2013 New Car & Truck Buyers Guide - Autoweek

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2013 New Car & Truck Buyers Guide - Autoweek

2013

NEW

CAR &

TRUCK

BUYERS GUIDE


HARD TO

CHOOSE

Showrooms are brimming with new

designs and technology; we're here to

help find the vehicle for you

BY DALE JEWETT

Shopping for a new car

or truck has never

been tougher.

Despite years of economic

calamity, nearly every

automaker is working overtime

on new products and

technology.

The result: Showrooms are

brimming with cars and

trucks that look great, cheat

the wind and use less gasoline

than ever.

For example: If you’re looking

for a midsize sedan,

Chevrolet, Ford, Honda,

Nissan and Toyota have

completely redesigned their


ead-and-butter cars in the

last year, and Mazda isn't far

behind.

These new sedans are

loaded with fuel-saving

technologies: direct fuel

injection, variable-valve

timing, turbocharging and

continuously variable transmissions,

as well as plug-in

and conventional hybrid

powertrains. They work

together to take some of the

sting out of $4-per-gallon

gasoline.

With big jumps in fueleconomy

rules looming,

trucks and SUVs are not

exempt from the push to burn

less gas. Here, the focus is

on smaller engines, multispeed

automatic transmissions

(six gears are almost

the price of entry now) and

cutting weight via the use of

more high-strength steel and

aluminum.

We’ll see the next milepost

on this journey when General

Motors unveils its redesigned

2014 pickups in early 2013.

The new model year also

brings the last call for a

handful of vehicles, including

the Chevrolet Avalanche and

Cadillac EXT pickup/SUV

mashups, the Volvo C30

coupe, and the Toyota Matrix

and Acura ZDX wagons. It’s

also the last go-round for

today’s Toyota Corolla and

the sixth-generation

Chevrolet Corvette (the C7

arrives next year).

There are more great new

cars and trucks for sale than

ever before in the industry's

history. Finding the best one

for you takes a little seat time

-- first with this guide to

narrow down your options,

then at the dealership for test

drives. We’re here to help so

you will enjoy the drive!


ACURA

American Honda Motor Co. www.acura.com

ILX

TSX

TL

2014 RLX

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Acura's new ILX is an entry-level

compact luxury sedan available with three fourcylinder

powertrains: a 2.0-liter, a 2.4-liter and a

1.5-liter hybrid. Placed below the TSX, the ILX

is loosely based on the Honda Civic with

improvements that make it a luxury car. Inside,

the car has soft-touch leather, comfortable

seats and space for five adults. To make up for

lack of center-console space, Acura added a

second glovebox.

BASE PRICE: $26,795

WHAT'S NEXT: More powerful 2.4-liter, 181-hp

Earth Dreams engine may be added in a year

or two.

OUR OPINION: The new ILX is stylish,

luxurious, sporty and fun to drive. It is a worthy

contender in a segment that has cars like the

Audi A3, Lexus CT 200h and Buick Verano.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes to the sedan and

wagon.

BASE PRICE: $31,405

WHAT'S NEXT: Acura may keep TSX in limited

production with the V6 as a step-up from ILX.

OUR OPINION: One of our favorite compact

sports sedan and wagons, especially with the

I4 and manual transmission.

HIGHLIGHTS: After a mild restyling for 2012, no

changes for 2013.

BASE PRICE: $36,800

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned TL, based on the

Honda Accord platform, is due next spring as a

2014 model. We expect it to be a bit shorter

and use new Earth Dreams powertrains. Look

for a hybrid version, too.

OUR OPINION: One of our favorite luxury

sedans, with a smooth powertrain and crisp

handling.

HIGHLIGHTS: There is no 2013 RL. Acura's

flagship sedan is redesigned and renamed

RLX. It debuts at the 2012 Los Angeles auto

show.

BASE PRICE: $49,095 (2012 model)

WHAT'S NEXT: The re-engineered RLX will

weigh less than the RL due to extensive use of

aluminum. Honda's new Earth Dreams V6 will

be the powerplant, along with an optional

performance V6 and seven-speed dual-clutch

RDX

ZDX

MDX

automatic transmission. All-wheel drive will be

optional.

OUR OPINION: The RL has been overlooked,

criticized for its lack of a V8. The RLX has a

chance to fix that.

HIGHLIGHTS: Acura overhauled the RDX for

the 2013 model year, making it bigger, more

comfortable and more powerful than its

predecessor. The biggest change is that the

turbocharged four-banger has been replaced

by a 3.5-liter V6 that cranks out 273 hp, 33 hp

more than the old engine, and uses cylinder

deactivation technology. The V6 is mated to a

six-speed automatic transmission. The first five

gears are designed with power in mind, while

sixth-gear overdrive is for fuel economy. Acura

added one inch to the RDX's wheelbase and

back-seat passengers' legs get the benefit. The

RDX shares a few bits with the Honda CR-V,

such as the electric power steering and lower A

arms in the front suspension, but this is no

dressed-up clone. Acura poured on the luxury

touches, including heated seats, push-button

start, high-output stereo and moonroof, all

standard. Buyers can choose between frontand

all-wheel drive.

BASE PRICE: $35,215

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for addition of Earth

Dreams engines and a possible hybrid version.

OUR OPINION: Acura's small crossover takes a

big step up the luxury ladder with a smooth V6

and lots of leather. But the base price gets

hiked, too.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 model year is the last

for the ZDX. Front grille redesigned. Front and

rear parking sensor, folding side mirrors, lanedeparture

warning and forward-collision

warning added.

BASE PRICE: $51,815

WHAT'S NEXT: No future.

OUR OPINION: We like the ZDX's ride and

handling (it shares a platform with the MDX).

But it won't be missed.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 model is the last of this

generation of the MDX, so there are no

changes from the 2012 model.

BASE PRICE: $44,175

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned 2014 MDX is due

next year. It will use the current platform but

adopt the Earth Dreams V6 from the TL sedan.

OUR OPINION: We're not big fans of the "beak"

on the MDX and expect that will get changed

on the new version. This luxury SUV is a

comfortable cruiser.


ASTON MARTIN

Aston Martin North America www.astonmartin.com

DB9

RAPIDE

V8 VANTAGE/V12 VANTAGE

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 DB9 gets a power

boost by borrowing some of the engine

architecture and hardware from the Vanquish.

The 5.9-liter V12 reaches 510 hp and 457 lb-ft

of torque. Top speed is now 183 mph, a touch

slower than 186 mph from the last version. The

DB9 launches in November in the United

States. It will be offered in coupe and Volante

(convertible) styles. Other changes include

carbon-ceramic discs and calipers from

Brembo and adaptive damping for the chassis

that can run in normal, sport and track modes.

Carbon packages will be available as upgrades

to the interior and exterior.

BASE PRICE: $187,515

WHAT'S NEXT: Minor changes

OUR OPINION: Still among the leaders in

British sports car luxury.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes to Aston Martin's

four-door sedan. Production has moved from

Austria to the home plant in Gaydon, England.

BASE PRICE: $212,110

WHAT'S NEXT: A Rapide S is in the works.

Expect engine output to bump up 50 hp to 520

hp.

OUR OPINION: We love the looks and the

luxury. Lack of a B pillar helps complete the

look.

HIGHLIGHTS: A seven-speed auto-manual

transmission replaces the six-speed unit for

2013 models. Horsepower increases for the V8

and V12 engines. Minor changes to trim

packages.

BASE PRICE: $120,485

WHAT'S NEXT: A Zagato-styled version of the

V12 coupe arrives this fall. But we're not

getting the V12 Roadster.

OUR OPINION: The Vantage caters to the

driving enthusiast. The looks haven't changed

much the past few years, but we're OK with

that.

VANQUISH

AUDI

HIGHLIGHTS: Aston Martin revived the

Vanquish name for the replacement of the DBS

coupe. It has a full carbon-fiber body and a

Cosworth-designed 565-hp V12, mated to a

six-speed automatic. Based on an update of

the DBS's bonded-aluminum underpinnings,

the Vanquish adds a complete carbon-fiber

chassis structure behind the rear axle,

redesigned underbody components and a more

muscular-looking body, all fashioned from

lightweight carbon. The roof panel is also

available in a raw carbon finish as an option. Its

styling details are inspired by the One-77. The

interior gets the latest touch-sensitive

switchgear for the center console, revised seats

and improved headroom and legroom. The

Vanquish is the first Aston Martin to get launchcontrol

technology. Aston says 0-to-60 mph

takes 4.0 seconds.

BASE PRICE: $282,110

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a Volante convertible

variant for 2015.

OUR OPINION: It's the best car Aston Martin

has built.

Volkswagen of America www.audiusa.com

A3

A4/S4

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes for 2013 to the fivedoor

hatchback. Redesigned A3 due in 2014.

BASE PRICE: $28,165

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned Audi A3 moves to

the VW Group's MQB modular platform. A

longer wheelbase provides more room for

back-seat passengers. U.S. buyers will get a

sedan instead of a hatchback.

OUR OPINION: The A3 is versatile but

expensive.

HIGHLIGHTS: The A4 and high-performance

S4 get revised grilles and front and rear fascias.

There are new designs for the hood and

headlights with LED daytime running lights.

Audi Connect wireless technology is an option.

BASE PRICE: $33,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is on tap for 2014.

OUR OPINION: The minor changes only

enhance our feeling that this is one of our

favorite sedans.


A5/S5/RS5

A4 ALLROAD

A6/S6

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: A supercharged 333-hp, 3.0-liter

V6 replaces the 4.2-liter, 354-hp V8 in the Audi

S5. Three-zone climate control is standard.

The RS5 joins the lineup as the top

performance option. It uses a 4.2-liter V8, rated

at 450 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The RS5

uses a seven-speed S-tronic transmission,

electronically governed for a top speed of 174

mph. The sport-tuned suspension rides 0.8

inch lower than the standard A5. A rear spoiler

rises automatically when the vehicle hits 75

mph or more. You also get oversized air inlets

for the engine, a tapered front bumper, flared

fenders and outside mirrors covered in matte

aluminum. Inside, buyers will enjoy Napa

leather upholstery (Alcantara is optional), a flatbottom

steering wheel, a driver-information

system capable of recording lap times,

rearview camera, adaptive cruise control and a

navigation system synced with Google Earth

for panoramic, 3-D and aerial views of the

route you plan to travel.

BASE PRICE: $38,745

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a redesign in about

two years.

OUR OPINION: The A5 is a stylish coupe -- the

best looking car in Audi's lineup, we think. The

performance specs of the RS5 make us giddy,

but not the sticker price that approaches

$70,000.

HIGHLIGHTS: Trying to appeal to fans of small

crossovers (since it doesn't have one in its U.S.

lineup), Audi takes the A4 wagon (which has

been pulled from its U.S. lineup), gives it some

extra ground clearance and standard all-wheel

drive to create the A4 Allroad. Ground

clearance totals 7.1 inches. Power comes from

a turbocharged 2.0-liter four making 211 hp

and 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to

an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic

transmission. Interior appointments mirror the

A4, except for unique cloth seat upholstery and

shiny sill plates.

BASE PRICE: $40,495

WHAT'S NEXT: The future depends on sales

success. A diesel option would be nice.

OUR OPINION: With extra spring travel and a

lengthened wheelbase, the A4 Allroad rides

more smoothly than other A4s. A luxury option

to the Subaru Outback and Volvo XC70.

HIGHLIGHTS: The A6 was updated for 2012

and gets minor changes. A new S6 arrives for

2013. It gets a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that

makes 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, replacing

the 5.2-liter V10. Audi says 0-to-60 mph takes

4.5 seconds. Cylinder deactivation under light

loads shuts down four cylinders for better fuel

economy. When the engine is running on four

cylinders, active engine mounts mitigate

vibration and active noise cancellation feeds

A7/S7

A8/S8

sound through the car's audio speakers. The

engine is mated to a seven-speed S-tronic

automatic transmission, which sends power

through the all-wheel-drive system. The S6

gets a sport-tuned air suspension.

BASE PRICE: $43,095

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a sportier RS6 version

down the road.

OUR OPINION: The S6 is the sporty car for

taking your friends out to dinner. The A6

compares well with the Mercedes-Benz Eclass

and BMW 5-series.

HIGHLIGHTS: The A7 was launched for 2012

and gets only minor changes, powering on with

a V6 engine. But the S7 joins the lineup. It gets

the same powertrain as the Audi S6 -- twinturbo

V8 making 420 hp, sending power

through a seven-speed S tronic automatic

transmission and all-wheel drive. The S7 also

gets the air suspension, with four settings the

driver can choose between. Standard

equipment on the S7 includes a moonroof and

navigation system.

BASE PRICE: $60,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Audi will kick it up a notch with

an RS7 in a year or so.

OUR OPINION: This isn't really a track car. It's

too heavy for that. But as an all-around useful

family sedan that can be driven with glee when

the opportunities arise, it is a great success.

HIGHLIGHTS: The A8, available in standard

and long wheelbases, gets new engines to

replace the 4.2-liter V8. The base engine is a

supercharged 3.0-liter V6 rated at 333 hp. One

step up is the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, rated at

420 hp. In the S8 (standard wheelbase only),

the twin-turbo V8 is cranked up to 520 hp. The

top of the engine range continues to be the

500-hp W12, available only in the longwheelbase

car. Audi equips the V6 with startstop

technology and the V8 in the A8 with

cylinder deactivation for better fuel economy.

All engines run through an eight-speed

automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Audi's sport-tuned air suspension is at the

corners. The interior is swathed in luxury with

leather and wood trim, heated front and rear

seats and steering wheel, and MMI navigation

and multimedia unit.

BASE PRICE: $73,095

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a diesel engine to

arrive in 2013 and possibly an RS8 version.

OUR OPINION: We're big fans of the styling,

appointments and ride of the A8. If you seek

more gusto, the combination of powerful twinturbo

engine and sure-footed quattro drive

make the S8 ideal for the boss with an attitude.


R8/R8 SPYDER/R8 GT

TT/TT-S/TT RS

Q5

Q7

HIGHLIGHTS: Only slight changes are

expected for the R8 sports car for the 2013

model year. It goes on sale in early 2013. A

seven-speed dual-clutch unit is likely to replace

the six-speed automatic. A six-speed manual

continues.

BASE PRICE: $119,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: An electric-powered version,

named e-tron, arrives in early 2013. It is about

seven inches shorter than the gas-powered

car. Audi will build only 1,000 copies.

OUR OPINION: The R8 has supercar power

and looks, yet is easy to drive for everyday

chores -- but be sure to watch out for the

gawkers.

HIGHLIGHTS: An S-line competition package

adds 19-inch Rotor design wheels with 255/35

performance tires, black exhaust finishers, rear

spoiler, front splitter, rear diffuser and

headlamp washers. There are minor trim

changes and new paint colors for 2013.

BASE PRICE: $39,545

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is expected for

2014.

OUR OPINION: A fun-to-drive coupe and

convertible. But the TT RS is the one we would

pick.

HIGHLIGHTS: Supercharged 272-hp, 3.0-liter

V6 replaces naturally aspirated 3.2-liter V6 as

the uplevel engine. Turbocharged 2.0-liter fourcylinder

remains the base engine. A hybrid

version makes the turbo four with an electric

motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Eight-speed

automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel

drive are standard. Mild changes to front and

rear fascias.

BASE PRICE: $36,795

WHAT'S NEXT: A diesel engine is possible in

2013. A redesign is about three years away.

OUR OPINION: The supercharged V6 should

do away with complaints that the Q5 is

underpowered. We're rooting for the diesel.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Q7 gets a new-generation

V6 diesel engine. The 3.0-liter diesel is rated at

240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. It weighs 55

pounds less than the engine it replaces. Nearly

50 percent of Q7s are sold with the diesel. A

twin-monitor rear-seat entertainment system

joins the options list.

BASE PRICE: $47,695

BENTLEY

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is expected for

2013.

OUR OPINION: The Q7 is a big SUV with

Audi's styling flair, but sporty driving is not its

mission. Take the diesel.

Volkswagen www.bentleymotors.com

CONTINENTAL GT/GTC

HIGHLIGHTS: For the 2013 model year, a twinturbo

4.0-liter V8 is available. The engine,

sourced from Audi, makes 500 hp. That's 20 hp

less from the sale engine when it's used in the

Audi S8. The engine uses cylinder deactivation

to help improve fuel economy, and it's mated to

an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. You

can still opt for the 6.0-liter W12 that makes

567 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic from

ZF. GT coupes and GTC convertibles with the

V8 also get subtle styling changes to set them

apart from the W12-equipped cars.

