2015 L.A. Auto Show: Important Everyday Cars

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDeviceHeart of the Market
The Los Angeles Auto Show is one of the largest U.S. auto shows of the year — situated at the heart of the all-important Southern California market — making it a favorite venue for automakers to debut important new cars. From practical compacts to SUVs and convertibles, this year’s L.A. show hosted some major new-vehicle introductions, so let’s look at the latest players you’ll be able to find (relatively) soon at your local dealer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Fiat 124 Spider
One of the highlights of this year’s L.A. show was the debut of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, marking the return of the Italian roadster nearly 50 years after the introduction of the original model to the U.S. market. Based on the same platform as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive 124 Spider gets powered by Fiat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo 4-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Fiat 124 Spider
The new Fiat 124 Spider was designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, and takes styling cues from the original 124 Spider, including the hexagonal upper grille, power domes on the hood and sharp horizontal taillights. The double-wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension and steering are all tuned for a dynamic driving experience. The soft-top can be manually operated from the driver’s seat and stows behind the seats without a tonneau cover. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is available in Classica and Lusso trim levels, and the first 124 vehicles will be offered as the limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso as shown in Los Angeles, finished in Azzurro Italia blue paint with saddle premium leather seats. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider goes on sale in summer 2016.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Ford Escape
Ford’s compact Escape crossover SUV is one of the top-selling SUVs on the market, and the redesigned 2017 model debuted in L.A. with a new exterior look, new interior, new engines and more driver-assistance technology. The updated exterior features a raised trapezoidal grille with horizontal bars to tie the Escape more closely to other Ford SUVs. Inside, a redesigned center console has the shifter repositioned to create a storage bin at the base of the center stack, and includes new cupholders and a pushbutton parking brake. The 2017 Escape will be the first vehicle to offer available SYNC Connect; drivers can use a smartphone app to remotely lock, unlock, locate and even start the vehicle. Available driver-assist technology includes enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Ford Escape
The 2017 Ford Escape will be offered in S, SE and Titanium trim levels with a Sport Appearance package available for SE and Titanium. Two new EcoBoost engines are available, with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost standard for SE and Titanium and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost optional for SE and Titanium. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost will produce 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, while the 2.0-liter EcoBoost will produce 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. The Escape S will continue to be powered by the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and all engines are combined with a 6-speed automatic with new paddle shifting for SE and Titanium.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Honda Civic Coupe
The redesigned 2016 Honda Civic Sedan is now on sale and the second addition to the Civic lineup, the 2016 Civic Coupe, made its debut in Los Angeles. The new Civic Coupe offers a sportier take on the new Civic design with a more steeply raked roof, a shorter rear overhang and 5.5-inch shorter overall length than the Civic Sedan, while also having a longer wheelbase and a wider stance than the previous Civic. At the rear, the Civic Coupe has an exclusive taillight design that takes the distinctive C-shaped LED taillights from the Sedan and connects them across the rear decklid.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Honda Civic Coupe
The new Civic Coupe delivers more interior volume and 5 inches of more rear-seat legroom than the previous model. Two powerful fuel-efficient engines will be offered, with lower trim levels motivated by a 2.0-liter engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic. Higher trim levels will be powered by the first-ever turbocharged engine for Civic Coupe: a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo that produces 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Available new features include LED headlights, remote start, heated front seats and a full-color TFT center meter. The 2016 Civic Coupe is scheduled to go on sale in March 2016.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai debuted the 2017 Elantra compact sedan in the City of Angels — the sixth generation of one of the Korean automaker’s best-selling models. The new design features a signature hexagonal grille that ties the Elantra closely to the current Sonata design and includes available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending lights, as well as vertical LED daytime running lights. Inside, the new interior design incorporates soft-touch materials and high-tech details with a wide instrument panel.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Hyundai Elantra
The 2017 Elantra offers two new powertrains, with the SE and Limited trims powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission for SE or a 6-speed automatic. The Elantra Eco trim is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission; it’s expected to receive a combined fuel economy rating of 35 mpg. Available new technology includes Smart Trunk, Dynamic Bending Light and Smart Cruise Control. The 2017 Elantra is scheduled to arrive at Hyundai dealers in January 2016.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Kia Sportage
The 2017 Kia Sportage made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a new design, stiffer structure for improved driving dynamics, driver assistance systems and new technology. Every panel of the exterior is new, but the biggest change to the new front end design with the signature Kia tiger-nose grille and the headlights positioned higher and flowing back into the front fenders. The new Sportage is the same width, but the wheelbase has increased 1.2 inches and the overall length has increased by 1.6 inches, improving both passenger room and cargo volume.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2017 Kia Sportage
The 2017 Sportage will be offered in LX, EX and SX Turbo trim levels, with the LX and EX powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, and the SX Turbo powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder unit producing 241 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 2017 Sportage is the first Kia to offer UVO3, which features 14 telematics services, 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps and Wi-Fi tethering capability. Available driver assistance features include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light technology.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2016 Mazda CX-9
Mazda debuted the all-new CX-9 midsize three-row SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show — the largest model in Mazda’s lineup with the latest take on the KODO Soul of Motion design. Starting from the bold front fascia, the design naturally flows to the rear. The CX-9 debuted in the Mazda’s new signature color: Machine Gray, which was specifically developed to complement the styling. The new CX-9 is powered by a new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter turbocharged engine designed to offer a great combination of performance in everyday driving situations as well as good fuel economy. The new engine produces 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque when using 93-octane gasoline, and 227 horsepower with 87-octane gas; it has a 6-speed automatic transmission.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2016 Mazda CX-9
Inside, the new CX-9 features a vertical center stack and a piece of aluminum that sweeps across the dash to emphasize the details that wrap around the interior. A new top-level Signature trim features Auburn accents, rosewood trim on the center console and Auburn Nappa leather seating surfaces. Available new safety features include Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane-Keep Assist System, Lane Departure Warning, Smart City Brake Support, Distance Recognition Support System and Forward Obstruction Warning. Available i-ACTIV AWD utilizes information from 27 different sensors and measures road conditions 200 times per second to adjust power distribution between the front and rear axles, as well as accounting for wheel slip. The Mazda CX-9 is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. market in spring of 2016.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
Mitsubishi’s entry sub-compact Mirage is redesigned for the 2017 model year with a new front fascia, a chrome grille, new front and rear bumpers, a new hood design, LED taillights, a revised rear spoiler, new wheel designs and new fog lights for SE and GT trims. Inside, the Mirage receives a new steering wheel, new seat materials, keyless entry, a new 4-speaker 140-watt audio system and an illuminated high-contrast combination gauge cluster for SE and GT trims. A new 300-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system with EcoPunch is available, as well as in-car smartphone audio display which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment systems.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
Mirage’s efficiency and performance improve via a more aerodynamic exterior design, and the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine receives a new camshaft that provides a power increase to 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. The Mirage also receives suspension upgrades and larger brakes to improve handling and braking performance.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2016 Nissan Sentra
The 2016 Nissan Sentra was unveiled in L.A. with new exterior styling, a refreshed interior and additional technology. The design reflects Nissan’s new design language, and the Sentra looks closer to the new Maxima and the redesigned 2016 Altima. Exterior changes include new front and rear fascias, grille, fenders, hood, headlights, taillights and a new 17-inch wheel design. Inside, the Sentra receives a new steering wheel, available power driver’s seat with power lumbar, and new center stack, audio display, console and seat fabrics.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDevice2016 Nissan Sentra
Nissan says the revised Sentra features increased body stiffness, retuned suspension and revised electric power steering mapping for improved driving dynamics. All Sentra trim levels are powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque, combined with the Xtronic CVT automatic that now includes D-Step Logic for a more natural shift feel. A 6-speed manual transmission is available for the S trim level. New available tech goodies include Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDeviceSubaru Impreza Sedan Concept
Subaru unveiled the Impreza Sedan Concept in the important SoCal market as a preview of what to expect in the next-generation Impreza, and as an indicator of the overall design direction for future Subaru models. Finished in Ruby Red Metallic as an expression of sportiness and energy, the Impreza Sedan Concept looks low and wide from the front, which is dominated by a hexagonal grille, hawk-eye headlights and an aggressive lower fascia with inset fog lights.

