The 9 most important cars of the 2018 New York auto show

March 29, 2018

Pomp and circumstance didn't overrun practicality at the 2018 New York auto show. This year's big debuts at the Jacob Javits center weren't flashy—unless you count the stunning Lincoln Aviator, but even that three-row crossover has an air of real-world usability that trumps its clean lines and leather-wrapped interior.

Otherwise, crossovers were the name of the game. The big debuts for mainstream shoppers: the 2019 Subaru Forester and 2019 Toyota RAV4. Those seeking a little luxury can step up to the 2019 Acura RDX or 2019 Cadillac XT4.

Sedans didn't get the short stick, but it's clear what buyers want: a tall-riding crossover. Read on for our favorites.

2019 Acura RDX, 2018 New York auto show

2019 Acura RDX, 2018 New York auto show

2019 Acura RDX

The Acura RDX adds to the brand's momentum with its edgy styling and high-tech interior. It's unrelated to any other Honda or Acura, and it could be just what the comapny's high-end division needs to finally crack into the big leagues.

2019 Cadillac XT4

2019 Cadillac XT4

2019 Cadillac XT4

Compact crossover shoppers, you have another choice: the Cadillac XT4. Its styling helps it stand out in this crowded field, but we're dismayed that it doesn't offer the brand's Super Cruise self-driving tech and that its active safety gear set is restricted to limited variants.

Genesis G70

Genesis G70

2019 Genesis G70

Enthusiasts clamor for sports sedans, but they don't always buy them. The Genesis G70 goes where the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS, and Kia Stinger have all gone before, so we'll be watching closely to see if Hyundai's luxury four-door has the goods to woo buyers.

2019 Honda Insight

2019 Honda Insight

2019 Honda Insight

If at first you don't succeed... the latest Insight is Honda's third try at a small hybrid for the masses, and it's the most conventional. It delivers Prius-level fuel economy with a nicer interior and none of the hybrid styling stigma.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

The big news for the Hyundai Santa Fe isn't its styling, its roomier interior, or its improved infotainment. Instead, it's the promise of high fuel economy from the brand's first turbodiesel for the American market. It's a bold move, and one that could pay off when the crossover hits dealers this summer.

Lincoln Aviator, 2018 New York auto show

Lincoln Aviator, 2018 New York auto show

Lincoln Aviator

A three-row crossover is a no-brainer for Lincoln. Yet the Aviator is a big surprise, with its rear-wheel-drive underpinnings, elegant shape, and decadent interior. The blue Aviator with its creamy leather interior that bowed in New York is labeled a concept, but it's darn near ready for showrooms. Lincoln says it will debut the production version by the end of 2018.

2019 Nissan Altima

2019 Nissan Altima

2019 Nissan Altima

Muscular style backed up by a new turbo-4 engine and advanced safety tech mark 2019 for the Nissan Altima. Though much of the hubbub in New York was around crossovers, the Altima is a reminder that sedans are still popular. And with its available all-wheel drive, the new Altima may make some inroads for buyers interested in all-weather capability.

2019 Subaru Forester, 2018 New York auto show

2019 Subaru Forester, 2018 New York auto show

2019 Subaru Forester

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree with the 2019 Subaru Forester, and that should be just fine with most buyers. Subaru's five-seat compact crossover is loaded with tech, some of it new for the model and some of it new for everyone. The highlight is a system that uses an infrared camera to monitor the driver's behavior behind the wheel. For everyone else, the roomier, higher-quality cabin and better fuel economy should make the Forester a top choice once again.

2019 Toyota RAV4, 2018 New York auto show

2019 Toyota RAV4, 2018 New York auto show

2019 Toyota RAV4

Talk about beating expectations. The Toyota RAV4 has emerged from it shell, with a buff new body, the promise of great fuel economy, and a classy interior. It's enough to make us forget the underwhelming, if popular, 2018 model. The latest RAV4 should boast at least 200 horsepower and a hybrid-electric version promises both the best performance and the lowest fuel consumption in the lineup.

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