The Recorder

Big sellers like Toyota Camry, Ram getting updates in 2018

DETROIT (AP) — After seven straight years of growth, U.S. sales of new vehicles could be hitting their peak. That’s putting extra pressure on automakers to update their vehicles and hang on to their market share.

Some important vehicles are getting revamps for the 2018 model year, including the Toyota Camry, which has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for 15 years. Two of the Camry’s archrivals, the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, are also new for 2018. The Ram pickup — a consistent best-seller — will also be getting an update. So will the Jeep Wrangler.

There’s a heavy focus on SUVs, which are popular with both Baby Boomers and Millennials in an era of low gas prices. There are several new full-size SUVs, including the Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Traverse and Volkswagen Atlas.

Here is a list of new and updated vehicles coming out in the 2018 model year. All prices listed exclude shipping charges, which vary by company.


TLX: Acura’s midsize sedan, launched in 2015, gets a redesign for 2018. It has Acura’s new “diamond pentagon grille,” a more sharply sculpted hood and front fenders. Inside, there’s a new touchscreen with more intuitive menus that responds more quickly than the outgoing screen. A suite of safety features, including collision mitigation braking — which automatically slows the car when it senses an impending collision — and lane departure warning. Engine choices — a 2.4-liter, 206-horsepower four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower V6 — remain the same, and the TLX gets up to 27 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The 2018 TLX, which went on sale in June, starts at $33,000.


X3: The compact SUV gets a redesign that didn’t change the exterior dimensions, but did add 2.2 inches between the wheels and equal front-to-back weight distribution for better handling. The X3 xDrive30i SUV gets a new kidney-shaped grille with new LED headlights and a roof spoiler. Standard with a 248-horsepower 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gas engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The M40i model has a 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 355 horsepower and can go zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds. Base model starts at $42,450. On sale in mid-November.


ENCLAVE: The all-new version of the seven-passenger, three-row family hauler is a little larger than the outgoing three-row model, and about 400 pounds lighter, although the turning radius is 1.4 feet tighter for better maneuverability. There’s added legroom in the third row plus more cargo space in the back. Powered by a 302-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 with a nine-speed automatic transmission. There’s also an Avenir version, a luxury brand within Buick. It arrives in early October at a starting price of $39,995.

REGAL SPORTBACK: Buick’s slow-selling midsize car gets an update with sleeker looks and a move to General Motors’ new midsize chassis. It’s 200 pounds lighter than the old sedan, and comes with a hatchback rather than a trunk. GM says that gives owners SUV-like versatility with the looks and handling of a car. It’s powered by a 2-liter, 250 horsepower turbocharged four. All-wheel-drive models get an eight-speed automatic while front-wheel-drive versions get nine-speed transmissions. There’s also a GS performance version with a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. Available in late November or early December. It starts at $24,990.


EQUINOX: The venerable, boxy version of Chevrolet’s small SUV gets a complete makeover with sleek new looks that make it competitive in what has become the hottest part of the U.S. auto market. The new one is 400 pounds lighter, 5 inches shorter and about an inch lower than the old model. But it also has slightly less front and rear legroom, according to GM’s specifications. Gone are the Equinox’s old 3.6-liter V6 and 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines, replaced by two smaller four-cylinder gas powerplants and a diesel. All are turbocharged for better acceleration. The base 1.5-liter engine puts out 170 horsepower, while an upgraded 2-liter four cranks out 252. The gasoline models are on sale now; the diesel arrives in the fall. Starts at $23,580.

TRAVERSE: General Motors went small when it started revamping its aging midsize people-hauling SUVs last year with the GMC Acadia. But it’s going bigger with the Acadia sibling, the Chevy Traverse. The company says Chevrolet buyers want more space, so the Traverse will seat up to eight and have more cargo room. It comes standard with a new 3.6-liter V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. A 2-liter turbo four is available. It’s just arriving at dealerships and starts at $30,875.


