As gear heads, we’re understandably aroused by cars like the Porsche 918, the Spyker C8 Preliator, the Koenigsegg Regera, or the other high-end, super luxurious cars that are said be gracing the halls of Javits Center when the New York Auto Show gets underway next week. But there’s another side of the coin to being into cars, and that’s checking out what automakers are making for everyone else.
Take the Toyota Highlander, for instance. It’s not an exciting car; in fact, it’s engineered to be as sanitary as possible. But Toyota will sell more Highlanders in its first month than Spyker will sell Preliators… well, ever, probably, making it an incredibly important car to the brand and to those who compete with it.
In that spirit, here are six cars making their official debuts next week in New York that we — as strange as it may seem — are genuinely excited to see.
1. Toyota Highlander
Fresh off its online reveal, Toyota will be giving the Highlander its time under the lights next week. Equipped with a new V6 engine (more power and better fuel efficiency, Toyota says) and a new SE trim level (pictured), the Highlander will hold Toyota’s SUV game over well until the next complete redesign is released.
2. Toyota Mystery Concept
Toyota’s press release was about as cryptic as the photo above, but the brand promises “the next mechanical marvel in the Prius lineup” at its debut on March 23. It’s all speculation at the moment, but there are whispers that it could be the next-gen Prius plug-in or — perhaps more unlikely — the next Prius V.
3. Subaru Impreza
Subaru didn’t have to say much, but we’ve already got a pretty good idea of what to expect from the next Impreza: There won’t be any drastic changes, but from the looks of the meatier front end, it’ll take more after the WRX, including the more defined bracket LED lighting.
4. Buick Encore
Many — including us — realized that when Opel revealed the Mokka X earlier this year, it was essentially a soft-reveal for the next Buick Encore. We had no confirmation of this at the time, but leaked shots indicate that they will be — at least to the unfamiliar eye — virtually interchangeable aside from the badges.
5. Acura MDX
America’s best-selling luxury three-row SUV is getting a bit long in the tooth. After parading the Precision concept in Detroit, Acura is doubling down on its tough, angular styling as illustrated by this MDX teaser image. Gone for good (or it seems) is the chrome beak that has been the bane of new Acuras since 2009 or so.
6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
It’s been a long time coming, but Mitsubishi is finally turning up the Outlander plug-in hybrid for the U.S. market. While Volvo, BMW, Tesla, and Audi work on capturing the high end of the plug-in SUV market, Mitsubishi is hoping to capture the lower end before anyone else. It’s already on sale in England and other places, where it retails for roughly $44,000 — about $24,000 less than the Volvo XC90 T8.