Mid-year review: The 5 Best Truck and SUV Debuts So Far This Year
SUVs and trucks practically replaced sedans and wagons. Heck, they are so popular now that some manufacturers make three-door versions of SUVs, something that has never worked well. Nevertheless, this year has seen a fair share of SUV and truck releases, but as with everything else, some are more important than others. I present to you five best and most important truck and SUV debuts so far this year.
The Jaguar I-Pace may very well be one of the most important unveilings this year.
The Jaguar I-Pace may very well be one of the most important unveilings this year. It is the first new, mass-production all-electric car that comes into the premium segment and its’ set to fight with the likes of Tesla. It is an important car on so many levels that it’s hard to wrap our heads around it.
First of all, the I-Pace represents Jaguar’s (and Land Rover in some sense) entry into the world of electric cars. Taking into account that this car has made so much hype and so many headlines, it seems that they did it better compared to anyone from Germany. The Jaguar I-Pace somehow packed sedan, coupe, and SUV character lines into one sexy package making the whole car world intrigued. After its debut in Graz in March this year, we found out that this package is not only for the timid. It will do off-road - a lot of it too in a way some Land Rovers do it. This is a testament to its Land-Rover sourced, off-road gear which includes an iteration of the famed All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC). Apart from that, the car will behave dominantly on the road and even let you have some fun on the track - using 400 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of torque for its 4.5 seconds 0-60 mph run.
Sedan sales are on the decline, and many rule out diesel engines from the car equation altogether
Second of all, it is the first proper, expensive, and appealing electric car that can actually hold a candle to the Tesla cars. According to some online pools, people (at least those who spend way too much time on the Internet) love it even more than the Tesla Model 3. More importantly, automotive journalists who drove the car are overwhelmed and enthusiastic when talking about it.
Third of all, the Jaguar I-Pace shows the way of the whole car world. Sedan sales are on the decline, and many rule out diesel engines from the car equation altogether, SUVs are on the rise, coupe SUVs have never been doing better, and electric cars are making market surges at an unprecedented rate. The I-Pace embodies all of the aspects of the changing car world. It is definitely one of the most important debuts this year. Only time will tell, but it could become one of the most important debuts of the decade.
Read our full review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has survived on the market with much the same architecture for almost 40 years, and the whole car world eagerly awaited the introduction of the next-gen model
One of the most beloved off-roaders and SUVs definitely is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has survived on the market with much the same architecture for almost 40 years, and the whole car world eagerly awaited the introduction of the next-gen model. And, it did come, luckily, with not as many changes as some imagined. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class proudly retained its recognizable boxy shape. In fact, it changed very little compared to the previous generation, and that was in name of mandatory aerodynamic improvements.
What is far more important is the fact that the G-Class still uses a body-on-frame design, it moves along with almost all off-road gear as before (apart from the locking rear differential,) and takes the whole off-road nature a step further with better approach and departure angles. Using modern welding techniques and materials, Mercedes managed to remove some weight, while at the same time improving its torsional rigidity and stiffness. All that followed up with the integration of the latest Mercedes-Benz engines, including the 4.0-liter V-8 with 422 horsepower on tap.
The new G-Class can basically translate some of the experience all the top-end Mercedes cars exhibit
While all the tech advancements sound impressive (heck, it’s chassis is 55 percent stiffer than before,) the new G-Class does show that Mercedes-Benz has a healthy customer base that can support projects like this. The off-road capable machine does with a few more important virtues - roomier cabin, all imaginable modern Mercedes-Benz driving aids, comfort creatures and solutions, and better efficiency than ever before. In short, the new G-Class can basically translate some of the experience all the top-end Mercedes cars exhibit. It will go off-road, it will be luxurious, surprisingly fast, and - in some iterations - not so thirsty. All this while offering the best in connectivity and design.
