From Toyota Highlander to Lincoln Corsair, 9 cars to watch at New York auto show

Mark Phelan
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Ford's 2020 Explorer and Escape expected to lead explosion of new car models

Ford is launching a long line of new car models, starting with the Escape and Explorer in 2020. Ford could see a $2 billion profit with this move.

New American luxury vehicles, a favorite Toyota family-hauling SUV and – rarest of all! – a new midsize sedan are scheduled to debut at the New York International auto show media days next week.

After journalists look over the cars and trucks on Wednesday and Thursday, the show opens to the public on Friday, April 19 and runs through Sunday, April 28 at New York's Javits Center. 

Vehicles at the show include:

2020 Cadillac CT5

Likely to be a bit shorter than the CTS sedan it replaces, the CT5 features a new design with a long hood and short rear deck. Key questions will be passenger space and luggage capacity. The CT5 was designed to compete with the BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class, so a quality interior with luxurious and eye-catching materials is vital.

The CT5 is the beginning of a reset for Cadillac’s car line, which has ditched the XTS, replaced the CTS and will shortly drop the smaller ATS in favor of a car called the CT4.  Look for details on Freep.com at 9 a.m. March 16.

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2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape

Ford’s second-best-selling vehicle behind the F-150, the 2020 Escape is longer and will offer hybrid and plug-in models, in addition to a pair of pure gasoline power plants. The new design looks sportier than the outgoing model, but has practical features like a sliding rear seat to maximize either legroom or cargo space.

The Escape goes on sale this fall. The plug-in hybrid arrives in 2020 and should deliver more than 30 miles on battery power alone.

2020 Hyundai Sonata and Venue

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata uses a new architecture.

Midsize sedan sales have hit a wall as customers switch to SUVs, but Hyundai’s 2020 Sonata introduces a new platform what will underpin a range of upcoming Hyundai cars and SUVs. Power comes from a 191-hp 2.5L or 180-hp turbo 1.6L four-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is likely. The sedan has a long nose, fast rear window and interesting flares along the shoulder line.

2020 Hyundai Venue

The Venue subcompact SUV will slot below the $19,990 Kona as Hyundai’s entry-SUV, developed to compete with Nissan’s appealing little Kicks. Expect lots of driver assistance and connectivity features to appeal to young drivers and their parents.

The Venue goes on sale in the fourth quarter.

2020 Lincoln Corsair

Borrowing its name from fast sailing vessels often used by buccaneers and other rogues, the Corsair will share some of the Escape’s engineering but add styling and features consistent with Lincoln’s bigger Nautilus and Navigator SUVs. A luxurious interior wrapped in high quality materials is also likely. It’d be a surprise if Lincoln doesn’t offer a hybrid or plug-in model, too.

The Corsair – which was also the name of a successful U.S. Navy carrier-based aircraft in WWII – replaces Lincoln’s sprightly compact SUV, the MKC.

The Lincoln Corsair should go on sale late this year.

2020 Nissan Versa

2020 Nissan Versa

The subcompact Versa sedan adds plenty of driver assistance systems for its third generation. Front automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning and automatic high beams are standard, an impressive list for a small and inexpensive car. Adaptive cruise control and blind spot alert are options.

Power comes from a 1.6L four-cylinder engine developing 122 hp and 114 pound feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission – yes, somebody still makes one – is standard, a continuously variable automatic, and heated front seats, is optional. Available features include Apple CarPlay, Android auto, automatic climate control, push button start.

2020 Subaru Outback

The complete remaking of Subaru’s model line is almost complete with this new version of its compact SUV. The Outback is Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. The new model is based on the same platform as the Ascent, Forester and Legacy.

2020 Subaru Outback

The Outback is one of Subaru’s keystone models. Don’t expect dramatic changes in design or drivetrain technology, but the 2020 Outback gives Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety and driver assistance features a stage on which to star.

2020 Toyota Highlander and Yaris

The 2020 Highlander is one of Toyota’s core vehicles, a three-row SUV that competes with popular SUVs like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse. New styling will probably go for a more rugged appearance, as Toyota did with its smaller RAV4 compact SUV last year. A fuel-saving hybrid drivetrain and comprehensive list of driver assistance features will vie for headlines with passenger space and ease of entry/exit.

The Yaris subcompact hatchback is something of an afterthought, small, affordable and based on engineering by Mazda and built at a Mexican plant the automakers share. The Yaris isn’t a big seller, but it gives but the Japanese giant an inexpensive entry model.

2020 Toyota Yaris

Contact Mark Phelan at 313-222-6731 or mmphelan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan. Read more on autos and sign up for our autos newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: From Toyota Highlander to Lincoln Corsair, 9 cars to watch at New York auto show