6th Place –
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO
GREG MIGLIORE: This is the vehicle Alfa desperately needs to be a winner. It's attractive, gives the company critical mass in the US market and should bring Alfa to a wider range of customers.
JAMES RISWICK: Many more people will buy this than the Giulia. Folks like SUVs and this one looks killer. Actually, I think it looks a bit better than the Giulia. It definitely looks a whole lot better than its corporate cousin, the Maserati Levante.
MICHAEL AUSTIN: It's pretty, goes fast, and looks fantastic. This will be a cell-phone camera lure for months to come.
5th Place –
ALEX KIERSTEIN: After seeing it in the flesh, my feeling is that FCA's big bet on crossovers and SUVs is going to pay off. They're going to sell a ton of these. I fear a bit for the quirkier Renegade, and even funkier Cherokee – I can see buyers making tradeoffs in size and/or price to get into what looks a lot like a wee Grand Cherokee with a very practical interior, too.
GREG MIGLIORE: Jeep nailed the styling and capability. The Compass is now a trend-setter in one of the industry's most important segments.
4th Place –
JAMES RISWICK: A smart evolution for a small SUV that aged quite well during its life. Added refinement is what this thing needed and it got it. Oh, and you can finally get it with a diesel.
ALEX KIERSTEIN: With VW out of the picture, it'll be interesting to see if the extra torque and economy of the Skyactiv-D are important to potential buyers already attracted to the CX-5's sharper styling and other improvements.
JOEL STOCKSDALE: I wasn't blown away by the look of the new CX-5, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's still a great looking crossover, and it would be silly for Mazda to ruin a good thing. It gets points from me primarily for finally bringing us the Skyactiv diesel. We've been waiting for it for so long. I can't wait to try it out.
3rd Place –
JAGUAR I-PACE CONCEPT
ALEX KIERSTEIN: This is a bold move by Jaguar, and JLR has done well of late with bold ideas. Think of the Evoque and its even wilder convertible counterpart. It's a handsome Ian Callum design, with some impressive packaging and the F-Type's adaptive suspension. It should be fun to drive; we'll see if the styling and brand cachet is enough to entice buyers.
JAMES RISWICK: I wasn't quite as sold on the I-Pace's looks as some folks, but we should celebrate any time an electric vehicle doesn't look like a transport pod.
2nd Place –
HONDA CIVIC SI CONCEPT
JOEL STOCKSDALE: Pretty much exactly what I was hoping for, a bridge between the sorta sporty Civic Sport hatchback, and the crazy-sporty (and probably crazy-expensive) Type R. As much as I love hyper-hatches like the Focus RS and Golf R, we need as many affordable fun cars as we can get. I'm also pleased to finally see the fantastic looking coupe get a powertrain to back up its looks.
ALEX KIERSTEIN: It's a bit frustrating that this is only a concept, and so even though the final product will look largely the same we still don't have many specs. But that's perhaps less important than Honda's commitment to producing a whole range of enthusiast-oriented cars with available manual transmissions. When's the last time Honda fans had such interesting options coming?
DAVID GLUCKMAN: I'm torn on this one. The Si was always pretty simple, and that's what made it great. This new one has complications like adaptive suspension and active steering. Does it need those? It still has a manual, though, so I'm happy.
1st Place –
CHEVROLET COLORADO ZR2
GREG MIGLIORE: This truck has me salivating. It's loaded with off-road capability and it looks the part. Can't wait to drive it.
DAVID GLUCKMAN: It's like a ZR1 but better! The Duramax diesel is neat, and t hose crazy Multimatic shocks are huge, but I think my favorite part is the cutout in the bumper ahead of each front wheel. You hit the obstacle with your tire, not an air dam or fog light or some other expensive thing attached to the truck.
ALEX KIERSTEIN: I think it's fascinating how tapped into the truck enthusiast zeitgeist and delivered everything those folks really want, in a single truck. There's an optional torquey, economical diesel that gives an impressive range on a tank. And there's the Multimatic spool-valve shocks, which are both novel and extremely impressive in action. Bonus: it looks cool as heck.
GREG MIGLIORE: Pure eye-candy and a throwback to a romantic era of the automobile. I love it.
ACURA PRECISION COCKPIT CONCEPT
DAVID GLUCKMAN: No, it's not a car. I realize this. But this new infotainment system was one of the more interesting new things I saw at the show.