Picking out the bruises on the Big Apple

Before I fall into my full-on rant mode, let me start by saying the New York International Auto Show brought a surprising number of quality debuts this year, most of which we’ve listed in our Best in Show article here. But (and there’s always a but), it wasn’t all 840-horsepower drag monsters and top-shelf SUVs. A lot of it was less-than interesting, and some of it was just plain bad. And, per tradition, we’ve got the worst of the worst right here in the following list.

Included is a disappointing sport compact, a performance SUV that showed up in the wrong place at the wrong time, a sport coupe in desperate need of hospice care, an are-you-even-trying EV, and a pair of yawn-worthy special edition trucks.

Prepare yourself for biting cynicism and a sizeable dose of jaded antagonism. And of course, feel free to join in by posting in the comments section, whether it’s to add to our disapproval, to come to the defense of one of these rides, or to throw another terrible debut into the fire.

Continue reading for the worst debuts from the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

Honda Civic Si Coupe

2018 Honda Civic Si Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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We all know about the Civic Type R, right? The 300-horsepower, boost-infused, JDM mad-machine that held the FWD lap record at the Nurburgring for about a minute? Well, the Civic Si Coupe is its little brother. Only problem is, we’re not sure it’s worthy of the Type R Lite title it’s supposed to carry.

The issue is under the hood, where the Si is equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, as compared to the R’s 2.0-liter turbo. As you probably expect, the Si makes less power than the R, but even so, the output levels don’t exactly bridge the regular Civic and the R like they’re supposed to. You see, the Si makes just 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, barely besting the previous Si by 4 horses and 22 pound-feet respectively.

Yeah, it’s lighter, and yeah, it’s more fun than the lower Civic trim levels, but with that 300-horse Type R bombshell waiting at the top of the Honda FWD pyramid, the Si just gets lost in the shuffle.

Read the full review here.

Chevy Tahoe RST

Chevy Brings the Heat with Performance-Minded Tahoe High Resolution Exterior
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If the Bow Tie introduced the RST at almost any other auto show, it wouldn’t have appeared on this list. Hell, if it dropped at the right auto show, it might even make our Best in Show list. But as it is, the RST dropped in New York, so here we are.

On the surface, nothing is terribly wrong with the RST. Sure, it’s a performance-oriented SUV, but putting my personal tastes to one side, plenty of folks out there love a fast entry in this segment. It’s got big brakes, Brembo calipers, an upgraded exhaust from Borla, magnetic suspension components, and a unique exterior treatment. Most importantly, it’s also got a new powertrain, running a 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 plucked from Corvette under the hood.

Nice, right? Unfortunately, the RST debuted a few booths away from the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a 707-horsepower physics cheat that simply pounds the 420-horsepower RST into obscurity. Sorry, maybe next time, Chevy.

Read the full story here.

Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

Seriously, Nissan? Give us a New Freaking Z-Car Already!!!
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The Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition does so many things wrong, it’s hard to know where to start. So instead, let’s start with what it does right – front-engine, RWD sports coupe? Good. Sharp handling? Good. Stylish exterior? All good.

But that’s about where the praise ends. Apparently, Nissan is offering up the Heritage Edition to celebrate the Z car’s 50th anniversary, which would be fine if it hadn’t done the same thing with the 370 for the 40th anniversary as well.

The point is this – give us a new Z car already. Two anniversary specials for the same generation are evidence that it’s time to move on. The Z34 was great when it first debuted in 2009, but the calendar I’m looking at says 2017, and this is like re-gifting the same present over and over.

And that’s another thing – the Heritage Edition is two years early in celebrating the 1969 release of the original Z, which tells me Nissan is gearing up for the release of the new gen right now, but wants to squeeze out a few last-minute sales before the changeover. It’s a move straight outta BMW’s playbook, and although I’m sure more than a few folks will scoop this thing up, we ain’t falling for the ruse.

Read the full review here.

Honda Clarity EV

Honda Goes Full Eco Warrior, Expands Clarity Line With PHEV And EV High Resolution Exterior
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Honda announced it was gonna expand the Clarity nameplate to include additional green options beyond the original fuel cell powertrain of the first Clarity. And that’s fine – more eco-sensible cars means more gasoline for the rest of us, right?

Thing is, Honda dropped the ball big time with the new Clarity EV. Apparently, this thing gets a paltry 80 miles per charge. That would have been fine back in 2005, but these days, with the Chevy Bolt offering 238 miles per charge and even the Nissan Leaf offering 107 miles, 80 miles is a lackluster effort that impresses no one. Try again, Honda, and this time, let’s go for at least three figures.

Read the full review here.

Ram 1500 Blue Streak And Sublime Sport

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport High Resolution Exterior
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We’re lumping these two un-special special editions together because although they might look a little different, they’re essentially the same – old truck, new paint.

Depending on your flavor of choice, these two Rams get either blue or green exterior panels, plus new wheels, a few accents in the interior, and well, that’s about it.

Vehicle customization should be about personal taste and self-expression, not overpriced factory limited editions. Of course, sometimes these things really do it for us, but usually, they’re not much more than some stripes and re-sprayed trim. Regrettably, these two Rams are most definitely the latter.

Read the full review on the Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak here.
Read the full review on the Ram 1500 Sublime Sport here.

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