LA Show Closes: New Nissans, Hyundai Elantra Earn BuzzBy Michelle Krebs December 3, 2010
By Mark Holthoff
The doors closed on the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show early this week, with 873,000 potential car buyers attending, show organizers say. That was a 15 percent hike from a year ago.
So what did they like or dislike? What caught their eye? here a look at what new models displayed at the LA show that generated the most buzz on Edmunds.com and InsideLine.com, sister sites of AutoObserver.com.
Two new Nissan models generated lots of buzz, though not all of it positive. What did generate positive buzz was the Hyundai Elantra.
(82 comments so far)
Our readers apparently either love or loathe Nissan's all-new Honda Odyssey- and Toyota Sienna-fighter, which is returning to U.S. showrooms after a two-year break. Fans say that the new design is "HOT," "chiseled," and "exudes class and style" and call it "BY FAR the BEST looking minivan out of the bunch"; one proclaims, "I'm glad to see boxy minivans making a comeback."
However, a number of detractors also weigh in, describing the new Quest as "bone-ugly," "awful" and "the ugliest minivan I've ever seen"; one advises Nissan's designers "to get their heads straight." And several echo reader famof3kids' disappointment "that it is missing the Nissan 3.7 V6" engine.
Still, most agree that while "it won't outsell the Odyssey, Sienna, (Dodge) Caravan or (Chrysler) Town & Country... it should slot in above the (Kia) Sedona and (Volkswagen) Routan."
2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
(78 comments so far)
If readers are evenly divided over Nissan's new Quest, the automaker's unveiling of its top-of-the-line Murano convertible has inspired in them a harmony of outrage.
Among the milder condemnations are, from reader lakerunner76, "I may not like... this latest decapitated incarnation, but at least they're thinking," from ns5, "I honestly think this... is a stupid idea, but I also think it looks better than the hardtop" version, or, from ddark13, simply, "I've seen worse."
From there, the comments take a less forgiving turn with descriptions like "ridiculous looking," "ungainly," "hilarious," "pointless," "utterly baffling" and "a paper-bagger." Even reader nissmazlover tells us, "Sorry, I can't defend this one."
Still, a few brave souls chime in with positive remarks now and then, including lasersam who says, "For those of us that live in the north and need to negotiate snow but still want a convertible (and don't want a winter car and a summer car) this seems like a reasonable compromise."
Meanwhile thehardcard points out that this is "an experiment that hardly has to sell any vehicles" in order to make a profit "because nearly all the engineering and design costs were already done." Good point, but most would likely agree with colorado1974 who tells us, "Glad I don't own Nissan stock."
2011 Hyundai Elantra
(63 comments so far)
If you're beginning to think our readers are a jaded and heartless bunch, you may be surprised to hear the warmth with which they're embracing Hyundai's latest Elantra makeover. Its distinctive looks, value (at just under $15,000 base MSRP not including destination) and fuel economy (an estimated 40 MPG highway) have been strong talking points from the moment it was unwrapped on the convention center floor.
Employing adjectives not typically associated with cars in this class, readers call it "beautiful," "original," "athletic" "gorgeous" and "a pretty sweet ride." One says it's "the perfect budget-friendly daily driver" while another predicts that "the Elantra and the Focus will mop up this segment in 2011." Likewise, reader bluff10 gives kudos to Hyundai for "shaking up the industry" with "an authentic new model... while VW played safe with the new Jetta" and also notes, "I've never seen myself in a Hyundai nor Kia, but I can certainly consider one now."
There are still a few naysayers, of course, with gripes that the styling is "over-wrought" and that the interior is "cheesy looking in the same fashion as one of those crappy all-in-1 stereo systems," which leads one reader to deadpan, "Airport rental customers...rejoice!" But the new Elantra inspires most to agree with n2guru who assets, "Hyundai/Kia is the new leader in style/quality/technology. Get used to it."
And, from the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, that's the word on the street.
Mark Holthoff is Edmunds.com senior manager of Customer and Community Support.
Photos by Edmunds' InsideLine and manufacturers
1 - The 2011 Hyundai Elantra was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Photo by Edmunds' InsideLine.com
2 - The 2011 Nissan Quest generated love-or-loathe it buzz.
3 - The 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet generated mostly loathe it buzz.
4 - The 2011 Hyundai Elantra generated mostly positive buzz.