I get the same question every year at the Detroit Auto Show: What was your favorite new car?
My answer is almost always a model with an aggressive design and often it's a concept.
This year, the Cadillac Converj stole my heart. How much of the electric car with a cool interior ultimately becomes reality is open for debate. But in terms of styling and making a statement, the Converj does it for me.
That said, there are two other models at the show that are far less sexy, but perhaps far more important to their companies. These are the new models worth following.
• Ford Taurus
Completely re-designed and going on sale later this year, the new Taurus is a mid-size sedan that should bring people back to Ford. CEO Alan Mulally was right when he first took over the company in mandating the return of Taurus, which a decade ago, was the best-selling car in the U.S.
This model sheds the stodgy and boring style cues that have plagued Ford cars the last 10-15 years. That's important as Ford tries to win back car buyers who gave up on the blue oval and went to Toyota and Honda. Combined with the Fusion, the Taurus gives Ford a car line-up that is worth checking out.
• Honda Insight
This gas-electric hybrid getting more than 40 miles per gallon, will give the Toyota Prius a run for its money. Not only is its performance competitive with the new Prius (Prius gets 50 mpg) its styling will attract buyers. Honda has high hopes for the Insight.
It's targeting annual sales of roughly 90,000 a year. If that happens, the Insight will cut into the dominance of the Prius and perhaps, help Honda steal some of Toyota's reputation as the "greenest" auto maker.
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