The fun and practical A3 rolls into 2013 unchanged. This is Audi's smallest model in the U.S., but don't underestimate the appeal of this compact wagon. Some might be turned off by having to opt for a 5-door — which is probably why the next A3 sold here will be a sedan. A rev-happy and direct-injected gasoline 2.0-liter 4-cylinder delivers 200 bhp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive is standard, though you can spend a little extra for a 6-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox that comes paired to Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system. While it's nicely sized for city driving, the backseat still offers a decent amount of stretch out space and there's a useful 19 cu. ft. of cargo room. Fold the rear seats down, and that swells to an impressive 39 cu. ft.
The big BMW off-roader that drives like a sports sedan won't see any real changes for the 2012 model year. Those changes came last year when the engine options went all turbo and were mated to an 8-speed automatic rather than the six. The 6-speed remains only on the staggeringly quick X5 M. We expect a midyear update of the X5 to focus mostly on styling and technology, but little on drivetrain. However, the X5 M could get the new M5's slightly revised and more potent twin-turbo V-8. We think most owners will be quite happy toting 6 passengers with the turbodiesel X5 xDrive35d's 425 lb.-ft. of torque, although the $1700 optional third-row seating is a tad expensive and only for use by children.
The XC60 is a premium crossover from Volvo. Comfortable and practical, the XC60 may be the safest vehicle Volvo has ever built. It includes many safety features, and paired with its good looks and dynamic styling makes it immediately recognizable as a Volvo.
The front-wheel drive XC60 is powered by either a 240-hp 3.2-liter inline-six-cylinder, or 230-hp 3.2-liter PZEV engine. The "Instant Traction" all-wheel drive XC60 is offered with the same engine choices as the front-wheel drive, but can also be ordered with a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, or even a 325-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, depending on the trim level. All engine variations are matched with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission. One impressive standard safety feature is "City Safety" which reacts at low speed to help prevent or reduce rear-end collisions by allowing the XC60 to automatically self-brake to a complete stop without driver input. Other standard features include electronic stability with roll control, trailer stability assist, six airbags, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Depending on the trim level other standard features include leather seating, keyless drive, a panoramic roof, active bi-xenon headlamps, and park assist.
The 2014 Volvo XC60 has a revised exterior and interior. The Volvo Sensus system has a larger display, and the gauge cluster is now configurable.
The BMW X3 is a versatile Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), blending all-road capability and utility with athletic car-like performance and handling.
The X3 is available in two trim levels: xDrive28i and xDrive35i. The xDrive28i is powered by a 240-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, while the xDrive35i has a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder; both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic manual shift mode. Standard equipment on the xDrive28i includes 18-inch alloy wheels, power tailgate, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, HD radio, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a USB adapter and BMW's iDrive system. The xDrive35i is further outfitted with a panoramic moonroof, Xenon adaptive headlights and genuine wood interior trim elements. The X3's xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system, Dynamic Stability Control with rollover sensor, and Hill Descent Control combine to offer excellent handling, traction and stability for a wide variety of terrain and weather conditions. Additional safety-related features include anti-lock disc brakes, front side-impact airbags, overhead airbags for both rows, active front head restraints, run-flat tires and a security system.
For 2013, the X3 can now be ordered with the highly acclaimed N20 four-cylinder TwinPower turbocharged engine. 18-inch alloy wheels are now standard on the xDrive28i. Both trims now come equipped with a power tailgate. Also, all trims receive standard automatic start/stop technology, and ECO PRO, a system which improves fuel economy by optimizing the climate control output, accelerator pedal and transmission parameters, and displays how efficiently the vehicle is being driven.
The XTS sedan is the newest addition to the Cadillac lineup. Larger than the CTS, the XTS offers the high level of quality and innovation that Cadillac owners are used to. With the debut of some of the most technologically advanced features in the brand's history, the XTS is definitely a modern luxury vehicle to consider.
Available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive models; the XTS is powered by a direct-injected, 3.6 liter V-6 engine producing 304 horsepower and 264 foot-pounds of torque. It is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes tap up/tap down steering wheel shift controls. The XTS is the first vehicle in the Cadillac lineup to offer the CUE system, a comprehensive in-vehicle experience with an intuitive design for information and media data control. Standard features include 10 airbags, an 8-speaker Bose audio system, and dual-zone climate control. Available equipment includes a driver awareness package, power rear sunshade, heated front and rear seats, and a 12.3-inch color screen.