept

MH: Winner
I've always liked athletic form of the Mazda6 sedan, but the market never really warmed to it. Not surprisingly, I also like the look of the Takeri that. On the design ideas that continues to build in the Mazda6 This will that be what looks Mazda next midsize sedan as if Mazda can work through its financial challenges, and I would be glad to see it on the way.

KM: Winner
The current Mazda6 never sold so well. When his successor looks like the Mazda Takeri could make some inroads – and SKYACTIV power could pay positive dividends EPA.

JW: Winner
I like where Mazda goes with this new design direction. The only thing that gives me pause is that Mazda has always made bold – sometimes breathtaking – Concept Cars, rarely do more than "influence" real products. Sometimes these influences can not be, unless someone from Mazda has it to you.

JB: Winner
I think this is one of the best-looking concepts at the auto show and is definitely one of those cars, I recommend that people go to see her wow factor. But for all the reasons mentioned meadow fields, I doubt that's what will the next Mazda6. The long hood and short trunk does not seem they would work on a mass-produced front-wheel-drive family sedan successor to the Mazda6. Prove me wrong, Mazda.