Lexus pulled the veil off its new ES today at the New York International Auto Show. There will be two models offered, the ES 350 and ES 300h. The ES 350 is powered by a gasoline 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i that produces 268 bhp. It comes mated to Lexus’ electronically controlled transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) that’s been designed to deliver good performance, smoother shifts and improved fuel efficiency through use of low friction materials. The ES 300h is a hybrid version of the sedan that features a new low-friction VVT-i-equipped 2.5-liter inline-4 Atkinson-cycle engine that utilizes a sophisticated power management system and has a 12.5:1 compression ratio. This engine, combined with a beltless electric motor, is designed to improve fuel economy and durability, and a near zero evaporative fuel system helps reduce emissions. Power will be 200 hp combined. The ES 300h hybrid offers four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV, the last allowing short drives at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases performance and responsiveness. Lexus says the ES 300h will get 39/40 mpg city/highway.
The new ES ought to handle better than its predecessor, thanks to suspension and steering changes and a stiffer body. Opposite-wound coil springs on the front suspension enhance straight-line stability, while revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort. A reduction in the steering gear ratio delivers better steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and additional spot welds. Despite the car’s larger size, the weight of the new ES is reduced by almost 90 pounds.
The ES will be equipped with standard 215/55R-17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, and for the first time, available 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels.
The car’s exterior design adopts the new Lexus signature “spindle” grille, making it look remarkably similar to the new GS sedan, but this isn’t a bad thing. The new ES features a lower, progressive profile and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior. Look for the new ES to reach dealer showrooms in August of this year.
It's no secret that Lexus is a division of Toyota and that many of its vehicles are based on more plebian Toyota products. So it stands to reason that when a new Toyota model bows, its Lexus equivalent will soon follow suit. Such is the case with the new ES 350. Based on the new Toyota Camry introduced last year, the all-new 2013 ES builds on this proven platform with oodles of luxury features and the refinement you'd expect from a Lexus. Now in its sixth generation, the new ES features edgier styling outside and standard NuLuxe synthetic leather inside. The real stuff is also available, as are a number of luxury option packages. Feeling green? Then go for the new Lexus ES 300h hybrid, for an EPA estimated 40 mpg city/39 mpg highway.
The Nissan Titan is a serious, full-size pickup truck designed for work and play. It is available in both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations, with two body styles - extended (King) Cab and Crew Cab.
The Titan is offered in four trim levels: S, SV, PRO-4X and SL. All are powered by a 317-hp 5.6-liter Endurance V8 engine, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode. When properly equipped, the Nissan Titan King Cab has a 9500 pound towing capacity and the Crew Cab has a 9300 pound towing capacity. Safety features include active front head restraints, dual front airbags, anti-lock disc brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system. Standard equipment for all models include, side curtain airbags, panic brake assist, and electronic stability control. The PRO-4X and the SL trims feature standard hands free Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Just like the first ones that hopped from their hutch in 1975, VW’s latest Rabbits are simple (though not unsophisticated) creatures. That simplicity extends to the venerable, sole powerplant choice of a 2.5-liter 170-bhp inline-5, and a limited number of options—a pleasant prospect, actually, for the easily overwhelmed among us. Still, both models are well equipped as standard, adding VW’s ESP stability control for ’09, as well as interiors that have the look and feel of a much more expensive car. Yet while the Rabbit displays rather perky, ears-up driving dynamics, it’s unlikely to make an enthusiast’s heart go pit-a-pat. Ultimately, VW has retained the vehicle’s best attributes, combined with updated technology that allows the Rabbit to hop right along—if not past—its contemporaries.
The Volvo XC90 offers classic Volvo attributes in a midsize SUV. An IIHS Top Safety Pick several years running it's safe, comfortable, and practical.
The XC90 seats up to seven people. Rear and front passenger seats fold down to provide more cargo room. A second-row child booster seat is standard equipment. The 240-hp 3.2-liter inline-six is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, matched with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission, allowing driver selectable shifting. When equipped for towing it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth are standard features. Safety features include electronic stability control, side-impact and side curtain airbags, Roll Stability Control, Blind Spot Information System, and all-disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
The 2014 XC90 carries over from 2013.