© Rod Hatfield, TheNowDeviceSubaru Impreza Sedan Concept
Impreza’s profile incorporates character lines that emphasize the extended fender flares, which in turn highlight the car’s all-wheel-drive capability; a rising beltline extends all the way to the integrated decklid spoiler. The sloped rear window terminates at the short decklid to give the 4-door sedan a coupe-like silhouette. Rear combination lights mirror the design of the headlights and add to the wide, low stance, and 5-spoke 19-inch wheels include red detailing. Gloss black exterior accents add a high-quality feel.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune
Perhaps in direct contrast to the dark clouds swirling around Volkswagen amid its diesel engine controversy, in sunny Los Angeles the German automaker announced the production version of the 2016 Beetle Dune — a new trim level with a more aggressive appearance that draws inspiration from classic Baja Bugs. The Beetle Dune features new front and rear fascias, black wheel arch extensions, raised ride height, wider track, 18-inch Canyon aluminum alloy wheels, Dune graphics, a large rear spoiler and standard LED taillights. The new bumpers incorporate matte black and aluminum elements, and the rear diffuser also works as a skidplate.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune
The 2016 Beetle Dune has three exterior color choices: Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl. Sandstorm Yellow cars have body-color upper door trim and dash pads. Inside, the Dune features sport seats with orange contrast stitching and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. At launch Dune will be powered by a 1.8-liter direct-injection turbocharged TSI 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The Dune coupe is scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of 2016, and the Dune convertible is scheduled to arrive in the third quarter of 2016.

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