The New York Auto Show, like any other automotive exhibit, had its fair share of stunners. While we’re not the biggest fans of SUVs and crossovers, we have to sdmmitt that they were some of the most important machines on display.
If you were hoping to see automakers grow out of their pesky SUV and crossover phase, sorry but they’re clearly here to stay, which may not be a bad thing. As we outlined in a lengthy piece, there were approximately 16 major SUV reveals at this year’s event. While there’s no point in covering them all over again, the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Kona Electric, Jaguar F-Pace SVR, Lincoln Aviator and Maserati Levante Trofeo were the ones that stood out.
The 2019 RAV4 may actually be the most important vehicle of the entire auto show. Last year, the RAV4 became the bestselling non-pickup vehicle in the United States. The Japanese brand managed to shift 407,594 units of the crossover, beating Nissan and Honda. In other words, Toyota already had a best-seller on their hands, they didn’t really need to do any editing. But they did.
With the latest generation, Toyota’s designers went with a much more rugged design, opting to endow the crossover with bulky design cues from larger, sturdier offerings like the 4Runner and Tacoma. Why is this so interesting? Well, as the leader of the segment, you can bet your bottom dollar that Nissan and Honda are taking notes on what they saw. And like that pesky neighbor that seemingly has everything you do, it’ll either cause them to go towards rugged designs of their own or start a new trend.
Either way, that’s a good thing. The crossover segment has started to go stale and injecting some refreshing new elements is a welcomed change. Speaking of refreshing, another important SUV to be unveiled in New York was Lincoln’s Aviator.
It might come as a surprise to some, but the Aviator is one of the prettier concepts we’ve seen recently. Making a good-looking SUV has proved to be difficult for the majority of automakers, as a lot of examples either have odd lines or just aren’t striking. But the Aviator is more in line with the Range Rover Velar as one of the better-looking SUVs. If consumers are going to continue to purchase crossovers and SUVs in hordes, they might as well go for beautiful ones.
The latest niche that manufacturers have carved out is that of ultra-fast SUVs. Numerous automakers have come out with powerful SUVs and it looks like that number will continue to grow. There’s the new Jaguar F-Pace SVR, which will surely be a screamer with its 542-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8, while Maserati has just joined the party with its Ferrari-derived 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers the recently unveiled Levante Trofeo.
Petrolheads might not jump on the SUV and crossover bandwagon, opting for a sports coupe or saloon instead, but as the New York Auto Show made glaringly clear there’s a lot to get excited about with the latest offerings. Good looking, rugged, fast – it really does look like automakers have created an SUV for everyone out there.