SF INT'L auto show: thoughts and observations | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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SF INT'L auto show: thoughts and observations


Explorer Addict
March 23, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Bay Area CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
03 sport trac XLT
every year during the week of thanksgiving in san francsico, the international auto show comes to town and pretty much every vehicle manufacturer under the sun comes to show off their lineup for the upcoming year. it's like a giant car dealership where you can walk around, pick and prod and tryout almost every vehicle that is coming out. im sure they have this in many other cities as well so you probably know what im talking about. ive been going to this show since i was a little boy, and i can remember watching a demonstration of how airbags were going to work and be implemented in cars over twenty years ago, and i remember cars like the taurus first hitting the scene and thinking it was such an odd looking car only to see every other car maker make their cars look like it. i love collecting all of the car brochures featuring all their new styles and technology and then looking back on them a decade later and being amazed at what we thought was going to catch on only to flame out. i still collect the mustang brochures every year since the 80's.

some observations i made in this years auto show:

-little shifters: i noticed that the new trend in almost every car maker that ive seen is shrinking the size of the geasr shifters in automatic vehicles. 6 and 8 speed trannys are also catching on like wild fire.

-sun roofs are way bigger: a ton of the vehicles i saw at the show that had sunroofs were huge, almost taking up most of the roof.

-gas mileage is getting better and better: there were a ton of cars getting easily over 30 MPG including many sports cars, which is great for the environment and our wallets, the F-150 V6 ECOBOOST was rated in the 20's for MPG.

-everybody has an electric vehicle: progress! as a commuting veteran, i cant wait for the day that i can drive a car that i can charge in my house that wont cost me a million dollars and looks like a spaceship from the 50's.

-painted wheels: less and less chrome, more and more paint!

show stand outs in my opinion:

hyundai velocter: this car really caught my eye, and being that ive been a hyundai basher for years, thats really saying something. it looked great from the outside, very comfortable and well thought out interior, shifter felt very nice, it was rated at 39MPG hwy, and came in at just under $22k fro the fully loaded model. thats value.

ford mustang V6: also in the low $20's range, the ford mustang V6 was pushing 300 HP and was rated at 30 MPG hwy. i also lover the nice touches they added to the styling like the light up "mustang" on the door jams that doubled as functional lighting for entering and exiting the car in the dark, and the bright, classic style gauges.

corvette ZR-1: what can you say, that thing is a beast! and it's one of the few chevy's that doesnt make you feel like you are sitting in a giant tupperware container.

range rover HSE sport: this thing blew away the porsche cayenne in every category in my opnion and it was 20 grand less.

jeep wrangler rubicon: they made the interior a little more liveable, but still kept all the functionality. we are looking into buying a jeep in early 2012.

ford fiesta: i used to make fun of these cars back in the day, now i wouldnt mind owning one. i still dont know how they were able to make it roomy in the backseats and still have all that damn trunk space.

kia optima: probably one of the most well rounded, sensible cars i was able to check out.

some dissapointing picks;

FJ cruiser: we were a littleo n the fence about whether our next vehicle was going to be a FJ or a wrangler. being able to test both of them out under one roof made us sure that it wasnt going to be a FJ. it was way too uncomfortable in the back seat, the cauges, and buttons looked cheap and ugly, and the visibility through the windows were really bad. plus, for a truck that used for off roading, the engine looked as complicated as a ferrari. i couldnt imagine having a problem on the trail and opening up the hood and seeing that mess.

honda civic: im not a fan of civics, but ive always respected their game. this year, the new civics look cheap and like the designers only had a day or two to put the whole thing together.

ford explorer: i dont mean to step on anyones toes on this forum, just my opnion, but im really not crazy about the new X. i think going the CUV route with the unibody design makes sense because lets face it, soccer moms are huge buyers of explorers, but it just didnt feel like a true truck or SUV to me. too many fancy features, i feel like i would be too affraid to use it for any of the activities that i do other than going to target. plus for 50 grand, i would just pass, get a 1st or 2nd gen and mod the hell out of it. im sure it works for other people, but just not for me. i think they should give it a little more ruggedness.

i didnt bring my camera this year since i went on black friday, the height of theiving, but i did manage to get a few phone pics. ill post them when i get a chance.