The Most Hotly Anticipated Debuts at the 2017 North American Interational Auto Show

NAIAS 2017 Logo


Next week kicks off the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Although much attention has been directed at automakers’ decisions to move away from the traditional auto show format for their new-car debuts, with companies like Chrysler choosing instead to utilize the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the show in Detroit still remains one of the biggest events in the auto world, and CarGurus is excited to report on it this year.

Chrysler’s decision to forgo its home turf for the Las Vegas strip makes plenty of sense. Cars are being marketed more and more as electronic peripherals, with electric powertrains, self-driving technology, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication progressively commanding headlines. Nonetheless, plenty of automakers are still preparing to debut new models in Detroit, with a handful already earning our attention.

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From the engaging Optima to the best-of-all-worlds Sorento, Kia is making huge strides and stepping away from its reputation as a value-oriented brand (although the Sedona still earns praise for its value proposition, in all the best ways). Because it’s owned by Hyundai Motor Group, Kia has access to the Korean conglomerate’s resources—such as the new Genesis 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 powering the G80—but, as of yet, it hasn’t taken full advantage of them. With the Kia GT, we may finally get a good looking, powerful sports sedan, and I’m hoping it features that 3.3-liter engine and at least the option of rear-wheel drive.

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I love the Cadillac CT6. I love the Genesis G90. I really, really hope I love the new Lexus LS. And why shouldn’t I? The company that shook up the full-size executive sedan company with the original LS 400 back in the early ‘90s is allegedly at it again, with a redesigned LS. Built on the same architecture as the upcoming LC 500, it is expected to feature either Lexus’s 5.0-liter V8 or a hybrid powertrain. Suddenly, the space that was dominated by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class for so long is starting to look quite a bit more crowded.

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Speaking personally, I have never been a big fan of Chevrolet’s crossovers’ designs. I’m all for 3-row crossovers and SUVs, but the Traverse always looked a little bit like a rotten egg to me. Now, Chevrolet is teasing images of a new Traverse, set to debut in Detroit, and the combination of its long roof and upright front end strike a much similar design to the attractive GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Tahoe. If Chevy can deliver an efficient, comfortable 3-row crossover with Tahoe looks, I expect they’ll find quite a few customers.

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It’s hard to get excited about a midsize sedan as ubiquitous as the Camry, yet here I am. The Camry is the best-selling car in the United States so any minuscule improvements will have a major effect, and with cars like the 86 and the rumored Supra successor, we know Akio Toyoda is intent on bringing excitement back to the Toyota nameplate. The biggest reason why I’m looking forward to this debut, though? My brother recently told me of his plans to buy a new Camry, and if we’re lucky, he’ll be bringing home a good-looking, sharp-driving sedan, rather than the basic beige rolling doldrum currently blending into the sea of anonymity. Fingers crossed, everybody.

What cars are you most looking forward to at the Detroit Auto Show?

-Matt Smith

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