GM’s Acadia hits the family sweet spot with 7- or 8-passenger seating, front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive layout, and towing capacity of 5200 lb. The second-row Smart Slide system makes it easy to crawl in or out, and you don’t have to travel far down the option list to find a kid-friendly rear-seat entertainment system. Families who avoided the worst of the Great Recession’s carnage may want to examine the upscale Denali, which includes perforated leather seats with matching door trim, heated and cooled driver and passenger seats, a head-up display and Dual SkyScrape sunroof. GMC keeps things simple with a single powertrain configuration, a 288-bhp VVT V-6 with 6-speed automatic. For 2012, there are new colors and some formerly optional equipment is now standard.
The Yukon comes in three distinct flavors: a regular truck-based three-row SUV that's a Chevy Tahoe underneath the skin, complete with a 320-bhp 5.3- liter V-8; a 14-in.-longer version that's a Chevy Suburban underneath the skin; and an HD model with a stronger frame and a 352-bhp 6.0-liter V-8. There are also Denali models that feature a 403-bhp 6.2-liter V-8, as well as heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, retracting running boards and leather upholstery. The Denalis have a special sound-insulating package to make them quieter inside. These are not sissy trucks, though, since capable off-road packages are available with locking rear differentials, big tow hooks in the front and a front skid plate. The Hybrid Yukon and Denali get an impressive 20 mpg in the city.
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.
R&T Overview:To serious SUV enthusiasts, the general popularity of their favorite segment led to too much gentrification. SUVs got "sissified." But there's still the Xterra, a no-baloney, truck-based (the F-Alpha platform) SUV for those ready for serious off-roading. As a perfect example, the rear compartment isn't just commodious—it has optional tie-down channels, cargo hooks and the most telling of all: an Easy Clean cargo area. Options include skid plates, a tow hook and first-aid kit. There's even an available hatch tent. Nissan gives you the power for this trekking with a 261-bhp 4.0-liter V-6, 6-speed manual (with 4-wheel-drive only) or a 5-speed automatic transmission with the option of 4-wheel drive. All this in three models: X, S and PRO-4X.
Chevy's quickest and most technologically advanced Camaro ever gains a Convertible sibling this year. The hardware that allows the ZL1 to make such claims is the supercharged LSA V-8 engine, making an incredible 580 bhp and 556 lb.-ft. of torque, and its electro-magnetic suspension (Magnetic Ride Control) that can alter damper settings in milliseconds. Like the SS Convertible, the folding soft-top is available in black or beige and will deliver sunshine, endless headroom and heightened aural pleasures in under 20 seconds. The ZL1 Convertible has to deal with the same structural rigidity issues that all other Convertibles are subject too, though Chevy engineers have effectively reduced the inherent cowl and steering wheel shake by adding a strut tower brace, as well as braces that span the underbody drive tunnel, the engine cradle, the rear underbody and further reinforce the transmission support. Moreover, there are hydroformed tubes within the A-pillars and reinforcements to the windshield header, front hinge pillars and rockers that elevate the ZL1 Convertible's chassis soundness even over the Camaro SS'. All 2013 ZL1 models will be available in a new Blue Ray Metallic exterior color, get a new frameless rearview mirror, and come with a 7-in color touchscreen (Chevy's MyLink) for Bluetooth audio and smart phone integration (navigation is optional).