Getting up close and personal with the best new models automakers want to show off is an annual event that brightens gloomy, snowy winter days. In Detroit, the 2016 North American International Auto Show (aka the 2016 Detroit Auto Show) offers much for show-goers and consumers in the market for (or just wanting to look at) a new car. Here’s a look at what we consider the best new 2017 cars of the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt – For range practicality in all-electric form, it doesn’t get much better than 200 miles. That the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt promises to deliver this in a package that’s imminently more affordable than the Tesla Model S is some of the best news to come out of Detroit in some time. Another high point of the Bolt is that it will fast-charge in 60 minutes to 80% of battery capacity. The affordability part? How about around $30,000 – after applicable incentives from the government.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica – While some have said the minivan is dead, don’t tell that to Chrysler. With the unveiling of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (a major revamp of the Town & Country with an all-new name), the Detroit automaker is betting big that families who require a vehicle large enough to accommodate a good-size family and want luxury touches to boot will gravitate toward the new Pacifica. Styling alone is enough to guarantee some interest, and the interior’s luxury look and feel may seal the deal when the Pacifica minivan goes on sale in the spring. Safety features include the new surround view camera system with four cameras offering a 3600 bird’s-eye view. Other available safety equipment includes ParkView rear backup camera, blind spot monitoring, parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking and LaneSense lane-departure warning. While there’s no all-wheel drive version, there will be a Pacifica plug-in hybrid available in the second half of the year.

2017 Genesis G90

2017 Genesis G90 – Genesis is now a standalone luxury division of Hyundai. Thus, it joins the ranks of other major automakers who established a separate division for their higher-end products. With the debut of the first of the Genesis lineup to come to production, the 2017 Genesis G90, it looks like there’s a clear winner here. The sedan will be available with 360-hp twin-turbo V6 and normally-aspirated 420-hp V8 engine choices, both with an eight-speed automatic, and both available in rear- or all-wheel drive.

2017 Honda Ridgeline – Coming back after a two-year hiatus, the all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup now features a 0unibody structure, a refined interior, a big 5’ wide by 5’4” bed with a trunk underneath, lots of V6 power and a crew cab body style. Available in front- and all-wheel drive, the new Ridgeline will offer the Honda Sensing suite of safety technology: lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking and road departure prevention assist. Standard safety features include a multi-angle rearview camera and on upper trim levels, blind-spot monitoring and Honda LaneWatch system.

2017 Infiniti Q60 Sports Coupe

2017 Infiniti Q60 Sports Coupe – Infiniti proudly showed off the 2017 Q60 sports coupe at the Detroit show. The car features a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine mated with a seven-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional. This third-generation car offers two power ratings: 300 horsepower or 400 horsepower. It shares many of the design cues of the Q50 sedan, its four-door sibling in the Infiniti lineup. Available safety features include a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitor and backup collision intervention.

2017 Lexus LC 500

2017 Lexus LC 500 – Lexus calls the 2017 LC 500 a grand-touring 2+2 coupe. We call it downright aspirational. The new flagship of the Lexus passenger car lineup, the LC 500 features a 467-horsepower engine matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission that will do 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. Competitors will likely be the BMW 6-Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe. Expect pricing above the current Lexus RC-F ($65,000), likely in the $100,000 price range.

2017 Lincoln Continental – First debuting at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Lincoln reveals the production version of its 2017 Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan in Detroit. The significance here is the return of the Continental that was previously offered from the 1930s through model year 2002. Described as the flagship car for Lincoln, the Continental replaces the MKS. The new Continental will be powered by a 400-hp 3.0-liter V6 engine with choice of three drive control settings (comfort, normal or sport). Driver assists include cameras and radar to detect pedestrians, as well as pre-collision braking to prevent accidents or reduce severity. “Perfect Position” seats can be adjusted 30 ways.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – Inching closer to fully autonomous driving, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 2017 E-Class, the fifth generation of the German automaker’s midsize luxury sedan. Available mid-2016, the new E-Class will pace a car in front at speeds up to 130 mph and center itself in the lane at speeds up to 81 mph. But that’s not all. The car will automatically change lanes, left or right, after two seconds of delay to make sure the way is clear to proceed. The driver can summon the vehicle to pull out from a parking space. It will stop if a car coming towards it turns left or right across its path, and it will steer around any pedestrians. The E-Class will talk to other cars (called Car-to-x), which is a subset of V2V (vehicle to vehicle). No question this technology advances Mercedes to the top of the self-driving discussion.

2017 Volvo S90 – High-tech safety, luxury and standard self-driving features are key aspects of the 2017 Volvo S90 luxury midsize sedan. The S90 is the sedan version to the 2017 Volvo XC90 luxury SUV that was just named truck of the year by a number of entities. In the S90, Volvo’s taken its Pilot Assist beyond what’s offered in the XC90. Now, Pilot Assist works at speeds up to 80 mph (not 30 mph), doesn’t need a car in front of it for reference, tracks lane markings better and comes to a complete stop. A standard feature on S90s in the U.S., Pilot Assist also detects cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and even large animals, and slows or stops automatically.

 

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