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 the Mini range expanding to a new 2-seater and a 4-door all-wheel-drive family hauler, it's beginning to look more like old times again (remember the Mini Pickup Truck?). But truthfully, it's the core vehicle that carries the brand, the Cooper Hardtop, which is still one of the best front-drive cars money can buy. With its surprisingly affordable entry price, the Mini impresses with its build quality and fuel economy you'll get from the standard Cooper's 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. The fun starts, however, at the 181-bhp turbo Cooper S, and gets addictive should you choose to go the 208-bhp John Cooper Works route. The cargo-friendly Clubman and open-air Convertible can be had in all three trims too, but the posh, $52,000 Goodwood special edition (co-developed with Rolls-Royce) is reserved just for the original.
The new model year 2012 finds Aston Martin offering an even dozen versions of its popular Vantage. From the nearly $200 grand V-12 Carbon Black to the V-8 Vantage N429 Coupe with manual gearbox at $131,600, there is a beautiful sports coupe for any wealthy enthusiast. And the joy of driving an Aston Martin is worth the price of admission. Beautifully finished interiors with leather upholstery, manual or Sportshift gearboxes, and a variety of standard features plus a lengthy list of options make it easy to personalize "your" Aston Martin. New for 2012 are a Garmin satellite navigation system, beam-blade windscreen wipers and a wide range of colors for the brake calipers. With either the V-12 or the V-8, you'll find plenty of driving excitement.
The Compass is an affordable compact SUV, designed to bring the Jeep name to a broader range of drivers with its car-like on-road capability and fuel economy.
Sharing the same platform as its stablemate, the Patriot, the Compass is offered in both front-wheel and full-time four-wheel drive configurations. Three trim levels are available: Sport, Latitude and Limited. The front-wheel drive Sport and Latitude trims are powered by a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while all other models get a 172-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (optional on the FWD Sport and Latitude). Available transmissions include a five-speed manual, a new six-speed PowerTech automatic, and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with manual shift mode. Sport trims are equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, cruise control and a CD player with MP3 capability, while Latitude trims add heated front seats, including a fold-flat passenger seat, and a leather steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The Limited is further outfitted with 18-inch aluminum wheels, new projector-style headlamps, a power driver's seat, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, satellite radio and DVD audio; new for 2014, the Limited's audio system also includes 28GB of internal memory storage. Trail Rated 4x4 capability is available with a Freedom Drive II Off-Road package that includes 4-wheel drive off-road mode, hill descent control, all-terrain tires, skid plates, tow hooks and a brake lock differential. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with roll mitigation, traction control and side-curtain air bags for both rows of seating. New for 2014, front seat-mounted side airbags are now standard on all models.
The Jeep Compass is redesigned for 2014. Notable changes include a new six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission, updated exterior and interior elements, and upgraded audio on Limited trims. Additionally, front seat-mounted side airbags are now standard on all models, enhancing safety.
There's a special feel in the 2014 Bentley Continental GT, from the moment you open the heavy door and get your first nose full of that leather interior. Keep in mind that, in a Bentley, we're not just talking "seating surfaces." This is leather everywhere, including the dash, the pillars, the headliner, everything. The front thrones are about what you'd expect, but the well being of the back-seat passengers is completely dependent on the generosity of those up front to scoot their seats forward.
The 2014 Bentley Continental GT has used a twelve-cylinder engine from the get-go; it's a large, 6.0-liter unit with its cylinders arranged not in a V but in a W shape. Spin the W-12 to life and it settles into a deep bass rumble. 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque are waiting to be unleashed by your right foot. More recently, Bentley added the (lower-cost) option of a turbocharged V-8. Although its 500 hp and 487 lb-ft are shaded by the W-12, it's amazing how similar in character the two engines are. The V-8 accelerates the Continental GT from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds; the W-12 accomplishes the same feat in 4.4 seconds.
Any version of the 2014 Bentley Continental GT or GTC is impressive underway. This is a heavy car and yet it accelerates and changes direction with alacrity. The steering is neither overboosted nor too heavy, and it is commendably precise. Also notable is the beautifully matched calibration of the throttle and brake -- neither jumpy nor grabby; both have a long travel that is nicely progressive.