The automotive industry moves at a rapid pace, which means there’s plenty of news to cover on a daily basis.
As we near the end of 2017, we decided to look back at the most popular automotive stories of the year. This past year was filled to the brim with exciting new debuts, concept cars, and plenty of rumors that give us something to look forward to in 2018.
Look below for the top 10 most popular automotive stories of 2017, based on AutoGuide.com readers.
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL made its debut late in November at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show, which means in just a few weeks time, it managed to climb all the way to being the 10th most popular story of the year. That goes to show just how highly anticipated the new Wrangler’s debut was as it enters it JL generation. And if you read on, you will see that many of our readers just couldn’t wait to see the new Wrangler debut.
In July, Honda rolled out its 10th-generation Accord with the popular midsize sedan getting completely overhauled. More than just a fresh new design, the 2018 Honda Accord features turbocharged engines, a more rigid structure, a 10-speed automatic transmission, and more interior space than before. The bad news? Honda got rid of the Accord Coupe and the V6.
In May, spy photographers managed to get photos of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler’s interior, causing our readers to go into a frenzy speculating what was to come. Back then, we saw the full redesign on the center stack, featuring Chrysler’s updated UConnect infotainment system. We also noticed a “sway bar” button that suggested the ability to disconnect the sway bar system. Most importantly, these spy photos gave us hope the manual transmission would live on.
In March, there were a group of Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang owners that weren’t very happy with their purchase. A lawsuit had been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeking monetary damages for a proposed nationwide class of consumers who had purchased or leased Shelby GT350 Mustangs. The lawsuit, at the time, alleged Ford knowingly sold defective sports cars, saying they were marketed as “track-ready,” even though they couldn’t safely be operated on a race track. Owners claimed on the track, the Shelby GT350 would go into limp mode without warning and in as little as 15 minutes.
Over the past decade or so, Mazda has really impressed with the design and styling of its cars. Attractive bumper to bumper, the Japanese automaker is also responsible for some of the best-looking concept cars we’ve seen over the past few years, including 2017. So what drives the company against doing what everyone else is doing? Our Craig Cole spoke to Jacques Flynn, Mazda’s lead designer, to find out more about the process and mindset for the brand.
Expected to make its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show early next year, spy photographers managed to catch a 2019 Ram 1500 prototype wearing almost no camouflage, essentially revealing what the next-generation pickup will look like. Since then, spy photographers have managed to catch the 2019 Ram 1500 testing numerous times, albeit with more camouflage. But this may be our best look at the new Ram 1500, which will retain a steel body even though its competitors are moving to aluminum.
Continuing with Ram news, the American automaker announced in August that the 2018 Ram 3500 will offer a segment-leading 930 pound-feet of torque. To make that additional 30 lb-ft of torque happen, Ram worked closely with Cummins to improve the 6.7-liter diesel engine, increasing higher boost limits through a variable geometry turbo, while flow rate was also increased through the fuel delivery system.
The popularity of this story was a huge surprise to us. “Japan gets all the cool cars,” is something automotive enthusiasts in North America tend to say a lot. Just to prove that point, our story about the new, third-generation Toyota Century was the third most popular automotive story of the year, mostly because its throwback 1990s styling is ironically refreshing in 2017. Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 paired to a hybrid system, the new Century also benefits from new tires that offer a softer ride and reduced road vibrations.
To demonstrate just how highly anticipated the debut of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler was, a single leaked photo that surfaced in August on Reddit is our second most popular automotive story of the year. The photo revealed the design of the doors, fenders, hood, side mirrors, and a section of the roof, but it was enough to make our readers go crazy, just like the interior spy photos. All across the internet, Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts started picking out every little detail in anticipation of the Wrangler’s actual debut less than three months later.
And the most popular automotive story of the year was about three new concepts that Honda debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon. As another reminder of how much cooler Honda in Japan is compared to Honda North America, the automaker rolled out the Neo Classic Prototype, Vezel Gear, and GARU by Mugen (seen above) at the show. The Vezel was the only concept that North Americans can even relate to since it was based on the HR-V. The other two projects were based on the Honda S660, a subcompact model that will never reach our shores.