Spring has sprung in the Big Apple, so grab an everything bagel as we sift through the good and bad at this year's show.
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New York may no longer be April's pre-eminent motor show – blame Shanghai for that – but it still plays host to a plenty of important product launches and the odd concept.

With two CarAdvice representatives on hand at this 2019 show, we're playing it a bit fast and loose with the hits and misses format, with a more detailed run down from those of us at the Javits Center.


Joshua Dowling, at the show

Best production cars

Toyota Kluger
Bringing sexy to a seven-seat SUV. Don’t judge me, wait until you see it in the metal. The likely addition of hybrid option for Australia when it arrives in 2020 will give Kluger a key advantage, and help families cut their fuel bills. Here’s hoping Australian models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as the USA does.

Hyundai Venue
Right car at the right price and the right time. Well equipped, looks good. The kids will love it.

Subaru Outback
Biggest and most technically advanced Subaru Outback in 25 years. Looks the same as before but should drive demonstrably better on and off road. Love the fact the massive central touchscreen also has a volume knob. Hallelujah.

Ford Explorer
My first chance to see the new model in the metal. Has an awesome presence, great proportions, and looks slick. Would sell like ice cream in a heatwave if it came to Australia.

Best concept car: Genesis Mint
The design is subtle in photos, but in the metal it’s incredibly detailed. Love the interior, and the idea of having the dash and seats move apart to make it easy to climb aboard. Love the side opening hatch. I hope that element makes it to production on something, maybe the next Veloster?

My only question mark: is the world ready for a premium priced two-seater electric city-car?

Biggest misses

Rivian R1T
The executives at the show talked a big talk, but at least three contradicted each other in separate interviews with Australian media. For senior management to not know how much towing drains driving range, or what the carrying capacity is in the tray, or how many prototypes there are on the road – just 18 months from their proposed launch date – raises my suspicions that this thing might not make it to production.

Nissan 370Z special edition
I have a soft spot for the Nissan 370Z, but came away a little disappointed the anniversary edition amounted to not much more than a splash of colour and some graphics.

Mercedes-Benz GLS
I prefer the design of this larger Mercedes GLS over the GLE, and it’s loaded with tech, but I wish Mercedes was bolder with its exterior styling. I’m not sure the policy of removing creases from the body works on such a big piece of metal.


Derek Fung, at the show

Best production cars

Subaru Outback
Yes, it looks the same, but there's a turbo option and the interior doesn't suck. Actually, it actually has a whiff of premium about it and the big touchscreen has physical controls for volume/power and temperature.

Lincoln Corsair
Classy where its Escape sibling is anonymous, the Corsair rounds out Lincoln's lineup of crossovers. The interior is also a big upgrade over its Ford counterpart.

Lincoln is very much on a roll, shame it won't be coming to Australia any time soon.

Biggest misses

Toyota Kluger/Highlander
If every other TNGA-based car is an indicator, the new Kluger will be demonstrably better to drive than any of its predecessors. Shame, I just can't fathom the look.

With so many large SUVs in its range, the company couldn't go down the RAV4 path and turn the Kluger into a semi-serious off-roader, so we're left with this weird blancmange with an odd harp-like grille.

New Ford interiors

There's more to buying a car than just the feel of the interior, but the latest Escape and Explorer cabins reek of penny pinching thanks to plenty of unfriendly plastic, cheap switchgear and ho-hum design. That's not to say the cars we get in Australia will feel the same...

Cadillac CT5, XT4 and XT6
For the last 15 years, Caddy has been big, bold and brash. And increasingly fixated on out-handling and outmuscling the Germans, but thanks to a dearth of crossovers, sales have flatlined, or worse.

So, enter a room full of new crossovers covering all the conceivable market segments. Voila, one problem solved.

Unfortunately the doctors at GM HQ diagnosed a second problem: the styling. Now it's bland and uninspiring, see the XT6 and XT4, or bland and awkward, like the CT5 and the rubbish bin lid hiding on the C-pillar.

Best concept: Genesis Mint
It's rather cute. Doubt we'll ever see it enter production, but hopefully the stripped back interior is a sign of things to come.


James Wong, in Melbourne

Best Production Car: Hyundai Venue
Yes, I know exactly how a lot of you are going to say: "WTF?!". I reckon the Venue is a funky little crossover showing even the mainstream brands can fill just about every niche you can think of.

Unlike a lot of niche products, however, the Venue looks to be affordable and practical relative to its size, and should offer many car buyers (young and old) an accessible entry point into crossovers and SUVs when it arrives in Australia later this year. Should sell like hot cakes.

Biggest Miss: Nissan Anniversary Editions
Have you ever been given new clothes for your birthday you really don't like, but have to act like you do? That's how I reckon the 370Z and GT-R felt when Nissan brought them out in these not-so-attractive sticker packs.

Might just be me, but I'd want my 50th birthday to be a little grander...

Best Concept Car: Genesis Mint
This thing is so cute and cuddly, and it's green! I've been eagerly awaiting the launch of the Genesis brand in Australia, and this handsome little electric hatchback gets me excited for their future offerings.

Did I mention it's green?


Mike Costello, in Melbourne

Best production car: Lincoln Corsair
It's good to see all-American luxury brands Cadillac and Lincoln get some mojo back, ironically enough driven in part by demand for their products in China.

The new Corsair rivals the BMW X3 and co, and brings much of the styling nous of the new Aviator, Nautilus and Navigator to the table. The interior looks a little plasticky for my taste, but the layout and tech seems right on point.

Kudos also to the 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbo engine, with 208kW/420Nm, as well. This gives it Focus ST DNA throughout – no bad thing.

Best concept: Genesis Mint
“Mint belongs in the city, and we are proud to introduce our evolution of the ideal city car in New York,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, the global boss of Genesis.

Rubbish! It's too wide. Nevertheless, look at this thing, it's sensational! Curves, coupe-like proportions... if this is the Korean luxo brand's future, we're sold. Infotainment in the steering wheel is novel, and de-clutters too.

The two-seater show car is a pointer to an electric hatchback that promises more than 300km of driving range and 350kW fast-charging. A proper BMW i3 rival, then.

Biggest miss: Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary edition
Some new paint, stickers, wheels and cabin trims do not maketh a new Z-car, Nissan. Boo.


Scott Collie, in Melbourne

Best production car: Subaru Outback
We've been crying out for a more powerful, turbocharged engine in the Outback. Finally, the engineers in Japan have followed through and delivered.

With a practical interior, slightly better off-road credentials and a tougher exterior, the new Outback looks like a return to what made the badge famous initially.

Here's hoping it delivers when we get to drive it, because Subaru has promised a lot in past...

Best concept: Genesis Mint
Genesis knows how to do a concept, that's for sure. Forget about the city car claim, it's too wide and far too pretty.

But the idea of a luxurious, attractive electric coupe is a fantastic one nonetheless. With 300km of range and proper fast charging, hopefully it's a precursor for something more.

Biggest miss: Cadillac CT5
I love the look of the CT5. And the interior looks great. And the engines sound good.

Why is it a miss? Because we aren't getting it in Australia. BRING IT HERE, PLEASE!