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.
How do you update an already retro design? You flatten its roof, make it look more masculine and hope the design attracts more male buyers. Longer, lower and wider than the New Beetle, the new Beetle is based on an all-new chassis (related to the Golf's), fitted with either a 170-bhp 2.5-liter 5-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic or the 200-bhp direct-injected 2.0-liter turbo mated to VW's dual-clutch 6-speed automatic. Manual transmissions, says VW, will come at a later date. Also coming later (in 2012) is the super-efficient 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine, which is expected to give this 4-seat front-driver highway fuel economy of 40 mpg. The Beetle Turbo, of note, has multilink rear suspension, whereas the standard Beetle has a twist beam.
The Fit is 3-ft. shorter than Honda’s Crosstour, yet it offers more cargo space thanks to its tall profile and cab-forward styling. Changes for 2012 include a standard security system and body color mirrors for the base model. The Fit Sport gains a new grille, black headlight bezels, machine-surface 16-in. alloys and steering wheel audio controls. Bluetooth now comes with the Sport’s optional navigation system. The Fit’s fuel-sipping 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mates with 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmissions with paddle shifters on the Sport. Versatile rear Magic Seats can be configured to carry mountain bikes or tall houseplants. A new Fit EV pure electric vehicle with lithium-ion batteries joins the line later in the year.
R&T Overview:Think of the Hyundai Azera as an XL-sized Sonata sedan. Big on value and cabin space, the Azera is a comfortable cruiser that emphasizes driving refinement and a quiet ride. The looks are less polarizing than the swoopy exterior of the Sonata -- which shares the same platform -- and borrow a lot from the upmarket Genesis sedan. The Azera comes equipped with a direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6 engine that produces 293 bhp and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Azera gets estimated EPA figures of 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. That's competitive with other cars in this class, such as the Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon, and Nissan Maxima. Hyundai has paid particular attention to the suspension, which now features an electronically adjustable damper system. But it's the Azera's solid value and high standard feature content -- not corner carving prowess -- that will put this luxury sedan on many shopping lists.
The Mazda CX-5 crossover offers seating for five people. With adaptive cargo space and a comprehensive set of standard safety features, the CX-5 is a safe, practical, sport inspired vehicle to Zoom-Zoom around in.
It is available in three trims, Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The Sport trim is powered by a 2.0-litre 155-hp, direct injection, SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine while the Touring and Grand Touring trims have a slightly larger 2.5-liter 184-hp four-cylinder. The FWD Sport comes standard with a six-speed manual, while all other trims have a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and hill launch assist, electronic stability and traction control, and tire pressure monitoring. Available features, depending on trim level, include 19-inch wheels, HD radio, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, rear camera, 5.8-inch color touchscreen, blind spot monitoring system, a power moonroof, fog lights, 40-20-40 split rear seats, power heated leather seats, automatic climate control, and the convenience of Bluetooth.
For it's sophomore year, the CX-5 gets a second engine to choose from with the new 2.5-liter SKYACTIV variation. A new feature is added to the Tech package called Smart City Brake Support and the 5.8" full-color touch-screen display adds audio menu voice-command, E911 automatic emergency notification, Pandora internet Radio Compatibility and SMS text message audio delivery and reply.