10 Vehicles You Need to Know from the 2018 New York Auto Show

Hybrids and hatchbacks, crossovers and concept trucks headline a roster of big debuts in the Big Apple.

Aaron Miller | 
Apr 4, 2018 | 6 min read


Courtesy of Lincoln

The New York International Auto Show is among the most important in the world, and along with Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago, it plays host to myriad debuts every year. 2018 is no different, with manufacturers showing off all-new versions of some of the best-selling vehicles on the road, not to mention several new and intriguing concepts, and a few completely-new entry-level luxury vehicles.

A radical,  leads the way, followed by a pair of 550+ hp SUVs from  and , and more. But while those are all niche dream machines, it’s the debuts of mass-market offerings that underscore the show’s importance.

These are the New York debuts that should really be on your radar:


Cadillac

2019 Cadillac XT4

The all-new Cadillac XT4, with a base price starting in the mid-$30,000 range, represents the first foray into the compact SUV market for GM’s iconic luxury brand. Three trim levels (Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport) offer a variety of tech and safety features – including Cadillac’s Rear Camera Mirror – and each is available with all-wheel-drive. Under the hood, the XT4 features a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that produces 237 hp and is rated at an estimated 25/30/27 mpg (city/hwy/combined).


Lincoln

2019-2020 Lincoln Aviator

Lincoln previewed its all-new Aviator three-row crossover, which will feature a twin-turbo engine plucked from parent company Ford’s EcoBoost family. With the addition of a plug-in hybrid option, Aviator can operate as a fully electric vehicle around town, yet still handle family road trips without the need for charging stations. Underscoring Aviator’s emphasis on new technology, owners can completely forego the use of keys (and key fobs), by using their smartphones instead, and a forward-facing camera scans the road ahead, allowing the suspension to automatically adjust for upcoming bumps.

2019 Acura RDX
Acura

2019 Acura RDX

Acura took the wraps off its third-generation RDX, which is the first one completely designed and developed Stateside. Standard on every RDX is a panoramic moonroof, which illuminates details like a “floating” center console that takes its inspiration from Acura’s NSX supercar. A new user interface boasts what Acura calls a “true touchpad,” which, instead of using it like your laptop’s touchpad, lets you touch exactly where you’d want to touch the screen. The 2.0L turbocharged engine produces 272 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, and is paired to a brand-new 10-speed automatic transmission.

2019 Honda Insight
Honda

2019 Honda Insight

Honda’s Insight hits dealers this summer as a 5-door hatchback hybrid family car. Though it shares many of the same structural components as the Civic, Insight uses a two-motor hybrid system to achieve an estimated 55 mpg in city driving. The Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety systems is standard, while a trio of trim levels help Insight compete with its chief hybrid hatchback rivals – Toyota’s Prius and Hyundai’s Ioniq.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Toyota

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Toyota’s Corolla Hatchback replaces the outgoing Corolla iM, which was a carryover from the now-defunct Scion brand. Not to be confused with the very different Corolla sedan, the hatchback is built using the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which also underpins the Camry, Avalon and also-new RAV4 (see below). It comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, the carmaker’s recently revamped suite of systems that now includes a semi-autonomous  feature. For the three-pedal enthusiasts out there, a lightweight manual transmission option is available.

2019 Toyota RAV4
Toyota

2019 Toyota RAV4

Fresh off a year in which it sold more than 400,000 RAV4s – more than Camry – Toyota is launching the 5th generation of the now-ubiquitous crossover. Stylistically, the new RAV4 trades car-like soft lines for a more rugged shape that’s closer to its larger 4Runner and Tacoma siblings. It joins the Corolla Hatchback on Toyota’s TNGA platform, and also includes Toyota’s revamped TSS 2.0 safety systems. Available all-wheel drive now offers the Multi-Terrain Select feature borrowed from 4Runner, et al, for greater capabilities when clearly marked roads turn to dusty trails.

2019 Subaru Forester
Subaru

2019 Subaru Forester

Like the RAV4, Subaru’s Forester is embarking on its 5th generation. Built on the so-called Subaru Global Platform that underpins several other Subarus, the new Forester offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is a lot for this category. As always, it’s only available with all-wheel drive, though it says goodbye to a manual transmission option. Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety features is standard, and an optional facial recognition system can tell if you’re tired or distracted while driving.

Expect it at dealerships before the end of this year.

2019 Nissan Altima
Nissan

2019 Nissan Altima

Altima consistently ranks with cars like the Honda Accord near the top of sedan sales figures, and its 6th generation debuts with a host of advanced safety features. For the first time, Altima gets an available all-wheel drive system, and lurking under the hood is an innovative “variable compression turbo” engine that it shares with its Infiniti QX50 corporate cousin. In other words, its highly-advanced engine can switch seamlessly between fuel-sipping and performance modes.

2019 Volvo V60
Volvo

2019 Volvo V60

While Volvo revealed details on the V60 in February, the New York show marks the grand debut of what Volvo is cleverly calling a “crossover wagon.” Its shape is heavily influenced by its big brother V90 wagon, with which it shares a platform. It will be available in front wheel drive (with 250 hp) or all-wheel drive (with 316 hp), and offers a comprehensive suite of safety features that includes Volvo’s Pilot Assist system, which can help with steering, acceleration, and braking at highway speeds.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Having previously shown the new Santa Fe elsewhere, Hyundai just revealed the SUV in its US specification. It’s all-new, starting with the nomenclature: the Santa Fe replaces the Santa Fe Sport, while the larger variant (formerly known as Santa Fe) is now Santa Fe XL, and continues on otherwise unchanged from last year. Overall, the new Santa Fe is larger than the outgoing version across the board, and it boasts an available Heads-Up Display unit. Power comes from a choice of two gasoline engines or a torque-y diesel unit, and the latter allows buyers to select a third-row seat.

Volkswagen Tanoak Pickup Truck Concept
Volkswagen

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept

Ok, so this one’s technically not going into production. Not yet. Engineers at VW essentially made a pickup truck out of the company’s new-for-2018 Atlas crossover SUV. Technically, that makes this a crossover pickup truck that has more in common with a Honda Ridgeline than a Ford F-150. Consider this a statement of intent: if Volkswagen decides to produce a pickup in the coming years, this is likely the way it would go.


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Aaron Miller

As a veteran automotive journalist, I have been fortunate enough to drive some of the most desirable cars on the planet and get to know some of the most important people in the industry. Before joining Capital One, I served as the Cars Editor for a major national website, and covered industry news and analysis for well-known automotive-specific sites. I also wrote feature articles and reviews for niche enthusiast websites. I’ve been obsessed with cars since—literally—before I can remember, with my collection of die-cast and slot cars taking center stage during my formative years. Simply put, for me, working isn’t really “work.”