Back after its two-year hiatus, the show featured visions of the future as well as blasts from the past.
The New York Auto Show made its way back into Manhattan’s Javits Center this year, and with it, some of the most intriguing upcoming cars, trucks, and electric vehicles. Rather unsurprisingly, EVs of all shapes and sizes stole the show. However, there were more than a few internal-combustion cars on the floor. As the resident Autos expert at Popular Mechanics, I’ve compiled a list of the most noteworthy vehicles that caught my eye.
Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz is Packed Full of Easter Eggs
The German automaker had many of its vehicles on display, but the clear focal point this year was its ID. Buzz. And the interior and exterior of the electric van are peppered with fun little elements. Some of them are simple visual touches, but a number are actually functional.
Aside from the easter eggs, the ID. Buzz also features quite a few nods to the original VW Microbus. At the front fascia, you’ll notice the same oversized Volkswagen insignia. Moving toward the back, it keeps the same vents that would’ve provided ventilation for the original air-cooled engine—only these are now more of a design exercise, not functional. We won’t get this exact vehicle in the United States. Rather, we’ll be getting a long-wheelbase variant in 2024. Volkswagen’s Product Manager for EVs, Jeffrey Lear, wouldn’t give out exact information, but it’s clear the U.S.-variant will be based on the same underpinnings as the Euro-spec model.
The 2023 Kia Telluride Gets More Off-Road Acumen and Light Facelift
Kia revealed a minor facelift to its Telluride SUV (one of the best cars in our Automotive Excellence Awards earlier this year). At first glance, the changes to the exterior aren’t dramatic. And that’s good. From the outside, the vehicle gets new head and tail lights, a new front grille, and new wheels. Inside, the cockpit features an optional 12.3-inch gauge cluster that connects seamlessly with the 12.3-inch infotainment system.
The Korean automaker also announced two off-road-ready trims called X-Line and X-Pro. X-Line is the entry-level package, which adds 0.4 inches of ground clearance, new roof rails, 20-inch wheels, and a towing mode that will allow for higher rpm before changing gear.
Meanwhile, X-Pro—which you see in the photo above—adds much burlier accoutrements for those with an appetite for off-roading. It features 18-inch wheels wrapped in Continental all-terrain tires. The new rubber features a much thicker sidewall, which lowers the chance of flat tires when off-roading. The new Telluride also includes slightly better towing capacity at 5,500 pounds (up from 5,000).
Toyota’s GR Corolla Is The Juvenile Hot Hatch We Don’t Deserve
Many think of the GR Corolla as a bit of a consolation prize for the U.S. after we learned that we wouldn’t be getting the GR Yaris. To offer some perspective, GR stands for Gazoo Racing and is essentially Toyota’s performance division. It’s the same as BMW and its M vehicles. However, it’s clear that the Japanese automaker has found the recipe to build an absolutely magical hot hatchback. While the exterior doesn’t look much different from previous sports-biased Corollas, it’s what’s under the skin that counts.
The GR Corolla features a wide and commanding stance.
The vehicle is now powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which produces 300 horsepower. The other big news is that it will only be available with a manual gearbox and three pedals. Once I was granted access to the driver’s seat, I had the chance to row through the gears; while the gear change felt intuitive, I wouldn’t say it’s as notchy as the Civic Si that we drove earlier this year. Though the triple exhaust exits at the back look really nice. Aside from the aesthetics, it’s great to see a proper exhaust system rather than faux exits that hide a standard pipe behind it.
Polestar’s Precept Concept Is A Vision Into The Future
While most of my time was spent at the main show in the Javits Center, Polestar invited me outside to have a look at its Precept concept car. However, instead of referring to it as a concept car, the Scandinavian brand thinks of it as a “statement” car. Essentially, once the production car rolls out of the factory, it won’t be dissimilar to the concept car.
The Precept is incredibly striking to see in person—especially after seeing all of the previous renders being thrown around. It won’t be released until 2024, and the vehicle shows off myriad futuristic technology that Polestar is looking to implement once production begins. With its digital mirrors, environmentally friendly carbon-fiber substitute, and clever aerodynamic appendages that improve efficiency, the car is beautiful. It also screams Scandinavian design.
Kia’s Niro Lineup Gets Mature Redesign For 2023
The Niro received a well-deserved makeover alongside the Telluride for the 2023 model year. While the design is no surprise following its global reveal last year, it’s great to see that the styling lives on in the U.S. market.
The new 2023 Kia Niro EV features much more angular body lines.
Jeep’s Wagoneer L Is Large and In Charge
I may have been born in the ’90s, but I know that cars used to be unbelievably long. Case in point, a 1977 Lincoln Continental Mk. 4 was the better part of 19 feet long. However, these behemoths have since been left to history. Until now. Jeep’s new Wagoneer—and Grand Wagoneer—redefines “large.”
Pictured is the Jeep Wagoneer carbide edition, which adds gloss black wheels, mirror caps, and headlamp trim.
For goodness sake, it’s 20 feet long. That’s a whole foot longer than the previous model. Compared to the non-L model, it gains a 7-inch longer wheelbase and an additional 5 inches of rear overhang. While the longer wheelbase is hidden quite nicely, the longer rear-end is much more difficult to disguise. Jeep won’t disclose what L means exactly, but it isn’t a stretch to think of it as the same L you’d see on the inside of a T-shirt. This is one of the biggest automobiles on the road.