2019 Honda Passport
Discontinued in 2002, the Honda Passport made a comeback for the 2019 model year. Introduced at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the modern Passport fills the gap between the CR-V and the Pilot.
Based on Honda’s Global Light Truck platform, the SUV shares many of its underpinnings and drivetrain components with the three-row Pilot and Ridgeline pickup trucks. It has a similar unibody construction, but it’s presented as a more rugged, off-road capable crossover. More importantly, it’s Honda’s very own design and not a rebadge Isuzu, like the old Passport. Unlike other Honda SUVs, it also benefits from a range of accessories, much like Mopar is offering for FCA vehicles. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
2019 Kia Niro EV
The Kia Niro EV is the all-electric version of the Niro subcompact crossover that the Korean automaker launched for the 2017 model year. Unveiled in Autumn 2018 as the e-Niro for the European market, the Niro EV is the U.S.-spec model and broke cover at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Virtually identical to its European sibling, the Niro EV and e-Niro share the same features and specification, save for the less powerful base model. Kia chose to bring only the more powerful version to the U.S., where it will compete against its platform sibling, the Hyundai Kona Electric (or EV on this side of the pond). The Niro EV is Kia’s first all-electric crossover and among the first battery-powered SUVs for the non-premium market.
2020 Kia Soul
It ain’t easy standing out in the overly-saturated subcompact crossover segment, but the Kia Soul does exactly that with its mix of unique and attractive styling, equipment, and overall value. Now the Soul enters its third generation for the 2020 model year with a debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and its bringing a fresh take on the boxy goodness of the outgoing model, plus loads of gear, fun features, and a stout turbo engine option.
Don’t Think Chevy is Struggling? It’s Booth at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show Says it All
Chevy is in a tough spot. Well, GM as a whole is in a tough spot. News has recently circulated that GM was closing several plants, and put five others on watch. 15,000 people are now out of work, and many more have little job security. Along with the three closures in Oshawa, Ontario, Detroit, and, Youngstown Ohio, GM will also cease production of the Chevy Cruze, Chevy Volt, Cadillac CT6, and the Buick Lacrosse. The Warren powertrain plant and Baltimore powertrain plants are also in danger of shutting down after next year as well. Things are getting ugly, but how bad is it?
2020 Lincoln Aviator
First introduced for the 2003 model year, the Lincoln Aviator was initially offered as a luxury sport utility vehicle for the mid-size segment. After failing to meet sales expectations, Lincoln axed the nameplate in 2005 after just a few years in production. Now, however, as nationwide SUV sales continue onwards into the stratosphere, the Aviator makes its triumphant second-generation return for the 2020 model year, slotting in between the Nautilus and the standard wheelbase Navigator in Lincoln’s lineup. The latest model offers elegant styling, a top-notch interior layout, oodles of comfort, the latest tech, and a super torquey hybrid engine option.
2019 Mazda 3
The fourth-generation Mazda3 made its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The hatchback replaces a six-year-old third-gen model that has been highly successful and established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. The new Mazda3 is heavily based on the Kai concept on the outside and features a more upscale interior plus an innovative engine.
Part of Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term strategy, the new Mazda3 debuts the company’s most recent interpretation of the Kodo design language. It also pushed the hatchback higher on the premium ladder and a five-engine lineup. On top of the usual gasoline and diesel SkyActiv units, the Mazda3 debuts the new SkyActiv-X, the first commercial gasoline engine with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition technology. The hatchback also features an all-wheel-drive system for the first time.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota just introduced a brand-new generation for the Corolla this year, with both a head-turning hatchback and a smart sedan making the body style lineup. Now, Toyota is adding yet another model with a new hybrid variant, ushering in an even-greener option for the compact four-door segment. Standout features for the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid include a comfortable ride, loads of technology and features, and as an added bonus, upwards of 52 mpg combined thanks to the drivetrain that’s borrowed from the Toyota Prius.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GT
The AMG GT represents everything that’s right about a Grand Touring car. It has a luscious body with that classic long hood that houses a high-performance engine, namely the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, the widened hips, the low roofline coupled with a generous windshield and the rounded, cheeky-looking, tail end. It’s good for a day at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife in the same way it could cope with miles upon miles behind trucks on the Autobahn or stranded at a stop light in downtown Berlin. Believe it or not, it’s been four years since Mercedes-Benz unveiled the AMG GT. Now, the front-engined two-door sports car that replaced the gull-winged SLS received another restyle and was brought to the L.A. Auto Show. In the news are the AMG Dynamics integrated driving control systems, the exterior changes meant to bring the 2-door models closer in appearance to the AMG GT 4-door Coupe and a revitalized interior.
For 2020, Mercedes-Benz will offer the familiar AMG GT and GT S Coupe models, the AMG GT Convertible, the AMG GT R and, finally, the new AMG GT R PRO, a track-focused beast that’s among the five fastest road-legal cars to ever lap the Nurburgring-Nordschleife.