BASE PRICE: $176,725

WHAT'S NEXT: A move to platforms developed

by the Volkswagen Group is a few years down

the road.

OUR OPINION: If you like big, heavy and fast,

this is your car. We'd be happy driving the V8

or the W12, but we'd probably choose the V8,

even if someone else was paying for the gas.

BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT SPEED

HIGHLIGHTS: The range-topping Bentley

Continental GT Speed is the fastest production

model ever from Crewe, capable of 205 mph.

Under the hood is a significantly more powerful

twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 making 616 hp and

590 lb-ft of torque. It works with an eight-speed

automatic and permanent all-wheel drive and

can sprint to 60 mph in four seconds. Other

changes include an upgraded air suspension

and a stiffened chassis for tauter handling and

improved agility. The ride height is lowered, the

steering is retuned for driver feedback and grip

is enhanced by 275/35-R Pirelli tires mounted

on standard 21-inch wheels. Inside, the toplevel

Mulliner Driving Specification is standard.

BASE PRICE: $240,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Possibly a GTC Speed

convertible variant.

OUR OPINION: The ultimate Bentley

Continental.


CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR

MULSANNE

BMW

HIGHLIGHTS: The sedan version of the

Continental platform is expected to get a

redesign next year.

BASE PRICE: $189,795

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign in 2013.

OUR OPINION: The current Continental Flying

Spur is red-carpet luxury at its finest.

HIGHLIGHTS: No major changes. Bentley

introduced the Mulliner Driving Specification for

those who want a sportier sedan. The package

adds unique 21-inch wheels, Flying B vents

and a diamond-quilted, leather-trimmed

interior. It also gets a sport-tuned suspension,

which is controlled by a knob in the cabin.

Power continues to come from the company's

6.75-liter V8 making 505 hp.

BASE PRICE: $300,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Bentley showed sketches of a

two-door Mulsanne convertible at the 2012

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It could

go into production in two to three years.

OUR OPINION: The Mulsanne is the classic

Bentley luxury sedan, a flagship for the

company. If you have the money, you can have

it customized any way you like.

BMW of North America www.bmwusa.com

1-SERIES

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: A 135is coupe and convertible

join the lineup. Power comes from the

turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six, rated at 320 hp

and 317 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can choose a

six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch

automatic. The 135is also gets unique 18-inch

wheels, gloss black kidney grille and a

performance exhaust.

BASE PRICE: $32,095

WHAT'S NEXT: The 1-series coupe and

convertible will be redesigned for 2014 and

renamed 2-series. A 1-series sedan is

expected for 2015.

OUR OPINION: The smallest BMW has all the

qualities we expect. The higher performance

135is is fun, but you can get a 3-series for the

same price.

3-SERIES

5-SERIES

6-SERIES

HIGHLIGHTS: The redesigned 3-series sedan

arrived in spring 2012. The ActiveHybrid 3

arrives in fall. It mates a turbocharged 3.0-liter

inline six and electric motor with an eightspeed

automatic transmission. BMW says the

powertrain puts out 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of

torque. The ActiveHybrid 3 can travel about 2.5

miles on electric power from the lithium-ion

battery pack. The powertrain also provides

start/stop technology, and a coasting mode that

shuts down the engine and disconnects the

drivetrain at cruising speeds.

BASE PRICE: $37,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A new 3-series wagon is due in

spring 2013. It is slightly larger, giving more

room to back-seat passengers. Also arriving in

2013 is a five-door hatchback version, likely

named Gran Turismo, and new versions of the

coupe and convertible, likely to be renamed 4series.

OUR OPINION: The new-generation 3-series

keeps BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine mojo

alive. The family is set to get much bigger.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 model marks the fifth

generation of the BMW M5 sedan. And the

biggest change is that the M5 gets a

turbocharged engine for the first time -- a 4.4liter

unit cranking out 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of

torque. And the M5 gets 30-percent better fuel

economy than its predecessor, BMW says.

Even better -- you can mate that engine to a

six-speed manual transmission at no extra

charge or opt for the seven-speed dual-clutch

unit.

BASE PRICE: $48,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A refresh for the 5-series sedan

and Gran Turismo is set for next year.

OUR OPINION: The new M5 is not just a

hopped-up 5-series sedan. Most of the

components are specific to the M5. And even

though it weighs 4,100 pounds, this M5 is

considerably faster than the one it replaces.

Layer in a whole suite of electronic aids and

the M5 will make you feel like a superhero.

HIGHLIGHTS: An M6 and the Gran Coupe

four-door join the lineup. The M6 returns after a

two-year break. You have a choice of coupe or

convertible. Under the hood is the same 560hp

turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 used in the M5

sedan. Power flows through the seven-speed

dual clutch to the Active M differential on the

rear axle. The 6-series Gran Coupe is an

alternative to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and

Audi A7. It has 4+1 seating -- the middle

passenger in the back seat straddles the

transmission tunnel. Buyers can choose from a

315-hp inline six or 445-hp V8, and the V8 can

be equipped with all-wheel drive. An eightspeed

automatic is the only transmission

available. The rear seatback folds flat to boost


7-SERIES

Z4

X1

cargo room.

BASE PRICE: $75,295

WHAT'S NEXT: Expect to see an M version of

the Gran Coupe next year.

OUR OPINION: The return of the M6 makes the

6-series a stronger competitor to the

Mercedes-Benz E-class coupe. The Gran

Coupe goes up against the Mercedes CLS and

Audi A7.

HIGHLIGHTS: The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline

six-cylinder becomes the base engine, rated at

315 hp. The turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 and twin

turbo 6.0-liter V12 continue. All engines are

mounted to an eight-speed automatic

transmission. The inline six replaces the V8 in

the ActiveHybrid 7 version. Inside, there's a

new generation of the navigation system and a

new Bang & Olufsen audio system. The active

cruise control system can brake the car to a full

stop. The Comfort Access package includes a

motion sensor to open the trunk with a wave of

your foot under the bumper.

BASE PRICE: $74,195

WHAT'S NEXT: A replacement is due in 2015 or

2016.

OUR OPINION: The list of upgrades will help

improve fuel economy while keeping the 7series

among the head of the class in large

luxury sedans.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes for 2013.

BASE PRICE: $50,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling will be refreshed in

2013.

OUR OPINION: BMW's two-seat roadster

keeps getting better as the years go along.

HIGHLIGHTS: As BMW's crossovers get larger

with each generation, it's created a hole at the

bottom of the lineup. BMW fills that gap with

the X1, which is based on the 1-series

platform. Buyers have a choice of rear-drive

(sDrive) or all-wheel drive (xDrive). The base

engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four that

makes 240 hp, sending torque through an

eight-speed automatic transmission and

getting good fuel economy at 27 mpg

combined. You can step up to a turbocharged

inline six for 300 hp, also with the eight-speed

auto, but fuel economy drops to 21 mpg

combined. Sorry, no diesel option for U.S.

buyers -- at least not yet. Like BMW's other

crossovers, the X1 has sporty driving

dynamics. Front passengers will be plenty

comfortable but use of the 1-series platform

means legroom is really tight for those in the

back seat.

X3

X5

X6

BASE PRICE: $31,545

WHAT'S NEXT: A refreshening is at least a

couple years away.

OUR OPINION: This is the most nimble of

BMW's crossovers, due in part to its smaller

size. To really up the fun factor, add the M

Sport package. But options boost the X1's

sticker price in big jumps.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 X3 received BMW's

turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the base

powerplant, making 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of

torque. An inline six-cylinder remains an option.

All X3s get stop/start technology, power tailgate

and Driving Dynamics adjustable powertrain

response system with Eco Pro fuel-saving

mode.

BASE PRICE: $39,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A restyling is due in 2014.

OUR OPINION: The turbocharged four-cylinder

makes the X3 an excellent performer. The X3

is much improved over the first generation of

the SUV.

HIGHLIGHTS: An M Performance package

becomes available. It boosts output of the

inline six-cylinder to 315 hp and output of the

4.4-liter V8 to 440 hp.

BASE PRICE: $48,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned X5 is expected in

2013.

OUR OPINION: BMW's original SUV remains a

workhorse.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes, including

redesigned headlights and taillights.

BASE PRICE: $60,695

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is expected in 2015.

OUR OPINION: The X6 with its hatchback

styling remains a niche product. The M version

offers up plenty of power. But the cramped

back seat limits the SUV's utility.


BUGATTI

Bugatti Automobiles www.bugatti.com

VEYRON 16.4

BUICK

HIGHLIGHTS: Production of the Veyron 16.4

continues with variants, including the 1,200-hp

Super Sport and the Grand Sport Vitesse

unveiled at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours

d'Elegance. The Grand Sport Vitesse pays

homage to the 1928 Bugatti Type 37A race car,

now owned by Jay Leno.

BASE PRICE: $2.1 million

WHAT'S NEXT: Bugatti is working on a fourseat

car, the 16C Galibier. But it is reportedly

delayed until 2015.

OUR OPINION: Although it hasn't changed in

years, the Bugatti Veyron still looks fast.

General Motors www.buick.com

VERANO

REGAL

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: A 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged

four-cylinder joins the engine lineup. It can be

mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed

automatic. Rearview camera is standard.

IntelliLink multimedia audio system available

on all models.

BASE PRICE: $23,965

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a mild hybrid in a year

or two. GM is also considering a Verano sport

coupe.

OUR OPINION: The turbo engine gives the

Verano more power but doesn't take it into the

realm of sports sedan.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 182-hp mild hybrid eAssist

powertrain with 2.4-liter four-cylinder becomes

the standard engine -- it had been a $2,000

option. Heated steering wheel standard on all

Regal turbos but the GS. IntelliLink multi-media

audio standard on all models.

BASE PRICE: $29,900

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned Regal is about

four years away.

OUR OPINION: The 270-hp GS with a sixspeed

manual is our favorite member of the

Regal family.

LACROSSE

ENCORE

ENCLAVE

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes, including switch

to electric power steering for cars with 3.6-liter

V6 and front-wheel drive. Lock/unlock sensor

in door handles switches from sensor pad to

button.

BASE PRICE: $32,535

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling will be refreshed on

2014 model. Redesign due in 2016 on Cadillac

XTS platform.

OUR OPINION: Base four-cylinder engine with

mild hybrid assist is OK for a car of this size but

not anything to get excited about. Traditional

Buick buyers will want the V6.

HIGHLIGHTS: Buick will counterbalance the

Enclave large crossover in its lineup with the

five-seat Encore, which goes on sale in early

2013. The Encore uses the same platform as

the diminutive Chevrolet Sonic -- at 168.5

inches long, the Encore is about 10 inches

shorter than a Ford Escape. But there will be

plenty of room for front and back-seat

passengers, and lots of leather trim. The

Encore will also use the Sonic's turbocharged

1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, cranking out 140

hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, running through a

six-speed automatic transmission. Front- and

all-wheel-drive versions will be offered. Buick

expects the Encore will deliver at least 30 mpg

on the highway.

BASE PRICE: $24,950

WHAT'S NEXT: Potential mild hybrid version.

OUR OPINION: Small luxury crossovers are a

hot market segment now. We like the way the

turbo Sonic drives, so the Buick Encore has

lots of potential.

HIGHLIGHTS: The full-size crossover gets

revised exterior styling and a redesigned

instrument panel with real stitching and softtouch

surfaces. New dual-flow dampers

smooth out the ride. Six-speed automatic

transmission gets new calibration. Centermounted

front seat airbag added for sideimpact

protection.

BASE PRICE: $39,270

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected for 2016.

OUR OPINION: It's a minivan in crossover

clothing. The Enclave is roomy and rides nice.

But it is expensive.


CADILLAC

General Motors www.cadillac.com

ATS

CTS

HIGHLIGHTS: The all-new Cadillac ATS will be

available in rear- or all-wheel drive and in four

trims: Standard, Luxury, Performance and

Premium. Buyers will be able to choose

between a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

that makes 272 hp, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder

offering 202 hp and a 3.6-liter V6 capable of

321 hp. All of these are expected to deliver

highway fuel economy of more than 30 mpg. A

sophisticated suspension paired with

magnetic-ride control and available Brembo

performance brakes combine to further

enhance this Cadillac's competitive drive feel.

Cadillac's next-generation infotainment system,

Cadillac User Experience (CUE), will be

featured in the ATS. This cutting-edge

technology allows users to use the same

actions they've become accustomed to on

tablets and smartphones on an eight-inch color

touch-screen display in the car. Swipe to move

to the next screen or tap to select an option;

these movements and more will be recognized

by CUE. What's even more impressive, CUE is

able to pair information and entertainment data

from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile

devices.

BASE PRICE: $33,990

WHAT'S NEXT: Expect an ATS coupe next

year, and possibly a high-performance ATS-V.

OUR OPINION: The ATS is fundamentally solid

and inherently balanced. Its three engine

options start near the top in terms of output and

technology. The car offers rear- or all-wheel

drive out of the box, and its power-to-weight

ratios are best in class. With the ATS, Cadillac

finally has a second sedan that

Audi/BMW/Mercedes drivers (or wannabes)

might actually think about buying, in a more

lucrative chunk of the market.

HIGHLIGHTS: Manual transmission is dropped

from base sedan (still available on CTS-V).

Remote start is standard. Minor changes to the

grille.

BASE PRICE: $39,800

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned CTS is due for

2014 on platform used for ATS. New CTS will

be longer.

OUR OPINION: The CTS is the car that put

Cadillac back on the map. But its age is

beginning to show as the competition

improves.

XTS

SRX

ESCALADE

HIGHLIGHTS: For those who miss seeing a

large sedan in the Cadillac lineup, the XTS is

here to make you happy. The base XTS is a

front-driver, but you can order up all-wheel

drive. But there's no V8 -- at least not yet. The

only engine is a 304-hp V6 running through a

six-speed automatic. But you do get magnetic

ride shocks and rear air suspension as

standard. Then there's the Cadillac User

Experience (CUE) -- an 8-inch monitor in the

dashboard that uses finger gestures such as

"swipe" to move among screens and control a

variety of vehicle functions.

BASE PRICE: $44,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Hybrid version possible in a

year or two.

OUR OPINION: Here is a car the traditional

Cadillac buyer can be comfortable with, as the

rest of the brand shifts more toward a Eurosedan

attitude. The V6 is geared to pull away

smartly from stops, while the magnetic ride

suspension will smooth out most road

imperfections while minimizing any body lean.

We hope Cadillac doesn't take too long with a

V8 option.

HIGHLIGHTS: Some changes to the exterior

styling. A redesigned instrument panel adds the

Cadillac User Experience (CUE) multi-media

system. CUE includes controller and inputs for

rear-seat entertainment system. Forwardcollision

alert and lane-departure warning

systems are available. Active noise

cancellation quiets cabin noise.

BASE PRICE: $38,030

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is at least two years

away.

OUR OPINION: The SRX is one of our favorite

crossovers, both for its looks and its comfort.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes. This is likely the

last year for the Escalade EXT pickup.

BASE PRICE: $64,300 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: An all-new Escalade arrives

next year as a 2014 model. It will use GM's

new pickup truck platform, along with Chevrolet

and GMC trucks and SUVs, along with new V8

engines and transmissions.

OUR OPINION: This is the full-size luxury SUV

for those who want to be noticed.


CHEVROLET

General Motors www.chevrolet.com

SPARK

SONIC

CRUZE

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: The Spark enters Chevy's lineup

as the smallest car offered. It's powered by a

1.2-liter I4 that makes 84 hp and 82 lb-ft of

torque. A five-speed manual transmission is

standard, but Chevy offers an optional fourspeed

automatic. Safety is a big concern with

small cars, so Chevy jammed the Spark with

10 airbags and high-strength steel for extra

rigidity. Buyers can choose between three

trims: LS, 1LT and 2LT.

BASE PRICE: $12,995

WHAT'S NEXT: An electric version should

arrive next year.

OUR OPINION: This is undoubtedly one of the

best-equipped, most conventional options in

the growing "city car" segment. The well-sorted

suspension won't beat you up, and there's

enough room in the back that you won't risk

ending a friendship by asking someone to ride

back there. It's noisy on the freeway, but the

radio volume knob can counteract that fact.

