I went to the Car Show

As a change of pace I wanted to tell you my experiences sitting in 1999 cars.

This year's car show was very interesting. The biggest problem I have with new cars is, there is no room in the back seat. Now that families don't go out together anymore once the kids turn 12 (the official drinking age in Lincoln) families don't require large back seats. The Cadillac Seville STS was the biggest disappointment in the back. The STS is a full sized car, yet mid sized cars of the early 90's have more room. Cadillac does have an explaination for this problem. Their front seats are HUGE. I guess lumbar support, heated seats and all their features must take up space.

Now, let's take a look at the Japanese cars. Honda was a huge disappointment. The Accord wasn't very nice inside at all. The Civic was surprisingly acceptible to me for a small car. It wasn't especially roomy, but it's not meant to be. It had a comfortable feel to it. I still will only recommend Civics to little girls. Acura wasn't great either. I really liked the font they used on their speedometer. For the money, the RL is a waste, the TL isn't bad at all. I will never buy a Mitsubishi, they are sad cars. Just take those away. The Toyotas were not bad at all for Japanese cars. I would never drive a Corolla, those cars are worse then Civics. The Camry was no prize, I am not sure why people buy them by the dozen. But the winner of all the Japanese cars was the Avalon. I really liked that car. It may be a little over priced, but its a nice roomy, friendly and inviting car. The Solora was OK if you like that sort of thing. The Lexuses were nice cars, but again overpriced. For the money I'd rather have a Cadillac.

Now lets discuss what our German friends have to offer. NOTHING!!! Volkswagons are stupid looking little cars. The Bug is the most annoying thing to sit in. I'd rather sit in the back of a cab in a pick up truck. The Jettas are just dumb little cars, but are functional. From what I've heard, they last a long time, but the dashboards are unsightly. If you are in the market for a cheap convertible, the Cabrio is an acceptible car. Mercedes is a huge waste of money. 80+K for one is ridiculous. I was not impressed at all. Jaguar discontinued the V-12 engine for a reason. THEY were TERRIBLE!!!. Big wheels are nice. Volvo was eh?? I don't know what to say when I see a Volvo. What is the purpose of a 5 cylinder car? At $30+k I want the full six cylinders. Volvos make smaller and smaller engines now and are losing their allure for the "Box" style car.

Germany seems to have a few too many cars. Their nicer cars are the BMWs. Those were relatively roomy, except the 2-seater. The Grills on a BMW are not friendly looking to me. Audi's had some interesting places for its features. Small engines in big cars are a no no. For some reason, Audi thinks they can do that. Saab puts their cup holders in a space small enough for a credit car. But, like many German cars, wipers on headlights are stupid. If I had one of those cars, I'd rip the wipers off.

Poor Nissan, they have little to no money. But the Maxima was a comfortable car. I wouldn't mind owning one. Their SUV's are OK, but no big deal. Infiniti seems to have lost something. Last year I really liked the I-30. This year, you were lucky to get a smile out of me with the Q-45.

Korea, who let them make cars? The Kias are just fun to laugh at. I asked the guy to name a car slower then the Kia Sportage, he couldn't. I nearly cried when a little boy got out of the Sophia and said to his dad "This would be a nice car to have in college". Hondai and Daewoo were not at the show. Subaru continues to lead Korea in cars. What a bad representative. The inside of the car was screaming at me "GET OUT" Who needs an overhead air intake slot in the hood? Subaru's attempt to go vintage failed.

For you American folks, I will tell you my opinions on the American cars. First, lets get Ford out of the way. The trucks continue to be their Ford selves. The Crown Victoria seemed to be very comfortable, but the inside was ugly. The Taurus is a bit small for my liking. More importantly the circular thing in the middle of the front seat where all the buttons are is really confusing. I had the pleasure of being able to sit in the Escort with the Windows up. I could hear everything everyone said, that must be a noisy car on the road. The Mercury counterparts were very similar again. Lincoln's had the same puffy leather that limited the room in the Caddys. I was indifferent to the Lincolns

Chrysler is making some waves for once. The Dodge cars were a little less then the Chryslers. The Intrepid was pretty good. Chrysler has 3 similar cars. The LHS, 300M and Concord. The Concord was the most uncomfortable. I really enjoyed sitting in the LHS. It was roomy and comfortable. Most Chryslers have those dumb white speedometers. The Sebring was a nice car. Its back seat wasn't that small at all for a convertible. Dodge wowwed the crowd with its "Big Red Truck". Its the future for the Ram 3500. This truck was HUGE. The Plymouth Expresso (concept car) looked like something a 5yr old drew. It had computers in the backs of the front seats.

GM cars continue to be my favorite. Chevy cars usually don't get wows at car shows, because they are meant to last, rather then to look impressive. Pontiac did well with its Grand Prix. Like the Bonneville, it consisted of many luxury features, yet a style that will get you compliments with the younger crowd. The Sunfire continues to be a stupid little car for those of you who think you can fit in there. Grand Am's dashboard was compared to a woman's breasts (not by me oddly enough).

