NEW YORK — The New York International Auto Show began this week with media previews. It opens to the public April 3.
Here are some of the new cars unveiled Thursday at the show:
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER: Mitsubishi's seven-passenger Outlander small SUV was just redesigned in 2014, but it is getting a quick update to make improvements suggested by customers and dealers. Changes include more a rigid body and suspension, electric power steering, noise-isolating windshield and rear door glass, and increased sound insulation. The SUV also gets a new continuously variable transmission that keeps the motor revving at the most efficient speed. Outlander sales rose 6 percent in the U.S. to just over 13,000 last year, about one-sixth of Mitsubishi's total. The refreshed version is due in showrooms in July. Mitsubishi says it hopes to hold pricing steady. The current Outlander starts around $23,000.
TOYOTA RAV4 HYBRID: Toyota is bringing a gas-electric hybrid to the hot-selling small SUV market with a version of the RAV4 being unveiled in New York. Like all RAV4 models, the hybrid gets a sleeker exterior and improved materials on the inside. Toyota promises more horsepower and better gas mileage and acceleration than the current gas-powered RAV4s. Mileage and pricing weren't released. The current RAV4 with a 2.5-Liter four-cylinder engine gets 23 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway and starts around $24,000. The 2016 RAV4 Hybrid will be Toyota's eighth hybrid model when it goes on sale in the fall.
NISSAN MAXIMA: The large sedan gets a shot of adrenaline. The eighth generation of Nissan's large car — which first went on sale in 1981 — has the sporty, carved-out styling of Nissan's other new models, like the Murano crossover. It sits lower and wider than the previous generation. Under the hood sits an updated, 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and a new transmission. The new version drops 82 pounds of weight and Nissan estimates highway fuel economy will increase to 30 mpg. Inside, a 7-inch driver display can show navigation, speed and audio controls simultaneously. The highest Platinum trim level has a segment-first system that provides audible and visual warnings to drowsy drivers. The 2016 Maxima goes on sale this summer. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the current Maxima starts at $31,290.