Whether or not you’ve seen the car chase scenes from the popular 60’s movie, Bullitt, where a special Ford Mustang flies through the streets of San Francisco, Ford’s 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is far more than a once-over movie (its 50th anniversary) tribute. Its sleeper looks act as a cloak over the rumble created from underneath. While the movie brings instant name recognition among certain crowds, its performance and everyday livability are so impressive that it earns respect, even from those who haven’t seen the movie (yet!).
The Pathfinder nameplate earned legitimate off-road cred’ with continuous advances in technology until the market took a big turn and the resulting Nissan SUV “jumped the shark” and prioritized size and smoothness. The latest generation refresh of the 2019 Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition includes a toughened up appearance that adds several more adventure-themed touches and a sense of value.
Whether you consider the 2019 Nissan Frontier as being true to form or far outdated, its size, shape, and torquey powertrain bring a truckful of purposefulness that’s been lost on some newer competitors. There are several areas, though, that could have benefitted from a bit of continuous improvement. Are those areas a big deal? Maybe not in terms of truck function, but they detract from a sense of overall value and quality.
Acura’s first two generations of the five-passenger crossover bounced across the performance spectrum of being too sporty and then not having enough of it. Well, at last, the all-new 2019 RDX puts it all together and throws in sharp styling and an all-new infotainment system to boot.
The Toyota 86 is a special small sports car that carries instant ‘cred around the MX-5 Miata, S2000, and of course its near twin, the Subaru BRZ drivers. Like those cars, the 86 isn’t going to win many drag races without a hard shock to the driveline or fried clutch, rather, the focus is on ultimate handling and a connected driving experience. This TRD Special Edition enhances the handling capability and ups the styling ante but is it too much? No and yes…
How do you justify a pick-up truck that costs $66,000? You simply need to experience it. This pick-up rides like no other full-size pickup and is equipped with more premium features and capabilities than others in its class. There seems to be no detail or surface that Ram found unworthy for fine detailing or wrapping in some luxurious material. After spending a week with this truck, consider this former design engineer thoroughly impressed.
Is that a Buick? Buick’s latest ad campaign asserts that it no longer deserves the bland car company image of its recent past and it has a fresh round of new models to prove it. The updated 2019 Buick Envision competes in the ultra competitive near-luxury crossover segment where value, style, and performance can all be had with little sacrifice. While it might not be the best in the segment, is it enough to change the staid image of Buick?
If this isn’t what you were expecting from a
Toyota, you’re not alone. The CH-R is the smallest among Toyota’s crossover line-up
but its design speaks the loudest with amped-up shapes and a raised coupe
profile. Toyota didn’t concede its other core values though, as the CH-R is rather
roomy inside, features active safety tech, and has a quality feel.
Now in its third iteration, Honda has again shifted the priorities of its hybrid-only Insight. The first generation was an all out push for maximum efficiency. Then, the second generation went slightly off track by simply aiming to be simply be a lower-cost Prius. Now, the third generation Insight takes on a Civic-plus approach with an advanced hybrid system, a greater level of available features, and just as important, a greater sense of driving pleasure.
The GMC Acadia Denali may lack the extreme size, capability, and price of its larger Yukon XL sibling but competes with some of the toughest competitors like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. It seats seven (albeit snuggly) and mostly earns praise with its smooth and strong powertrain, quiet interior, and impressive tech, though it’s not all peaches and cream.