2019 LA Auto Show wrap-up: Audi, Jeep Gladiator, Kia, Porsche and Rivian brought the heat

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BMW

BMW debuted its little heart out with a full lineup of hot new luxo-missiles, the most important of which is the M340i xDrive. BMW gave us a glimpse of the 330i at the Geneva Motor Show, and our man Steven Ewing got a chance to get behind the wheel of the new G20-generation 330i at the Nurburgring. This LA debut showed us the most aggressive version (so far) of the next 3 Series, which will make 369 horsepower from its turbocharged straight-six. After seeing it in the metal, we can confirm that it’s much more interesting in person, with its more aggressive exterior and interior.

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Fiat

Fiat’s subcompact 500X crossover SUV has been on sale in North America since 2016, but it hasn’t quite caught fire with consumers (maybe it would if it looked more like the Multipla from the late 1990s and early 2000s). For 2019, a refreshed model debuts with slightly different looks, a new engine, standard all-wheel drive and a greatly simplified model range.

Slight downsizing has occurred in the engine bay, where the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine or 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine has been replaced with a single 1.3-liter turbo unit. Despite the size reduction, the new engine actually produces a lot more torque than its predecessors: 210 pound-feet (versus 184 pound-feet in the 1.4-liter or 175 in the 2.4-liter). That should make it feel sprightlier than last year’s model, despite the fact that horsepower remains modest at 177.

For 2019, the six-speed manual transmission has been nixed, meaning it’s nine-speed automatic or nothing. Front-wheel-drive configurations have also been discontinued.

On the plus side, a newly upgraded Uconnect 4 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, and adaptive cruise control and front park assist are now standard. 

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