With the 2019 LA Auto Show just a week away, now’s the perfect time to take a quick look at some of the new models set to be unveiled in the LA Convention Center. Below we’ve listed a half-dozen of our favorites, plus be sure to visit the CarGurus Facebook page and CarGurus YouTube channel during the LA Show press days on November 20th and 21st for updates.
Without further ado, here are six cars that have already piqued our interest.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Two things tell you all you need to know about the faith Ford has in its all-new and all-electric SUV. First, there’s the name—because you don’t call something a Mustang without also inviting intense scrutiny about its heritage, positioning, and performance. Mustang it is, though, albeit with an added “Mach-E” for good measure.
Second is the fact that Ford’s opening press surrounding the car hasn’t detailed its drivetrain or performance, but simply informed customers that it’ll be taking pre-orders (via a deposit) the moment the official unveil ends on November 18. Now that’s confidence.
Among the options for those pre-ordering a car will be to go for a lavish First Edition model, although Ford stresses that “timing will be critical” for anybody looking to secure a vehicle in this spec. Whatever Mustang Mach-E takes your fancy, it’s hard not to think that with the right styling and performance, this could be one of the hottest cars to go on sale in 2020.
Audi RS Q8
It is unlikely anybody could come away from a drive in Audi’s Q8 and think that what it really needs is more power. However, the imminent arrival of the RS Q8 will provide precisely that, courtesy of Audi Sport’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. With what is likely to be around 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, the RS Q8 is expected to get from 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds and has already lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:42:2. That—because we know you’re wondering—is a record for a production SUV.
The RS Q8 will be joined in LA by Audi’s latest RS 6 Avant, which is making its debut on US soil along with its five-door coupe sibling, the RS 7. Powered by the same V8 as the RS Q8, the RS 6 can get from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Having never been offered in the US before, it’ll be interesting to see if Audi’s muscular estate is as well-received here as it has been with European buyers.
Porsche 911 Manual
The debut of an old-fashioned manual transmission in a car that’s already been for sale for almost a year would not be normally deemed newsworthy. But when the car in question is a Porsche 911, things are a little different. To a non-car person the surprise would grow further upon learning that by gaining a manual, the latest 992-generation 911 becomes slower rather than faster; for that, thank the fact that Porsche’s dual-clutch automatics now change gear so quickly it’s simply not possible to match them when you throw human limbs into the equation. As a guide, Porsche is quoting a 0-60 time of around 4.0 seconds for the 992 Carrera S manual versus 3.3 for the PDK automatic.
However, speed is not everything in a performance car. What some buyers also crave is the tactile interaction that a manual offers, whether it’s the weighty feel of the clutch pedal, the precise throw of the shifter, or the joy of a perfectly executed heel-toe downshift. And these are precisely the people Porsche is targeting with the installation of its 7-speed manual in the Carrera S and Carrera 4S versions of the 992. Rumour is these cars—and that gearbox—will be on the stand in LA. Watch this space.
Bollinger B1 and B2
Slab-sided and right-angle rich, Bollinger’s built-in-Detroit, all-electric, all-aluminum, all-black LA Auto Show debuts look less sleek than any other vehicles expected to hit the show floor. The B1 “sport utility truck” promises all-wheel drive, 10 inches of wheel travel, 15 inches of ground clearance, and a 200-mile range despite its 5,000-pound curb weight. With 614 horsepower, 668 pound-feet of torque, and a list of removable parts and off-roading angles reminiscent of the Jeep Wrangler’s, we can’t help but be intrigued.
The longer B2 electric pickup truck shares the B1’s powertrain, weight, range, and most of its removable parts, not to mention its full-length central pass-through, which in the B2’s case will accommodate cargo up to 16 feet long. Each of these trucks features air conditioning and 10 110-volt outlets (we can’t help but wonder how those will impact range). At $125,000 each, these vehicles aren’t intended for the masses, which is probably fine for now, as Bollinger hasn’t found a production partner yet.
MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP and SE
Featuring enough airflow-managing scoops and bulges to shame Ford’s buttressed GT in addition to a huge rear wing/spoiler, the third-generation MINI John Cooper Works GP aims to whet appetites for a limited-edition 3,000-unit high-performance 2020 model. The GP concept and its 301-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder recently lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 8 minutes, making it the fastest MINI model ever produced. It should reach US showrooms in mid-2020 at a price of $45,750, including an $850 destination fee.
