2011 Denver Auto Show
The 2011 Denver Auto Show hosted by Jann Scott where we look at some of the cars and trucks on the floor of the convention center.
It’s the 2011 Denver Auto Show Special with host Jann Scott. We look at a large selection of new car, trucks, SUV’s, crossover and more on the floor, in search of great cars to buy and what new innovations the auto manufacturers are starting to include in their vehicles in order to compete with the new green movement. Some of the Automotive groups we explore are Acura, Jeep, Chevy, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Toyota and VW as well as fancy rides by Aston Martin, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, and Lotus for you education and entertainment.
The VW Jetta Sports Wagon is pretty much in a class of its own. It’s is a great alternative to a variety of vehicles, thanks to its versatility and available diesel engine. Pros: Cavernous cargo space, stellar fuel economy with TDI, upscale cabin, comfortable seats, refined ride, good iPod interface. Cons: TDI’s premium price.
We learn from a Toyota Spokesman about the new Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid how the new plugin feature increases the range on the vehicle in electric mode and is a giant leap forward for electric and hybrid cars.
The Nissan Leaf is an electric car with great in town commuting car, however it’s not available for production quite yet and there’s huge waiting lines for when it is. With the Nissan Leaf, a real (and realistically priced) electric car is finally here. Pros: No more gas stations, spacious, quiet cabin, snappy acceleration, intelligent navigation system. Cons: Limited cruising range, limited recharging points, home charger is a necessity.
The 2011 Kia Soul brings hipster styling and a fun-to-drive nature to the realm of the practical hatchback. Pros: Loads of available features, highly customizable, user-friendly controls, ample passenger space, surprisingly fun to drive, low price, long warranty. The Kia Soul receives a few improvements for 2011, with new rear shock absorbers and standard rear disc brakes (replacing last year’s rear drums) being the most notable. Other minor changes include new door handles, push-button start, a trip computer and heated outside mirrors. Kia’s engineers also managed to infuse the Soul with peppy engine performance (at least on the upper trim levels) and sporty handling. Together, they make the Soul a surprisingly fun-to-drive small car that’s still a cinch to maneuver around tight city confines in relative comfort. On the highway, last year’s Soul had a choppy ride quality, but the new rear shock absorbers should at least partially remedy that problem.
We rate the 2011 Kia Soul highly among the overtly boxy competition that includes the Nissan Cube and Scion xB. Both can accommodate more cargo than the Kia with their rear seats stowed, but the Soul scores points for having the most attractive design in our eyes. There are a few more conventional choices as well, such as the Honda Fit and the Mini Cooper Clubman, they, too, have sharp styling, athletic handling and surprising cargo versatility. But the Kia Soul gets just about everything right. And for that, we think it’s worth adding to your short list.