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Automakers use concept cars not only to preview the automotive designs and technologies of the future, but also to test the public’s reaction to both style and tech. It’s an old-fashioned way of testing the waters, and despite the millions automakers spend on focus groups a lukewarm reception of a concept car at a major auto show can still make or break a design. Likewise, positive reactions to concepts have led automakers astray a number of times in the recent past — the Pontiac Aztek concept was well received at the time — and polarized reactions to certain design directions have at times been ignored by automakers intent on pushing ahead with a particular look.

With a few exceptions 2016 has continued the trend of risk aversion among automakers: Designs that could be seen as controversial or polarizing are largely being avoided altogether with major automakers continuing to field safe, evolutionary designs that preview vehicles a year or two away from production.

Without further ado, here are our 10 favorite concept cars of 2016:

The VW ID concept previews an all electric autonomous future in 2025

2016 Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept

2018 Jaguar I Pace EV previewed with LA Auto Show concept

Genesis New York Concept debuts at NYIAS

2016 Kia Telluride

2016 Acura Precision concept at Detroit auto show

Cadillac surprises Pebble Beach with Escala concept

Cadillac Escala stuns before Pebble Beach debut

Cadillac surprised Monterey Car Week attendees with another super-luxe super four-door coupe, this one named Escala. Caddy says the car previews the “design and technical ideas driving the next …

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 debuts at Pebble Beach

Buick Avista coupe concept unveiled ahead of the 2016 Detroit auto show

Subaru Viziv-7 debuts at Los Angeles Auto Show

Subaru wants to build you a giant SUV

Press days of the LA Auto Show are winding down but there are still a few more debuts to talk about, including the Subaru Viziv-7 SUV concept, part of a series of concepts that are “embodying …