2019 New York Auto Present: Hits, Misses, and Revelations

NEW YORK, NY—Whereas sizzling, new metallic wasn’t fairly as plentiful on the New York present because it was final yr, the 2019 version capped the auto-show season with extra important introductions than did Los Angeles final November and Detroit in January. The ratio of crossovers and SUVs to vehicles was somewhat properly balanced, as properly. With out additional ado, listed below are our editors’ picks, rejects, and head-scratchers from the city so good they named it twice.

HIT: Genesis Mint Idea
This idea automotive seems to be even higher in particular person than it does in footage. Tidy dimensions, fenders wrapped tightly across the wheels, sheetmetal creases as sharp as these on a Marine’s costume uniform—this factor is simply breathtaking, and I’m genuinely unhappy for individuals who will solely see it in two dimensions. Would if the model’s manufacturing vehicles had been this beautiful . . .—Aaron Gold

This one snuck up on me, partly due to some preshow feedback that the design is considerably spinoff. However each time I got here throughout the Hyundai stand and noticed it, I favored it increasingly more.—Todd Lassa

HIT: 2020 Hyundai Venue
The New York present provided extra affirmation that crossovers and SUVs are persevering with to proliferate, whether or not we prefer it or not (we don’t). But it surely was refreshing at the least to see one thing completely different just like the Hyundai Venue, a boxy little factor with a brawny grille, an out there contrasting-color roof, copious tech options the cool youngsters will love, and a six-speed handbook choice to go together with its 1.6-liter 4 in the event you like (we like). That is Hyundai’s seventh automobile in its SUV lineup, and like the remainder of the business, it’s in all probability cooking up much more. I can’t wait—not. Not less than we’re intrigued by the Venue.—Mike Floyd

REVELATION: Hyundai and Genesis vehicles
On the preview of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata in Seoul just a few weeks in the past, design chief SangYup Lee spoke of how a lot simpler it’s to design an SUV than a automotive, and he provided up the revolutionary new Sonata and the boxy Venue as proof. Even because the Venue ups Hyundai’s SUV rely, Hyundai and Genesis proceed to emphasise vehicles. On the Genesis stand, we obtained an city EV automotive idea as an alternative of the SUV some had been anticipating, as a result of the luxurious model wants it when its dealerships break off from Hyundai. When Gen Z begins to purchase their first new autos and reject the concept of driving what their mother and father personal, Hyundai and Genesis will likely be properly positioned.—TL

HIT: 2020 Hyundai Sonata
I can’t resolve if the brand new Sonata is fairly, however I really like how distinctive it’s. As a baby of the 1970s, the bumperless design actually melts my butter, and the combination of taillights, spoiler, and sheetmetal is, because the Germans would say, der Scheiße. And the inside—the present automotive’s finest characteristic—seems to be nearly as good as ever. As one who complained that the final era of sedately styled Sonatas had misplaced their mojo, I’m actually happy to see that the brand new one is daring to be completely different.—AG

REVELATION: Your telephone as automotive key
Automakers have been taking part in round with apps that may handle or monitor your automotive for some time now, however on the New York present, we began to see a brand new characteristic proliferate: the usage of your telephone as the important thing to the automotive. It’s not totally new, however Lincoln and Hyundai made massive offers of their new phone-as-key choices and we count on extra to observe. It solely is smart because the automotive key has morphed into little greater than an digital machine, and also you all the time have your telephone with you. Paired with an app, it opens up much more flexibility to arrange the automotive to your preferences as you enter.—MF

HIT: 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Heritage Design Package deal
Awfully lengthy and terrible identify, and isn’t the 911 by definition a “heritage” mannequin? Nonetheless, that is the one 911 roadster to have. I’d even take this over a mid-engine Boxster with its inherently superior polar second of inertia. The Speedster rear hood bulges, the outside graphics, the cognac and black leather-based inside, and particularly the actual, three-pedal six-speed handbook transmission all make for an irresistible driver’s automotive. Had been I to purchase one, Porsche can hold the matching watch, although, as I’m uninterested in overpriced-car/overpriced-watch tie-ins.—TL

