Biggest Debuts from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

By

Automotive Editor

Brandon Turkus is CarsDirect.com’s Automotive Content Manager. He’s responsible for editing content that appears on these pages, and also represents CarsDirect’s sister sites The Car Connection, Motor Authority, and Green Car Reports in Detroit, Michigan. Before joining Internet Brands, Brandon served as a contributor for enthusiast sites Autoblog and Motor1, covering automotive news and reviewing the industry’s newest models.


, Automotive Editor - January 10, 2017
Crowds at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

The 2017 Detroit Auto Show was bizarrely quiet compared to past years, but that doesn’t mean the debuts from the world’s automakers weren’t worthy of note. This year’s show was heavy on crossovers, reflecting the market’s adoration of high-riding wagons, but consumers will feel the impact of the Detroit show in several other markets.

With that in mind, we’re looking at the biggest debuts from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show – tomorrow, we’ll break down the top trends from this year’s Cobo Center hoopla.

2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda odyssey

The Chrysler Pacifica won the North American Utility of the Year title for 2017, but Honda’s redesigned Odyssey captured nearly as many headlines in Detroit. Honda increased the 3.5-liter V6’s output, from 248 to 280 horsepower, and is offering a standard nine-speed automatic and an optional 10-speed transmission. Both transmissions should offer a significant improvement in fuel economy over the current Odyssey’s six-speed automatic.

The cabin, meanwhile, will carry on as a family friendly place. Magic Slide second-row seats makes rearranging the cabin a simple affair – owners can easily access the third row of seats, even with a child’s seat installed in one of the second-row chairs. Naturally, a built-in vacuum cleaner is still available to dispatch sudden messes, but it’s Honda’s baby monitor that families should be most interested in. Cabin Watch uses a built-in camera pointed at the back two rows to project an image onto a screen in the front seat, while Cabin Talk is essentially an intercom between the front and rear seats. Learn More »

2018 Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry

Sedans are falling out of favor with consumers, but when the biggest name in this particular segment receives a ground-up redesign, it’s worth taking notice. The new Camry wears far more aggressive, assertive skin, emphasized by the available two-tone paint scheme on select trims. The sloping rear roofline looks more at home on something fast and European, but it works well on a mainstream family sedan.

But beyond the new body, Toyota hasn’t messed with the Camry formula much. There’s an agreeable amount of space in the cabin, two large engines – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V-6 that eschew the turbocharging craze – and a hybrid powertrain that pairs a four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor and a battery pack. Nothing earth shattering, we admit. Still, Toyota’s decision to spice up the Camry’s body is a net win for image-conscious consumers who might not consider the normally dreary world of mid-size family sedans. Learn More »

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

A rebadged version of the European-market’s Qashqai – pronounced cash-KAI – the Rogue Sport fits into Nissan’s US crossover lineup between the funky Juke and the facelifted, full-size Rogue. The shorter wheelbase should make the Rogue Sport a better fit in urban environments, while it’s 141-horsepower four-cylinder engine will likely be affordable to operate.

Prices aren’t available yet, but there isn’t much wiggle room between Juke and Rogue for the Sport to occupy. Still, the Qashqai is one of the most popular vehicles in Europe – it’s a safe bet that its record will carry on in the US market.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

2018 Chevy Traverse

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is the second full-size, three-row crossover General Motors updated, but unlike the Acadia that debuted at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, the updated Traverse steps much further away from typical crossoverdom. It’s positively SUV like in its design language, from the upright nose to the tall profile to the aggressive angle of the D-pillar – that forward-raked piece of body between the back doors and the side-rear glass. Even the windows are tall and prominent, in stark contrast to the tiny, chop-top look popular just a few years ago.

Passengers in the spacious, eight-seat cabin will appreciate the available 4G LTE wireless internet and the multitude of USB inputs, while the driver is busy playing with the standard 3.6-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission, the optional 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, and the available twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system. That all-wheel drive setup comes direct from the Cadillac XT5 and Buick LaCrosse, promising not just all-weather ability, but enhanced agility. Learn More »

Nissan VMotion 2.0 Concept

Nissan VMotion 2.0 Concept

The only concept car on our list, the Nissan VMotion 2.0 Concept earns its recognition for two very good reasons – first, this four-door sedan is almost certainly a preview of the next-generation Altima sedan. But more than that, it’s a broader look at what the future of Nissan design holds.

See, VMotion is what Nissan calls its current design language – it’s visible on everything from the Rogue crossover and Altima sedan to the GT-R supercar. Getting a look at the next-generation of the company’s design gives us a good idea of what to expect in the next five to seven years.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

We can split the auto industry up into two neat categories – automakers that have an ample crossover lineup, and companies that don’t. Volkswagen is desperately trying to go from the latter category to the former, and the new, larger Tiguan is key to that effort. A 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and a standard eight-speed automatic transmission are neat, but there’s a lot more worth mentioning here.

Longer and roomier, the updated Tiguan brings a lot to the table. It’s available in both five- and seven-passenger layouts, which lets it stand out among the crowded ranks of its class. Having an available third row, while not terribly roomy on its own, gives owners a degree of flexibility that’s still uncommon amongst the Tiguan’s competitors. The same is true of the all-digital cockpit – identical to what VW is selling in the Atlas (and what Audi offers in the TT and A3), the new reconfigurable instrument cluster is both gorgeous and packed with information. Learn More »

, Automotive Editor

Brandon Turkus is CarsDirect.com’s Automotive Content Manager. He’s responsible for editing content that appears on these pages, and also represents CarsDirect’s sister sites The Car Connection, Motor Authority, and Green Car Reports in Detroit, Michigan. Before joining Internet Brands, Brandon served as a contributor for enthusiast sites Autoblog and Motor1, covering automotive news and reviewing the industry’s newest models.