2016 Jaguar XF

PHOENIX — In a world full of excellent midsize luxury sedans like Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, having to compete against that trio of established Bavarian winners is certainly considered a feat of Sisyphus proportions. One can only imagine the product planners at Jaguar as they attempt to win the wallets luxury sedan buyers with their redo of the XF for 2016.

Lexus IS 200t — An engaging experience

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The redesigned Lexus IS sports sedan — updated in 2014 — has a contemporary exterior, a new stiffer structure making it easier to tune for performance while maintaining a comfortable Lexus-like ride, a longer wheelbase resulting in additional and much-needed passenger space, and a spacious trunk measuring 13.8 cubic feet. Also in the mix is an interior upgrade that blows away most of the competition in the segment. And new feature content for 2016 is impressive.

Honda Civic — A new benchmark

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Honda was accused of cutting corners with its all-new ninth-generation 2012 Civic. There's no question Honda has raised the bar with the 10th generation 2016 Civic. It has best-in-class performance with a new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, a refined driving experience, top-flight interior quality, a unusually quiet cabin for a car in this price range, plenty of passenger and cargo space to suit a family of four, and exterior styling that moves 180 degrees from bland.

Dodge Charger — A vast array of tempting choices

By David Finkelstein

With the 2016 Dodge Charger it's difficult to comprehend what seems line an endless number of different build combinations offered to consumers. Manufactured on a rear-wheel-drive architecture (with all-wheel-drive as an option on certain trim levels), the extensive product mix includes performance-oriented powertrains that feature the latest technology breakthroughs.

Land Rover LR4 — Serious off-road luxury

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Land Rover LR4 is the best buy in the company's stable of very desirable luxury sport utility vehicles. Few if any SUVs provide the LR4's blend of high-dollar features, a spacious interior that will accommodate up to seven passengers and serious off-road capability for just north of $50,000. The LR4's desirability is enhanced even more by its traditional upright Land Rover styling that draws admiring glances.

2016 Toyota Prius

DANA POINT, Calif. — For those many hundreds of thousands of people who love their Prius hybrid, but feared Toyota's first all-new model since 2010 would alter their cherished eco-friendly transportation into something radically different, we say "fear not."
The fourth-generation 2016 Prius is here and we discovered during a day of driving that it's still every bit a Prius. Toyota it seems has hit the vaunted Prius brand nail squarely on the head.

Acura RDX — Worthwhile updates

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Acura has refreshed the second-generation RDX crossover for 2016 bringing updated exterior styling plus additional content including more safety features, a modest uptick in horsepower and torque, and slightly better fuel economy. This has made one of our favorite luxury vehicles — from its rather sexy styling to its classy-looking interior — an even better vehicle for those seeking a just-right-sized upscale hauler with a silky smooth ride, loads of technology, an energetic V-6 and a solid track record of quality and resale value.

Toyota Tacoma — A new take on the mid-sized pickup

By David Finkelstein

With robust sales from coast-to-coast, the mid-size pick-up truck market is thriving quite well. So did Toyota product planners take a “wait & see” approach before re-introducing the all new 2016 Tacoma? A “wait & see” approach based on sales for instance and the general acceptance of the new Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon as a benchmark?

Volvo S60 — With the capability of the Cross Country

By David Finkelstein

For 2016, Volvo charts a new course with the introduction of the S60 four door sedan. Designed for those who tend to think outside the box, this "segment first" model is the only premium sedan with the same levels of capability and crossover design cues found in Volvo’s renowned Cross Country station wagons.

Subaru Forester — Loaded with safety

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If we had to offer up an example of automotive technology trickle down we would use the 2016 Subaru Forester, one of the best small family crossovers on the market. It can be purchased with cutting-edge safety and convenience features generally not available in other mainstream vehicles at any price, and accessible only as expensive options in many higher cost cars and trucks.