A redesign last year gave Hyundai's best-selling sedan a more restrained look, while the 2018 Hyundai Elantra lineup comes with a new SEL model and shares a name – not a platform – with the new GT hatchback. Holding it back is a spartan base model, underwhelming performance, and a few cheap interior materials that detract from the model's overall goodness.
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 marks the first major re-design of the brand's best-selling vehicle - with a slicker design inside and out, a more fuel efficient engine, additional safety equipment, and class-above features at every price point. But it's held back by a clumsy infotainment interface, mediocre cargo volume, and a stiff ride with too much road and wind noise on models with larger wheels.
In a class dominated by the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the 2018 Lexus GS 350 has – through reliability, low ownership costs, and spectacular customer service – stolen a bit of the German's thunder. The latest iteration is market by flowing lines, supportive front seats, and handling prowess. A 2016 refresh added a much-needed spark, but rear seat knee room remains tight, the smaller gas engine lacks punch, the larger gas engine is hardly thrifty, while the infotainment interface is a nightmare to operate while moving.
At the Midwest Automotive Media Association's Spring Rally earlier this year, we were able to secure some seat time in the all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback and came away thinking that although it still isn't exactly sporty, it's more fun to drive than any Corolla model in at least the last ten years.