HIGHLIGHTS: Performance-oriented RS trim

joins the lineup. Changes include lower ride

height, four-wheel disc brakes, more

aggressive gear ratios, unique grille and

foglamp design, leather seating surfaces and

aluminum pedals. Six-speaker premium audio

system available on all models.

BASE PRICE: $15,595

WHAT'S NEXT: Hybrid version is possible.

OUR OPINION: The Sonic is small but has

impressive ride and handling qualities. A strong

competitor in a growing market segment.

HIGHLIGHTS: Interior upgrades include

availability of color touchscreen for audio

systems across the lineup. Technology

package includes rearview camera. Available

safety package includes blind zone and rear

cross-traffic alerts.

BASE PRICE: $17,925

WHAT'S NEXT: Restyling due for 2014, when a

diesel engine will join the powertrain lineup.

OUR OPINION: Solid ride and high-quality

interior materials make the Cruze a good

choice for a small sedan.

MALIBU

IMPALA

CAMARO

HIGHLIGHTS: The redesigned 2013 Chevrolet

Malibu got an early launch last spring with

GM's mild hybrid powertrain. The full lineup of

Malibus arrives this fall, with the new 2.5-liter

four-cylinder engine that makes 197 hp, mated

to a six-speed automatic. Or you can step up to

the turbocharged 2.0-liter four, which cranks

out 259 hp. The new Malibu is almost as

aerodynamic as the Chevy Volt. The reworked

cabin has more room and is fitted with higherquality

materials.

BASE PRICE: $23,150

WHAT'S NEXT: We'd ask for a performance

version.

OUR OPINION: GM engineers went to work on

the Malibu's suspension, even after the Eco

version launched. The result is a wellcontrolled

ride that lets the Malibu glide over

small bumps but really grips the road in the

corners. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is

strong. The Malibu's seats are comfortable and

rear passengers get more leg room. The cabin,

overall, feels luxurious. We wish we could get a

manual with the 2.0-liter turbo.

HIGHLIGHTS: Luxury package with leathercovered

and heated front seats, and Bose

audio system available. Engine gets 150-amp

alternator.

BASE PRICE: $26,585

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned Impala goes on

sale in 2013 as 2014 model. Powertrain

choices will be four-cylinder and V6 engines.

OUR OPINION: The current car is a favorite of

rental fleets and budget shoppers.

HIGHLIGHTS: 1LE track package is new. It

takes key chassis components from Camaro

ZL1 and adds to SS coupe models. Six-speed

manual is only transmission for 1LE. SS

models get electric power steering and

available dual-mode exhaust. MyLink multimedia

system added to most models.

BASE PRICE: $24,245

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in about three

years.

OUR OPINION: The 1LE package is perfect for

those looking for more Camaro performance

without the big sticker price of the

supercharged ZL1.


CORVETTE

VOLT

EQUINOX

TRAVERSE

HIGHLIGHTS: Anniversary package celebrates

60 years of Corvette and marks end of C6

generation. 427 convertible model marries the

505-hp V8 from the Z06 with the chassis from

the Grand Sport convertible.

BASE PRICE: $50,575

WHAT'S NEXT: All-new C7 Corvette debuts at

2013 Detroit auto show and goes on sale next

fall. New Corvette is expected to lose some

weight, be more comfortable and use fifth

generation of GM's small block V8. Spy photos

show evolutionary styling.

OUR OPINION: The Corvette is still the best

bang for the buck in sports cars. 427

convertible is the best combo but act fast -- this

is a one-year-only car.

HIGHLIGHTS: Battery improvements boost EV

range to 38 miles. Roof and liftgate are body

color. Hold drive mode commands use of

gasoline engine to conserve battery charge.

Rear-center armrest, lane-departure warnings

are options.

BASE PRICE: $39,995

WHAT'S NEXT: A restyling is expected for

2014.

OUR OPINION: Hybrid powertrain takes away

any sense of range anxiety. Dashboard has a

space-age feel, which can be a bit intimidating.

HIGHLIGHTS: Larger 3.6-liter V6 replaces

optional 3.0-liter V6, delivers more power but

same fuel economy. Options include rear-seat

entertainment system, forward-collision alert

and lane-departure warning.

BASE PRICE: $24,580

WHAT'S NEXT: Mild hybrid expected next year.

Redesign is two years away.

OUR OPINION: The Equinox is a versatile

midsize crossover that won't tear up your

wallet.

HIGHLIGHTS: Exterior restyling brings new

front fascia and hood. Interior upgraded with

soft-touch materials and new center stack for

MyLink multi-media center. Center-mounted

front airbag is an option.

BASE PRICE: $31,335

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due for 2016.

OUR OPINION: A roomy, comfortable crossover

for families that don't need the burliness of a

truck-based SUV.

TAHOE

SUBURBAN

COLORADO

SILVERADO

AVALANCHE

HIGHLIGHTS: Automatic transmission gets

downhill braking mode.

BASE PRICE: $40,075

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned Tahoe arrives next

year as 2014 model. Uses GM's new pickup

truck platform and fifth-generation small block

V8.

OUR OPINION: When you've got to haul stuff,

the Tahoe can handle the task.

HIGHLIGHTS: Automatic transmission gets

downhill braking mode.

BASE PRICE: $43,540

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned Suburban due

next year, using GM's new truck platform.

OUR OPINION: A good choice for hauling

people, cargo or boats in comfort.

HIGHLIGHTS: 2012 was last year for current

truck.

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned Colorado due late

in 2013 as 2014 model. Turbo four and V6

engines expected; maybe a diesel, too.

HIGHLIGHTS: Automatic transmission gets

downhill braking mode.

BASE PRICE: $23,590

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned Silverado arrives

in late spring as a 2014 model. There's a new

design, new engines and a focus on cutting

weight to improve fuel economy. It will get the

new GM small-block V8.

OUR OPINION: Chevy's aging workhorse is

ready for a makeover.

HIGHLIGHTS: 2013 is the last year for the

Avalanche pickup. It goes out with a special

Black Diamond package.

BASE PRICE: $36,975

WHAT'S NEXT: Nothing.

OUR OPINION: Midgate and enclosed cargo

box were innovative when Avalanche was

introduced. But most buyers choose pickup or

SUV, not both.


EXPRESS

CHRYSLER

HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation radio, rear-vision

camera and rear-park assist join the options

list.

BASE PRICE: $26,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes in near future.

OUR OPINION: Chevy's full-size van is a

workhorse for tradesmen and shuttle services.

Chrysler Group www.chrysler.com

200

300

TOWN & COUNTRY

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Lineup simplified to LX, Touring

and Limited models. S trim is now a package

available on Touring and Limited models. The

convertible gets an upgraded suspension for

firmer ride.

BASE PRICE: $19,990

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due for 2014 model,

when the 200 will shift to Fiat platform.

OUR OPINION: Last year's restyling helped

increase the 200's appeal. We look forward to

the redesign.

HIGHLIGHTS: Glacier edition combines allwheel

drive with unique styling. 300S model

gets cold-air induction system and sport-tuned

exhaust. Pentastar V6 gets eight-speed ZF

automatic transmission, with available paddle

shifters, for better fuel economy. Hemi V8 uses

five-speed automatic. Navigation unit gets

improved graphics and 3-D map.

BASE PRICE: $29,845

WHAT'S NEXT: Restyling due in two years.

OUR OPINION: Chrysler's flagship sedan pairs

value and luxury.

HIGHLIGHTS: Chrysler's minivan is first with a

Blu-Ray dual-screen DVD system. The DVD

screens are sharper. An HDMI port is added for

game systems, and two USB ports are added

in the rear to recharge phones and music

players. Trailer sway damping is standard.

Power-folding mirrors are an option.

BASE PRICE: $29,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Chrysler is expected to drop

the Town & Country minivan in 2014.

OUR OPINION: Remains among the leaders in

comfort and convenience for family transports.

DODGE

Chrysler Group www.dodge.com

DART

AVENGER

HIGHLIGHTS: The Dodge Dart is the first allnew

vehicle to come out of the Fiat/Chrysler

partnership.

The compact car rides on a modified Alfa

Romeo Giulietta platform and is available in

five trim levels, with three engine choices, three

transmission choices, 12 exterior-color

choices, 14 interior-trim combinations and

more than 100,000 ways in which to configure

it.

With its bold styling, including the 152-LED

"racetrack" taillights taken from the Dodge

Charger, a sport-tuned suspension and an

interior unlike that of other compacts in the

market, the Dart stands out among

competitors.

The three engines range from the base 2.0-liter

four-cylinder making 160 hp and 148 lb-ft of

torque to a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged fourcylinder

making 160 hp and 184 lb-ft, up to a

2.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder making 184 hp

and 171 lb-ft. There are three transmission

choices: a six-speed manual or automatic and

a six-speed dual dry clutch that is available on

turbo models.

This is a significant car for Chrysler, and it

seems the company has given it every

opportunity to be a big hit.

BASE PRICE: $16,790

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for an SRT performance

version for 2014.

OUR OPINION: If you are in the market for a

compact car, you certainly need to take a look

at the 2013 Dodge Dart, as it takes a back seat

to no one in the segment. The Dart has more

interior room than the leading competition, and

with all of the engines, transmissions, exterior

colors and interior options, you can outfit the

car to your specific liking.

HIGHLIGHTS: Rallye Appearance group adds

18-inch wheels, body-color grille, rear spoiler

and dark-tinted headlamps. Heated leather

front seats are an option on SXT model.

BASE PRICE: $18,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Expected to be dropped in

2013.

OUR OPINION: The Avenger has been an

average car, and will likely be overshadowed

by the Dart.


CHARGER

CHALLENGER

JOURNEY

DURANGO

GRAND CARAVAN

HIGHLIGHTS: Models with V6 engine get coldair

induction system to boost horsepower to

300. Black-painted roof is now an option.

Navigation unit gets upgraded graphics.

BASE PRICE: $26,790

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a Daytona

Performance package in 2013.

OUR OPINION: The Charger continues to wear

its swagger and attitude on its fenders.

HIGHLIGHTS: Rallye Redline package adds

exterior accents, available red-leather interior,

20-inch wheels with red accents, and

performance suspension and brakes. Rear

park assist now standard on all models.

Challenger SRT8 392 gets standard launch

control and three-mode adaptive suspension.

BASE PRICE: $26,900 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign on tap for 2015.

OUR OPINION: It's hard to ignore the classic

styling and muscle-car sounds that come from

the Challenger.

HIGHLIGHTS: Prices cut on Crew and R/T

models. Leather, heated steering wheel and

front seats now standard on Crew. R/T models

get new performance suspension.

BASE PRICE: $18,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due for 2014, when

Journey moves to Fiat platform.

OUR OPINION: A versatile crossover with

plenty of storage capacity, optional third row.

HIGHLIGHTS: Rallye package adds looks of

R/T model to base SXT. Heated/ventilated

leather seats, blind-spot detection and rear

cross-path detection available on R/T. Secondrow

captain's chairs available on all models.

Leather seating standard on Crew model.

BASE PRICE: $28,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Expected to be dropped in

2014, to make room for Jeep Grand

Wagoneer.

OUR OPINION: A solid people hauler with

plenty of power and nice ride.

HIGHLIGHTS: Blu-ray entertainment system

with HDMI port is optional on Crew and R/T

models. Base price cut by $1,000.

BASE PRICE: $19,995

FERRARI

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected to arrive in

2015.

OUR OPINION: A great combination of value

and versatility for minivan buyers.

Ferrari North America www.ferrariusa.com

458 ITALIA

CALIFORNIA

FF

F12 BERLINETTA

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes. Spider hardtop

convertible was launched in 2011.

BASE PRICE: $231,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: A sportier version, the 458

Scuderia, is due in 2013.

OUR OPINION: It's not cheap, but the 458 Italia

is worth every penny.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2+2 roadster gets an extra

30 hp to bring output of the V8 to 490 hp.

Engineers cut curb weight by 66 pounds. An

optional handling package brings stiffer

springs, special dampers and a quicker

steering ratio.

BASE PRICE: $203,000

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: The California offers plenty of

fun, even though it's the entry-level Ferrari.

HIGHLIGHTS: No major changes a year after

the replacement for the 612 Scaglietti was

introduced.

BASE PRICE: $350,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: It seats four and has all-wheel

drive -- and it's a Ferrari!

HIGHLIGHTS: The F12 replaces the 599 in

Ferrari's lineup, with a 731-hp V12 up front

driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed

dual-clutch transmission. The powertrain is a

refined version of the unit used in the Ferrari

FF. The F12 is slightly smaller than the 599

and weighs about 150 pounds less, due in part

to its all-aluminum body construction. The

styling signature on the F12 is the "aero

bridge," a straight piece of bodywork that

covers the gap in each front quarter panel

created by the wheel arch. Ducts at the rear

channel airflow to the decklid spoiler.

BASE PRICE: $300,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.


FIAT

OUR OPINION: The performance of this Ferrari

is phenomenal, yet the F12 is quite at home

rolling down the boulevard. You won't sacrifice

comfort to get near-Formula-One levels of

performance. Just be prepared to wait in line to

get one.

Fiat Automobiles www.fiatusa.com

500

FISKER

HIGHLIGHTS: A Turbo model joins the lineup

with a 135-hp turbocharged MultiAir fourcylinder

engine, sport-tuned suspension and

larger front fascia. Manual transmission gets

new final-drive ratio for better fuel economy.

Manual is standard on base and 500c Lounge

models. Beats by Dr. Dre audio system is

available.

BASE PRICE: $15,800

WHAT'S NEXT: An electric version is expected

in early 2013. A four-door, five-seat high roof

500L model is due in mid-2013.

OUR OPINION: The Fiat 500 turns heads

because it’s cute. But the Turbo model may

attract more male buyers.

Fisker Automotive www.fiskerautomotive.com

KARMA

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid

went on sale in 2012 in three trim levels. The

Karma uses two electric motors and a

turbocharged four-cylinder engine to turn an

electric generator. The interior is stylish. The

center of the dashboard is dominated by a

touch screen that controls most functions.

BASE PRICE: $95,000

WHAT'S NEXT: Fisker has shown a Surf wagon

model as a concept.

OUR OPINION: The Fisker Karma is off to a

rough start. The car is stylish inside and out,

but the rear seat is limited. Its image has been

hurt by two reports of fires.

FORD

Ford Motor Co. www.fordvehicles.com

FIESTA

FOCUS

FUSION

HIGHLIGHTS: Fiesta lineup changed to S, SE

and Titanium models with revised content.

Equipment levels harmonized on sedan and

hatchback. SE models get latest generation of

Sync hands-free technology and standard

cruise control, as well as an uplevel audio

system.

BASE PRICE: $13,200

WHAT'S NEXT: Expect the turbocharged 1.0liter

three-cylinder EcoBoost engine to arrive

for the 2014 model, along with a restyling.

OUR OPINION: The Fiesta continues to

impress with its style and capabilities, but the

field is getting more competitive.

HIGHLIGHTS: Redesigned for 2012, a highperformance

ST model joins the Focus lineup

for 2013. The Focus ST gets a 2.0-liter

EcoBoost engine with direct fuel injection,

turbocharging and twin independent variable

camshaft timing. All of that adds up to 252 hp

and 270 lb-ft of torque. An overboost feature

extends peak torque for 15 seconds at a time.

And every ST also gets a six-speed manual

gearbox. The options list includes Recaro sport

seats. Ford will also roll out an electric version

of the Focus.

BASE PRICE: $16,200

WHAT'S NEXT: Ford has let U.S. journalists

drive a European Focus with the three-cylinder

EcoBoost engine. We could get it here, along

with a diesel-engine option.

OUR OPINION: Fans of the Focus SVT will

love the new Focus ST. And the electric Focus

will challenge the likes of the Nissan Leaf and

Chevy Volt.

HIGHLIGHTS: The redesigned 2013 Ford

Fusion with its sporty and aggressive exterior

styling outshines popular run-of-the-mill

sedans.

The main draw of the new Fusion is that it

offers powertrains for just about everybody: a

2.5-liter four-cylinder (170 hp), two four-cylinder

EcoBoost options (a 1.6-liter that gets 179 hp

and a 2.0-liter that makes 237 hp), one hybrid

and one plug-in hybrid. Transmissions are

varied as well, with the base Fusion equipped

with a six-speed automatic, the SE trim

allowing for a manual transmission option and

the hybrid delivering a continuously variable

transmission.

