Four years into its current model cycle, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 continues to offer buyers a sensuous design, wide array of advanced safety features, and a cabin that rivals many luxury brands. But interior space falls short of competitors, a hybrid variant isn't offered, while the kludgy infotainment system is frustrating and distracting.
The all-new 2019 Volvo XC40 arrives with a youthful design, Scandinavian-inspired interior, comfortable ride, and a competent turbo mated to a very good eight-speed automatic. But the design may be too quirky for some tastes, the back seat is tight for more than two, and although leather seats are standard, heating them is an extra-cost option.
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.
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.