Ever since hot rodding began in the 1940s, enthusiasts have been in love with the idea of a small car with a big engine. Why keep up with the Joneses when you can blow their doors off? Case in point: The Lexus IS F. In a space normally occupied by no more than a 3.5-liter V-6, Lexus engineers crammed a 5.0-liter V-8 pumping out 416 bhp and mated it to an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and a manual mode. Essentially carryover for 2013, the IS F comes standard with 19-in. forged alloy BBS wheels, 10-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 13-speaker audio system. In addition to obvious exterior cues, the IS F gets a special interior treatment with two-tone leather/Alcantara seats and aluminized trim.
There's a name for cars like the Mazdaspeed3: pocket-rocket. This refers to a compact-size car that provides more driving excitement than you can imagine. The 4-cylinder MZR 2.3-liter engine pumps out 263 bhp and 280-lb.-ft. of torque thanks to a responsive turbocharger. It's largely a carryover model for 2013 but has some changes, including 18-in. gunmetal alloy wheels, black outside mirrors, rear roof spoiler and rear lower valance. Inside for 2013, there is a Technology Package including a 5.8-in. full-color touchscreen nav system, HD radio, Pandora audio application, SMS text message audio delivery and voice reply. The Mazdaspeed3 is a 5-door with its large opening rear hatch that makes it easy to take your adventure gear with you. But the real adventure is in the driving!
The Toyota Prius is a gas-electric hybrid that sets the standard for environmentally-friendly transportation. This front-wheel drive, five-door liftback delivers comfort, value and a smooth ride, as well as impressive fuel economy and low emissions.
The Prius is available in five trim levels - Prius I, Prius II, Prius III, Prius IV and Prius V. All trim levels employ Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, a hybrid powertrain technology that unites a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine with a powerful electric drive motor to generate 134 combined horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard, and three selectable drive modes provide more power without compromising fuel efficiency. Every Prius is equipped with a high level of standard equipment: building on the value-oriented Prius I, Prius II trims feature 15-inch alloy wheels, power heated mirrors, remote keyless entry with driver door Smart Key passive entry, automatic air conditioning, cruise control and MP3 capability; Prius III trims add Bluetooth wireless connectivity and audio streaming, satellite radio and upgraded audio with a 6-disc CD changer; Prius IV trims are further outfitted with heated front seats and leather upholstery, while the Prius V boasts 17-inch alloy wheels and auto-leveling LED low-beam headlights. Standard safety technologies include anti-lock brakes with brake assist, vehicle stability and traction control systems, and a tire pressure monitor, as well as front side-impact airbags, front and rear overhead curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag. An optional Advanced Technology Package offers progressive features such as a pre-collision system, radar cruise control, lane keep assist and intelligent parking assist. Hybrid-related components are backed by an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty.
The Ford Flex is a full-size family vehicle that features three-rows of seating, bold styling and is highly functional. The Flex competes directly in the popular crossover segment.
The front-wheel or all-wheel drive Flex is powered by a 285-hp 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine. Available on the all-wheel drive Limited only is the 355-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift. Available features include a Multi-Panel Vista Roof, interior refrigerator, and capless fueling. Standard safety features include four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability and roll control, six airbags, and a tire pressure monitor.
After a 2013 refresh, the Flex rolls into 2014 unchanged.
The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban retains the same maximum-size virtues that have made it a bestseller for so many years. It remains the first choice for anyone who needs to haul six or more people plus their cargo.
The Suburban 1500 is available in LS, LT, and LTZ trims in both two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. It can seat up to nine passengers in its three rows of seats. The standard engine is a 320-hp 5.3-liter flexible-fuel V8 with Active Fuel Management technology, and is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-disc anti-lock brakes, traction control, side curtain airbags and GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system with rollover mitigation are standard.