The Volkswagen Eos is a unique all-season convertible with an integrated power panoramic sunroof that sets it apart from all other retractable hardtop convertibles on the market.
The 2013 Eos is powered by a 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. There are four available trims: Komfort, Sport, Lux, and Executive. Standard features include heated front seats, electronic dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, SIRIUS satellite radio, and Bluetooth Handsfree wireless connectivity. Safety features include active seat-integrated rollover bars, daytime running lights, electronic stability program, hill hold control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and front and side airbags. Steering linked Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard on all but the Komfort trim.
For 2013, a new Sport trim has been added to the line-up.
The big news at Honda for 2013 is the all-new, ninth-generation Accord. It’s a bit smaller on the outside for improved handling, and edgier styling sets the tone for the new sedan, coupe and plug-in hybrid. New engines include a direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with a choice of 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmissions. The new 3.5-liter V-6 offers a 6-speed automatic. A 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder teams with a 120-kW motor and lithium-ion batteries for the hybrid. Honda claims an electric range of 10–15 miles in city driving at speeds up to 62 mph with battery recharging taking less than four hours via a 120-volt outlet. New features include Lane Watch blind-spot display plus a standard rearview camera.
The good news for 2011 is the U.S. availability of the V12 Vantage with the same 510-bhp V-12 engine found in the DBS. The V12 Vantage is only available as a coupe and there is no automatic transmission option. Of course, the “entry-level” Vantage with the V-8 is no slouch and it starts at a far more reasonable price of $120,750. The soft-top V8 Vantage goes by the Roadster name instead of Volante. Also new this year is the V8 Vantage N420, which is a limited-edition motorsport-inspired model inspired by the successes Aston Martin has enjoyed with road-going cars at the famous 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Check out the V12 Vantage Carbon Black limited-edition model with carbon fiber body panels and carbon black paint.
The Quattroporte is Maserati's flagship luxury performance sedan.
The 2012 Quattroporte is available in S and Sport GT S trims. The S trim's 4.7-liter V8 puts out 425 horsepower and the Sport GT S' 4.7-liter V8 produces 433 horsepower. Each engine is mated to a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. An electronically-controlled Skyhook suspension, standard on the S and optional on the Sport GT S, automatically adjusts to the conditions of the road. Standard features include Brembo brakes, 20-inch alloy wheels, directionally-adaptive bi-xenon headlights, heated leather power seats with memory, automatic dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a Bose sound system with hard drive and navigation system. The Sport GTS S features a unique grille and bumpers, lowered sport suspension, MC-Auto Shift software package for racing-style control of gear changes, Alcantara trim on the seats and throughout the interior, and TitanTex (an aluminium-coated titanium fibre fabric) interior trim. Heating, ventilation and massage functions are optional for front and rear seats. A wide variety of alloy wheels, brake caliper colors, and leather and wood trims are available.
The Maserati Quattroporte is carried over for 2013. Front parking sensors are now standard equipment.
With a bushel full of crossover vehicles on the market, the buyer has a wide range of choices. The Mazda CX-9 should be at the top of the list as it is reasonably priced, good looking, carries seven people and can be had with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. There are three models in the lineup: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The only engine is Mazda's 3.7-liter dohc V-6 with variable valve timing. It pumps out a healthy 273 bhp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, which enables towing loads of 3500 lb. Interior fitments are well done and features include climate control, Bluetooth phone capability and Sirius satellite radio. All in all, the CX-9 offers the utility of a minivan but without the stigma.