2019

Chevy Silverado — Big pickup evolution

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in America and the cash cow of the Big Three American truck builders, so when blueprinting an all-new truck, it behooves designers and engineers to be very wary of making a gigantic mistake. In this vein, Chevrolet took what we consider the safe route in creating the new Silverado — completely upgrading the truck with a new body and frame, 20-percent more cargo space, 14-percent heavier payload capacity, and 5-percent greater towing capacity, yet keeping things truck-guy friendly from the exterior to the interior with one glaring exception.

2019 Mercedes CLS450 Coupe



PHOENIX — For 2019, Mercedes has launched its third-generation CLS 450, which originally debuted in 2004. Often confused as a stable mate in the C-Class category, slotting below the S- and E-class, the CLS actually occupies a class of its own between the S- and E-class sedans. The new CLS actually rides on the E-Class platform but uses the S-Class’ engines and electronics.

Nissan Maxima — A solid value

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

While sedans are a dying breed, the victim of crossover SUV popularity, it appears Nissan is bucking the trend, continuing to invest in its stable of sedans with updated and refreshed models up and down the lineup. The near-full-sized Maxima is a prime example, the object of a mid-cycle freshening for 2019.

2019 Audi SQ5



MIAMI — Three things you can count on in a German luxury car. The latest in technology will be available and it will be fussy, and sometimes frustrating to operate. The cabin will live up to the highest standards of luxury while giving you the feel of a high-class English gentleman’s club. It will go like a bat out of hell. The 2019 SQ5 from Audi encompasses all three.

2019 Ram Heavy Duty



LAS VEGAS, Nev. — At the North American International Auto Show in January, Ram 1500 earned top honors as North American Truck of the Year, as chosen by automotive media jurors from across the U.S. and Canada. Fresh off of that win, Ram introduces its all-new 2019 line of 2500, 3500 and Power Wagon Heavy duty trucks.

Lexus NX 300 — Popular luxury crossover

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Even though the compact Lexus NX crossover has remained mostly the same since its inception for the 2015 model year — with some freshening including styling tweaks in 2018 — its sales have steadily grown each year not only pointing out the popularity of the NX, but reflecting the exploding compact luxury crossover segment.

Cadillac XT4 — Charming small crossover

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Many luxury brands offer a full range of crossover sport utility vehicles to meet the needs of virtually every customer. BMW has so many variants it's hard to keep track of the number. On the other hand, Cadillac is woefully lacking a comprehensive crossover lineup, but plans to rectify its dearth of SUVs with an onslaught of new product over the next few years. The first has reached showrooms in the form of the compact XT4 and it's a good place to start because the small luxury crossover segment is one of the hottest in the business.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali



PHOENIX — Pickup trucks are better than ever and the hottest selling vehicle segment on the market thanks to America’s growing love affair, an insatiable appetite for them and a strong economy. It also helps that most automakers have dramatically upped their game with new entrants like the return of the Ford Ranger and Honda Ridgeline mid-sized trucks. Still others like Ram, Chevrolet and GMC are all new for 2019.

Honda Accord Hybrid — No compromise frugality

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Moving forward in this age of electrification it seems the hybrid — vehicles with both an electric motor and a gas engine — are becoming the preferred method of transportation until all-electric becomes more viable for all driving conditions. The good news is there's a hybrid variant of many crossover SUVs and sedans offering all the attributes of the gas-engine models.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt



MIAMI — Though the electric car may be viewed by some as a recent development, its history dates back well over a century when, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the work of innovators in the 1800s led to the first electric vehicle on the road in the U.S. in 1890. By 1900, electric cars were a popular choice among budding automotive enthusiasts, more convenient than steam-powered vehicles and cleaner and easier to drive than the gasoline-powered versions.