Automakers roll out cars, price breaks

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The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Automakers rolled out a bevy of updated models at the North American International Auto Show, as always.

What was surprising is that more chose to debut cars instead of SUVs or pickups. (Those weren’t absent.) What was even more surprising is that in the two cases of manufacturers announcing prices, both were down compared with previous models.

Among the models that made their debut were BMW’s new X2 SUV, which was introduced in fall 2017, and next-generation introductions of the Hyundai Veloster, the Kia Forte and the Toyota Avalon.

The two that particularly caught our eye were the next-generation versions of Lexus’ LS for 2018 and Volkswagen’s Jetta for 2019.

Toyota Motor, which introduced the LS in September 2017, announced that the new version of its flagship sedan, which will go on sale in February 2018, will start at $75,000. Sure, that’s pricey, but it’s $3,820 less than where the 2017 version starts, the company says.

The new LS has a new 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that delivers 416 hp, compared with the previous version’s 4.6-liter V8, which generates 386 hp.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Jetta, which is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2018, will start at $18,545, which is $100 less than the 2018 version. It has the same engine as does the previous Jetta—a 1.4-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder model that generates 147 hp—but it has 1.3 more inches of wheelbase, a “coupe-like” design and new “premium” interior materials.