Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Saturday, 08 December 2018 04:05

Nissan Kicks joins the subcompact SUV battle

Subcompact SUVs seem to be growing on trees lately, and there’s yet another one in town. The Kicks is the latest vehicle in Nissan’s lineup, replacing the Juke at the low end of their SUV lineup.

I recently spent time in a Kicks and I’m back with a full report on what this little lifted subcompact has to offer.


By the very nature of being a subcompact SUV, the Kicks is small and the back seat is tight. It’s best for people who don’t plan to have a lot of folks in the back seat regularly. Storage space is decent for the class if you put down the rear seats. The materials used inside were pretty basic, nothing fancy, and the comfort level of the driver’s seat was a bit disappointing.

Exterior design looks sharp on the Kicks, much better than the funky-looking design of the Juke. The Kicks comes with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Two-tone color schemes are offered to attract more buyers.

There’s a seemingly endless list of SUVs out there to choose from, in case you haven’t noticed.  But a handful of them rise to the top of the sales charts every year, and for good reason, as they’re the real deal.

One of those is the Chevy Equinox, which underwent an attractive redesign for 2018 and sees only minor changes for the 2019 model. I’m here with a full report on what it has to offer and how it holds up to the competition.


While most SUVs aren’t too thrilling to look at, the Equinox’s look is one of the better designs in class, and my test vehicle was helped along by its sharp “Orange Burst Metallic” paint scheme.

The Equinox is classified as a compact SUV (the Trax being the subcompact in the Chevy family, the Traverse the midsize). I found the space situation in the Equinox to be roomy, but not a class leader. You get a grand total of 63.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

With more than 200,000 vehicles sold each year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the best-selling SUVS in the U.S. every single year. And while there aren’t many changes for 2019, it remains a powerful, high-class and tech-savvy SUV option for those who don't need a third row.


The 2019 Grand Cherokee offers a strong visual package, with my test vehicle (A Grand Cherokee Limited X 4x4) featuring an attractive velvet red pearl exterior paint job, paired with black, leather-trimmed interior seating.

Inside there was comforts including a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic temperature control, heated front seats, and an overall roomy and high-class interior featuring quality materials.

Rebirthed onto the auto scene in 2008, a decade later the classic-reboot Dodge Challenger continues its role as one of the leaders of the muscle-car rebellion taking place amid the inevitable move toward automation and electrification and SUVs.

Translation: Raw power hasn’t been completely forgotten, despite those trends taking over most of the industry.

I recently spent some time in a 2019 Challenger GT and I’m back with a full review on what this blast from the past has to offer.


More than 90 percent of today’s vehicles can’t be called unique, as if you squint they look like half a dozen others. But you can’t say that about the Challenger, which features a bold design unlike anything else on the road, and truly screams “look at me” even from a distance.

It’s a little tight in the rear seat, but you can actually fit four adults in here, unlike the Challenger’s rivals.

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