The 2013 Fusion interior also went through a

remodel, and was reborn with improved seats,


TAURUS

MUSTANG

more interior space, an electronic parking

brake and a modified center console.

BASE PRICE: $22,495

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The Aston Martin-esque

exterior design is our segment favorite,

delivering a serious dose of character in the

typically bland and predictable sedan arena.

With such a wide variety of powertrains

available, there's something for everybody,

which is just what Ford needs to provide to

keep up with the competition.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Taurus got a styling refresh

for 2013 and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder

EcoBoost engine rated at 240 hp. Ford says a

Taurus with the EcoBoost four will get 31 mpg

on the highway. A 3.5-liter V6 is the base

engine for the Taurus. The high-performance

Taurus SHO uses an EcoBoost V6 and gets

larger brakes, torque-vectoring control and

recalibrated electric power steering.

BASE PRICE: $26,600

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2015.

OUR OPINION: Drive the four-cylinder Taurus

and you'll be surprised and delighted by the

performance. Taurus SHO is fast, and pricey.

HIGHLIGHTS: Front and rear fascias are

redesigned and high-intensity discharge

headlamps are standard. V8 in the GT now

cranks out 420 hp. Cloth- or leather-covered

Recaro seats from upper model available on

V6 and GT Mustangs. Automatic transmissions

get SelectShift manual operation. GT Track

package adds upgraded radiator, oil cooler,

performance brake pads and Torsen differential

from Boss 302 to Mustang GT with manual

transmission. Brembo brake package offered

on GT. Manual-transmission Mustangs get hillstart

assist. LCD screen displays Track Apps,

which monitors g-forces, quarter-mile and 0-to-

60 times, and braking times. Functional heat

extractors are an option for the hood of the

Mustang GT. Sync is standard on the Boss

302. The supercharged aluminum 5.8-liter V8

in the Shelby GT500 cranks out 650 hp and

600 lb-ft of torque. Optional Performance

package adds Bilstein adjustable dampers and

Torsen limited-slip differential.

BASE PRICE: $22,200

WHAT'S NEXT: The Mustang marks its 50th

anniversary in 2014, and a new model is

expected to debut with a non-retro look and an

independent rear suspension.

OUR OPINION: The last of this generation of

Mustang is the best. Ford's pony car has been

refined into a gem, whether it be the base car

or the ground-pounding Shelby GT 500.

FLEX

ESCAPE

EDGE

HIGHLIGHTS: Front and rear fascias are

redesigned, as is the interior. Base engine

becomes the 3.5-liter V6 with variable valve

timing and 287 hp. Inflatable seatbelts are

added in the rear seats.

BASE PRICE: $30,885

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign is possible for 2016.

OUR OPINION: The Flex has lots of utility, with

love-it-or-hate-it looks.

HIGHLIGHTS: For 2013, the Ford Escape has

ditched its boxy looks for a stylish aerodynamic

design, its old Mazda-based platform for one

shared with the Ford Focus, and the V6 engine

for a trio of four-bangers, two of which use

EcoBoost direct-injection and turbocharging

technology. The result is an eye-pleasing

crossover that rides better, gets better fuel

economy and can still tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The base engine is a naturally aspirated 2.5liter

four rated at 168 hp. The performance unit

is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost that makes 240 hp (Ford

is using this same engine in the Edge, Explorer

and Taurus.) All engines mate to a six-speed

automatic, with a choice of front- or all-wheel

drive. Also gone is the hybrid version; Ford

wants to move those buyers over to the C-Max

hybrid. The dashboard has a high-tech design

with a display screen in the middle. The new

Escape is more comfortable and much quieter

than the old model.

BASE PRICE: $23,295

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The new Escape is a big

improvement over the old model, and sets up a

real clash with redesigned versions of the

Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. But three

recalls in its first few months on the market

have dented the Escape's image.

HIGHLIGHTS: All-wheel drive now available on

all models. Six-speed automatic gets a sport

mode. Latest generation of MyFord Touch is

available. SEL Appearance package adds 20inch

wheels and unique interior trim.

BASE PRICE: $27,525

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned Edge is due for

2014 model year.

OUR OPINION: The Edge packs lots of

technology in a five-seat crossover. EcoBoost

engine upgrade is pricey.


EXPLORER

C-MAX

EXPEDITION

F-SERIES

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Explorer Sport performance

model joins lineup, with a twin-turbo EcoBoost

V6 cranking out 350 hp. Four-wheel drive uses

Terrain Management System with four settings

for torque management. Explorer Sport gets

stiffer chassis, bigger brakes and sport-tuned

electric power steering. All Explorers get knee

airbags for driver and front passenger.

BASE PRICE: $28,870

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a refresh for 2014.

OUR OPINION: We crave the grunt of the

Explorer Sport. Four-cylinder engine option

may be overmatched by SUV's weight.

HIGHLIGHTS: The C-Max is a tall wagon built

on the Focus platform. Ford will offer two

versions: a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, the

latter being dubbed Energi. The hybrid

powertrain uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine

and electric motor for a combined output of 188

hp. The C-Max uses a lithium-ion battery pack.

Ford says the C-Max Energi can travel 20

miles on electric power. Features include a

hands-free liftgate.

BASE PRICE: $25,995

WHAT'S NEXT: A full-electric version is

possible.

OUR OPINION: Ford looks to take on the

Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt with the C-

Max.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $37,925

WHAT'S NEXT: Expect the 3.5-liter EcoBoost

V6 in 2014.

OUR OPINION: The Expedition is big and

handles its size well, but it is beginning to age.

HIGHLIGHTS: The MyFord Touch multimedia

system is available on higher trim levels. The

system will have redundant buttons and knobs

for users wearing gloves. A Limited trim is the

new top of the line. The 6.2-liter V8 is now

available on the XLT trim.

BASE PRICE: $25,295

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is due in 2014. Look

for greater use of aluminum to reduce weight.

OUR OPINION: The EcoBoost V6 has been a

winner. The F-150 is still a great combination of

comfort and capacity.

ECONOLINE

F-150 SVT RAPTOR

TRANSIT CONNECT

GMC

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $27,625

WHAT'S NEXT: Ford will launch the Europeanstyle

Transit large van as a 2014 model. It will

use six-cylinder gas and diesel engines. The

Econoline is expected to continue for some

time.

OUR OPINION: A workhorse for contractors

and shuttle operators. But Transit will be the

more modern option.

HIGHLIGHTS: Beadlock-capable wheels, highintensity

discharge headlamps and MyFord

Touch multimedia system added as options.

BASE PRICE: $44,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The Raptor is a beast on and

off the pavement.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $22,265

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned model due for

2015.

OUR OPINION: European styling stands out.

Redesigned version will get Ford back into the

minivan game.

General Motors www.gmc.com

TERRAIN

HIGHLIGHTS: The Terrain gets a new 3.6-liter

V6 as an option. It offers 36 hp more than the

V6 it replaces, but gets the same fuel

economy. A new Denali version has unique

styling and interior features, including an eightway

power front-passenger seat, blind-spot

warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

BASE PRICE: $26,660

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a mild hybrid version

in 2014 and a redesign in 2015.

OUR OPINION: More power from the V6 is

welcome, as are the interior upgrades for the

Denali version.


ACADIA

YUKON/YUKON XL

SIERRA

SIERRA HD

HIGHLIGHTS: Restyled exterior includes LEDs

in the headlamps and wraparound rear glass.

New interior includes more soft-touch materials

and a redesigned dashboard with large touch

screen in the center. Shocks and struts retuned

for smoother ride and the transmission controls

are updated. Center-mounted front airbag is

standard.

BASE PRICE: $37,200 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Due for a redesign for 2015

model year.

OUR OPINION: A strong player in the crossover

segment, filled with GMC style.

HIGHLIGHTS: Transmission gets downhillbraking

feature.

BASE PRICE: $41,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: All-new Yukon and Yukon XL

will arrive in second half of 2013 as 2014

models. Will use GM's new small-block engine.

OUR OPINION: The Yukon and Yukon XL are

large and comfortable . . . but you'll be a

regular at gas stations.

HIGHLIGHTS: Transmission gets downhill

braking feature.

BASE PRICE: $22,900 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: All-new Sierra debuts in late

spring as 2014 model. Uses GM's new smallblock

V8 with cylinder deactivation. More highstrength

steel and aluminum used to cut

weight.

OUR OPINION: The Sierra is an upscale

Chevrolet Silverado. Will the new model be

much different?

HIGHLIGHTS: Compressed natural gas (CNG)

bi-fuel V8 available on 2500 with extended

cab. Transmission gets downhill braking

feature.

BASE PRICE: $30,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Restyling set for late 2014.

OUR OPINION: The Sierra HD is roomy,

comfortable and built to do the dirty work.

HONDA

American Honda Motor Co. www.hondacars.com

FIT

CR-Z

CIVIC

INSIGHT

ACCORD

HIGHLIGHTS: Only change is a new color:

Midnight Plum Pearl.

BASE PRICE: $16,115

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in summer 2014.

But Fit may get CVT and Earth Dreams engine

before then.

OUR OPINION: The Fit has amazing room and

versatility for its size, though a growing number

of competitors are just as good.

HIGHLIGHTS: No major changes.

BASE PRICE: $20,800 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: A higher-performance version

is possible.

OUR OPINION: We love the looks, but the

hybrid powertrain doesn't deliver on the

styling's promise.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Civic is getting a major

interior overhaul, just 18 months after launch,

due to complaints that the current car looked

and felt cheap.

BASE PRICE: $16,300 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Restyling due in 2014. Could

get a new engine and CVT before then.

OUR OPINION: Interior overhaul will restore our

admiration for Honda's compact car.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $19,290

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign likely for 2015 model

year.

OUR OPINION: A value leader among hybrids

that gets overshadowed by the Toyota Prius.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Accord sedan and coupe

are redesigned for 2013 with a fresh powertrain

lineup developed under the company's Earth

Dreams banner that includes a new directinjection

four-cylinder and an updated V6, plus

a revised transmission portfolio that includes a

continuously variable transmission and a

couple of hybrid offerings.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 185

hp and 189 lb-ft of torque. Connected to the

four-cylinder is a standard six-speed manual or


FCX CLARITY

CR-V

CROSSTOUR

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

a CVT that replaces the five-speed automatic.

The revised 3.5-liter V6 gains an expanded

variable-cylinder-management range for

improved fuel economy, and sees a small

horsepower bump from 271 to 278 hp.

Also, Honda is working on two hybrid Accords:

a plug-in and a regular hybrid. Both are

developed around a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle

four-cylinder, a two-motor hybrid system and

lithium-ion battery pack. In the plug-in, the

engine and electric motors are good for a

combined 198 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. On a

fully charged battery, Honda says electric-only

range for the plug-in is between 10 to 15 miles.

The coupe is there for customers looking for a

sportier two-door that has serviceable backseat

space for two adults and is offered with

the hot V6 and six-speed manual drivetrain

combo.

BASE PRICE: $22,470

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Honda has delivered a fuelefficient

vehicle lineup that caters to a wide

audience without compromising in key areas

such as interior quality. The new direct-injected

four-cylinder is powerful enough, and when

paired with the new CVT should please the

heart of the market; the potent V6 remains at

the top of the range for sedan shoppers willing

to give up a bit of fuel economy for more

power.

HIGHLIGHTS: Honda's fuel-cell car is

unchanged.

BASE PRICE: Lease only, $600 a month.

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes imminent.

OUR OPINION: Important testing of future

technology.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes, redesigned for

2012.

BASE PRICE: $23,525

WHAT'S NEXT: Mild restyling likely for 2015.

OUR OPINION: A top contender in the class

with decent styling, good interior room and top

reliability ratings.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 model gets a restyling

that adds more rugged looks to the exterior.

The V6 engine gets a new six-speed automatic

for better fuel economy. Lane-departure

warning, and forward-collision warning will be

options.

BASE PRICE: $30,600 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The Crosstour has Honda

power and reliability, with looks than can be

polarizing.

PILOT

RIDGELINE

ODYSSEY

HYUNDAI

HIGHLIGHTS: Automatic climate controls,

rearview camera, eight-inch dash monitor and

Bluetooth connectivity are now standard.

BASE PRICE: $30,250

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in 2014.

OUR OPINION: This eight-passenger SUV has

smooth, carlike driving dynamics.

HIGHLIGHTS: Rearview camera now standard

on all models.

BASE PRICE: $30,180

WHAT'S NEXT: Full redesign in 2014.

OUR OPINION: Decent payload and towing,

but not on par with traditional pickup trucks.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $29,405

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign in 2016.

OUR OPINION: The Odyssey is a perennial

favorite among families for its power, safety

and reliability.

Hyundai Motor America www.hyundaiusa.com

ACCENT

ELANTRA

HIGHLIGHTS: Air conditioning, satellite radio,

and power and heated side mirrors now

standard on base model. Keyless entry and

heated side mirrors standard on all models.

Power sunroof added as option for SE trim.

BASE PRICE: $15,320

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: 2012 restyling made the Accent

a strong competitor in the growing small-car

class.

HIGHLIGHTS: Coupe and five-door hatchback

added to the Elantra lineup. Air conditioning,

cruise control, telescoping steering wheel and

16-inch wheels now standard on base model.

Preferred package now includes heated front

seats; power driver's seat now standard on

Limited model.

BASE PRICE: $17,590

WHAT'S NEXT: A restyling for the Elantra

sedan will likely happen for the 2014 model

year.


VELOSTER

SONATA

GENESIS COUPE

GENESIS SEDAN

OUR OPINION: The Elantra is a practical,

reasonably priced alternative to compact

competitors.

HIGHLIGHTS: A turbocharged engine joins the

lineup for the 2013 model year. It went on sale

last summer. The 1.6-liter engine cranks out

201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can

choose between a six-speed manual or sixspeed

automatic.

BASE PRICE: $18,225

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The turbo power helps the

Veloster three-door deliver on its sporty looks.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes. Popular

Equipment package now includes fog lights

and heated front seats. Limited gets traditional

sunroof standard. Heated front seats standard

on SE.

BASE PRICE: $21,770

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in late

2014.

OUR OPINION: The Sonata is a world-class

midsize sedan.

HIGHLIGHTS: Restyled for 2013 with more

aggressive looks. Turbocharged four-cylinder

upgraded with new turbocharger and larger

intercooler. V6 engine gets direct fuel injection.

Automatic transmission now has eight speeds

and paddle shifters. Blue Link telematics

package now an option. Center stack

redesigned with gauges for mpg, oil pressure

and torque level (V6) or boost pressure (I4)

added.

BASE PRICE: $25,125

WHAT'S NEXT: A restyling planned for summer

2014.

OUR OPINION: A real competitor for the Ford

Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, if you're not

hung up on nostalgia.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Tau 5.0-liter V8 now

available only in 5.0 R-Spec model. The 4.6liter

V8 has been dropped. An eight-inch

navigation display is optional. Blue Link

telematics added to Ultimate Navigation

package.

BASE PRICE: $35,075

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned Genesis sedan is

due in late 2013.

OUR OPINION: A solid, rear-drive midsize

sedan.

EQUUS

AZERA

TUCSON

SANTA FE

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $60,150

WHAT'S NEXT: Exterior will be refreshed for

2014 model.

OUR OPINION: The Equus aims at European

and Japanese competitors and comes close to

hitting the bull’s-eye.

HIGHLIGHTS: Redesigned for 2012. No

changes.

BASE PRICE: $33,125

WHAT'S NEXT: Refreshed styling likely for

2015.

OUR OPINION: New styling helps Azera from

being overlooked by shoppers considering the

Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima and Toyota

Avalon.

HIGHLIGHTS: Automatic headlights and fog

lights now standard on base GLS model.

Keyless entry with push-button start standard

on Limited model.

BASE PRICE: $20,070

WHAT'S NEXT: Light restyling expected for

2014 model year.

OUR OPINION: A strong competitor to the likes

of the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.

HIGHLIGHTS: Santa Fe is redesigned for 2013,

with two models in the lineup -- a five-seat

Santa Fe Sport, and long wheelbase sevenseat

Santa Fe, which replaces the slow-selling

Veracruz. Santa Fe Sport gets a 2.4-liter fourcylinder

rated at 190 hp. A turbocharged 2.0liter

four, rated at 264 hp, is optional. The

seven-passenger Santa Fe gets a 3.3-liter V6

rated at 290 hp. All engines are mated to a sixspeed

automatic transmission.

