There is nothing quite like auto show season. One of the industry’s biggest spectacles, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, starts up this week and manufacturers made headlines revealing some complete redesigns of staple models.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
VW announced the arrival of the anticipated seventh-generation Jetta, built on the company’s proven Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform shared with products such as the current Golf, Tiguan and Atlas. Like the new Tiguan, the Mk7 Jetta is all grown up, literally, now longer, wider and taller than the outgoing car. Everything from the front fascia to interior looks and feels more premium than before, and all trim levels include Driver Personalization remembering up to four user settings for seat memory, radio presets and ambient lighting colour. Power is provided by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged TSI engine and buyers have a choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
2019 Toyota Avalon
Toyota’s full-size flagship sedan undergoes a well-deserved makeover, and going against the common theme of growing larger, has actually slimmed down some in size. The North American-built vehicle is 25 millimetres lower in height with a 50 millimetre shorter wheelbase, although width increases slightly, by 20 millimetres, to give a planted, performance-oriented appearance. Two grades will be offered: the sporty XSE boasting a piano black mesh grille, 19-inch gloss black wheels and black side mirror housings; and a luxurious Limited wearing a chrome-trimmed grille, silver LED headlight bezels and a chrome-tipped dual exit exhaust system. A newly designed efficient 3.5-litre V6 Atkinson-cycle powerplant can be found beneath the hood, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
2019 Hyundai Veloster
The result of a partnership between Hyundai main headquarters and the U.S. design center in Irvine, California, the Veloster goes version 2.0 later this year. The quirky five-passenger hatch returns with an asymmetrical two-plus-one door configuration and shows off a bold 3-D interpretation of the Hyundai cascading grille, similar to the one seen on the 2018 Sonata. The A-pillar has been pushed further back, the roofline lowered and 18-inch alloy wheels made standard to emphasize an aggressive, coupe-like silhouette. The regular Veloster gets a 147-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine while the top-of-the-line Turbo receives a boosted 201-horsepower 1.6-litre mill.