Lexus LS 500h — Hybrid car luxury

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Virtually every automaker this decade is pursuing some form of "electrification" within their brands whether it be luxury or mainstream. Listen to the talking points of worldwide automakers and full electric is the wave of the future. Except it isn't — at least not now. Indeed, the multi-billion dollar push to EVs has been slow in paying dividends especially in this new age of unprecedented gas engine fuel efficiency and low prices.

Ford Escape Hybrid — Stylish and efficient

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Ford Escape has been one of the best-selling sport utility vehicles in the country since its introduction in 2000 as a 2001 model. It moved away from the bigger body-on-frame SUV that dominated the market at the turn of the century with smaller car-based unibody construction to compete with such relatively new models as the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V.

2020 Jeep Compass

PHOENIX — All new for the 2017 model year, the second-generation Jeep Compass is decidedly more upmarket than the vehicle it replaces. Slotted between the subcompact Jeep Renegade and compact Jeep Cherokee, the Compass – with looks that mimic the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee – is, in our opinion, the better looker.

2020 BMW X6

INDIANAPOLIS — It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of a “crossover coupe.”  I mean, what’s the point?  It’s big and heavy, but can’t haul as much as a proper crossover.  It’s sporty like a fastback sedan, but doesn’t handle as well as a car.  Other than looking good, the breed didn’t seem to do anything particularly well.  Some of that may still be true, but after many miles, I’ve warmed up to the BMW X6 4.0 xDrive.

Lincoln Aviator — First-class luxury

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Lincoln began remaking its lineup several years ago with the remarkable Continental sedan. Then came the big three-row Navigator SUV continuing the transformation with an award-winning vehicle worthy of its luxury designation. Next up are the company's three crossover sport utilities with new names and new luxury personas. Thankfully the confusing MK designation is gone. Now we have — in the order of size — the Corsair, Nautilus, and three-row Aviator.

2020 Hyundai Venue

MIAMI — The auto industry is always riding the wave of change especially when it comes to the car buying public and their insatiable appetite for crossover utility vehicles. And, here’s a brand new one, the entry-level Hyundai Venue. With it, the South Korean brand is chasing after younger buyers, enticing them to buy a new car with a roomy interior, advanced safety features and a great warranty all for about what you’d spend for a three- or four-year-old Toyota or Honda.

Toyota Yaris Hatchback — Meaningful update

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Many people still have the perception that basic transportation means a stripped-down car carrying just the bare necessities minus any visage of creature comforts — a so-called entry level car that will take you from point A to point B in joyless fashion.

Honda Civic Si — Affordable performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

If you want fun-to-drive fuel-efficient sporty transportation at a very affordable price, if you enjoy carving up winding roads on the weekend, and if it's important to have a stylish expensive-looking vehicle parked in the driveway Honda has you covered. The Honda Civic Si is one of the most entertaining vehicles in showrooms for under 30 grand, and for 2020 it has been refreshened with styling tweaks, some performance tuning, and the addition of standard safety tech.

2020 Nissan Titan

PHOENIX — Nissan launched its current generation Titan pickup truck in 2017. Until then, it had remained relatively unchanged since its initial launch back in 2004. The 2017 Titan was a major leap forward and huge improvement over the previous Titan. To stay competitive — now that the other major brand full-sized pickups have completed refreshes in the past two years — Nissan has given the Titan modest updates outside and some really meaningful feature upgrades for the 2020 model year.

Dodge Charger Hellcat — Over-the-top performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody may be one of the craziest family vehicles on the planet. But it's easy to like crazy when there's a monstrous 707-horsepower 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine under the hood that can turn a family cruiser into a tire-smokin' dragstrip animal or a two-ton winding-road juggernaut.