BASE PRICE: $25,275

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: The Santa Fe will battle the

Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot, while the

stylish Santa Fe Sport targets crossovers such

as the Ford Edge and Chevrolet Equinox.


INFINITI

Nissan North America www.infiniti.com

G37

M37/M56/M35 HYBRID

EX37

FX37/FX50

JX35

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2.5-liter V6 is dropped. IPL

convertible joins the lineup.

BASE PRICE: $37,795

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign set for 2014 model.

OUR OPINION: Platform shared with Nissan

370Z makes the Infiniti G37 a real performer.

HIGHLIGHTS: Sport package with 20-inch

wheels, sport suspension, upgraded brakes,

sport seats and paddle shifters now available

on all-wheel drive models. Auto-dimming side

mirrors now standard. Performance Tire and

Wheel package now has 20-inch wheels, up

from 18-inchers.

BASE PRICE: $49,095

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refresh expected in

2014.

OUR OPINION: A sleeper among midsize

luxury sedans.

HIGHLIGHTS: Infiniti's small crossover gets a

3.7-liter V6 to replace the 3.5-liter unit. New

engine makes 325 hp.

BASE PRICE: $37,300

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: The EX is stylish and wellequipped.

But it suffers from a lack of space in

the back seat.

HIGHLIGHTS: Base model switches to 3.7-liter

V6 rated at 325 hp, replacing the 3.5-liter V6.

Moving object detection incorporated into

Around View Monitor system.

BASE PRICE: $45,250

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes planned.

OUR OPINION: The sports car of crossovers

with underpinnings from the Nissan 370Z.

HIGHLIGHTS: Realizing that its sports carbased

FX crossover was a bit tight for families

and that the QX is just too big for some, Infiniti

takes aim at buyers drawn to the Acura MDX

and Lexus RX with its JX35 crossover. The JX

seats seven in three rows, with plenty of luxury

touches and technology -- video monitors for

second-row passengers, backup sensors that

can automatically apply the brakes if they

QX56

JAGUAR

detect an object and an eco driving mode that

can push back on the gas pedal to encourage

fuel economy. The JX uses Nissan's D

platform, which also underpins vehicles such

as the Nissan Altima and Murano. Under the

hood is a 3.5-liter V6, rated at 265 hp, turning a

continuously variable transmission -- that's the

only powertrain available, although buyers can

choose between front- and all-wheel drive.

BASE PRICE: $41,600

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: The JX35 gets all the luxury

touches Infiniti is known for -- high-quality

leather and wood, comfy seats and stylish

design -- which makes it a primo family hauler.

But the V6/CVT combo strikes us as merely

adequate for the luxury segment.

HIGHLIGHTS: Auto-dimming exterior mirrors

now standard. Moving Object Detection added

to Around View Monitor system. New interface

and remote control for Theater package.

BASE PRICE: $61,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: Big, powerful, comfortable -and

thirsty.

Jaguar Cars www.jaguarusa.com

XF

XJ

HIGHLIGHTS: The XF gets a turbocharged 2.0liter

four-cylinder engine rated at 240 hp, which

will get 29 mpg on the highway. And a

supercharged 3.0-liter V6 replaces the 5.0-liter

V8. An all-wheel-drive system is available with

the V6. Stop/start technology is added to

supercharged V6 and V8 engines. All engines

use new ZF eight-speed automatic

transmission. New premium audio systems

from Meridian.

BASE PRICE: $54,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2014 or 2015.

OUR OPINION: New powertrains will boost fuel

economy to go along with classic good looks.

HIGHLIGHTS: Supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is the

new base engine, available with all-wheel-drive

system. All engines use new ZF eight-speed

automatic. Limited production -- 30 cars -- of

XJL Ultimate with 510-hp supercharged V8

and two-seat rear cabin.

BASE PRICE: $74,075

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due for 2017.

OUR OPINION: Extraordinary power and

luxury.


XK

JEEP

HIGHLIGHTS: Touring trim added to coupe and

convertible. High-performance XKR-S model

returns with 100 coupes and 100 convertibles

for U.S. market. Twenty-inch wheels are

standard. Dynamic Pack adds XKR-S

suspension tuning to XKR.

BASE PRICE: $85,375

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in 2014.

OUR OPINION: A proper two-seat sports car

that begs to be taken on a long journey.

Chrysler Group www.jeep.com

COMPASS

PATRIOT

LIBERTY

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $20,800 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: A six-speed automatic is

expected to replace the continuously variable

transmission in summer 2013.

OUR OPINION: The Compass is more car than

off-roader.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $15,995

WHAT'S NEXT: A new six-speed automatic

should arrive next year.

OUR OPINION: Affordable and behaves like a

Jeep, for the most part.

HIGHLIGHTS: No 2013 model.

BASE PRICE: N/A

WHAT'S NEXT: A new Liberty, which could be

named Cherokee, arrives in 2013 as a 2014

model. It uses the Fiat platform shared with the

Dodge Dart.

WRANGLER/WRANGLER UNLIMITED

HIGHLIGHTS: Front and rear seats redesigned

for more comfort. Soft top on Wrangler

Unlimited easier to raise and lower by one

person. Optional premium soft top uses easier

to clean material. Auto-dimming rearview mirror

now standard. Lighting added under the

instrument panel and cup holder areas.

Limited-edition Moab model available.

BASE PRICE: $23,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Eight-speed automatic

transmission likely in 2014.

OUR OPINION: The Wrangler has been

modernized over the years, yet still retains the

go-anywhere mojo.

GRAND CHEROKEE

KIA

HIGHLIGHTS: Trailhawk model added with

Kevlar-reinforced tires, rock guards, air

suspension, traction control, and Quadra-Drive

II and an electronic-locking rear differential on

SUVs with the V8. Overland Summit models

get front park assist, folding side mirrors and

headlight washers.

BASE PRICE: $28,420

WHAT'S NEXT: Production of 2013 model will

end early to switch to 2014 model, which adds

diesel engine and eight-speed automatic

transmission. It goes on sale in spring 2013.

OUR OPINION: This Grand Cherokee, with a

chassis co-engineered with Mercedes-Benz, is

the best one yet.

Kia Motors America www.kiausa.com

FORTE

OPTIMA

RIO

SOUL

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $16,175

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned for 2014, launched

in early 2013.

OUR OPINION: Lots of equipment for the

money, but not much fun to drive.

HIGHLIGHTS: Limited trim added at the top of

the lineup.

BASE PRICE: $21,975

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refreshed for 2014

model.

OUR OPINION: Stylish with outstanding value.

HIGHLIGHTS: Paddle shifters added to SX

model. Start/stop technology an option on EX.

BASE PRICE: $14,350

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: A prime candidate for someone

on a budget needing a car.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bluetooth technology added to

base model with manual transmission. Powerfolding

mirrors an option.

BASE PRICE: $15,175

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned model due to

arrive in summer 2013.

OUR OPINION: Plenty of room, big warranty,

low price are key selling points.


SPORTAGE

SORENTO

LAMBORGHINI

HIGHLIGHTS: Suspension updated for a

smoother ride. Minor trim changes.

BASE PRICE: $19,800

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refresh due for 2014

model year.

OUR OPINION: A sharp-looking small SUV

that's also easy on your wallet.

HIGHLIGHTS: Leather seating now standard

on EX model. Third-row seat now standard for

LX V6 model. Eight-way power driver's seat

included in Convenience Plus package.

BASE PRICE: $23,950

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refresh due for 2014

model.

OUR OPINION: A good SUV for those who

need to haul family and cargo but are on a

budget.

Volkswagen Group www.lamborghini.com

AVENTADOR LP700-4

GALLARDO

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $400,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: A roadster version is expected

to debut at the 2013 Detroit auto show and go

on sale later in the year.

OUR OPINION: Brutally fast with stealth-fighter

looks.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $200,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned Gallardo is due in

2013 or 2014. It will share its chassis with the

Audi R8.

OUR OPINION: The entry-level Lamborghini is

anything but basic.

LAND ROVER

Land Rover North America www.landroverusa.com

LR2

LR4

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE

RANGE ROVER SPORT

RANGE ROVER

HIGHLIGHTS: Turbocharged 2.0-liter fourcylinder

engine, sourced from Ford, is the base

powerplant. It makes about 240 hp.

BASE PRICE: $37,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in 2014.

OUR OPINION: New four-cylinder engine will

help with LR2's abysmal fuel economy.

HIGHLIGHTS: Navigation system upgraded,

and an upgraded leather package offered.

BASE PRICE: $49,950

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2015 or 2016.

OUR OPINION: Great power combined with an

incredibly luxurious interior.

HIGHLIGHTS: Lower-priced Pure model

added. It replaces glass roof with aluminum

panel, and leather and synthetic suede interior

trim. Park Assist system automates parallel

parking. Off-road information added to

navigation unit.

BASE PRICE: $41,995

WHAT'S NEXT: A convertible version is

possible.

OUR OPINION: The best urban Range Rover

ever.

HIGHLIGHTS: Models with supercharged

engine get red Brembo brake calipers. Towing

package includes variable rear-differential lock

and is an option on all models. Limited

production of Supercharged Limited Edition

and GT Limited Edition.

BASE PRICE: $60,895

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is expected for next

year.

OUR OPINION: This SUV combines good

looks, luxurious interior and high performance.

HIGHLIGHTS: At first glance, the 2013 Land

Rover Range Rover looks as it always has for

the past 10 years. But this Range Rover is all

new, with some styling touches adopted from

the successful Range Rover Evoque. The

biggest change is that the Range Rover has

ditched the all-steel unibody for one made from

aluminum -- a change that helps cut 700


LEXUS

pounds from U.S. spec models. The

suspension is also reworked with aluminum

front and rear subframes. Despite the material

change, Land Rover says the new Range

Rover is just as rugged as its predecessors.

Under the hood, U.S. buyers will still get a

choice of normally aspirated or supercharged

V8 engines -- but both will be mated to a new

ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The

2013 Range Rover also rolls with Land Rover's

new Terrain Response 2 Auto drivetrain

management system, which automatically

chooses among five settings. Rear-seat

passengers get nearly five inches more

legroom. And the Range Rover comes with a

complete suite of driver-aid technology, ranging

from blind-spot detection, rear vision and auto

braking to parking assist, which will parallel

park the SUV for you.

BASE PRICE: $85,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: Despite all the advances in

technology, the heart of a Range Rover is still

here. Occupants are coddled in luxury, in a

vehicle with mountain goat-like terrain

capabilities. Other markets will get a diesel

hybrid, but not us -- just yet.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. www.lexus.com

CT 2OOH

IS 250/350/F/250C/350C

ES 350/300H

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes: Updated

navigation unit, padded driver’s arm rest, park

assist now a standalone option.

BASE PRICE: $32,745

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2016.

OUR OPINION: Luxury appointment and fuel

economy are impressive.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor trim changes.

BASE PRICE: $35,960

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned IS on a shortened

GS platform is due in spring 2013, with styling

that sets it apart from the GS.

OUR OPINION: A fine combination of

affordability and fun-to-drive spirit.

HIGHLIGHTS: Lexus designers have tried to

give the ES sedan more emotion with a

redesign for 2013. You'll notice the adoption of

the family “spindle grille” design. The new

Lexus ES is refined in nearly every single

aspect. The instrument panel includes wood

inserts. The biggest change is the addition of a

hybrid version to the ES group, using the fourcylinder

powertrain shared with the Toyota

Camry. It racks up 39 mpg combined --

GS 350/450H

LS 460/460 L/460HL

LFA

impressive for a car loaded with luxury

touches. Rear passengers get an additional

four inches of legroom.

BASE PRICE: $36,995

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Car enthusiasts will take a look

and then keep on walking. But the Lexus ES

sedan is a fine step up from cars such as the

Toyota Avalon. And the hybrid version's

refinement is impressive, so it may woo

shoppers who weren't impressed by a Prius.

HIGHLIGHTS: Re-engineered sedan went on

sale in early 2012. New GS is longer, wider

and taller than the old model. Powertrain

choices are V6 and V6 hybrid. The V8 has

been dropped. Available in rear-drive and allwheel

drive. The overhauled interior is more

comfortable.

BASE PRICE: $47,795

WHAT'S NEXT: Coupe version is possible.

OUR OPINION: Doubles as a comfortable daily

driver and a performance-driven machine.

HIGHLIGHTS: The flagship sedan of the Lexus

family gets new sheetmetal and interior

changes for 2013, although the basic

mechanicals stay the same. There are still

regular- and long-wheelbase versions, and the

LS 600hL hybrid remains in the lineup. Lexus

is adding an F-Sport model to the lineup -- it

rolls with a Torsen limited-slip differential,

Brembo brakes and 19-inch wheels -- but this

is not a Lexus AMG. Power comes from a 4.6liter

V8 and eight-speed automatic

transmission.

BASE PRICE: $70,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: In a word, the Lexus LS is

cushy. And that's fine, it's what most buyers

expect. Lexus covered every detail, and this

car is better than the one it replaces. The F-

Sport adds a dash of pepper to the recipe.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $380,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Roadster version possible in

2014.

OUR OPINION: A unique supercar experience.


GX 460

RX 350/450H

LX 570

LINCOLN

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $54,340

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: A good choice for those who

need towing capability and a luxury nameplate.

HIGHLIGHTS: An F-Sport model is added. It

gets an eight-speed automatic with paddle

shifters, sport suspension, 19-inch wheels,

unique front bumper and grille, and black

leather-trimmed seats with white stitching. All

RXs get restyled front and rear fascias and a

redesigned steering wheel.

BASE PRICE: $40,205

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in early

2014.

OUR OPINION: A luxurious driving experience

with the cargo room of a crossover.

HIGHLIGHTS: New grille with Lexus “spindle”

design. Turn Assist tightens turning circle by

adding brake force to inside rear wheel.

Drivetrain control has five terrain settings.

BASE PRICE: $82,125

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: A traditional big SUV with the

Lexus touch.

Ford Motor Co. www.lincoln.com

MKZ

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Unlike the seemingly replicated

Fords of the past, this Lincoln offers a range of

unique styling and technology, punctuated by a

15.2-square-foot retractable glass roof. You

won't find that on this year's Fusion.

The sculpted hood and fenders look

dramatically different from previous Lincolns

and Fords, and the back has wide taillights that

cut across the car's profile. The design is

showcased with a split-wing grille, a raked

roofline and LED headlights.

The roof is the most striking feature, with a

glass panel letting in a vast expanse of light.

There's also a push-button transmission shifter,

LCD instruments and wood trim throughout the

cabin.

Three engines will be offered: The base car

gets a 2.0-liter I4 rated at 240 hp (with premium

fuel) and 270 lb-ft of torque. The 3.7-liter V6

makes 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque with an

all-wheel-drive configuration. These units work

with six-speed automatic gearboxes.

MKS

MKX

MKT

There's also a drive-control system that adjusts

the powertrain and chassis to the driver's taste

and offers sport, normal and comfort settings.

A hybrid runs the 2.0-liter I4 and a front-wheeldrive

setup. The combined output of the engine

and the electric motor is 188 hp. It uses a

continuously variable transmission.

BASE PRICE: $36,800

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: Swoopy aero styling and a

unique, luxurious new interior mark the

redesigned 2013 Lincoln MKZ. It's a good thing

too -- Lincoln is banking on the MKZ to reestablish

the brand among entry luxury

customers. If nothing else, the retractable glass

roof is sure to interest some new buyers.

HIGHLIGHTS: Refreshed styling includes new

grille, hood, front fenders and rear fascia.

Normally aspirated and turbocharged V6s get

slight increases in horsepower. Brakes are

bigger. Real-time dampers are standard.

Lincoln Drive Control tightens up steering,

chassis and throttle response when

transmission is put in sport mode. Restyled

interior includes new materials.

BASE PRICE: $43,685

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is likely in 2014.

OUR OPINION: Big refresh makes Lincoln's big

sedan a better performer.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $40,420

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2014, moving

to platform used for new MKZ.

OUR OPINION: A well-appointed crossover with

excellent road manners.

HIGHLIGHTS: Restyled for 2013, the wagon

uses the larger brakes, real-time damping and

chassis sport system also launched on MKS

sedan. New hood, grille and front fenders.