MINI’s stand will also feature the new MINI Cooper SE, an all-new EV based on the MINI Hardtop 2-door launched in 2014. The SE’s electric motor supplies 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft to the front wheels, getting the car from 0 to 60 in 6.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 93 mph. A full charge will be possible in as little as 4 hours at home, and charging to 80% can happen as quickly as 35 minutes at a public charging station. The SE should reach dealers in March 2020 at an MSRP of $30,750, including a similar $850 destination fee.
Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion Concept
Volkswagen’s fleet of ID. concept cars will welcome its seventh member at the Petersen Auto Museum November 19th with the world debut of the ID. Space Vizzion crossover concept. VW describes this new vehicle as combining the aerodynamics of a gran turismo with the spaciousness of an SUV in a zero-emissions car with a range of up to 300 miles.
Looking like a very long, low, streamlined station wagon, the ID. Space Vizzion, unlike the earlier ID. Vizzion, features a steering wheel and a very large but horizontal digital control panel on the dashboard. Using sustainable interior materials, the cabin features AppleSkin, a vegan alternative to leather that’s made with leftovers from apple-juice production. Volkswagen plans to release a production version in late 2021, with different versions available in North America, Europe, and China.
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The 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is just around the corner. It promises dozens of debuts, many of which are electric vehicles. With more EVs available to consumers, we wanted to see how they feel about purchasing and owning one. We queried 1,702 vehicle owners and compared the results to our 2018 survey.
Interest in EV Ownership Increases, But Price Still Proves an Obstacle
In 2018 when we asked respondents how likely they were to own an EV, just 15% said they would probably or definitely own one in the next five years. For 2019, that number jumped to 26%. While respondents were not asked why they are more likely to consider an EV, it’s likely that this increase may be in part due to the larger number of EVs available. Since last year’s survey, Audi, Mercedes, and Jaguar have all introduced new EVs. And there’s no sign of automakers slowing down. Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Toyota have all announced plans to introduce several EVs by the mid-2020s.
However, of those surveyed, 67% said that cost has been one of the biggest obstacles to their purchasing an EV, a finding that was consistent with last year’s survey. Despite the number of EVs available, many have higher starting prices than gas-powered vehicles. Some automakers still qualify for federal incentives, which can help make electric vehicles more affordable—but some, like Tesla, have already passed the 200,000-unit mark, making them ineligible for those tax credits.
Shoppers Need More EV Infrastructure
Similar to last year, respondents cited the lack of infrastructure and charging stations as an obstacle to purchasing an EV. Automakers are actively working to remedy this. Some, like Tesla, are creating their own network of charging stations while others, like Volkswagen, are partnering with large companies like Wal-Mart to provide them across the US.
The Next Frontier: Electric Trucks
Shoppers have multiple options for an electric sedan or SUV. But the next frontier that many automakers are racing toward is that of the electric truck. Automotive startups like Rivian and Bollinger have already introduced prototypes and production-level models of their EV trucks. Ford and Chevy have also showcased one-off models with the electric F-150 and E-10, respectively. And Tesla will debut its Cybertruck on Thursday, November 21, in a separate event from the LA Auto Show.
Read more about this year’s survey here.
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Modern cars are all curves and swoops and bends and slopes. The 2020 Toyota 4Runner offers none of these. What one shopper might describe as “old-school,” a 4Runner buyer would certainly call “classic.” The 4Runner doesn’t feel outdated, it feels familiar. “Revolting?” Try “Refreshing.”
The SUV frenzy gave way to the crossover craze years ago. The 4Runner’s history stretches back to the 1980s, but it’s the Toyota Highlander (and its softer, friendlier design) that keeps Toyota in the black. With the 2020 4Runner, Toyota attempts to bridge the gap between the former car’s capable, rugged legacy and the luxurious, safe, and comfortable appeal of the modern Highlander.