HIT: Subaru’s present stand
Subaru’s Nationwide Park Service–themed sales space, with its hanging vegetation, misting rocks, and ever-changing LED-screen flooring, was by far the best setup on the New York present—and kudos to Subaru for giving over such a big little bit of actual property to the Nationwide Park Basis. Subaru is the Park Service’s largest company donor and by the best way, disgrace on us as a rustic that we’ve got to depend on donations to protect our nationwide parks, that are residence to a number of the most breathtaking surroundings on your complete planet. A Nationwide Park Go prices $80 a yr ($20 for seniors) which is hands-down the largest trip discount you’ll ever see. Purchase one, if solely to help Subaru in supporting the NPS, and remember to go to at the least a few of these nationwide treasures earlier than business-friendly politicians allow them to erode away to nothing.—AG

Auto-show stands throughout press days are often fairly staid affairs: Construct a riser space the place the most well liked automotive spins, organize the remainder of the lineup in regards to the flooring, then sprinkle in some automaker messaging, interview areas, and possibly a small lounge. Subaru blew up that system for the reveal of its new Outback. Its large log-lounge motif got here full with copious foliage and ground-cover-esque carpet, an enormous fake boulder wall, and a few spectacular visible results. The theme was two-fold: to showcase the Outback’s go-anywhere spirit and spotlight Subaru’s reference to the Nationwide Park Service, to which the automaker has donated a powerful $68 million so far.—MF

HIT: 2020 Subaru Outback
A few truths in regards to the Subaru model. One, it’s the SUV maker for customers who hate SUVs. (Disclosure: I’m certainly one of these.) And, two, no one buys a Subaru for its styling besides maybe the BRZ. To that second level, the all-new Outback doesn’t look a lot completely different than the outdated mannequin, however I prefer it anyway. The Outback upholds the primary level as a result of it’s a competitor for such expensive option-loaded two-row midsize SUVs because the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, Honda Pilot, and Chevrolet Blazer, but the Subie stands out towards these amorphous containers for its station-wagon proportions. The brand new 2.Four-liter turbocharged flat-four-powered Onyx Version is good, with blacked-out wheels and badging, and the water-repellent StarTex urethane heated seat materials is used instead of vinyl or precise hides. All Subaru leather-based, besides the Nappa choice in prime spec fashions like the brand new Outback Touring XT ought to swap to StarTex. Along with being vegan-friendly, we’re advised canine fur cleans off it simply.—TL

HIT AND MISS: 2020 Toyota Yaris
I like Mazdas and I’ll take ‘em any manner I can get ’em—even with a Toyota badge. (If it isn’t apparent from the inside and the rear view, the brand new Yaris hatch is a rebadged Mazda 2, as is the Yaris sedan.) The Yaris’s mere presence within the Toyota lineup makes it successful. But new Yaris hatchbacks are automatic-only. The stick persists within the sedan, however don’t stick-shifty sort of individuals gravitate in the direction of hatchbacks?—AG

HIT: 2020 Lincoln Corsair’s again seat
Lincoln is doing a greater job than Cadillac of designing and executing luxurious SUV interiors which can be aggressive with European luxurious marques. The all-new Corsair’s outboard rear seats are heated and supply dual-zone local weather management. This can go over properly in China in addition to the U.S.—TL

MISS: 2020 Cadillac CT5’s again seat
Interiors proceed to be Cadillac’s Achilles heel. The brand new CT5’s inside doesn’t have heated rear outboard seats, or rear twin climate-control. Once I first famous this after a preview of the automotive in Detroit, I in contrast the rear seat with that of the Alfa Romeo Giulia I used to be driving. Whereas the Italian automotive’s inside is executed higher, it doesn’t have these rear-seat options, both. However when the CT5’s specs got here in a few days after the preview, they put a unique perspective on this new Cadillac. Seems that just like the CTS, it’s the identical dimension as a Mercedes-Benz E-class or BMW 5 Sequence, however Cadillac is putting it within the BMW three Sequence phase, with a base-price within the low $40s. The value luxurious consumers pay is within the automotive’s de-contenting relative to expectations for its dimension.—TL

MISS: Lincoln “shoppers”
Toyota’s Jack Hollis give up calling his automaker’s clients “shoppers” just a few auto exhibits in the past, however now Lincoln Motor Firm president and chief advertising and marketing officer Pleasure Falotico has picked up the unhealthy behavior. To which I politely request: STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! THEY’RE CUSTOMERS, DAMN IT!—TL

MISS: 2019 Mazda CX-5 diesel
We notice Mazda poured a heck of loads of money into its long-delayed diesel-engine venture, and we hope it really works out. However we’re fairly certain it received’t, on condition that Dieselgate nonetheless hovers over the market like an enormous poisonous cloud. It’s additionally fairly spendy at roughly 42 grand to start out. Too unhealthy, as a result of the two.2-liter Skyactiv-D engine is torquey and fairly environment friendly on paper. We concern it’s arriving too late to have a constructive impact for Mazda.—MF

