New England Auto Show – Overview

January 14, 2012

Are you in the market for a new car? Do you like knowing what technology is next for automobiles? Do you just like to see shiny, modified or yet-to-be-released vehicles? If so, the New England Auto Show – through Monday at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center – is for you. See details on the show here…but read further for my recap/overview of my experience at the show.

I’ve been to a good number of auto shows. Count Detroit, New York and even SEMA (the aftermarket car parts show) in my quiver of past experiences and I’m well-positioned to share how Boston measures up. First, they call the Boston show an ‘international’ auto show. Technically it is because there are fabulous collections of imported cars and many overseas manufacturers. But the use of the term belies the fact that the show isn’t that big. Thanks to a jammed calendar this January, the New England show was pitted against not only the Detroit show, but also was butting heads with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Where Detroit is more cutting edge, concept-car heavy and a big-announcement platform, CES is where the latest car gadgets get released. So, what would you find in Boston? Frankly, a lot. There were a ton of cars shipped here right from the Detroit show and also a few vehicles that made their debut here. Count the Fiat 500 Abarth edition and the Scion iQ among that list of cool cars that have only been glimpsed briefly around the United States and visitors to the Boston show can boast they’ve got to sit in and play with the newest technology.

Even Buick whipped out a 2013 Encore crossover vehicle for the media and show attendees and then Chevy backed that up with a Malibu Eco. So, the floor wasn’t lacking for new or innovative models. I must confess, as a member of the media I had access to some cars that are kept behind barriers when the general public show up. Included was a $400,000 Rolls Royce that I got to sit in and play with.

But the experiences on the show floor weren’t only limited to media representatives. Camp Jeep is open to any licensed driver, local radio stations are holding contests where the audience gets to vote on the most tricked-out vehicles, and everyone is encouraged to take photos of the cars and ask questions of car manufacturer representatives in all the booths.

In fact, the best way to use your time at the show – I feel – is to walk the floor once just looking around and then go back and sit in as many cars as pique your interest and ask questions about how certain models compare to other brands and models. The people in the booths are forthcoming with information and because it’s a smaller show than Detroit or New York, they’re more inclined to spend time with folks who might be ready to purchase a new car.

Here are a few more shots of the cars I got to examine earlier this week. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments here or just visit the show yourself. It’s only $12 to get in and it saves you the time of driving up and down the Automile on a chilly weekend in January to examine multiple makes and models.