2017

Volvo V90 Cross Country — Go anywhere in style

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If a luxury sedan doesn't quite fit your need for interior space and you are one of a few who would rather not drive a taller crossover, but you need the bad-weather or off-road capability offered by a crossover, Volvo has the answer in the V90 Cross Country, a stunning mid-sized wagon that carries the gorgeous design language of the S90 sedan and the XC90 crossover.

Hyundai Ioniq — A modern hybrid

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We were already convinced the all-new Hyundai Ioniq hybrid was a gas-sipping compact car we could live with, but it took a 600-mile round trip mostly on the rough and tumble world of interstate highways on the east and west coasts to really appreciate Hyundai's efforts in building a gas-electric vehicle that rivals anything in the segment — including the industry standard, Toyota Prius.

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack — Go-anywhere wagon

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If you desire a car-like driving experience, but need extra cargo capacity and desire the light-duty off-road capability necessary for traversing such things as snow-covered roads, then we have the ticket. It's the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

Mazda CX-5 — Making a good crossover better

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Mazda checked all the boxes with its first compact CX-5 crossover introduced in 2012, and it has followed up with a second-generation that takes everything up a notch from build quality to styling to driving dynamics to cargo and livable passenger space.

Kia Optima Hybrid — A job well done

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Hybridization seems to be the immediate future of the automotive industry as we await further development of hydrogen fuel cell cars and all-electric vehicles. A hybrid vehicle has both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor endowing it with exceptional mileage — and virtually all automakers now have hybrid variants of some of their vehicles in an effort to meet mandatory mileage standards.

Ford F-250 Super Duty — Loaded with features

By David Finkelstein

When it comes to meeting the needs of the commercial industry, building trades, towing and the everyday tasks that ranchers and farmers confront, the choice of a work truck is extremely critical. Having said that, Ford Motor Company meets these needs with a variety of vehicles including the all new 2017 F-250 Super Duty series of vehicles.

BMW i8 — Hybrid supercar

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The BMW i8 puts the company's advanced hybrid technology on public display in a drop-dead gorgeous supercar that has onlookers marveling at its beauty. The i8, indeed, puts a new and exotic spin on the hybrid vehicle with its swooping lines, protruding quarter panels, a buttress that forms behind the C-pillar, and the so-called scissor-wing doors that swing up and out from the A-pillars.

Toyota Highlander — Modern family transportation

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

For several years the mid-sized Highlander crossover SUV has been a sales juggernaut for Toyota. And Toyota has apparently hit the right notes with a refreshed 2017 Highlander featuring an engine upgrade and a new 8-speed automatic transmission. It's fourth in total sales at Toyota through the first seven months of the year trailing only the Camry and Corolla sedans and the RAV4 compact crossover. The upgrades and styling tweaks assigned to the 2017 Highlander have paid off — sales are heading toward the 200,000 mark for the year.

Ford Fusion Sport — Family sedan muscle

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It's been more than 50 years since big horsepower started showing up in family sedans. In 1963, the Ford-Chevy horsepower war heated up to the extent that the Ford Galaxie family sedan could be ordered with a variety of big engines including the brutish 427 cubic inch V-8 packing a whopping 425 horsepower.

Kia Niro — A hybrid AND a crossover

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The all-new Kia Niro competes in the small crossover segment against such players as the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3, but it possesses one big advantage, the Niro is propelled by a fuel-stingy hybrid drivetrain. Gas mileage ranges toward the 50 mpg mark putting it squarely in the crosshairs of the Toyota Prius hatchback. It can live in both worlds quite well, so is this the beginning of a new sub-segment of small dedicated hybrid crossovers?