2015 New York Auto Show: Everyday Cars

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceEveryday Excitement
The most exciting cars on display at any auto show are the exotic sports cars and ultra-luxury vehicles. They tend to get all the attention because they’re sexy, they boast big power, and they feature the coolest new tech. That said, most exotics aren’t terribly practical for daily use and the ultra-luxe vehicles typically have astronomical price tags. But at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, automakers unveiled a significant number of new cars and SUVs that are more likely to end up in your driveway. Let’s look at the more practical (but still exciting) cars at this year’s show in the Big Apple.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Chevrolet Malibu
The ninth generation of Chevrolet Malibu was introduced in New York, proving this family sedan has come a long way since the first version hit the streets in 1964. Larger but lighter than the outgoing version, the 2016 Malibu offers up more interior space as well as improved fuel efficiency. A 160-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo or 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo are the engine choices for the non-hybrid Malibu. The new Malibu Hybrid teams an all-new 1.8-liter turbo engine with a two-motor electric drive unit for a total of 182 horsepower and an impressive 48 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Chevrolet Malibu
In addition to the new tech under the hood, the Malibu gets the ultimate feature for the parents of a teenager. Called “Teen Driver,” the system allows parents to see a display depicting how their teens have driven the car — tracking distance driven, maximum speed, and noting if any of the safety systems were activated, such as anti-lock brakes or stability control. In addition, the radio’s maximum volume can be set, and the radio can be muted until seatbelts are fastened. The new Malibu goes on sale this fall.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Civic Concept
It’s a big deal when one of the best-selling cars in America gets a remake, which is why this all-new 2016 Honda Civic is indeed a big deal. Still considered a concept, the sporty Civic coupe on display in New York clearly shows what we can expect from the production model when it arrives in showrooms later this year. Civic will be available in sedan, coupe and 5-door hatchback versions, and enthusiasts will be happy to hear that there will be Si and high-performance Type R versions coming to America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Civic Concept
In addition to the fresh styling and new platform, the 10th-generation Civic will use Honda’s first turbocharged VTEC engines, including a new 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo with direct injection and a sporty 6-speed manual transmission. Honda will also equip the new Civic with the latest safety and driver-assist technologies. We’ll get more details on the new Civic later this year, but John Mendel, executive vice president of the automobile division at American Honda claims, “In every way, this will be an epic Civic.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Hyundai Tucson
After providing a first peek at this new SUV during the Geneva Motor Show in March, Hyundai brought the revamped compact SUV to the New York show. Tucson gets fresh new styling for the 2016 model year, featuring a large, bold grille similar to the one on the Genesis luxury sedan, as well as LED twin-projector headlights. Longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new Tucson also has a longer wheelbase that increases both passenger and cargo space. A dual-level rear cargo floor adds to the SUV’s versatility.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Hyundai Tucson
Two new engines are available: a 2.0-liter four cylinder and a 1.6-liter turbocharged four, both putting out more power while running more efficiently than the previous offerings. Tucson’s AWD system has also been updated, featuring a selectable AWD Lock mode to distribute torque equally between the front and rear axles. Active Cornering control acts a bit like torque vectoring, braking the inside wheel while sending more torque to the outside wheel in a turn for better control. The new Tucson goes on sale this summer.

© Nissan North America2016 Infiniti QX50
Infiniti has been going through some major changes with fresh styling and naming conventions working their way through the lineup. Next up: the compact crossover EX35 gets a complete redesign and a new name — QX50. Styling now fits with the rest of the newer models in the Infiniti lineup, such as the Q50 sport sedan. Larger than its predecessor, the QX50 luxury crossover has a much roomier back seat as well as increased cargo space. All QX50s come well equipped with features such as heated leather seats, pushbutton start, a rearview monitor, a powered sliding moonroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

