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.
Now in it's seventh generation, the Porsche 911 remains the iconic symbol of a sports car.
The 911 is available as either a coupe or a cabriolet, and drive type choices include rear- or all-wheel drive in Carrera models, all-wheel drive only in the Turbo, and rear-wheel drive only in the track-ready GT3. The Carrera is powered by a 350-hp direct-injection 3.4-liter flat six-cylinder, while the Carrera S is powered by a 400-hp direct-injection 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine. The Turbo is a 520-hp version of the 3.8-liter (560-hp in the Turbo S). The GT3 includes a high revving 3.8-liter naturally aspirated flat-six making 475-hp at 8,250rpm. Transmission choices are a seven-speed manual for the Carrera and Carrera S, The seven-speed PDK dual-clutch is optional on all Carrera's and standard on the Turbo and GT3 models. Standard safety features on all 911 models include six airbags, front belt pretensioners, engine immobilizer, security system and electronic stability control. The cabriolets also have auto-deploying roll-over protection. The Turbo and GT3 models include active rear wheel steering for increased stability and agility.
The big news for 2014 is the launch of the 991 generation of the Turbo, and the return of the GT3.
The Ford Escape is a mid-size sport-utility vehicle, which incorporates the latest technology and style; setting a high standard in the SUV category.
The five-passenger Escape is available in S, SE, and Titanium trims, in either front or four-wheel drive. Engine choices start with the 168-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Also, a 173-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is available. For even more power a 231-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is offered. All variations are paired with a six-speed select-shift automatic transmission. Impressive features offered on the Escape include a Panoramic Vista Roof, satellite radio, SYNC, MyFord Touch, a trailer towing package, heated leather seating, navigation system, auto park with cross traffic alert, Sony audio, MyKey, and an industry first hands-free power liftgate. Standard safety features include seven-airbags with drive knee airbag, passive anti-theft system, AdvanceTrac stability control with anti-rollover technology, four-wheel disc brakes, and tire pressure monitoring.
The 2014 Ford Escape is now standard with a rear view camera and SYNC on all trims.
In the compact-car segment, Hyundai's Elantra Touring continues to cut a wide swath for itself. New for 2012 is a Preferred Package option that includes 16-in. alloy wheels, optional roadside assistance kit and two new colors. The engine for the Touring is the tried-and-true 2.0-liter inline-4 with double-overhead camshafts and continuously variable valve timing. Output is 138 bhp at 6000 rpm and torque is 136 lb.-ft. at 4600. The gearboxes are a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic. The impressive aspect of the Elantra Touring is the 5-door design enables rear cargo volume of 65.3 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded down, so you can carry some impressive loads. Even with the seats in place, there is 24.3 cu. ft. of luggage space in back.
The Dodge Durango is a full-size SUV with stable handling and impressive good looks. Inside is a quiet, roomy, and comfortable cabin. New for 2014 is an eight-speed automatic transmission included with both engine choices.
Available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive the Durango includes a 290-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as standard and has an available 360-hp Hemi 5.7-liter V8 engine. The Hemi includes the Multiple Displacement System (MDS) for better fuel economy. The R/T trim comes standard with the Hemi engine. An 8-speed automatic transmission is matched with both the 3.6-liter and 5.7-liter engines. The Durango is offered in four models: SXT, Limited, Citadel, and R/T. The Durango seats seven passengers with its folding third-row seat. Standard safety features include electronic stability control, six airbags, and active head restraints. Available features include HID headlamps, a premium radio with Garmin navigation and DVD, a rear seat entertainment system, leather upholstery, and a trailer tow package.
For 2014, the Durango is mainly a carryover from 2013, with the addition of a new eight-speed transmission.