The Boston Auto Show: Where You Can See Cars You Can Actually Buy (from a Dealer)

Last night kicked off the 2017 New England International Auto Show, held right here in Boston, Massachusetts. While the big event in Detroit earns the majority of attention around this time of year, New England’s exhibition this year is all about cars you can actually find for sale on dealer lots—cars you and I could actually go out and purchase, rather than a slew of concepts and debuting vehicles unavailable for months to come.

CarGurus went down to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center yesterday to take an early look at what the various attendees had on display. From a Passion Berry Pearl Honda Fit to an Audi R8 V10 Plus painted Ara Blue, the New England International Auto Show is sure to have a little something for everyone; here’s what caught our attention.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Yes, that’s right, a Prius. But the Prius Prime isn’t your ordinary, everyday hybrid. Toyota essentially created the hybrid market with the standard Prius, and the new Prime is befitting the company’s legacy. An available 11.6-inch color infotainment display, oriented vertically, acts as a centerpiece to the plug-in hybrid’s interior, while a unique exterior helps the Prime stand out among common Prii. The best part, however, is that while the old Prius Plug-in was available in only a few select states, the Prime (and its 640-mile total range, 25 of which are all-electric) will be sold in all 50.

2017 Aston Martin DB11

Okay, okay, we understand some of you may feel a bit disillusioned by our interest in a plug-in hybrid with a combined horsepower rating of 121 (but come on, a 640-mile range!). If exceptional fuel economy doesn’t quite do it for you, how about exceptional horsepower? The Aston Martin DB11 manages to eke a full 600 horsepower out of its 5.2-liter V12, all sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Those figures are enough to take DB11 drivers to 200 miles per hour, although we recommend you avoid those extreme speeds on public roadways. Obviously.

2017 Jeep Compass

If you’re more interested in heading off public roads, however, you’re sure to find plenty of interesting options at the auto show, including a 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and a complement of Toyota 4Runners. But one surprising off-roader is the 2017 Jeep Compass. George Kennedy didn’t have much to say in terms of the 2016 Compass’s trail-rated chops, but the all-new 2017 is built on FCA’s small-wide platform, which also underpins the trail-capable Jeep Renegade. The Compass should be available starting this spring, and best of all, it now combines a fantastic and distinctive design with an available Trailhawk trim.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Last year, we were thrilled to see Chrysler schlep an all-new Pacifica minivan down from Detroit in time for Boston’s auto show, and this year the company has done one better, bringing down 2 traditionally powered Pacificas as well as the upcoming Pacifica Hybrid. Rated at 80 MPGe in city driving, with a total range of 530 miles and the ability to drive 30 miles on electric power alone, the Pacifica Hybrid is the only minivan of its kind, and although shoppers will have to forfeit the great Stow ‘n Go second-row seat feature if they buy one, we think the Pacifica Hybrid’s fuel efficiency is worth the sacrifice.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo

But there we go again, geeking out about fuel efficiency and driving range. Sure, that stuff might be interesting to realistic, down-to-earth shoppers, but an auto show wouldn’t be complete without some seriously exotic speed, too. Luckily, Porsche is back with another great display, this year featuring the new 2017 Panamera, and Bentley took the cover off its Flying Spur W12 S, too. The Panamera Turbo’s 550 horsepower and huge rear wing will rightfully earn it some attention, but perhaps not quite as much as the menacing black Bentley’s 6.2-liter W12 engine.

2017 Nissan Rogue with Steve Oldham

Finally, tucked away in the corner, Nissan has committed to its “Year of the Truck,” showcasing the Titan, Frontier, Armada, and the Rogue—now Nissan’s best-selling vehicle. Steve Oldham, the automaker’s communications guru for the Northeast, definitely earned some journalists’ admiration with a plate of cookies, but the Rogue, painted in an excellent Monarch Orange, continued to impress us with comfort, utility, and features. With the reputation that car has earned, it’s no wonder Nissan decided to share its name with the new pint-size Rogue Sport.

Which cars do you want to see most at the Boston Auto Show?

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