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TCC's Best Cars—And Surprises—of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show

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Cobo Arena looking empty just prior to Ford conference

Cobo Arena looking empty just prior to Ford conference

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We're just back from the 2010 Detroit auto show and nursing our sore feet from several days of taking it all in at Detroit's Cobo Center. Taking a look back at the hurricane of posts on The Car Connection, along with our other core sites Motor Authority and Green Car Reports, we've picked just a few standouts. And with the ostentatious feel of past shows seemingly in a slumber this year again—and attendance way down, as this picture of the usually packed lower level of Cobo Arena looking sparse just moments before the global debut of the Focus helps emphasize—we're pleased to report to you more about the cars, less about the publicity stunts, the glitz, the glamor.

Without further ado, here are our quick picks, plus some surprises from the show floor:

2012 Ford Focus, at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

2012 Ford Focus, at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

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Best Production Car: 2012 Ford Focus

The new Focus looks athletic, almost voluptuous, and features like a new direct-injection engine and twin-clutch automatic—even in the most affordable models—will likely put rival models to shame. So, likely will the Focus' much-improved fuel-economy—and the Web-capable MyFord system, which looks like it will remain a generation ahead of other media and calling interfaces and be available in the Focus at launch. Above all, the new Focus is a small car that doesn't look like an inexpensive car, appealing for many of the same ways that made the original Mazda3 so popular. Stay tuned in coming months as we hope for more up-close time with the Focus.

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Comments (10)
  1. I am pretty excited about Ford's dominance at the show. If there is any company that deserves accolades for hard work it is them

  2. really looking forward to the new Focus too, especially if they stick a turbo engine in it.

  3. The Focus hatch might not look as as sweet as, say, the Audi e-tron, but it's got great style nonetheless. Add that to Ford's glowing reputation and the Focus' price point, and it would seem Ford has a winner on its hands.
    But why didn't you dole out an award for Tannest PR Guy?

  4. So it sounds like there was also a very conscious effort to avoid showing trucks this time?

  5. nice review of the show (some key cars). really like the description of the focus as "a small car that doesn't look like an inexpensive car". fascinated to track BYD. sounds like they crossed something of a "psychological" canyon with the automotive press this week. tough to ignore buffet indeed - but tougher to ignore 160% growth in China and plans for growth around the globe.

  6. Very curious to see how well the Focus will do world wide since its the first"global" ford car. BYD respspnse - 2 words "Warren Buffet" nuf sed

  7. The Focus as the best production car?! It doesn't come out till 2012 so how can it be called a production car? I'll wait to see if the real thing looks like the car at the show then make my decision on how good it is. The Aveo is apparently a production car too, but I doubt it'll look a whole lot like the RS at the show.

  8. @JC: Uhhhh, this was the global debut of the production car for the U.S., Europe, and Asia. This is the car they will build. What part of that isn't clear? The Aveo RS is a concept on the other hand so you are right there, the production car may look different, but only slightly.

  9. @jc
    Technically, the pre-production Focus show cars displayed at the Detroit Auto Show previews the actual Focus that will go into production later this year.
    PS: the trim level of the Focus show cars (sedan and hatchback) is called "Titanium" this is the top trim level of the regular Focus range in Europe.

  10. I thought I would like the hatch more than the sedan, but I feel the opposite. I was disappointed with the hatch's stated storage of around 26 cubes with the seats down. I am concerned about the visibility out of the back window as well. Other than that, it is a sweet looking car. It is definitely the best looking hatch for the price. The sedan is beautiful. The redesigned 2011 Elantra and 2011 Chevy Cruze will give it a run for its money for value shoppers, but Focus seems to be "a cut above" the rest of the competition for style and features and that includes Jetta (I own one), Corolla, and Civic.

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