Did the U.S. diesel program show too pricey for Mazda to cancel? I nonetheless don’t perceive why Mazda’s American arm didn’t use Dieselgate as an excuse to spike the venture. Because it seems, the CX-5 diesel would require exhaust aftertreatment within the U.S. when deliveries start this summer time—a part of the delay was stated to contain drivability points with out such controls—and I don’t discover the SUV’s 27-mpg metropolis and 30-mpg freeway EPA rankings very spectacular. Regardless of all of that, R&D chief Ichiro Hirose stated at Mazda’s press convention that the two.2-liter diesel will subsequent be added as an choice on the 6 sedan.—TL

MISS: 2019 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Version
Purple roof rails and hood? Whoever thought that seemed good, Nissan, discover them and fireplace them. And what’s with the Dodge brand on the doorways? (I do know it’s a BRE racing factor, however it’s additionally a Corvette Grand Sport factor and, properly, Dodge.)—AG

HIT: Pete Brock
Nissan interviewed the designer of the Shelby Cobra GT coupe and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to reminisce about his years working ’70s Datsun Zs and 510s with Brock Racing Engineering. I agree with Aaron that BRE Datsun’s red-and-white livery doesn’t translate properly to the brand new 370Z, however Brock does deserve the popularity.—TL

MISS: Nissan’s 50th Anniversary 370Z and GT-R
We all know, instances are powerful within the business with all of the change swirling, and it’s arduous to make low-volume special-edition fashions with some chew. However these two vehicles deserved a greater remedy than a glorified sticker bundle given how particular they’re to Nissan and the automotive world on the whole. Having a automotive round for 50 years is a giant deal, and it’s too unhealthy Nissan couldn’t do higher. All will likely be forgiven although if we get a brand new Z to go together with the lengthy rumored, next-gen Godzilla.—MF

HIT: 2020 Toyota Highlander
Again within the 1980s and ’90s, the Camry hit the mark with each new mannequin. It could not have been thrilling, however it was what consumers wished. Now it looks like the Highlander has settled into that very same groove. The final model was splendid for the market, and the brand new model is good for the market. We are able to say with blue-chip certainty that it’ll be successful with consumers.—AG

REVELATION: All-New 2020 Toyota Highlander vs. All-New 2020 Ford Explorer
Regardless of its mediocrity, the 2011–19 Ford Explorer managed to be the phase’s bestseller, whereas the Toyota Highlander nipped at its heels, typically outselling it in sure months lately. Now new fashions of every are about to hit the market, so it is a gross sales race I’ll be watching carefully. The wild card right here is that the ’20 Ford Explorer reverts to a rear-wheel-drive platform with a view to make the enterprise case for the subsequent all-new Mustang. Will three-row midsize SUV consumers discover or care in regards to the new Explorer’s elegant proportions?—TL

MISS: 2020 Ford Escape
Once I first laid eyes on the brand new Escape, I believed somebody had put the incorrect automotive in Ford’s sales space. The phoned-in design makes me really feel like I’m again within the 1990s. What the hell occurred right here? Did the designers go on strike? Did somebody Photoshop the headlights from an outdated Mazda three onto the design as a joke, and another person by accident put it into manufacturing? To my eye, the front-end styling of the Edge, Explorer, and EcoSport are amongst their finest constructive attributes, and I can’t perceive why the Escape’s entrance finish has zero household resemblance. It’s such a disgrace, as a result of the inside is beautiful. Somebody at Ford should share my opinion, as a result of as soon as the ground was rearranged for the general public days, they hid the Escape behind a tree and an enormous pillar.—AG

HIT: Kia HabaNiro idea
It’s a disgrace that the majority showgoers received’t be capable to see what I like most in regards to the HabaNiro: all of the really helpful dream-tech on the within. The swipe-and-toss digital show on the sprint is cool, and I’m much more intrigued by the dearth of a rearview mirror—as an alternative, the HabaNiro tracks your eyes and shows a full-width digicam view once you take a look at the spot the place the rearview mirror must be. These are applied sciences that appear attainable given the state of right this moment’s tech, and I hope we’ll see them quickly in future Kia autos.—AG

