Our Favorites from Boston

January 18th, 2014

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Thursday was by all accounts an awesome day. The sun was shining, the temperature was above freezing and, oh, the New England International Auto Show started! We were lucky enough to get to check out the annual show (which runs until January 20 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center), and boy oh boy did we see some amazing cars. For anyone interested in checking out the show, 35 automakers are showing off their newest creations this year and have loads of manufacturer representatives on hand to answer questions.

While we had a great time checking out 2014’s latest and greatest (and believe us, the show has tons of really great cars to see), there were a few we saw for the very first time that really caught our attention. We’ve covered many of these cars in the past, but never had we actually seen one in the flesh. We’re extremely grateful that changed yesterday, and if you haven’t had a chance to see these cars yet, get down to Boston’s Seaport District and check them out.

2015 Kia K900

5. One of the first cars we came across on the floor yesterday was Kia’s new flagship: the 2015 Kia K900. Designed to compete with the big luxury brands, the K900 is a large, rear-drive sedan intent on shaking up the luxury market (much as Hyundai has tried to do with the Genesis and Equus). While we had seen plenty of pictures of the K900, none of them quite did it justice until we saw it in person. It really gives off the sense of a refined, grown-up luxury car—not something that necessarily would have been expected from Kia in the past. With a wide array of luxury gear standard, expect the K900 to slot in somewhere between Hyundai’s Genesis and Equus, priced in the mid-$50,000 range. While we haven’t had the chance to drive the K900 yet, what we saw yesterday is promising.

2015 Audi S3

4. Next up is a car we’re extremely excited to see in the States: the 2015 Audi S3. Based on Audi’s all-new A3, the S3 boasts 290 horsepower and should be able to hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. That’s an impressive feat, especially for a small, front-wheel-drive sedan (the famed Ford Focus ST shoots to 60 in 5.9). Audi hasn’t released pricing yet, but look for it to sticker a bit below the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG‘s $47,450. While the CLA45 AMG may still be the class leader (it is faster and more powerful than the S3), the less-expensive Audi looks set to give Mercedes a real run for its money.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

3. In the past few years, many automakers have been downsizing their SUVs (or even eliminating them). Thankfully, Chevrolet did not and brought the powerful new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe with it to Boston. Designed to be more aerodynamically sound than the outgoing model, Chevrolet put a lot of effort into getting things right with this one. While the car is still not a fuel-economy star, the improved aerodynamics and powertrain will boost overall mileage ratings, although there’s no word on just how much they will improve. Some cool updates to the car include power-folding third- and second-row seats, up to 11 USB ports and a rear hatch that cleverly hides the rear wiper from the elements. While we still wouldn’t want to foot the car’s fuel bill, we’re impressed with what General Motors has been up to lately, and we can’t wait to see this car hit showroom floors.

2015 Porsche Macan

2. Up next is a car we never denied the importance of, but were unsure how it would deliver in-person: the 2015 Porsche Macan. Yesterday, it delivered. We’ve been excited about the Macan since it was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but it was hard to judge the car from photos alone. What we did know prior to the show’s opening is that the Macan is slated to be Porsche’s most important launch since the Cayenne debuted back in 2002. Aimed at making Porsche more of a mainstream brand, the Macan has high hopes of becoming one of Porsche’s best-selling models, as it’s $49,900 starting price (the cheapest among the cars in Porsche’s stable) will make the brand more accessible to new buyers. Whatever doubts we had about the Macan’s styling evaporated yesterday: Porsche did an excellent job of creating a well-proportioned and beautiful car. All that’s left is to wait and see just how the Macan performs on the road.

2014 Maserati Ghibli

1. In the top spot is a car we’ve been way too excited about since the day it was announced: the 2014 Maserati Ghibli. Actually, that’s a lie—it’s impossible to be too excited about the Maserati Ghibli. At first glance, the Ghibli is nothing short of astonishing. With its long, sleek hood and swooping lines, the car is most definitely worthy of the trident it carries. Available with two 6-cylinder engines built by Ferrari, the Ghibli can send up to 404 horses to the back wheels (although the all-wheel-drive system in the high-end versions will send up to 50% of that power to the front in certain conditions), meaning it should perform like an absolute beast when pushed to its limits. With a starting price around $65,000, we expect (and can’t wait) to see the Ghibli at auto shows for years to come.

Have you been to the New England International Auto Show? What was the coolest car you saw there?

-zwaller

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