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.
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.
The 2019 Hyundai Kona continues the brand's notable value proposition by offering buyers competitive fuel economy, a class-above interior, an intuitive infotainment system and, for 2019, a range of advanced safety features that are standard on all trim levels. But it remains hampered by busy styling touches, a standard engine that offers only modest acceleration, and an interior that's on the small side for the segment.