Among the annual auto shows, the Los Angeles Auto Show remains in the top tier of anticipated shows. We can always count on a wide array of reveals, including all-new and significantly updated models, as well as a concept vehicle or two. This year’s L.A. event didn’t disappoint. Show organizers promised more than 65 debut vehicles, of which 25 were global reveals.
Sifting through this crop of debuts is no small task, but Autotrader picked the top five reveals in this year’s L.A. Auto Show. The picks are based on significance — significance to the automaker, the industry or the market. In one way or another, though, these five vehicles represent a leap forward.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
It’s tough not to be excited at the prospect of this fully electric Ford Mustang SUV. It’s the first time in 55 years that Ford has expanded the Mustang family beyond the pony car. It also marks Ford’s first clean-sheet-of-paper electric vehicle. Ford’s future focus will be on trucks, crossovers and SUVs. If the Mustang Mach-E represents what we can expect from Ford from here forward, that’s huge. As it does with the Mustang, Ford will offer the Mach-E with varying degrees of performance. At the top end will be GT versions making 459 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque and capable of sub-four-second 0-to-60 mph sprints. Pricing will begin at $43,895, moving up to $60,500 for the GT. Find a Ford for sale
2020 Nissan Sentra
Nissan is one of those manufacturers that’s continuing to double down on passenger cars. Its reinvestment in a new-generation Sentra follows on the heels of the redesigned Maxima and Altima. The Sentra is significant, as it’s Nissan’s best-selling vehicle of all time, but Nissan didn’t simply redesign it. An all-new, more efficient 149-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers a 20% increase in horsepower and a 16% bump in torque over the old engine. In styling, Nissan brought Sentra current with other sedans with its V-motion grille and floating roof. The new Sentra will offer leather to cover its NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats. As for technology, available connectivity and safety- and driver-assist features include a 360-degree surround-view camera, an 8-in touchscreen and standard Safety Shield 360 with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking and high beam assist. No pricing yet, but the all-new Sentra will go on sale early in 2020. Find a Nissan Sentra for sale
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
Toyota is touting the RAV4 Prime as the quickest and most powerful RAV4 ever. It’s claiming a 0-to-60 mph gallop in under six seconds. What also distinguishes this RAV4 model from those that have gone before is that this is the first RAV4 plug-in hybrid. What is significant here isn’t that the RAV4 Prime will be able to travel an estimated 39 miles on electric power only or that Toyota projects its fuel economy will be a healthy 90 MPGe combined but that manufacturers are continuing to push the electric envelope, even with CUVs and SUVs. The RAV4 Prime is simply the next step from the established RAV4 Hybrid to a fully electric version. With 83 more horsepower than the regular hybrid, the RAV4 Prime boasts the most horsepower in the segment and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. Toyota will offer it in SE and XSE grades when it hits showrooms next summer. Find a Toyota RAV4 for sale
2020 Land Rover Defender
It’s back. After disappearing from the U.S. market for more than two decades, the Land Rover Defender returns, all decked out with up-to-date (sort of) styling and cutting-edge technology. Not quite as fashionable as today’s Land Rovers, the Defender is a modern take on the squared-off SUV that won the hearts of yesterday’s adventurers. It’s characterized by short front and rear overhangs, a rear-door-mounted spare-tire carrier and flat sheet metal surfaces, which conspire to provide the no-nonsense feel of the original. It will come in long- and short-wheelbase versions called the 110 and 90. Like the Defenders of decades past, this one will be highly customizable but also well contented with standard features. Power will come from either a 300-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a 400-hp inline 6-cylinder. With a starting price of around $50,000, the 110 will be the first to reach U.S. shores at the beginning of 2020, followed by the 90 later in the year. Find a Land Rover Defender for sale
2020 Genesis G90
Genesis has been teasing us with a sweeping update of the G90 for nearly a year. It finally threw it a formal coming-out party at the Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing that the 2020 G90 will go on sale toward the end of 2019. For a model in the middle of a lifecycle, the update is remarkably extensive. Often referred to as a key competitor to the Mercedes-Benz Maybach, the G90 is Genesis’s flagship vehicle. Genesis explains that the G90 signals a big move for the brand toward a new design language it calls Athletic Elegance. As for the exterior wrapper, only the roof and doors remain the same. Stepping inside, the changes are obvious and elegant. Premium leather, open-pore wood accents, double stitching and piping dominate the cabin. Noise-cancellation technology reduces interior noise. The connectivity technology is paramount as well. It offers over-the-air updates for software. Two available grades are engine-based. The 3.3 T Premium uses a 365-hp 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine for power, while the 5.0 Ultimate gets a 420-hp 5.0-liter V8. Both send output to the rear (or all the wheels) by way of an 8-speed automatic transmission. Prices have yet to be announced. Find a Genesis G90 for sale