Automobiles

Much more than Demons at the New York Auto Show

Although the Dodge Demon was the clear king of the New York Auto Show, our editors found plenty to like among the other cars, from a new Subaru crossover to a luxury Lincoln Navigator to a dog-toting Nissan.

John Murphy/Nissan

This year, the New York Auto Show seemed all about one car, a production drag strip racer with 840 horsepower and a posted zero-to-60 mph time of 2.3 seconds, making it the quickest production car in the world. The car in question, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, served as a halo car for Dodge and the New York show in general, but inhabiting the ripples around the Dodge were a number of splash-worthy cars, from concepts to big SUVs and even a Nissan sporting a couple of dogs.

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For our editors on the show floor, a wide range of cars caught our eyes. That Dodge Demon made a natural pick for Antuan Goodwin. He noted how its supercharged 6.2-liter V8, turning 770 pound-feet of torque, makes it pop a wheelie on a fast start, actually lifting the front wheels off the pavement. To keep owners from crashing into telephone poles and fences, Dodge engineered electronic control to keep it going in a straight line when its rudders come loose.

Editor Tim Stephens, however, preferred the Nissan GT-R Track Edition, a car likely to make it around a road course faster than the Demon. Stephens likes how the GT-R Track Edition comes in for substantially less money than the GT-R Nismo, but comes close to its performance level. And beyond just seeing the GT-R Track Edition on the show floor, Stephens got an early drive, testing the 565 horsepower from this latest iteration's hand-built engine on the track.

Nissan Rogue Dogue Concept

Nissan added accessories to a Rogue to make it dog-friendly.

Nissan

The Nissan Rogue Dogue didn't up the performance of the standard Rogue crossover in any way, but Emme Hall could not resist the fact that it came with dogs, at least on the show floor. Nissan came up with the Rogue Dogue as a concept, showing accessories designed to make the Rogue more dog-friendly, such as a ramp up to a special floor in the cargo area. At the show, a couple of well-trained Jack Russells and a Border Collie demonstrated how the accessories worked, and won over Hall's heart.

News editor Andrew Krok expressed a preference for the Mercedes-AMG GLC63. Based on Mercedes-Benz's second-smallest SUV, the GLC, the company's AMG division took over, giving this curvy vehicle a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 good for 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, along with handling improvements for high-speed shenanigans. Notably, Krok eschewed the coupe version, which compromises the cargo advantages of a more traditional SUV form.

As for myself, I chose the Toyota FT-4X, a concept not likely to beat most of these other picks on the track. However, the FT-4X posits a new compact SUV for Toyota, combining urban-appropriate size with interior practicality. A four-cylinder engine suggests decent fuel economy, and Toyota's unsung expertise with four-wheel-drive systems should give any future model based on the FT-4X decent capability for getting off the beaten path.

Lincoln Navigator

The new-generation Lincoln Navigator looks exactly like what a modern luxury SUV should be.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If we could each choose more than one as our favorite, the New York Auto Show offered plenty of options. Lincoln's new Navigator showed up as a tasteful titan, giving the luxury brand a new SUV on which to hang its hat. Expressing luxury with smooth sides, a big brightwork grille and an opulent interior, the Navigator sneaks in thoroughly modern engineering, using a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood for the best combination of power and economy in a vehicle that seats six comfortably.

Acura burnished its credentials with its new TLX model. More than a simple refresh, the TLX sedan updates its grille with Acura's new style, and gains a new infotainment system with a far better interface than the previous model. Most enticingly, Acura delivers the TLX A-Spec, a spiritual successor to the old TL-S. The TLX A-Spec can be had with rear-wheel drive or torque vectoring all-wheel drive, and comes fitted with suspension tuning designed to make it competitive with other premium sport sedans.

And while the Honda Civic Type R grabbed headlines at the Geneva Motor Show, New York hosted a far more attainable and storied performance-oriented Honda, the new Civic Si. This Civic Si, available as a hot hatchback and sedan, banks on a turbocharged engine for the first time, and makes an impressive feat of wringing 205 horsepower out of a 1.5-liter engine. Its major hurdle comes from the fact that other hot hatches boast higher horsepower figures, so we'll have to see how it actually performs on the asphalt.

For Subaru fans with families that have grown beyond the five-seater Outback or Forester, the company showed off the Ascent, a seven-seat crossover incorporating the kind of style, practicality and technology that make its smaller vehicles so popular. For now, the Ascent is just a concept, but Subaru noted a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, making it seem close to production.

To see all that we found at the 2017 New York Auto Show, click here. For a visual feast, check out our photos and videos from the New York Auto Show floor.