Slight increase in horsepower. New interior

styling.

BASE PRICE: $46,160

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: Roomy and luxurious, but with

polarizing styling. Look for MKT to replace

Town Cars in limo fleets.


NAVIGATOR

LOTUS

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $59,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Expect a restyling in 2015 and

the addition of EcoBoost V6.

OUR OPINION: Lots of interior room. Poor gas

mileage. Age is beginning to show.

Lotus Cars USA www.lotuscars.com

EVORA/EVORA S

MASERATI

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $65,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Not sure, given the changing

nature of company's financial health.

OUR OPINION: A track car for the streets.

Maserati North America www.maserati.com

GRANTURISMO

QUATTROPORTE

HIGHLIGHTS: The GranTurismo S Automatic

has been dropped, replaced by the

GranTurismo Sport. The GranTurismo Sport

wears a new front fascia with integrated

parking sensors, gets the MC Autoshift

transmission, new sport seats and redesigned

steering wheel. An instrument cluster that

copies the look of the MC Stradale is optional.

The convertible gets similar changes. All

GranTurismos get a 10-hp increase to the 4.7liter

V8, up to 444 hp (GranTurismo

convertible) or 454 hp.

BASE PRICE: $128,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign scheduled for 2015.

OUR OPINION: A great combination of Italian

styling and luxury.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes. V8 engine gets

10-hp boost up to 434 hp (S model) or 444 hp

(GTS model). Front parking sensors now

standard.

BASE PRICE: $132,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned 2014 model due

in spring 2013. It will be longer and use a new

version of the Maserati-designed and Ferraribuilt

4.7-liter V8, coupled to an eight-speed

automatic.

OUR OPINION: A luxury sedan with the heart

of a Ferrari.

MAZDA

Mazda Motors of America www.mazdausa.com

2

3

5

MX-5 MIATA

CX-5

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $15,515

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign possible for 2015, or

the car may be dropped.

OUR OPINION: A fun-to-drive subcompact for

the budget buyer.

HIGHLIGHTS: Refreshed for 2012, minor

changes.

BASE PRICE: $16,700

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in late 2013 as a

2014 model. Will adopt more SkyActiv

technology.

OUR OPINION: An excellent combination of

styling, performance and fuel economy.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $21,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Mild freshening due in 2015.

OUR OPINION: Tall wagon or mini-minivan, the

Mazda5 has plenty of utility.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $25,300 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Next-gen roadster being

designed with Alfa Romeo. It arrives in 2014 or

2015.

OUR OPINION: Still just as much fun to drive

20 years after its introduction.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Mazda CX-5 was one of the

first redesigned 2013 crossovers to reach the

market, filling a gap created when Tribute, a

rebadged Ford Escape, was dropped. The CX-

5 was among the first vehicles to use Mazda's

SkyActiv technologies -- in this case a directinjection

2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a sixspeed

automatic transmission (a six-speed

manual is also available). The five-seat CX-5

looks sporty and rides sporty, and still has

plenty of room for a weekend's worth of

supplies in the cargo hold. Need more space?

The rear seat has a 40/20/40 split to expand


CX-9

MCLAREN

the hold. The CX-5 comes in front- and allwheel-drive

versions -- the AWD with the

automatic delivers 31 mpg on the highway.

BASE PRICE: $21,490

WHAT'S NEXT: A diesel engine option likely in

2014.

OUR OPINION: The CX-5 has Mazda's "zoomzoom"

spirit, although the automatic

transmission wants to shift often to maximize

fuel economy. A bigger engine is coming early

next year to deliver more oomph.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mazda's three-row crossover

gets an upgraded interior and restyled front

and rear fascias.

BASE PRICE: $32,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign possible for 2015 or

2016.

OUR OPINION: Drives really well for a sevenpassenger

people hauler.

McLaren Automotive www.mclarenautomotive.com

12C

MERCEDES-BENZ

HIGHLIGHTS: Spider convertible, with powerfolding

hardtop, joins the lineup for 2013. Both

coupe and Spider get a lift system that raises

the vehicle to safely navigate driveway

entrances and speed bumps.

BASE PRICE: $255,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: The 12C was already an

amazing sports car. Opening the roof just

makes it better.

Mercedes-Benz USA www.mbusa.com

C-CLASS

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Standard mbrace2 telematics

system includes Internet access for

entertainment and vehicle diagnostics.

Distronic adaptive cruise control is available as

stand-alone option. AMG Sports Plus package

adds exhaust tuning, sport interior and 18-inch

wheels.

BASE PRICE: $36,255

WHAT'S NEXT: Sedan redesigned for 2014, will

be built in Alabama.

OUR OPINION: Traditional option to the BMW

3-series but not quite as sporty.

CL-CLASS

CLS-CLASS

E-CLASS

S-CLASS

SLK-CLASS

HIGHLIGHTS: Grand Edition package offers

AMG styling, 20-inch wheels.

BASE PRICE: $116,205

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2014 or 2015.

Name will probably change to S-class coupe.

OUR OPINION: A large, luxury hot rod.

HIGHLIGHTS: New mbrace2 telematics system

is standard.

BASE PRICE: $72,905

WHAT'S NEXT: Freshening due for 2014. We

won't get the wagon version.

OUR OPINION: A sporty four-door with the

looks of a coupe.

HIGHLIGHTS: Heated front seats. Electrohydraulic

steering now standard on coupe and

convertible. Mbrace2 is standard on all models.

Hybrid sedan arrived last summer. E63 AMG

sedan and wagon get twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8

and seven-speed, multi-clutch automatic.

BASE PRICE: $52,025

WHAT'S NEXT: Refreshed styling expected in

2013.

OUR OPINION: The heart of the Mercedes-

Benz lineup. The sports cars get the attention,

but the E-class is a benchmark of comfort and

luxury.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $93,905

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned S-class due to

arrive in fall 2013. New lineup will eventually

include coupe, convertible and long-wheelbase

models.

OUR OPINION: This is the flagship of the

Mercedes-Benz lineup.

HIGHLIGHTS: Turn signal and cruise control

switches redesigned. Mbrace2 telematics

standard. Start/stop added to 3.5-liter V6.

BASE PRICE: $43,805

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling update due in 2014.

OUR OPINION: Small, powerful, rear-drive twoseater

has the right credentials for a car

enthusiast.


SL-CLASS

SLS AMG GT

GLK-CLASS

ML-CLASS

HIGHLIGHTS: Redesigned for the 2013 model

year with an all-aluminum unibody that helps

cut about 275 pounds from the curb weight.

Base engine is a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 at

429 hp, running through a seven-speed

automatic with paddle shifters. Magic Sky

Control lets you lighten or darken the roof

panel at the press of a button. SL63 AMG uses

turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 for 530 hp; SL65

AMG rolls with 6.0-liter V12 making 621 hp.

BASE PRICE: $106,405

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: A rocket of a luxury roadster

that moves a step toward better fuel economy.

HIGHLIGHTS: Refreshed coupe and roadster

get GT added to nameplate and an extra 20 hp

from the 6.2-liter V8, up to 583 hp. Sevenspeed

multi-clutch automatic transmission is

recalibrated for faster shifts in manual mode.

Suspension is stiffened.

BASE PRICE: $195,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Electric version goes on sale in

2013.

OUR OPINION: A true supercar with classic

Mercedes-Benz styling.

HIGHLIGHTS: The small Mercedes-Benz SUV

gets some slight styling changes for 2013, but

the big changes are under the hood. The 3.5liter

V6 is the same displacement as the 2012

model, but it's a different engine. It now sports

direct injection, stop/start technology and

different block architecture-plus an additional

34 hp to 302 hp. It's mated to a seven-speed

automatic transmission. Early next year,

Mercedes will add a turbocharged four-cylinder

diesel engine. Changes inside include

electromechanical steering system and

redesigned instrument cluster. Rear seat

legroom is adequate at best.

BASE PRICE: $37,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign likely in 2016.

OUR OPINION: The power upgrade in the GLK

is significant and makes this SUV much more

fun to drive. But we're really waiting for the

Bluetec diesel for the best combination of

power and driving range.

HIGHLIGHTS: Collision prevention, color gauge

display and mbrace2 telematics are standard.

Optional off-road package includes two-stage

transfer case, six transmission settings and

transfer case differential lock.

BASE PRICE: $50,675

WHAT'S NEXT: A rear-drive version is due for

GL-CLASS

G-CLASS

MINI

2013 model year. Coupe-like version possible

in 2015.

OUR OPINION: A solid performer in the luxury

SUV class.

HIGHLIGHTS: About one of every four large

luxury SUVs sold is a Mercedes-Benz GL, and

Mercedes wants to keep it that way. To make

that happen, the GL gets a broad lineup of

powertrains, ranging from a diesel V6 to the

high-performance AMG model with a bi-turbo

V8 that cranks out 550 hp. All GLs are fitted

with all-wheel drive. The new-generation GL is

slightly longer and taller than the previous

model, and comes with a new electric-assisted

power steering system. There's also a

crosswind stabilization system that uses the

anti-lock brakes to steady the SUV. A parking

assist system can steer the GL into a parking

space.

BASE PRICE: $63,305

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: If you can afford it, there's no

better way to tackle the urban jungle.

HIGHLIGHTS: Interior restyling adds seveninch

tablet-style screen to the top of the center

stack, along with mbrace2 telematics.

Parktronic parking sensors, Distronic Plus

automated cruise control and blind-spot

detection are standard. G63 AMG uses turbo

V8 making 544 hp.

BASE PRICE: $113,905

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The classic Mercedes-Benz

SUV gets more comfortable with updates.

BMW of North America www.miniusa.com

COOPER CLUBMAN

HIGHLIGHTS: Clubman commercial version

with blacked-out rear windows and seating for

four on sale in the fall. Same changes as

hardtop. Premium package option bundles

dual-pane panoramic sunroof, automatic

climate control and automatic wipers.

BASE PRICE: $22,100

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Extra space comes in handy

when you need to haul stuff.


COOPER CONVERTIBLE

COOPER COUNTRYMAN

COOPER COUPE

COOPER HARDTOP

COOPER ROADSTER

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Bluetooth now standard.

SiriusXM satellite radio now an option.

Technology package available.

BASE PRICE: $25,850

WHAT'S NEXT: Will shift to new platform in a

few years.

OUR OPINION: Fits four easily but don't bring a

lot of luggage.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes that mirror the

rest of the Mini lineup.

BASE PRICE: $22,700

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling may be freshened in

2014.

OUR OPINION: The crossover of Minis. It's

bigger and more comfortable.

HIGHLIGHTS: Same changes as Mini Cooper

hardtop.

BASE PRICE: $22,150

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Two-seat Mini is spacious and

entertaining.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bluetooth now standard.

SiriusXM satellite radio goes from being

standard to a $500 option with a one-year

subscription. Premium package option for

hardtop bundles dual-pane panoramic sunroof,

automatic climate control and automatic

wipers. Technology package now includes

SiriusXM radio, wireless key fob and center

armrest prewired for iPhone adapter. Highperformance

John Cooper Works GP model

arrives late in 2012.

BASE PRICE: $20,400

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2014, using

new platform developed with parent company

BMW.

OUR OPINION: Instantly recognizable Mini

Cooper hardtop combines economy and

driving fun.

HIGHLIGHTS: Semi-automatic roof and rear

wind deflector now standard. Same changes

as hardtop.

BASE PRICE: $26,250

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Go-kart-like handling combined

with open-air thrills.

MITSUBISHI

Mitsubishi Motors North America www.mitsubishicars.com

I-MIEV

LANCER

OUTLANDER SPORT

OUTLANDER

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes for electric car

introduced for 2012.

BASE PRICE: $30,500 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Freshened styling on tap for

2015.

OUR OPINION: It's not big on luxury but the i-

MiEV will get you around town without burning

any gasoline.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes, including

redesigned 16-inch wheels and attachments

for Thule roof carrier. Optional Premium

package adds sunroof, premium audio system,

leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob,

and color LCD in gauge cluster. No changes to

Evolution model.

BASE PRICE: $16,790

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due for 2015.

OUR OPINION: A sporty compact sedan with

decent value.

HIGHLIGHTS: Front and rear fascias restyled.

New seating fabrics. More insulation reduces

noise in the cabin. More feel dialed into electric

power steering. Continuously variable

transmission recalibrated for greater

acceleration performance. All-wheel drive

available on ES model. Heated front seats and

SiriusXM satellite radio included on SE model.

BASE PRICE: $19,995

WHAT'S NEXT: Production moved to Illinois

plant last summer. No major changes

expected.

OUR OPINION: A nicely equipped five-seat

crossover.

HIGHLIGHTS: Last model year for this

generation. Heated front seats and side mirrors

standard on SE and GT models. Entertainment

package includes rear-seat DVD player. All

Weather package includes remote start.

BASE PRICE: $23,520

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned Outlander due to

arrive next summer as 2014 model.

OUR OPINION: Well equipped, but the back

seats are too small for adults.


NISSAN

Nissan North America www.nissanusa.com

VERSA

SENTRA

ALTIMA

HIGHLIGHTS: The Versa sedan was

redesigned for 2012, moving to Nissan's lowcost

V platform. The redesigned hatchback

arrives next spring. It is based on the Note sold

in Japan and Europe. Expect styling that is

more rounded, with plenty of interior room.

Look for the Versa hatchback to use the same

1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine as the sedan. The

Versa gains a four-speed automatic this year,

joining the five-speed manual on the low-price

base car and the CVT on higher trim levels.

BASE PRICE: $11,770 (sedan)

WHAT'S NEXT: Possible performance version,

using the turbocharged four-cylinder engine

from the Nissan Juke.

OUR OPINION: The redesigned Versa sedan

has become a big seller for Nissan, competing

well against the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta.

Redesigned hatchback will attract more

attention.

HIGHLIGHTS: A redesign moves the Sentra

away from the tall, sharp-edged look of the

current car -- which didn't set any sales records

-- to a more contemporary, rounded design that

closely resembles the new Altima. But the

Sentra continues to ride on Nissan's older Bcar

platform. The only engine for now is a new

1.8-liter, four-cylinder rated at 130 hp. Nissan

says it will get up to 40 mpg on the highway.

You can get a six-speed manual, but only on

the base S trim level. All other Sentras get a

continuously variable transmission.

BASE PRICE: $16,770

WHAT'S NEXT: We're hoping there's an SE-R

version with more horsepower and a manual

transmission in the pipeline.

OUR OPINION: The new Sentra is definitely

easier on the eyes. And the redesigned interior

has an upscale vibe about it -- which adds

some pop to the base price. But we fear that

130 hp may just barely be adequate for our

tastes.

HIGHLIGHTS: Nissan's best-selling car gets a

complete makeover for 2013 and touts the

ability to get 38 mpg on the highway. The new

Altima is more rigid yet weighs less. A new

generation of the CVT has a wider gear ratio

range and less friction for better fuel economy.

There is no manual-transmission option.

Buyers can still choose between four-cylinder

and V6 engines. The thoroughly reworked

interior uses better-looking materials and offers

more room for rear-seat passengers.

BASE PRICE: $22,280

MAXIMA

370Z

CUBE

WHAT'S NEXT: A hybrid version, with Nissan's

in-house developed powertrain, is likely for

2014. And a coupe version hasn't been ruled

out (the current coupe continues for another

year).

OUR OPINION: There's a dogfight going on in

the midsize sedan segment, with new offerings

from Toyota, Honda, Ford and the coming

2014 Mazda 6. But the Altima’s quiet ride,

comfortable cabin and fuel-sipping powertrains

make it a strong contender.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Maxima is due for a

redesign in a year or two. Changes for 2013

include value package that adds Bose audio

system and heated seats, mirrors and steering

wheel to SV trim.

BASE PRICE: $33,560

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign in 2014 or 2015,

moving to Nissan's D platform.

OUR OPINION: Maxima continues to have

more sporting character than Altima. But

sticker price gets high quickly with options.

HIGHLIGHTS: Nissan's two-seat

coupe/roadster gets minor changes for 2013,

including a restyled front fascia and LED

daylight running lights. Red reflector replaces

black center cover on rear fascia. Red-painted

calipers an option. Coupe, convertible, Nismo

trims available.

BASE PRICE: $33,900

WHAT'S NEXT: Z-car is due for a redesign in

2014. Expect the new Z to be slightly smaller

and lose some pounds to help with fuel

economy and performance.

