Despite the challenges facing auto shows, New York's exhibition featured surprising energy. Whether you're in the market for a new car or just checking out the latest trends, it was a strong show. Here's our top five favorites from New York.
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2019 Audi RS5 Sportback: Fifth Place (22 Points)
Contributing Editor James Riswick: Well, the Altima is ugly, the Forester seems to have barely changed, I'm unmoved by that Corolla Hatchback, and the Kia K900 seems hopelessly off brand. That leaves me dumping a whole lot of votes on a wildly powerful, totally awesome fastback hatchback that happens to be painted extremely and awesomely green.
Manager of Production Eddie Sabatini: Green and no-doubt mean on the road. Looks great, and I'm willing to bet it sounds better.
Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski: This car is a looker. I love the style, the perfect shade of green, and the 2.9-liter turbo with 443 lb-ft of torque. It's going to be pricey, but for those who can afford it, this is going to be a great driver.
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Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak concept: Fourth Place (27 Points)
Managing Editor Greg Rasa: VW is the third-biggest automaker on the planet, but in U.S. sales it ranks 14th. How then, to gain ground in the truck-crazy U.S. of A? Makes sense but won't be easy. The similar Honda Ridgeline has barely cracked the pickup market. The Atlas SUV offers a lot of room and utility for the money, so in a world of $50,000-plus pickups, perhaps the Tanoak could appeal on price. It sure looks good.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: VW should build this pickup. Plain and simple. Keep some of the curvy, aggressive styling and have reasonable sales goals. Now's the time.
Social Media Manager Michael Ferrara: Do you guys like trucks? We do, and Tanoak looks good. VW has its SUV lineup down pat, so why not explore the truck segment? I hope they turn this concept into a production model, although I doubt they will.
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2019 Toyota RAV4: Third Place (45 Points)
Social Media Manager Michael Ferrara: Can someone say 'Taco time'? That grille! Not only was this refresh much-needed, Toyota nailed the redesign. I love seeing how they incorporated interior accents from the FT-4X concept we saw at New York a year ago, and exterior accents from the FT-AC we saw at the Los Angeles auto show. It's safe to say this will be a top-selling vehicle.
Associate Producer Amr Sayour: I love this. Toyota did a great job with the upgraded design. Interior feels old, but the touchscreen looks good. From the profile it looks like a Mazda CX-3, but with steroids.
Contributing Editor James Riswick: The new RAV4 actually looks good, finally tapping into Toyota's truck cred with visual cues inspired by the Tacoma. The interior is far more premium in look and feel, while the center console has been sensibly rearranged to be far more functional. I have my suspicions maximum cargo capacity has been reduced (Toyota didn't release a number), but in total, this seems like a winning redesign in the winningest market.
Senior Editor Alex Kierstein: While I liked the last RAV4, the new one is much more attractive and should be a stronger competitor in the very cutthroat compact crossover space. The Adventure model's Tacoma-inspired grille works particularly well.
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Genesis Essentia concept: Second Place (51 Points)
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: This thing is a stunner, and pictures simply don't do it justice. I speak from experience. I first saw photos and shrugged a bit, writing it off as another somewhat generic dream machine. But seeing it in person, I'm in love. It's such a classic, elegant car — a sharp contrast to the overwrought, shouty supercars of this era. The Essentia is all organic curves, and they're kept tight against the wheels and structure, giving it a lithe, athletic look. Details such as the visible suspension and the open area of the hood for aerodynamics bring it all together. I wish Genesis would build it.
Senior Editor (Green) John Beltz Snyder: A stunning electric GT full of style and technology. Every auto show needs one wildly aspirational concept, and this is New York’s.
Senior Producer Chris McGraw: The Genesis Essentia is a beautiful concept car, and the fact that it is electric and offers incredible performance shows that we have a future beyond the ICE.
Contributing Writer Antti Kautonen: To me, the Essentia is one of the most exciting concept cars I've seen recently. It brings to mind 1960s-1970s Italian space-age concepts, with its ribbed seats and double-bubble roof. This is what concept cars are all about.
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Lincoln Aviator: First Place (88 Points)
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: Lincoln looks to have a winner with the Aviator in the ultra-critical midsize SUV segment. Using the Aviator name is a brilliant move. This vehicle is another sign that Lincoln is finding itself and building new momentum.
Senior Editor Alex Kierstein: A proper rear-drive platform and interesting powertrains cap off some fantastic styling. It's not easy to make a three-row work, proportionally, and this offers real American luxury style with a hint of Range Rover sophistication. If Lincoln doesn't tone it down, it'll be a real treat.
Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski: There are lots of really cool cars in New York this year, but the one that stands out is the Aviator. It's not really directed at driving enthusiasts, but Lincoln has hit a nerve with its current interpretation of American luxury, as typified by the most recent Navigator, and the Aviator follows that trend perfectly. A twin-turbo EcoBoost, a rear-drive platform with tech borrowed from the Mustang, and beautiful styling make this an ideal family mobile for upper middle-class Americans.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: The Aviator looks like exactly what Lincoln needs, and it looks good, too. It has the clean elegant styling of the Navigator, but it's smaller and leaner, so much that it arguably looks better than the hulking Navigator. It also appears to have some Mustang-derived suspension elements, which could indicate this will be something of a performer. And of course, it has a luscious Navigator-inspired interior. Lincoln's got a winner with this.