Best In Show: Detroit 2018
Autoblog's coverage of the 2018 Detroit Auto Show – one of the biggest, most important events on the auto show calendar – is in the books. And that means it's time for us to vote on our favorite reveals, tabulate scores, and proclaim one vehicle the winner of our Editor's Choice award.
Our top five vehicles from Detroit includes everything from hot hatchbacks and performance coupes to luxury SUVs and fullsize pickup trucks. Click on the image above to get started.
5. 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Despite looking a lot like the old G-Class from a few feet away, the 2019 G-Class is an all-new SUV. It came in fifth in our voting, but not by much.
Contributing Editor James Riswick: Keeps the looks that made people desire the G-Class despite its functional flaws, while correcting those functional flaws.
Manager of Video Production Eddie Sabatini: Still beautiful but now with a more comfortable ride for when I'm highway driving in my dreams.
Senior Video Producer Chris McGraw: It's longer, and wider, and it has lost its solid front axle, but the G-wagen can still rock crawl with the best and most importantly, it looks the same. Don't mess with what works.
Associate Editor Reese Counts: I love the G-Wagen. This new one certainly looks the part, though like the 911 or Wrangler it was never going to look like anything else. It's bigger, lighter and will likely be better to drive, but I guarantee it won't be half as charming as the original.
4. 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
The movie car mystique and the extra power helped the 2019 Mustang Bullitt help itself to a strong fourth place position.
Senior Editor Alex Kierstein: Even if you ignore the Bullitt hype, this is a really special GT with extra power, a better soundtrack, and pitch-perfect aesthetics. Highland Green works superbly on the redesigned Mustang. I love it.
Counts: This thing looks badass. I love that it's more than just an appearance package. Sure, the Highland Green paint is amazing, but it also gets a bump in power thanks to some GT350 parts. The fact that Ford rolled it out next to the original Bullitt Mustang only makes it better.
Managing Editor Greg Rasa: I think my colleagues are voting for the new Mustang, but I'm voting for its long-lost grandpa. I like history. And the original Bullitt movie car is an artifact — the holy grail, the lost ark, the Jimmy Hoffa, of Mustangs. Maybe one day the new cars at this show will make their own kind of history too. But in a sea of shining new models, the one vehicle that really made me feel something was a rusty old Mustang that Steve McQueen drove the living crap out of.
McGraw: It has been too long since the last Bullitt, and while some were disappointed we didn't see the GT500 (though we did see a teaser), the Bullitt is a worthy special edition for the Detroit Show.
Sabatini: Looks way better than the last time Ford used the Bullitt badge.
Riswick: I'm not sure if I'm voting for the new one or the Steve McQueen original here, but in any event, they're both rad. This is absolutely, without a doubt the 2018 Mustang I'd want.
3. 2019 Hyundai Veloster N
The 275-horsepower Veloster N was a bit of a surprise at this show. It looks like a very serious performance hatch, and the new styling is really sharp.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: This ticks all the boxes for me. It's a stylish, quirky little hatchback that's stuffed full of high-performance goodies. It also excites me because for once, the U.S. is getting the less practical, lower volume, more stylish version of a hatchback than the rest of the world. And of course, the fact it was a surprise doesn't hurt.
Riswick: A Veloster that might actually live up to its name. It also looks better and less bug-like than its predecessor.
Autoblog Green Editor John Snyder: I’m so glad the Veloster is back, and the addition of a high-performance version only makes it more exciting and endearing. Now I need to find out how the 2+1 door format works for installing a car seat.
Sabatini: Loved the blue that it was shown in. The car at the show that I'm most excited to drive.
Rasa: The Veloster is, well, kind of weird. Its looks are an acquired taste, one I never acquired. But it did look pretty sharp under the show lights in that blue-and-red N division livery. And 275 horsepower in a car that size? Can't wait to see how it performs.
Counts: The one big surprise at the show ended up being my favorite car here. I've been really please with Hyundai's products as of late, the Elantra GT Sport in particular. The fact that former BMW M division chief Albert Biermann headed up development of Hyundai's N cars gives me high hopes.
