With gas around $4 per gallon, hybrids are hot. Before, if they looked like their regular production counterparts, they languished while the different-looking Toyota Prius prospered. Now buyers would rather have extra bucks in their pockets than make a styling statement. Other than hybrid badging, there is little that makes the Malibu Hybrid stand out. It does get better fuel economy, primarily in the traffic where the stop-start feature helps squeeze 4 mpg more out of the city cycle. Chevy has done an admirable job in making the operation seamless; just don’t expect massive boosts in fuel economy. With a light foot, you can make the Malibu start off in pure electric mode, but it will soon pop on the 4-cylinder engine, especially if you have accessories like air conditioning running.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid sedan brings the quality and reliability of the Camry together with increased fuel efficiency.
The Camry Hybrid is a front-wheel drive four-door sedan that seats five passengers. Available in two trim levels, LE and XLE, the heart of the Camry Hybrid is the Hybrid Synergy Drive, a combination electric motor/gasoline engine that produces a combined 200-hp, and efficient, electronic continuously variable transmission. The standard warranty for hybrid-related components is 8 years/100,000 miles. Stability and traction control, ten-airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and tire pressure monitor are some of the standard safety equipment. Tech features include Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, garage door opener, rear camera, navigation with touch screen, HD and satellite radio, and the new Entune mobile app and services system.
For 2013, the Camry Hybrid LE is outfitted with a standard 6.1-inch touch screen audio system with Bluetooth wireless streaming.
R&T Overview:Even though the traditional pony-car formula is based on a 2-door coupe with rear drive and a V-8 engine, Chevy has grasped the future idea that modern V-6 engines can be lighter and more powerful. So, the result is a 323-bhp 3.6-liter V-6 engine as the base Camaro's powerplant. That's huge power, and feels so, especially with the standard 6-speed manual. The V-8 ZL1 performance model is available with an unbelievably powerful 580-bhp version of the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. This is the top-line, most powerful Camaro ever, with a 6-speed manual standard, and a 6-speed automatic that saves fuel optional. The SS model is between the standard Camaro and the wild ZL1. All 2012 models have the dark taillight lenses of the 2011 RS.
The A8 carries the technology flag for Audi, and along with its understated styling and all aluminum frame, it's a unique choice in the full-size luxury sedan market.
The five-passenger A8 comes in six variations: 3.0T NWB (normal wheelbase), 4.0T NWB, 3.0T LWB (long wheelbase), 3.0 TDI LWB, 4.0T LWB and the W12 LWB. The 3.0T sports a supercharged V6 with 333-hp, the 3.0 TDI V6 makes 240-hp and 406lb-ft of torque, the 4.0T is a twin-turbo direct-injection V8 producing 420 horsepower, and the W12 is a 6.3-liter twelve-cylinder engine with direct-injection and 500 horsepower. Power on all models is routed to the ground by an eight-speed automatic paddle-shifted Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Optional tech features include a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, solar-panel sunroof, dual-pane security glass, night vision, full LED headlights, blind spot, collision and lane assistance, and adaptive cruise control. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability system, active head restraints, LED brakelights and ten airbags are some of the standard safety features on the A8.
For 2014, a 3.0-liter TDI engine has been added to the line-up. Power door closers, power trunk, Advanced key and Audi parking system plus (front and rear sensors with rear camera) are now all standard on the NWB.
The Avalon is Toyota's flagship passenger car, with quality craftsmanship and dynamic styling that make it a desirable choice among full-size sedans.
The front-wheel drive Avalon is available in four trim levels: XLE, Premium, Touring and Limited. All are powered by a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. All trims feature heated exterior mirrors, automatic headlamps, heated leather seats, wood-grain style interior trim, automatic climate control, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth wireless audio streaming and phone connectivity, cruise control, Smart Key, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. Safety features include anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, vehicle stability and traction control systems, front and rear side-impact airbags, overhead curtain airbags for front and rear occupants, a driver-side knee airbag and active anti-whiplash front head restraints. Entune, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alerts, Safety Connect, rain-sensing wipers, three-zone automatic climate control, dynamic radar cruise control, eBin, pre-collision system and a rear camera parking aid are available high-tech features.
The Toyota Avalon was redesigned inside and out for the 2013 model year. Designers developed the concept in the US leaving nothing untouched in their quest for modern sophistication.