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Reviewer's Favorite Debuts from the LA Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show gave automotive journalists an up-close look at the latest new cars that are headed for the showroom floor. Here’s a look at their favorite debuts that will hit the streets in the months to come.

[In pictures: Reviewers Favorite Debuts]

Cadillac XTS

Replacing the Cadillac DTS, the 2013 XTS has earned reviewer praise for its sharp exterior styling, as well as Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system, which debuts in the new luxury large car.

  • “Bigger than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 but smaller than those two German companies' flagship sedans, the XTS offers more interior room than anything in its segment-splitting class, along with a trunk that eclipses even the Audi A8 for volume.” -- Autoblog
  • “Coolest thing about CUE is that it can tell whether the hand touching its center screen is coming from the driver's seat or the front passenger's seat. If Cadillac can get Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on board, the front passenger -- but not the driver -- will be able to apply navigation directions while the car is moving.” -- Motor Trend
  • “The XTS is the chosen one and is tipped to be the ultimate Cadillac for luxury and cutting-edge technology.” -- The New York Times

Subaru BRZ

Test drivers love sports cars, and the upcoming Subaru BRZ promises to be a hoot, thanks to its low stance and rear-wheel drive platform.

  • “Every so often in this business, you drive a car that lets you know in the first hundred yards or so that it's special -- that it's somehow greater than the sum of the numbers on its spec chart. The new Subaru BRZ is one of those cars. It's not the fastest, the most powerful, nor even the sexiest two-door coupe in the business. But if you love driving, you're going to love this Subaru.” -- Motor Trend
  • “Subaru hasn't really been known to build pretty cars, the appearance of this BRZ concept is really growing on us.” -- Autoblog
  • “One might think of the upcoming 2012 Subaru BRZ as a steak thrown at the feet of a hungry dog, one whose leash is just short enough to keep it from savoring the goods.” -- Car and Driver

[In pictures: Reviewers Favorite Debuts]

Hyundai Azera

Replacing the 2011 Hyundai Azera, the 2012 model certainly looks better, thanks to the fluidic sculpture design that the affordable large car will share with the Sonata and Elantra. But the updates are more than skin deep. The 2012 Azera offers standard features such as heated seats and dual-zone climate control.

  • “The Azera is nicely equipped where cabin comfort is concerned. Leather heated seats are standard for the front and rear rows. If the Sonata and Genesis sedans that sandwich the new sedan in Hyundai's lineup are any indicator, fit and finish should be good.” -- CNET
  • “The Azera now is posh (and modern) enough to go after the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse.” -- Consumer Reports
  • “Hyundai isn't giving up on the Azera, fortifying it with a more upscale appearance as it vies with entrenched competition from the Buick LaCrosse, the Toyota Avalon, the Nissan Maxima and the Acura TL.” -- Auto Week

Ford Escape

Ford has rounded out the edges of the 2013 Escape, but the automaker is also offering two new engines and unique convenience features such as a hands-free liftgate, which opens by sliding your foot under the back bumper if your hands are full.

  • “The hands-free liftgate is a cool enough feature to distract most buyers from any finicky MyFordTouch controls. It could be Ford's biggest wagon-back feature breakthrough since the magic liftgate on 1966 models, and will assure that the Escape remains one of the most popular models in its class for years to come.” -- Motor Trend
  • “The new model is a striking, thoroughly modern design that may be the most attractive in its segment.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • “The interior is miles ahead of the outgoing model's. The dashboard is now soft to the touch, and the armrests and other touch points have deep padding.” -- Cars.com

Infiniti JX

The 2013 Infiniti JX seems poised to battle luxury midsize SUVs like the Acura MDX and the Lincoln MKT. The automaker says that its new crossover has more second- and third-row legroom than a Cadillac Escalade, which should please shoppers on the hunt for a spacious SUV.

  • “Its design incorporates themes laid down by the Essence show car, but in a much larger form that encompasses three rows of seating for seven coddled souls. The JX is also jam-packed with luxury features and the latest technology you'd expect from a Japanese luxury automobile.” -- Autoblog
  • “We tried out the seats and found the access to the third row to be best in class. An upward tug on the second-row seatback resulted in a spring-loaded launch forward and an opening big enough for a real adult to crawl through.” -- Auto Week
  • “It'll also have an interesting bit of gee-whiz technology. If you are about to back into traffic, sensors warn you of the situation and trigger alerts. If you don't halt, to avoid getting hit, the vehicle will apply the brakes for you.” -- USA Today

[In pictures: Reviewers Favorite Debuts]

Honda Fit EV

The Honda Fit is a perennial favorite of the automotive press, thanks to its nimble driving dynamics and spacious interior. Now, reviewers got their first glimpse of the all-electric 2013 Fit, which will be available in select markets starting in summer 2012.

  • “The Fit EV's ability to charge rapidly — Honda says it can recharge in as little as three hours using a 240-volt charging system — chips away at one of the key stumbling blocks to the widespread acceptance of electric cars.” -- Cars.com
  • “The most impressive takeaway, however, is that the EV has an estimated range of 123 miles, outdistancing the Leaf and, likely, the Focus, whose range has not been disclosed by Ford but is said by the automaker to be comparable with that of the Leaf.” -- The New York Times
  • “Other goodies include a telematics system that lets you control charging and other features from your phone, navi and access to 24-hour roadside assistance. You can have your Fit EV in any color so long as it is Reflection Blue Pearl.” -- Wired

Check out our full coverage of the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.