EXPEDITION: Ford’s eight-passenger SUV gets its first full redesign since 1996. Its sleeker body is made of aluminum, which helps shave 300 pounds off the vehicle and improves handling and fuel economy. Inside, the Expedition has a wireless charging pad for smartphones — a first for Ford — as well as sliding second-row seats that can tip and move even if they contain child seats. Ford says third row passengers also have more leg room and reclining seats. Outside, there’s a hands-free liftgate that operates with a wave of the driver’s foot and a system that automatically guides the vehicle in and out of parking spots. Under the hood is a 375-horsepower, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine mated to a 10-speed transmission. The Expedition goes on sale this fall. It starts at $51,695.

MUSTANG: The Mustang gets its first update since it was completely redesigned in 2015. There’s a new hood and a leaner, lower front end that features standard LED headlights. The 3.7-liter V6 engine is no longer offered; buyers can choose from the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder or a reworked 5.0-liter V8 that has improved power and fuel economy. A new 10-speed transmission is available; there’s also an upgraded manual transmission for the V8. The 2018 Mustang goes on sale this fall starting at $25,585.


TERRAIN: The “professional grade” version of the Chevrolet Equinox small SUV gets sleeker looks and smaller engines including 1.5-liter and 2-liter turbocharged four cylinders with nine-speed transmissions. There’s also a diesel option. Arriving at dealerships now. Base price of $24,995.


ACCORD: The tenth generation of the Accord sedan gets more coupe-like styling and its first-ever turbocharged engines. The base 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 192 horsepower, up from 185 in the previous Accord. It’s mated to Honda’s continuously variable automatic transmission. There’s also a new 2.0-liter with 252 horsepower. That comes with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is offered on sport trims. A hybrid version will also be available. Inside, Honda has added 2 inches of rear legroom and 4G LTE WiFi, which will allow over-the-air software update. A suite of safety features comes standard, including automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. Fuel economy and pricing hasn’t yet been released. The Accord goes on sale this fall.

FIT: Honda’s subcompact Fit gets updated styling and a new sport trim with a front spoiler and orange pin-striping. The Fit Sport offers a six-speed manual transmission. The Fit

now offers advanced safety features, including forward collision warning and a lane-keeping system that automatically keeps the car in its lane. The 2018 Fit went on sale in July; it starts at $16,190.

ODYSSEY (pictured): The fifth generation of Honda’s wildly popular Odyssey minivan has several new family-friendly options, including a rear entertainment system with 4G

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, the new Honda Odyssey minivan is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)

LTE connectivity, a CabinWatch camera that lets the driver keep an eye on the rear and a CabinTalk system that lets the driver talk to rear passengers through the speakers. New optional rear seats have multiple configurations and can be moved forward to allow third-row access even with child seats strapped in. The Odyssey has a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower, up 32 hp from the previous model. Base models get a new nine-speed transmission; a new 10-speed transmission is available. Most versions of the van have standard lane-keeping assist and a system that automatically slows the van down if it senses an impending collision. The Odyssey, which went on sale in May, starts at $29,990 and gets an estimated 22 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.


ACCENT: Hyundai’s subcompact car is all-new, but it’s only available now as a sedan. It has a more rounded design and an updated interior, and Hyundai says it is faster, handles better and is quieter than the old version. Powered by a 1.6-liter, 132 horsepower four-cylinder engine with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. Due in showrooms in November. Price hasn’t been released.

FILE – In this June 13, 2017, file photo, Euisun Chung, a vice chairman of Hyundai Motor, in a car, arrives with Hyundai Motor’s new SUV Kona during its world premiere in Goyang, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

KONA (pictured): The rugged-looking car equipped with an “urban smart armor” design debuts in 2018 as a new model. It’s a compact hatchback utility vehicle that Hyundai says is fun to drive with a rigid body structure for crisp handling. Comes with either a 1.6-liter, 175 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a seven-speed automatic transmission or a 147 horsepower 2-liter four with a six-speed automatic. Price hasn’t been announced for the Kona, which hits showrooms early next year.

