Audi has given the A5 coupe a freshening, to bring it in line with the rest of the range. The narrower headlights and taillights work well on this handsome coupe. Your choice of powertrain is easy, since a TFSI 2.0-liter inline-4 is the only engine available. To be honest, the 211 bhp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque on offer is underwhelming for a car costing this much. Rivals from BMW, Infiniti and Cadillac have significantly more powerful base engines. At least the A5 is fuel efficient, thanks partly to the choice of 6-speed manual or silky 8-speed automatic transmission. You could always step up to the S5 coupe or convertible if you want the A5, but desire loads more power and performance. Quattro all-wheel-drive is standard on the A5; making this a good choice if you live in snowy climes. Like the exterior, the cabin has been nicely updated. Chrome and high-gloss finishes help brighten up the business-like environs.
The ATS sedan is an all-new addition to the Cadillac lineup. The Cadillac ATS is a lightweight, compact sport sedan with a level of performance, luxury, and sophistication that will challenge the competition.
The ATS has a choice of three engines. A 2.5-liter inline-4 engine producing 202-hp matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission is available with rear-wheel drive. Available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive a 270-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and a 320-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine are also paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is available with the 2.0-liter turbo and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include eight airbags, a Bose speaker system, sport suspension, and LED lighting for the gauges. Available features include Brembo brakes, HD radio, Bose 10-speaker surround sound, CUE - Cadillac User Experience technology with an eight-inch LCD touchscreen, navigation, Magnetic Ride Control, and a wide range of new safety features to help prevent crashes.
The Lexus GS has been reinvented as a more expressive luxury sedan, one that places additional emphasis on distinctive design and driving enjoyment. While the new GS450h wears a hybrid badge, this is not your typical fuel-sipper. For starters, this 4-door can hustle down the road. An electric motor coupled to a 3.5-liter V-6 is good for a combined output of 338 bhp. According to Lexus, this is enough to propel the GS450h from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Engineering improvements ensure the latest model doesn't sacrifice usability for extra mileage — the battery pack in the previous model noticeably cut into cargo room. Fuel economy is impressive at 29-mpg city/34-mpg highway. The cabin is quiet and comfortable, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the extra growl Lexus has worked into the exhaust note.
We all know the Super Duty is a rugged workaholic but, this year, Ford gussies it up for a night on the town with an available new Platinum series that will exceed even the Lariat and King Ranch for upscale content. It's available in Crew Cab only, and powered by either a 6.2- liter sohc gasoline engine or the amazingly quiet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The Platinum has unique exterior touches like a perforated satin-chrome mesh grille and 20-in. polished aluminum wheels. Inside are 10-way-power leather captain's chairs, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a navigation system viewed on the 8-in. screen of MyFord Touch, which is new throughout the Super Duty lineup and optimized even for users who may be wearing work gloves.
Bling city, here we come. Even those not enamored of big luxo SUVs have to give Cadillac credit for what it has created in this landmark machine. Such presence, normally mounted up on tall 22-in. chrome wheels. This is not your climb-every-mountain SUV, aimed more at Nordstrom than Mount Whitney, but it is one rugged body-on-frame design, the Hybrid fitted with a 6.0-liter 332-bhp V-8 matched to a 2-mode hybrid system that returns 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway in 2- or 4-wheel-drive form. That's a 33-percent bump over the non-hybrid Escalade with 403-bhp 6.2-liter V-8. Not bad for a 5900-lb. machine that will transport seven adults in quiet luxury, in heated or cooled leather seats, watching a DVD out back, drinks heated or cooled...hey, bling be me.