Every year, New York City hosts the closing act of the auto show season. Unlike similar events held in Geneva or Detroit, the New York Auto Show doesn’t have a reputation that’s engraved in stone. Anything goes in the Big Apple, and the 2019 edition of the event will wow show-goers with an impressive selection of new production models and concept cars ranging from rugged, go-anywhere station wagons to alluring, limited-edition sports car. Muscle cars, electric cars, and trucks will be there, too.
Digital Trends will be live in New York City to cover the show on April 17 and 18. To whet your appetite, we’ve compiled a list of the cars we’re most looking forward to seeing in the metal under the bright lights in the Javits Center. Keep in mind automakers sometimes choose to keep their plans guarded until the day of the show, so this is by no means a comprehensive list of the cars scheduled to break cover during the event. There are several surprises planned that we can’t tell you about yet, but they will be well worth the wait.
2020 Cadillac CT5
For a while, it looked like Cadillac had given up on the sedan segment to focus on crossovers and SUVs. With the CT5, the Detroit-based company proves it’s still in the sedan game, and it’s more serious about it than ever before. Developed to replace the CTS, the CT5 shares styling cues like swept-back headlights and a shield-shaped grille with the updated CT6. It will come standard with a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive, and we expect Cadillac’s semi-autonomous Super Cruise technology will be available at an extra cost.
On paper, the CT5 has what it takes to give German and Japanese rivals a run for their money. Deliveries will start during the 2020 model year, and pricing will be announced in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.
2020 Ford Escape
Ford took the 2020 Escape in a more car-like direction than the outgoing model to compensate for its shift away from passenger cars in the United States. The result is a family-friendly crossover that wears a sleeker design than before. It’s longer, lower, and wider, and its front end falls in line with recent additions to the Ford family like the fourth-generation Focus we’re not getting in America. Upmarket trims come with an 8.0-inch screen for the infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and on-board Wi-Fi, among other tech features.
Escape buyers will be able to choose between a pair of turbocharged, four-cylinder engines rated at 180 and 250 horsepower, respectively. Those seeking a greener powertrain will need to step up to the Escape hybrid, but it’s the plug-in hybrid model that will occupy the top spot in the fuel economy hierarchy. It can drive on electricity alone for at least 30 miles, Ford told Digital Trends. The trade-off is that it’s front-wheel drive-only.
2020 Hyundai Venue
Hyundai will unveil the Venue in New York, and we’re not talking about the grand opening of a hip new restaurant. Venue is the name of the South Korean firm’s next crossover. Aimed at what Hyundai identified as “urban entrepreneurs,” the model will join the company’s growing family of crossovers and SUVs. It will be positioned below the Kona in terms of size and price as an entry-level model.
The Venue’s pocket-sized dimensions will take Hyundai into a segment of the market most of its rivals have steered clear of due to paper-thin profit margins, and a perceived lack of interest from buyers. Time will tell whether Hyundai’s bet will pay off. We’ll discover the model on the opening day of the New York show, and it will arrive in American showrooms for the 2020 model year.
2020 Lincoln Corsair
Lincoln began the process of reinventing itself when it released the current-generation Continental. It will continue its transformation by unveiling a crossover named Corsair at the New York Auto Show. The model will replace the MKC, and it will be based on the aforementioned 2020 Ford Escape, but we’re expecting to find a lot less Ford-ness in it than in its predecessor. We’ll get full details when it breaks cover on April 17.
2020 Nissan Versa
Nissan went to great lengths to make the new 2020 Versa better in every way than its predecessor. It wears a much sharper-looking design that borrows styling cues from the Kicks and the Leaf, and it receives more standard tech features, including automatic emergency braking. Its dashboard reminds us of the one found in the bigger Altima, which isn’t a bad impression for it to leave. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are available, but they’re not included in the price of the entry-level model.
Power for the Versa comes from a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine tuned to send 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). It sounds like the manual is missing a gear, but odds are a majority of customers will step up to the CVT. We’ll find out for sure when sales begin during the 2020 model year.
While the Versa is returning for a new generation, the Versa Note hatchback isn’t as lucky. Nissan confirmed plans to deep-six the model in the United States after the 2019 model year, and it’s not planning on replacing it.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS
When it became the GLS, the biggest and boldest SUV in the Mercedes-Benz family got a new name and an updated design, but it remained closely related to the second-generation GL under the sheet metal. The second-generation GLS scheduled to make its debut in New York will be all-new from the rocker panels up to the roof line. Though we haven’t seen the model yet, Mercedes revealed its engineers extended the wheelbase by 2.4 inches in a bid to carve out more space for passengers and cargo.
