2019 Toyota 4runner Review And Buying Guide | More Lovable Than Ever

2019 Toyota 4Runner Review and Buying Guide | More lovable than ever

The increasingly iconic Toyota 4Runner soldiers into its ninth year without a full redesign. A typical car or crossover is redesigned after six. Frankly, the 4Runner was never a bastion of modernity, as its truck-based structure and interior design result in comfort, refinement and efficiency compromises that always stood in contrast to similarly priced and sized crossovers. That's still the case with the 2019 Toyota 4Runner, but its interior design and technology have only fallen further behind the times, while its handling, noise and overall comfort are worse than what you'd get in a midsize crossover like the Honda Passport or Toyota's own Highlander. Its fuel economy is comparatively abysmal.

Now, if all of that makes you think twice about the 4Runner, we've done our job. It's certainly not the most rational SUV purchase, and it's smart to consider its many downsides. That said, we also love the 4Runner and understand why you might as well. It has character in spades, especially the ultra-rugged TRD Pro trim, and can go places none of those crossovers would dare. This is a serious off-roader, yet when compared to other such vehicles it's surprisingly comfortable and genuinely large inside. Few two-row SUVs — crossover or truck-based — can match its utility. Yes it's old and less refined than a crossover, but it's also not as crude as you'd expect, and there's also something to be said about simplicity.

What's new with 4Runner for 2019?

The TRD Pro trim level is upgraded. It gets Fox shocks, a new skid plate and a bulky roof rack similar to the one once available on the FJ Cruiser (its classic Voodoo Blue paint also makes its first appearance on the 4Runner TRD Pro, pictured above). A sunroof and JBL sounds system are also now standard, but the price rises by a somewhat questionable $4,000. Elsewhere in the lineup, the 4Runner Limited is offered in a new Nightshade Edition that consists of a bunch of blacked-out exterior trim.

2019 Lexus Ux Review And Buying Guide | More Lexus, Less Corolla, Please

2019 Lexus UX Review and Buying Guide | More Lexus, less Corolla, please

The 2019 Lexus UX is the smallest and cheapest Lexus you can buy, and the UX 250h hybrid model just barely misses out being the most fuel efficient. As an entry into the Lexus brand, this subcompact crossover is generally an impressive effort, embodying the design, quality, features and driving experience we've come to expect – albeit with understandable cutbacks made to achieve its lower price.

However, the UX faces stiff competition. It has one of the smallest cabins in a segment not known for its spaciousness, and its Remote Touch tech interface constantly frustrates. And while fuel economy is exceptional for the segment, its acceleration is underwhelming regardless of whether you get the UX 250h or gas-only UX 200. Worse still, you can only get the latter with front-wheel drive. In other words, this is a car with distinct highs and lows.

What's new for 2019?

The Lexus UX is an all-new model for 2019. It is mechanically based on the same platform that underpins most new Toyota models such as the Toyota C-HR and Toyota Corolla, as well as the Lexus ES sedan. It slots into the bottom of the Lexus SUV lineup below the NX.

2019 Honda Civic Review And Buying Guide | A Little Something For Everyone

2019 Honda Civic Review and Buying Guide | A little something for everyone

In the compact car market, the Honda Civic has almost always been a benchmark, and there's a reason for that: it's consistently been really great. The 2019 Honda Civic is no exception. It has a large, airy interior with quality materials. The engines are smooth, powerful and economical. And it's nimble while also being comfortable. Not only that, but there's a Civic for just about any need with sedan, coupe or hatchback body styles — no other compact car offers such diversity. There are also trim levels and powertrains that range from frugal to exhilarating, yet all offer competitive pricing and impressive value. For these reasons and others we'll explain below, the Civic is still one of the best compact cars on the market.

What's new for 2019?

The 2019 Honda Civic marks the third year for this generation, and changes are mostly restricted to some styling tweaks, and trim and feature additions. All Honda Civics, regardless of trim or body style, now have black grilles, replacing the flashy chrome version available on past models. The lower grilles of the sedan and coupe have been merged into one opening, and all trims on sedans and coupes get chrome accents in the lower fascia except the new Sport trim.

