US: all the hot launches of 2016 (Part 3) image

Sales are booming, with pickups, SUVs and crossovers at the forefront and profits are on the rise like never before. And when the good times roll, model year cars become hotter than ever.

As we leave behind us the scorching summer and prepare for the autumn, the automakers are like our children going to school – they’re brimming with anticipation and have made outstanding preparations – in this case the 2016 model year cars. And because the autumn is like the start of an entirely new year for carmakers, we’re expecting only good things to happen across dealer lots all over the country.

The 2016 model year changeover will not only come with its usual foray of new and refreshed autos, but also carries forward certain important technologies – the list being headed by the massive addition of the Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto infotainment systems, sitting next to the latest crop of semi-driverless features that promise hands free driving under certain conditions. When it comes to cars and light trucks, every customer will find something to be satisfied with, form the smallest – second generation Smart ForTwo to the BMW 7 Series flagship, supercars or Bentley’s first ever ultra-luxury SUV, the Bentayga. We have come up with a brimming list of the most important models to headline the upcoming 12 months, following up on part one and two:

Mazda has two interesting and crucial model introductions this year. On the one side is the fourth generation of the little roadster that could – the MX-5 Miata, which seeks to recapture the soul of the original in a modern and stylish design packed with the latest technology. On the other side of the spectrum sits the subcompact CX-3 crossover.

Mercedes-Benz has been choke full of new model introductions and refreshes in recent years and has no intention to stop – they are now bringing the all-new generation midsize E Class. With design cues from the C and S Classes, the E is also expected to best them both in terms of advanced technology features.

Nissan will come to the market with an updated Altima sedan, the all-new generation of the rather slow selling Titan full-size pickup, jolted with additional body styles and a powerful disel variant.

Smart is… just being smart – as always. They will target the miniscule but rich niche of urban buyers that seek a car that is almost as nimble as a regular motorcycle. The all new ForTwo is every much the original in a completely new package – the cabrio version is there too.

Scion is trying to reinvent itself and has decided to deliver a couple of entirely new models for the year – the iM hatchback and the first sedan of the marquee, the iA.

Tesla is finally ready to deliver the promise of a second model for its lineup. It will be another green vehicle, powered only by electricity coming from the batteries but it could land spectacular sales because it’s in a hot selling segment – the new Model X is an SUV.

Toyota has numerous crucial introductions for the 2016 model year, starting with the introduction of the new generation Prius hybrid. The worldwide sales of eco cars are not doing very well and that has taken a toll on the current generation, but the new one promises to be larger, better designed and even more fuel-efficient. The brand is also introducing the updated midsize Tacoma pickup.

Volvo is ready to shift its image from a maker that delivers dull and boxy vehicles into one that is just as safe but also exciting and fresh in terms of styling. After the XC90 crossover we’re expecting another flagship vehicle, this time the S90 sedan.