Roadshow's favorite 2019 New York Auto Show debuts

In which our editors each pick their faves from this year's show.

CNET Cars staff
5 min read
2019 New York Auto Show
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

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.

-- Tim Stevens

Click here for our full 2020 Kia Stinger GTS coverage.

Orange you glad Kia's new Stinger GTS has a drift mode?

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2020 Subaru Outback

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.

-- Chris Paukert

Click here for our full 2020 Subaru Outback coverage.

Watch this: 2020 Subaru Outback is still spacious and practical in its new generation

2020 Subaru Outback is as ruggedly handsome as ever

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Genesis Mint Concept

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.

-- Steven Ewing

Click here for our full Genesis Mint Concept coverage.

Watch this: Tiny Genesis Mint is a city concept we love

Genesis' tiny, electric Mint concept zips into the New York Auto Show

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2020 Mercedes-AMG A35

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.

-- Emme Hall

Click here for our full 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 coverage.

Watch this: 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 is entry-level hotness

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 is a premium pocket rocket

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2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance

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.

-- Jake Holmes

Click here for our full 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance coverage.

Watch this: A more potent entry-level Ford Mustang

2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance is a bitsa blaster for New York

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2020 Porsche 911 Speedster

The iconic Speedster name has returned to Porsche for the first time in years, and the result is one seriously pretty two-seater.

Hiding just behind that voluptuous rear decklid is the same 4.0-liter flat-six that's found in the GT3 and GT3 RS. 502 horsepower and a 9,000-rpm redline? Sign me the heck up.

Rounding out its complement of cool is a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, borrowed from the 911R. It's as analog as a car can get in 2019.

-- Andrew Krok

Click here for our full 2020 Porsche 911 Speedster coverage.

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster is a 502-hp, limited-run stunner

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2020 Toyota Highlander

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?

-- Kyle Hyatt

Click here for our full 2020 Toyota Highlander coverage.

Watch this: 2020 Toyota Highlander is a smart SUV with optional hybrid power

The 2020 Toyota Highlander gets a new platform, new tech and new drivetrains

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2020 Hyundai Sonata

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.

-- Manuel Carrillo III

Click here for our full 2020 Hyundai Sonata coverage.

2020 Hyundai Sonata brings arresting style to New York

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Originally published April 18.