While some auto shows are known for ridiculous concepts that will never make the light of day, the New York Auto Show is usually focused on new cars that we should see in dealerships sometime soon. Roadshow's editors have combed the show floor to find our favorites. From high horsepower to high tech, find out what each of us fell in love with in the Big Apple.
2020 Kia Stinger GTS
Yeah, OK, so the Kia Stinger GTS isn't the most industry-shaking car on the show floor, nor does it point to any big trends or major advancements in automotive technology. It does, however, point to Kia's continuing and admirable focus to making its cars genuinely fun to drive.
While the GTS is ultimately made up of minor tweaks, the Stinger was already good enough to not need a reinvention. Instead, Kia is changing the fundamental behavior of the Stinger's all-wheel-drive system, potentially offering a better balance between RWD behavior and AWD ability.
As a self-proclaimed differential nerd, I find this stuff pretty exciting. It's the sort of thing that most manufacturers overlook, installing wimpy, front-biased systems and then slapping an AWD badge on the trunk. Kia taking the time to fundamentally change the behavior of the car like this is encouraging, and a trend that I hope others follow.
The 2020 Subaru Outback isn't a dramatic departure from its predecessors, and that's a good thing. Subaru has worked hard to remove the burrs from its previous generations, but the underlying concept of a quasi-SUV off-road wagon has always been a good one.
Available with a 260-horsepower, 277-pound-feet, 2.4-liter turbo four, there's plenty of performance on offer, plus there's a more sensible naturally aspirated option, too. Subaru's all-wheel-drive system is one of the better ones on the market, and the company's finally figured out how to put together a decent infotainment setup, as well.
While the Outback is something of a bridge between a station wagon and a typical crossover, this Subaru does "SUV" better than most of its segment's more traditional players. It's got 3,500 pounds of towing capacity and a whopping 8.7 inches of ground clearance, too.
I loved last year's Genesis Essentia Concept, but the Korean automaker's latest Mint showcar is even more up my alley. It's a pint-sized, ultra-cute EV, and previews Genesis' vision of a luxurious city car.
It's about the size of a Mini Cooper, and with those huge, 21-inch wheels pushed out to all four corners, has awesome proportions. The side hatches open to give access to the rear cargo area, and when you open the driver's door, the front seats and dashboard actually turn to greet you. So cool.
Genesis really wants to make a production version of this Mint concept, and company executives tell me a road-going version could have around 200 miles of all-electric range. For someone like me, who drives through congested Los Angeles on the daily, something like the Mint would be a great addition to my garage.
Sure, the standard Mercedes-Benz A220 is a nice little runabout, but the A35 is a great way to get your feet wet with the company's AMG performance division.
A 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine puts out a healthy 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and power gets down to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Mercedes says the AMG A35 will scoot to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds, which is pretty quick.
Inside, you'll find Mercedes' new MBUX infotainment system with an optional Track Pace system that can record driving data. It can also use the car's augmented reality technology to show drivers the racing line on the 12-inch center screen or available head-up display. Sign me up.
As much as I love the way Ford's Mustang GTs drive, the 5.0-liter V8 is thirsty and heavy. So the idea of a performance-focused Mustang with the car's lighter, (slightly) thriftier EcoBoost mill appeals.
And it's not just the powerful-but-sometimes-lazy standard EcoBoost mill, but the frenetic Focus RS engine that's fitted in this special-edition Mustang. That, Ford promises, will be more responsive and even more energetic than today's Mustang EcoBoost.
The EcoBoost High Performance may have the least imaginative name out there. But as a rear-wheel-drive sports car that should be a riot to drive and, at least compared to hotted-up Mustang GTs, quite affordable, it's easily my pick of the show.
With a new, next-generation hybrid drivetrain that predicts both driver behavior and road conditions in order to best use the torque from the vehicle's electric motor, the 2020 Toyota Highlander is way more efficient than many other three-row SUVs. With nice body sculpting and a bunch of new interior tech, it's better equipped to battle the segment's best, too.
The Highlander is incredibly nicely equipped. The Platinum trim has a huge touchscreen and perforated leather. Why buy a big-mouthed Lexus when this looks to be just as nice?
The Hyundai Sonata has been on sale for more than three decades, but it's largely been forgettable up until the rakish 2011 model launched. The newest-generation 2020 Sonata represents another major leap for the model with its eye-popping good looks.
The new Sonata isn't as inventive design-wise on the inside, but the upscale cabin will give you the sense that this midsizer is punching above its weight. Available tech features like a 12.3-inch, reconfigurable instrument cluster and an easy-to-use, 10.2-inch center touchscreen contribute to the premium and modern feel.
The Sonata comes standard with advanced driver-assistance features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and driver-attention warning. That's a pretty impressive suite for a sedan that's expected to start around $23,000.