Oldsmobile disappointed me by not showing the LSS, 88 or Cutlass models. Cars that I would have liked to see. But the Intrigue was named "The Co-Car of the Year". Its a car that you feel you can control as a driver. Plenty of rear space. Its a good size for me, non of the features were out of reach. The Alero is another great car, but for the smaller car fans.

Buick wins the "Best make" award. Their line up had something for most people, including Duel Climate Control across the board. The Century is a surprise, especially for only $20K. Its loaded with features and quality size. The Regal is a sportier car. It has its pizzazz. Though it looks like most cars on the outside, the inside will make you think twice. The Regal earned the honor of "The Co-Car of the Year" The LeSabre looked a little out dated, but the 2000 LeSabre was a perfect full sized car. The Park Avenue and the Ultra both had nice size all around. Both cars made me think that I was in an old man car. I am surprised more old men don't own them. The "2 Door Car of the Year" goes to the Riviera. Its true to its name. The Riviera's outside styling is very elegant. The inside is very comfortable, roomy and easy to sit in. The back seat actually had room too. Its a real shame that the Riviera will no longer be in production this year.

Cadillac continues to set the standard in Luxury cars. Its a shame that Cadillac has lost most of its interior space. That is due to those huge seats. The Seville STS, "The Best Luxury Car of the Year" does not have nearly the room in the back as mid sized cars of the early nineties. The Deville Concours caught my eye this year. Very roomy, nice leather interior. Unlike the STS, the Concours had interior space. Named "The Surprise Car of the Year" was the Cadillac Catera. Not as small as expecting, and just a joy to sit behind.

My top ten lists...

 
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Sedans - America
Oldsmobile Intrigue
Buick Regal (#1)
Cadillac Seville STS
Chrysler LHS
Cadillac Concours
Pontiac Grand Prix
Cadillac Catera
Buick Ultra
2000 Buick LeSabre
Chrysler 300M
Small Cars (any country)
Oldsmobile Alero
Pontiac Grand Am
Chrysler Sebring
Saturn 3 Door Coupe
Honda Civic
Chevy Cavalier
2000 Plymouth Neon
Porche Boxter
Volkswagen Jetta
Mazda Protege
Other Vehicles
Buick Riviera
Toyota Avalon
Cadillac ElDorado
Chysler Sebring Convertible
Lexus LS430
Infinity Q45
Chevy Silverado
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mitsubishi Millenia
Acura RL
Drew's Cars: A student at Stone Hill College (in Mass) has his list of his top cars. If you would like to see his list, click on "Drew's Cars".
New Comments

Much time has passed since the auto show and new information is available on the new cars. Lets take a quick tour around the world. My opinions have changed a little. Toyotas do not excite me. They have a practical use, but c'mon, when someone says to you, "What do you drive?", how exciting is it to hear "Just another Camry". Hondas are reliable, but ugly. Except the Prelude, none of their cars have any real power at a base price.
Mitsubishi is still a joke. Sure they look cool, just wait until something breaks, same with Mazda. My opinions on Nissan haven't changed

Germany: Still think Mercedes is bad. I am liking BMW though. BMW's are not out of one's price range. Also they ahve something for everyone. Their cars are given generous power too. Even if I don't have a use for a certain car, someone will. And when you get a BMW, you are getting a car that won't die easily. Volkswagons are still ugly with small engines. I like bigger calmer engines. But hey, at least they are cheap. Volvos are pricy for what you get

Ford: Nothing changed with Ford. Inexpensive, but sometimes a mechanical liability. Also not too impressive. The Mustang looks nice. If you get a "good Ford", which does happen, you certainly have gotten your money's worth

Chrysler: No major opinion changes

GM: I always have opinions on GM. So we will separate them

Chevy: Eh, I like a little more luxury as you all know. But hey their engines are the same as those in Buicks and Oldsmobiles

Pontiac: Appealing to younger people??? Everyone on Cumberland has a new Grand Prix or Grand Am. I still see old people driving them. The Bonneville is a contradiction, a sporty big car??

Oldsmobile: 1 phrase, 3.5 V6 DOHC, This engine is exclusive to the Intrigue right now. On March 1, 1999 Oldsmobile has opted to eliminate the 3.8 Series II engine. The 3.5 puts out 10 more hp and is a lot lighter than the 3.8. When the Aurora offers a V6 next year the 3.5 gets the nod. This 3.5 engine was said to have been inspired by the Aurora's 250 hp 4.0 V8. Lets see how the 3.5 stands up to the other cars. Oldsmobile is taking a Japanese approach to American cars.

Buick: Cry with me now, the Riviera will cease production in 1999. The 2000 LeSabre looks like a wonderful old man car. The 3.8 series II engine has lots of power when driven. I drove a 1996 Riviera and my friend drove a 1999 Regal GS. Tap the gas and peel out. 240 hp is plenty.

Cadillac: Cry again, the last remaining luxocoupe is gone. In 2000 the El Dorado will say goodbye. Can you believe that, a legend is gone. I rode in a new Seville recently. It had a digital and needle speedometer. NICE!!!