The German firm also promised the GLS will receive cutting-edge electronic driving aids, which is fitting for a model billed as the S-Class of the SUV world, and active anti-roll technology powered by a 48-volt electrical system. We expect the MBUX infotainment system seen on other, smaller models will come standard, too. When it goes on sale during the 2020 model year, the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS will compete in the same segment as the BMW X7 and the Audi Q7.
2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Like many of its rivals, Porsche is brazenly stretching the commonly accepted definition of a coupe. The newest member of the Porsche family delivers performance, luxury, and a raft of tech features in a package that’s more stylish, a little bit quicker, and less practical than the standard Cayenne. The Cayenne Coupe looks a lot like the Cayenne when viewed from the front, but its roofline is lower, and it begins to slope right above the front passengers. It flows into a tall, upright rear end fitted with 911-like lights connected by a light bar.
The Coupe’s dashboard houses a beautiful 12.3-inch touchscreen that runs the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system. Mechanically, the Coupe is identical to the third-generation Cayenne on which it’s based. The entry-level model comes with a 3.0-liter V6 engine turbocharged to deliver 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The Cayenne Coupe Turbo ups the ante with a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 rated at 541 hp and 567 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe will reach American showrooms in fall 2019. Pricing starts at $ 75,300 for the base model, and $ 130,100 for the Turbo variant, figures that represent increases of approximately $ 10,000 and $ 6,000, respectively, compared to the standard Cayenne.
2020 Subaru Outback
American motorists don’t like station wagons, but the Subaru Outback is the notable exception to the rule. It has been one of the company’s most popular models since it first went on sale in 1994. The Outback has big shoes to fill; Subaru can’t afford to make a mistake if it wants to keep its momentum in the United States. We haven’t seen it yet, but we know it will be based on the 2020 Legacy introduced earlier in 2019.
The available, 11.9-inch touchscreen will stand out as the biggest unit ever offered in a Subaru. The company’s camera-based EyeSight suite of electronic driving aids will be offered on some trim levels, and we expect the Outback will get a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot for the first time. When the going gets tough, motorists will be able to count on all-wheel drive, a generous amount of ground clearance, and up to 260 horsepower from a turbocharged flat-four engine to power through. Like the Legacy, the 2020 Outback will go on sale later in 2019.
2020 Toyota Highlander
Toyota teamed up with artist Michael Murphy to preview the 2020 Highlander. The artwork — which took about two months to complete — suggests the family-hauler will move in a more dynamic design direction. Its front end remains tall and upright, but its roof line has more of a slope to it, a styling cue which appears to give it a more fluid look.
The fourth-generation Highlander will continue to offer seating for up to eight passengers, and a generous amount of space for everyone’s gear. And, while Toyota spent years resisting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it’s finally warming up to the idea of letting tech giants settle into its dashboard, so we expect the Highlander’s infotainment system will be compatible with both features. Sales will begin in the months after its global debut.
2020 Toyota Yaris
The 2020 Toyota Yaris is new, yet it’s familiar. It’s a hatchback variant of the Yaris Sedan, which means it’s essentially a Toyota-badged Mazda2, a model sold overseas but not in America. Is it a Toyazda? a Mazdaris? Either way, the final design is surprisingly cohesive and handsome. It proves small, relatively affordable cars can be cool, too.
Toyota placed a 7.0-inch touchscreen on top of the dashboard to display an infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition technology come standard, and navigation is available at an extra cost. 106 horsepower from a naturally-aspirated, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine moves the Yaris forward. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but Toyota will release it when the model goes on sale later in 2019.
Who else will be in New York?
New York City is home to the last major auto show of the season, so many automakers consider it their last chance to make an impression on the public and on the media. Hyundai-owned Genesis will introduce an electric concept car, and it will bring its comprehensively updated G90 flagship to the United States for the first time. Porsche will send off the last-generation 911 with a limited-edition Speedster model, which it previewed with a concept, while Mercedes-AMG will expand the second-generation CLA lineup with a mid-range, 300-horsepower model named CLA 35. The A35 and the updated GLC Coupe will both break cover in New York, too.
Audi’s TT RS pocket rocket is getting a minor nip-and-tuck before its trip to the Big Apple. Volkswagen turned the Atlas into an off-roader named Basecamp that’s obsessed with leaving Manhattan behind and exploring the great outdoors. You won’t be disappointed if you lust after American horsepower. Ford is giving the EcoBoost-powered Mustang a serious performance injection, and Dodge will get patriotic with a Stars & Stripes edition of the Charger and the Challenger. Finally, Acura will show how to make a TLX using some of the same ingredients found in the NSX recipe.