Only a handful of new vehicles debuted at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, leaving the halls of the Cobo Center quiet and sparse compared with years past.
But automakers still revealed high-impact, technology-stuffed trucks and SUVs that compete in crowded segments, an acknowledgment to the fight to gain consumer attention amid a preference shift that favors larger vehicles over sedans and shows no signs of slowing down.
Trucks.com roamed the floor in search of the most capable new vehicles. Here are the five standout trucks and SUVs of the 2019 Detroit auto show.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles grabbed headlines with its redesigned 2019 Ram HD pickup truck reveal. The diesel-powered Ram 3500 delivers a massive 1,000 pound-feet of torque and has a maximum towing capacity of 35,100 pounds.
What truly characterizes the new Ram, however, is its interior: a luxurious mix of style and upscale materials that takes comfort in heavy-duty trucks to new heights. Styling cues come from the interior of the light-duty Ram 1500 – a large part of why that vehicle was named Truck of the Year in the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. Ford and Chevrolet are scheduled to reveal their own heavy-duty pickups in the coming weeks, and Ram raised the bar high.
The 2020 Ford Explorer is proof that crossovers have evolved into much more than big people-movers. The three-row SUV launched in Detroit with three distinct powertrains: an efficient 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with up to 400 horsepower and a 3.3-liter hybrid with 500 miles of range.
The Explorer also has Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. It rides on a rear-wheel-drive platform shared with the all-new Lincoln Aviator that promises lively driving dynamics and improved towing capability. Ford poured significant resources into developing the new Explorer and expects it to continue as one of the brand’s hottest-selling vehicles.
Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group is intent on entering the U.S. market. For its fifth appearance at the Detroit auto show, GAC landed its most prominent booth position and used it to show off an array of SUV models as well as the Entranze, an electric concept vehicle the company wants to build this year.
The Entranze experiments with its approach to interior space and passenger loading, following a recent trend as the age of automated driving approaches. Two doors on each side of the vehicle slide open away from one another. There are three rows of seating inside – a three-passenger bench in the front and two seats in both the second and third rows.
Kia already has demonstrated its all-new Telluride has outdoor credentials. The automaker teased the adventure-ready large SUV at New York Fashion Week and the SEMA auto accessories and gear show in Las Vegas. The burly production version finally made its way to Detroit. The automaker surrounded the three-row SUV with a virtual waterfall and loaded it with adventure accessories. With available all-wheel-drive and five driving modes, the Telluride is finally ready to hit the trails.
While the automaker focused on capability, it did not skimp on comfort. The interior of the Telluride shines with soft surfaces and warm wood accents. There are four trim levels, and a 3.8-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Telluride appears positioned to battle with the other new three-row adventure crossover, the Subaru Ascent.
Indian automaker Mahindra made an appearance in Detroit to show off its off-road utility vehicle called the Roxor. The compact model bears more than a little resemblance to the Jeep Wrangler for a good reason: Mahindra began in 1945 with a license from Willys-Overland, which later became Jeep.
The Roxor, built in Auburn Hills, Mich., has a steel frame and body. It can tow 3,500 pounds. It is on sale now for recreational customers; Mahindra plans to bring a commercial work version to market in the near future. The company has received interest from mines, railroads and search and rescue operations. With a turbodiesel engine, five-speed manual transmission and 9 inches of ground clearance, the Roxor inspires visions of kicking up mud and dirt – even on the carpeted halls of the Cobo Center.