CARS.COM — To hear the automotive journalists covering the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit talk about it amongst themselves, the Most Important Auto Show of the Year, this time out, was “a little slow.” They may have a point in terms of the deluge of sexy debuts we saw a couple of months back at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, but don’t bother telling that to, say, pickup-truck fans … or boxy luxury-SUV lovers … or even the family-sedan faithful who haven’t defected to SUVs like seemingly everyone else in the U.S.
Related: More 2018 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
Overall, this was definitely the Year of the Pickup Truck, with three major debuts from the Motor City’s Big Three automakers. These included 2019 incarnations of the best-selling half-ton Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500, along with the return after a seven-year hiatus of the mid-size Ford Ranger. Until America’s SUV obsession overtakes pickup trucks in the sales realm — spoiler alert: not gonna happen — three big bows like this at one show is enough to bolster any automotive exhibition.
But the excitement didn’t end there – especially if you’re one of the ostensible multitudes who either have the means to actually keep up with the Kardashians or just enjoy gawking at the other half’s opulence. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class acquitted itself like a G, indeed, as it revealed its much-hyped new look to the world – in the process managing the delicate feat of successfully updating an age-old design while not doing anything that would alienate all the rabid fans of this rolling cinder block’s iconic utilitarian appearance.
In the family sedan realm, players like the Kia Forte, Toyota Avalon and Volkswagen Jetta returned with updates for the 2019 model year, too, determined to fight the good fight against slipping sales in a time when families only wanna hear about SUVs. That’s not to say the Detroit show has nothing for fans of high-riding haulers, of course. The Jeep Cherokee returns for the 2019 model year with an all-new look determined to right the design wrongs of the previous generation and bring it in line with the other members of the cultishly adored SUV brand.
The Cars.com Editorial team is wrapping up here in Detroit, but keep an eye out as our coverage continues in the days leading up to the show’s doors opening up to the public on Jan. 20.
In the meantime, here’s everything you might’ve missed from the 2018 Detroit auto show:
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