Miss: Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK concept -- This is what happens when you take a Subaru Forester and have a Chinese automaker install a Mercedes knockoff grille. It's awful.
Hit: Smart ForTwo. Here's an affordable, easy-to-park microcar for city slickers and tree-huggers who crawl along on surface roads at 10 mph under the speed limit to save fuel. Look for this tiny car to become a favorite of elderly drivers who live in gated communities, and look for it to be pulled behind Winnebagos.
A car this size can be used for many things. It will be a hit, although it won't light up the sales charts like the Mini Cooper.
Miss: The Chinese, but not for long. Five Chinese automakers are displaying this year at the Detroit show, and this may be the last year we can summarily write off Chinese vehicles. They've already picked off the low-hanging fruit and improved the quality of paint finishes, door gaps and seams.
At first glance and from a distance, cars from such automakers as Geely and BYD look pretty good. All the vehicles I saw looked to be assembled well, with tight-fitting weatherstripping and flush shut lines.
But now the Chinese have to do the hard work and get the body hardware right. Things that need work are door handles, latches, plastic surfaces, switches, seat upholstery. It all has a very cheap look and feel, and several of the cars I sat in had broken or malfunctioning trim items.
Hit: BMW X6 -- This swoopy crossover should be a major hit for BMW. It's a tall wagon with a sloping roof and a hatchback rear door that opens to a cavernous cargo bay. A nifty optional V-8 engine has twin turbochargers with inboard-facing exhaust manifolds that save space and weight.