SONATA: Hyundai’s midsize car gets a facelift for 2018 with a new hood, front fenders and trunk as well as front and rear fascia updates and a new grille. The 2-liter turbo gets an eight-speed automatic transmission instead of the old six-speed. Hyundai also stiffened up the suspension to improve the ride and handling. The hybrid and plug-in versions also are being redesigned. The Sonata has already gone on sale. It starts at $22,050.


Q50: The Q50 sedan gets some styling updates for 2018, including a more sharply defined grille and narrowed headlights. Engine choices, which were updated in 2016, remain the same: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 or a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid. The Q50 starts at $34,200.


WRANGLER: The small, rugged SUV is all-new for 2018, but Fiat Chrysler has been mum on details. Since it’s a cornerstone of the profitable Jeep franchise, it likely will look like its predecessor with military roots, but it’s expected to have some modern touches. An updated version of the outgoing Wrangler will be on sale until the new one is in showrooms by the end of the year. A Wrangler pickup truck also is possible. Pricing hasn’t been released.


NIRO: Kia’s Niro hybrid SUV, which was released earlier this year, gets a plug-in version with longer electric range for 2018. No other details have been released about the vehicle, which comes out later this year.

RIO: The fifth generation of Kia’s subcompact Rio is bigger than its predecessor, and Kia promises more headroom and legroom for the driver and passengers. A touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available on the highest trim level. The 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is carried over from the previous model but has improved fuel economy; a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission are available. Kia says an improved suspension gives the car better handling and a more comfortable ride. The Rio goes on sale later this fall, starting around $14,000. Final pricing and fuel economy will be released closer to its on-sale date.

STINGER: Kia breaks new ground with its new five-passenger Stinger sports sedan, a BMW rival that debuted at the Detroit auto show in January. Designed in Germany and based on Kia’s 2011 GT concept, the Stinger has the elegant look of a European fastback. The rear-wheel-drive sedan is also available in an all-wheel-drive version, a Kia first. Kia says a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder will produce 255 horsepower; an optional twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 pushes that to 365 horsepower. The engines are paired with an eight-speed transmission.  The interior is sophisticated and Kia has packed in numerous safety features, including automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and a system that alerts drowsy drivers. The Stinger goes on sale later this year. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the Stinger is expected to start in the mid-$30,000 range.


LC 500: The LC 500 coupe was previewed as a concept in 2012 and debuted at the Detroit auto show in January. It’s a taut, sporty two-door coupe with a glass roof and Lexus’ trademark mesh spindle grille. The LC has a 5-liter V-8 that produces 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque; it gets 19 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Also offered is a hybrid version, the LC 500h, that pairs a 3.5-liter V-6 with two electric motors for 354 horsepower. The hybrid gets 30 mpg. The LC 500 has a new 10-speed transmission; the hybrid version has a four-speed. Standard safety features include a lane-keeping system that automatically keeps the car centered in its lane. The LC 500 went on sale in May. It starts at $92,000, or $96,510 for the hybrid version.


NAVIGATOR: Like its Ford sibling, the Expedition, the eight-passenger Navigator is 200 pounds lighter and nimbler thanks to a new, aluminum body. There are luxurious touches throughout. When the driver approaches, soft lights illuminate the door handles and the ground in front of the doors. In the daytime, there’s a panoramic glass roof. The front seats can be adjusted 30 different ways and offer heating, cooling and massage functions. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 450 horsepower; it’s mated to a 10-speed transmission. Fuel economy hasn’t been released for the Navigator, which goes on sale later this year. It starts at $72,055.


LEAF: Nissan planned to unveil the second generation of its all-electric Leaf sedan on Sept. 5. The Leaf, introduced in 2010, is one of the world’s best-selling electric cars. But its current range of 107 miles on a charge has put it behind competitors like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, which get above 200 miles. The 2018 Leaf is expected to have better range and a new, more aerodynamic design. It will also debut Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system, which controls acceleration, braking and steering for the driver during stop-and-go traffic.


