Here are a few standout automobiles introduced in 2018.

Here are a few standouts introduced in 2018 to complete the December edition of Driver’s Notebook and usher in a new year!


2018 Chevrolet Camaro  2SS Coupe

The 2018 Chevy Camaro has been made into a life-sized “Hot Wheels” version to commemorate the 50th year of the miniature collectibles children—and adults—“vrooomed” across the floor of yesteryear. This coupe is a “gorgeous monster”—a fitting oxymoron to describe its beauty and brawn. Fully loaded, this custom Camaro’s highlights include a 6.2-liter V8 DI engine, 8-speed transmission, remote start, signature Chevrolet MyLink audio system, OnStar, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot to bridge its nostalgic theme with today’s technology. The “Hot Wheels Package” also includes the orange “Crush” and jet black color scheme inside and out; a satin graphite stripe; suede accents throughout the cockpit; and ground effects sitting on 20-inch wheels (also satin graphite). Remarkably, with all of the customization, this muscle car is still an achievable dream staying under 54K.

MSRP: $42,000; $52,570 complete with Hot Wheels Package ($4,995) and options

MPG: 17 city/27 highway/20 combined

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2019 Acura RDX

The mainstream mentality likes to quote certain SUVs as solely vehicles for “soccer moms” for some reason. Well, the revered Acura brand makes sure they kick that mentality to the curb by not pigeonholing that stigma in 2019. This all-new RDX shows 2019 is not only bright, but innovative with this captivating vehicle boasting

MSRP: $42,000l $52,570 complete with Hot Wheels Package ($4,995)

MPG: 17 city/27 highway/20 combined

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2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

Hybrids are “in” and justly so: they promote a progressive future lessening the harmful ecological effects of fully gas-operated engines. The all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited not only supports movement, but does it with a refined body flaunting LED lighting, power moonroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The luxurious interior pampers with premium leather seats, a concert-esque Entune 3.0 premium audio system, an App Suite, Apple CarPlay compatibility, 10-inch head-up display, Qi wireless charging station, and dual-zone climate control. And don’t let “hybrid” suggest limited power; its cloud-like driving experience still packs a punch of 176 horsepower thanks to a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder heart, and ECVT for smooth gear shifting. Design, technology, elegance, phenomenal gas range of 43 combined miles per gallon, and top-safety rankings are all successfully addressed priorities for the 2019 edition of this consistently solid trim.

MSRP: $42,800; $45,513 complete with Advanced Safety Package ($1,150)

MPG: 43 city/43 highway/43 combined

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2018 Nissan Kicks

2018’s introduction of Nissan’s brand-new Kicks compact crossover makes it an even more memorable year in the auto industry; this addition to the automaker’s extensive family of esteemed four-wheelers has been welcomed with high regards. Available in three trims—Kicks S, Kicks SV, and Kicks SR—it hits a bullseye targeting the Millennials and younger generation with its sleek, yet muscular frame available in five two-tone color combinations; trio of interface options— NissanConnectSM, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto—and heavily advertised 2.5-inch Bose UltraNearfield neodymium speakers visibly situated inside the driver’s headrest. The highly recommended Intelligent Mobility with standard Automatic Emergency Braking; Intelligent Around View Monitor; and numerous other safety features avoid the dangers of today’s techy distractions as well. Comfortably transporting up to five adults with impressive cargo space, its 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers stellar fuel economy averaging 33 miles per gallon, and the price tag starting under $18,000 collectively make the Kicks crossover a strong contender for new car of the year.

MSRP: Starting at $17,990

MPG: 31 city/36 highway/33 combined