Hot cars invade Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — Automakers are debuting key models at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Updated versions of big sellers like the Ford Escape, Nissan Sentra and Hyundai Elantra are there, as well as new luxury vehicles like the Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan, the Cadillac XT5 SUV and the Land Rover Evoque Convertible.
There’s some flash, with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car, and some hints of the future, with concept cars from Volvo and Subaru and a three-wheeler from startup Elio Motors.
Automakers are showing off in California because it’s a hot market. It leads other states in new vehicle sales, according to IHS Automotive, and sales there are expected to hit their highest level in a decade this year.
Here are some of the hot cars at this year’s show, which opens to the public Friday:
The Sportage compact SUV gets a totally new look for 2017 with engine and suspension updates to give it better performance and greater efficiency than the outgoing model. It’s got more headroom, legroom and cargo space than the old model, too, because it’s slightly longer and Kia engineers used “clever packaging.” Outside, the Sportage gets a sleeker appearance with curves, creases and a sloped roofline. The company says the interior has more soft touch materials for a luxury feel. The SUV also gets automatic braking and lane departure warning for safety. Electronic upgrades include a 7-inch touch screen that’s compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Price wasn’t announced, but the old model starts at just over $22,000.
SUV convertibles haven’t had an easy time of it. Remember the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet? It was yanked from the market after only four years because of slow sales. But Land Rover is giving it a whirl with a convertible version of its Evoque compact SUV. Land Rover says the fabric roof can stow in 18 seconds and fully raise in 21 seconds at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. There’s also a rollover protection system that can deploy two aluminum bars within 90 milliseconds of a crash. The Evoque Convertible will go on sale in mid-2016 at a starting price of $50,475.
Honda Civic Coupe