2019

2019 Toyota 4Runner — An off-road champ



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Step back in time when the family sport utility vehicle — now known as a crossover utility — was built on a body-on-frame truck platform, was loaded with interior plastic, usually came with a spacious cargo area but tight rear-seat accommodations, and tended to wander on the road without constant inputs from the driver. You can have much of that same experience today at your neighborhood Toyota store. Ask for a test drive in a 2019 4Runner.

Ram 3500 — A massive workhorse

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Usually our time spent researching all aspects of a vehicle including test driving in all sorts of situations from heavy city traffic to winding mountain roads is a rewarding — and revealing — experience. But there are exceptions. One of those exceptions was piloting a 2019 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty dually with an eight-foot bed through crowded city streets and into restaurant and mall parking lots. It was a white knuckle experience.

Ford Edge ST — SUV performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

With sedans and coupes all but gone from the Ford lineup — Mustang being the lone exception — Ford's performance team has no choice but to work their magic on SUVs, crossovers and trucks. Meet the 2019 Ford Edge ST, which replaces the Sport in the Edge lineup, and becomes the first ST-tuned Ford crossover. This is one very fast — for a mainstream crossover — vehicle, but it falls short if you are looking for a true replacement for ST-tuned cars.

VW Jetta GLI — Sports sedan on a budget

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Traditional sedans have been caught up in a massive avalanche of crossover SUV sales that threaten to all but eliminate the conventional passenger car from the North American marketplace. But take heart sedan lovers, there are still some very interesting and pleasing choices available if you look in the right places.

Toyota RAV4 — Compact CUV reinvented

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Many things have changed in the two decades plus since that initial RAV4, not least the RAV4 itself, which enters its fifth generation with the 2019 model. It reinvents itself with a bigger, more fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine; a more rugged appearance especially with the Adventure trim level; more driver assist technology; and with a new hybrid powertrain that feels quicker than the gas-only version.

Hyundai Veloster N — Affordable performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We liked the all-new 2019 Hyundai Veloster when we tested it a few months back with its upgraded styling inside and out, sport-tuned suspension, a larger cargo area than the previous iteration, and a very healthy 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. And now we are pleased to report that Hyundai has taken it up another notch becoming the first American car to get the company's performance N treatment.

2019 Audi S5 Sportback



INDIANAPOLIS — I fly way too much, but sometimes the destination can be reached by car — preferably a very fast and comfortable one.  It’s a great challenge.  Which car to drive?  A large luxury SUV would be great, but they’re not fun fast.  A sports car is fast, but not very comfortable.  Coupes can be comfy and fast, but aren’t very practical.  So, I settled for a top flight “five door coupe.” 

Lincoln Nautilus — Improving on the MKX

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Lincoln has decided to scrap its decade-old decision to slap letters on most of its vehicles, which has been confusing since the day we heard the short-lived mid-sized Zephyr sedan was going to become the MKZ. Fortunately, the former mid-sized MKX crossover has been redesigned for 2019 and becomes the Nautilus.

McLaren 720S — Pinnacle of performance

By Jim Meachen

A few numbers will help explain exactly what the 2019 McLaren 720S supercar is all about. Astounding but true — 0-to-60 mph, 2.7 seconds; 1/4-mile, 10.2 seconds at 145 mph; 0-to-100, 5.4 seconds; and 0-to-180 mph, 17 seconds.

Hyundai Santa Fe — Crossover excellence

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Hyundai has proven it knows how to build a good crossover sport utility vehicle, and it now has a solid lineup for any family need. The 2019’s include the award-winning subcompact Kona to go along with the recently updated compact Tucson, an all-new larger compact Santa Fe, and a stretched three-row version — the Santa Fe XL, and the all-new and upcoming mid-sized eight-passenger Palisade. And we think within a year or two the Santa Fe XL may go away with the arrival of the larger Palisade.