The 2009 Los Angeles auto show is over--for the press, at least. In the shadow of continual turmoil at GM, the show fielded a few important new production vehicle introductions, but not a lot more. The lightweight proof? The second press day, where more than half of the gathered journalists had disappeared and jumped early flights home.
High Gear Media's editors stuck it out, and found a handful of memorable moments in the continued auto-industry pall. We brought you the new Hyundai Sonata and Tucson; Ford Fiesta and Mazda2; Toyota Sienna and Porsche Boxster Spyder. We scoped out the Honda P-Nut and Volkswagen Up! Lite concepts in depth for you. We even caught up with Patrick Dempsey (above) at the Mazda stand, and gave him the celebrity validation he needed. It's been a full 48 hours.
After all that, our editors have decided on a handful of moments as the best from the 2009 Los Angeles auto show. Which one's your favorite? Let us know in a comment at the end, or write your own post for High Gear Media. These are ours:
2009 Los Angeles Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Best Production Car: 2011 Ford Fiesta
Wow. The U.S.-spec version of the Fiesta has officially arrived, and I heaved a sigh of relief that Ford didn't mess with the package too much and end up ruining it, as they've done so many times in the past. Euro-hipness completely intact, the Fiesta looks the part—with a beautiful interior—and at the show it ended up upstaging the Mazda2, even if they did have the ever-gracious Patrick Dempsey. My inner killjoy wants to push back at the massive "Fiesta Movement" and efforts in recent months to clog inboxes and twitter feeds with "buzzworthy content," but I can't muster anything. Behold, red leather upholstery with black piping! It's there in the Fiesta…and suddenly my impulse to twitter that has passed.—Bengt Halvorson
MazdaSpeed2 concept, 2009 Los Angeles Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Best New Car: 2011 Mazda2
Considering the fact that cars have been getting heavier due to increased safety features and higher feature specs, only a few car companies have managed to reverse the trend in their own cars. One of these rarities is the new Mazda2, which engineers managed to make 220 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Finally, we here in the U.S. will get to experience the stylish and eco-friendly hatchback the rest of the world has been raving about.—Viknesh Vijayenthiran