Several 2019 crossover SUVs emphasize new styling tweaks, safety technology

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ByDave Kunz via KABC logo
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
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Buyers keep buying them, while car makers keep making them and frequently updating them - crossover SUVs.

Buyers keep buying them, while car makers keep making them and frequently updating them - crossover SUVs.

Honda's Pilot has been a staple of the crossover scene for over 15 years. It gets a few styling tweaks for 2019, and Honda is emphasizing safety, making their Honda Sensing Suite of electronic safety features standard across all trim levels.

They're also emphasizing the Pilot's capability, like being able to actually go off road over serious rough terrain (with the all-wheel drive version), or even pull a trailer up to 5,000 pounds with the two-wheel drive version.

Another veteran crossover model getting a 2019 re-do is the popular Subaru Forester. Safety features are playing a key role in this vehicle, too, including Subaru's EyeSight system, which is standard. EyeSight keeps its eyes on the road for you and helps you avoid drifting out of your lane or getting into a rear-end collision with the car ahead.

But while EyeSight watches the road, Subaru's new optional DriverFocus watches the driver, quite literally. A small motion detector can tell if you're not looking at the road, or if you might be getting drowsy, sounding an alert. The system comes on the Touring trim level of the 2019 Forester.

It's all wrapped up in a very familiar looking package, which should keep Forester loyalists happy. While the vehicle is all new, it looks a lot like the previous Forester model and retains standard all-wheel drive.

As buyers continue to choose crossover SUVs - especially the medium to medium-large models - auto makers continue to refine and revise existing models to keep them appealing. For example, Kia did a few tweaks to the Sorento for 2019, including making third row seats standard. With high style and lots of features, the Sorento should continue to do well.

Speaking of doing well, the three-row Ford Explorer continues as a top seller, even though the basic design is now going into its ninth year. An all-new one should be coming along soon, so minor tweaks for 2019 keep it fresh looking. This very popular vehicle is one of the reasons Ford is saying goodbye to sedans in the coming years.

All across the automotive spectrum, crossover SUVs are king. In a way, they're today's mainstream cars.