2014 New York Auto Show Chatter: Toyota, Hyundai, Dodge, Nissan, Mercedes and More

By Matthew Askari | April 21, 2014
Updated: This article was originally published on 4/18/14. The 2014 New York International Auto Show will soon open to the public, and because not everyone can trek out to the Big Apple, we've assembled some of the most worthy "chatter" from the floor. While a sea of yellow taxicabs were sailing up and down the avenues, we were shuffling between our own sea of media and journalists, from one press conference to the next. We're bringing you the debuts that matter, what people are saying on the show floor, and even a bit of strange, courtesy of Honda.

2015 Toyota Camry

Kicking off day one of NYIAS, Toyota debuted a refresh of America's best-selling sedan, the Toyota Camry. When we first got word of the aesthetic update, we were surprised to say the least. Coming off of more than 400,000 sales last year, Toyota brass decided it was better to stay a leg up on the competition. When I asked most of my colleagues nearby what they thought, reactions varied from shrugs, to one simply saying, "it's a Camry." Regardless, Toyota's sedan will continue to torch sales sheets. Its reputation for reliability--paired with cheery resale values--continue to place Camry high on wish lists.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

After launching a barrage of new vehicles, Hyundai is coming off of a quieter year. But it's been a busy month for the Korean superstar, with the launch of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan (which we recently drove), and now with the NYIAS debut of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. While the last generation of the Sonata delighted--by actually showing flair in a normally yawn-worthy segment--the new one is mature, attractive, and refined. We'll get a chance to drive it soon, but for now, we like what we see.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe

Mercedes tapped "Mad Men" lead Jon Hamm to present its dapper expression of the ultimate in luxury and performance at its press conference, with the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe. The night before the first media day however, Mercedes originally debuted its mad creation to a select group of media in an industrial warehouse, in trendy Chelsea (done up to Benz's taste levels), previewing the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8-powered two-door looker. The project is essentially a designer's dream, to have the proportions of a grand luxury flagship sedan to work with, while applying a sleek coupe design to a stretched frame. Needless to say, we're anxious to get behind the plush wheel.

2015 Nissan Murano

SUVs are not naturally attractive, given the stance and size requirements, and Nissan has also been guilty of its fair share of style duds in recent years. Which is why the 2015 Nissan Murano is so impressive. Proving that with a little ingenuity, and applied skill, even mainstream SUVs can be attractive. The 2015 Murano is also slightly larger than the model it replaces, a little over an inch wider, and 2.5 inches longer. We loved this aesthetic on the Nissan Super Sports Sedan Concept, and are delighted to see it on a production model.

2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT

Aston Martin is known for producing alluring, high-performance sports cars, ones that are generally out of the reach for almost all of us. But maybe a little less so now, with the most accessible Aston yet. The famed British automaker announced a shocking starting price of $99,900 before delivery, more than $15,000 less than the previous year. "It's the packaging," an Aston spokesperson told us. By making some of the standard luxury equipment optional additions, it was able to make "the closest thing you can get to a GT4 race car," now just a little closer within reach. Buyers will get the same 4.7-liter V-8 engine, packing a commanding 430 horses, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or a seven-speed automatic with carbon fiber paddle shifters for a little more. New racing inspired paint trims make an already alluring car even more so.

2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger

Whoa. Occupying the special events hall of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Dodge put on quite a show, and it all started with this video: If you're presenting a muscle car with attitude, your press conference should mirror that. Kudos Dodge, this was well done, and had us nodding afterwards. The 2015 Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger have been refreshed, will still give buyers a choice of the standard Pentastar V-6, or Hemi V-8 engines, while looking as good as ever.

Honda Gets Weird

Honda wins most bizarre press conference, but it had nothing to do with its product announcement. Yes, Honda will make a Fit-based subcompact crossover that we now know will be called the HR-V (a depressing name fit for a vacuum, which coincidentally Honda has as a clever option for its Odyssey minivan), but it was after that. In equal parts cool and strange, Honda showed off Asimo, its robot that is capable of some very fluidic, increasingly human-like movements. Engineers have been making Asimo less robot like, and the press conference took us through the progression. We saw Asimo walk, jump, hop, wave, and even dance, in fairly natural-looking movements. No, this isn’t a new car, but it shows the relentless development and resourcefulness from an automaker that has always nailed the engineering component. It was a surreal vision of the future, and had us paralyzed with watchful interest. Now if Honda could make its lineup as interesting as Asimo, it would be one to fear. Until then, we're left with the memories of the Honda of yore.