New Car Buying Service
APA’s new car buying service saves you time, money and hassles!
Used Car Buying Service
The APA recommends a network of trustworthy used car dealers in Toronto.

APA Lemon-Aid Reviews
Our expert staff can help you select the vehicle that best suits your needs.

Group Rate Insurance Program
APA has negotiated insurance discounts for members.

This content was featured in the APA Newsletter. Didn't see us in your inbox? Subscribe today and keep up to date!



Related Articles

2019 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto


2019 North American International Auto Show


APA at the 2019 Montreal Salon de l'Automobile


APA at the 2019 AJAC Car of the Year Test Fest


APA at the 2019 New York International Auto Show 

By: Ron Corbett, APA Staff Writer



With over 1,000,000 paying customers passing through the turnstiles at the Jacob Javits Convention Center by the time it closed on April 28th, the New York International Auto Show is the best attended new car event in North America.

The first media day featured a number of important new vehicle introductions from major manufacturers, but for the third year in a row, the second day of the show was very low key, with no significant product reveals.

Following a continuing trend, a number of significant new vehicles were unveiled at exclusive, off-site, invitation-only events staged by various manufacturers. The theory goes that these off-site events gain the full attention of the invitees who will be deeply immersed in the new products and won’t be distracted by the reveals of other manufacturers. In practice, journalists cannot attend all the off-site unveilings, so there are actually fewer people to talk about the individual debuts than there would had the car appeared on the show schedule. While not revealed at the show, a number of all new vehicles were on display on the show floor, but quite a number of journalists missed them entirely as they were not expecting them to be there.

Manufacturers are losing interest in the press days of various auto shows. Except for its low-volume Alfa-Romeo and Maserati brands, FCA was absent from the show schedule, as was General Motors. Ford did not reveal their crucial new Escape in New York but its companion vehicle, the Lincoln Corsair, was on the schedule during the main press day.

This report will follow the official reveal schedule, will progress through the most significant new vehicles that were found on the show floor and then discuss a number of interesting vehicles seen on the show floor during the press days. 

Ian Callum, the Director of Design for Jaguar cars (middle), accepts the World Car of the Year trophy

The World Car of the Year awards have been a feature of the New York show for many years, growing from a sleepy affair on the second day of the show to an extravaganza that has replaced the previous Keynote Speaker kickoff. The key criterion for the World Car awards is that vehicles are offered in at least two of the three continents -- Europe, North America and Asia -- where the voting journalists are based. The mix of vehicles nominated is always interesting, as many of them are not available in North America. As in 2018, all the 2019 finalists were crossovers, with two of the three, the Audi E-Tron and the Jaguar I-Pace, using electric propulsion.

The winner for 2019 was the Jaguar I-Pace, which also garnered the best Design and Green Car accolades as well.  

Suzuki's tiny Jimny earned the World Urban car trophy this year   

The business end of the new Toyota Yaris hatchback 

While the genuine Toyota Yaris hatchback may continue in other markets, North America will now receive a hatchback version of the Mazda-sourced Yaris sedan that has been on sale for a number of years.

Like the sedan, the new hatchback has a stylish, carefully crafted cabin whose only fault is limited rear seat legroom. Cargo space looks good for this size of car.

The hatchback uses the same engine, a 1.6L four, and two six-speed transmissions, a manual and an automatic, as the sedan.

The Yaris sedan is a delight to drive and the hatchback should deliver similar performance, but add a bit of hatchback versatility as well. 


The fourth-generation Toyota Highlander broke cover in New York. 

Long overdue for a makeover, the new-generation Highlander debuted in New York. Built on a marginally longer wheelbase, the new Highlander is a bit bigger than previously.

Toyota has been gradually improving the look of its interiors and the new Highlander is no exception. Abundant soft-touch surfaces, even on the tops of the rear doors, are present, and all surfaces appear quite luxurious. A massive 12.3 inch touch screen is featured on top models and controls look quite logical. Legroom in the first two rows of seats is very good and third-row space looks reasonable for this class. Cargo room with the third seat arrayed to accept passengers is greater than previously.

The conventional V6 engine is rated for 295 horsepower and is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid loses its V6 engine in favour of a new 2.5L four, which, in unison with its electric motors, puts out 240 horsepower. The hybrid sends power to the front wheels via a CVT; with the rear wheels being driven electrically. 

