The Infiniti M37 successfully blends style and performance with luxury in this next-generation sedan.
Powered by a 3.7-liter, 330 horsepower V6 engine, the rear-wheel drive M37 is matched with a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual sport shifting. A variable valvetrain is included for improved power and economy; and Infiniti Drive Mode Selector and Hill Start Assist are there to help deal with varying road conditions. Heated leather front seats with 10-way power adjustment and power lumbar are standard. Safety features include six airbags, front seat active head restraints, individual tire pressure monitor, and rearview monitor. The M37 features Vehicle Dynamic Control stability control, traction control, advanced ABS brakes, Infiniti Intelligent Key, BlueTooth, and bi-functional (HID) xenon headlights. Available features include a hard drive navigation system, 4-wheel steering, 20-inch alloy wheels, and Bose Studio Surround Sound.
With more than eight million sold since 1973, the Civic needs no introduction. Yet the all-new ninth generation for 2012 does. Sedans and coupes gain more sophisticated styling, improved fuel economy and new technology. Civic DX, LX, EX and HF receive a massaged 140-bhp 4-cylinder engine that nets EPA 41 mpg on the highway for the last. Sporty Si models boast a new 201-bhp 2.4-liter four mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The Civic Natural Gas returns with expanded availability nationwide. Honda gives the Civic Hybrid a larger 1.5-liter gas engine, more powerful electric motor and lithium-ion batteries resulting in 44 mpg ratings for city and highway. A multi-information display, Eco Assist and Econ mode are standard on most Civics.
Hyundai's compact crossover sport utility vehicle offers quite a range of choices for reasonable amounts of money. The Tucson GL base model has a 2.0-liter 16-valve inline-4 with 165 bhp and 146 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual or an optional 6-speed automatic that delivers 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway while the manual transmission rates 20/27 mpg. Moving up a notch to the GLS and Limited versions of the Tucson, the power goes up with a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated at 176 bhp and 168 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency here is 22 city/32 highway, and the only transmission is the 6-speed automatic with front-wheel drive. The optional all-wheel-drive model rates 21/28 mpg. The Tucson’s handling response is quite good as independent suspension is used at all four wheels, the steering is by rack-and-pinion and there are stabilizer bars front and rear. Interior appointments are well designed and finished, and there are numerous standard features: power windows and door locks, AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system, tilt steering wheel, trip computer and more. Moving up to the GLS and Tucson Limited models adds a variety of other extras to make your motoring even more comfortable.
The Dodge Challenger is a modern interpretation of the classic American muscle car. Unlike the unrefined pony cars of yesteryear, the Challenger features the fuel efficiency, safety, handling, technology and build quality expected in a contemporary coupe.
The Challenger is available in three trims: base, R/T and SRT8. The base trim is powered by a new 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The R/T's 5.7-liter HEMI V8 features 372 horsepower with the standard 5-speed automatic with sequential shift control, and 376 horsepower with the optional 6-speed manual. The SRT8's 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine is mated to a standard 5-speed automatic with sequential shift control or an optional 6-speed manual, and produces 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Touring suspension, traction control, stability control, 17-inch alloy wheels, KeylessGo entry system, air conditioning and power driver's seat are standard equipment on the base trim, and the R/T adds performance-tuned suspension and steering, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a body color spoiler. The SRT8 features sport suspension with two-mode active dampening, Brembo brakes, limited slip differential, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, high-intensity headlights, dual hood stripes, heated leather seats, rear parking sensors and a Boston Acoustic sound system. The SRT8 Core trim is a back-to-basics version of the SRT8, with a single-mode Bilstein suspension, black cast alloy wheels, halogen headlights, black grille, black spoiler, premium cloth seats and black Brembo brake calipers. Optional equipment includes a multimedia infotainment system with 30-gigabyte hard drive and navigation system, sunroof, and performance tires.
Mercedes-Benz calls its newest entry a Sports Tourer, but whatever it’s called, the vanlike R-Class has burst fully formed into the lineup. The R-Class offers everything from an ultra-efficient turbodiesel R320 CDI to a steroid-injected R63 AMG, with the more mundane R350 and R500 filling out the line. All-wheel drive and a 7-speed automatic back all four engines. Despite the quirky form, there’s no arguing with the results, as the long wheelbase and supple chassis tuning provide a smooth ride and agile handling. The vanlike shape has utility written all over it, and the R-Class ably manages to swallow any combination of seven passengers or 85 cu. ft. of stuff. Options range from a DVD rear entertainment system and power tailgate to parking assist and air suspension with Adaptive Damping.