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.
We spend a week in the all-new 2019 Santa Fe that offers sharper styling, a more spacious interior, and a wider range of standard active features, while maintaining the model's compelling value proposition. At the same time, fuel economy is only average, the transmission is a bit slack down low, while the slick turbo-four is only available on Limited and Ultimate models.
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.
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.