While traveling and exploring cities throughout especially the US, finding the right automobile to fit all your needs can be cumbersome especially with all the new, high-tech features they can provide, safety features, stunning looks, and value. Well since I review cars alongside the team of other Southern Craft Steer Me! journalists who have a fondness for automobiles, we want to share a few of the standouts so far this year. Here is Part One of the series covering everything from trucks, to SUVs, hatchbacks, and sedans you should consider.
Reviews by Ale Sharpton and Andrea Janise
(All photos are courtesy of automakers.)
2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland 4×4
With the newest luxury SUVs, stocked sports vehicles, and sleek sedans doing their best to be eye candy, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator has turned the same amount of heads—if not more—while navigating through the streets and highways of Atlanta. And for good reason. The Jeep brand is one of the most popular especially among millennials and the adventurous lately, and this highly anticipated revamp took almost 30 years to answer the prayers of its pickup enhancement to return. Our review model, the Gladiator Overland 4×4, was a stunner upon site, maintaining the welcomed boxy, rugged Wrangler frame dressed in a black clear coat; the 18-inch Granite Crystal Aluminum Wheels, Premium LED Lighting package, exclusive convertible capability, and yes, 5-foot cargo bed stocked with a 115-volt AC outlet, further warranted the stargazing.
Its 3.6-liter V8, 24-valve heart and 8-speed automatic transmission with Selec-Speed Control is complemented by electronically enhanced Trailer Sway, Stability, and Roll Mitigation controls which come standard to justify the “Overland” moniker. The cabin is cozy with a more roomy back seat compared to competitors, numerous safety features, and the latest in connectivity, plus there are a plethora of options including Cold Weather Group (heated seats, steering wheel, remote start), and Premium Audio Group (8.4-inch display, Alpine audio system, GPS) to further pamper all passengers. The Trailer Tow Package (boasting a class-leading 7,650-pound towing capability) and Jeep Active Safety Group (rear park-assist, blind-spot detection, forward collision warning) come highly recommended as well.
All in all, the Gladiator has successfully rewarded all the loyalists who patiently awaited its return. — A.S.
Please visit Jeep.com for more information.
2019 BMW X4 xDrive 30I
The BMW X4 turned heads about as well as it turned curves along the Atlanta streets with its dark graphite metallic exterior and chrome 20” Runflat Tires. The xDrive 30I version came equipped with a panoramic moonroof, a rear view camera with a full surround 3D view to ease the tension when backing out of a parking space and Apple CarPlay compatibility with enhanced USB and Bluetooth along with its own Wi-Fi Hotspot. This truly is the ultimate driving machine, as their tagline states. If you are going to own this luxurious vehicle, getting the Premium Package is a must with heated steering wheel, heated seats, and the ability to control the radio with a gesture using your index finger in a circular motion to turn the radio up and down. Great on gas at 25 MPG city/highway, gives you one less thing to worry about when you are driving around. Thumbs way up! – Andrea Janise
Price: $61,545.00 fully equipped
Please visit Bmwusa.com for more information.
2019 MAZDA 3
Simply put, the Mazda 3 sedan is competitively priced with a plethora of bells and whistles. For starters, the automaker’s signature stunning Soul Red Crystal Metallic finish color is renowned—and emulated—throughout the industry. The smooth ride, low road noise, adequate acceleration, and competitive gas mileage make the 3 a winner for the perfect road trip.
Its interior on point with a user-friendly entertainment system, comfortable seating, and a stylish finish. The futuristic exterior design successfully embraces its Japanese roots, enhanced with a curvaceous frame, stylish grill, and sleek headlights definitely boost style points. Having mercy on the bank account, this handsome sedan gets decent gas mileage—25 mpg city/ 33 mpg highway—as well. Don’t be surprised if this model gets numerous head turns on the road; it earned it with a solid infrastructure and tech features to match. — L.K. Byron
Please visit Mazdausa.com for more information.
2019 Nissan Rogue SL FWD
The 2019 Nissan Rogue is outstanding in terms of its features and price. With a 2.5 liter engine under the hood and 19” alloy wheels gripping the concrete, the Rogue comes equipped with standard equipment including a 7” color screen with multi-touch control, BOSE premium audio system with 9 speakers throughout the cabin, 2nd row seat A/C vents, push button start, remote engine start, heated front seats, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, and the handy motion activated rear lift gate. The Premium and Platinum Reserve Package on our model came with a stunning monarch orange exterior paint and tan quilted leather seats. Getting an impressive 29 MPG city/highway makes the Rogue excellent for women who stay on the go. – A.J.
Price: $35,130 for model reviewed
Please visit Nissanusa.com for more information.
2019 Chevy Traverse AWD Premier
Popular due to its practicality, roominess, 4G LTE WiFi, OnStar system, and comfortably fitting up to seven adults, Chevrolet’s design team added an impressive facelift to the new Traverse’s list of accolades; the custom Silver Ice Metallic body coat, 20-inch “Gloss Black” wheels with red accents, daytime running lamps, and roof rails gave the 2019 Premier edition a welcomed sporty-meets-aggressive appearance. It’s 3.6-liter, V-6 heart, nine-speed automatic transmission, plethora of safety options including an “SOS” button for emergencies, “Teen Driver” technology, eight-inch color touchscreen, dual skyscape sunroof, and numerous apps for extensive mobile device capability are just few of the numerous attractions to add to its resume. Simply put, this room crossover SUV is perfect for whatever the family demands. – A.S.
Price: $48,200 (MSRP); $50,045 with all options
For more information, visit Chevy.com.