When it came time to redesign the Tiguan, VW’s image of the North American-market guided the design and specifications. It went from being one of the shortest five-seaters in the segment to be one of the longest – even allowing for an optional third row. The Tiguan seems to have traded in its enthusiasm for curves to become a natural highway cruiser.
There are so many fields where the Audi Q8 illustrates its luxury car status, including its near -$90k price tag. In this market, the car has to perform not just as expected, but become a place that continuously impresses. The Q8 is a car about the details and minimizes any appearance of cost-savings.
The all-new 2019 Honda Passport lands in the sweet spot between the smaller CR-V and larger Pilot. This particular space is becoming more relevant as consumer shift towards crossovers is unlikely to slow down. By utilizing much of the design and engineering of the Pilot, the Passport becomes more of a question of “Why not?” for the Honda exec’s. But does the Passport feel simply like an adaptation of the Pilot or did the development team create a uniquely themed product that can stand on its own?
Many brands hope to develop instant name recognition but few have had their product’s distinct silhouette become synonymous with an entire category. The Prius has earned a place as the symbol of hybrid cars with its efficiency-focus engineering and now, it reaches into the all-wheel-drive arena with a motorized rear axle to better meet customer demand, of which, Toyota states, could make upward of a quarter of Prius sales.
The 2019 Honda Civic is a slam-dunk, benchmark for the class. Its modern looks, expansive interior, excellent chassis dynamics, and powerful and efficient powertrain are a full package that has few faults. The previous-generation Civic took a dark turn after the great recession when Honda believed buyers would prefer a low cost, blend-in with the masses character. Thankfully, that era is behind us, and the current 10th generation will go down in history as one of the best Civics of all time.
Its looks are immediately “Outback”, but this re-design is anything but a phone-in. The 2020 Outback Onyx XT rides on a new platform, carries more advanced features, and a high-class interior that all work together to achieve a more comfortable and livable daily ride that goes without taking away its ruggedness and capability – characteristic traits for this Outback. It’s a tricky formula that others have tried without achieving the same level of success.
This year, the Legacy receives an all-new design inside and out. A quick drive in the top of the line Limited XT was enough for me to get a taste of its many impressive points. No option seemed off-limits or out of consideration and to prove the point are an 11.6-inch touchscreen which is arranged in portrait style and is as modern as it gets, Nappa leather seats that approach near-luxury status, acoustic glass, and rear seat heaters.
The QX50 is Infiniti’s reboot into the five-passenger mid-size crossover. Upping its game with dramatic styling curves and a strong but efficient four-cylinder, the QX50 is far more interesting than its predecessor, though it misses the mark in powertrain refinement and small-item storage upfront. Once underway and situated, those drawbacks fade away and QX50 feels like a luxury crossover.