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Author Profile: Steve Cypher


Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer: Steve Cypher


Articles Posted by Steve


2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature Driving Impressions

Following a major re-design last year, the 2019 Mazda CX-5, the brand's best-selling vehicle four years running, adds a new turbo engine for two new trim levels, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability on select models, while continuing with class-above features at every price point. But it remains held back by an awkward infotainment interface, middling cargo volume, and a stiff ride with too much road and wind noise on models with larger wheels.

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2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport Driving Impressions

Based on a new platform, the all-new 2019 Lexus ES 350 F arrives sporting a sleek, toned shape, feature-laden upscale interior, strong acceleration, and a wide range of advanced safety features. But perfection is eluded as all-wheel drive is unavailable, the infotainment system is overly complex, while it faces still competition in a crossover-obsessed market.

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2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL Driving Impressions

An all-new model last year, the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross offers an eclectic design, a smooth ride, a better-than-average warranty, and an attractive entry-level price. But those draws can't overcome a number of shortcomings that include a tight cabin finished in mediocre materials, a turbo-4 burdened with an indecisive CVT, and a lack of advanced safety features on most trim levels.

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2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring Driving Impressions

A modern interpretation of the classic British roadster, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata maintains the crown of "affordable and fun." This year, the lightest car in America gets an increase in horsepower that dials up the entertainment factor in what was already a spectacular two-seater. But the latest version remains hampered by a finicky infotainment system, while upper trims are a challenge to its value proposition.

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2019 Kia Forte EX Driving Impressions

The 2019 Kia Forte is all-new this year with Stinger-inspired styling cues, good fuel economy, and a number of standard active safety features. But performance from the single engine choice is only middling, the interior of the base model is low-buck, while the nameplate is no longer offered as a hatchback.

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2019 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD Driving Impressions

The 2019 Hyundai Kona continues the brand's notable value proposition by offering buyers competitive fuel economy, a class-above interior, an intuitive infotainment system and, for 2019, a range of advanced safety features that are standard on all trim levels. But it remains hampered by busy styling touches, a standard engine that offers only modest acceleration, and an interior that's on the small side for the segment.

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2019 Honda Insight Touring Driving Impressions

Forget everything you've heard, seen or experienced with past iterations. The all-new 2019 Honda Insight is more than ready to take on the Toyota Prius with stellar fuel economy, lithesome styling, a spacious interior, and a wealth of standard advanced safety features. Minor gripes include the lack of hatchback versatility, engine drone when pressed, and a base trim that omits Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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2019 Honda HR-V Sport AWD Driving Impressions

We spend a week in the 2019 Honda HR-V, the brand's smallest crossover, and find that it continues to offer a smooth ride, a brilliantly versatile interior with class-leading cargo space, and a good value proposition. At the same time, acceleration is nothing to write home about, advanced safety features are missing from the two most affordable models, the new Sport model offers no performance advantage, and the sportier manual transmission has been dropped from the entire lineup.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT2 Driving Impressions

An all-new model from the Korean brand this year, the 2018 Kia Stinger comes to market with a slick, bold design, while offering a powerful and practical alternative to European competitors at a bargain price. But its mission as a smooth riding grand tourer means track performance is only middling, while it lacks both a manual transmission and the brand cachet of its German rivals.

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