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2019 LA Auto Show: Roadshow's favorite debuts

Here's what wowed us most in Los Angeles.

2019 LA Auto Show

Seltos in the front, party in the back.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Wouldn't you know it, another Los Angeles Auto Show has come and gone. It's been a week of big-time debuts here in Southern California, and as we look back on all the new metal that was unveiled this week, we can't help but highlight a few standout stars.

That in mind, here are the vehicles that Roadshow's editors loved most. Whether for their industry significance or magnetic curb appeal, these are the cars that you absolutely cannot miss at the 2019 LA Auto Show.

Toyota RAV4 Prime

This may not be the most high-performance car on the show floor (hello Hyundai RM19), nor the one that I'm personally most interested in potentially buying some day (looking at you, Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion), but the Toyota RAV4 Prime is perhaps the most significant machine at the LA Auto Show. By adding 40 miles of all-electric range to the already popular RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota's giving electri-curious consumers another solid option for dipping their toe into the EV waters. And, with 302 horsepower, Toyota's created a machine that should be at least reasonably engaging to drive. And, with a release date of mid-2020, we won't even have to wait that long.

-- Tim Stevens

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Love the name, hate the name. Love the looks, hate the looks. No matter which side of these equations you fall on -- or even if you're somewhere in the middle like me -- there's no denying the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E has earned the spotlight. With range up to 300 miles and 0-to-60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds, the Mach-E is a usefully sized package with a heaping helping of new cabin tech. Pricing starts at $44,995 and that's before tax credits. With Ford still qualifying for the full $7,500 federal credit, that means Mach-E pricing will start from $37,495. That's not much more than the average price of a new car -- seemingly excellent value for an electric car. My prediction? The Mach-E will sell better than any EV on the market not wearing a Tesla badge.

-- Chris Paukert

BMW M2 CS

The BMW M2 CS stopped me dead in my tracks when I saw it on the LA Auto Show floor. It's like 20-something me and 30-something me in one package: The former obsessed with gold-wheeled Subaru STIs, the latter appreciative of the excellent driving dynamics offered by the scrumptious BMW M2. This little guy ought to be a hoot on the road, with 444 hp and 406 pound-foot of torque. And thank god, it even comes with a six-speed manual transmission. Yum yum gimme some.

-- Steven Ewing

Hyundai RM19 Prototype

Making great cars even better is always a good thing, and I love that Hyundai turned the most excellent Veloster N into the race-ready RM19. The R stands for racing, the M for midship. Yep, this baby's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is mounted in the middle for better balance and handling. As a bonus, the power goes to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. While right now there is no plan to put the RM19 into production, Hyundai hasn't ruled it out, saying that it could see this hottest hatch become its halo car, perhaps even with an electrified powertrain.

-- Emme Hall

Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion Concept

The latest VW ID concept proves how flexible the automaker's electric vehicle platform can be, sculpting a sleek wagon around the electric skateboard chassis. With 275 hp going to the rear wheels (or 335 hp with all-wheel drive) the ID Space Vizzion promises fairly snappy performance to match its estimated 300-mile range. Volkswagen's been a bit coy about calling the concept a "wagon," instead bandying around terms like "sport turismo." Whatever you call it, I'm glad there's a place for this spacious Space Vizzion in the electrified future. In fact, VW has announced plans to produce the ID Space Vizzion for North American and Chinese markets. Expect it to hit the road around 2022.

-- Antuan Goodwin

Hyundai Vision T Concept

Hyundai's Vision T concept isn't just a sign of things to come for the company's small crossovers, it's also a reminder that this Korean automaker isn't afraid to get weird with it. Hyundai's latest design language isn't afraid to fall outside the usual -- the new Sonata is a perfect example of this -- and I think there's a space in the market for buyers who appreciate something with some visual flash. I can't wait to see what the next Tucson actually looks like.

-- Andrew Krok

Jaguar XJ Collection

Jaguar's XJ is on its way out, but that doesn't mean it's not still a stunning car and a stellar bargain for what it offers. The very limited XJ Collection offers the car in its best mechanical spec with all the wood and sparkly paint you'd want from a special edition Jag. The XJ Collection seems a fitting way to send off this last petrol-powered feline before it's replaced by an EV.

-- Kyle Hyatt

Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring

I'm a geriatric inside. Seriously, like an octogenarian trapped in a 30-something's body. Accordingly, when it comes to cars, particularly luxury models, I want three things: a smooth ride, comfortable seats and an incredibly hushed interior. You can keep your Nordschleife lap times and sport-tuned suspension. Given my vehicular preferences, it's no wonder I'm a fan of Lincoln, Ford's resurgent luxury brand. This week in LA, the Honest Abe division unveiled its new Corsair Grand Touring model. A plug-in hybrid, this tastefully designed crossover features a nicely put-together interior, loads of comfort-enhancing features and an efficient drivetrain. With a 2.5-liter engine and a 14.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack, it should offer impressive fuel economy along with an electric-only driving range of about 25 miles.

-- Craig Cole

Mercedes-AMG GLS63

There are plenty of reasons I chose the new GLS63 as my favorite car of the show, but the only one that matters is its gigantic, glorious, pseudo-retro, monoblock-style wheels. These wheels actually debuted on the GT 4-Door, but the GLS63 is the first application of the monoblocks on an SUV -- and the first to be 23 inches. The GLS63 at the show had the monoblocks in matte black, but you can also get them in polished aluminum, which is even better. The wheels are absurd, and that's fitting because the thought of a three-row luxury SUV with a 603-hp, twin-turbo V8 is also absurd. In the best sort of way, obviously.

-- Daniel Golson

Nissan Sentra

Sure, there were plenty of big, splashy debuts that took place in LA that perhaps overshadowed the Sentra, but I think it's one of the more important debuts. Despite the crossover craze, this small sedan is Nissan's best-selling model, and for a long time, it's been pretty meh. Now on a new platform with a wider, planted stance, the Sentra actually looks like something to cross shop with a Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and the like. It looks like Nissan got a lot of the little things right this time around, and wrapped them in some handsome sheetmetal.

-- Sean Szymkowski

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