Now that the Monte Carlo is dead and gone, the Impala is shouldering the load for Chevy in the midsize segment and on the track in NASCAR events. The front-drive sedan is certainly no “Car of Tomorrow”; the basic platform dates back to the ’80s, although it has been updated. It is one of the few cars to come in a 6-passenger configuration and offers a wide range of engine choices. The base engine is a 211-bhp 3.5-liter pushrod V-6. The LTZ has a 224-bhp 3.9-liter pushrod six. And the relatively hairy SS has a pushrod 5.3-liter V-8 that sends 303 bhp to the front axle. Chevy has worked hard at keeping the value end of the bargain going by adding such features as dual-zone climate control, traction control, ABS, new thorax side-impact airbags and Bluetooth connectivity.
R&T Overview:As Chevy's biggest sedan, the Impala holds six folks if you get the optional bench front seat, although these days it feels a bit tight to have an adult passenger seated at your right elbow instead of a cushy armrest. However, there's a space in American culture for a car that can take mom, pop, two kids, granny and gramps to breakfast Sunday morning. The Impala uses the most advanced overhead-cam 3.6-liter V-6 engine shared by other GM cars, and it can run on E85 ethanol fuel if you live in the Corn Belt. It also comes standard with a 6-speed automatic, as well as standard anti-lock brakes, stability control and a suspension that is not too squishy. Competitors may be larger and quieter, but Impala makes for a clandestine drive.
The XC60 is a premium crossover from Volvo. Comfortable and practical, the XC60 may be the safest vehicle Volvo has ever built. It includes many safety features, and paired with its good looks and dynamic styling makes it immediately recognizable as a Volvo.
The front-wheel drive XC60 is powered by either a 240-hp 3.2-liter inline-six-cylinder, or 230-hp 3.2-liter PZEV engine. The "Instant Traction" all-wheel drive XC60 is offered with the same engine choices as the front-wheel drive, but can also be ordered with a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, or even a 325-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, depending on the trim level. All engine variations are matched with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission. One impressive standard safety feature is "City Safety" which reacts at low speed to help prevent or reduce rear-end collisions by allowing the XC60 to automatically self-brake to a complete stop without driver input. Other standard features include electronic stability with roll control, trailer stability assist, six airbags, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Depending on the trim level other standard features include leather seating, keyless drive, a panoramic roof, active bi-xenon headlamps, and park assist.
The 2014 Volvo XC60 has a revised exterior and interior. The Volvo Sensus system has a larger display, and the gauge cluster is now configurable.
The Compass is an affordable compact SUV, designed to bring the Jeep name to a broader range of drivers with its car-like on-road capability and fuel economy.
Sharing the same platform as its stablemate, the Patriot, the Compass is offered in both front-wheel and full-time four-wheel drive configurations. Three trim levels are available: Sport, Latitude and Limited. The front-wheel drive Sport and Latitude trims are powered by a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while all other models get a 172-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (optional on the FWD Sport and Latitude). Available transmissions include a five-speed manual, a new six-speed PowerTech automatic, and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with manual shift mode. Sport trims are equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, cruise control and a CD player with MP3 capability, while Latitude trims add heated front seats, including a fold-flat passenger seat, and a leather steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The Limited is further outfitted with 18-inch aluminum wheels, new projector-style headlamps, a power driver's seat, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, satellite radio and DVD audio; new for 2014, the Limited's audio system also includes 28GB of internal memory storage. Trail Rated 4x4 capability is available with a Freedom Drive II Off-Road package that includes 4-wheel drive off-road mode, hill descent control, all-terrain tires, skid plates, tow hooks and a brake lock differential. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with roll mitigation, traction control and side-curtain air bags for both rows of seating. New for 2014, front seat-mounted side airbags are now standard on all models.
The Jeep Compass is redesigned for 2014. Notable changes include a new six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission, updated exterior and interior elements, and upgraded audio on Limited trims. Additionally, front seat-mounted side airbags are now standard on all models, enhancing safety.
The Equus is an all new model from Hyundai, developed specifically for the upper-echelon of the automotive world.
The Equus is a large luxury four door sedan offered in Signature or Ultimate trims. Its 429-hp 5.0-liter V8 sends power to the rear wheels via a SHIFTRONIC eight-speed automatic transmission. The Signature trim seats five, while the Ultimate provides luxury amenities for four. The exterior features 19-inch chrome alloy wheels, power moonroof, auto-dimming exterior rearview mirrors that automatically tilt-down in reverse, HID headlights, and more. The interior boasts power heated leather seating, massaging driver seat with memory, wood inserts, voice-activated navigation and a luxury audio system.