Audi e-tron Grand Turismo
Audi continued its e-tron rollout in LA with the debut of a four-seater GT model, the automaker’s third all-electric vehicle designed to compete with Tesla. Built in collaboration with Porsche but loaded with Audi DNA, the GT incorporates 350-kW fast-charging ability to get the 90-kWh battery to 80 percent capacity in about 15 minutes, with a range of 248 miles and performance that tops out at just below 600 hp. It’s expected to go on sale in 2020.
The all-electric BMW Vision iNEXT will go into production in 2021 with Level 3 autonomy and more than 400 miles of range, and it highlights BMW’s belief that a vehicle’s interior will become increasingly important in the age of self-driving. Technology dubbed “Shy Tech” is deployed only upon request, with few physical controls required. Instead, functions such as audio volume are accessed via interior surfaces, like twirling a finger on seat fabric.
2019 Honda Passport
Honda was in early on the SUV craze with the Passport but relied on a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. The reborn 2019 Passport is pure Honda, sharing its chassis, 3.5-liter V6 engine, and nine-speed transmission with its larger sibling, the three-row Pilot, but with more ground clearance. The Passport will arrive at dealers in early February in four different variants—Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Every trim level comes with full LED exterior lighting and an 8-inch touch screen with an Android-based infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
2019 Hyundai Palisade
Impressive numbers—seven USB ports, 16 cup holders, 18 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seat, and 45.8 cubic feet behind the second row—add up to making the 2019 Hyundai Palisade an ideal road trip vehicle. It’s powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine with 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Inside is a 10.25-inch display with Apple CarPlay
and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster and Infinity premium audio. The Palisade comes standard with collision-mitigation braking, rear cross-traffic braking, automatic high beams, and rear occupant detection.
2020 Kia Soul EV
Borrowing the electric motor and battery pack from the Kia Niro EV, the 2020 Soul EV delivers 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque, while the new lithium-ion polymer 64 kWh battery pack doubles capacity and is DC fast-charge compatible. But no word yet on battery range. The Soul EV’s four driving modes—Eco, Eco+, Comfort and Sport—adjust motor output, regenerative braking, and climate control settings for maximum range. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless phone charging and a 10.25-inch touch screen all come standard. The 2020 Kia Soul EV will go on sale in 2019.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
After a quarter-century absence, Jeep has unveiled a production version of a pickup. Similar in style to the four-door SUV Jeep Wrangler, the Gladiator adds a 5-foot bed with a 1,650-pound payload and towing capacity of 7,650 pounds. It come with a six-cylinder gas or diesel engine, and the highly regarded Uconnect infotainment system. While pricing hasn’t been announced, with Jeep and mid-size pickup sales soaring, this combination of the two is sure to be a hit for the iconic off-road brand.
2020 Lincoln Aviator GT
Proving that luxury, power, and eco-consciousness aren’t mutually exclusive, the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring is a three-row/seven-passenger plug-in hybrid SUV that delivers 450 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque via a twin-turbocharged V6. Drive modes include Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions, with the hybrid touring model adding Pure EV and Preserve EV modes that allow the driver to max performance or conserve the hybrid boost. On sale in summer 2020, the Aviator will compete with a growing list of three-row luxury SUVs from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Cadillac.
The 2019 Mazda3 comes in a hatchback and sedan version and receives a new supercharged 4-cylinder engine called Skyactiv-X, which the automaker says brings to gas-powered cars the benefits of extra torque and fuel-savings found in diesel engines. The Mazda3 also gets upgraded driver assists that include front-cross traffic alerts that help prevent collisions at blind intersections and traffic jam assist, which can control the accelerator, brake, and steering. The Mazda 3 will be available in early 2019.
Rivian R1T Truck
Pickups aren’t green vehicles but are great for getting out into the wilderness. EV startup Rivian wants to change that with the debut of its R1T pickup (and an SUV sibling, the R1S). The R1T has more than 400 miles of range, acceleration of 0 to 60 miles per hour in three seconds, and a tow rating of 11,000 pounds. It features wraparound LED headlights, a front trunk, and a gear tunnel behind the cab that can stow a surfboard, golf bags, or other gear. The base model starts at $69,000, goes up to $100,000 with different battery configurations. Pre-orders have started, in case you’re ready to roll into the backwoods on battery power only.
Toyota Prius AWD-e
Toyota’s uber hybrid is taking on America’s love affair with SUVs and trucks—and winter weather—by offering optional all-wheel-drive, making the 2019 Prius the most efficient AWD vehicle on the market, with an estimated combined 50mpg. The AWD model employs a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery optimized for cold weather and Toyota’s first electric, magnet-less rear motor powers the rear wheels from 0 to 6mph then, when needed, up to 43mph.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
After more than 50 years of gas-powered Corollas, Toyota debuted its hybrid version of the ever-popular model, boasting 50mpg. On sale this spring, Toyota hasn’t yet announced pricing but tech available as an option on the regular Toyota Corolla —including an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, in-car Wi-Fi, road-sign recognition, and automatic high beams—comes standard on this hybrid sibling. Unique to the hybrid is 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels and a 7-inch instrument panel display.
Volkswagen 2019 Beetle Final Edition
The Beetle is the longest-running car model in history, but VW says it’s reached the end of the road. The Final Edition is available as a coupe or convertible and includes exclusive equipment and unique décor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style. Power comes from a 2.0-liter TSI engine with 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. VW’s Car-Net infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via a 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen and navigation is standard on the Final Edition SEL.
The Best High-Tech Cars
Technology is one of the most important features to consider when buying a new vehicle. These hybrid and electric models
have some of the best car tech we’ve tested.