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2010 Portland Auto Show

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tonight, my buddy and I went to the 2010 Portland Auto Show at the Convention Center. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what's out there, what the trends are, play with cars and push all the buttons.

Several brands at the auto show impressed me. Ford, of course, was there in force. They had the Fiesta on display (I wish I could have had a chance to play with it, but it was roped off.) The F-150, America's most popular truck, was also the nicest truck there - by far.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta

Another impressive brand was Hyundai. The new Tucson was very impressive, and very impressively priced. The Genesis Coupe didn't look half-bad either, and I mistook the new Sonata for something significantly higher up in the Hyundai lineup.

Other cars that were impressive:
Lincoln MKS: If they put it in a car, this car has it. It was good-looking, incredibly optioned, and comfortable. (Except for the back seat.)
Kia Forte Koup: This was the car that said, "best bang for the buck" of all the cars there. For the price range (the one at the auto show was about $21,000) it stood head and shoulders above the competition.
Buick LaCrosse: For the price it was at (the one there was $36,500-ish), it was better optioned and more comfortable - by far - than its contemporaries.
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But while some brands showed up, other brands - in my opinion - embarrassed themselves. Honda, in particular, had a large space but only brought four vehicles. The area looked empty and seemed poorly attended. Lexus was there, but the HS250h reminds me of a Ford Fusion. Not that that's a bad thing, except I could buy a Fusion for significantly less.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta

GMC showed up with a bunch of big trucks and SUVs, which obviously we don't have enough of. Chevrolet was there with a couple nice Corvettes and Camaros, a bunch of big trucks and SUVs, and the most embarrassing batch of cars ever made. It seriously made them look bad with the selection of bland, boring, and cheap-looking sedans there.

There were some absences, as well. I'm disappointed that BMW and Mercedes didn't even bother showing up. Neither did Land Rover, Nissan, or Mitsubishi. Seriously? Oh well, if they can't be bothered to show up at the auto show, I guess it's better off for not having them there.

My overall opinion of the auto show is this: if you're searching for a car between $30,000 and $55,000, the show's got you covered. If you're looking to spend less than that, however, you'll find the selection to be pretty slim.

In all, I had a blast going. The crowds on a Thursday night were slim, so I didn't have to wait for anything, and my friend and I spent nearly three and a half hours playing with new cars. Good times, indeed.

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