2019 Mazda 3 Sedan
Revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan manages to reinvigorate the market of compact sedans by providing it with a simplistic three-box shape with an added spice of the Mazda second generation Kodo design.
The Mazda 3 hatch basically what the five-door hatchbacks were to its three-door coupe knockoffs back in the day when people actually wanted to drive them. The Mazda 3 Sedan is a sensible, rational, and family-centric vehicle. The Hatch is a bit more on the wild side. See, just like in the day of the three-door and five-door hatches.
2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
The Mercedes-AMG GT R is the range-topping version of the AMG GT, a coupe introduced in 2014. The GT R arrived in 2017 with a more aggressive design, a beefed-up engine, and increased performance. It’s the most powerful and expensive version of the coupe yet. At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes introduced a track-ready upgrade, called the AMG GT R Pro. Fitted with body parts and drivetrain components inspired by motorsport, the Pro bridges the gap between the road-legal AMG GT R and the race-spec GT3 and GT4 iterations of the sports car. It’s not more powerful than the GT R, but it features upgraded chassis and suspension components, it’s lighter, and a bit more aerodynamic. It’s a worthy rival for the Porsche 911 GT3 RS!
2020 Toyota Corolla
The Corolla is a true benchmark for the compact segment, with over 46 million units sold over the course of five decades since its release in 1966. Now, the Corolla enters its impressive twelfth generation for the 2020 model year. Earlier in 2018, we got behind the wheel of the new 2019 Corolla hatchback and loved its raucous styling and shift-happy manual transmission. Now, the Japanese automotive behemoth is offering a brand-new sedan version, and it promises even more refinement, more technology, and a new look to boot.
Toyota has pulled the wraps off its refreshed Prius at the 2018 LA auto show which brings a more toned down appearance and optional all-wheel drive to the table. It isn’t any significantly more efficient or any faster, but its less aggressive styling will be a pleasing comeback for some, while the new all-wheel drive is apparently going to be really popular.
Projected sales for the Prius AWD-e say up to 25 percent of all cars sold will have the option, despite the fact that it does have a small negative impact on overall efficiency - the main reason you went for a Prius in the first place. The most frugal Prius, the L Eco trim, can still hit a claimed 56 mpg combined.
Aside from the subtle restyling and addition of all-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota Prius also gets interior updates, extra tech, and a simplified trim structure to help buyers and dealers alike understand the range better.
2020 Kia Soul EV
Ever since the Kia Soul first broke into the auto scene in 2009, it has carved its own path unique path in the auto industry. Almost ten years later, the Soul is entering its third-generation, and it includes an improved EV model as well. The 2020 Kia Soul EV has arrived, and it’s a far departure from what we know of the Soul’s all-electric model. It has a fresh new look and, more importantly, a bigger battery pack to go with a more potent electric motor. You think that the 2020 Soul EV is the still the same electric crossover from year’s past? You’d be wrong. The 2020 Kia Soul EV will launch sometime in mid-2019 but pricing figures have yet to be announced.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
Essentially a Wrangler with a five-foot bed, the Gladiator rides on a custom body-on-frame that’s longer than the SUVs. The truck also shares drivetrain components with the Wrangler, including the Pentastar V-6 engine. A diesel mill, already available in the Ram 1500, will be offered in 2020. The Gladiator stands out among its competition thanks to its open-air configuration, unique on the market, and impressive payload and towing capabilities.
The Jeep Gladiator is a new pickup truck based on the latest-generation Wrangler. As the first Jeep-badged truck in almost three decades, the Gladiator made its public debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Originally believed to arrive with the Scrambler name, the pickup truck revives a nameplate first used in the 1960s.
2020 Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade is the new flagship of the range, so it needs to be very good. It has a distinctive face that sets it apart from other Hyundai models and clearly can’t be mistaken for another brand. However, it’s not its striking fascia put on an otherwise familiar big SUV shape that’s important here, but the amount of room inside and how pleasant it is to travel in.
With seating for up to eight people, the Palisade offers one more than some competitors, and if you fold down all of its seats, you can get a pretty van-like loading bay. It also looks and feels well appointed inside, with no dramatic design touches - It’s just clear, functional, and minimalist.
It needs to face tough adversaries that have several generations of models behind them and, with it being a completely new nameplate, it may struggle a bit. Its exterior appearance blends a funky face with a more traditional overall aesthetic, but the interior may feel reminiscent to what you may see in a high-end German brand like Mercedes, Audi, or BMW, and its rivals will struggle to match the same feel inside their cabins.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible
Unveiled for the 2019 model year, the modern BMW 8 Series revives the iconic nameplate that the German firm produced from 1990 to 1999. Unlike its predecessor, the new 8 Series also spawned a convertible version to tackle the drop-top variant of the luxurious Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
After nearly two decades on the shelf, the BMW 8 Series is back, and it’s once again looking to head the BMW lineup with sporty grand touring luxury as a replacement for the outgoing 6 Series. Revived in both racing and full production form at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Bavarians kicked things off with a hardtop coupe iteration, but this new flagship also spawned a convertible ahead of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Does it have what it takes to give the S-Class Cabriolet a run for its money?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible.
