The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show doesn’t kick off its press preview until after Thanksgiving, but automakers are already showing off some of their new cars, with Nissan being the latest. Nissan announced today that it will bring a refreshed 2019 Maxima to the 2018 LA Auto Show. It included an image of the car’s front end, which has been given a light redo. There’s a new set of (presumably LED) headlights, and the lower part of the front bumper has been given some more aggressive sculpting. Otherwise, things look pretty similar to previous years.
Meet the next trendsetter from Mercedes-Benz. With a design that signals the future of the lineup, an ingenious enhancement to the combustion engine, and the very latest features in automotive intelligence, the new 2019 CLS breaks new ground in luxury, performance and style. The four-door coupe debuts with an all-new inline-6 turbocharged engine with EQ Boost. This integrated starter-generator enables a level of efficiency normally reserved for hybrid vehicles. It assists the combustion engine during acceleration, allows the car to “sail” to save fuel, and adds 21 hp to the combustion engine’s 362 hp. It´s pure strength, advanced by intelligence.
Ever since its debut as a 2013 model, the Kia Optima has been among the company’s best sellers. With good reason. The Georgia-built Optima is an impressive midsize sedan, to many a better-looking car than its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Sonata. What’s more, the 2019 Kia Optima – on sale in late June and priced similarly to the current model – represents a strong value proposition, backed by laudable quality ratings and Kia’s superb 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. To help spur (or at least maintain) sales in a world infatuated with crossovers and SUVs, Kia has given the 2019 Optima sedan a midcycle refresh. Although the styling tweaks (revised front and rear fascias) are minor, the nose now hints at the Kia Stinger sport sedan’s.
Volkswagen’s reworked Jetta has the goods to make even the Audi A3 envious. At some point, Audi is going to lose it on Volkswagen. Rest assured, the middle child will someday soon throw a tantrum on the mother corp, and there’s little doubt Audi has a compelling argument for Judge Judy. Audi has every right to be miffed at Volkswagen over the 2019 Jetta: The new car comes substantially close to Audi’s own A3 and A4, even sharing the same platform with the A3 and Q3, as well as a whole manner of mechanical bits and electrics. Buyers who don’t care if their jeans are Wrangler or Levis will undoubtedly opt for the cheaper option, essentially getting a base Audi for half price.
With the Chevrolet Silverado and RAM 1500 getting makeovers for 2019, not to mention the F-150 that still reigns at the top of North American vehicle sales, Toyota had little choice: it had to refresh its Tundra. What’s new. The 2019 model-year will thus bring a few changes, though they aren’t particularly substantial. It’s more accurate to call them tweaks, and they include a new package called SX, available on the SR5 4X4 double cab models equipped with the 5.7L V8. Toyota is actually playing it close to vest with its new Tundra with SX package. We know the pricing will be $45,090, and that it will come with 18-inch black alloy wheels, a black front grille… and more. Further details will, we imagine, be forthcoming.
Toyota reentered the rear-wheel drive sports car game with the 86 (née Scion FR-S) back in 2012, and now it’s got something more ambitious in the works. Something that fans have waited a long time for — a new Supra. We’ve known for some time that Toyota was developing a new sports car in partnership with BMW, but at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the good news was confirmed with the GR Supra Racing Concept. Then at Goodwood, Toyota showed off a camouflaged near-production Supra, promising it’ll carry on a long tradition of rear-wheel drive, straight-six powered sports cars. Then we got to drive a preproduction prototype in Spain. While the car still wore camouflage inside and out, it gave us a great idea of what to expect from the upcoming Supra.
The 2019 Toyota Highlander returns with the styling that first made its redesigned mark in 2017. But thanks to some new small tweaks, Toyota believes that the mid-sized SUV can still be a contender in the highly competitive segment. Updated lists of options and colors will be available for the new model. The Highlander’s looks are still modern and shouldn’t pose any issues. The interior will also remain largely unchanged from 2018. And if there are any changes, expect them to be subtle, like updated infotainment hardware, additional sound-deadening materials, or new upholstery colors or materials. Although we know Toyota is finally testing the waters with Apple CarPlay in the 2019 Avalon, there’s no indication yet that the Highlander will benefit.
After a complete redesign for 2018, the 2019 Toyota Camry will likely carry over mostly unchanged. One possible and notable addition could be offering Apple CarPlay like the new 2019 Avalon. The Toyota Camry midsize sedan has been on sale in the US since 1983 and in those 35 years, the automaker has sold more than 10 million examples in America. A complete redesign for the 2018 model year spun the Camry into its eighth generation. With its recent redesign, not much is new for 2019, except for one important addition: standard Apple CarPlay.
Will demand for Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan continue to grow, or has it essentially peaked? That’s one of many existential questions haunting Elon Musk’s electric car company. As with most things Tesla, it’s a polarizing topic with two different narratives coming from two different camps. On about November 7, we’ll find out the financials from Tesla’s most recent quarter and perhaps some guidance for the final quarter of the year. In the meantime, the Model 3 demand picture remains murky, with the bulls optimistic and the bears predicting doom. One group is driven by faith in Musk and the mission (and an incomplete data set), and the other camp is driven by lack of faith in Musk (and an incomplete data set).
Tesla doesn’t follow the usual model year update like the rest of the auto industry. With the exception of a somewhat significant Model S exterior/fascia refresh in 2016, Tesla instead gradually introduces relatively small improvements whenever they are ready for production. WIth those incremental updates adding up, Tesla currently considers the Model S to be on its third generation in just about 6 years. Electrek has now learned some exclusive internal information about Tesla’s plan for the next Model S and Model X generation with a big interior design refresh.