Yesterday I went to the Portland Auto Show. It was a big year this year, there were a lot of big time releases that I was getting my first chance to see in the flesh and I was able to reinforce some of my opinions while blowing some of my opinions completely out of the water.
The first thing that greeted me as I walked through the door was the elegant, sexy and very high class 2014 Mazda 6. Where I entered was unintentional, but there she was; the car I came to the show for. It was so good in person. It looks and feels like the first gen on the inside with the material quality of the second gen. In other words: it was good. I had the chance to talk with the owner of a 2003 Mazda 6 V6 who was seeing it for the first time with me. He asked me what my complaint about it was. I told him "No V6". "Amen brother" was his response. We both agreed that it wasn't really worth our purchase without a V6, especially since we were both over 100,000 miles on our cars with little to no problems. Verdict: Great interior, great exterior, Y U no V6? We also took a very close look at the CX-5, now available with 2.5 liter Skyactiv and after viewing the rest of the options available at the show concluded that it is simply the best deal you can get on a CUV.
The next area of note was Ford, the most disappointing stop of the show. First, Ford couldn't be bothered to bring a Fusion to the show that wasn't a hybrid so I didn't even bother. At least four people I talked to said that the Fusion was great from every angle except the front. Fish face was unliked. At one point, I convinced my brother to troll with me and we got ahold of the MyFord Touch tester car which was a Taurus with the Ecoboost four. After multiple attempts to actually get the car to boot, we finally had it up and running. The thing I noticed first is that most attempts to hit something with my finger on the screen was difficult at best and most buttons required at least two attempts to hit. But it did not break. We successfully paired my brother's phone to the Taurus and managed to use Bluetooth to blast "I'm Sexy and I Know It" out the speakers of the Taurus. Compared to CUE, it had similar functionality but was definitely slower and the touch boxes were difficult to find. I almost felt like I was pushing around the screen buttons rather than right on them. The Recaros in the Focus ST were unforgiving and I ended up sitting on the bolsters rather than in them. The clutch had a great feel as did the shifter however. My brother removed the engine cover from the Focus engine to reveal that, in fact, Ecoboost is MZR. The engine appears identical to the engine in the Mazdaspeed 3. Escape was EXTREMELY cheap looking and the 1.6 was returning lower EPA estimates than the 2.5 CX-5 for $6,000 more. Yes, that's a 1.6T Escape for $38,000. NOPE! Verdict: Ford was a joke while (even though I didn't talk about them) Lincoln had a great showing.
Cadillac. I'm sure people that know me are expecting something completely different than what is about to be written. Cadillac blew me away. CUE made Lexus, Infiniti, Hyundai and even BMW in car systems seem cheap and last generation. It was fantastic. Great haptic feedback. Easy to push buttons. The digital dash in the XTS was completely mindblowing. I so want one. The whole XTS was just fantastic. It was huge everywhere it was supposed to be huge and it was littered with easy to use technology. The only gripe I have is that the steering wheel buttons had to be pressed before I could understand what they were for. ATS. I've been trolling this car hard but Cadillac really tried to make this a vehicle that wasn't for Grandpa. The price tag is still for Grandpa; it isn't cheap. The inside of the car is a great place to be however unless you sit in the rear seats. It definitely did not feel bloated like many other Cadillacs did. CTS Coupe is still ugly and compared to ATS and XTS, CTS is started to feel very dated. Verdict: Cadillac is improved and was better than the refreshed Lexus at the show. Still mainstream and not attracting the attention of the Douche market. I used the phrase "ATS still isn't as fast as the Douche Rocket (335)" out loud.
Some shorts. Hyundai is so damn dated. Equus and Genesis are a freaking joke. Equus was actually carrying a Hyundai badge now but they just look like old Mercedes. I broke their infotainment system. Lexus cars were all cramped and every single car had an "F". Even the CT200h. The styling is more appealing in person. Drove the Subaru Crosstrek. It felt like a Toyota. Drove the FR-S. It was much better than expected but still felt like an economy car. All the kids wanted to drive it but none of them wanted to buy it. Audi, what does "T" even mean?! Overall I was impressed with the things I expected to hate and hated the things I expected to impress me. Interesting show.