What really caught my eye though? 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Ho-ly crap. While it may not be the most practical midsize sedan out there in terms of spaciousness, the interior felt like a luxury car. I was floored and would have sat in the car for a good hour had there not been a line. Mechanically it's a very advanced car as well. Hyundai has raised the bar, and I can't wait to see what Ford and GM have in store for the next Fusion and Malibu. (In this segment, the Sonata was 1st among interiors, with the Fusion 2nd and Malibu 3rd...everyone else was distant followers, including Toyota Camry and Honda Accord)
I was very disappointed that both cars I came to the show for (Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze) were display only, so I couldn't sit in them. However, I do have some thoughts based on my observations
-Focus: This car was #1 on my list when I first saw the photos of it. In person, it is every bit as awesome as the photos dictate. However, I have one big concern about this car: It might be too small and cramped. For comparison's sake: My '03 Focus is very roomy and has lots of headroom, and models in following years have had the same general shape. This new Focus is certainly more aerodynamic...but at what cost? The greenhouse looks lower, which could make things interesting, especially for those sitting in the back seat. Also, while it is very sleek, next to the Cruze it appears too "cute;" the Cruze looks like a manlier car. The interior looked VERY robust and techy...perhaps a little too busy for those who aren't into complex interiors...but I was impressed despite my concerns.
-Cruze: This car is somewhat the opposite of the Focus...pictures do not do the car justice. It looks like a larger car than it is, and it's very noticeable in person. The trunk looks cavernous and while I could only see the interior from a distance, the interior looked PHENOMENAL. In all caps. The Cruze also has several factors that have helped it regain my mindshare: its 5-star crash ratings in every category in every crash test in every region of the world that the car is currently sold in...and there will be even more safety features in the U.S. version of the car (10 airbags instead of 6, for example). Also, I can't ignore the fact that almost every component of the car is built in Ohio...even though Ford has many Ohio plants as well. Still...if the Cruze is an overall larger car that has comparable fuel economy to the Focus, the Cruze will certainly be my next car. Of course, I have to drive both before making a decision.
Other cars that caught my eye:
-Buick LaCrosse: WOW. Premium interior. Excellent car. Too bad my dad just bought another car yesterday ('07 DTS with far fewer miles and more features...older car but better in the long run).
-Ford Fusion: Too bad one of my good friends moved to Atlanta, cuz I was enjoying when he drove us around in his 2010 Fusion. Still an excellent car even though the Sonata stole its thunder. The Lincoln MKZ version of it was very nice too, but not worth the extra $$$.
-Ford Taurus: Awesome. The Lincoln MKS version of it is similar to the MKZ/Fusion comparison too.
-Ford Escape: It's amazing how this SUV has stood the test of time despite being an old design.
-Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain: Very nice.
-Hyundai Tucson: Very nice as well, it's no Sonata interior.
-Chevy Malibu: I was disappointed until I sat in the Camry and Accord, then I quickly realized just how nice the Malibu is...but it trails behind the Fusion and Sonata.
-Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang: Tied. Just a treat to sit in both.
I might be going again this week since my parents want to go...I'll have more thoughts if I do go again.