The 11 most important cars of the 2018 Detroit auto show

January 15, 2018

This year, the Motor City was all about pickups. Each of the three domestic automakers took the wraps off of a new truck, promising more capability, more comfort, and lower fuel consumption.

If we didn't know better, we'd think that Ford, Chevy, and Ram were sharing the same playbook.

The differences are in the details, though: Ram's new pickup is smoother, suaver, and better thought out. Chevy's sticks with a tried-and-true recipe, but adds a new diesel engine option. And Ford is getting back into the mid-size pickup game with its revived Ranger.

Compact sedans and luxury crossovers hardly got short shrift, either. VW took the wraps off of a new, more sophisticated Jetta sedan, and Kia upped the Forte's game. Both BMW and Acura had new, high-riding, luxo-lined utility vehicles.

What was notably absent was much talk about advanced propulsion. A Toyota Avalon Hybrid promised more than 40 mpg plus, and a reborn Honda Insight channeled the old Civic Hybrid, but they were the sole cars waving the flag for eco-friendly motoring. Hey, gas is still cheap-ish.

Still, pickups and compact cars weren't the only show-stoppers in Detroit this year. Here's a look at the biggest debuts at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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