GMC Sierra AT4 — Off-road performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

In years past there hasn't been much to distinguish the GMC Sierra from the Chevrolet Silverado other than the Sierra was more feature-laden and came in at a higher price point. It seems one of General Motors' goals with its all-new-for-2019 full-sized trucks was to better differentiate appearance and personality that easily distinguishes the brands giving the GMC a clear-cut personality of its own.

Mazda3 Hatchback — Head of the class

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The updated 2019 Mazda3, which comes in sedan and hatchback configuration, is a good example of why Mazda has earned the reputation for building high quality well-engineered and superbly designed cars and crossovers with luxury-like interiors. In the case of the Mazda3 you can add precise handling, an energetic engine, and decent gas mileage.

Additionally, Mazda has added all-wheel drive as an option for just $800 to give drivers a viable choice. And Mazda has made the previous optional engine — a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder — the standard powerplant across the lineup endowing all Mazda3's with 186 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque.

2019 Mercedes AMG G63

PHONEX — I’ve always had a soft spot as well as a passion for old vehicles. I guess they are a fresh breeze of the past, blowing through our minds to remind us of truths of times long forgotten. Some of those vehicles were nothing more than shooting stars, debuting to raves then quickly flaring into oblivion, to be completely forgotten. Others, like the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen, introduced in 1979, are an immediate conflagration, developing a rock-star presence and a cult-like following that burns on. The word “legendary” could easily preface its name.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross — A stylish crossover

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Mitsubishi has become a company of crossover SUVs and the strategy has brought it back from the brink of extinction in the U.S. and into some semblance of prominence riding on the back of the Outback and the Outback Sport.

Lexus RX 350L — Stretched for three rows

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Maybe it was just a stroke of luck or maybe it was a very savvy decision based on the future of the luxury market. Either way, Lexus was the first out of the starting blocks with a smaller unibody sport utility vehicle, which has morphed into the modern crossover.

2019 BMW 330i

MIAMI — For over four decades, the BMW 3 Series has been considered to be the benchmark in the sport sedan segment as well as serving as the German automaker’s best-selling model. BMW reports that more than 15 million 3 Series models have been sold worldwide since it arrived in the U.S. in 1976 as a replacement for the iconic BMW 2002 sedan.

Nissan Altima — Advancing the sedan

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We like sedans, particularly mid-sized sedans that offer just-right five-passenger size, useful cargo space, decent handling and performance, affordable gas mileage, family friendly prices (compared to crossovers), and pleasing styling. We are thankful that there are a few mostly Japanese companies who continue to advance sedan design despite American automakers’ best efforts to totally eliminate them from the marketplace.
Nissan is one of the companies that has not given up on sedans. Nissan officials say studies show that Gen Z and Gen Y buyers still favor sedans over crossovers.

2019 Mercedes AMG S63

MIAMI — If somebody ever would give me $200,000 with the stipulation that I had to spend it all on my next car, at least I know now where I would start. I would head for the nearest Mercedes-Benz showroom and asked the first salesman to take me to the 2019 AMG S63 Coupe. I just might stop shopping there.
Though there is no such thing as a “perfect” automobile, a designation that likely would vary from person to person, the S63 Coupe comes as close as any with high marks in performance, appearance, technological features, comfort, and prestige.

BMW M2 Competition — Driving thrills in a small package

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

While the popular BMW 3 Series has grown bigger and more expensive over the years, the German company known for its "ultimate driving machine" has filled the space once occupied decades ago by a smaller 3 Series with the compact 2 Series giving buyers the opportunity to purchase a smaller point-and-shoot fun-to-drive car.

Sold as a coupe or convertible, the 2 Series has been on the market since 2014 and now comes in two standard formats — the 230i with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and the M240i with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder making 335 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque.

2019 Ford Raptor

PHOENIX — When Ford first introduced the F-150 SVT Raptor in 2010, it set a new standard for off-roading that few ever thought possible. It was not only a high-performance truck on the road, like the SVT Lightning it replaced, it was a completely improbable and delightfully flippant “Baja-ready-from-the-factory” high-performance off-road truck.