2019 FORD EDGE ST REVIEW

This 2.7-liter engine is the real deal. Making 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque it’s a huge upgrade over the standard Edge’s 2.0-liter engine and gives real credence to the ST badge.  You’ll feel the steering wheel tug a little on full throttle, what’s referred to as torque steer, before the all-wheel drive system helps rein it in.  When driving for the thrill of performance, it’s all about pressing the S in the center of the rotary dial.  You can also put the traction and stability control system in a sport or full-off mode but there’s seemingly little difference in the handling when you do.  The ST sticks pretty well no matter what.  Ford’s  all-wheel drive utilizes a disconnect feature to save gas, letting the front wheels do the all of work without parasitic losses until more grip is needed.  You can view the torque bias right here in the gauge display.  Unlike the Raptor though, another Ford Performance truck, the Edge’s sport gauges are minimal in scope, dated and small.  There’s also no heads-up display which is particularly helpful in a faster drive like this.  The 8-speed auto is smart in keeping the revs where you want them but the paddle shifters are hugely disappointing…way to slow to react to your input, especially upshifts.  Another sign of age is the lack of drive modes – there’s only normal or sport.

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2019 Mazda CX 9 Review

The family’s growing. The kids have friends and sports no longer have an off-season. You’re in the market for a 3-row SUV. Sure, the neighbors all have Pilots and Highlanders but you go your own way. And that’s where Mazda fits in with the CX-9; a distinctly unique take on the family mobile.

MSRP as-tested: $49,230

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2019 FORD EDGE REVIEW

So you’re considering an Edge; good timing. Ford has updated their 5-passenger midsize SUV for the 2019 model year to keep it a compelling choice.

Though most Ford shoppers opt for the smaller Escape or larger Explorer, the venerable Edge is still a big volume player for the brand. It has staying power, name recognition and has long since received positive reviews from me.  Built upon Ford’s CD4 platform which also underpins products such as the Fusion and Lincoln Continental, this 2nd generation Edge debuted for the 2015 model year and moves into 2019 refreshed with a new look and host of new features.

So the 3.5-liter V6 is no longer, replaced across the board, with the exception of the sporty ST, with this 2.0-liter turbo making marginally more horsepower than before and working through a new 8-speed automatic producing relatively impressive fuel economy of 23mpg on regular unleaded.

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2019 HYUNDAI SANTA FE REVIEW

This all-new Santa Fe showcases Hyundai’s bolder and bigger design language and really reignites the brand’s mojo which has been slipping in recent years. This 2019 model is the most complete, family-oriented SUV in its segment.  It’s that good.  Now, if you’re on a tight budget there’s the front-drive Santa Fe SE for under $25,000.  But 6 trim levels up is this range-topping Ultimate 2.0T AWD for $39,970 before any available incentives.  And that includes everything the Santa Fe offers as standard. It’s incredibly well-stocked, drives with a reassuring polish and pays special attention to cabin aesthetics and ergonomics.  It recaptures the MO from Hyundai’s maturation process; providing a generous, modern package at a price that undercuts the competition.

At 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0-liter turbo’s output doesn’t wow on paper but it never feels inadequate, producing strong low-end acceleration, mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission that doesn’t interfere with the fluid driving experience. I also like having this Smart drive mode in addition to the Comfort and Sport settings that automatically selects the proper steering effort, engine and transmission control logic based on the driver’s habits.  It works really well and helps save a little gas and that’s a good thing, because at 21mpg the Santa Fe trails the more powerful Ford Edge by 2mpg in mixed driving and 4mpg on the highway.

The interior dimensions of the Santa Fe have grown to give 2nd row passengers more space.  And, there’s more cargo room behind these seats.  All told it’s a great place to spend time with this beautiful panoramic sunroof, 2 USB ports, slide and recline heated seats, and window sunshades.

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Cadillac XT4 2019 Review

Cadillac XT4 2019 Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes In a crossover crazy world Cadillac certainly hasn’t given shoppers many reasons to visit one of their showrooms. But perhaps it was worth the wait. This is the first ever XT4….

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