The scissor doorways and even the sprint with its trick high-tech rearview mirror are what us grizzled veterans name “auto-show eyewash,” however the total design does present a giant trace, I’m advised, of the look of the next-generation Niro hybrid/plug-in hybrid/pure EV, together with the cool C-pillar/rear-quarter-panel contrasting coloration graphic. And that’s simply what the favored, however considerably plain-looking inexperienced crossover wants. Search for a mid-cycle refresh of the Niro quickly, with an all-new mannequin that appears one thing like this in two or three years. Love the idea’s identify, by the best way.—TL

MISS: 2019 Kia Stinger GTS
Don’t get me incorrect, I really like the Stinger to loss of life, however once I heard Kia had a higher-performing model out, my first thought was “Oh good, it’s getting a stiffer suspension!” No such luck. As a substitute we’ve got an AWD model that may supposedly drift just like the RWD model, one thing any Stinger purchaser can already get by shopping for the RWD model. Come on, guys. To Kia’s credit score, the bright-orange paint, carbon-fiber trim (which I believe ought to unfold to different fashions), and upgraded inside present that Kia is aware of the right way to do a limited-edition automotive, and the worth is definitely affordable. However cease messing about and provides us the Stinger we actually need.—AG

HIT: Chevrolet Lego Silverado
The complete-size Lego Silverado isn’t new, however now Chevrolet has a sales space the place you possibly can construct your personal (barely smaller) model. Sure!—AG

HIT AND MISS: Mercedes-Benz EQC Version 1886
Even with an estimated full-charge vary of 200-plus miles, the EV SUV coming to the States subsequent yr seems to be like one other Tesla killer. However I can’t get on board with this 1886 version, which is known as for the yr Karl Benz, not Gottlieb Daimler, constructed his first three-wheeled horseless carriage. Daimler’s Mercedes and Benz didn’t merge till the 1920s.—TL

MISS: Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio NRING Editions
Celebrating nice lap instances on the Nürburgring: Nice. Limiting manufacturing to mere tens of every: Improbable. $16,000 value premium: Okay, we will deal. Portray them in boring silver or gray: FAIL.—AG

MISS: Volkswagen Tarok Idea
Give it up, VW. Even Chevrolet had hassle making an attempt to promote an SUV-based pickup truck, the Avalanche, and that was body-on-frame. Ask Honda what number of unibody Ridgelines it sells, or speak to Subaru about its final Baja experiment, then think about that the Tarok is a smaller, Tiguan-based compact pickup truck. Come on, Volkswagen of America, recover from the Hen Tax.—TL

MISS: 2020 Acura TLX PMC Version
Soooo, let me get this straight: Acura goes to the difficulty of constructing a bunch of TLXs on the identical Efficiency Manufacturing Heart that makes the NSX, however it doesn’t do something to boost the efficiency? Are gross sales of the NSX that gradual? And may they actually discover 360 consumers who will cough up $50,000 to maintain just a few specialised technicians from becoming bored?—AG

REVELATION: It’s nonetheless simply an auto present
On the Mercedes-Benz stand, a number of vehicles had their interiors powered on through the second press day, when many non-press handle to make it onto the ground, in order that these individuals might pattern the MBUX infotainment system. In the meantime, on the Toyota and Mazda stands, gearshift knobs already had been eliminated to maintain most of the people from pilfering them.—TL

MISS: Vehicles up, vehicles down
The New York auto present’s coverage of placing vehicles upstairs and vehicles downstairs simply doesn’t make sense anymore. Initially, it implies that a number of the autos that may attraction most to customers—the Jeep Gladiator, Toyota’s TRDs Professionals, and the brand new pickup vehicles from the Huge Three—get a somewhat plain displaying, as most automakers solely have one glitzy sales space. Second, automakers that don’t have vehicles per se (Mazda and Subaru, for instance) get their product choice break up in a somewhat bizarre manner. NYAIS, it’s time to go to 1 sales space per producer and break up the present between two ranges. Take it from the parents who run the Detroit and Chicago occasions, you have to be pleased to have this downside.—AG

HIT: Honda HR-V
See what I did there? Really, I believe it’s fairly cool that Honda confirmed off the precise HR-V that was crashed within the IIHS’s troublesome small-overlap crash take a look at. Few individuals go to a showroom, breathe in that new-car scent, after which suppose, “That is the automotive I would die in.” Kudos to Honda for reminding individuals there’s extra to consider when shopping for a brand new automotive than digital gewgaws and model cachet.”—AG

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