Dependably Tough, Surprisingly Nimble
The 2020 Toyota 4Runner comes in a variety of trims, but no matter how you spec it, you’ll likely expect a certain level of performance. All trims come equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Step on the throttle to hear its Tim Taylor grunt. Poor fuel economy comes standard, too. Over roughly 400 miles, I managed a meager 17.7 miles per gallon. What’s even more unbelievable, that number sits 0.7 mpg higher than the EPA estimate. The antiquated engine keeps the 4Runner feeling like a truck. When reviewing a 2019 example, George Kennedy actually described the V6 as, “more similar to a V8 with two cylinders lopped off than it is to a modern V6 designed for efficiency and smooth operation.” As a result, the 4Runner delivers only 5,000 pounds of maximum towing capacity, despite its rough-and-tumble feel.
Driving on city streets, the 4Runner feels surprisingly at home. The broken pavement of Boston’s inner suburbs was no match for this SUV. It plowed through and punished any potholes brave enough to appear in my way. Equally surprising, the 4Runner ended up being significantly nimbler than it initially felt. At 18 feet, 7 inches, this overgrown mountain goat sports a tighter turning radius than both its main competitor, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and its more family-friendly in-house stablemate, the Highlander.
That doesn’t mean the 4Runner is small. The steering is a blast from the past, managing to feel both heavy and vague at the same time. The full-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system in the Limited trim burns fuel like crazy. And I generally used the moonroof only to see how close the 4Runner’s roof was to scraping the garage doors.
Tech and Safety Finally Step into the Present
The 4Runner’s Limited trim swaps in a lot of chrome detailing, most notably the crossbar across the grille. It also adds power-retractable side steps. These started as a cool novelty but quickly wore on me as they appeared and retracted each time I opened a door. Predictably, the 4Runner offered an upright, commanding seating position for the driver and passengers in the front and second row. The third row’s jump seats offer a different story. Even though they showcase some very nifty space optimization, sliding out from underneath the third-row seatbacks, these two extra seats are definitely good for only short trips. If I ordered an Uber XL and got stuck in the third row of a 4Runner, I would not be a happy camper.
On the tech front, Toyota has drastically improved the 4Runner. What was classified a year ago as “basic but straightforward” has advanced to “well-equipped and nicely designed.” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have both been integrated,. The touchscreen display has been bumped up to 8 inches. Entune, Toyota’s proprietary infotainment system, is easy enough to use. Still, I was particularly grateful to have Android Auto at my fingertips when navigating home. While Google Maps suggested an hour-long route, Entune navigation would have had me driving closer to two hours.
Previously, the 4Runner was a poster-car for the hallmarks of passive safety: seatbelts, airbags, and being bigger than other cars on the road. In 2020, that style doesn’t play well, and Toyota has made efforts to keep the vehicle up to date. Notably, you’ll find 2020 models equipped with adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning, both of which are part of the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of advanced safety features. This helps bridge the growing gap between the modern Highlander and the relatively archaic 4Runner. As usual, adaptive cruise proved to be a blessing, but the truck-like 4Runner could have benefited from lane-keeping assist more than it did from lane-departure warning; with a vehicle this big and steering this vague, I ended up turning off the system pretty quickly.
A Little Bit of Everything
The days of a $30,000 SUV are well behind us. The 4Runner starts at $36,020 and rises past my Limited test car’s nearly $50,000 price tag. In order to justify that price, Toyota had to bring its go-anywhere rig into the future. That means upscale appointments and advanced safety features. Today, this is a car for the person who needs a little bit of everything. It’s for those who want a truck that can go anywhere but also one that can suit their family’s needs. Some shoppers will undoubtedly see the 2020 4Runner as a compromise, failing to excel in any one area. Others will see it as an appropriate balance between old and new. Regardless, it’s clear that the 4Runner’s 36-year-old name won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
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How do the 5 crossovers behind some of CarGurus’ most-watched 2019 Test Drive Reviews compare when it comes to cargo space? We put them to the turkey test.
The drive to Thanksgiving festivities can be hectic. And no one wants the added stress of not knowing if they can fit all their passengers and the fixings for turkey. So we took a closer look at five of our most-watched 2019 Test Drive Review videos and asked a critical question: How many turkeys can they fit? (We update this list yearly. Want to see our favorites from previous years? Scroll to the bottom of the page.)