OUR OPINION: Still plenty of performance and

style for the money.

HIGHLIGHTS: Small changes, as the Cube

isn't selling well. Base and cargo versions are

dropped.

BASE PRICE: $15,760

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cube's future is uncertain.

Nissan needs its high fuel economy for the

fleet average. But the Japan-built wagon

delivers minimal profit.

OUR OPINION: The Cube has tons of room

and delivers good fuel economy. But it's hard

on the eyes.


JUKE

ROGUE

MURANO

PATHFINDER

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: The radically styled crossover

shares its platform with the Versa. Introduced

for 2011, changes are minimal, including

revised audio systems. All Jukes use a

turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 188 hp, in

front-drive or all-wheel drive.

BASE PRICE: $20,770

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a Nismo Juke to arrive

in spring 2013. And you can special order the

Juke-R with the twin-turbo V6 from the GT-R

for just $590,000.

OUR OPINION: It's funky and fun to drive. But

space is tight in the back seat. And it's not

cheap.

HIGHLIGHTS: 2013 is the last model year for

the current Rogue, so changes are slight and

mostly cosmetic. A Premium Edition adds fog

lights and Bose audio system to the SV model.

BASE PRICE: $23,135

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned 2014 model

arrives next year. Production shifts to

Tennessee and South Korea. Hybrid version is

possible.

OUR OPINION: The Rogue is Nissan's secondbest

selling model, after the Altima. It's nice but

doesn't really stand out.

HIGHLIGHTS: Changes are slight, as Nissan

positions Murano as upscale five-seat

crossover, while pitching seven-seat Pathfinder

to families. Blind spot, moving object and lane

departure warnings added to higher trim levels.

SV trim gets value option package that adds

power liftgate and Bose audio system.

BASE PRICE: $30,785

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign not due for two

years. Hybrid powertrain possible next year.

CrossCabriolet convertible has been a slow

seller.

OUR OPINION: The Murano's styling still looks

fresh after several years. We'd be happier with

second-generation CVT. The Murano does not

come cheap.

HIGHLIGHTS: The redesigned 2013 Nissan

Pathfinder moves to a unibody platform also

used by the Infiniti JX, while the 2012

Pathfinder used a body-on-frame platform from

the Frontier pickup. The move enables the

Pathfinder to retain three rows of seating while

improving ride comfort and fuel economy.

Under the hood is Nissan's venerable 3.5-liter

V6 engine pumping out 260 hp. It's mated to

the latest generation of Nissan's continuously

variable transmission with software that gives

the Pathfinder a 5,000-pound towing rating.

ARMADA

QUEST

XTERRA

Nissan says the new Pathfinder should get 22

mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 21

mpg combined with all-wheel drive. The

change from the truck platform helped cut 500

pounds from curb weight. Inside, the secondrow

seats slide forward to create more access

to the third row. Tech touches include

RearView monitor, dual-zone climate control,

remote engine start and keyless ignition. The

pricing puts the seven-passenger Pathfinder on

par with the five-passenger Nissan Murano.

BASE PRICE: $29,095

WHAT'S NEXT: Don't be surprised to see a

hybrid version within the next year or two.

OUR OPINION: This Pathfinder is better suited

for hauling families than the previous model,

particularly if you don't have to tow anything

huge. More comfort and better fuel economy is

a winning combo.

HIGHLIGHTS: Platinum Reserve package adds

20-inch wheels, dark chrome grille and twotone

leather trim. Dual headrest video monitors

standard on Platinum model, optional on SV

and SL. SV models now get stand power

passenger seat and Bluetooth phone system.

BASE PRICE: $40,865

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign is at least two years

away, on same schedule as Titan pickup -they

share the same frame.

OUR OPINION: Full-sized SUV workhorse is

plenty comfortable.

HIGHLIGHTS: Nissan's box-shaped minivan

enters 2013 with only minor changes. LE

models get Around View Monitor standard.

DVD entertainment system now optional on SV

model.

BASE PRICE: $26,815

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for light refreshening for

2014.

OUR OPINION: The Quest is roomy and has an

upscale feel, especially in higher trim levels.

HIGHLIGHTS: Changes for the Xterra are due

in early 2013. The 2012 models soldiers on

until then.

BASE PRICE: $26,035

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign coming in the spring.

OUR OPINION: The Xterra clings to the

traditional body-on-frame, truck-based SUV

model.


FRONTIER

TITAN

NV 200

NV

HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 Frontier arrives early

next year, after production moves from

Tennessee to Mississippi. No major changes

expected.

BASE PRICE: $19,835

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is expected for the

2014 model year, with a focus on better fuel

economy.

OUR OPINION: One of the last of the shrinking

pool of compact pickup trucks.

HIGHLIGHTS: Plenty of small detail changes

as the Titan soldiers on while waiting for

redesign in 2015. Redesigned tailgate is more

aerodynamic and includes rearview camera.

Steprails standard on SV and SL models.

Redesigned steering wheel has four spokes.

BASE PRICE: $29,515

WHAT'S NEXT: Nissan is working on

redesigned Titan but program was delayed by

2011 Japanese earthquake. Look for new truck

to have more variations and fuel-efficient

powertrains.

OUR OPINION: The Titan has plenty of brawn

and style. It gets overshadowed by Detroit

Three competitors.

HIGHLIGHTS: Nissan will offer a cargo van

version of the people mover that becomes the

official taxi cab for New York City. Cargo area

can hold standard-sized wood pallets, with

payload capacity of 1,500 pounds. Power

comes from 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated

to a CVT.

BASE PRICE: N/A

WHAT'S NEXT: New for 2013.

OUR OPINION: Will be a competitor for Ford's

Transit Connect.

HIGHLIGHTS: Nissan's full-sized van is

available in passenger and cargo versions,

with a high-roof body style optional on the

cargo van. You can get them in light-duty and

heavy-duty versions. Engine choices are a 4.0liter

V6 or 5.6-liter V8, mated to a five-speed

automatic transmission.

BASE PRICE: $26,045

WHAT'S NEXT: New model.

OUR OPINION: A strong competitor to the fullsized

vans from Ford and General Motors.

LEAF

GT-R

PORSCHE

HIGHLIGHTS: A 2013 model of the Leaf is due

next spring. Until then, the 2012 model

continues in two trim levels, SV and SL. Nissan

says Leaf says have not met its expectations.

BASE PRICE: $36,050

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a price reduction when

Nissan begins building the Leaf and its battery

pack in Tennessee next year.

OUR OPINION: A great electric car that's

perfect for commuters.

HIGHLIGHTS: There's more horsepower (545

vs. 530) and torque (463 vs. 448 lb-ft) for the

2013 model due to tweaks to the twin-turbo V6.

Rearview monitor is standard and the

tachometer ring gets blue lighting to match the

shift indicator.

BASE PRICE: $97,820

WHAT'S NEXT: Nissan is working on a nextgeneration

GT-R, despite Internet reports of

the car's death. There will be more special

editions over the next couple of years.

OUR OPINION: Nissan's killer sports car keeps

getting better every year. That's just the way

we want it.

Porsche Cars North America www.porsche.com

911

BOXSTER

HIGHLIGHTS: After the launch of the

redesigned 911 Carrera and Carrera S, the allwheel-drive

Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S versions

arrive in early 2013. The all-wheel-drive

versions have wider rear track and fenders.

Active cruise control is now an option.

BASE PRICE: $74,200

WHAT'S NEXT: The 911 Turbo models will

move to new Type 991 platform next year.

OUR OPINION: Still a sports-car lover's dream.

HIGHLIGHTS: The redesigned Boxster is the

third generation of Porsche's mid-engine

roadster that is bigger, with new styling cues

and aluminum body. The Boxster has a new

interior that shares some features with the 911

and is bigger than the previous model. Porsche

offers the Boxster in the base and S trims,

powered by a 2.7-liter and 3.4-liter boxer sixcylinder,

respectively. Buyers can also pick

between the standard six-speed manual or

seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

BASE PRICE: $50,450


CAYENNE

CAYMAN

PANAMERA

RAM

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The Boxster has been and

continues to be one of the most entertaining

cars in the world.

HIGHLIGHTS: A turbodiesel engine joins the

lineup for 2013. The 3.0-liter V6 cranks out 240

hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Combined fuel

economy is 23 mpg. A new GTS model slots

between the S and Turbo, with a 420-hp V8

and sport exhaust system. European factory

delivery program available on all models.

BASE PRICE: $49,825

WHAT'S NEXT: Refreshed styling is expected

in 2013.

OUR OPINION: The Porsche of SUVs, for

when you need to haul cargo fast.

HIGHLIGHTS: A redesigned Cayman, based

on the new platform launched with the 2012

Boxster, arrives for 2013. It will debut at the

2012 Los Angeles auto show.

BASE PRICE: $55,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: The new Boxster is more

refined and still sporty. We expect the same

from the new Cayman.

HIGHLIGHTS: A GTS trim joins the lineup,

slotted between the 4S and the Turbo. The

GTS rolls with all-wheel drive and a 430-hp V8.

BASE PRICE: $76,825

WHAT'S NEXT: A facelift is due in 2013. A

wagon could join the lineup in three years or

so.

OUR OPINION: Porsche performance in a fourpassenger

luxury sedan.

Chrysler Group www.ramtrucks.com

1500

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: The light-duty pickup was

redesigned for the 2013 model year with an

eye toward fuel economy. The combination of

a redesigned 3.6-liter V6, eight-speed

automatic transmission, electric power

steering, better aerodynamics and 130 pounds

less weight pushes combined fuel economy to

21 mpg. The Hemi V8 gets the eight-speed

automatic midway through the model year.

Restyled interior includes monitor displays in

gauge cluster and instrument panel. Nextgeneration

Uconnect telematics system

includes Internet access and wireless hotspot

2500/3500 HD

3500/4500/5500 CHASSIS CAB

ROLLS-ROYCE

capability. RamBox and tailgate locks

integrated with remote door locks.

BASE PRICE: $23,585

WHAT'S NEXT: Diesel engine possible for

2014.

OUR OPINION: Upgrades keep Ram 1500 on

pace with Chevy and Ford trucks as fueleconomy

war breaks out in pickup land.

HIGHLIGHTS: Ram's heavy-duty pickups have

been upgraded to deliver class-leading towing

capacity. The frame was re-engineered to use

more high-strength steel and include extra

reinforcements for fifth-wheel and gooseneck

trailer hitches. Diesel-powered versions adopt

selective catalytic reduction exhaust treatment.

Diesels also get an active air-intake box -under

heavy load in hot weather, a flap in the

box opens to draw cooler air from the engine

compartment, bypassing the air inlet in the

front fender. The 6.7-liter Cummins diesel inline

six can be mated to an Aisin six-speed

automatic transmission. The trucks go on sale

in spring 2013.

BASE PRICE: $30,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: The Cummins diesel is already

a favorite of those who use their pickups for

work. Upgrades will make the heavy-duty Ram

more competitive.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Ram Chassis Cab models

get the same upgrades as the heavy-duty

pickups.

BASE PRICE: N/A

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: Ram is making a big push to

attract more commercial buyers.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

GHOST

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes: The naturalgrain

leather from the Phantom is now an

option; two new paint colors.

BASE PRICE: $248,500

WHAT'S NEXT: Coupe and convertible versions

are possible in the next couple of years.

OUR OPINION: It's the entry-level Rolls-Royce,

but it doesn't skimp on the luxury.


PHANTOM/COUPE/DROPHEAD COUPE SERIES II

SCION

HIGHLIGHTS: Styling has been refreshed and

the Phantom line gains the Series II

designation. Changes include an updated

navigation system and addition of connections

for mobile phones and digital music players. An

eight-speed automatic transmission replaces

the six-speed unit to help boost fuel economy.

BASE PRICE: $387,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign possible in 2016.

OUR OPINION: Absolute luxury and power

combine to create the ultimate sedan.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. www.scion.com

IQ

XB

XD

TC

HIGHLIGHTS: Rear speakers, passenger seat

storage tray and rear deck box cover now

standard.

BASE PRICE: $16,140

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes expected.

OUR OPINION: It's a good option for city

dwellers.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $17,400 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Not sure. Current model is

getting old.

OUR OPINION: Not bad for a box on wheels.

HIGHLIGHTS: Airbags added to driver and

front-passenger seats. Speedometer gets

white gauge face.

BASE PRICE: $16,500

WHAT'S NEXT: A replacement will be shown at

the 2013 New York auto show and will likely

arrive in fall 2013.

OUR OPINION: Small, efficient and Toyota

quality.

HIGHLIGHTS: A Release Series 8.0 version

arrives. Only 2,000 copies available. Includes

Five Axis body kit, lowered springs and centerexit

exhaust system. Transmission choices are

six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

BASE PRICE: $19,480

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign likely in 2015.

OUR OPINION: Aimed at younger buyers with

its aggressive styling and low cost.

FR-S

SMART

HIGHLIGHTS: The FR-S and its twin, the

Subaru BRZ, mark the return of the affordable,

front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car. It's

powered by a 2.0-liter boxer six-cylinder

making 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. A sixspeed

manual transmission comes standard

while a six-speed automatic is optional. The

interior has nicely bolstered seats, a 14-inch

steering wheel and a digital speedometer. The

backseat is big enough for child seats and

folds down to provide enough space to fit four

racing wheels and tires.

BASE PRICE: $24,995

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: This is the car that we've been

waiting for. Power from the engine is decent,

handling is superb and the driving

characteristics keep the driver connected to

everything the car does.

Daimler www.smartusa.com

FORTWO

SRT

HIGHLIGHTS: The two-seat city car gets some

mild styling updates for 2013. The big news is

the arrival in spring 2013 of the next-generation

electric version with a $25,000 sticker price. It

uses a lithium-ion battery pack, with a range of

about 100 miles and a top speed of 75 mph.

BASE PRICE: $13,240

WHAT'S NEXT: An all-new Smart car is due in

2014, developed jointly by Mercedes-Benz and

Renault.

OUR OPINION: The $25,000 sticker will make

the electric Fortwo the least-expensive electric

car. But you'll still feel exposed on the highway.

Chrysler Group www.drivesrt.com

VIPER

HIGHLIGHTS: After a two-year break, the Viper

is back -- re-engineered to be a touch more

civilized and comfortable but with all the snarl

of its predecessor. The reworked 8.4-liter V10

loses 25 pounds but puts out an additional 40

hp to 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. That

power flows through a Tremec six-speed

manual. Traction control and launch control are

standard, electronic two-mode Bilstein

dampers are available on the range-topping

GTS model. The new Viper is more rigid, which

helps with handling and steering. An optional

track package cuts 57 pounds from the curb

weight.


CHRYSLER 300 SRT8

DODGE CHALLENGER SRT8

DODGE CHARGER SRT8

BASE PRICE: $99,390

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The previous Viper had a raw,

brutal nature to it. The SRT Viper has been

tamed a bit, but is still a force to be reckoned

with on the racetrack and the street. The

upgraded interior is more comfortable, while

everything under the hood is as menacing as

we want it.

HIGHLIGHTS: Launch control is standard.

Adaptive damping suspension is retuned and

expanded to three modes -- auto, sport and

track.

BASE PRICE: $47,820

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a restyling in 2015.

OUR OPINION: Enhancements make this

muscle sedan easier to drive at the limit.

HIGHLIGHTS: Launch control is standard.

Adaptive damping suspension is retuned and

expanded to three modes -- auto, sport and

track.

BASE PRICE: $45,420

WHAT'S NEXT: Look for a restyling in 2015.

OUR OPINION: This retro-styled muscle car is

easier to keep at the limit with technology

updates.

HIGHLIGHTS: Launch control joins standard

equipment list. Adaptive suspension system

gets a track mode to join auto and sport

modes.

BASE PRICE: $46,100 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The Charger SRT8 is a

performance thoroughbred.

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SRT8

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Alpine white and Vapor black

special edition models.

BASE PRICE: $60,920

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes.

OUR OPINION: Grand Cherokee SRT8

delivers incredible performance and plenty of

luxury.

SUBARU

Subaru of America www.subaru.com

IMPREZA

LEGACY

TRIBECA

FORESTER

HIGHLIGHTS: Redesigned for 2012. Base

model gets Bluetooth and iPod connections.

Optional navigation system gains rearview

camera. Heat for the seats and exterior mirrors

and wiper de-icer added to 2.0i Premium

model with five-speed manual transmission.

