Going to the Arizona International Auto Show with my friends has become an annual tradition. This show travels to over a dozen major US cities and always comes to Phoenix for Thanksgiving weekend.
Last year we did something a little bit different. Instead of walking the floor and looking at all of the new models, we stayed outside and went on a bunch of test drives instead. That was so much fun that we did the same thing again!
This year, I drove 7 different vehicles in one day. I tried to pick some cars that were different from my usual go-fast machines. Here are my impressions of the cars I drove this year:
2014 Kia Sorento SUV
I drove the Optima Limited with the 2.0 Turbo last year and was thoroughly impressed with it. Rather than take it for a lap of Phoenix three years in a row, I picked something completely different: a V6 crossover SUV. One thing I really liked was the panoramic glass roof. It had excellent visibility, especially for the rear passengers.
Back in 2005, the Ford Motor Company wanted to do something special to celebrate their 100th anniversary. What they did was come out with a special, limited-production car called the Ford GT. This mid-engined supercar was inspired by Ford’s famous GT40 racing cars from the 1960s.
The Ford GT has a supercharged V8 engine that makes a whopping 550 horsepower! Aside from a roll cage, this thing is basically a street-legal racing car. Like all good things, the Ford GT was only around for a limited time. After two years and 4,000 vehicles, Ford ended production of their high performance supercar.
For me, Thanksgiving is about more than just turkey: it’s also about cars. Every year the Arizona International Auto Show comes to town on Thanksgiving weekend. This show features the newest vehicles from dozens of manufacturers. You can sit in them, play with the knobs, and there are no sales people anywhere. My favorite part is going on test drives!
Last year, I drove four different turbocharged cars as well as a Chevrolet Volt and a Camaro SS convertible. This year, I broke my old record and went on seven test drives in one day! The cars I drove are as follows:
- 2013 Ford Mustang GT 5.0
- 2013 Lincoln MK-S
- 2013 Chevrolet Volt
- 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited
- 2013 Subaru Legacy CVT
- 2013 Dodge Challenger V6
- 2013 Dodge Charger Super Bee
- 2013 Hyundai Equus Signature
I’d like to take a moment to talk about each one, but first I want to go over some thoughts from the Auto Show itself. Attendance seemed down this year, it didn’t seem to be as busy as last year.