2. 2019 Ford Ranger
In a show full of big truck reveals, this was Ford's entrant into the suddenly very hot midsize segment. A very important truck got a second place slot in our voting.
Kierstein: The Ranger's new, rugged, handsome, and proven. I'm hoping the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is joined by something more interesting, but it's a very important truck nonetheless.
Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski: Continuing the truck theme, the Ranger finally returns home to America. As much as I'd like to see an honest-to-goodness entry-level pickup truck, the 2019 Ford Ranger is instead going to stack right up against the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. That's probably a smart play, considering how the midsize truck segment is growing in sales, but I still wish an automaker would ditch some of the fanciness in favor of simplicity and a low base price. As it stands, I'd just opt for a fullsize pickup with some sort of pricing incentive and skip the downsized options entirely. That said, the Ranger looks like it'll do great business for Ford.
Stocksdale: It's finally here, the new Ford Ranger. After years of looking at the foreign market one enviously, it's coming here. And it sounds promising. It has the 2.3-liter four-cylinder we know from the Mustang and Focus RS, so it should be pretty potent. While I wish a manual was announced, the 10-speed should be very good, since we've enjoyed it in basically every car to feature it. It also has a nice, clean, simple look that contrasts with the more aggressive, heavily styled trucks from competitors.
Snyder: This appeals to my sense of nostalgia. Plus, it injects a little competition into an interesting market segment.
Sabatini: Great to see more competition/buying options in the segment.
Associate Video Producer Alex Malburg: Finally seeing this Ranger in person validates my faith in Ford to carry over pretty much the same truck we drove in New Zealand. Excited to try out the "trail cruise control" feature that allows the Ranger to drive up, down, or whatever at a set speed.
McGraw: Trucks, the smaller the better for me. This looks very similar to the one I trekked to New Zealand to drive last year. I had a blast in that truck and really wished they were bringing over the Wildtrak package and Pride Orange, as the muted orange on this Ranger was a bit muddied for my liking.
Rasa: Millions of people in 180 countries can't be wrong. Well, probably not. The modern Ranger is a hit overseas, but paradoxically was unavailable in Ford's own USA. There's a lot we don't know about it yet, but it'll be competitive with the Colorado and Tacoma. In a country where two-thirds of buyers go for a pickup or SUV, we've got a new three-way truck race, and a new truck to love.
Counts: I really like midsize pickup trucks. The new Ranger looks solid if unexceptional. From the outset, I don't think it appears to be doing anything better than the Taco or the Colorado. Still, competition breeds innovation, so I'm hoping this improves the entire segment.
1. 2019 Ram 1500
The new Ram 1500 floored us. The redesign looks sharp, but suddenly the Ram is class-leading in almost every aspect we could gauge on the show floor. The huge touchscreen on higher trims was a pleasant shock. It won our voting by a huge margin, and has been by far the most popular Detroit reveal for our readers.
Korzeniewski: I like the refined looks of the new truck, which still somehow manages to read mini-big-rig to my eyes without being a retro-redo of the '94 model. But the real reason I voted it higher than the equally new Chevy Silverado is the smart implementation of 48-volt hybrid technology. A torque boost of 90 pound-feet for the V6 and 130 for the Hemi V8, right off the line when you need it most, is brilliant. Here's hoping it works well in practice.
Sabatini: The interior has me hooked. Especially that 12-inch infotainment screen.
Malburg: Loving this "well dressed" new look as well as integrating a 48-volt battery and 300-watt lithium-ion battery to create a hybrid system. Sneaky move Dodge.
McGraw: The Detroit show was the truck show, and the most important full-size was the Ram 1500. The grille looks great, and the two 12-inch touchscreens are the infotainment of the future.
Rasa: The Ram probably earned a lot of votes for its looks, technology and other advancements, but it got my vote for its 48v mild hybrid system, a first in the segment. FCA, the one Detroit automaker that has hung back in the headlong race to electrification, shocked us with this.
Counts: Despite its age, the current Ram 1500 is my favorite of the big three. From the interior materials to the 48-volt mild hybrid, the 2019 model improves upon the current truck in every way.