The Sport trim has been added to the coupe and sedan models, but unlike the hatchback's Sport trim that gets a turbocharged engine, these Civics stick with the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The Sport coupe and sedan do get Honda's touchscreen infotainment system with CarPlay and Android Auto, unlike the Sport hatchback. This infotainment system now features physical shortcut buttons and a volume knob, but it retains the existing user interface. The gauges get red backlighting, the pedals are made of aluminum, the wheels are larger and it has a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A manual transmission is also now restricted to LX sedan, all Sport body styles, the Si and Type R. All other Civics get a CVT.

2019 Nissan Rogue Sport Review And Buying Guide | Stylish But Not Sporty

2019 Nissan Rogue Sport Review and Buying Guide | Stylish but not sporty

The Nissan Rogue Sport crossover is small, attractive, and relatively cheap. Despite sharing a name with the larger Rogue, the Rogue Sport is a completely different vehicle. It's the least expensive vehicle in Nissan's portfolio with optional all-wheel drive. What it doesn't offer, despite its name, is a sporty driving experience, and it can get surprisingly pricey if a buyer isn't careful with options.

What's new for 2019?

Nissan added its new Rear Door Alert technology, which activates the horn and other notifications when the system detects the rear door opened before the engine started but wasn't re-opened after shutting down. Also standard are a rearview monitor, a Bluetooth phone and infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus an available nine-speaker Bose audio system. There's a new color option and the expanded availability of its ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving and Safety Shield 360 safety technologies. And finally, there's a new exterior color, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, added to the list of choices.

What's the interior and in-car technology like?

The Rogue Sport is a pretty nice place from which to watch the miles pass by. You probably wouldn't want to spend a lot of time in the rear seat, but it's roomier than a lot of the competition, and both front seats are cozy. The optional leather seats look and feel nicer than you'd expect for a vehicle in this class. The thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel feels good to hold, and helps add a little to the perception of sportiness.

2019 Mazda Cx-9 Review And Buying Guide | Fun For The Whole Family

2019 Mazda CX-9 Review and Buying Guide | Fun for the whole family

The 2019 Mazda CX-9 crossover is the biggest vehicle in the Japanese automaker's lineup, and the only one to offer a third row of seating. It has only one powertrain option, but offers a wide variety of other content across various trim levels. Many folks are drawn to Mazdas for their elegant design, affordability and driving dynamics that are sharper than most, and the CX-9 has all of that to a certain degree even if it's the biggest, most family-oriented one. Still, the CX-9 may be big for a Mazda, but it's one of the smallest in its segment in terms of third-row space and cargo capacity, so it may not be for every family.

What's new with the Mazda CX-9 for 2019?

Though largely unchanged from when this generation debuted for the 2016 model year, the Mazda CX-9 gets a few small changes for 2019, the biggest of which is the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, which is optional on its lowest Sport trim and standard on the Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. The transmission has been retuned for a smoother, quieter driving experience. Thicker floor mats and headliner further help to make the car quieter.

Each trim gets a little something new, too. Sport now offers an optional Sport Package, costing $1,290, with heated front seats, a power driver's seat, heated mirrors, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Moving up to the Touring trim, the only other change is a frameless rear-view mirror. The Grand Touring trim gets a new 7-inch info screen in the instrument panel, along with new power-folding side mirrors and a 360-degree camera system. The top-level Signature trim gets new badges, rosewood interior trim, and accent lighting in the grille and around the shifter.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review And Buying Guide | Long In The Tooth

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review and Buying Guide | Long in the tooth

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport subcompact crossover may seem like the right type of car for the times, but it falls short in its execution. Brand new tiny crossovers have been popping up left and right from other manufacturers, but the Outlander Sport feels like it's stuck in the past.

If we're looking at it with the glass of water half full, the exterior styling sets itself apart from the rest of the homogeneous little ones out there. It's taut, angular, a little muscular and has some great looking wheel options. Unfortunately, that expressive exterior styling isn't carried over inside. Even in its most expensive form, the entire interior is a black plastic paradise. Powertrain options are a mixed bag with a lot more choices than most other subcompacts provide.

What's new for 2019?

Not much is new for the 2019 model year. SE trim models now have more standard safety equipment, including blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning. The highest-priced GT trim adds forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and automatic brights. This Outlander Sport belongs to the first-generation model, which debuted for the 2011 model year.

