Volkswagen Golf — Standard equipment abounds

By David Finkelstein

It has been 41 years since Volkswagen introduced the iconic Golf hatchback in the U.S., and now its in its seventh-generation. Known for its forward styling, acclaimed value, roominess for five, fuel efficiency and rolling technology, the five-door compact has been refined and improved to a point in which it's clearly competitive with the likes of the Honda Civic, Kia Forte5, Ford Focus, Mazda3 5-Door and the Subaru Impreza.

Honda Civic Type R — Prepare to have fun

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We've been fans of the Si performance version of the mainstream Honda Civic for years. With more horsepower than the standard garden variety Civic and with handling and corning credentials that put it in the extremely fun-to-drive category, what is not to love? This has been for decades the Civic to buy.

2018 Mini Countryman plug-in

MIAMI — The Mini Cooper is not yet at the stage where it needs to be upgraded to the “MAXI” Cooper, but it seems to be moving in that direction. Launched in 1959 as a trend-setting, two-door sub-compact that was 120.25 inches long — not much more than the wheelbase for many large vehicles — and weighed in at just over 1,300 pounds, the Mini now is available as a four-door wagon that is four feet longer and weighs in at twice the original hardtop’s heft.

2018 Buick Enclave

INDIANAPOLIS — Buick can be described as BE and AE, or before and after Enclave.  Before Enclave, Buick built large fluffy sedans for large fluffy people.  After Enclave, Buicks found homes in the exclusive driveways of younger style-conscious professionals.  Beyond that, though, Buick virtually invented the concept of a luxurious three-row crossover that’s become a staple of every luxury automaker.  After a decade, the Enclave goes in for a makeover.

Infiniti Q50 — Rewarding sports sedan

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Infiniti's mid-sized sports sedan has received several engine and technology upgrades since the latest iteration was introduced in 2014, and for 2018 the Q50 has been endowed with styling tweaks both inside and out. Fortunately, the sculpted and muscular look of the car has not been altered and the satisfying driving experience remains intact.

GMC Terrain — Compact crossover standout

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

You are in the market for a new compact crossover SUV, but this time around you would like to stand out from the crowd, drive something different than the popular segment offerings — but without sacrificing performance, build quality, cargo space and passenger comfort.

2018 Mercedes AMG C63

PHOENIX — 503 horsepower, 516 lb-ft of torque, AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT seven-speed transmission. The car is flanked by 19-inch front/20-inch rear AMG forged cross-spoke wheels. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and is brought to a smooth but certain stop with large 15.8-inch cross-drilled and vented ceramic brakes with specially painted brake calipers. All this goodness came wrapped in a gorgeous brilliant blue drop top Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S. This car is the bomb.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

PHOENIX — At over 9,000 feet, Stelvio Pass is the highest and most dramatic paved pass in the Eastern European Alps. While not the most beautiful, it is a stunning road to view, and the wall of 48 hairpin switchback turns running up the north face renders it iconic for car enthusiasts around the world.
Befitting the name, the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio has terrific handling, agility, steering and power to lend both credibility and worthy kudos sufficient to naming it after Italy’s most famous mountain pass.

Nissan Armada — Rugged V-8 luxury

By David Finkelstein

Assembled and imported to the U.S. from Nissan's manufacturing facility in Kyushu, Japan, the Armada full-size SUV is available in SV, SL, Platinum and Platinum Reserve models for 2018. Either 2WD and 4WD drive configurations are offered, depending on your personal preference.

Land Rover Range Rover Velar — Stylish and capable

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Land Rover is expanding its Range Rover lineup to include a new, stylish mid-sized entry called the Velar, which was the name used for the original Range Rover prototype back in the late 1960s. It’s designed for comfortable on-road driving to compete against the ever-expanding list of segment competitors.