© Nissan North America2016 Infiniti QX50
Only one engine is available in the QX50 — a 3.7-liter V6 putting out 325 horsepower matched with a 7-speed automatic transmission. QX50 is available with either rear-wheel drive or Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Handling should be impressive with the independent front double-wishbone suspension. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link design with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links and axle housing, twin-tube shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Kia Optima
Kia completely changed the way people perceive the Korean brand when it introduced the beautiful Optima sedan five years ago at the New York show. Building on that success, Kia has introduced the all-new 2016 Optima again in The Big Apple. With styling more evolutionary than revolutionary, the midsize sedan rides on a new longer, wider chassis that allows for an interior with more headroom, shoulder room and rear-seat legroom. Improvements in seat construction should offer a more comfortable ride.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Kia Optima
Optima will be Kia’s first vehicle to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which allow drivers to access a number of core functions from their smartphones via the car’s 8-inch touchscreen display. This includes music, messaging, navigation and voice calling. Under the hood, the 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged engines carry over from the previous generation, serving up 185 horsepower and 247 horsepower, respectively. These will be joined by a new fuel-efficient 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that produces around 178 horsepower, teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Lexus RX
One of the first luxury crossovers on the market, the RX is the best-selling Lexus model ever, so clearly this is an important introduction. Styling is completely new for the 2016 model, featuring the brand’s large, bold spindle grille which dominates the front end. All-new LED fog lights and running lights give the RX a unique look at night. With blacked out C-pillars, the RX has the appearance of a floating roof — a feature becoming quite common in the segment. Integrated exhaust gives the RX a sportier look.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Lexus RX
The RX will be available as either the RX350 or the hybrid RX450h. A more potent 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission powers the RX350. The hybrid system in the RX450h also puts out about 300 horsepower but should deliver better fuel economy — mpg figures will be released at a later date. For the first time the F SPORT package is available on both RXs, equipping them with 20-inch alloy wheels with a graphite finish, a unique instrument cluster as well as exclusive colors.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE
The German automaker’s midsize SUV not only gets a complete redesign, it also gets a new name. Formerly known as the M-Class, the new GLE brings styling in line with the rest of the Mercedes lineup, featuring a bold grille with a larger Mercedes-Benz star in the center. Inside, a new display screen is larger and better integrated into the instrument panel. A number of new high-tech features are available, including improved night vision that uses an LED Intelligent Light System.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE
GLE is available with a variety of engine choices, including for the first time a plug-in hybrid. The GL550e 4MATIC gets a twin-turbo V6 teamed with an electric motor for a combined output of 436 horsepower. The hybrid SUV can travel almost 19 miles in electric-only mode. A fuel-efficient diesel version — the GLE300d — is also available, as is a V6-powered GLE350 and twin-turbo V6 GLE 400. For ultimate performance there’s the AMG GLE63 boasting 550 horsepower.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
Over the last few years, Mitsubishi has been showing a number interesting concept vehicles, providing the media with an idea of the company’s future design language. This new look has finally made it to a production vehicle — the all-new Outlander. Unfortunately the new model does not incorporate many of those fresh design elements; the 2016 is not vastly different in look or shape than the outgoing version. However, there are major changes under the skin. The entire vehicle receives a number of engineering and technical upgrades. The suspension has been redesigned, structural rigidity has been improved and more sound insulation creates a quieter ride.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
Powering the Outlander is a 2.4-liter 166-horsepower engine teamed with an all-new continuously variable transmission. The only exception is the top-level Outlander GT, which is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 224 horsepower. The GT also uses a 6-speed automatic rather than the CVT. While the new 2016 Outlander offers up great improvements over the past version, it remains to be seen if this vehicle can hold its own in the very competitive 7-passenger crossover market.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Nissan Maxima
When the third-generation Maxima was introduced for the 1989 model year, Nissan coined the phrase 4-Door Sports Car, putting the label 4DSC on the new Maxima. Some would argue the company lost its way with Maxima over the years, but the all-new 2016 model that debuted in New York is once again wearing the 4DSC badge. And based on the specs, we’re hoping it deserves that badge. Nissan designers apparently visited the U.S. Navy Blue Angels for inspiration, resulting in a sculpted, aerodynamic body. The distinctive front end uses the Nissan “V-Motion” grille and boomerang-style headlights with LED running lights. Taillights are a similar shape, and close inspection reveals 4DSC embossed in the headlights and taillights.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 Nissan Maxima
Helping to make the Maxima a true 4-Door Sports Car is a revised 3.5-liter V6 engine putting out 300 horsepower, teamed with Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The changes to the engine result in a 15 percent increase in fuel economy vs. the previous version. All Maximas come well equipped with navigation, a large touchscreen display, remote engine start, a rearview camera and more. The new Nissan flagship goes on sale this summer, starting at $32,410.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceScion iA
As Toyota’s entry-level brand, Scion brought two all-new vehicles to the New York Auto Show. The iA is actually the first sedan ever offered by Scion. However, Scion’s billing of this as a “sports sedan” may be stretching things a bit — but we’ll hold judgement until we’ve driven the iA. Priced in the mid-$16,000 range, the iA will be well equipped with new features, including a multimedia system with voice activation and a 7-inch touchscreen display. When paired with a compatible phone, passengers can enjoy Pandora, Aha and Stitcher.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceScion iA
Power comes from a 1.5-liter engine producing 105 horsepower teamed with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. While there may not be a lot of power, fuel economy is impressive – expect 42 mpg on the highway, 33 mpg in the city. Rear seats fold 60/40, giving the small sedan some of the flexibility found in the brand’s hatchbacks. The new iA is expected to reach Scion showrooms this fall.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceScion iM
The second debut from Scion is the iM. Based heavily on the iM concept shown last fall at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the production version keeps most of what we like about the original concept. The sporty-looking iM provides the versatility of a 5-door hatchback in what should be a fun-to-drive package. Inside, the driver will find bolstered sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the main instrument cluster. A 6-speaker Pioneer audio system is standard, as is HD radio and Aha. The 7-inch Pioneer audio display unit is also used for the standard rearview camera.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceScion iM
Under the hood, the 137-horsepower engine can be matched with a manual or automatic transmission with a broad torque curve, which should provide snappy performance. An added benefit for those who opt for the manual transmission: iM features a hill holder to prevent rolling backward when starting on an incline. The iM will arrive in showrooms this fall, priced under $20,000.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 smart fortwo
The smallest production car in America gets updated for the 2016 model year, but it doesn’t get any bigger. The new smart fortwo features a fresh new face with expressive headlights and a larger grille. It may have a new look, but there’s no mistaking the smart for anything else. No other car on the road is only 8.8-feet long. Inside, the passenger seat can now be folded for added versatility, which is useful in such a tiny package.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2016 smart fortwo
The smart fortwo gets a new turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that puts out 89 horsepower. Buyers can choose between a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Among the changes for the new model year: a smaller turning radius — the fortwo can make a U-turn in just 22.8 feet, which gives it more cred as a great car for the streets of New York.