How We Calculated the Base Turkey Measurement
Anyone who’s been car shopping knows that automakers list cargo-space capacities in cubic feet. To give you comparable numbers, we calculated the size of a turkey in cubic feet. Since all turkeys are oddly shaped—and after all, you have to carry those turkeys in something—we decided to create a consistent measurement. A 21 x 14 x 8.5-inch roasting pan with a lid (which, for those keeping score at home, can hold a 20-pound turkey) measures approximately 1.46 cubic feet. And now for the fun part.
Most-Watched 2019 Test Drive Reviews
2019 Honda CR-V
When it comes to traveling with passengers and cargo, the 2019 Honda CR-V is up to the task. The CR-V offers 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use, enough to hold 26 turkeys. Fold them down and cargo space expands to 75.8 cubic feet, giving you enough room for 52 turkeys. Its ample room is just part of the reason our reviewer gave the CR-V a 9/10 for Form & Function.
2019 Subaru Forester
The 2019 Subaru Forester gets a few updates from the previous model year, including a 5-inch wider tailgate opening. You’ll also get access to 76.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the base trim, which can hold up to 52 turkeys, just like the CR-V. If you want to unlock some of the features available in upper trims, your cargo space will drop to 70.9 cubic feet, or 48 turkeys. And with all-wheel drive standard in this capable crossover, you can drive in nearly any weather.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid checks many boxes. Rugged good looks? Check. Fewer stops at the pump thanks to its improved fuel economy of 40 mpg combined? Check. Plenty of room for rear passengers and gear? Check. When you’re using the rear seats, you’ll get 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space, just enough room for 25 turkeys. You’ll have access to 70 cubic feet, enough to hold 47 turkeys, with them folded.
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is “the rare SUV that performs admirably on and off road,” according to our reviewer. However, it has slightly less cargo area than the other top-watched crossovers, with just 36.3 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, which can fit 24 turkeys. Without second-row passengers, you can fit 46 turkeys in its 68.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus
Turkeys sometimes need to ride in luxury, too. For those situations, take a look at the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. This two-row SUV offers 37.2 cubic feet, about 25 turkeys’ worth of space. A push button can fold the second-row seats, making 68.8 cubic feet of cargo space available. That’s enough room for 47 turkeys. It also comes with a power tailgate with foot gesture control, making it easier to load the trunk when your hands are full.
If you’re torn between two models, you can learn more about each using our car comparator page. Scroll to the bottom of any Overview page and look for the “Cars compared to…” heading to access the tool. No matter which crossover you choose, we suggest you don’t try to fit all those turkeys at once (unless you’re doing it for a good cause). You’ll want room for pie, after all.
Most-Watched 2018 & 2017 Crossovers
2018 Subaru Crosstrek
2018 Honda HR-V
2018 Jeep Compass
2018 Hyundai Kona
2017 Kia Soul
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Hyundai recently announced its turnaround plan for the US with a goal of achieving 5.2% market share by the end of 2023. Its market share at the end of 2018 was 3.9%, and it has a three-pronged roadmap for gaining that extra share.
Five-point-two percent market share is not unprecedented for Hyundai. The company’s previous market-share peak was 5.1%. This was likely due to improved product quality and the launch of its Hyundai Assurance marketing campaign.
But a 1.3-percentage-point increase is more than an incremental boost. It could translate into as many as 214,000 more Hyundai vehicles on the road. For Hyundai to grow in market share, it must come at the expense of competitors like Nissan, Honda, and Toyota.
Over the past year, Hyundai has made concerted efforts to bring in seasoned and proven industry executives.
In April 2019, Hyundai hired industry titan José Muñoz from Nissan. Muñoz had previously worked as Nissan’s Chief Performance Officer, Chairman of Nissan China, EVP of Nissan North America, and President of Nissan Mexico. Under Muñoz’s leadership, Nissan’s US sales achieved a 9.2% market share, its highest ever. (Editorial Disclosure: I worked at Nissan from October 2013 to May 2015, overlapping with Muñoz. The analysis below is not impacted by my tenure at Nissan.)
