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Motor Trend's Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Picks From 2015 Detroit Show

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/15/2015 Motor Trend Editors

The 2015 Detroit show had some real winners (Helloooo, Ford GT and Acura NSX!), but it also produced some real head scratchers. These aren't necessarily "worst in show" cars, but each generated enough derision -- for whatever reason -- to be included here.

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Mercedes Benz GLE AMG63 Turbo Marshmallow

2016 Mercedes Benz GLE63 S AMG 4Matic© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mercedes Benz GLE63 S AMG 4Matic Although I can't believe Buick is sending the Cascada convertible into production (have not they not seen the sales numbers on VW's Eos?), I'm really not feeling any of the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe-like CUVs, particularly the turbo marshmallow AMG GLE63. I have never been a fan of the segment created by the BMW X6 and perfected by the Acura ZDX (which quickly went out of production) and don't understand why anyone would buy such terrible-looking and compromised vehicles. If you need to carry five people and lots of stuff, Benz already has an awesome solution -- the 577hp AMG E63 sport wagon. -Ed Loh

Ram Rebel

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel Big wheels and 33-inch tires, uprated suspension complete with Bilsteins, a unique interior, massive ground clearance -- it all adds up to a great-sounding off-road, desert-rat type of truck. But Mein Gott is it ugly! As in, "Hey Ram, you ain't got no alibi" ugly. I know Ram wants to push boundaries, and I know they want to get away from the fact that they were once Dodge trucks. As such, they went and ditched the traditional crosshair grille, which in theory could be a smart thing to do. But then they replaced it with a big, bold bucket of blech! I know the Rebel isn't supposed to compete with the Raptor, but the 2017 Raptor is 50 to 100 times better looking than the Ram. Looks matter. The really bad part is that the actual currently in-production Ram is way more handsome than the new F-150. Why would you mess that up? The good news is that you can pop the Rebel's gross grille out and replace with a stock one. In fact, I strongly recommend you do so, as the Rebel itself seems pretty nifty. Just don't look at the front. -Jonny Lieberman

Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Chevrolet Volt This is hard to say because I've always liked the Volt and I'm impressed with all the technical updates to the car, but all I can see when I look at it is a 2012 Honda Civic. The headlights, the taillights, the grille -- it just doesn't work for me. I also miss some of the space-age feel they took out of the interior, even if it is more functional. The whole car just looks so dull to me now and less recognizable in a crowd, and I think it's a shame. -Scott Evans

2016 Nissan Titan

2016 Nissan Titan© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Nissan Titan Are full-size pickups the final frontier of American Exceptionalism? Somehow it seems the Detroit Three just get the formula right more often than the offshore brands do despite the "foreigners' " efforts at poaching D3 truck execs and then designing, developing, and building their trucks entirely in the U.S.A. (though not in Detroit). Compared with the new F-150, this Titan is desperately short on bold, new ideas to surprise and delight, let alone conquer the pickup consumer. I appreciate the around-view monitoring and the ability to check trailer wire connections and bulb functionality via the key fob, but that's about where the fresh thinking ends. Yes, there's a V-8 turbodiesel, which Nissan admits is there to boost towing and payload capacity more than it is to optimize fuel economy in a truck with (to date) no announced lightweight materials, innovative aerodynamics, or high-cog tranny to help it sip fuel. The end result therefore seems, um, "sincerely flattering" of the D3, with a Ford-ish exterior wrapping a GM-ish interior powered by a thirstier Ram-ish engine. -Frank Markus

GAC's Trumpchi GS4

GAC Trumpchi GS4© Provided by MotorTrend GAC Trumpchi GS4 GAC's Trumpchi GS4 compact crossover will go into production in China this April. Though GAC has no plans to enter the U.S. market for the "foreseeable future," we still hope Trumpchi will clean up the rear of the vehicle, which has too many badges. There are badges for GAC and Trumpchi (which a representative described as similar to General Motors and Chevrolet), an oval-shaped GAC "G" badge, GS4 (the name of the vehicle), 200 (referencing torque), and "7 Speed" to point out the car's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. If that's not enough, the side of the taillights has a Trumpchi badge, as does the top of the D-pillar. Those last two are especially cool details, but overall, there's a bit too much going on with the GS4's rear. -Zach Gale

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept Why can't Volkswagen just make a good crossover? It tries and tries and tries and never seems to be able to figure it out. The Cross Coupe GTE Concept looks like a brick, and the real production model is going to be even bigger than this chunk of metal. Although it holds the "concept" title, the GTE is a look at what the production version will end up looking like -- let's hope that vehicle looks more like a lifted Chrysler 300 than the GTE does. -Scott Burgess

Bentley Bentayga (the name)

Bentley EXP 9 F front-right-view© Provided by MotorTrend Bentley EXP 9 F front-right-view If it's true that it's better to be talked about negatively than not at all, then Bentley won big with the name for its new SUV. The name, plucked from a mountain in the Grand Canary Islands, just looks awkward. It is pronounced just like it's spelled: "Ben-TAY-guh." But I have a feeling people will mispronounce it like crazy. It just doesn't sound as regal as any of the other cars in Bentley's lineup. -Karla Sanchez

Coulda Woulda of 2015 Detroit Auto Show© Provided by MotorTrend Coulda Woulda of 2015 Detroit Auto Show
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