2007 Auto Preview: Don't let show's delay keep you out of the showroom

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Don't let the delay of this year's Pittsburgh International Auto Show, site of a caved-in piece of second floor, fool you.

There are plenty of auto shows under way all over this region -- at your local dealer.

They have plenty of models hot enough to warm up a cold winter's day -- and you won't have to fight for a seat in your favorite model or listen to tired, whiney kids tired of car shopping either.

And if you're wondering if there's anything new to look at since our last buyers guide in October, let me assure you that you'll be more than pleased with what you will find. There's plenty of new iron out there that wasn't even ready for introduction in the fall, just waiting for you to take a look-see on the dealership floor.

Dan Marsula
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New models include the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia, Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Versa four-door sedan, Volvo S80, Kia Rondo, Hyundai Elantra, Mini Cooper Sidewalk special edition convertible, BMW Three Series coupe and convertible, Nissan Altima Coupe, Jeep Patriot, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. And that's just a partial list.

Many of these new products are in the crossover or small SUV markets, two of the hotttest, most competitive segments in the industry. And of course, since many of them either have standard all wheel drive or offer as an option, these are arriving just in time for the tough winter weather we are enduring both here in Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

For those of you who don't know, crossovers are vehicles that have all the best attributes of minivans, SUVs and passenger cars. Buyers find that they ride better than SUVs, get better fuel economy, and quite frankly look a lot more attractive than generally boxy SUVs do.

But as we all know, spring is just around the corner, and that means warmer weather. For those of us who love cars, that means two things: convertibles and sports coupes. If you look at the list of new models I just gave you, you'll see that several -- the Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Nissan Altima Coupe, for instance -- are right up your alley if you're looking for a fun drive for spring.

So don't let the "no auto show" blues get you down -- just click on the headlines in our buyers' guide below and then head out to the showrooms.

MDX a top-of-the-line SUV

Q7 crossover as different as they come

3 Series coupe, convertible can't be beat

Celebrating 100 years

Caddy Revolution No. 2

Silverado lives up to the hype

Sebring convertible could carve out a new audience

Nitro a personality all its own

New crossover gives carmaker an Edge

Acadia nice but not different enough for crossover field

Si sedan turns up the heat

New Elantra is no Plain Jane

Infiniti goes intense

Maintaining its fast, sexy ways

Compass points the way

Rondo adds new, stylish face to lineup

Land Rover
LR2 brings instant charisma

Changes without compromises

New crossover aimed at the luxury car set

The zoom gets a burst of Speed

CL-Class continues tradition of beauty, performance

Mini Cooper
All-new Mini still distinctive

Outlander a badly needed hit

Altima Coupe comes as a surprise

G5 marks re-entry to performance division

Staying ahead of the pack

9-7X may be collectors' favorite

New models keep coming with Outlook

High-performance gets a boost

High gas prices, higher sales

FJ Cruiser a daring new design

Eos has a style all its own

S80 shows new approach to styling


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