Mercedes revamps the C-Class sedan for 2012 and adds an attractive new coupe to the mix. Both begin with the C250 Sport featuring a new 201-bhp 1.8-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder turbo. The C350 nets a 302-bhp 3.5-liter V-6. Targeting enthusiasts, the top C63 AMG has a 451-bhp 6.2-liter V-8. Sedans also offer a C300 4Matic with a 228-bhp 3.0-liter V-6. Standard 7-speed automatics include a Speedshift multiclutch version for the C63. Redesigned interiors gain new audio with a 5.8-in. color display, Bluetooth and USB port. Coupes receive standard paddle shifters, sport bucket seats and split-folding rear seats. Attention Assist, Adaptive Brake with Hold function, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Sport Assist are among C-Class safety features.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan is very popular in Europe and may get more common here in the U.S. thanks to revised front and rear styling that’s more in line with the Touareg’s. For 2012, the Tiguan is available as an S, SE or SEL model, with either fwd or awd. As before, the only engine is VW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 with 200 bhp. In 2012, though, thanks to enhancements made to the 6-speed automatic transmission, the Tiguan now gets 27 mpg on the highway, up from 25. The base model is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. SEL models are well-equipped, even fitted with bi-xenon headlights that point into corners. A U-shaped row of LEDs around the headlights serve as daytime running lights while adding to this compact crossover’s fresh look.
The Dodge Avenger is an attractive midsize sedan, most notably for its sporty features and standard equipment which it typically found in higher class vehicles.
The Dodge Avenger is offered in three trim levels: SE, SXT, and R/T. Two engine choices are offered on the Avenger, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, or a 3.6-liter flex-fuel V6 engine. Four cylinder engines can be had with either a four-speed automatic transmission, or six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. The V6 engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Standard and optional equipment include leather wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, cruise control, LED brake lights, aluminum wheels, multimedia center with 28 gigabytes of internal memory, USB port, and Bluetooth streaming audio. Safety features found on every Avenger include stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, active front head restraints, six airbags, tire pressure monitoring and a security system.
For 2013, the lineup has been simplified by removing the SXT Plus trim. The SXT trim now features fully automatic headlights and fog lights as standard equipment.
The Toyota Yaris combines a well-tailored, roomy interior with agile performance and a fuel efficient engine in an entry-level car.
The front-wheel drive Yaris is available as a hatchback (three-door or five-door) or a four-door sedan. The subcompact Yaris is powered by a 106 horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to either a five-speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic. The hatchback is available in three trim levels, L, LE and SE, the sedan comes as one base level trim. Safety features in the hatchback include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, electronic stability and traction control, whiplash lessening front seats, tire pressure monitoring, front seatbelt pretensioners and nine-airbags, including a driver's knee bag and driver/front passenger seat-cushion airbags.
The Chevrolet Spark is a sporty four-passenger, five-door hatchback. It features bold styling, vibrant color choices, and impressive cargo and passenger space.
The front-wheel drive Spark is offered in LS, 1LT, and 2LT trim levels. Power comes from a new 85-hp 1.2-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic transmission. Notable features offered include: MyLink infotainment system, heated front seats, air conditioning, power windows, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, OnStar, cruise control, and leather wrapped steering wheel. Standard safety equipment includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes with brake assist, and ten airbags.
The Spark is a brand new vehicle in the small car market for the 2013 model year.