Hyundai introduced its most diminutive crossover, the Venue, at the New York show

Like Nissan, Hyundai are introducing more and more crossovers, and with the new Venue, have introduced their smallest yet. Hyundai noted at the New York show that around 40,000,000 people in the U.S. bought used cars last year, but many of them would buy new if a well-priced desirable vehicle became available; hence the Venue.

Though smaller than the Kona, the very-well packaged Venue treats rear passengers as well as the Kona does. The dash features conventional gauges, a large info-screen and logical climate controls. Cabin finish is better than expected, with some interesting two-tone fabric combinations. Cargo space looks reasonable for a vehicle of this size.

Power stems from Hyundai’s normally aspirated 1.6L four that sends power to the wheels via a new Hyundai-Kia CVT that debuted in the current Kia Forte.

The Venue will replace the Accent in the U.S., but that car is too popular in Canada to kill off. Venue pricing is unknown but it will be priced sufficiently higher than the Accent to deliver a good profit but not so high that buyers will pass it by.

The all-new Sonata goes on sale this fall

The new platform of the 2020 Sonata results in a car bigger than the one it replaces. The silhouette of the new car resembles that of VW’s slinky new Arteon, with a touch of modern Buick thrown into the mix.

The cabin features transistor film technology main gauges and straightforward, logical controls, a Hyundai hallmark. Cabin materials on the top-spec model revealed in New York were well up to the standards of the current class leader, the Honda Accord. Comfortable seats are installed front and rear and legroom is impressive for all riders. The low-slung roofline adds to the elegance of the new Sonata but makes getting in and out more difficult than it is in taller cars like the Toyota Camry and Subaru Legacy.

For Canada, the sole power unit will be a 1.6L turbo four sending power to the front wheels via a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai claims you can pair the car with your cellphone and leave your keys at home. A full suite of active safety equipment will be available and an interesting new feature is the ability to bring the car out of a tight parking space from outside the car to ease ingress. 


The 2020 Lincoln Corsair will replace the MKC this fall  

Based on the all-new Ford Escape, the Corsair replaces the MKC in the Lincoln lineup.

Like other recent Lincolns, the Corsair is very elegant and bears some well-rendered bright accents. The interior borders on the sumptuous and is more spacious due to increased rear legroom and a substantial increase in width. Rear seat comfort, a weak point on the MKC, is now competitive.

Power choices include the returning 2L and 2.3L turbo fours that send power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Though not yet announced, Lincoln should eventually offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Corsair to match the powertrains available on the 2020 Escape.  

The 2020 Outback displayed on Subaru's elaborate stand at the New York show

Like the recently unveiled 2020 Legacy, the new Outback migrates to Subaru’s Global platform that now underpins all of its vehicles.

Styling is evolutionary, which seems to be how Subaru customers like it. The cabin remains very Subaru but with two differences, a massive info-screen dominates the dash centre stack on premium models and cabin materials, which were so underwhelming on Subarus two generations ago, now border on the sumptuous. The cabin is spacious and cargo space is long, and in traditional Subaru practice, a bit shallow below the window line.

Power is provided by either the returning 2.5L four that now boasts direct fuel injection and a few extra horsepower, or a new 2.4L turbo four that debuted in the new Ascent. The turbo four sadly replaces the silky flat six, traditionally the top powerplant on the Outback, as the new platform does not have enough space for the six.  

Vehicles on display in New York but not on the show schedule 


The Cadillac CT5 was expected to consolidated the ATS and CTS lines into a single model until Cadillac announced its CT4 entry-level car  

Underwhelming sales of the ATS, meant to compete with cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, and the CTS, which Cadillac saw as Mercedes-Benz E-Class competitor, led observers to think Cadillac was to abandon traditional size segments and return to its previous strategy of offering a “tweener” car that attempts to cover both segments with a single vehicle. However, with the recent announcement of its CT4 entry-level car, Cadillac has returned to traditional market segments once again. 

With Cadillac’s distinctive headlights and grille, the CT5 starts off well, but the rest of the car lacks any compelling design flair. Cadillac has been doing some very elegant cabins over the last few years and the CT5 is no exception. The driver faces conventional gauges, to the right of which rests a substantial info-screen which can be manipulated by the latest version of the Cadillac User Interface that now incorporates a console-mounted rotary controller. The rest of the cabin looks fresh, modern and visually calm, with very attractive finishes. The long wheelbase (longer than that of the CTS) results in very good legroom, front and rear.

Power choices include a GM’s ubiquitous 2L turbo four and a turbocharged 3L-V6 that debuted in the CT6 several years ago. Power reaches the wheels (rear or all) exclusively via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

A variety of active safety equipment will be either standard or optional, including Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous drive system first seen on its premium CT6 sedan.

