New Cars for 2020 – First impression along with some highlights
If you’re interested in the new cars for 2020, this post is for you.
As a professional road trip travel blogger I get an opportunity to test/drive a lot of new and different types of vehicles. I recently attended the Southwest Lifestyle Media Drive event in Chandler, Arizona, where many manufacturers were on hand to show off their latest new cars for 2020. Also in attendance were many automotive journalists and car reviewers. As a road trip blogger, my car knowledge pales in comparison to those in attendance, but I still had a blast getting to try out many of the new cars for 2020.
This is not an in-depth review of any of the cars I test drove, as I just did not have enough time with any one vehicle to share much information or opinion. That said, there were several stand-outs and I will provide some of the highlights I learned. Hopefully you will find this post insightful for doing additional research on your vehicle of interest.
Dodge Ram 1500 Limited Crew 4×4
I have been a long time Ford F-150 owner, never been much of a Dodge Ram fan, but this truck blew me away! The smooth quite ride with robust throaty acceleration was quite impressive. The innovative 60/40 barn door tailgate, along with steps to get into the bed of the truck are very helpful. The high quality leather seats were quite supple, which you don’t often find in a truck.
The ride was almost like being in a Rolls-Royce, it’s so comfortable you hardly feel the bumps. When I was driving this new Dodge Ram I almost felt like the king of the road as this model was equipped with a 5-position ride suspension. While this massive truck has great acceleration, its matched with surprisingly good stopping power. There are so many gadgets, knobs and dials, I sort of felt like I was in an aircraft cockpit. There’s also a lot of storage space with plenty of power and USB Outlets. This truck just exudes coolness! Click the following link for more information on the Dodge Ram.
A few highlights of the Dodge Ram
- 2019 Truck of the Year
- 5.7 liter V-8 Hemi
- Over 12,000lbs of towing
- eTorque mild hybrid system delivers improved fuel efficiency
- Air ride suspension with five different ride levels
- Tailgate can support up to 2000lbs
- MPG: 17/23/19 (city, highway, combined)
Toyota Camry TRD (Toyota Racing Development)
One of the biggest surprises for me was the Toyota Camry TRD. This is not your parent’s Camry, this new generation blends space, comfort, excitement, features, and price, into a sweet and sporty package. The interior and exterior styling is really well done, very sporty with great acceleration and handling. I really liked the reddish burgundy color too. At $31,000 (as tested), this Camry TRD seems like a pretty darn good value. Click the following link for more information on the Toyota Camry.
A few highlights of the Toyota Camry TRD
- 3.5 liter V-6
- 301 horsepower with 267 lb.-feet of torque
- Direct shift 8-speed ECT-i automatic transmission with sequential shift mode
- STAR Safety System
- MPG: 22/31/25 (city/highway/combined)
Kia Telluride SX
After taking a Kia Sportage on a long road trip last year, I was excited to test out the bigger and beefier Telluride. This is a very good-looking mid-size SUV and will likely be a contender in the hotly contested class. I really liked the luxurious interior styling, and, the air-conditioned seats seem to be improved from the Sportage I drove. The shifting seemed to be a bit soft and the acceleration a bit lagging, although the specs say it does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, which is not bad for an SUV. The price also seemed a tad high at nearly $47,000 (as tested), but given other comparable SUVs on the market, it may in fact be fairly priced. Given my limited time driving, it’s a bit tough to provide solid opinions. This is without question a vehicle I’d like to spend more time getting to know. Click the following link for more information on the Kia Telluride.
A few highlights of the Kia Telluride
- 3.8-liter V-6
- 291 horsepower with 262 lb.-feet of torque
- Front or AWD
- 8-speed automatic transmission
- Head-up display
- Lots of safety and semi-autonomous features
- Seating for up to 8
- MPG: 19/24/21 (city/highway/combined)
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
This car unleashes extraordinary excitement. Out of all the new cars for 2020 on display, this is the one that got my heart pumping the most. I just loved both the interior and exterior styling. While it’s in the SUV class, it’s pretty much all sports car. This Quadrifoglio model goes 0-60 is a blistering 3.6 seconds. I think this might be the fastest short distance car I’ve ever driven. Built into the DNA of this car are four driving modes, D for dynamic, N for natural, A for all-weather, and, race mode, which turns off some of the technology and gives the driver full control. I don’t think Americans know a great deal about Alfa Romeo, except for those old classic Spiders. The company was actually founded back in 1910 in Milan, Italy and started racing in 1913. At $88,500, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio gives the Porsche Cayenne a run for its money, while being less expensive and has better performance. Click the following link for more information on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
A few highlights of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
- 2.9 Liter twin-turbo V-6
- 505 Horsepower with 443lbs of foot torque
- Top speed 176mph
- Stunning 20 inch Bright 5-hole forged aluminum wheels
- Carbon fiber accents
- MPG: 17/23/19 (city, highway, combined)
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
I think it’s been a long time since Jeep last had a pickup version of their capable off-road vehicle. This Gladiator Rubicon is one bad-ass truck that seemingly has no limits. You can buy the Gladiator stripped down for those who don’t want/need all the bells and whistles, or you can totally trick it out until your heart is content. I used to own a 1986 Jeep CJ-7 and it was not the most comfortable vehicle to drive. The new Gladiator on the other hand is an absolute pleasure. Click the following link for more information on the Jeep Gladiator.
