LA Auto Show: The 5 best SUV debuts of 2017 – Roadshow

The 2017 LA Auto Show has been a veritable SUV-splosion with sport utility vehicles and crossovers making up the bulk of the debuts. Ranging from three-row family vehicles to compact city crossovers, there’s something for every sort of SUV fan. We’ve rounded up our favorite unveils here, in no particular order.

Lincoln’s MKX was reborn for a second generation and rechristened the Nautilus. The new moniker signals a new direction for the Lincoln brand — a move away from the alphanumerics favored by the rest of the industry — as it struggles for relevance among the luxury brands. Fortunately, the Nautilus looks like a strong showing with a handsome new look and a promising loadout of amenities and tech.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus

Lincoln ditches the alphanumerics and dubs its new SUV the Nautilus.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Subaru pulled the wraps off of its new family-friendly large SUV, turning heads with a pack of puppers at the debut. The three-row 2019 Ascent will be the largest model in the brand’s history when it hits the road next year powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and Subie’s Symmetrical All-wheel Drive system. Power figures seem a bit modest, but hopefully 5,000 pound towing capacity and fuel economy numbers (yet unreleased) will make up for it.

subaru-ascent-2019-00873

Subaru’s Ascent is both family- and dog-friendly.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Apparently the market has been clamouring for a three-row variant of the Lexus RX to fill the large gap between the standard RX and significantly more massive GX. Enter the 2018 Lexus RX 350L and 450hL. To cram in the extra seating capacity, the automaker has extended the RX’s body by 4.3 inches and changed the rear windshield’s angle to be steeper, allowing for a tad more headroom back there.

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The RX’s look doesn’t change all that much, despite an extra 4 inches of body out back.

Lexus

Jeep’s legendary Wrangler gets a substantial update for the 2018 model year with a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that twists with up to 295 pound-feet of torque. The compact engine is augmented with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that boosts efficiency and performance, so you can enjoy the great outdoors while kind of helping the environment. 

There’s also a diesel option just around the corner, check out our Editor’s Take for more details.

2018 Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler gets refreshed with a new turbocharged engine and a mild hybrid system.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Technically a “North American debut” the compact Volvo XC40 made landfall in the US at the 2017 LA Auto Show. 

The crossover SUV will be our first crack at the automaker’s small vehicles platform, but will boast much of the tech and amenities that we’ve come to love in Volvo’s larger 90 Series vehicles. Interestingly, the XC40 will also debut the Care by Volvo subscription service, an alternative ownership program where would-be buyers pay a monthly flat fee that covers their lease, insurance, service and wear and tear.

2019 Volvo XC40

Volvo’s new subscription plan for the XC40 compact SUV should appeal to younger customers.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

Land Rover just unveiled a high-luxury variant of its Range Rover; it’s not really a new model, but we’re giving this new trim level an honorable mention.

Dubbed the SVAutobiography, the new model focuses on the back seats. The third row has been ditched and the second row moved rearward to make room for two individual rear seats that recline up to 40 degrees. Kicking back, passengers are treated to a “hot stone massage.” Even the rear doors are power-operated, so don’t ruin your relaxed state getting out.

2018 Range Rover SVAutobiography

The luxurious Range Rover gets more luxe, at least in the back seat.

Land Rover

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