New Imports for 2018

I attended the media days of the New York International Auto Show this year and have brought back news on the latest new or completely redesigned models that I saw while at the show. This installment covers import nameplates.

2018 Hyundai Sonata sedan – The Korean automaker’s popular mid-size car gets a make-over for the 2018 model year. Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio with American aesthetic tastes in mind, the new Sonata is bold, daring and beautiful. Available in four trim levels, the Sonata is powered by a 2.4L four-cylinder engine joined to a six-speed automatic. The performance-minded Sonata 2.0T is available in two trim levels and powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder turbo that is mated to an eight-speed automatic.

Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s catching new looks. The trend carries down to gauge dial design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch.

2018 MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid – This is the British automaker’s first foray into electric vehicles. Equipped with ALL-4 all-wheel drive, this MINI seamlessly manages power from a paired three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine and an eDrive Electric Motor. The electric motor is mounted over the rear axle to enable all-season ALL4 traction. Motorists can choose from three operating modes to optimize the ride based on speed, driving conditions and distance. While is it regarded as a “plug-in” hybrid, plugging it in is not a necessity.

2018 Range Rover Velar SUV – Filling the “white space” between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport is the all-new Range Rover Velar. With a name derived from the original Range Rover prototypes of 1969, this SUV is the fourth member of the Range Rover family. Company officials call this the “avant-garde” Range Rover – bringing a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. Elegant simplicity, a visually reductive approach and all-new consumer technologies are hallmarks of this latest Range Rover.

The Range Rover Velar has a sophisticated four-corner suspension system, delivering peerless refinement with unrivalled comfort and control. In the U.S., three engines are offered at launch, including a 2.0L gasoline engine, a 2.0L diesel engine, and a potent supercharged 3.0L V6 gasoline engine.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek crossover – The new Crosstrek is built on the new Subaru Global Platform and offers enhanced performance, safety, capability and comfort. The fun-to-drive Subaru crossover combines a bold new design with a new highly capable chassis for versatility in both off-road and city driving. Crosstrek’s new platform integrates new framework with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between structures to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness. Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent.

Power is generated by a revised version of the FB 2.0L four-cylinder Boxer engine which gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance and drivability. The 2.0i base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and are available with the Lineartronic CVT. The Limited trim come standard with the CVT featuring a seven-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via seven pre-set ratios. Premium trim equipped with CVT also features manual mode with paddle shifters.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.

Posted in In the News, On the Road

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