Every year, the North American International Auto Show hands out a slew of awards honoring some of the best cars of the past year, but one of the biggest draws remains the new-model unveilings — and the subsequent lauding and smearing by the media.
Automotive News’ Mark Rechtin recently sounded off on the best and the worst of the Detroit show’s 2012 reveals. Here’s just a few of his picks.
Hit: Ford Fusion
Ford’s (NYSE:F) mid-size sedan — also the sixth best-selling car of 2011 — earned the Eyes on Design award at this show. Rechtin applauds the greenhouse and center console but warns about a narrow trunk opening.
Miss: Honda Accord Coupe
The Honda (NYSE:HMC) Accord dropped to ninth in sales last year, and the future isn’t looking better. Rechtin’s thoughts: “Take a current Accord, mash it with the Mitsubishi Galant, add over-blown fog-light cutouts.”
Hit: Toyota NS4
Toyota (NYSE:TM) adds another hybrid to its ranks, and Rechtin favors its technological advances in telematics and glass.
Miss: Dodge Dart
Chrysler is hoping a revival of Dodge’s Dart brand will help the company’s own resurgence. However, any review that invokes the Neon name in comparison doesn’t bode well.
Hit: Acura NSX
Honda’s upscale brand, Acura, was “the star of the show” in Rechtin’s eyes. His commentary: “This two-seat hybrid sports car blew folks away. Journalists aren’t supposed to applaud, but there were whoops and hollers when the wraps came off.”