Geneva’s 5 Most Popular New Cars: What Say You?

A perfectly choreographed chaos is a nice, if understated for those who’ve actually been there, way to describe a motor show.

Yes, each automaker has its own stand and, yes, there’s plenty of info available, but they have become so huge these days it’s getting harder and harder to devote enough time to all of them in order to gauge reactions.

Happily for us, there’s an easy way to weed out the ones that truly interest people from those that go silent into the night: counting the clicks. We don’t even have to do it ourselves, either, just check them out and… presto! Problem solved.

Cue the Geneva Motor Show. It may be held on European ground, but along with fall’s Paris/Frankfurt they are the most important for manufacturers, no matter their nationality.

With the press-only days over and the doors open for visitors, we have tallied up the scores and came up with the five top production car world premieres (*) from Geneva and singled out the good and the bad for each one of them.

“Objectively?”, you might ask. Oh, of course not! There’s no such thing when humans are involved. Not biased, though. We just call them as we see them; and if you feel different, it’s a free world and a free site with a comments section right below, so you’re welcome.

Toyota C-HR

Yes, please
– That’s the second concept they’ve brought into production almost unchanged. Is there a pattern emerging?
– You most certainly won’t mistake it with anything else on the road, with all those bold creases and curves.
– It’s bound to be a hit in the burgeoning subcompact SUV class.
– It can double as a city and as a family car. OK, not a big family, but nevertheless…
– It’s available with two frugal engines.

Oh, wait
– Original doesn’t always equal beautiful and the quirky design might get old soon.
– What’s with those headlights – could they be any bigger?
– Trying to out-Juke the Juke a bit too late, are we?
– Form definitely does not follow function. Good luck trying to see out the back.
– Green credentials good, topping out at 122 HP bad.

Aston Martin DB11

Yes, please
– Ten years were too much for the DB9. Enter the DB11.
– It’s obviously an Aston, but it’s moved on to the 21st century.
– That edgy rear end looks fantastic.
– At long last, customers get all the latest gadgets – as they should.
– It’s got a V12 with 600 HP. Need we say more?

Oh, wait
– Another naturally aspirated engine bites the dust.
– Is it us, or do those lights seem to be melting?
– The air vents might be useful for aero but are not so elegant.
– Not that hard to spot the Merc controls in the cabin.
– Still won’t see which way a Ferrari went.

Audi Q2

Yes, please
– It breaks the “one design to rule them all” mold
– Not an A1 on stilts, as we feared it would be.
– It’s got a wide range of engines.
– All-wheel drive is there for the taking.
– First premium offering in the subcompact crossover segment.

Oh, wait
– The Polo called. It wants its taillights back.
– Designers didn’t bother too much with the interior.
– Is that plastic on the ultra-wide C-pillar?
– Why not pick a Q3 instead?
– Too many “Qs”, too few sports cars.

Bugatti Chiron

Yes, please
– It’s got 1,500 horsepower. Ferrari and the rest, eat your heart out.
– A 420 km/h top speed. If you can find a straight that’s long enough, that is.
– It’s got an adaptive chassis to keep all that oomph under control.
– Comes with “fastest car in the world” bragging rights.
– The cabin looks absolutely exquisite.

Oh, wait
– Design is too similar to the Veyron, except for the rear.
– No tech revolution, just the old recipe updated.
– You won’t find a straight that’s long enough. True story.
– The Regera got there first and it’s much more exclusive.
– Great luggage set. Sorry about the Skoda valet key.

Maserati Levante

Yes, please
– It’s a Maserati and even its name sounds nice to the ear.
– It’s a Maserati, so it shows you go for something other than the obvious.
– The trident’s there, the grille is there, the side air vents etc.
– Never mind the SUV dress – this one’s supposed to handle.
– Its sales will go a long way into keeping the brand, and its sports cars, alive.

Oh, wait
– It’s a Maserati and it’s an SUV, even if only in name.
– The profile looks like a Cayenne with a bit of… GLE Coupe?
– No amount of leather and stitching can hide the old tech in the cabin.
– Take off the clock and the badging and the interior could be just about anything.
– It’d better catch on with buyers, especially in the US and China, or else…