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.
The most fuel efficient member of the three-model lineup, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric features a usable range, smooth ride, and hushed around-town driving experience. But it's hampered by a small back seat, a single motor drivetrain that isn't as smooth as some rival models, and a range realistically limited to commuting.
Still looking fresh five years after it debut as the third-gen model, the 2018 Mazda Mazda3 adds standard low-speed automatic emergency braking across the lineup to a slick design, stellar performance, and solid fuel economy figures. But we continue to have issues with the 3's cramped rear quarters, awkward and distracting infotainment system, and the fact that advanced safety features that are only available in an option package on the top trim.
The 2018 Lexus LX 570 features off-road capable body-on-frame construction, big V8 power, plenty of towing capability, and a leather and wood-trimmed cabin worthy of a luxury yacht. At the same time, body lean in cornering is abundant, third row occupants should be limited to small people, gas mileage is horrible, while most owners will never need - or use - its off-road capabilities.