The supply chain shortage continues to tamp down automotive production and sales, but that hasn’t stopped automakers from introducing new and redesigned models. Electric vehicles are the next hot trend, but gas-powered and hybrid vehicles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and there are plenty of new ones hitting the market this year. The latest models try to sway buyers with more power, the latest tech and fashionable looks. But which are the most impressive? The experts at Edmunds round up five of the most noteworthy vehicles, sorted by price, hitting dealerships this year.
When Toyota removed the wraps off the redesigned Prius, most were taken aback by its stylish looks. Gone are the awkward styling and the underpowered hybrid engine. The new powertrain produces almost 200 horsepower — a gain of over 70 horsepower — which results in significantly quicker acceleration. This power gain doesn’t come at the expense of fuel efficiency, either. Toyota says the base Prius will get an impressive 57 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
The interior is more conventional-looking, though we see that as a plus, thanks to a high-mounted touchscreen display and a digital gauge cluster that sits behind the steering wheel instead of perched on the center of the dashboard. Toyota also updated the new Prius’ tech with a bigger center touchscreen and more helpful voice command features.
Estimated starting price: $28,000
Dodge’s latest creation isn’t something you’d expect from a brand that boasts large and powerful vehicles like the Charger and Durango. The all-new Hornet is a small SUV powered by a strong turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or a 288-horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain. It shares a platform with its corporate cousin, the Alfa Romeo Tonale, and will compete with the Mazda CX-30 and Volkswagen Taos.
As with other Dodge models, the Hornet sports an aggressive front fascia. Inside, the SUV provides a roomy cabin for its size and a modern interior that features a standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch center touchscreen. When you consider its strong engines, standard all-wheel-drive system and tech features, its starting price is quite attractive.
Estimated starting price: $30,000
The 2024 Ford Mustang marks the seventh generation of the long-running and renowned pony car. This Mustang is more of an evolution than a revolution since it uses the same platform and is powered by updated versions of the 5.0-liter V8 and turbocharged 2.3-liter engines. Ford has added power to the V8, giving it a maximum of 500 horsepower in the new Dark Horse model. The four-cylinder is up to 315 horsepower, which is the most standard power in a Mustang to date.
The new Mustang’s exterior has a familiar but more sculptured and modern design. Inside is where the most significant improvements were made. Your eyes will be drawn to the 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster that can be paired with an available 13.2-inch touchscreen. A new neat feature allows the engine to be revved remotely, via the key fob, to show off to your neighbors.
Estimated starting price: $32,000
The three-row Honda Pilot midsize SUV has been hauling families around for 20 years now and benefits from a full redesign for the 2023 model year. Besides a revised exterior and interior, Honda gave its largest SUV more passenger space with additional legroom in both rear rows and an available removable second-row middle seat that allows for up to eight-passenger seating.
A new TrailSport model improves the Pilot’s off-road prowess with a 1-inch suspension lift, underbody skid plates, all-terrain tires and a more capable all-wheel-drive system. Finally, the Pilot’s improved 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row is one of the largest in its class.
Starting price: $40,445
The Crown is Toyota’s all-new large sedan that replaces the discontinued Avalon. Hoping to attract SUV buyers and perhaps carve out a niche, the Crown provides a higher driving position than a traditional sedan and comes standard with all-wheel drive. Buyers have a choice of two hybrid engines, a base unit that produces 236 horsepower and a 340-horsepower Hybrid Max engine that powers the top Platinum trim, which can be ordered with a distinctive two-tone paint job.
The comfortable Crown boasts a well-appointed interior that features a large digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch center touchscreen. The base hybrid engine delivers an estimated 41 mpg in combined driving, which is impressive for a large all-wheel-drive sedan. The more powerful hybrid engine, however, returns a less exceptional 30 mpg combined but should deliver a more entertaining driving experience.
Starting price: $41,045
Whether you’re looking for an affordable and efficient car, a family SUV, or a tire-shredding sports car, there’s a good chance one of the new vehicles above is right for you in 2023.
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.
Michael Cantu is a contributor at Edmunds.