Our love for the SUV continues at the expense of the traditional four-door sedan, with more and more automakers stopping production of that traditional American icon. New SUV models for 2019 include the redesigned Lincoln Aviator, Chevrolet Blazer, Toyota RAV4, and the all-new Subaru Ascent. SUVs range in size from four cylinders to potent new V6 twin-turbocharged engines. This trend is expected to continue, with trucks being the top sellers. The Dodge Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado have been completely redesigned as Ford continues to update their F-150 line while introducing their new midsize Ranger.
Hybrid vehicles continue to be introduced by many automakers, with the exciting Jaguar I-Pace leading the pack for 2019. Cars and trucks are benefitting from the rapid development of battery technology. Along with the new technology is a focus on safety, from collision-avoidance sensors to alarms that warn parents if a child is left inside a locked car. Look for this trend to continue as the car becomes an extension of both your office and your home. Here are some of the impressive 2019 models that we found especially interesting.
2020 Lincoln Aviator Black Label
In case you haven’t noticed, Lincoln has been doing their homework and successfully raising the the bar on the luxury experience. Returning for the 2020 model year will be the all-new midsize SUV Lincoln Aviator Black Label. It will go on sale in the summer of 2019 and is slotted between the full-size Navigator and the two-row midsize Nautilus.
The Black Label theme is designed to further elevate cabin ambiance by using supple leathers and brushed circles replicating aviation instrument panels. Unique theme options known as Flight, Chalet, and Destination have specific colors, appointments, and design elements that define the three Aviator trim levels.
The accentuated linear forms of the Aviator follow Lincoln’s design architecture to produce an elegant three-row midsize sport utility vehicle. Lincoln claims that their design inspiration was the tapered profile of an airplane wing, starting at the vehicle’s sloping roofline and going down to the rocker panels. The 2020 Aviator will be offered with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It is matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission that offers five drive modes. A plug-in hybrid version will also be available with 450 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. The all-new Aviator will offer loads of technology and a broad range of trim levels. Base price for the luxury SUV will be $52,195.
2020 Toyota Supra
Expected in late summer of 2019, the iconic, all-new Toyota GR Supra is a collaboration of BMW and Toyota that was announced in 2012. Thus, the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 share the same platform, while the Supra will be offered as a sport coupe that shares a lot of major components with the Z4, although tuning work will be done separately.
The all-new Supra GR can be described as Toyota’s purest expression of performance, designed to allow the driver and the road to become one. The bodywork is a combination of sensuality and athleticism, with the engine moved back as far and as low as possible. The rear-wheel drive platform will have a twin-scroll turbocharged inline six producing 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Weight distribution will be 50/50 at 3,397 pounds, with a top speed of 155 mph and 4.1 seconds from 0 to 60.
For 2019, Cadillac introduces the XT4, an all-new compact luxury crossover. The new platform offers Cadillac’s bold design with sculpted body panels, chiseled hood, extensive lighting, and an oversized grille, adding up to a very attractive product. The 109-inch wheelbase is powered exclusively by a new 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine producing 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
It is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with cylinder deactivation to maximize gas mileage. The XT4 is offered in either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, depending on the trim level. Inside the cabin, there is 22.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats (or 48.9 cubic feet with seats folded). Three trim levels are offered, with the base trim level starting at just under $36,000.
Hyundai Kona EV
The new 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Vehicle offers an impressive 258-mile range on a single full charge. This Korean-made SUV (along with its gas-powered variants) was named one of Car and Driver magazine’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs for 2019. The Kona EV has a 201-horsepower electric motor that drives the front wheels, allowing it to produce 290 pound-feet of torque. This efficient SUV, powered by a 64.0-kWh battery pack, is loaded with technology such as a Heads-Up Display, navigation system, and Apple CarPlay—which are all accessible through the 8-inch touch screen. The Kona is offered in three trim levels; starting price is $37,495 for the base trim, and rises to $44,000 for the Ultimate model.
For 2019, Jaguar introduces the next pure Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) known as the I-Pace. This innovative vehicle with 234 miles of electric range is specifically designed to compete with Tesla. Described by Jaguar as the world’s smartest five-seat sports car, the I-Pace’s pricing begins at around $70,000. The vehicle is powered by a 90-kWh battery producing up to 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque through its all-wheel drivetrain. Top speed is reported to be 124 mph, with a 0 to 60 mph rating of 4.5 seconds. Three trim levels are offered, and the array of technology includes an interactive driver display, traffic-sign recognition, and smartphone connectivity. Jaguar joins Tesla in leading the ever-increasing number of manufacturers introducing new battery-powered vehicles. The competition is going to get very interesting as more electric vehicles are introduced and we say goodbye to gasoline and diesel engines.
This article appears in the March 2019 edition of OutSmart magazine.