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The Best New Cars of the 2019 New York Auto Show


April 18, 2019 Cars By Photo by Bryan Campbell

The 2019 New York International Auto Show is in full swing—and, while it’s always filled with a handful of world debuts and big reveals, NYIAS is also a fantastic opportunity to see a lot of other recently-announced cars in the metal for the first time. As it is every year, NYC’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is packed to the rafters with the latest cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans—and it can be a workout to try and see them all.

Luckily, we’ve already done the leg work for you. Below, Gear Patrol presents our list of the “Best in Show” from the 2019 New York International Auto Show, along with our on-the-ground accounts of why they’re important.

Audi Q3

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“Get used to the Q3’s looks, because you’ll be seeing them everywhere soon after it goes on sale later this year. The outgoing one was still selling well even in its fourth year on sale here; this all-new version, packing a 228-hp turbocharged inline-four and standard all-wheel-drive, is all but certainly poised to do even better. Sporty trim details and a complex design that embraces all three dimensions set the Q3’s interior apart from other Audi crossovers, while the outside carries the same sort of visual panache as the new Q8 and E-tron.” —Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

Cadillac CT5

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“Some of GM’s crosstown rivals may have largely given up on sedans, but not Cadillac—and the CT5 is proof that old-fashioned four-doors can still be cool. All it takes is a hefty pour of style—including a beaver-tail fastback rear and a hungry, squinty face that looks like a shark ready to chow down on slower traffic—and a dose of fresh technology, such as Caddy’s remarkable SuperCruise semi-autonomous driving system. It still remains to be seen whether it will handle as crisply as the CTS it replaces or if the inevitable V-Series version will match the CTS-V’s thunderous 640-hp—but it’s evidence that Cadillac is at least still fighting for those remaining buyers who value low-slung style over high-riding capability.” —Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

Genesis Mint Concept

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“In the luxury car world, as in most things, bigger is better. The Genesis Mint Concept dares to question that common conception, drawing a picture of a tidy, all-electric city car ideal for the well-to-do residents of dense urban environs. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the brand revealed the car at New York City’s brand-new neighborhood filled with sky-scraping luxury condos and high-end retail, Hudson Yards.) And while the auto show-spec details and minimalist, extra-luxurious interior may make it seem like vaporware, Genesis brand boss Manfred Fitzgerald says he plans to fight to see something like it bust into the marketplace.” —Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

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“Take the good ingredients that make the new GLE-Class—such as a handsome, upright exterior; a stylish, luxurious interior; the advanced MBUX voice command system—and bake it in a 9×12 pan instead of an 8×9 one, and you wind up with the GLS. Of course, changing the pan means you need to adjust the recipe a little. The GLS marks the first appearance of the EQ Boost 48-volt mild hybrid setup with Benz’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, a combination that turns out a combined 483 hp and 516 pound-feet. (A turbocharged inline-six with mild hybrid assist is also available.) And as you’d expect from an SUV that bills itself as “the S-Class of premium SUVs,” there’s plenty of room in back; the second row easily accommodates people up to six-foot-four, and the third row can even accept six-footers in a pinch.” —Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

Porsche 911 Speedster

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“Even a regular droptop version of the 911 GT3 Touring would arguably be one of the best cars to appear in 2019. But the 911 Speedster is anything but regular; it’s a limited-production model with a timeless silhouette and a six-speed manual gearbox to go along with the high-revving naturally aspirated flat-six by the rear axle. The optional Heritage Design Package that adds vintage-inspired trim details like “gumball”-style number graphics and gold badges isn’t quite a bargain at $24,510—but when you’re already dropping at least $275,750 on a sports car, might as well go all-in, right?” —Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

Hyundai Sonata

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“No, you’re not looking at a concept car, this is the Hyundai Sonata you’ll see on the road in 2020. This is the most aggressive design we’ve seen from Hyundai in years and not only that, but the Korean brand is promising a high-performance version tuned by its N-line division with more than 275 horsepower. Who said the sedan was dead?” —Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Lincoln Corsair

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Lincoln knocked it out of the park with its new design language, first with the Navigator, then the Aviator and Nautilus, now the inevitable crossover Corsair. Even though the Corsair was the obvious next move, it should be said, Lincoln is quickly becoming “America’s luxury brand.” Design and passenger experience are moving to the top of consumers’ priority lists and Lincoln is doing a better job of than Cadillac covering that play, at the moment.” —Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Koenigsegg Jesko

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“The real story with the all-new Koenigsegg Jesko isn’t its 1,600 horsepower or the claimed 300-mph top speed—it’s the transmission. The multi-clutch gearbox, dubbed the Light Speed Transmission by Koenigsegg, only weighs 198 pounds and has the ability to go from any gear to any other gear in milliseconds. Where tradition transmissions have to go through the gears sequentially, the LST can skip to whichever gear you want, when you want.” —Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Subaru Outback

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“There’s no getting around how important the Outback is for Subaru. Not only did it breathe new life into the brand, when it was introduced a quarter-century ago, it’s also considered one of the founding fathers of the crossover segment.” —Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic

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“The name is the only thing awkward about this stylish crossover. At 19 syllables long, it also takes nearly as long to say as the 550-hp 5.0-liter V-8 takes to hurl this SUV from 0 to 60 miles per hour. (4.3 seconds, for the record.) But the top-flight Velar isn’t just about supersonic speed; as the choice of “SVAutobiography” over the racier ”SVR” monikers suggests, it’s about covering ground with style and speed instead of shredding back roads and race tracks. Think of it as the ultimate all-weather, all-road gran turismo.” —Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

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