The Best Cars at the 2022 New York Auto Show

The Best Cars at the 2022 New York Auto Show

The New York Auto Show this year made its way back to Manhattan’s Javits Center, bringing some of the most intriguing up and coming cars, trucks and electric vehicles with it. Unsurprisingly, EVs of all shapes and sizes stole the show. However, there were more than a few combustion cars on the floor. As the resident Autos expert at Popular mechanicsI put together a list of the most notable vehicles that caught my eye.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz is full of Easter eggs

The German automaker had many of its vehicles on display, but the clear centerpiece this year was its ID. fuss. And the interior and exterior of the electric van are interspersed with fun little elements. Some of them are simple visual details, but some of them are really functional.

Aside from the Easter eggs, the ID. Buzz also has quite a few nods to the original VW Microbus. On the front you see the same oversized Volkswagen badge. Moved to the rear, it retains the same vents that would have ventilated the original air-cooled engine – only these are now more of a design exercise, not functional. We are not getting this exact vehicle in the United States. Instead, we’ll get a long-wheelbase variant in 2024. Jeffrey Lear, Product Manager for Volkswagen EVs, won’t give exact details, but it’s clear that the US variant will be based on the same underpinnings as the Eurospec model.

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The 2023 Kia Telluride gets more off-road insight and slight facelift

Kia unveiled a minor facelift of its Telluride SUV (one of the best cars in our Automotive Excellence Awards earlier this year). At first glance, the exterior changes aren’t dramatic. And that is good. From the outside, the vehicle gets new headlights and taillights, a new grille and new wheels. Inside, the cockpit features an optional 12.3-inch gauge cluster that seamlessly interfaces with the 12.3-inch infotainment system.

The Korean automaker also announced two off-road-ready finishes called X-Line and X-Pro. X-Line is the entry-level package, which adds 0.4 inches of ground clearance, new roof rails, 20-inch wheels and a drag mode that allows for higher RPM before shifting.

Meanwhile, X-Pro, which you see in the photo above, adds much heavier gear for those with an appetite for off-road riding. It features 18-inch wheels with Continental all-terrain tires. The new rubber has a much thicker sidewall, which reduces the risk of flat tires when off-roading. The new Telluride also has a slightly better towing capacity of 5,500 pounds (versus 5,000).

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Toyota’s GR Corolla Is The Juvenile Hot Hatch We Don’t Deserve

Many consider the GR Corolla a bit of a consolation prize to the US after learning we wouldn’t be getting the GR Yaris. To provide some perspective, GR stands for Gazoo Racing and is essentially Toyota’s performance division. It is the same as BMW and its M vehicles. However, it is clear that the Japanese automaker has found the recipe to build an absolutely magical hot hatchback. While the outside doesn’t look much different from previous sporty Corollas, it’s what’s under the skin that counts.

The vehicle is now powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower. The other big news is that it will only be available with a manual gearbox and three pedals. Once I gained access to the driver’s seat, I had a chance to row through the gears; while the shifting felt intuitive, I wouldn’t say it’s as sharp as the Civic Si we drove earlier this year. Although the triple exhaust outlets on the back look very nice. Aesthetics aside, it’s great to see a proper exhaust system rather than faux exhausts hiding a stock pipe behind it.

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Polestar’s Precept concept is a vision of the future

While I spent most of my time at the main show at the Javits Center, Polestar invited me outside to view its Precept concept car. However, instead of calling it a concept car, the Scandinavian brand considers it a “statement” car. Once the production car rolls out of the factory, it will essentially be no different from the concept car.

The Precept is incredibly striking to see in person, especially after seeing all the previous renders thrown around. It won’t be released until 2024, and the vehicle will show off a myriad of futuristic technology that Polestar plans to implement once production begins. With its digital mirrors, eco-friendly carbon fiber replacement and smart aerodynamic fittings that improve efficiency, the car is beautiful. It also screams Scandinavian design.

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Kia’s Niro lineup gets a mature redesign for 2023

The Niro got a well-deserved makeover alongside the Telluride for the 2023 model year. While the design comes as no surprise after its global unveiling last year, it’s great to see the styling live on in the US market.

If you’re looking to buy, you have the option to choose from hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrains. All three variants ride on the same front-wheel drive platform as the previous car. To provide perspective, this is essentially the same concept as a crab moulting out of its shell and finding a new one; from the outside it looks a little different, but the car itself is largely the same. You will probably notice the “aeroblade” accent that surrounds the rear side panel and compliments the body color.

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Jeep’s Wagoneer L is big and in charge

I may have been born in the ’90s, but I know cars used to be incredibly long. A good example is a Lincoln Continental Mk. 4 was the better part of 19 feet long. However, these behemoths have been left to history ever since. Until now. Jeep’s new Wagoneer – and Grand Wagoneer – redefines ‘big’.

For God’s sake, it’s 20 feet long. That’s a whole foot longer than the previous model. Compared to the non-L model, it gets a 7-inch longer wheelbase and an additional 5-inch rear overhang. While the longer wheelbase is very nicely hidden, the longer rear is much harder to hide. Jeep won’t reveal exactly what L means, but it’s not hard to think of it as the same L you’d see on the inside of a T-shirt. This is one of the largest cars on the road.

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Matt Crisara
Matt Crisara is a native Texan with an unbridled passion for cars and motorsports, both abroad and domestically, and as Autos Editor for Popular Mechanics, he writes the bulk of automotive digital and print coverage.

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