2009 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE
Chevy's new family hauler just hit the market with seating for up to eight, a $28,225 base price and a graceful design. If the Traverse gets the same rave reviews as GM's other recent midsize crossovers, it could outsell the other three put together.
2009 DODGE RAM
Radically reengineered, the new Ram offers improved fuel economy and several unique features for its coming-out this fall. A switch to car-type coil springs promises to make the Ram the smoothest-riding pickup on the market.
2009 FORD F-150
The F-150 is expected to lose weight and gain visual appeal. High-strength steel reduces weight and improves cargo and towing capability, while the crew cab model will offer 6 inches more space for rear leg room and storage.
Available: Late this year
2010 LINCOLN MKT
Lincoln promises that its eight-seat crossover will resemble the dramatic MKT concept car from 2007. The production MKT will have a more traditional squared-off roofline to provide room for three rows of seats, but it will also be the first car to fully embody Lincoln's new design theme.
2010 HONDA INSIGHT
The five-passenger gasoline-electric Insight is Honda's attempt to remind buyers that it's a leader in hybrid cars. Honda was the first automaker to sell a hybrid in the United States in 1999, but the flashy Toyota Prius quickly eclipsed Honda's Civic and Accord hybrids. Honda promises a base price "significantly below'' other hybrids.
Available: Next spring
2010 CHEVROLET CAMARO
The 422-horsepower V8 may dominate headlines, but the V6 model of Chevrolet's reincarnated sport coupe will probably determine the car's success. The 300-horsepower V6 has enough grunt to make the modern and beautiful Camaro a true sports car.
Available: Early 2009
2009 AUDI A4
Bigger, better and radically restyled, Audi's new sport sedan offers more room than the competition and an elegant new design. A base price of $32,700 should make competitors from Acura to Lexus nervous.
2009 TOYOTA VENZA
Designed and engineered largely in the United States, the five-passenger Venza crossover is Toyota's attempt to combine the appeal of sporty crossovers such as the Nissan Murano with the practicality of a midsize station wagon.
Availability: This fall
2010 TOYOTA PRIUS
Arguably the most eagerly anticipated car that will debut at the Detroit auto show next January, the Prius is an all-new replacement for the car that's become the icon for all gasoline-electric hybrids. Fuel economy should top the current model's EPA rating of 48 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.
Available: Next year
2009 MAZDA 6
This elegant midsize sedan aims to build on Mazda's reputation for making sporty alternatives to other automakers' mainstream models. Roomier than the car it replaces, the Mazda 6 also offers high-end features such as blind-spot alert.