2019 Nissan Maxima
Nissan’s participation at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show included the introduction of the 2019 Nissan Maxima. An updated version of the eighth-generation A36 Maxima in L.A. for the 2019 model year with a subtle exterior refresh to go along with a suite of new safety technologies. Nissan hopes that the updates are enough to stem the tide of declining sales that has plagued not only the Maxima but the entire sedan market in the U.S. As Nissan’s longest-running nameplate — the Maxima has been around since 1981 — there’s a lot of pressure on the 2019 Maxima to live up to, or even exceed, the expectations that Nissan has for it. The 2019 model goes on sale in mid-December.
2018 Audi e-Tron GT Concept
Audi is as committed as anybody to an EV future, and the unveiling of the e-Tron GT Concept at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show further illustrates the desire of the German automaker to have an EV for everyone. The e-Tron GT will be the car for those who love to go fast in a 4-door coupe body. Its stablemate, the Taycan, as well as Tesla’s Model S, are clear targets.
Recently, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier criticized German automakers for making boring-looking electric cars. "I really wonder when you, Mr. Zetsche, or you, Mr. Diess, or Mr. Krüger of BMW will be able to build an electric car that is only half as sexy as one Tesla," he said in his sharp remark. As if trying to prove the government official wrong, Audi unexpectedly showed up in L.A. with the e-Tron GT concept that’s, well, stunning from every angle. And before you start yammering about how concept cars change down the path to production, Audi says this concept shows the almost production-ready model that will hit showrooms in 2020 for the 2021 model year.
Audi wants to have a fleet of 12 electric cars by 2025, and this will be its flagship. What it is, in short, is a shorter, more aggressive, A7. It will share the platform with Porsche’s Taycan, but the two manufacturers are coy to point out the similarities between the two models. Oh, and Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t a random VIP guest at the launch of the e-Tron GT, as the car will star in the upcoming Avengers 4 movie. If the car will look this good in production guise, then all the hype Audi’s building is worth it.
2020 Rivian R1T Pickup
Just before its official unveiling at the 2018 LA Auto Show, a new Michigan-based EV company revealed its first vehicle - an electric pickup truck called the Rivian R1T Pickup. I remember the buzz on the Internet when Tesla unveiled its Tesla Semi and that mad roadster some years ago. On one of the photographs, clever Tesla marketing gurus sketched what will become the Tesla Pickup. Well, Rivian beat them to the punch on that one. Or has it?
The company called known as Rivian has been around since 2009 and, while it actually did dwell into supercar making at the very start, rationalization brought the company much closer to the ground. Almost ten years after the story started, Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe, actually decided to tell the world what the Rivian is all about. You haven’t heard a lot about the company until now, have you?
He revealed its intentions at just the right time - after the company acquired a Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. That’s the place where this sexy pickup (well, I think it’s kinda strange sexy) will be eventually produced. Obviously, Rivian wanted to present itself with a bit of a bang. Acquiring what once was a Mitsubishi factory is a bit like a bomb, especially when you take into account plans to introduce an electric SUV in a few years. Now, we have a pickup - it is 90-percent production ready and brings enough EV promises for us to pay some real attention to it.
Presenting the R1T before Tesla unveiled its pickup truck may very well be the right move. Rivian wants to cash in on people who are actually interested in this kind of thing. If you don’t know them, don’t worry, they will emerge just like Tesla Model S lovers emerged.
So, what’s the Rivian R1T all about?
2020 BMW M340i xDrive
Just before its official unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show, BMW released the first specifications about the best G20 3 Series revealed so far - the M340i xDrive. It is not an M3, but it is really, really close to being one. Actually, the M340i is the most powerful 3 Series ever revealed. Save for previous two generations of the M3.
Taking the G20 3 Series architecture to a level unachieved by any BMW 340i of before, the 2020 BMW M340i xDrive comes with a standard, electronically controlled, mechanical limited slip differential, a 382 horsepower engine, and specially tuned eight-speed transmission with Launch Control.
Update 12/3/2018: We’ve updated this review with new images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery below!
2020 Porsche 911
Just like its predecessor, the 2020 Porsche 911 992 is a mix of old an new. While it rides on new underpinnings and features state-of-the-art technology, its design harks back to previous generations, including the original 911. The new sports car brings a few innovations to the market, but its most notable feature remains the fact that it’s the first 911 to not have a naturally aspirated engine.