The G-Class is definitely one of the most important SUVs to appear this year. Not only because of its technology, but because of the fact that the customer base for these kind of niche cars is still strong.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
The new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is far lighter compared to the model it replaces
The reason a truck ended up on a list like this, and it is not the only one mentioned here, is clear. The new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is far lighter compared to the model it replaces. Up to 450 pounds to be exact. Chevrolet achieved such incredible weight saving with the help of something called the “mixed material strategy.” Among other things, it started using aluminum. Not as obvious as Ford did with the Ford F-150, but the doors, the bonnet, and some body panels are made of the material. Furthermore, the high-strength steel used for the frame added a bit more stiffness (10 percent) but slashed 88 pounds despite actually extending the truck by a few inches and increasing the wheelbase by 3.9 inches.
Do not think for a second that lightweight materials cripple the Silverado’s toughness or ruggedness. No, no, no. This is still a truck with a live rear axle and enough options to make it just as you like it or need it.
While making it lighter was one of the measures imposed on cutting fuel consumption and fuel emissions, Chevrolet introduced a number of other technologies to achieve even better efficiency
While making it lighter was one of the measures imposed on cutting fuel consumption and fuel emissions, Chevrolet introduced a number of other technologies to achieve even better efficiency. One of the most important novelties is the so-called Dynamic Fuel Management for the V-8 engines. This allows the Silverado to cut combustion in cylinders under certain conditions. Apparently, the V-8 engines can run on only one cylinder when certain conditions are met. Furthermore, Chevy introduced a 2019 Silverado diesel with a 3.0-liter, a turbocharged engine next to the 5.3-liter and the 6.2-liter, V-8 gasoline options.
The optional equipment, cabin comfort, and personalization options are improved altogether making the 2019 Silverado perfectly suited for the needs of the customers of today.
How the 2019 Chevy Silverado Can Run on One Cylinder
Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.
4. Ram 1500
The dietary trend which started with the latest Ford F-150 continues strong with the rest of the American truck lineup. The Silverado made quite a surge into the lightweight design, and the Dodge followed suit with the new RAM 1500 that debuted earlier this year. RAM managed to lower the weight of the 1500 by 225 pounds while giving the truck a bunch of needed improvements. The new RAM 1500 has a four-inch longer wheelbase and three extra inches for rear passengers.
How much thought went into giving the passengers the best creature comforts is best shown by the introduction of heated and cooled reclining seats. And, this is a big thing as engineers mainly focused on improving efficiency, comfort, and storage. Obviously, this led to improved aerodynamic resistance for fuel efficiency and reduced NVH levels
With this generation, RAM did go with the mild-hybrid setup for its entry-level V-6 model. The eTorque system is even available for the V-8. This too will improve efficiency. In 2019 we can expect the RAM 1500 with a diesel engine as well. One that will, apparently, be better than that of anyone else.
Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.
5. BMW X5
Apart from the new design language, the X5 offers a whole world of connectivity options and reimagined human-to-machine interface
Introduced as a neophyte of the new BMW design language for the brand’s SUVs, the new BMW X5 gave us a unique glimpse into the future of posh BMW. It is sleeker and, while it’s not exactly meaner, it’s definitely more defined compared to the previous X5. It is still an SUV with a presence so powerful it will overshadow everything on the road. I have no doubt it will overshadow some more expensive SUVs.
Apart from the new design language, the X5 offers a whole world of connectivity options and reimagined human-to-machine interface. Inline with the fascinating engine options, one of which includes a quad-turbo 3.0-liter diesel with 390+ horsepower, the X5 seems to be more proud of its cabin tech. The driver can handle infotainment, the head-up display, and other options using a smartphone app, gesture control, voice control, touch screen, or a dedicated iDrive control knob. It is a rather remarkable system. Possibly the best in the world.
That is why the BMW X5 lands on the list of most influential car debuts so far this year. It is a car that will pave the way for a whole lineup of new BMW SUVs, including the upcoming flagship BMW X7.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X5.