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.
Longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing model, the all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon features a sleek design, smooth ride, comfortable seating, and more power under the hood. At the same time, the front grille on sportier models is overpowering, while fuel economy is only average.
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.