November 25, 2015

L.A. Auto Show Puts New Light On Old Favorites

L.A. Auto Show Puts New Light On Old Favorites

The annual Los Angeles Auto Show is always a showcase of highly-anticipated debuts, advanced technology, and suave style.  We saw all of that this year, but also re-boots for many of our old favorites from across the globe.  Here are highlights from last week:

2017 Buick LaCrosse

Buick's overhauled flagship sedan adopts dynamic styling from the Avenir concept, from last January's Detroit show, including the brand's new trademark winged grille, long hood, and sloping rear roofline.  It goes further with dramatic two-swoop rear fender sculpting as Buick's logo returns to tri-color.  A 305 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 with optional all-wheel-drive moves it smoothly.  Slide into the elegant interior with sloped center console, stitched coverings, LCD instruments and simplified controls.  Sales begin next summer.

Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept

Here's your first glance at the all-new Impreza that will roll out of Subaru's Lafayette, Indiana plant circa 2017.  Styling is much sportier with a wider stance, but still recognizable to Subaru faithful with its hexagonal wing grille, hawk-eye headlights, and integrated rear spoiler.  Upswept character lines and 19-inch wheels add excitement to the broadsides.  Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive will, of course, comes standard.

2016 VW Dune

Volkswagen cribs classic Baja Bugs for this special Beetle.  Aggressive styling and increased ride height give the car more attitude -- in coupe and convertible bodystyles.  Look close and you'll see LED running lamps, polished aluminum sills, 18-inch wheels, and body shading that hints at running boards.  LED taillights and spoiler grace the rump.  Dune comes exclusively with a 170 horsepower 1.8-liter turbo-four engine.

2016 Honda Civic Coupe

Meet the wild child of Honda's all-new 10th-generation Civic lineup.  Check the aggressive stance, chrome window detail, and signature LED taillamps.  Interiors are less fussy with stitched dash coverings, 5-inches of additional rear legroom, and Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.  Get it with Civic's first turbocharged engine -- a 1.5-liter four-cylinder delivering 174 horsepower and 31/42-MPG city/hwy.  Safety impresses with a full suite of active crash avoidance systems.

2017 Hyundai Elantra

Re-designing America's third best-selling compact is risky, but Hyundai came through with a slick design flaunting the brand's hexagonal grille, LED running lamps, and LED taillights.  Sonata-inspired interiors center on a tall center stack, soft-touch materials, and crash-avoidance tech.  Open the trunk with your foot.  Choose a 147 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 29/38-MPG city/hwy or new 138 horsepower 1.4-liter turbo-four with 7-speed dualclutch automated transmission.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

The star of the L.A. show takes the new Mazda Miata, re-styles it with classic Fiat 124 cues, and arrives as the Italian automaker's new Japanese-built roadster.  It's a clear case of the student becoming the teacher, though the Spider is distinguished with Fiat's 500 Abarth-derived 160 horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter engine.  Interiors are virtually identical to Miata's, but are refined with soft dash coverings, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, and backup camera.  Bose audio rocks it!  Get the Prima Edizione Lusso introductory model next year.

2017 GMC Canyon Denali

With Denali out-selling some full-line luxury automakers, a glitzy urban-sized pickup seemed natural.  Taking Canyon upscale are a unique chrome grille, 20-inch bright alloy wheels, and chrome trim.  Jet Black interiors with heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay, and 4G Wi-Fi coddle passengers. Get it with a 3.6-liter V6 or new 2.8-liter turbo-diesel that achieves 31-MPG hwy. Sales begin late 2016.

2017 Mazda CX-9

After nine years, Mazda redesigns its three-row crossover for parents who care about style.  Flowing KODO styling is highlighted by slim headlights and sculpted shield grille.  Interiors feature rosewood panels and contrasting color leather.  It all adds up to a more sumptuous ride.  A new turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 250 horsepower.  AWD is optional.

Scion C-HR Concept

Scion goes bold with the C-HR crossover concept to attract Young Urban Creatives.  The five-door body polarizes with sharp body creases, angled windowline, sloping roof, and winged taillamps.  High ground clearance, 21-inch wheels, and short wheelbase inspire off-roading.  An eventual production version will give young buyers utility and performance in one dramatic package.

Storm Forward!

E-mail Casey at or follow him on Youtube and Twitter:  @AutoCasey.

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