LOS ANGELES — We sent a couple of our journalists to the City of Angels to take in the auto show, and they had some devilish opinions. Staff Reporter Larry P. Vellequette and Chief Content Officer Jamie Butters passed judgment on the new models revealed, the definition of a wagon and art made from folded paper.
To hit and miss in L.A.
JB: I think it's a great strategy to try to sell an electric car that is worthy of a price that will pay for the battery. That's so much better than putting out a car that's worth $10,000 less than the battery. And so I think it's clearly the hit of the show. HIT
LV: This is a nice-looking EV. It doesn't look like an EV — the shape is that of every other crossover.
I'm not very excited about the name. I'm OK with the "Mach-E," but the Mustang name seems like a sticker package. I understand why they did it: It gives it some brand identity — even one that's stolen. HIT
LV: I think Nissan gets credit for doing what they do best, which is stuffing a lot of things into the package for the price. I don't know what the pricing is, but for a compact sedan, I think they're competing where they have to compete on a value play. And it's attractive, except for a couple of lines. HIT
JB: The two-toned one on the stage looks almost exotic, and then you stand here by the regular one and there's just so much clutter on the C-pillar. But the interior really surprised me: It has nice materials, and the flat-bottom steering wheel gives it a very sporty and upscale feel for a car in that class. HIT
LV: Who's gonna think about putting a flat-bottom wheel on the Sentra, right? But it's a little flourish and gives you something-something.
JB: I just think this is really cool. I mean, it's a very standard size and scale, but I really liked the way they did it. I like the sculpture on the sides, the kind of cubist features to it. I like the execution of the matte green with the black. I just think it's a fun concept for what's ultimately going to be a very mainstream Hyundai Tucson. HIT
LV: This should be called the Origami if the Koreans didn't hate the Japanese so much. These crease lines are just masking a basic shape. It's the same basic shape that's on that Tucson, on the Kona, the Venue and every other crossover. MISS
JB: I hate to say it because just like we're supposed to love wagons, we're supposed to love convertibles, right? And I think this looks awkward. The back looks too long, like it was supposed to be a coupe but it got stretched out, or it was supposed to be a four-seater and they decided to just have one long door on each side. Just the proportions look a little off.
I'm sure it's a joy to drive. I love that blue paint color. And it's fun to have the wind in your hair. But this is not a hit for me. MISS
LV: I think it's beautifully designed, I do. I, too, like the color. I don't know that I'm necessarily enamored of the soft top, which can't be seen.
But are you so predisposed to melanoma that you have to have a convertible? I don't know that convertibles make sense anymore. But it's pretty, and it will sell by the dozens. MISS
JB: I don't like the way it looks. The black on white from the hood to the roof just looks awkward and clumsy to me, which, especially for a wagon is disappointing. But I'm really splitting hairs. It's a concept, so what's impractical about the look doesn't really matter. It's a very cool interior. It's all part of the strategy of proliferating EVs in the VW brand; I just don't like it as much as the others. MISS
LV: Even though it's a wagon? We're journalists; we're supposed to love wagons! There are some things on this that are over the top: for example, the pair of electric skateboards that are hidden in the trunk.
Now, I don't think it's a bad look at all. And the interior — when you're on this platform strategy, that's where you make your mark. It's the shape of things to come. They're saying this will be here in the U.S., or some version of it, in 2022. HIT
JB: Long live the wagon.
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