RAM 1500 PICKUP: Fiat Chrysler’s top-selling vehicle will be new from top to bottom for 2018, but no details about the new pickup have been released. CEO Sergio Marchionne says it will be revealed at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It’s likely to be lighter to compete with an all-new Chevrolet Silverado and the aluminum-skinned Ford F-150 in a highly competitive U.S. market. The current version, last reworked for the 2013 model year, will be on sale until the new one comes out. No release date or price were available.


CROSSTREK: Subaru’s compact wagon is all new for 2018, and the company says the redesigned version is more agile, safer and more comfortable. Looks haven’t changed dramatically. It comes standard with a more powerful 152-horsepower 2-liter direct fuel injection engine paired with a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual. The car has 8.7 inches of ground clearance for off-road driving. The Crosstrek starts at $21,795, just $100 more than the previous model. It’s already in showrooms.

LEGACY: The midsize sedan gets a mid-cycle update that includes a refreshed front fascia, grille, side mirrors and rear bumper. The interior also was upgraded, and Subaru says the new version will handle better and ride quieter than the outgoing model. The refreshed version already is in showrooms. It starts at $22,195.

OUTBACK: The wagon/SUV, Subaru’s most popular vehicle, also is refreshed for 2018. It gets new bumpers, headlights and an updated grille. New door mirrors cut through the air better and reduce wind noise. The 2018 Outback is already in showrooms. It starts at $25,895.


FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, the 2018 Toyota Camry is presented at the North American International Auto show in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

CAMRY (pictured): The midsize Camry, which has been the best-selling sedan in the U.S. for the last 15 years, has a completely new look and feel. Tired of the sedan’s practical but bland image, designers made the car lower, wider and sportier and gave it a more pointed nose. On sport trim levels, there’s an aggressive, spindle-shaped grille similar to the ones now found on Lexus sedans. Toyota says a new, more rigid platform and lightweight body materials — including an aluminum hood — vastly improve handling and driving dynamics. There are two engine choices: a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 206 horsepower and gets 34 mpg in city and highway driving or a newly developed 3.5-liter V-6 with 301 horsepower that gets up to 26 mpg. Both are paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid version of the new Camry gets up to 52 mpg. Standard safety systems include pre-collision automatic braking with pedestrian detection. The Camry went on sale in July; it starts at $23,495.

SIENNA: Toyota’s eight-passenger minivan got a new engine lineup in 2017. In 2018, it gets a new front end that more closely reflects the brand’s other vehicles. It also gets significantly enhanced safety; every Sienna now comes standard with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and a lane departure warning system that can also gently nudge the van back into its lane if it starts to drift. The updated Sienna goes on sale in November. Pricing hasn’t been released.


ATLAS: Volkswagen, which has struggled in the U.S. without a full lineup of SUVs, attempts to correct that with the seven-passenger Atlas. The beefy Atlas has a three-passenger bench or available captain’s chairs in the second row and a third-row bench that seats two more passengers. Both the second and third rows can fold flat for 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Safety features include automatic emergency braking and post-collision braking, which applies the brakes once an air bag detects a collision to help reduce residual energy from the crash. There are two engine choices: a 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 235 horsepower or a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 276 horsepower. Both are mated to an eight-speed transmission. The V-6 gets up to 20 mpg in city and highway driving, or 19 mpg if the buyer opts for all-wheel-drive; the four-cylinder will be available later and hasn’t yet been rated. The Atlas went on sale in the spring starting at $30,500.

TIGUAN: This is the second generation of Volkswagen’s small SUV, which debuted nine years ago. Responding to American customers, who found the outgoing Tiguan cramped, Volkswagen has made the new Tiguan almost 11 inches longer and added up to 58 percent more cargo space in the two-row model. The Tiguan also offers a three-row model that seats seven. The Tiguan has spare, clean lines and a lower, wider stance than its predecessor. Under the hood is an updated 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 184 horsepower and an eight-speed transmission. The Tiguan gets 24 mpg in city and highway driving, or 23 mpg with all-wheel-drive. It went on sale earlier this summer, starting at $25,345.