If you’ve spent the last decade traversing sub-Saharan Africa – or been part of a research project in Antarctica – you may have missed it. Otherwise, you know that today’s family car is no longer a car. It is, instead, a car-based crossover, invariably built by Honda, Nissan or Toyota. And if needing further proof, take one look at the wide array of crossovers and SUVs on display at this year’s DFW Auto Show, rolling into town on March 27th and staying through Sunday, March 31st.
Among the 2020 models on display in North Texas are Ford’s all-new Explorer, Hyundai’s upmarket (and upsized) Palisade, Kia’s similarly large Telluride, Lincoln’s Aviator and two from Mercedes-Benz – the GLE350 and GLS450.
These new introductions are on top of new models for 2019. Notable regional intros include Honda’s all-new Passport, Hyundai’s redesigned Santa Fe, the Lincoln Nautilus, Nissan Murano, Porsche Macan and Subaru’s 3-row Ascent.
Although Ford’s new Explorer wears a familiar nameplate, its underpinnings are a throwback to when the Explorer was RWD-biased, and supplied at least the pretense of off-road capability. Today’s Explorer regains its longitudinal drivetrain, available 3rd-row seating and – depending on options – again enjoys some off-road chops. And with a variety of turbocharged drivetrains, it should be responsive, whether traveling to Aspen or simply cruising Amarillo.
If shopping and absolutely baffled by the sheer variety, you’ll find no better place to get a handle on those choices than an auto show. Or, we’d admit, you could become more confused…