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The osCARS: CarGurus’ Top 2019 Test Drive Reviews

Every year, our reviewers test drive the latest cars to bring you in-depth reviews. We’re now two months into 2019, and we already have a hefty list of reviews of 2019 cars. Here are our leaders in each scoring category. 

In each of our Test Drive Reviews, we look at six key categories: Look and Feel, Performance, Safety, Form and Function, Technology, and Cost-Effectiveness, along with an Overall score.

Top Performance: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata–10/10

Our reviewer gives the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata a rave review, noting its 26-horsepower increase under the hood and the manual transmission that comes standard, which he calls “a delight of its own, thanks in part to a new lightweight dual-mass clutch flywheel.”

Runner-up: 2019 Ram 1500–10/10

Top Form and Function: 2019 Ram 1500–10/10

Our reviewer raves about the functionality of the 2019 Ram 1500, pointing out the smaller details meant to make life easier for loading and unloading gear, like rear doors that open a full 90 degrees and rear seats that flip up easily and even recline. And the Ram 1500 also has a power-release tailgate–but our reviewer notes that works only on the way down; you’ll need to manually close the tailgate.

Runner-up: 2019 Acura MDX–9/10

Top Technology: 2019 Hyundai Elantra–10/10

With the 2019 Hyundai Elantra, our reviewer notes that the infotainment system is easy to use, with plenty of knobs and buttons to make navigating through the different features a breeze. Our reviewer also mentions the 3-year trial subscription to Blue Link Services, allowing you to connect the Elantra to smartwatches and voice assistants.

Runner-up: 2019 Kia Soul EV–10/10

Top Look and Feel: 2019 Mazda CX-3–10/10

“Mazda gets many things right with its cars and SUVs, and design is one of them,” our reviewer says of the 2019 Mazda CX-3. That’s probably why the Mazda CX-3, a crossover, is tied with the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, a luxury sedan, atop our Look and Feel category. Our reviewer notes that the CX-3’s interior has an upscale feel, with redesigned seats and upscale features like suede trim and leather seats–and all for under $30,000.

Runner-up: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class–10/10

Top Safety: 2019 Kia Sorento–10/10

Many safety features, like reversing cameras, already come standard on new cars. The 2019 Kia Sorento has safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and lane-departure warning, all of which come standard on the EX trim. For 2019, lane-keep assist and a driver-attention-monitoring system also come standard on EX trims and above.

Runner-up: 2019 Subaru Forester–10/10

Top Cost-Effectiveness: 2019 Volvo S60–10/10

Our research has found that buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions for shoppers. And we’re here to help you get the most bang for your buck. So while our reviewer isn’t a big fan of the 2019 Volvo S60’s Sensus infotainment system, “the styling of the S60 is so fantastic, so mature, so upscale, that we can overlook its warts. The S60 looks stunning inside and out, and just as importantly, it drives with the taut composure many buyers want from an upscale sports sedan.”

Runner-up: 2019 Hyundai Elantra–10/10

Top Overall: 2019 Ram 1500–8.8/10

Think of our “Overall” category like the Oscars’ Best Picture. We take into account all the different features and capabilities–along with cost-effectiveness–to come up with a final score. Is it any wonder that the 2019 Ram 1500 scores the highest overall? Our reviewer describes it as a full-size truck that “takes that everyday commuter-truck concept to new heights. This truck offers more comfort and refinement than any truck we’ve ever driven.”

Runner-up: 2019 Kia Forte–8.7/10

Did your favorite 2019 vehicle win? Let us know!

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