BASE PRICE: $18,665

WHAT'S NEXT: Possible hybrid in the future.

Styling refreshed in 2015.

OUR OPINION: The redesign made the

Impreza a much-improved car.

HIGHLIGHTS: Slight changes to front styling.

New double-overhead-cam 2.5-liter fourcylinder

engine rated at 173 hp, up slightly

from old four-cylinder. Turbocharged 2.5GT

model dropped. Suspension revised for

smoother ride. Second-generation CVT design.

Optional EyeSight safety package combines

adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning

and precollision braking with a camera

monitoring system.

BASE PRICE: $21,065

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refresh due in 2015.

OUR OPINION: A dependable mid-size sedan

with all-wheel drive.

HIGHLIGHTS: Limited is only model offered.

Brake override system added.

BASE PRICE: $33,390

WHAT'S NEXT: This is likely the last year for

the Tribeca.

OUR OPINION: Third-row seats are cramped

and eat up all the cargo room. Lots of better

choices.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bluetooth, USB port and iPod

connection now standard on base model.

Minor equipment package changes.

BASE PRICE: $22,090

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign on tap for 2014

model year, when Forester will likely get longer

and wider.

OUR OPINION: A worthwhile choice with

versatile cargo space, wide range of trim

packages and all-wheel drive.


OUTBACK

BRZ

XV CROSSTREK

IMPREZA WRX/STI

HIGHLIGHTS: Changes similar to the Legacy,

including new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with

173 hp, second-generation CVT, revised

suspension and EyeSight safety package.

BASE PRICE: $24,290

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refreshed for 2015

model.

OUR OPINION: A practical multitasker that

impresses with its ride and capabilities.

HIGHLIGHTS: Fans of affordable, rear-drive

sports coupes are riding high with the Subaru

BRZ, the mechanical twin of the Scion FR-S.

You get a 2.0-liter flat-four pumping out 200 hp.

You can choose between a six-speed manual

or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters on

the steering wheel. The rear seats are best for

kids, not adults. But you can easily get two golf

bags in the trunk. The only problem may be for

dealers keeping them in stock.

BASE PRICE: $26,265

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: The Subaru BRZ is a practical

daily driver that won't beat you up but neither

will it let you down if you find a nice twisty road

to drive on. So if the Scion dealer is out of the

FR-S, get over to the Subaru store.

HIGHLIGHTS: Take a Subaru Impreza fivedoor,

add three inches of ride height and some

body cladding and you get the XV Crosstrek. A

bright color palette and relatively low base

price will help the XV Crosstrek appeal to

younger buyers. The combination of the 2.0liter

four-cylinder engine and five-speed

manual (a CVT is optional) delivers 26 mpg in

combined city/highway driving -- a good

number for a crossover. All XV Crosstreks get

Subaru's all-wheel-drive system. The interior is

nearly stock Impreza, and the XV Crosstrek

rides like an Impreza, too.

BASE PRICE: $22,790

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: For Subaru die-hards, this is a

no-brainer. It underprices competitors such as

the Kia Sportage, although it can't match them

in power.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $26,565

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign for sedan and

hatchback due for 2014 model year. Design

cues will come from Advanced Tourer Concept

from 2011 Tokyo auto show.

OUR OPINION: It's kind of raw, but the WRX is

fun to drive.

SUZUKI

American Suzuki Motor Corp. www.suzukiauto.com

SX4

KIZASHI

GRAND VITARA

EQUATOR

HIGHLIGHTS: Front fascia redesigned. Voiceactivated

navigation/audio system is standard.

BASE PRICE: $16,600 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesigned model possible for

2015.

OUR OPINION: It's a practical small car with

the bonus of all-wheel drive. But it's not one of

our favorites.

HIGHLIGHTS: New voice-activated navigation

and audio system available.

BASE PRICE: $20,300 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign possible for 2015

model.

OUR OPINION: The best-looking Suzuki on

four wheels, ever. But good luck finding one.

HIGHLIGHTS: Refreshed styling includes new

front fascia and grille. Interior gets new seat

fabrics and available navigation/multimedia

system.

BASE PRICE: $20,799

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign may arrive as 2015

model.

OUR OPINION: The Grand Vitara is a decent

but aging vehicle that doesn't match up well

against the competition.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Equator is a rebadged

Nissan Frontier.

BASE PRICE: $19,300 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes expected.

OUR OPINION: A competent small truck that

doesn't stand out in any category.


TESLA

Tesla Motors www.teslamotors.com

MODEL S

TOYOTA

HIGHLIGHTS: The Model S sedan is slowly

trickling out of the former Toyota-GM factory in

northern California. The electric motor is

mounted between the rear wheels and the

battery pack sits low, underneath the floor. The

low center of gravity gives the Model S great

handling. A choice of battery packs gives the

car a range between 160 and 300 miles. A

luxurious interior includes a 17-inch touch

screen in the dashboard.

BASE PRICE: $59,350

WHAT'S NEXT: Smaller, cheaper battery packs

arrive in 2013. Tesla is also building a network

of solar-powered, rapid-charging stations to

make long trips possible.

OUR OPINION: It's stylish, fast -- and still an

emerging technology suited to well-moneyed

early adopters.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. www.toyota.com

YARIS

COROLLA

MATRIX

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: Upgraded stereo with Bluetooth

technology on base model. Cruise control now

standard on LE trim.

BASE PRICE: $15,130

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Better looking than previous

model, but it still feels sparse.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $17,025

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned Corolla is due

next fall as a 2014 model. Look for a more

stylish design and less weight. A new

transmission will help boost fuel economy.

OUR OPINION: Economical, reliable and

showing its age.

HIGHLIGHTS: New standard audio systems.

BASE PRICE: $20,070

WHAT'S NEXT: This could be the last year.

OUR OPINION: If you need a Corolla station

wagon, this is your car.

CAMRY

AVALON

PRIUS

PRIUS V

PRIUS C

HIGHLIGHTS: Redesigned for 2012 model.

Minor changes.

BASE PRICE: $23,200 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Quiet, comfortable and a bit

more exciting than the previous model -- but

just a tiny bit.

HIGHLIGHTS: Toyota's large sedan gets a

makeover for the 2013 model. It's slightly

shorter and narrower than the current Avalon,

but looks long thanks to a roofline that now

reaches further back toward the trunk. The

interior is covered in leather and wood trim,

and there is the big screen in the center of the

dashboard. Toyota says it engineered the car

for a more sporty attitude -- you can even get

shift paddles on the steering wheel. The new

Avalon goes on sale late this year, and will

offer a hybrid powertrain option.

BASE PRICE: $34,000 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Toyota is on a mission to give

all of its vehicles more attitude -- even the

Avalon. Buyers will find they can toggle

between three drive modes -- normal, eco and

sport, and will notice the tighter steering and

quicker throttle response in sport mode. No,

you won't think you've climbed into a sports

sedan by mistake, but the new Avalon won't

immediately lull you to sleep.

HIGHLIGHTS: No major changes.

BASE PRICE: $25,395 (est.)

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in spring 2014.

OUR OPINION: Still one of the best hybrids

available.

HIGHLIGHTS: No major changes to wagon

version of Prius.

BASE PRICE: $27,900 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes planned.

OUR OPINION: A larger, more practical version

of the Prius.

HIGHLIGHTS: Launched in early 2012. Based

on the Toyota Yaris platform. Hybrid system

similar to Prius but with smaller, 1.5-liter fourcylinder

engine.

BASE PRICE: $20,300 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes planned.

OUR OPINION: Compact, efficient and

reasonably priced.


RAV4

FJ CRUISER

HIGHLANDER

4RUNNER

SEQUOIA

HIGHLIGHTS: Just as there's a crush of new

mid-sized sedans, automakers have been

busy making over their compact crossovers -one

of the hottest parts of the truck business.

With the redesigned Honda CR-V and Ford

Escape already on the road, Toyota is ready

with a revamped RAV4. The new RAV4 gets a

debut at the Los Angeles auto show in

November and hits the streets in early 2013.

Spy shots have shown the new RAV4 to be

about the same size as the current model. But

the V6 is likely to be dropped -- few buyers

take that option -- leaving just the four-cylinder.

Also expect the new RAV4 to lose weight and

gain technology to boost fuel economy.

BASE PRICE: $25,530 (2012 model)

WHAT'S NEXT: Electric version based on

current platform goes on sale in early 2013.

OUR OPINION: The new RAV4 will likely be

another good choice for those shopping for a

small crossover. It will be hard to choose

among all the new models.

HIGHLIGHTS: Daytime running lights and

power outside mirrors now standard.

BASE PRICE: $27,725

WHAT'S NEXT: No changes expected.

OUR OPINION: A modern platform with

throwback styling. Nice for Toyota enthusiasts.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor changes. Highlander Plus

model replaces Tech Package. Display-screen

audio unit standard on base Highlander.

BASE PRICE: $29,715

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in fall 2013 on

the new Camry platform.

OUR OPINION: Great flexibility and decent fuel

economy. One of the original crossovers.

HIGHLIGHTS: SR5 model gets switch control

for transfer case, replacing a lever. Minor

changes.

BASE PRICE: $32,185

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Still a truck at heart, with

trucklike ride and fuel economy.

HIGHLIGHTS: The 5.7-liter V8, rated at 381 hp,

is now standard; 4.6-liter V8 has been

dropped. Blu-Ray rear seat entertainment

system is an option.

BASE PRICE: $42,950

SIENNA

TACOMA

TUNDRA

VENZA

LAND CRUISER

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected for 2014

model year.

OUR OPINION: A big, family SUV with tons of

room and a thirst for gasoline.

HIGHLIGHTS: The four-cylinder engine has

been dropped. The 3.5-liter V6, rated at 266

hp, is the only engine available. Blind spot

monitor added to Limited and XLE trims.

BASE PRICE: $27,245

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Battles with Honda Odyssey

and Chrysler Group minivans to be the best.

HIGHLIGHTS: New Limited package adds

heated front seats, variable speed wipers,

leather-trimmed steering wheel and autodimming

rearview mirror with rear camera

display.

BASE PRICE: $18,520

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in fall 2014.

OUR OPINION: A well-rounded truck in a

shrinking market segment.

HIGHLIGHTS: Platinum package now a trim

level.

BASE PRICE: $26,350

WHAT'S NEXT: Re-engineered truck expected

to arrive in spring 2013 as a 2014 model.

OUR OPINION: A fully capable full-size pickup

that challenges trucks from the Detroit Three.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mildly restyled for 2013 with

revamped front fascia. Entune multimedia

system now an option.

BASE PRICE: $28,510

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected for 2015.

OUR OPINION: It's a station wagon with some

extra ground clearance and available all-wheel

drive.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mild exterior restyling. Rear-seat

entertainment system, console cooler box and

navigation system with Entune multimedia

system now standard.

BASE PRICE: $79,100

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Still one of the best of the big,

truck-based SUVs.


VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen of America www.vw.com

GOLF

JETTA

BEETLE

CC

2013 NEW CAR & TRUCK BUYERS GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes.

BASE PRICE: $18,790

WHAT'S NEXT: Seventh-generation Golf

debuted at 2012 Paris auto show and goes on

sale in the United States in 2014. New Golf is

longer and wider but weighs less.

OUR OPINION: Fun and practical

transportation. Go with the diesel for awesome

fuel economy.

HIGHLIGHTS: Hybrid version with

turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine

goes on sale in late 2013. GLI models with

dual-clutch automatic transmission get launch

control as standard.

BASE PRICE: $17,470

WHAT'S NEXT: Jetta SportWagen redesign

expected for 2014 or 2015. Jetta sedan

redesign due in 2015 or 2016.

OUR OPINION: The Jetta sedan is practical car

with German handling traits. The SportWagen

is an excellent alternative to crossovers,

especially with the diesel engine.

HIGHLIGHTS: Beetle convertible debuts at

2012 Los Angeles auto show and goes on sale

late in the year. Turbodiesel engine added to

the lineup. Fender Edition debuts.

BASE PRICE: $20,590

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Beetle was redesigned for

2012 and mixes heritage with modern

technology. Diesel and convertible models

round out the lineup.

HIGHLIGHTS: Restyled front and rear. Rear

seat reconfigured for three people. Highintensity

discharge headlights and LED

daytime running lights standard. R-Line trim

package arrives in early 2013.

BASE PRICE: $31,435

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign due in 2015.

OUR OPINION: The most stylish vehicle in

Volkswagen's lineup is still a relative bargain.

PASSAT

EOS

TIGUAN

TOUAREG

ROUTAN

HIGHLIGHTS: All-new for 2012; no changes for

2013.

BASE PRICE: $21,640

WHAT'S NEXT: Freshened styling due for

2014.

OUR OPINION: The Passat is a serious

contender to the titans of the midsize-sedan

segment and the only one to offer a dieselengine

option.

HIGHLIGHTS: Sport model with lowered

suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels added to

lineup.

BASE PRICE: $35,175

WHAT'S NEXT: No major changes expected.

OUR OPINION: Folding hard top makes the

Eos heavy, and the car is pricey. Take a look at

the Beetle convertible.

HIGHLIGHTS: Electronic parking brake,

leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob,

hill-hold control now standard.

BASE PRICE: $23,820

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is expected in 2014,

with a larger Tiguan getting a third row of seats.

OUR OPINION: Ride and handling make the

Tiguan a fun choice.

HIGHLIGHTS: Diesel engine gets horsepower

bumped up to 240 hp. Hybrid model gets LED

taillights.

BASE PRICE: $44,300

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refresh expected in

2013.

OUR OPINION: The diesel Touareg is a

standout for fuel economy and performance.

But the Touareg is getting expensive.

HIGHLIGHTS: No changes for the lightly

changed and rebadged Chrysler Town &

Country minivan.

BASE PRICE: $28,200 (est)

WHAT'S NEXT: Likely to be dropped in the next

year or two.

OUR OPINION: Good if you really want the

Volkswagen nameplate on your minivan. But

it's a Chrysler.


VOLVO

Volvo Cars of North America www.volvocars.us

C30

S60

S80

C70

HIGHLIGHTS: Headlight washers and rainsensing

windshield wipers now standard.

Premier trim added. It includes power glass

sunroof, power driver's seat and cargo-area

cover.

BASE PRICE: $26,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is likely in two or

three years.

OUR OPINION: A good mix of sportiness and

comfort in a hatchback.

HIGHLIGHTS: All-wheel drive now available on

T5 models. Compression ratio on

turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five is increased

from 9.0:1 to 9.5:1, but output remains at 250

hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.

BASE PRICE: $32,645

WHAT'S NEXT: Styling refresh expected for

2014 model.

OUR OPINION: A good alternative to the

sedans everyone drives.

HIGHLIGHTS: Push-button start, rain-sensing

windshield wiper and headlight washers are

now standard. Multi-media system is

upgraded.

BASE PRICE: $39,845

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign on new platform

expected for 2015.

OUR OPINION: Volvo's flagship sedan has

plenty of comfort and Scandinavian style.

HIGHLIGHTS: Rain-sensing wipers and

headlight washers are now standard on the

hardtop convertible. Inscription Package

includes engine tuned by Polestar for 250 hp.

BASE PRICE: $41,885

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesign is several years

away.

OUR OPINION: A bit pricey. But you get the

combo of Volvo safety and open-air driving.

XC60

XC70

XC90

HIGHLIGHTS: Technology package gains

headlights that automatically switch to low

beam for oncoming traffic, and speed limit

displayed on gauge cluster from forwardlooking

camera.

BASE PRICE: $35,095

WHAT'S NEXT: Redesign expected in 2016.

OUR OPINION: Could be the most stylish

sport-utility on the market today.

HIGHLIGHTS: Minor trim changes.

BASE PRICE: $34,345

WHAT'S NEXT: Replacement possible in 2015

or 2016.

OUR OPINION: One of the original crossover

vehicles, the XC70 combines Volvo safety,

luxury and cargo room with go-anywhere

versatility.

HIGHLIGHTS: Front and rear bumper covers

and wheel arches are body color. LEDs used

for daytime running lights and taillights. Rainsensing

windshield wipers and headlight

washers are standard.

BASE PRICE: $40,395

WHAT'S NEXT: A redesigned XC90, using

Volvo's new SPA platform, is due in 2014.

OUR OPINION: The XC90 is a solid,

dependable SUV with little sex appeal.

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