Best and Worst of the 2014 New York International Auto Show
Okay, folks, the 2014 New York International Auto Show is in the books, and we saw more debuts than we could even keep up with. We saw all of the big boys come with at least one key addition to their lineups, but we also had a few misses. For example. we were hoping to see the Hellcat option for the Challenger and Charger, and some extra information on the next-gen Miata — not just a glimpse at its chassis — neither of which happened.
As with every year, we are set to bring you the best and worst of the NYIAS, but we’re changing things up a bit. This year, each of our esteemed staffers has chosen their favorite and least favorite of the show and let you know why they loved or hated each one — some of us even had complete opposite opinions. Included in the list below is the Dart-ized Charger, the even-more-retro Challenger, a concept from Land Rover and even a "dirt cheap" Aston Martin.
There were a lot of vehicles to choose from, and we may have missed one that you loved or hated. Let us know in the comments below what car you loved or hated the most from the 2014 NYIAS.
Click past the jump to read about our favorite and least favorite debuts in New York.
Phillipe Daix - Founder (AKA Da’ Boss Man)
Flat-out best in show was the 2015 Challenger. The outside stays relatively untouched, with only minor, 1971-inspired changes, but the interior is now better than Camaro.
Scion/Toyota show no shame at all in adding a badge to a nothing-new car. It’s scary to think that there is still no TRD model.
Justin Cupler - Editor in Chief
There were so many to choose from this year, as the NYIAS simply kicked major ass and had so many awesome debuts. However, if one stands out in my mind, it has to be the new "value-packaged" Vantage GT. Really, who would have thought that you could pull an Aston Martin Vantage into your garage for under $100K? That’s a full $21k cheaper than the base 2014 Vantage Coupe and a tick less than the base 2014 GT-R.
Sure, the Aston Martin Vantage GT isn’t the rocket ship that the GT-R is, as it hits 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, but something about the Aston Martin winged badge that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. The Nissan badge certainly can’t do that.
Thank you, Aston... Now, may I borrow $100k and directions to my closest Aston Martin dealer?
Look, Fiat, we understand that you see the entire Chrysler group as your personal piggy bank, and that you pay the bills, so you can do as you like, but why this? Why on earth did you take one of the best-selling cars in your lineup and give it styling cues from one of the worst-selling car in your lineup (read: Dodge Dart). I would be the first to admit that the Charger was long overdue for a redesign, but why the huge focus on the Dart’s cues?
Kudos to you for not totally ruining the Charger by turning it into a FWD econo-box, but this redesign is about as close as it comes to doing that. I see a rather fast refresh in the future of the Charger.
Christian Moe - Associate Editor
There was a very solid collection of metal at this year’s New York Show from special edition SRT Vipers to Aston Martins, and basically everything in between. But I think the Z06 Convertible takes my personal “Best of Show” award.
Not only is the new Corvette Z06 a creation of pure performance, the fact that GM was able to lop the top off without sacrificing any performance or adding any weight demonstrates that America is truly playing on the world stage. No longer is the Z06 great for its price, it is great full stop. Many may not realize it, but the amount of design and engineering magic that is needed to make that happen is unprecedented in an American car. I can promise the competition sure noticed.
For one of the first times ever, Chevy can not only compete with the likes of Porsche on speed, but on engineering chops as well.
This may seem like an odd choice for worst of show considering my undying love for most of Vee-Dubs wares, but it’s the concept part that does it for me. First VW creates an all-new SportWagen, brandishes it with all the best options and engines, and then tops it off with a Haldex-based 4Motion AWD system. For a potential buyer like me, it is basically a perfect machine.
Then the hammer drops, and VW says it is a “concept” and that the AWD is anything but confirmed. It is like unwrapping that new present on Christmas, and then finding out the box is empty. It was cruel, and it makes me feel very sad and bitter.
Volkswagen, I was ready to hand you Best in Show for creating the ultimate utility vehicle, but then you said it was fake. So here, as a token of my sorrow, I present you with the medal for Worst in Show.
Simona Minut - Formatting and Research Lead
Unlike the Challenger, the 2015 Charger features some serious updates, and even though no changes were made under the hood, the exterior and interior changes are enough to catch my attention. When viewed from the side, the 2015 Charger looks very aggressive and the interior seems to have received just the perfect amount of updates.
Its just another attempt from SRT to turn our attention to its very unsuccessful Viper. And the fact that it mixes two special editions into a new one makes it even worse. It brings nothing new and there was no need for a special debut in NY.
Mark McNabb - Associate Editor
The Discovery Vision Concept plays host to a world of new styling cues and technological innovations all rolled into a beautiful package with loads of class oozing from every body panel. From the transparent bonnet to the Smart Glass windows, this Land Rover concept is setting the stage for the world’s premiere luxury off-road brand to become a front-runner in technological innovations.
The new TLX is an all-new car that replaces the TSX and TL, but it enters the room like a unsuspecting person that looks like every other John Q. Public. The TLX does nothing to differentiate itself from the pack — especially the rest of Acura’s other models. It’s a recipe we’ve grown weary of; not because it’s bad, but because we’re still eating last week’s leftovers from the fridge. That said, there’s nothing really wrong with the car.
Kirby Garlitos - Associate Editor
The Toyota Camry has been the best selling sedan in the past 12 years for a reason. With that amount of success, it’s worth asking whether Toyota’s decision to give the Camry a significant refresh was justified. But after seeing the 2015 Camry, all those doubts were swept away by the waves of the Hudson.
The 2015 Camry looks incredible in its new guise, far more aggressive than I ever imagined yet still carrying that aura of grace reserved for a true luxury sedan. It’s still not going to be held in the same discussion as premium luxury sedans like the Mercedes S Class, but for its segment, it does a great job of giving customers a taste of that rarefied air.
No engine updates were given, but at least I can still look forward to that V-6 banger on the 2015 model. That’s always been an underrated feature of the Camry and with that engine still available, combined with its more aggressive looks, the 2015 Camry shouldn’t have to worry about losing out its "best-selling sedan" title in anytime soon.
At this point, it’s hard to understand Scion’s rationale in trying to keep shoving the xB down our throats. At one point in time, the vehicle had that quirky appeal to it, but that time was so long ago, Ned Stark still had his head.
Now, the xB looks nothing more than just a waste of space, and yes, that’s me being nice about it and recognizing all the modifications Scion put to make the Release Series 10 a little presentable. It’s just not worth our time anymore, and the sooner Scion euthanizes the xB, the better of we’ll all be.
Ciprian Florea - Associate Editor
The iconic Ford Mustang reached an important milestone this month, when it celebrated its 50th anniversary. To mark half a century since the initial pony was launched, the Detroit-based automaker rolled into New York with a special edition model of the ’Stang.
Sure, this isn’t a new car, with only a few details setting it apart from the regular 2015 Mustang GT, but my petrol pumping heart just wouldn’t had let me get away with leaving this limited edition model aside for a more practical choice or even the spectacular 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible.
After making millions of people happy over the past 50 years and prompting Chevrolet to build the Camaro for a long lasting rivalry, the 50th anniversary Mustang undoubtedly deserves to sit in the spotlight.
For a moment there I was tempted to poke at the facelifted Charger for its Dart-like looks, but suddenly I remembered about the Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition. Tailored by the company’s Exclusive division, the said model is supposed to offer a bespoke package with extra luxury amenities and a unique look.
The bells and whistles are noticeable indeed, but the Dynamic Edition is way too boring for a special iteration that adds a $40,000 premium over the standard model. I know there’s a market for such insanity, but Audi’s attempt to take the RS7 up a notch is preposterous.