2019 Toyota Camry Review And Buying Guide | A Well-rounded Must-drive

2019 Toyota Camry Review and Buying Guide | A well-rounded must-drive

The 2019 Toyota Camry is a striking-looking family sedan in a narrowing, but still extremely competitive segment. The car is an excellent all-around vehicle that is near the top of the segment with a comfortable ride, spacious cabin and excellent engines, including one of the only V6 engines available in the class and a hybrid model that boasts superior fuel economy without any significant drawbacks. It's also more responsive to drive than past Camry generations, meaning those seeking a more dynamic driving experience should no longer write it off.

What's new for 2019?

Since the Camry was completely redesigned for 2018, the 2019 model is largely unchanged. A new color, Supersonic Red, has been added, while Blue Crush Metallic is no longer offered. Apple CarPlay is also now standard on all models. The XSE and XLE four-cylinder models now get the larger eight-inch touchscreen and a three-month trial of Sirius XM satellite radio. On the XSE and XLE V6 models, the Driver Assist Package adds a clearance sensor and rear automatic emergency braking.

2019 Toyota Sienna Review And Buying Guide | Old, But Not Finished

2019 Toyota Sienna Review and Buying Guide | Old, but not finished

The 2019 Toyota Sienna represents the eighth year since Toyota's minivan was completely redesigned. Although it's received significant updates in that time, all of its competitors have been completely redesigned since then, most notably the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey. That said, the Sienna still offers a compelling array of family-friendly attributes and continues to boast a serious competitive advantage by being the only minivan that offers all-wheel drive as an option (although a Pacifica AWD is coming) . While its competitors are ultimately stronger products, the Sienna isn't as hopelessly out of date as its age would indicate.

What's new with Sienna for 2019?

Toyota has added a vital but still incomplete tech update for 2019. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration are standard features on Toyota's old infotainment display, but there's still no Android Auto. Adding part of the smartphone functionality is a step forward, but the majority of folks still won't be able to enjoy these features — there are currently more Android users than iOS users in the United States. All-wheel drive is also made available on the sportier SE trim level for 2019.

What's Sienna's interior and in-car technology like?

The Sienna is a wide van from the outside, and it features a wide, expansive dash on the inside. There are a lot of hard plastics all around, but many of those get replaced with wood and soft touch materials as you climb the trim ladder. It looks old for the most part, because the Sienna really is an old van. None of the fancy swoops and shapes from newer Toyota interiors have made it into the Sienna, and that makes it feel dated. This is only amplified by the modern Pacifica, Odyssey and even Kia Sedona interiors that we prefer over this one.

2020 Toyota Corolla Review And Buying Guide | Clever Commuter

2020 Toyota Corolla Review and Buying Guide | Clever commuter

The 2020 Toyota Corolla was introduced in 1966, and more Corollas have been sold than any other nameplate in the world. It's Toyota's budget sedan, although now it's offered in a hatchback format as well. It has been completely revised for the 2020 model year (well, the 2019 model year for the Corolla Hatchback), and given another engine choice as well as a hybrid option. Toyota does a good job of putting a lot of safety technology into its cars as standard, and the Corolla is no different. For many drivers, the Corolla will be their first car, and many owners will hold onto it for years. As automakers move away from sedans, Toyota is committed to the body style, and provides the many shoppers still interested with an affordable, easy-driving commuter.

What's new with Corolla for 2020?

A lot. This generation is underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which will be shared among multiple Toyota models, from the Prius hybrid sedan to the new RAV4 crossover. In addition to the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2020 Corolla offers a new, more powerful 2.0-liter, as well as a hybrid option with technology borrowed from the Prius. The exterior and interior of the car have been completely redesigned. It has upgraded safety technology, a new suspension setup and an overall increase in sophistication. There's also a hatchback version, which actually preceded the sedan in introducing this new generation as a 2019 model.

How big is the Corolla?

Not very. It's a compact car (classified by the EPA as midsize), which means it's smaller and less expensive than other Toyotas, apart from the tiny Yaris. It means you won't be seeing over traffic or putting three adults in the back comfortably, but its smaller size makes it more efficient, easier to navigate narrow or crowded roads, and easy to park.

