2019

2019 Maserati Quattroporte — Unique Italian style



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Maserati Quattroporte gives buyers of big luxury sedans a clear option. Instead of conservative Germanic luxury or Japanese-style craftsmanship, one can opt for dramatic Italian flair, a sumptuous cabin, agile handling, and blinding performance.

Ford F-250 Super Duty — Diesel muscle

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We secured a 2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab mainly to test the prodigious 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel engine. It came in a luxurious Limited top-trim package that left us at the outset concentrating more on the elegant interior than Ford's diesel setup with its 3,760-pound payload capability and 21,000-pound conventional towing capacity.

Honda HR-V — Refreshed for 2019

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Honda introduced its HR-V small crossover in 2016 into a rapidly growing segment. It came with a thoughtful interior layout that accommodated four adult passengers and 23 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats, as well as excellent fuel efficiency. The crossover-buying public quickly warmed up to the HR-V and it has become one of the bestselling vehicles in the segment.

Fiat 500X — Functionality with personality

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Fiat 500X small crossover was given a few nearly invisible styling tweaks for its 2019 model year freshening — a rather weak recipe for adding some new life to the cute little sub-compact that started life in the U.S. in 2016 on the Jeep Renegade platform. But wait, there's more.

BMW M5 — The pinnacle of sports sedans

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Being behind the wheel of the 2019 BMW M5 Competition had us in awe of its massive performance. It was a never-ending source of brute force with driving and handling proficiency in spades. The M5 is the ultimate companion for someone who is addicted to power, but needs comfortable room for four adults, a suitable commuter car, and a long-haul vacation vehicle.

Ford Mustang GT — A modern pony car

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The iconic Mustang is the last car standing at Ford Motor Company as the entire fleet of coupe and sedans has been terminated in the U.S. in favor of the current popular flavor — crossover/SUV and light truck. Lucky for Mustang fans — and sports car enthusiasts — the current pony car is enjoying worldwide success or it might have been on the chopping block as well.

Honda Passport — Quick and capable

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If you like the Honda Pilot crossover, but don't have a need for a third-row seat, then Honda has just the vehicle for you. It has brought the Passport name out of mothballs making the new 2019 crossover essentially a smaller Pilot with the same healthy V-6 engine, but sans the seat.

BMW X7 — Going big and bold

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It seems every automaker wants a full range of SUVs to satisfy our SUV/crossover crazed world. So it behooved BMW to build a full-sized sport utility — bigger than its mid-sized X5 — to compete with such luxury models as the Audi Q7, Lincoln Navigator and the Mercedes-Benz GLS Class. Enter the new South Carolina-built X7, which is BMW's largest SUV ever with a useable three rows of seating.

2019 Kia Niro EV



PHOENIX — The Kia Niro is an attractive, compact five-door hatchback that seats five-passengers. It’s surprisingly roomy, comfortable and easy to drive. For the record, Kia calls the Niro a compact crossover utility vehicle. Having been on sale nationally for a few years as a traditional gasoline and plug-in hybrid, what is new for the Niro lineup is the pure, 100 percent, all-electric model that, right now, is offered for sale in only 12 states.

Ford Ranger — Back in the game

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Probably one of Ford's most debatable decisions of the 21st Century was to ax the aging Ford Ranger in 2011 — for many years a compact/mid-sized pickup truck leader — instead of building an all-new version. It left General Motors a clear playing field when it introduced all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-sizers that were far advanced from previous models.