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.
The 2019 Ford F-150 is one of the most popular trucks in the United States. That it's also one of the most capable vehicles on the road today is no coincidence. Like other top-tier full-size pickup trucks, the F-150 is available in a wide variety of trim levels, comes with many available powertrains, and delivers big-time towing and hauling capabilities.
also versatile enough for family duty. The interior is modern and comfortable and has many high-class touches. Tech features such as the Sync 3 infotainment system give you easy access to your smartphone, while the latest in advanced driver safety aids give you added peace of mind. Notably, forward collision warning with automatic braking is now standard on every F-150.
Of course, if trailer-pulling power is what you're after, the
F-150 still has you covered. Six engines are available, ranging from a basic V6 all the way to a muscular 450-horsepower turbocharged V6. As part of that six-engine lineup, the F-150 is now available with a 3.0-liter diesel-powered V6 engine. It's likely the best pick of the group if you plan to do a lot of towing. Even without all these updates for 2019, the Ford F-150 was a class leader. And with everything that Ford has done to keep it relevant, this F-150 hasn't lost a step.
We've been giving this generation Civic top marks since its debut three years ago, and there's nothing else out this year that's going to steal the car's title belt. But here we are anyway with an even better Civic.
For starters, the 2019 Honda Civic gets a restyled front end. The new look is subtle and helps the car look a little sleeker and less imposing. Inside, you get an updated infotainment interface that brings with it the return of a volume knob for the Civic. This small addition addresses one of the biggest complaints we had with the Civic last year.
What's more, all Civic trims also get additional features from the Honda Sensing bundle, which is now standard. It includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, and lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. The Civic already had several advantages over competitors, and this addition of safety equipment is yet another.
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.
SUVs have been dominating the market recently to the point that Ford recently announced it was going to largely give up on making sedans. But there is one area where the traditional four-door holds an advantage: hybrid efficiency. The latest hybrid sedans are posting truly impressive fuel economy, and a great example is the fully redesigned 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid.
The Avalon Hybrid debuts alongside the conventionally powered Avalon and is estimated by the EPA to return up to 44 mpg in combined driving. That's almost 70 percent better than the gasoline-only Avalon, yet the Hybrid costs only about $1,000 more. With what you'll save on gas, you could very well recoup that added cost in just over a year and continue to reap the rewards thereafter. From behind the wheel, the Hybrid's power deficit isn't as much of a penalty as the numbers suggest, making it our pick in the Avalon lineup. The hybrid batteries are mounted under the rear seats, maintaining the same trunk capacity as the conventional Avalon while keeping the flat-folding rear seatbacks for greater versatility. Both offer high levels of comfort and plenty of features and blur the line between Toyota and its Lexus luxury brand.
If you're in the market for a large sedan, the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid should be among your top picks whether or not you're looking for a hybrid.
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf is fun, efficient, practical and more sophisticated than its price suggests. Starting in the low-$20,000 range, it is slightly pricier than rivals like the Honda Civic hatch but still among the least expensive ways to get into a German-engineered car. The Golf lineup is broad, spanning from the standard 4-door Golf hatchback to the sporty GTI and the performance-oriented Golf R. There’s even the all-electric e-Golf, but its range pales compared to rivals. The Golf family also extends to the larger SportWagen and adventurous Alltrack, reviewed separately. For 2019, the VW Golf hatchback gets a less powerful but more efficient new engine, plus new safety features. The updates help keep the Golf an athletic, premium-feeling alternative to mainstream rivals.
If you want a practical, handsome hatchback with the athletic driving manners for which European cars are known, all at a digestible price, the 2019 VW Golf was made for you. Driving enthusiasts will love the excellent handling of the GTI, while the Golf R packs even more power and all-wheel drive.