Lord Vader, Your Minivan Is Ready: The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S.
Want to help save the planet while looking like a total badass?  Siths with a conscience, welcome to your new ride---the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited S.  The S is for the S Appearance package, which paints the Pacifica Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat, pops on a set of 18-inch Black Noise painted wheels, and loads the interior with more black leather than a biker bar in Sturgis.

But, you know---tastefully.

Fire In Your Soul: The 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6 Turbo

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6 Turbo
The 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6 Turbo.
The Kia Soul is a survivor.  It arrived a decade ago in a flurry of quirky imported transportation boxes including the Scion xB and Nissan Cube, immediately caught on in a way the others didn't and now stands alone.  Why?  Because Kia got it right from the beginning, delivering a vehicle that was, Tardis-like, bigger on the inside---and then kept developing it.

The third generation of the Soul has landed for the 2020 model year and it is improved in every conceivable way.  Especially in terms of performance.


The Value Proposition: The 2019 Hyundai Tucson Limited FWD

Front 3/4 view of the 2019 Hyundai Tucson
The 2019 Hyundai Tucson.
The time has come, the automotive journalist said, to stop talking of one particular thing:  How Hyundai is right on the bumpers of the Japanese automakers (for those not following such things, Hyundai is South Korean).

I wrote my first review about how Hyundai was a looming presence in the rearview mirror of  the Japanese makers, especially Toyota and Honda, eight years ago, and have written several more since, with the objects in the mirror getting closer each time.  In my opinion, Hyundai (and Kia) passed Mitsubishi and Nissan a while back and are now neck and neck with the big two (Toyota and Honda). And now they are pressing their advantage---value for money.


Plugged In: The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Front view of 2019 Ford Fusion Energi
The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi.
We've said a couple of things consistently during the 11 years that TireKicker has been in existence. One: The true value of a hybrid is in a larger car, where the fuel economy gains will be greater than they are in small cars.  And two:  A plug-in hybrid, done well, is a better alternative (and will be until range and charging issues are fully addressed everywhere in this country) for many people than a pure electric vehicle.

And really, the Ford Fusion Energi, doomed as it is (Ford is phasing out passenger sedans and the Fusion Energi may not see the 2021 model year), is the best of them.