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posted on January 13th, 2017

THE BEST & THE BRIGHTEST THAT DEBUTED IN DETROIT THIS WEEK

As the old saying goes, “If you can make it in Detroit, you can make it anywhere.” (That’s how it goes, right?) It’s never too early to think about which car you’ll want to buy next, and the best hints as to what’s coming to market are on the floor at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.

That’s why we hit the floor of the Cobo Center in Detroit to get an exclusive, first look at this year’s most significant product launches. Below, we’ve sifted through what debuted in Detroit, and present ten highlights that will arrive in showrooms in 2017. And don’t let the “2018” model year throw you off: These cars and trucks will soon be on their way to dealerships.

2018 Ford F-150

It’s a bit more than a nip and a tuck for the pickup truck that continues to be Americans’ favorite. The 2018 F-150 receives a new grille, active emergency braking, and a diesel engine for the first time.

Our take: The refresh — particularly the inclusion of a turbodiesel — makes the F-150 an even more attractive value.

Image credit: Ford

2018 Kia Stinger

If you’ve been watching closely, everything about Kia’s evolution from staid to stylish makes sense in the 2018 Stinger sedan. Designed and engineered by people who love to drive, the Stinger represents a turning point for Kia, and you should be eager to drive it.

Our take: The Stinger’s uninventive style might not be for everyone, but its 315-hp engine should please driving enthusiasts.

Image credit: Kia

2018 Porsche 911 GTS

Whether Porsches are scarce in your neck of the woods or a dime a dozen, rest assured: The 2018 911 GTS is one you’ll want to seek out. More horsepower and sharper styling round out the GTS package modifications for coupe, convertible, and targa models.

Our take: Yes, please!

Image credit: Porsche

2018 GMC Terrain

Boxiness is history for the 2018 GMC Terrain SUV, which trades in squared-off lines for curvaceousness and comfort. Expect plenty of technological toys inside, like a WiFi hotspot and an intuitive navigation system.

Our take: GMC is looking for more bread and butter, and the more conservative Terrain might be just the ticket.

Image credit: GMC

2018 Lexus LS500

The big news about the 2018 Lexus LS500 sedan is the insertion of a twin-turbo V-6 in place of a long-established V-8 engine. Other than that, the new LS carries forward a tradition of luxury and infuses new style into the large sedan’s exterior design.

Our take: In pictures, the LS500 can come off looking stretched-out. In person, the design really works, the unusual grille, in particular.

Image credit: Lexus

2018 Audi SQ5

The “S” in the name of the 2018 Audi SQ5 SUV might as well stand for “sporty,” as it’s the souped-up version of the popular Q5. Expect over 350 hp and a sport mode for the digital display inside.

Our take: More luxury and performance: what’s not to like?

Image credit: Audi

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan crossover SUV gains a third row for 2018, as well as a more efficient engine and more space inside overall. The bigger Tiguan is an enticing alternative for drivers looking for a bit more space than a hatchback or wagon can offer.

Our take: Don’t count out this Volkswagen because of its siblings’ transgressions.

Image credit: Volkswagen

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

The introduction of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse family SUV follows the launch of the GMC Acadia one year earlier in Detroit. With room for up to seven, the new Traverse looks tougher and more like General Motors’ other full-size SUVs.

Our take: Looks like a Tahoe, acts like a Trax. 

Image credit: Chevrolet

2018 Toyota Camry

A new Camry doesn’t come around often, and Toyota is confident that more style and power — with little sacrifice to efficiency — is just what it needs for the next generation. Look for the 2018 Camry in a driveway near you very shortly.

Our take: There isn’t anything bland from the outside about this Camry; let’s hope the driving experience matches the styling.

Image credit: Toyota

2018 Honda Odyssey

One of the best minivans on the road is getting even better, thanks to improvements that will make the 2018 Honda Odyssey easier to drive and own. Special mentions are due to the suite of digital and smartphone controls for media and climate control, as well as the CabinWatch surveillance system.

Our take: Kids have never had it better.

Image credit: Honda

The North American International Auto Show opens to the public on January 14. Click here to learn more about the show, and purchase tickets.

Jeff Jablansky (@unclewithcars) is a freelance automotive journalist who loves driving as many cars as he can.