Sales of the CT5 start in late 2019.

The third-generation Nissan Versa sedan will not be sold in Canada 

Nissan announced that the Versa Note will be discontinued after the 2019 model year. While U.S. buyers will get this new-generation Versa sedan, compact Nissan intenders in Canada will have to pick from either the Micra or the Kicks, as the new Versa sedan will not be sold here.

Along with the Nissan Kicks, the Versa sedan is built on the new-generation Micra platform that debuted in other markets for the 2017 model year. Essentially a Kicks sedan, the Versa shares mechanical components and cabin features, including the dashboard, with the Kicks.  


The all-new Escape was hiding in plain sight on the Ford stand at the New York show.

While roughly the same length and height as previously, the new Escape is 157 mm (6.2 inches) wider than its predecessor. Styling swaps the hard edge boxiness of the previous Escape for a rounded form that gives more than a nod to design forms used by Porsche on its crossovers.

Despite just a marginally longer wheelbase than before, rear seat legroom is better and rear comfort is further enhanced by more substantial seats and extra space between rear seat passengers due to the massive increase in the width of the vehicle. Cargo space is good. The cabin is a very conservative design and very much in the current Ford styling idiom. The driver faces a transistor film technology gauge cluster, a large info-screen dominates the top centre of the dashboard and the climate and audio controls are straightforward. A rotary dial gear selector replaces the traditional mechanical one used previously. Cabin materials are quite attractive.

The familiar 2L turbo four returns for 2020, but the new base engine is a 1.5L three-cylinder turbo engine that produces 180 horsepower. Ford discontinued its Escape hybrid when it launched the ill-fated and unpopular C-Max, but returns with two hybrid Escapes for 2020. The conventional hybrid model employs a 2.5L normally aspirated four as well as electric motors to furnish 198 total system horsepower. Ford will also market a PHEV (plug-in hybrid) variant which is rated at 209 horsepower. Power reaches the the wheels via a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission on the gasoline models and an electronic CVT on the hybrids.


The Rivian electric skateboard 


Massive and stylish Rivian crossover

This electric vehicle start up company had a substantial stand at the New York show. On display was its “skateboard” chassis unit that includes the battery pack, electric motors and all drive components, and the two vehicles, a crossover and a pickup, that the skateboard is supposed to underpin. Both vehicles on display were very large and are studies in restrained elegance. The pickup has a golf-bag door feature, common on upmarket coupes up to the 1940s.

Rivian is yet to build a vehicle for sale but a $500,000,000 investment in the firm by the Ford Motor Company, which is very interested in Rivian’s skateboard, may spur further development and eventual production.

Rivian pickup with the golf bag door open 


The Volkswagen Tarok pickup concept could meet the needs of many truck fanciers

Last year Volkswagen displayed its Atlas Tanoak pickup truck concept and returns this year with the smaller Tarok which is based on VW’s MQB modular platform. The flying buttress like rear pillars and a collapsible wall between the cabin and the load bed, the Tarok is reminiscent of the Chevrolet Avalanche. The cabin of the show truck is more upscale than would be found in a production vehicle, but practical aspects, such as packaging for riders and cargo, look very good.

Though no announcements have been made regarding retail availability in North America, the Tarok has been confirmed for production in Mexico.

Saratoga Automobile Museum Forza Italia exhibit

Long a feature of the show, the Saratoga Automobile Museum sent a carefully edited selection of postwar Italian exotic cars it called Forza Italia, to New York this year. Here are a few of the interesting cars on display.

1953 Fiat 8V Berlinetta

Of the 114 Fiat 8Vs (Otto Vu) produced, 34 were produced with this Carrozzeria Speciale Berlinetta body style.

The 2L V8 produces just over 100 horsepower and sends power to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission.  


1966 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2

The 400 GT was a development of Lamborghini’s first road car, the 350 GT that debuted in 1964. Key differences were a larger 4L V-12 as well as a new Lamborghini-designed all-synchromesh five speed manual transmission.

The body was built by Touring of Milan and employed its Superleggera (super light) construction method of attaching aluminum outer panels onto a steel tube structure. 

Elegant and fast 1961 Maserati 3500 GT

Maserati’s first volume (everything is relative) road car, the 3500 GT went on sale in 1957. The sleek coupe was styled by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan and built using its Supperleggera system.

The 3500 GT was powered by a 217 horsepower twin-can inline six hooked up to a ZF five-speed manual transmission.