PHX Thanksgiving Tradition

Every year the International Automobile Show sponsored by Motor Trend makes its rounds through Phoenix over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The show opens on Thanksgiving day and allows those who want a break from Turkey dreaming and Black Friday shopping to see some cars.  Or perhaps it is a last minute distraction to protect the wallets of consumer’s so they can afford a new car.

We have made this a tradition since we moved to Phoenix.  You can usually find tickets for free and the crowds are light in the late morning of Thanksgiving Day–that allows you to get into the cars, walk around and check them out without too much of a hassle.  As you enter the hall this year you were dazzled by a large presentation of high end automobiles (Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lotus and Ferrari) secured behind a large rope barrier.  Look but do not touch these beauties!

PHX Auto Show

We had a list of cars we wanted to see during the show.  We are not actively looking for a new car but, with all of the recent redesigns and new model launches we had a short list to check out.  Check out our One Phrase Reviews below.

Fiat 500 –> Very Interested, but Forget It
Volkswagen Beetle –> Who Cares-No one else did either
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited –> Upgraded Nicely
Mini Cooper Coupe –> Very Nice
Mini Cooper Countryman –> Very Nice
Hyundai Veloster –> Needs a Real Engine
Land Rover Evoque –> Hipster Material
BMW X3 –> Too Small/Cheap Materials
BMW X5 –> Very Nice, but Pricey

Make sure you take the opportunity to get out to your local New Car show when it makes it’s rounds this year.  It is great to be able to explore the cars without a dealer and have a chance to see how the crowds react to the potential purchase.

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Uncensored Driving and the Results

Hyundai again made a pass through the Phoenix area this year to let the potential customers drive and experience the features and technology that have helped the brand grow and improve in recent years.  The event gave people the opportunity to drive the all new Sonata (Uncensored) on a course with its main competitors (Toyota and Honda) in a series of challenges(tight turns, slaloms and slick road simulation).  The course favored the Hyundai and its newer technology, but overall it was just fun to race around a simple autocross course and let off some steam.

Sonata Uncensored

When going to these events it is always fun to see the mix of people and cars that show up.  Last year at the Genesis event there were a lot more sports cars.  This year it was a more tame crowd but a few people stood out as they hot footed it around the course with squeals and racing engines.

The Hyundai Sonata Confessional–the last stop on your visit after driving your laps.  This was your chance to talk to the cameras in a quiet car and hopefully get into a future Hyundai commercial.  I passed on it because the guy in front of me was super-animated and must have been in there at least 15 minutes when we walked away.

Sonata Uncensored

In the end, Hyundai gave every participant a nice insulated shopping bag, blanket, 512MB flash drive and a gripper pad for your dash.  Not too bad for a no nonsense, no sales pitch afternoon of driving.  I would definitely keep your eyes open for these types of opportunities in your area by all of the car manufacturers.

Sonata Uncensored

Check out some of the photos from the  event in this photo gallery.

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Hyundai Sonata Uncensored

Hyundai Uncensored

You have seen the commercials on TV for Hyundai Sonata Uncensored.  This car company has fought its way from an industry joke to an industry leader in the last few decades.  They have attacked their critics by going upscale and building better more desirable cars along with more emphasis on quality and consumer awareness of the brand.

They are back making the rounds to win over new customers with a FREE driving event.  There are only a few cities left in the tour. Hurry up and make a reservation to get out to drive a Hyundai Sonata on a closed course and get some free stuff (value of $30 is claimed).  Last year they gave out collapsible storage bin kits and the year before car wash kits.  Check out our post about their last visit to Phoenix with the the Genesis.

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Hyundai Adrenaline Tour

The Hyundai Genesis has been around almost a year.  The release of the brand new high end car for Hyundai happened as the global economy melted down.  Despite the collapse of the housing and auto industry this young (20 years or so in the US) upstart of a car manufacturer built and launched  a new luxury car.  Almost every article/review I have read loved the Sedan and praised the Coupe’s design.  This was our chance to test the car without the dealer pressure.

We drove the Sedan at similar event last year.  This time around it was the Coupe at PIR.  They had a nice selection of Turbo 4 and V6 cars in both manual and automatic transmissions.   We quickly checked in at the main desk and got in line to hit the track.  Within a few minutes we were already behind the wheel and revving the 4 cylinder turbocharged engine for launching onto the track.  A quick burst down the straightaway and into a tight left hand turn– less than 30 seconds later it was all over.

The track was laid out to the West of Phoenix International Raceway in one of the large parking areas.  We have actually been in the same lot at least 2 other times for Hyundai and Lexus events.  A few more cycles behind the wheel and I had  my fill.  Ok, as much as we could have with a enthusiastic Hyundai employee sitting shotgun.  They rarely say anything to you but it is still a pain in the ass.

On the way out we grabbed our free gift and I took the opportunity to duck into the driver’s seat of a drift car.  This high powered version of the Rhys Millen/Red Bull Coupe would have been a great fun on the track.  Take a few minutes and check out the photos from the event.

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