© Toyota Motor Sales, USA2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Toyota offers its hybrid system in a number of its models, and we always wondered why the RAV4 never had a hybrid version. Wonder no more: The RAV4 Hybrid debuted at this year’s New York show. The eighth hybrid in Toyota’s lineup, the RAV4 Hybrid premieres 15 years after the first Prius came to America. Details of the hybrid system haven’t been released, but Toyota does say that the RAV4 Hybrid will have more power as well as better fuel economy than the standard RAV4.

© Toyota Motor Sales, USA2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
All RAV4 Hybrids will be well equipped, available as either XLE or Limited trims, and will utilize an Electronic All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i). The entire 2016 RAV4 lineup (conventional and hybrid) gets a fresh exterior designed to give the RAV4 a more dynamic appearance. RAV4 Hybrid will go on sale this fall.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack
As the popularity of crossovers increased over the last few years, wagons fell out of favor in America. That said, there is still a small segment of buyers who prefer wagons over SUVs, and for those folks Volkswagen introduces the Golf SportWagen Alltrack. The Alltrack gets about an inch more ground clearance than the standard SportWagen, and will be the only SportWagen to feature Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. Alltrack also gets wheel arch moldings, unique bumpers, flared side sills and an upscale interior to further differentiate it from the standard SportWagen.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack
Unless conditions merit the use of all-wheel drive, the Alltrack only powers the front wheels for better fuel economy. If wheel slip is detected, as much as 50 percent of the torque can be directed to the rear wheels. There are also electronic differential locks at the front and rear, which work with the stability control to send power to the wheels that have grip. The Golf SportWagen Alltrack goes on sale next year as a 2017 model.

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1 Comment

  1. Baba M

    Maybe it’s the photography but the new cars look just gorgeous, the colors brighter and the surface shells more elegant. Maybe they’re using new materials?

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