The Year In Review: Top Test Drives of 2019

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

For a lot of years, I chose my Top Five vehicles I drove during the year. It was a daunting task to whittle the list down to five, and I always felt like I left some great cars off the list. Like last year, I will not limit myself to a number, but rather share with you the vehicles I liked most by category.

So, with that, here we go! By segment, these are the vehicles I liked most based on initial quality, overall value within the segment, overall driving enjoyment, resale value, and performance. They are not ranked in order of my preference, and all these reviews are on the website.


As I looked through the vehicles reviewed for 2019, I realized how many SUVs I had driven, and how few cars I had driven. It is indicative of the marketplace as America transitions to SUVs.

I was really impressed with the 2020 Nissan Versa, itís price, and all the standard safety features it comes with. You donít forget a car like the Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody with 707-horses (be sure to check out my burnout). I also enjoyed the last version of the 2019 Corvette Grand Sport.


It is hard to narrow this category down, but 2019 will be remembered as the year Lincoln stepped up its game, with the new Nautilus and the new Aviator. In fact, the Aviator (my most recent review vehicle) was the most impressive SUV I drove all year.

I really enjoyed the new Chevy Blazer, the BMW X7 was fantastic, and I liked the changes Subaru did to the 2020 Outback. I spent a few days with the Jaguar I-Pace all-electric SUV, but with the charger that comes with the vehicle, I had to park it early, but it was some kind of fast!

From the standpoint of value, the Kia Telluride absolutely blew me away. It is a great SUV and as I noted, it would still be a bargain at $5000 more than the sticker price.


I started the year with the amazing Ram 1500 Laramie, one of the best riding and quietest trucks on the road. I had the new Ford Ranger midsized truck and thought it was great. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I spent a week with the beastly 2019 Ford Raptor.

I had a great time with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, one of the most anticipated new trucks of the year, and I can certainly see what all the buzz was about, it was terrific.


I had the hot McLaren 720S that topped out over $300,000 and it was probably the vehicle that got the most looks. I had the all-new Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the first SUV from Rolls that topped out over $400,000.

I had a number of Mercedes-Benz sedans and convertibles, mostly AMG models that were spectacular.

I will never forget the Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S station wagon, an unlikely love affair for me, but it was amazing with the 603-horse V8 under the hood.


It had to be the Ford Transit van with an Explorer conversion package. It was just amazing how well it drove for a really big van, but I also found it to be a fantastic value!


Those were my favorites of 2019, but at, youíll find many more of my reviews as well as a lot of reviews by Terry Box and Amy Plemons. Youíll find them all at, from the menu button, click reviews.

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Celeste Haynes
I'm sending a shout-out to Elk Grove Subaru for the wonderful treatment I received the entire time I was buying a Subaru Outback. The agency is a class act . Special thanks to Mike Carlson and Cebert Grant.
The Car Pro
Celeste, we're so thrilled you enjoyed your experience at Elk Grove Subaru! Thank you for your feedback and for being a CarProUSA listener and VIP! Enjoy your new Subaru!