Recapping New York: World Debuts & Top Unveils from the 2018 NY Auto Show

Big Debuts from the Big Apple in 2018

We’re just getting 2018 underway yet the New York International Auto Show every year comes on the heels of the other major shows like Los Angeles, Geneva, and Detroit to kick the new upcoming models into gear.

But that didn’t stop automakers from showing up big in the Big Apple this year. We saw some major, significant debuts for best-selling vehicles including the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.

Plus, some world debuts of inaugural vehicles like Lincoln’s new mid-size Aviator and Cadillac’s 2019 compact XT4 crossover. Along with some love for new pickups and sedans like the new CT6  V-Sport.

While the 2018 NY Auto Show offered some good variety this year, the story again (show after show) was all about the sport utilities. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone unless you’ve been living in your mom’s Camry since 2005.

Here are 9 major debuts from the 2018 New York Auto Show:

12019 Lincoln Aviator Mid-Size SUV (World Debut)

This was a big one. Considering mid-size SUVs make up a quarter of sport utility sales, and frankly, Lincoln didn’t really have a viable player in this space (we’re looking at you MKT), the spectacular designed three-row Aviator was long overdue.

Arriving sometime next year, the 2019 Aviator will offer a plug-in hybrid and twin-turbo powerplant – a Lincoln first. Plus, new technology allowing you to use your smartphone as a key fob.

We got an exclusive look at the Aviator ahead of its world debut:

Read More: the full feature + photos

22019 Cadillac XT4 Compact Crossover (World Debut)

Cadillac joins the hypercompetitive compact crossover circus come this Fall 2018. But the 2019 XT4 checks most of the boxes including ample cargo (most in its class), a robust powerplant with its new 2.0L engine putting down an impressive 287-hp, and new cabin technology you’d expect in a newbie offering.

Sitting just below its larger, stylish XT5 sibling, the first-ever XT4 joins an impressive stable of Cadillacs the company continues to expand aggressively until 2021.

Read More: the full feature + photos

3All-new 2019 Subaru Forester in new Sport Trim (World Debut)

The next-generation Forester might be all-new but it still retains that rugged look carried over from the outgoing model.

Subaru’s best-selling SUV adds new tech, advanced features, and all that other good stuff you’d expect. But the real story here is the introduction of a new Forester flossing some attitude – something this long-running off-roader may have been missing.

The Sport trim still gets the same 2.5L engine as the other trims, but expect more distinct styling cues for the the exterior and interior.

Read More: the full feature + photos

4All-new 2019 Toyota RAV4 finally shows up

52019 Nissan Altima grows up with beefier look

62019 Lexus UX the latest compact crossover from Japan

72019 GMC Sierra AT4 ditches luxury for adventure

82019 Audi RS 5 Sportback for Dads who need speed

92019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS packing 520-hp of non-turbo goodness

10Other Debuts

Some other big unveils and debuts including model refreshes for 2019:

  • Kia K900 – redesigned flagship sedan for 2019
  • Genesis G70 – release date already set for this entry-level model
  • Toyota Corolla Hatchback – complete redesign; hatch is back
  • Honda Insight – hybrid compact sedan is back for 2019
  • Range Rover SV Coupe
  • VW Tanoak Pickup Truck Concept – 30 years since VW made a North American pickup
  • VW Cross Sport Concept – a smaller, 2-row version of the full-size VW Atlas
  • Jaguar I-Pace – North American debut of all-electric SUV
  • Acura RDX – all-new for 2019
  • Hyundai Kona EV – electrified version of new subcompact utility
  • Hyundai Santa Fe – 2019 refresh
  • Audi A6 – complete 2019 redesign
Shooting motors professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has been published in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's a writer, editor at, AJAC member, and full-time digital marketer at Traction Media working with national brands. Find him traveling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, poorly.