• Sep 13, 2008
The Detroit Free Press laid out ten industry-redefining cars, and we're, well, a little perplexed. This is the definition, in the paper's own words: "a handful of new vehicles that debut over the next 12 months may shape the future of automakers around the world. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some break new ground for their manufacturers. Others aim to reassert companies' dominance in market segments they created."

We don't believe they are ranked in any order, but first up is the Audi A4, with a "beautifully balanced chassis" and bargain price that could put the shakes into everyone from BMW to Acura. The Chevy Traverse might outsell the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave combined. The new Dodge Ram will be ultra smooth, the new Ford F-150 will be more frugal. And so on...

While all of these are worthy accomplishments, none of them -- not even the 2010 Prius nor the 2010 Lincoln MKT -- appears to have any claim to redefining the industry. But follow the link and see for yourself. Maybe we missed something.

[Source: Detroit Free Press via Chevy Traverse Forum]


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  • 60 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Haha, "Venza" means "toilet seat" in Japanese when said with a Japanese accent. What were they thinking??
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah...if you decide to pronounce the V as a B for no reason at all. And the Ben part of Benza is pronounced pretty differently than the Ven in Venza.
      CD
      • 6 Years Ago
      Heck, I drive a 1991 Plymouth! With the economy so bad, I can't afford a new car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't wait to see that toyota abortion flop. I'd drive a scion xb in drag before that rolling bastard.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mark Phelan who writes for the freep is the worst car reviewer. Just read a view of his reviews and you'll see what I'm talking about.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There I was thinking that there was nobody out there more clueless than GM!

      Well done FREEP! you proved me wrong!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The entire list is a big waste of time. I'm not buying it.

      Kirk Griffiths
      • 6 Years Ago
      The CAMARO on this list is laughable.

      I owned two (both bought new) and they were pure JUNK ! Nice looking, fast...but poorly built and lots of trouble !
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really like the new A4 (especially the S-Line), the Mazda 6 is very nice too.

      Is it me, or does the Venza look like a lot like the Enclave?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it looks a lot like the Edge: same headlights, 3 bar grille, same basic shape....

        I agree. The A4 looks like a finely creased suit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Redefine?? Detroit Free Press seems to have set its standards extremely low.

      Camaro? Traverse? F150?? Ram?? You've got to be kidding me. What do these vehicles redefine? Stupidity. They all show that the Detroit companies have their heads in the sand for trying to market yesterday's gas guzzlers today.

      There are only two ares on the list that define or redefine the industry--Insight and Prius.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a crock of bull! The opinion of the "Freep" is irrelevant. The Big Three are on hands and knees begging for $50 billion in low interest loan guarantees from the Government just to retool for new models they think will compete with foreign competition. If the Government doesn't come through, that will redefine the industry. Either GM and Ford will merge and Chrysler will go away, or they will all be bought by non US companies. There are bigger issues in play here than citing specific models as far as redefining the auto industry.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There was an article in the WSJ this week about the models GM can't move off of lots. The G8 was the "poster child" of the group. The Camaro will join it.

      This list is idiotic: over-titled and totally under delivered.

      Hey Detroit Free Press, is it dark with your head up there? Do you see Chris Mathews or anyone else from MSNBC?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Things must be different here in Indiana (we Hoosiers are kinda backwards I guess). I have been trying to test-drive a G8 for the past couple of months, but all of the Pontiac dealerships in my area do not have any, they cannot keep them on the lots. I also see ALOT of them on the roads around here.

        Like I said, could just be a Hoosier thing. Around my area, GM cars are pretty much all you see, and Japanese nameplates are rare.
        • 6 Years Ago
        From the G8 to Chris Matthews. Was that trying to be clever or something?

        And yes, the Mazda6 isn't going to redefine anything. What a pointless list.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You know, after typing up my previous post I've come to realize just how much GM really needs top notch new management and an obsessively dedicated head engineer (someone like Soichiro Honda who loved performance but could easily design small, fuel-efficient cars that would sell in world beater volume). Because quite frankly the current leaders at GM just aren't good enough to save GM. Don't get me wrong, the current engineering is a lot better than it used to be and I'm sure they work very hard, but it's just not the insane sort of leap that they need to make to save themselves.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I definitely agree about the G8 getting way too much hype before it's release. After hearing all that hype I went and took a look at the car at an auto-show and just couldn't see this thing stealing market share from anyone. It might have a ton of horsepower but the exterior was so horribly dull and generic Pontiac that it was doomed (seriously, when the G6 looks so nice it just makes the G8 look that much worse in the showroom). I'm sure the timing of a high horsepower V8 car with the spike in gas really put the death knell on it.

        Anyways, I think the Camaro won't be another G8. For one thing, it actually looks good, and people buying sports cars (or at least want to look like they own a sports car) care a lot more about styling than your average family sedan buyer. Plus GM will actually offer engines other than a V8, so the fuel economy thing isn't going to slaughter it like the G8. I'm not saying the new Camaro is going to outsell the Camry or anything, but I think it'll actually do fairly well in the market.

        That said, I have no f'ing idea what GM was thinking when they introduced the G3. Why the f*ck they thought it would be a genius idea to introduced a rebadged Aveo to a brand they've spent billions trying to return a performance image to is beyond me. Not to mention the retarded waste of money in advertising both the Aveo and the G3 (plus, the sheer idiocy of trying to confuse your customers even further). What Pontiac really needs is a turbo-4 G6 based sportwagon that'll get good mileage and be able to transport a bit more stuff than the sedan. You know, like a car people would actually friggin buy. Especially since there's no longer a wagon in your domestic lineup since the demise of the old Malibu Maxx. But no, we have to have more rebadges of your crossover, right? I mean, clearly people don't have enough choice with only the Acadia and Enclave and Outlook to choose from. Whatever would people buy if you didn't introduce a Traverse? I don't know what drugs Motor Trend was on when they decided that the Traverse would "redefine" the industry, unless they meant that it would redefine the limits of how many times a car company can manage to rebadge the exact same vehicle and have it compete against itself while wasting untold advertising dollars. The worst part is that only the Enclave even has the slightest chance of competing for different customers, seeing as how the other 3 are all family/economy oriented CUVs, which means people are just going to choose between them based on how close their nearest dealership is or what car they happen to own right now.

        Seriously, how the hell are Wagoner and Lutz still running this company...they seem hell-bent on imploding GM. And no, betting all your chips on the Volt is not a sound strategy guys. Even if it miraculously managed to sell in Prius volumes (something hard to imagine considering it's rumored price tag) it wouldn't be enough to save GM. And the Camaro isn't enough to save your butts either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LUNKHEADED -- the Camaro will sell, but not as well as if they had used a crystal ball and made it smaller.

        Performance cars need a "name" -- this G8 might sell as well as the prior G8s (ooops, there weren't any)

        Does anyone who went on and on and on about the G8, while I was writing that it was ordinary, want to reconsider?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I read the WSJ article. I was soooo right about the G8. Look at my comments history and tremble!

        On another note, A4 FTW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, Bob, It was a generalization about the media. You know, this was a post about what the Detroit Free Press wrote.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You seem surprised that the Detroit press seems clueless about the future of the auto-biz. Must be something in the water!
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