A few highlights of the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
- 3.6 liter Pentastar V-6
- 285 horsepower with 260 lb-ft of torque
- 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission
- Two advanced 4×4 systems
- Body-on-frame design
- Over 11″ of ground clearance
- 7,650-pound towing capacity
- MPG: 17/22/19 (city, highway, combined)
The Ford Explorer is probably one of the best SUVs to blend luxury, comfort, styling and off-road capabilities. The Explorer handles well with great acceleration and minimal road noise in the cab. This is an all-around solid vehicle. With the Platinum version, the Explorer can really be decked out, such as a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers, dual-panel moonroof, brilliant 10.1″ LCD capacitive portrait touchscreen with swipe and pinch gestures, and a lot more. Click the following link for more information on the Ford Explorer.
A few highlights of the Ford Explorer
- 3.0L EcoBoost V-6
- Intelligent 4WD
- 20″ bright machined-face aluminum
- Second-row captain seats with Power-Assist Fold
- 300 horsepower with 310 ft. lbs of torque
- MPG: 16/22/19 (city, highway, combined)
Chevrolet Traverse FWD High Country
Earlier this year I went on a road trip in the GMC Terrain, the close cousin of the Chevy Traverse and absolutely loved it. If you’re not familiar, the Traverse is a mid-size SUV spacious enough for a large family, yet does not compromise on performance or style. One of the features of the new Traverse that I loved was the fact that you can flip the rear view mirror into a monitor, utilizing one of the rear cameras, which is perfect if you have a lot stowed in the back and can’t see through the window. Click the following link for more information on the Chevrolet Traverse.
A few highlights of the Chevrolet Traverse
- Hands-Free Power Liftgate
- Hidden storage
- Seats up to 8
- Wide range of active safety features that utilize cameras, sensors and radar
- Traction modes that include front-wheel drive, AWD, off-road and towing
- MPG: 18/27/23 (city, highway, combined)
The Subaru Outback is very popular with the legions of Subaru lovers out there, which seem to be geographically concentrated in particular parts of the country. For example, in the Pacific Northwest it seems the vast majority of cars on the road are Subaru’s, likely for their all-weather capabilities. My step-father used to have a Subaru Outback and I always enjoyed driving it. The 2020 version has a really nicely integrated navigation display and it seems the comfort has been improved. Click the following link for more information on the Subaru Outback.
Some highlights of the Subaru Outback
- 2.5-liter DOHC engine
- 182 horsepower with 176 lb-ft. torque
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- 4-wheel independent raised suspension
- MPG: 26/33/30 (city, highway, combined)
In the budget category, Nissan has done a remarkable job packing a lot of advanced features into an economical car, which is perfect for young, first-time buyers or those more budget-minded buyers. The new 2020 Versa has an MSRP under $15,000, fully equipped at under $20,000. It also gets really good gas millage, making this car even more affordable. Click the following link for more information on the Nissan Versa.
Some highlights of the Nissan Versa
- Hill start assist
- Inline 4-cylynder with 122HP
- Rear-seat alert to remind you if you’ve left anything
- MPG: 32/40/36 (city, highway, combined)
Kia Soul X-Line
The new 2020 Kia Soul has been completely redesigned with all-new high-tech features, and available turbocharged engine. I found the seats to be very comfortable, they hug you in place. This is another entry-level vehicle that will appeal to young buyers, especially with its hip styling and affordable pricing. There are not many bells and whistle‘s, but it’s still a fun and sporty little crossover type vehicle. The Soul has some pretty decent pick up, along with an econ mode where the engine shuts off when you’re at a stop to help save fuel. Click the following link for more information on the Kia Soul.
Some highlights of the Kia Soul X-Line
- 2.0L I-4 Multi-port Injection
- 147 horsepower with 132 lb foot torque
- Intelligent variable transmission
- Rugged body kit
- MPG: 25/31/27 (city, highway, combined)
This is another entry-level car starting around $20,000, fully loaded at around $26,000. Click the following link for more information on the Hyundai Kona.
Some highlights of the Hyundai Kona
- 2.0 4-cylinder with 6 speed auto transmission
- 2019 North American utility vehicle of the year
- 5 trim packages with front or AWD
- Loaded with tech and safety features
- MPG: 27/33/30 (city, highway, combined)
Well that’s a look at some of the new cars for 2020. There were quite a few more, but these were some of the most noteworthy. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.