Car: Decisions, Decisions, Navigating the 2011 Greater Kansas City Auto Show

I went to the greater Kansas City Auto Show twice last week
On Friday my gear head brother Steve and I raced through the show
He knows everything about cars
If he doesn’t know something his commitment to baffling you will win any automotive argument

Saturday, I went back with my wife and our ten year old was along for the ride
There are so many makes and models
How do you choose?

I am all over the place when choosing which vehicle I want to drive full time
I mean I am hot on one model and then just like that I will turn and want something else

But what about you?

When you are shopping for a new car what’s your motivation?
Are you looking for a commuter car, a utility vehicle, or a luxury vehicle to get you to and from work in style?

Gas price is a huge motivator for many people car shopping these days
In Kansas City we are paying over $3 per gallon at the pump

Steve is anti hybrid cars, so we just don’t look at them
Some technical repair thing he keeps throwing at me
So we stick to the internal combustion types
And due to time constraints and your potential lack of interest in long articles, I’ll do my best to limit this to a few models

Commuter Cars

I give the Chevy Cruze five out of five lug nuts
Steve is right there with me – five out of five lug nuts
The Cruze is stingy on gas, has good curb appeal and comes in a variety of models
The sticker price starts in the upper teens to the low 20’s depending on the creature comforts you have to have on your commute
I met a couple on Saturday at the auto show who own a Cruze and the husband enjoys driving it to and from work
He likes the ride and he’s very happy getting 36 mpg highway 

My wife could not get past the lack of a spare tire for the Cruze

“You mean, I get a can of fix a flat instead?” she proclaimed for everyone in the six county region to hear
She was getting a little goofy so I left her on her spare tire soap box and moved on to the next car
I stalked the Cruze owning folks to mask my departure
They also own my second Chevy commuter choice, the Malibu
“I love my Malibu” the wife said
The Malibu is a little bigger than the Cruze but can still squeeze 33 mpg highway
The LS model starts at $21,000
I give the Malibu four out of five lug nuts
Steve is one up on me – five out of five lug nuts for the Malibu

Ford Fusion ranks high on my commuter list
The four cylinder delivers 33 mpg highway
The subtle changes for the 2010 Fusion still exist for 2011
The Fusion caught my eye last year with better lines, more curb appeal and options and models up the wazoo
There are five models starting at $19,000

My brother Steve, is a Chevy guy. He can’t tell me why he is pro Chevy, which just baffles me since he can usually support any and all of his automotive theories
I give the Fusion four out of five lug nuts
Steve gives his completely biased zero out of five lug nuts for the Fusion

We have nothing to report on any Toyota products.  Our accelerators got stuck and we couldn’t stop until we were way past their booth

Utility Vehicles

To Steve and me this means trucks
Not much to look at when Steve gets ill looking at a Ford F150
Dodge Ram gets an honorable mention
Okay there it was
Chevy and GMC get our undivided attention

The Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra share many traits
But hands down the Sierra gets one more lug nut from both of us – five out of five
The front trim and the way the hood is contoured is the winning lug nut from us for the Sierra
You have to move up to the LTZ Silverado for the same color trim all the way across the front bumper – why we ask
The Sierra and the Silverado start at $20,000 and even with a V8 these trucks can squeeze 22 mpg highway

Luxury Vehicles
Steve and I could not agree on a luxury car at the auto show
We just happened to start in the Ford section on Friday and I raced ahead when I spotted the Taurus SHO
This car became my pick of the show
I didn’t even flinch when I saw the sticker price for the SHO was over $40,000
“You could almost buy two Chevy’s for the price of the SHO” Steve said shaking his head

I was smitten

The wheels, the curb appeal, the performance and still 25 mpg highway
Sure, I could choose the Taurus SE model starting at $25,000 and have many of the comforts I like for my long commute, but why when the SHO was screaming at me to take it home?

All through the auto show with Steve, he kept pointing out vehicles he deemed more worthy
Steve pushed me towards the Buick Regal CXL which starts at $26,000 and delivers 30 mpg highway
I was still smitten with the SHO

I needed someone with a level head, like my wife and our ten year old

Okay so I steered them away so that the SHO was the last car they looked at on Saturday
They both loved it as much as I did
In six years, our 10 year old will look totally hip heading to school in the SHO and with the on board computer we can set a top speed limit when our future teenager is behind the wheel

My wife totally supported my auto show choice and the 10 year-old we had to pry away from the SHO with the promise of lunch and the complete KU/MU Basketball game – But even as good parents we had sun spots effect us and we fell two minutes short
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2 Responses to Car: Decisions, Decisions, Navigating the 2011 Greater Kansas City Auto Show

  1. Kerouac says:

    “I went to the greater Kansas City Auto Show twice last week”

    – why? Wait, lemme guess: you forgot your youth, wallet & wheelbarrow…

    “But what about you?”

    – what about Kerouac?

    ” When you are shopping for a new car what’s your motivation?”

    – have owned several ‘grocery getters’ since 1971, vehicles wouldn’t mind seeing get abused, totaled, etc (like tri-ply toilette paper on a south of the border Holiday.) I haven’t shopped for a new vehicle since ’70… my motivation: l’emozione e l’eleganza del passato!

    To hell with today! Yesterday once more I say!

    Another example the sell-outs that have become weak-minded baby boomers… a ‘friend’, i.e., as far as said can be considered as he is a mechanic of 43 years – nigh on pleaded me to test drive the latest incarnations each the Corvette, Challenger , Charger, Camaro & Viper… and so I did.

    Where’s the vomit bag.

    Aft finishing, I changed out of my disguise, cleaned up the hurl/cleared my throat and…got my motor runnin’, head on out the highway, looking for adventure, and whatever come my way in my ’70 Challenger RT, 426 upon & 782 beneath the hood, 25or6to4 ticking from the dash clock & Steppenwolf blasting via a classic AM oldies station, my ** going on 21 heart of hearts id, Ego & Super-ego intact … no riders nor Al Bundy reverie this… only euphoria.

    I hope it was good for you too.

    : )

  2. smartman says:

    Hearne’s Turf
    Stick to what you know. Go clean up some vomit in the dressing room or program some Vari-Lites. Hearne is the car guy. Glazer does pussy, Hall does sports, Edelman does Jazz, Matthew does shit no one cares about, Tony does racism, Harley does crazy and everyone else is just parsley on a big plate of prime rib that if purchased at Plaza III will resemble a 1/3 lb Angus burger from McDonald’s

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