The 2019 Infiniti QX60 has a few standout qualities that are ideal for hauling people over long distances. A large and roomy cabin, a quiet and smooth ride, and leather-appointed stadium-style seating mean your family will be as comfortable as possible. The fold-down second- and third-row seats also give you the flexibility you need for mixing passengers and cargo.
Most luxury SUVs give you a choice of engines, but in the QX60 there's only one available: a 3.5-liter V6 (295 horsepower, 270 pound-feet of torque) that's connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). While we usually dislike CVT automatics in luxury vehicles due to their elastic-like power delivery when accelerating quickly, the one in the QX60 works pretty well. Altogether, this powertrain is quiet and smooth, lending itself well to its luxury people-mover mission.
Sharing a platform with the Japanese Mazda MX-5, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider adds a big dose of Italian design, horsepower and handling, creating a worthy successor to the legendary 124 name. In place of the normally aspirated Mazda engine, the Fiat 124 Spider borrows the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine from the 500 Abarth, giving the Spider a bit more bite without sacrificing the near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution that makes the MX-5 such a joy to drive. Inside, the cabin is steeped in high-grade materials a step above what Mazda offers. Best of all, while priced in line with the Mini Cooper Convertible, the 124 Spider offers a look and attitude more commonly associated with expensive roadsters like the Porsche Boxster and Audi TT.
If you’re looking for a fun, affordable small convertible with styling and attitude that far exceed its humble price, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider tops a very short list. Fiat’s turbocharged 4-cylinder delivers a different driving experience than in a Mazda MX-5, as does the reworked cabin.
For 2019, the Fiat 124 Spider adds a rearview camera and 7-inch touch screen with Fiat Connect 7.0 software. The 124 Abarth now offers a Record Monza exhaust, while the Technology Group adds SiriusXM and proximity entry. Some new exterior styling options and colors round out the changes.
With seating for seven, top-notch crash-test ratings and an enviable 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander is ideal for families on a tight budget. One of the few compact SUVs available with a 3rd-row seat, the Outlander may be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrid model continues in 2019, the only SUV in its class to offer such an electrified powertrain. Prices start just over $25,500 for a front-wheel-drive base ES model with a 166-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, and they rise to just over $34,000 for a V6-powered GT. Mitsubishi’s compact SUV competes with the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento and Toyota RAV4. (The Outlander Sport, Mitsubishi’s smaller crossover SUV, is reviewed separately.)
Slotting between the best-selling Rogue and diminutive Kicks is the 2019 Nissan Rouge Sport, a subcompact-crossover SUV offering the styling and features of the larger Rogue, but with a cozier feel. Up against big names like the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona, the Rogue Sport looks pretty good, offering more interior room than the Mazda CX-3 and a better track record than the Jeep Renegade. The Rogue Sport isn’t big on power or off-road ability, but it does have enough cargo space to haul a weekend’s worth of gear, and in urban settings its smaller size makes it easy to maneuver and park. The Rogue Sport also gains Nissan’s best driver-assist and advance safety and infotainment features, making it a tempting choice.
If you like the versatility and all-wheel drive capability of an SUV, but you’re not looking for something big, bulky or fuel-thirsty, the subcompact 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport might surprise you. A long list of advanced features helps bolster driver confidence, and a reasonable price removes any fear of massive monthly payments.
Rarely does a car get more popular with age, but that's exactly what's happening with the Toyota 4Runner. Despite entering its 10th year since it was completely redesigned — an eternity in car terms — the 4Runner sells exponentially better today than it did when minty fresh.
Perhaps that has to do with today's SUV-hungry buyers, but the 2019 4Runner is also a distinctive model. It is rugged and off-road capable, yet it's spacious and family-friendly. Sure, it's a bit rough around the edges and lacks many of the technology features you'll find in other SUVs, but there's an honesty to the 4Runner and a just-right goodness that keeps it relevant. It won't be for everyone, but it'll be exactly what a great many want.
So, if you think you might be in that "great many," here are the 4Runner's good bits. Its rugged trucklike construction, abundant ground clearance and legitimate off-road hardware give it go-anywhere credentials few SUVs (and especially crossovers) can match or surpass. At the same time, it has a large cabin with a big, boxy cargo area that'll make packing for a go-anywhere adventure (or just a trip to Grandma's for the holidays) that much easier. You also get a reputation for near bulletproof reliability and a driving experience that's not as cumbersome or trucklike as you'd expect for an off-road-oriented SUV.
VW’s 2019 Tiguan’s excellent steering and pedal response -- expected attributes of any VW -- contribute to an overall driving feel that’s among the best in the segment. Highway ride is firmer than that of some other small SUVs, but excellent seats, a quiet cabin and superior steering feel qualify the new Tiguan as an excellent long-haul companion. While the Tiguan’s turbocharged engine generates impressive horsepower and torque, a base Tiguan is a whopping 450 pounds heavier than a base Honda CR-V. City scooting and highway cruising are barely impacted, but the added mass is evident in highway merging and passing situations. Although the Tiguan is a bit longer than most compact SUVs, good outward visibility and a decent turning diameter combine to make it a breeze in parking lots. The Tiguan also offers a host of available technologies that make parking maneuvers even easier. Rear Traffic Alert with Braking will warn you of cars coming down the aisle you’re backing into, and can automatically stop the car if necessary. The Overhead View Camera provides a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings, an increasingly common feature that remains among our favorites. Park Distance Control with Maneuver Braking incorporates front and rear parking sensors that warn you of close objects and can even stop the car if you’re about to back into something.