Top 10 Best Debuts of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

It’s early January, which means throngs of journalists from around the world have descended on Detroit to cover the 2017 North American International Auto Show, frigid weather be damned.

As in years past, major vehicle manufacturers unveiled their latest and greatest cars in Detroit. But as in life, they all can’t be winners. Some products knocked it out of the park while others, well, we’ve already forgotten what they are.

Detroit kicks off the annual auto show circuit, with events in Chicago, Geneva, Tokyo, and elsewhere following in its tire tracks. Neatly summing things up, here are the 10 most significant reveals from the Motor City.

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10. 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan


Our No. 10 pick is the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan. The brand’s compact crossover finally had a growth spurt. Shown in long-wheelbase format, this 2018 model is 10.7 inches longer than its predecessor with a whopping 57 percent more cargo space. Expect a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood, delivering around 184 horsepower. It will also offer an eight-speed automatic transmission, front and all-wheel drive, and two or three rows of seats.

9. Nissan Rogue Sport


Next up, the brand new Nissan Rogue Sport, a smaller take on the Japanese automaker’s hugely popular crossover. In 2016, the Rogue overtook the Altima sedan to become Nissan’s best-seller in ‘Murica. As for the Sport, it shares the same basic architecture as its big brother, though it rolls on a shorter wheelbase and with a body that’s been truncated by more than 12 inches. Power is provided by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s endowed with 141 ponies. Curiously, this vehicle will be sold as the Qashqai in Canada, as it is in Europe.

8. Infiniti QX50 Concept


Coming in at No. 8 is the Infiniti QX50 “concept,” which is really a design study in name only because this vehicle looks ready for production. Appropriately, it presages what the next-generation QX50 will look like. Aside from advanced, autonomous driving technology and front-biased all-wheel drive, it’s motivated by the world’s first variable-compression engine. Displacing 2.0-liters, this unit could be up to 27 percent more efficient than V6s with similar power.

7. Chevrolet Traverse


Chevrolet’s popular Traverse crossover has been completely overhauled for 2018. Growing slightly compared to the model available today, it’s gotten a bit longer. This mild stretch provides more passenger room and cargo space, topping major rivals when it comes to hauling. A naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 is available, but perhaps the more exciting option is a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit. Either engine is matched to a nine-speed automatic. This year’s Detroit Auto Show was rather unexciting, without many groundbreaking reveals, which is why a useful – if somewhat boring – vehicle like the Traverse made our Top 10 list.

6. Honda Odyssey


Honda revealed a brand new Odyssey minivan at NAIAS. Thanks to a ton of advanced engineering, it’s up to 95 pounds lighter than its predecessor with 44 percent greater torsional rigidity. A 3.5-liter gasoline V6 provides the fury, a class-competitive 280 horsepower. It’s backed by either a nine-speed automatic or a brand-new 10-ratio, Honda-developed gearbox. Expect class-leading, refinement and efficiency.

5. Audi Q8 Concept


Our No. 5 pick is Audi’s fancy new Q8 concept. This stylish vehicle previews what a production large “coupe” crossover will look like. It features frameless windows, a husky grille, and sharp overall design. This blue beauty is motivated by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with 442 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. As you probably guessed, quattro all-wheel drive is included, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.

ALSO SEE: Audi Q8 Concept Jumps on the Coupe SUV Bandwagon

4. Ford F-150


The Ford F-150 is kind of a big deal, and the Blue Oval just comprehensively updated its top-selling rig for 2018. This half-ton pickup’s biggest draw is a brand-new 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine that should provide tons of capability with great efficiency. Not to be forgotten, the F-150’s other powertrains have also been heavily updated. A segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission is included as well.

3. Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept

Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept

Volkswagen’s I.D. Buzz Concept is a modern hippy van with a fully electric drivetrain supported by a battery pack that’s good for 270 miles of range. Along with zero emissions, this family hauler features all-wheel drive. Its interior is open and airy, matching the sleek exterior. The I.D. Buzz Concept can hit 60 miles an hour in about five seconds and can be driven fully autonomously.

2. Toyota Camry


Love it or loathe it, one of the world’s most significant vehicles is Toyota’s humble Camry. This family-friendly four-door is all new for 2018, gaining more exciting design both inside and out. It rolls on a wheelbase that’s been extended by two inches, which should provide more responsive handling. Three powertrains will be offered including a 3.5-liter V6, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and a hybrid. Shifting duties are handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission.

1. Kia GT Stinger


Finally, our favorite car revealed at the 2017 North American International Auto Show is a Kia, specifically the GT Stinger. This sports sedan is rear-wheel drive and was tuned on Germany’s vaunted Nürburgring. Two engines will be offered in this stylish four-door, including a turbocharged four-banger serving base duty as well as a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that should deliver 365 horses. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, which should help this car hit 62 miles an hour in as little as 5.1 seconds, and if that’s not exciting, you must not have a pulse.

Watch all our video coverage from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in the playlist below:

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