NEW YORK — Auto show season has rolled into the Big Apple, bringing with it a cavalcade of crossovers to fuel America's ever-deepening obsession with SUVs.
Then again, it'd be unfair to dismiss this year's New York Auto Show on the basis of crossovers alone. There was actually a diverse range of rides on display, from Hyundai's slick new Sonata to Mercedes-Benz' flagship GLS full-size SUV, the wild Porsche 911 Speedster and a cute yet sporty electric concept from Genesis. Here were the cars that stole the spotlight at the Javitz Center.
2020 Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata has become a byword for a reliable, serviceable sedan with an ounce of personality, especially as the Honda Accord has wavered from generation to generation and Toyota has continually failed to shake the Camry's image problem. Yet there's always room for improvement, and so the 2020 Sonata makes an impression with a striking new design that evokes fastback sedans of yesteryear, and even a bit of Kia's own Stinger muscle car.
The new model's hood is long, angular and sloping, teasing power underneath, and the cabin packs a wealth of technology, including the ability to use your smartphone as a replacement for your car keys. The new Sonata arrives in showrooms later in 2019 with a selection of two four-cylinder engines; Hyundai tells us hybrid and sporty N-line variants will come next year.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS
What the S Class is for Mercedes' passenger cars, the GLS Class is for the German automaker's SUVs. The GLS looked positively gargantuan next to Merc's other New York reveal, the refreshed GLC Coupe. But inside that massive frame beats a sophisticated, efficient heart: a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8, mated to a 48-volt integrated starter generator.
Mercedes reckons that pairing makes the GLS 20 percent more fuel efficient than the standard V8 on its own, which likely won't be lost on owners since, again, this is a very big and heavy truck. It is also very clever though, thanks to the addition of the manufacturer's new MBUX infotainment platform and voice control system, which is capable of fielding surprisingly complex queries.
Genesis Mint Concept
Hyundai's luxury marque Genesis has exhibited an affinity for concept cars in its brief few years of existence. In fact, the brand's first concept was revealed here in New York, as was last year's drool-worthy Essentia grand tourer. We would have really loved to see Genesis put either one into production, and the all-electric Mint concept unveiled at this year's event has us singing that familiar refrain once again.
The Mint is a tight, compact little electric sports coupe with two doors on the sides and a split window at the rear. The back half has an almost breadvan quality to it in terms of design, but the low-slung proportions make the end result look like a BMW i3 that someone stepped on — though in a good way. At the moment, Genesis isn't eyeing production for the Mint, though we wholeheartedly believe the G70 deserves a plucky little sibling, and this one's the perfect fit.
2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
You can count on Porsche to bring the party to New York, and 2019's show was no exception. The 911 Speedster packs the heart of the 911 GT3 inside a svelte convertible body that conceals a manual fabric top underneath a pair of streamliner bulges, evoking the legendary 356 Speedster of the 1950s.
Driven by a 502-horsepower, 4.0-liter flat-six, the 911 Speedster can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 192 mph. But of course, it's never enough to move like a race car — you've got to look like one too, which explains the 911 Speedster's optional retro livery and number decals, which you can add to yours for a fee on top of the $275,750 starting price.
2020 Lincoln Corsair
Joking about crossovers aside, the new Ford Escape-based Lincoln Corsair happens to be a very elegant small SUV, one that's hard to believe came from the brand that gave us the large-and-in-charge Navigator. All the typical Lincoln design hallmarks are there — the rounded rectangular chrome grille, the long singular taillight extending edge-to-edge — though everything's been softened up just enough to not be jarring.
The classiness extends inside as well, as the Corsair boasts an interior that's modern yet rustic, and Lincoln has even gone so far as to enlist the services of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to record the Corsair's door chimes. The result looks to be a worthwhile addition an already crowded segment — though Lincoln is assuredly hoping the market feels that way, too.
2020 Subaru Outback
There are many cults in the automotive world, but perhaps none so enduring and all-encompassing as fans of the Subaru Outback. In many ways, it was the first crossover. And although it's become almost unrecognizable from its humble beginnings in the late-'90s, the new Outback — revealed here in New York — continues that adventurous spirit, while adding a sorely-needed dose of power.
This upcoming model boasts a new range-topping, 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four producing 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. But it's not just the extra grunt that should excite Outback fans; inside you'll find an 11.6-inch vertical tablet screen where the infotainment center used to be. And you can rest assured that the Outback's trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is still standard.
Image Credits: Tom's Guide