Garish, or just livin' large? You make the call with the QX56. But there's no denying the space (seats up to eight) or functionality (tows up to 8500 lb.) of this massive, somewhat porcine vehicle. Power is provided by a direct-injected 5.6-liter 400-bhp V-8 mated to a 7-speed automatic, and a choice of 2wd or 4wd. But that's one of few choices you'll make, as there's just one lavishly appointed trim level, with a navigation system and 13-speaker Bose audio. We'd opt for the dual-monitor Theater Package to keep the kids entertained, which features an upgraded remote control and interface for 2013. Also, Moving Object Detection is added to the standard Around View Monitor and auto-dimming exterior mirrors are standard.
So you’ve got a large family. Does that mean that you should have to sacrifice luxury for an 8-passenger van? Infiniti doesn’t think so, and it’s betting you won’t, either—which is why it invested in an all-new QX56 just last year. Understandably, the big Q is mostly carryover for 2012, the only changes being the addition of features to the available Technology, Deluxe Touring and Theater Packages. Available in 2- or 4-wheel drive, the QX only comes in one well-equipped trim level, then lets you customize it from there with a long list of available equipment. Standard features include leather-trimmed, heated front seats; 13-speaker Bose audio system; Tri-Zone automatic temperature control; Bluetooth hands-free phone system and navigation.
History repeats itself as a roadster joins the flagship SLS AMG gullwing coupe. As modern interpretations of the legendary 300SL, both are constructed by AMG using lightweight aluminum space frames. A handbuilt 563-bhp 6.2-liter V-8 with dry-sump lubrication mated to a carbon-fiber driveshaft and 7-speed DCT transaxle launches the limited-production sports car to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The roadster's power softtop opens or closes in 11.0-sec. flat up to 30 mph. Airscarf heating and a removable wind deflector are included, yet with a top speed of 197 mph, it may be wise to leave the latter at home. New features include Blind Spot Assist, 3-mode adaptive suspension and AMG Performance Media with driving telemetry and G-force measurement.
Thanks to a thorough overall, the new Acura RDX goes from being a bit-player in the highly competitive luxury crossover segment, to a model that's truly worth consideration. The quirky (and thirsty) turbocharged inline-4 from the previous model is gone. In its place is a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 273 bhp and 251 lb.-ft. of torque. Ironically, this larger and more potent engine is more fuel efficient than the previous 4-cylinder. Acura has refined the exterior of the RDX, giving it a fresh new look. The pointed snout of the previous model — Acura's controversial "plenum grille" — has been significantly toned down. Available in front or all-wheel-drive format, the RDX offers a handy 26.9 cu ft. of cargo room with the rear seat up. Folded flat, the available space swells to more than 76 cu. ft. While the previous model was ultimately a little more nimble, the latest RDX is altogether a much more refined and attractive crossover.
The Ford Fusion is an expressive and efficient top choice among midsize sedans.
The Fusion is available in three trim levels, the S, SE, and Titanium; offers three engines, as well as front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Fusion has something for everyone. The powerteams are a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, a turbo 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic, or a turbo 1.6-liter EcoBoost with a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Safety features include anti-lock brakes with panic brake assist, AdvanceTrac electronic stability and traction control, LED taillights, security system, eight-airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
For 2013, the Fusion has been extensively redesigned inside and out.