2013 Detroit Auto Show Winners and Losers: Concept Cars

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We'd like to institute a new rule: Only cars that are truly conceptual in nature should be labeled as "concept" cars. Of this list, only the Hyundai or Nissan could be considered a true concept car; all the others are simply early versions of upcoming production cars due in the next year or two. That said, there was a good variety on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in terms of style and segment. Here are our editors' picks for winners and losers of the latest crop of concepts. You can check out our grades for this year's crop of production cars here.

Acura MDX Concept

Aaron Bragman: Winner

Acura styling has wavered between boring and scary in recent years, but of the entire lineup, the MDX has always worn the Acura face the best. The brand apparently isn't going to mess with that success, and wisely so. I like the look of the MDX, despite its retention of the metal beak, and its new increased length seems to give it better proportions.

Joe Wiesenfelder: Winner

It's nice to see an Acura introduction that isn't in some way puzzling. This one looks good — probably better than ever. The beak looks less beaky here than in the past — at least against the show car's paint color. The bumper treatments are especially interesting. Will they appear in the real product? Probably. When Acura calls something a prototype, it usually doesn't mess with sheet metal. Technically, the bumpers aren't sheet metal, but still ...

Mike Hanley: Loser

I agree with Aaron that the MDX has had the best implementation of Acura's shield grille, but I thought the overall design of the MDX Prototype was a little boring — kind of like the brand's upcoming RLX flagship sedan. It seems that Acura, after being so heavily criticized for its front-end look the past few years, is now playing it safe — too safe.

David Thomas: Loser

Am I the only one who looks at this and sees no real difference from the current MDX that has been around for years? This is less an evolution and more of a Xerox. Besides the odd headlights and yes, a better-looking backside, the MDX Prototype looks prototypical to me.

By David Thomas | January 18, 2013 | Comments (8)

2014 Kia Sorento Video

2014-kia-sorentoAt first glance, the 2014 Kia Sorento doesn’t appear very different than the outgoing 2013, but Kia says 80% of the parts are new or significantly redesigned. Inside, there’s a newly redesigned center console with a larger display for Kia’s multimedia system as well as other updates.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage 

We first saw the new Sorento late last year at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays checks out the redesigned Sorento on the floor of the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  Mays finds a lot to like with the new interior, but also notes there’s still room for improvement.

Check out the video below. 

By Joe Bruzek | January 16, 2013 | Comments (3)

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