"Rowdy, raucous and oozing testosterone"— that was the Dodge Challenger of yesteryear, yet the modern interpretation of this iconic muscle car exhibits the same manners relative to its 21st century competitors as the 1970s Challenger did with its contemporaries. The Challenger is a straight-up blue-collar street brawler. If you're not shy, skip the V-6-powered SXT and new Rallye Redline (an SXT in sportier trim) and head right for the R/Ts (there are three versions this year) with their mighty 5.7-liter Hemi. Need more grit? The Challenger SRT8 392, cradling a 6.4-liter Hemi, is a 470-bhp, 12-second ET beast with a price-per-horsepower ratio that's tough to beat. Nothing new on the sheet this year except four exterior colors and the Rallye Redline.
Like its Dodge Charger big brother, the Challenger was given a midcycle refresh for 2011. Out went the old 250-bhp 3.5-liter V-6, and in came the new 305- bhp 3.6-liter. New chassis architecture and suspension tuning refined the ride and handling. Dodge also released the first run of 392 Hemi SRT8 Challengers, which deliver 470 bhp as well as the fuelsaver mode that shuts the V-8 down to four cylinders at loafing speeds. For 2012, Dodge continues the SRT8's refinement with a new 2-mode active damping suspension with "auto" and "sport" modes. The SRT8 also gets an exclusive leatherwrapped heated steering wheel. Those looking for middle ground should seek out the R/T, with 5.7-liter V-8 and either 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual.
The Versa is Nissan's entry-level car with the intention of attracting economy-minded buyers with its mileage, price and larger size than most other vehicles in its class.
The Versa sedan is powered by a 109-hp 1.6-liter four cylinder engine that can be equipped with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic (S only); while the rest of the trims are standard with an Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Safety comes from six standard airbags, tire pressure monitoring, anti-lock brakes with panic assist, front seat belt pretensioners, side impact beams in all doors and electronic stability/traction control.
The big change for 2014 is the SV Convenience Package is now standard on the SV trim. This includes Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, map lights, passenger side vanity mirror and a 60-40 split folding rear seat.
The BMW 640i is offered in both coupe and convertible versions; both showcase performance paired seamlessly with elegant styling. All of this exclusivity is offered in one very dynamic vehicle.
Available in both rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, the 640i is powered by a 315-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection, mated to an eight-speed Sport automatic transmission with manual mode and shift paddles. The 640i is equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, Dynamic Driving Control, 18-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and Comfort Access keyless entry/start. Inside its lush cabin, the 640i provides seating for four, with high-quality leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and genuine wood trim. A voice-activated hard drive-based navigation system, including 12 gigabytes of dedicated media storage, HD radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity are also standard. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability and traction control, front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera, active anti-whiplash front head restraints and up to eight airbags. A Driver Assistance Package is available, providing more advanced systems such as lane-departure warning, blind spot detection, head-up display and an automated parking assistant. The 640i can also be outfitted with active cruise control and night vision, while other options include full LED lights and Integral Active Steering.
For 2014, the 640i Coupe and Convertible can now be had with xDrive all-wheel drive.
This is another sensibly sized SUV, one that nicely wears its Cadillac sheet metal, its grille separating it from the crowd. Same mix of style and a sense of technology inside...the center stack with the navigation screen that rises from it. Reading "cons" from a number of SRX owners, the complaint that came through most was the engines' power. Cadillac solves that for 2012 with a single powerplant, the 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 used in many of its models. Horsepower goes to 308 and torque to 265 lb.-ft. The 6-speed automatic now has an Eco feature that will adjust shift points to improve fuel economy. Also new for 2012 is a heated steering wheel, standard Bluetooth, a new finish on the 20-in. wheels and the usual color changes.