Muñoz wasn’t the only former Nissan executive to join Hyundai. By May, Hyundai brought on Randy Parker, another seasoned executive from Nissan. Parker worked under Muñoz, overseeing Nissan’s West Region and later running Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, in the Americas. And most recently, Hyundai hired Robert Grafton as Director of Dealer Development. Grafton previously worked at Infiniti.
With Muñoz, Parker, and Grafton back together at Hyundai, they may be able to replicate the strategy that led to the success they achieved at Nissan.
Over the past few years, Hyundai has debuted and refreshed several crossovers. The Kona debuted in 2017, while the Palisade, which debuted in 2018, and hydrogen fuel-cell Nexo both went on sale in 2019. The Tucson also underwent a mid-cycle refresh for 2019. The Venue, a midsize SUV, joins the lineup for 2020.
Hyundai announced a 9% YoY growth of total sales in SUVs, with the Kona and Palisade leading the way. Despite their success, these new additions may not be enough to get Hyundai to a 5.2% market share. However, Hyundai is taking advantage of another hot vehicle category: the midsize pickup truck segment. Hyundai will launch the Santa Cruz, a midsize pickup, by 2020. While this is the first Hyundai pickup in the United States, Hyundai has ventured into the pickup segment before; the Hyundai Pony Pickup was sold in Europe in the 1980s.
As of this writing, Hyundai hasn’t announced the exact release date or pricing strategy for the Santa Cruz. However, if Hyundai launches the Santa Cruz at a price below its competitors’, this truck could be a success in a pickup segment whose average MSRP has increased approximately 25% since 2014, more than any other segment in the industry over the past six years.
Hyundai is a brand with a lower average MSRP than its competitors’. That makes its vehicles an ideal solution for price-sensitive shoppers. If wage growth continues at its current slow pace and affordability remains one of the biggest headwinds in the industry, Hyundai will continue to gain attention from the most price-sensitive consumers.
Pricing, Product, and Leadership—Hyundai’s Holy Trinity
Hyundai has brought in leaders who led Nissan to its best US sales year in history, it has shifted its product mix to favor SUVs, and it has maintained its affordability.
The initial results of these changes are promising. As of October 1, Hyundai has reported a 5% YoY increase in total sales and a 9% YoY increase in total sales of crossovers, laying the groundwork to reach its goals.
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We recently noted how the price spike in oil is leading shoppers to take a closer look at used EVs. Want one of your own? We bring you our top-searched used EVs to kick off your search:
Tesla Model S
In September 2019, the used Tesla Model S saw the most searches on CarGurus amongst luxury electric vehicles (EVs). The Model S, pictured above, features a 270-mile range and gets 95 MPGe. CarGurus users also gave the 2017 model the #1 spot for Best 2017 Full-size Luxury Sedan, giving it a 10/10 for Power and a 9.6/10 for Value.
The BMW i8 was a close second for top-searched luxury EVs in September. Like the Tesla Model S, the i8 has standout style. It also has the benefit of being a plug-in hybrid, allowing it to use both electric power and gas. The 2016 i8 offers just 15 miles of all-electric range and a total range of 330 miles, pushing its total range past the Model S’s.
If you’re looking for more of an everyday driver, set your sights on the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf was the #1 non-luxury EV by number of searches in September. Our reviewer spent some time with the 2016 model and noted it featured a 23 percent increase in range, up to 107 miles. The 2018 model got another range boost, up to 151 miles. Pair that with its tiny dimensions — it’s just 176.4 inches long — and the Leaf makes for an ideal city car.
The Chevy Volt was the #2 searched non-luxury EV by CarGurus’ shoppers. The 2018 Volt, which is a plug-in hybrid, has a longer range than its all-electric competitors, offering 420 miles of range. However, its all-electric range is much shorter, at just 53 miles.
Chevy Bolt EV
While the Volt is a PHEV, its sibling the Chevy Bolt EV is an all-electric vehicle. Our reviewer put the 2018 Bolt EV to the test, driving up to a 4,000-foot summit on Mount Diablo in California. The Bolt EV was up for the challenge, which is what led our reviewer to give it a 9/10 for Performance. This is another car that can fit in with city living or hit the highway, as it has a 164-inch wheelbase and a 238-mile range.
While Teslas no longer qualify for the federal tax credit, many automakers still do. Check out our article on which electric vehicles still qualify to learn more.
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