The best cars at the auto show
With the tens of thousands of car enthusiasts and car shoppers of the future walking the floor, auto shows are the perfect place for automakers to showcase their newest designs. The 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was no exception.
One of the largest auto shows in the country, it's a must for consumers and media covering the auto industry. Here are six new introductions at this year's Detroit auto show that Bankrate has chosen as best-in-class cars.
Subcompact car: Toyota Corolla Furia
The smaller subcompact car segment will be heating up soon by the looks of Toyota's new concept car, the Corolla Furia.
While more than a year away from production, the next-generation Corolla is likely to feature more dramatic styling as shown in the Furia. The sporty new look comes from a lower, more aggressive stance with wheels that are pushed further toward the car's corners. In addition, the larger 19-inch wheels and carbon fiber accents on the rocker panels, rear valence and wheel wells further increase the aggressive look.
The Corolla Furia concept is larger than the current Corolla -- about 2 inches wider and longer overall -- with a sweeping windshield and sloping roofline that project the feeling of motion when the car is stationary. Other sporty features include a blacked-out grille, sculpted light-emitting diode, or LED, headlamps and composite LED taillights.
Compact car: Dodge Dart GT
With five Dodge Dart models already on sale, Dodge introduced a new version, the 2013 Dodge Dart GT, at the Detroit auto show. The new sporty model will feature a sport-tuned suspension and a 184-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine designed for driving enthusiasts. It also gets a sportier look with a unique front fascia with a black grille, accents and headlamp bezels, body-color door handles, and a unique rear end featuring dual exhaust with bright chrome exhaust tips and racetrack LED taillamps.
On the inside, unique features include premium napa perforated leather seats in two-tone black and red, heated front seats and steering wheel, dual climate control, a universal garage-door opener, and remote start.
Other standard features include a power 10-way driver's seat with power lumbar, leather steering wheel with audio and speed controls, a reconfigurable instrument cluster display, and a rear backup camera.
The 2013 Dodge Dart GT will go on sale in mid-2013.
Family sedan: Kia Cadenza
Kia introduced a new flagship family sedan when it took the wraps off the 2014 Kia Cadenza. The sibling to the Hyundai Azera, the Korean-built Cadenza sports a European design, featuring the new Kia "tiger nose" front end with LED lights, classic chrome accents and a broad stance.
Designers sculpted the interior in leather with wood and chrome accents as well as an elegant analog clock and ambient lighting. There is a long list of standard equipment, including 10-way power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat ventilation, keyless entry with push-button start, 12-speaker surround sound audio system and a backup camera.
All models are powered by a 293-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline. Designed for a sportier driving experience, the Cadenza rides on a sport-tuned, fully independent suspension and has a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode and paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
The 2014 Kia Cadenza goes on sale in mid-2013.
Luxury sedan: Infiniti Q50
For 2014, Infiniti has introduced a new naming structure for its vehicles, and the redesigned G37 has been introduced as the new Infiniti Q50.
Compared to the G37, the new model will feature improved knee, head and shoulder space as well as wide rear-door opening for easier entry and exit of rear-seat passengers. The Infiniti Q50 will come with a choice of a 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 or a hybrid powertrain that produces 354 horsepower.
As one of the auto show's best-in-class cars, the luxury sport sedan showcases numerous new technologies including adaptive steering, which allows the driver to select one of four steering settings and then changes tire angle and steering inputs accordingly, depending on driving style and road conditions. Its active lane control technology uses cameras to detect lane markers to improve driving in the center of road.
Interior features will include an eight-way, power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar, a 60/40 split rear seat with trunk pass-through, dual-zone automatic temperature control, power windows with illuminated switches and one-touch auto up-down, audio and navigation voice recognition, and Around View monitor.
The Infiniti Q50 goes on sale in summer 2013.
Sports car: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The redesign of the iconic Chevrolet Corvette generated perhaps the most buzz of any new car introduction at this year's Detroit auto show, and for good reason. It is essentially a completely new car, with only two parts carried over from the 2013 model, yet it still retains the styling lines that Corvette has had for more than a half-century.
The 2014 model also marks the return of the Stingray designation, and despite featuring the most powerful standard engine ever with an estimated 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, it will also be the most fuel-efficient Corvette ever, exceeding the 26 mpg estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency for the current model.
On the inside, engineers have designed the new interior to provide a more connected driving experience in the standard model as well as an upgraded model that is designed for those interested in hobby racing.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will go on sale in fall 2013.
Sport utility vehicle: Acura MDX
While officially called a prototype, the 2014 Acura MDX is very close to what the redesigned version of Acura's popular SUV will look like in production form.
The seven-passenger SUV features more elegant styling in a slightly larger package, which means additional passenger space, especially for second- and third-row occupants, compared to the outgoing model.
The 2014 model will be powered by a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine that will be more powerful and fuel-efficient than the 2013 model. For the first time, the MDX will be offered in front-wheel drive as well as the all-wheel-drive version that has been offered in the past.
It also will feature many advanced safety technologies, and Acura is expecting the MDX to achieve the top crash-test ratings from both the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The 2014 Acura MDX will go on sale in the middle of this year.