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Photo Release -- Autobytel's Top Five Buzzworthy Trends at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 20, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, highlighted its Top Five Buzzworthy Trends of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show today from the convention floor, with the company's Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Naranjo.

2016 Audi TTS


2015 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe


2016 Mazda CX-3


2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach


Toyota Mirai


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"There are certainly plenty of things to talk about here in Los Angeles, and lots of buzz around five emerging trends car buyers should pay attention to at the show – and in the coming months," said Naranjo.

Following are highlights.

Trend #1: Consumers 'Crossing Over'

While lower gas prices are boosting SUV interest this year, there is also plenty of buzz around compact crossovers, with both worldwide and North American debuts of notable makes and models in this segment.

Naranjo's Notes: If you're speed-obsessed, check out the high performance 2015 BMW X5M and X6M, the Mercedes GLA45 AMG. The Mazda CX-3 is a must see in compact Crossovers, while SUV lovers will appreciate the 2016 Ford Explorer with its new 2.3-liter EcoBoost under the hood (and new Platinum trim level), and the versatile and sexy 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Trend #2: Luxury Reigns Supreme

This year's show boasts a long list of luxury car announcements and unveilings, with virtually every major luxury automaker represented. Design trends from mainstream brands are skewing upscale, while luxury brands are making more affordable models.

Naranjo's Notes: Aspirational buyers will want to check out the Audi A3 and the Audi Concept because it demonstrates the design future for Audi. Also, don't miss the Mercedes S-Class Maybach, which is beyond luxury. It's a head turner.

Trend #3: Detroit Represents

From Ford's debut of the new 2016 Explorer and its recent unveiling of the jaw-dropping 2016 Ford Mustang GT350 on-hand at this year's show, the Big Three are definitely making a lasting impression here in Los Angeles.

Naranjo's Notes: Don't walk. Run! (To see the first public viewing of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the new GT350, the new ATS-V, and the 2016 Chrysler 300).

Trend #4: High-Tech Gets High Praise

Robot cars? Maybe not now, but soon. At least that was the download from the LA Auto Show kickoff, where journalists met to discuss connected cars, and most specifically, the evolution to autonomous vehicles, like Volvo's "Drive Me" prototype.

Naranjo's Notes: While we have a ways to go before we see true self-driving cars on the 405 South, plenty of new production vehicles boast components that will help us get there. Check out GM's 4G WiFi-enabled vehicles that can connect up to seven devices; the Audi TTS Virtual Cockpit; Mercedes' DISTRONIC PLUS technology; and Subaru's EyeSight collision avoidance technology.

Trend #5: Alt Fuels Inspire

From plug-in hybrids to fuel cells, alternative fuel vehicles continue to take center stage at this year's show. Automakers smack dab in the middle of the alt fuel buzz include Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.

Naranjo's Notes: The big story here is how the luxury brands are headlining the alternative fuel segment with multiple offerings, such as the BMW i8 which just won Motor Press Guild's 2014 Innovation Vehicle of the Year. And be sure to check out the Toyota Mirai that runs on hydrogen fuel cell technology and boasts a 300-mile range on a single tank.

For complete Autobytel 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage, visit http://www.autobytel.com/auto-shows/united-states/los-angeles/. Check back for daily updates. Be sure to watch Autobytel's Fab Five Vehicle Video series from the LA Auto Show at the Autobytel YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/autobytel), which will showcase the top five vehicles in each segment every day of the show, beginning November 21, 2014.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website http://www.autobytel.com/ and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm.

CONTACT: Autobytel Inc. Media Relations Splash Media Jennifer Lange 949-916-4820 jlange@getsplashmedia.com or Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations Curtis DeWalt Chief Financial Officer 949-437-4694 curtisd@autobytel.com or PondelWilkinson Inc. Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman 310-279-5980 investor@pondel.com

Source:Autobytel Inc.