Auto-show season has kicked off with the Los Angeles Auto Show. It runs through Nov. 29 at the L.A. Convention Center. The show hasn’t generated a lot of buzz, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t include significant debuts. Here are some notable new cars from the show (in no particular order).
2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry
Jim Morrison, marketing director for Jeep, waxes enthusiastic about the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry. His face lights up as he runs his hands over the new trim’s special BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO snow tires. He points to the steel bumpers and the unique Xtreme Purple available only on this version. He knows he has a Wrangler that can crush any snow thrown its way.
Based on the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, the Backcountry features a unique off-road front and rear powder-coated bumper, 17-inch Rubicon wheels painted in mid-gloss black, and a black fuel-fill door. Wrangler Rubicon rock rails are standard on the Wrangler Backcountry, but Sahara side steps are also available at no additional charge. A black hard top is standard, but an optional body-color hard top is also available.
2016 Nissan Sentra
It’s really a testament to how far cars have come that even the little ones like the 2016 Nissan Sentra are starting to get respect. In the past when a segment wasn’t selling well, it would get little respect from the manufacturers. That philosophy changed when the carmakers got caught flat-footed during the sudden rise to $4-a-gallon gas. People flocked to compacts and found them lacking.
Nissan’s not making that mistake with the Sentra. The exterior redesign brings the Sentra closer in look and feel to the new 2016 Maxima and redesigned 2016 Altima. Key features of the new Sentra exterior include new front and rear fascias, grille, fenders, hood, signature boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights, and a new 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheel design. And a number of Nissan’s advanced safety technologies are now available on Sentra for the first time: forward emergency braking, intelligent cruise control, blind-spot warnings, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
2017 Hyundai Elantra
How is the Hyundai Elantra significant, you might ask? Well, there’s the surprising fact that it’s the sixth best selling car in the world. Hyundai has a lot invested in this vehicle doing well. It gets some amazing technology for its compact class, including automatic braking with pedestrian detection.
It sounds like the 2017 Hyundai Elantra will handle much better than the current version. It will have 29.5 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 25.3 percent greater bending strength, which improve vehicle ride and handling, quietness, durability, and driving performance.
2016 Ford Escape
Such is the case with the 2016 Ford Escape. It’s the first Ford vehicle in the world with Sync Connect. Sync used to be a system you would wish only on your worst enemy, but it has been greatly improved. The new system can unlock and lock doors, start the engine, and even locate the Edge through the related smartphone app if you forget where you parked it.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider
The all-new Fiat 124 Spider is basically an Italian Mazda MX-5 Miata, but don’t hold that against this convertible. It’s a stunner in person. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider will offer the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine, the engine’s first application in a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle. The engine delivers 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, and it will be available with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
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