I attended the 2009 LA Auto show and provided daily updates via Twitter (click HERE for a compilation of my tweets).
As is customary, I choose the Top 5 vehicles from the show and post them here. Note, these are new vehicles introduced from gay-friendly manufacturers. Some of my colleagues will more than likely point out the absence of the excellent vehicles introduced from Hyundai and Kia. Until they extend their same-sex domestic partner policies throughout their organization, they do not qualify to be in our picks from the auto shows.
Our Top 5 Picks from the 2009 LA Auto Show (in no particular order):
2011 Toyota Sienna
Despite the call for the death of the minivan, these boxy movers are still the most efficient at moving people and things. Toyota’s Sienna has been a reliable player but hardly set the stage for styling, features or capacity. All that has changed with the introduction of the 2011 Sienna from Toyota. We won’t go so far as calling it pretty (it looks like a Venza had sex with a Honda Odyssey) but it is bigger, wider and more feature-laden than its predecessor. With available reclining second-row seats complete with footrests, rear-seat Dual View Entertainment Center that displays side-by-side images to create a seamless 16.4-inch widescreen image and segment-only optional AWD, Toyota Sienna finally has strong competitor in the segment. The Sienna is available with a 3.5-liter V6 or 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. See more photos of the Toyota Sienna
2011 CTS Coupe
The excellent Cadillac CTS lineup got another addition to the family in a sexy, beefy, muscular coupe. The CTS Coupe will never be mistaken for anything but a Cadillac. It isn’t sexy in a sinewy, sensual sort of way. Rather, it is like a heavily-muscled stallion that impresses with is raw power visible under its taught skin. You may be slightly afraid of it but you know you want to go for a ride. The CTS coupe is powered by the same 3.6 direct-injection V6 as its brethren pushing out 304 horsepower via a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. AWD is also available and the rumor mill hints at a wicked CTS-V Coupe with a supercharged V8 in the future. See more photos of the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe.
2011 Ford Fiesta
Ford introduced, for the umpteenth time, the 2011 Fiesta at the LA Auto show. While the existence of the vehicle was hardly a secret thanks to a heavily publicized and popular social media blitz, we did get some intriguing details about the hot new hatch from Dearborn. A 1.6L four-cylinder engine will be available with Ford’s version of a dual-clutch automatic transmission called PowerShift. It is more efficient than a traditional automatic transmission and this type of gear changer is usually found on more expensive, high-performance vehicles form Germany. Expect 40 MPG highway with the PowerShift. Also available is a traditional 5-speed automatic for those control freaks like me. The Ford Fiesta starts at $13,320 but quickly gets into the low $20s.See more photos of the 2011 Ford Fiesta.
Mazda calls its Mazda2 “Zoom Zoom Concentrated” and while we haven’t driven it, we aren’t going to argue. It was originally launched in 2007 in markets outside the U.S. and has won a myriad of awards, including the 2008 World Car of the Year. Powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder engine, the Mazda2 promises to deliver fun-to-drive performance in an attractive package. Trust me, the Alien Green they chose to show the car in doesn’t do it justice. Details on specifications and MPG are few but we do know the 1.5L will be available with either a 4-speed AT or a 5-speed manual. The Mazda2 goes on sale in late summer 2010. See more photos of the 2011 Mazda2
2011 Buick Regal
Buick announced their new sport sedan, the 2011 Buick Regal. Based on the excellent Opel Insignia from Germany, GM continues to mine their global resources to bring better product to our shores. The Regal will feature a choice of four-cylinder engines – a standard 2.4L direct injected engine rated at an estimated 182 horsepower and an optional 2.0L turbocharged and direct injected engine rated at an estimated 220 horsepower
Both engines have a six-speed automatic transmission standard and the turbo model will have an optional 6-speed manual. The design is clean, tight and athletic but don’t expect this to be a people mover as the rear seat headroom is tight. The interior is another exercise in functional, stylish simplicity – thank you Opel. The 2011 Buick Regal is available in late Spring 2010. See more photos of the 2011 Buick Regal