Updated styling and equipment enhancements across the lineup that include a new turbo-four borrowed from the CX-9 only confirm our opinion that - despite the fact that the new engine is mated exclusively to an automatic transmission, while the clumsy infotainment system lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - the 2018 Mazda Mazda6 remains the best-handling and best-looking sedan in the midsize segment.
In a class dominated by the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the 2018 Lexus GS 350 has – through reliability, low ownership costs, and spectacular customer service – stolen a bit of the German's thunder. The latest iteration is market by flowing lines, supportive front seats, and handling prowess. A 2016 refresh added a much-needed spark, but rear seat knee room remains tight, the smaller gas engine lacks punch, the larger gas engine is hardly thrifty, while the infotainment interface is a nightmare to operate while moving.
We spend a week in the all-new 2018 Kia Rio – the smallest and least expensive offering from the Korean manufacturer – and come away appreciating its improved ride, quieter cabin, and cleaner lines. At the same time, the base model offers a dearth of power features, upper trims are pricey for the class, while passing at highway speeds requires some forethought.
At the Midwest Automotive Media Association's Spring Rally earlier this year, we were able to secure some seat time in the all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback and came away thinking that although it still isn't exactly sporty, it's more fun to drive than any Corolla model in at least the last ten years.