LA Auto Show roundup: New Jeep truck, rear-engine Corvette, and Aston Martin’s SUV

Fuels |  2 min. read

To wrap up the automotive year, we’d say the LA Auto Show is a good place to start.

Here’s some of what you might have seen there:

Jeep — which now makes a truck again.  Ok, for some people, that’s a big whatever but for other people, the Jeep Gladiator is a BIG deal. There hasn’t been a Jeep truck in a quarter century.

(Photo from Jeep)

And if you’re in that “big deal” group, then the 1,600 pound payload (what it can carry) and the 7,650 pound towing (what it can tow) are both best in class. Pair that with heated seats and the tech features you’d expect in a modern car, plus you can fold down the windshield and pop off the top if that’s your thing, we’d say that IS a big deal.

Next, the newest edition of the Mazda3.

(Photo from Mazda)

The Mazda 3 has been a solid choice for years. And this year there is plenty of the newest safety tech inside:  lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and the Mazda3 gets a top rating for safety.

All good, of course.  But our favorite part is under the hood.  Mazda engineers are famous for their work to keep squeezing more power AND more fuel-efficiency out of their internal combustion engines. The 2020 Mazda 3 is expected to get the latest version of that engine, the Skyactiv-X, which uses diesel-style fuel compression for more power , but still runs on the same gas you’ve always used.

Now for something completely different, there’s Chevy’s new Corvette C8.  This car looks cool and drives fast (you’d expect that from a ‘Vette), and has the engine BEHIND the seats (maybe not so expected, and brand new).

(Photo from Chevrolet)

The eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic with a V-8 engine pumping out 495 horsepower can go zero-to-60 in 2.8 seconds. As Car and Driver put it, “…the new C8 is spectacular, amazing, and supremely capable.  Maybe even revolutionary.”  Though they found room for future improvements too, so stay tuned for the 2020 LA Auto Show.

One last look at the show?  Well, as James Bond ages (even Agent 007 must someday, right), Aston Martin will be ready for him with its new DBX, their first-ever SUV.

(Photo from Aston Martin)

Will the rest of us need the 542 horsepower engine, or the clearance to drive through a foot-and-a-half of water?  Well, maybe not. But James Bond will probably like that.  And it’s quite roomy inside, so there’s plenty of space for whatever Q (as in the head of Q Branch – the Research and Development guys who make all of Bonds coolest gadgets) might want to add on to Bond’s future ride.

And we’ll wrap up with a heads-up for the New Year.  Expect to see a sea of blue in America’s driveways, now that Pantone (the color gurus) have announced their Color of the Year for 2020:  Classic Blue.