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.
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.
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.
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.