2019 Honda Passport Review And Buying Guide | A Solid Mid-pack Two-row Crossover

2019 Honda Passport Review and Buying Guide | A solid mid-pack two-row crossover

The larger, three-row Honda Pilot is a big crossover that's squarely aimed at families, with lots of minivan-inspired convenience features to make life with a car full of kids more livable. The two-row Honda Passport is essentially a shortened Pilot, with one less row of seats and a bit of an attitude adjustment. Honda is pushing the Passport as more of an adventure-ready crossover, although that doesn't mean the Passport is ready for the sort of ultra-rugged terrain a Toyota 4Runner can handle.

Instead, the Passport suggests a rugged, outdoorsy lifestyle with some sportier exterior accents, a slightly wider stance, and a little extra ground clearance. And it is the most rugged vehicle in Honda's lineup. Let's take a closer look.

What's new for 2019?

In one sense, everything. This is the first year for the Honda Passport. The nameplate was last used on a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo SUV, back when Honda desperately needed an entry into the utility segment before its own original Pilot made it to market.

2019 Nissan Leaf Review And Buying Guide | Leaf Branches Out

2019 Nissan Leaf Review and Buying Guide | Leaf branches out

The 2019 Nissan Leaf brings choice to the table. The bestselling electric car in the world is now offered in a choice of two battery packs with substantially different ranges (150 miles for the base Leaf and 226 for the new Leaf Plus). Buyers can choose which is a better fit for their driving demands and budget. After all, if you only go a handful of miles to work and back every day, why plunk down extra cash for range you don't need? At the same time, the availability of a longer-range model better aligns the Leaf with the Chevy Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Tesla Model 3. As for the car itself, the Leaf is a comfortable, well-equipped hatchback that can be more practical than many of the EVs with which it competes.

What's new with the Leaf for 2019?

For 2019, there are now two versions of the Nissan Leaf. While it was completely redesigned last year boasting a longer 150-mile electric range, this year sees a second Leaf Plus model good for 226 miles. This model gets a new, larger battery pack, a tweaked electric motor and some slight appearance updates to differentiate itself from the normal Leaf.

An updated infotainment system with an 8-inch display also finds its way into the Leaf Plus for 2019, but the normal Leaf keeps the old 7-inch unit. The menus look a little different, a few new features are added and it supports multi-touch inputs, but it still feels dated in actual use.

2019 Nissan Rogue Review And Buying Guide

2019 Nissan Rogue Review and Buying Guide

The 2019 Nissan Rogue compact crossover makes a wonderful first impression. Its attractive styling bucks the usual trend of frumpy and/or utilitarian design, and despite this model being around for five years since its last full redesign, it still looks pretty fresh. The interior similarly looks good, there's plenty of up-to-date tech, and those seeking lots of family-friendly space will find one of the roomiest cabins in the segment.

However, the longer you spend with the Rogue, you might start to notice the underpowered engine, unrefined transmission and general dreary driving experience. Back-to-back test drives of key competitors — most of which have been more recently redesigned — might also reveal that they manage to at least match the Rogue's strong points while substantially bettering it in others. Not a bad choice, but we think there are better ones.

2019 Toyota Rav4 Review And Buying Guide

2019 Toyota RAV4 Review and Buying Guide

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 represents a bold new direction for what has been the bestselling SUV in America. With characterful styling, best-in-class power and an ulta-efficient Hybrid model, it stands above top rivals in key areas, while at least matching their quality, safety and tech offerings. It's not quite as spacious any more, but few would deem it cramped. It also continues to benefit from Toyota's strong reliability, resale value and included scheduled maintenance program. Really, anyone shopping for a compact crossover would be wise to consider the 2019 RAV4.

What's new for 2019?

Everything about the RAV4 is new for 2019. The styling is blockier and more SUV-like, while the ground clearance has been raised. Certain trim levels, including the RAV4 Adventure, also get special off-roading drive modes and a more sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Importantly, driving dynamics have been sharpened for 2019 on every RAV4, the powertrains seriously upgraded for both the base gas engine and the more efficient RAV4 Hybrid, and the interior made more attractive and functional. Cargo capacity is a bit down, however, as is headroom.