2019 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e

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. 

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2019 Honda Civic Touring

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. 

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Quick Trip: 2020 Outback Onyx Edition XT

2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT – $37,750   MPG: 23 City, 30 Highway

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. 

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Quick Trip: 2020 Subaru Legacy Touring XT

2020 Subaru Legacy Limited XT – $36,795   MPG: 24 City, 32 Highway, 27 Combined

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. 

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2019 Infiniti QX50 AWD

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.

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2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is an off-road capable truck that pulls at my heartstrings. Extra body protection, a small but mighty diesel four-cylinder, and special suspension dampers are packed into a medium-sized package. The price of this ZR2 Bison creates unmet expectations in terms of features while the interior looks more appropriate in base trim, not this version that’s more than twice the price. Still, it raises the bar for off-road all-around capability and its honest character gives it a special feel. To some, that’s invaluable.  

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2019 Ford Edge Titanium

  • Equipped with all of today’s expected features and tech
  • A large size equates to good storage
  • Lacks a premium interior feel despite a 2019 update
  • Four-cylinder turbo goes to work in near silence

The Ford Edge Titanium sits at the top of the trim lineup, save the performance-focused ST model.  It packs an impressive feature list yet somehow still has the feeling of being outdated. The exterior’s shape dates back to 2007 – its first year on Ford’s roster, and the Edge’s interior design can be traced back to 2011. Still, this large five-passenger crossover is plenty practical and goes about its business in a confident manner that is unlikely to ever go out of style.  

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2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

+Exterior styling blends old-school grandness with modern chiseled LED lighting.

+Sophisticated-feeling interior with large singular trim pieces of gloss black plastic, padded leather, and natural wood.

+Hybrid power provides instantaneous and seamless acceleration with a confidence-inspiring low-end grunt. 

+Fuel economy is on par with what is expected of large hybrid cars, meaning better than hybrid crossovers but not as good as smaller hybrid cars, like Toyota’s own Camry Hybrid. 

The 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid nails the modern sense of a large car. High tech, high efficiency, and fine details create a cool scene and leave a lasting upscale impression.

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