Saturday, January 11, 2014

SC International Auto Show

This weekend is the South Carolina International Auto Show in Greenville, SC.  I made it to the show this morning and here's a few of my highlights...

The show is smaller than many of the other shows around, but does feature a good number of manufactures and the chance to drive a selection of cars and trucks from GM and Chrysler.  I always enjoy checking out all kinds of new cars to see what's new and how everything compares.

I test drove a Chevy Cruze, Chevy Spark, Buick Regal, and a Fiat 500L just to add a variety since there weren't any test drive options really jumping out at me.

The Cruze was a pretty good, average sedan, but did feature the 2.0L turbo diesel that delivered enough torque to get around for daily driving and presumably good fuel economy.  I would add it to the list of affordable small sedans to consider.

The Spark is Chevy's smallest car and I enjoyed how light and nimble it felt but the approximately 85 horsepower really left it lacking the ability to get out of it's own way.  The interior felt very cheap, but did come well equipped with technology.

The Buick Regal was my surprise favorite car to drive today with the Grand Sport package and a 2.0L turbo gas engine making over 260 horse power.  It's a little larger than the Cruze, but the interior was definitely a big step up from the Chevy models.  It had a solid amount of power on tap at any time, but the automatic transmission seemed to hold it back while the overall ride quality didn't seem too much better than the Cruze.

The Fiat 500L was a ton of fun though.  With the huge amount of headroom and visibility it feels like driving your very own Pope-mobile, but it was nice to see so much of the world around the car.  The Abarth's engine doesn't get hampered too much by the automatic transmission and gives it enough power to get where you need to go with it.  It's just a funky, fun car if you need a get around town car.

Although there weren't test drives available, it's always fun to see a Ferrari F40, Ariel Atom, or the electric Tesla Roadster...all cars the NMS team would love to add to the racing lineup but are still a little out of the budget.

It was good to see the twins (Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ) getting a lot of attention!  I know I'm a fan of light-weight rear-wheel drive sporty cars!

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