The BMW 5-series puts an emphasis on the driving experience. Now in its sixth generation, this mid-size luxury car remains a true sports sedan by delivering aggressive styling, precise handling and outstanding safety.
Available in rear-wheel, or xDrive all-wheel drive, the 528i features a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic with Steptronic. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control with active micro-filtration, a 12-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, HD radio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, electric power steering, and iDrive control system with integrated owner's manual. Safety is provided by six airbags, active anti-whiplash front head restraints, electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring and BMW Assist telematics and bi-xenon adaptive headlights.
For 2014, there are subtle styling changes inside and out, a navigation system with real-time traffic and a new touch-pad is now standard, and LED headlights are now an option.
In terms of price and performance, the Mustang Boss 302 is positioned between the regular GT and the outrageous Shelby GT500. The Boss comes powered by a 444-bhp 5.0-liter V-8 coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission. Because it’s a couple hundred pounds lighter than its heavy hitting sibling, the 650-bhp GT500, the Boss 302 definitely holds its own in the corners. Driver selectable electronic steering offers of choice of three different modes, ranging from comfort to sport settings. Helping to bring things to a controlled stop are beefy Brembo brakes. Opting for the Laguna Seca Package adds a Torsen helical differential, brake cooling ducts, and a front-splitter that’s not legal for use on public roads – oh yes, and the rear seat is removed to save weight. While it might be a little too hardcore for some buyers, it’s targeted perfectly at Mustang fans who want to go racing.
The Infiniti G37 is available as sedan, a coupe, or hardtop convertible. Responsive and agile, the G37 has a sporty flare while offering a comfortable ride and a luxurious interior.
The rear-wheel drive G37 is named for its 3.7-liter V6 engine, available with between 325 and 330 horsepower depending on the model. This smooth, powerful engine comes with a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The G37 comes in Premium, Sport, or Premier trims depending on model. Styling of the G series is aggressive yet subtle with abounding curves and the heritage is apparent in both design and performance. Standard safety features include six airbags, traction control and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Optional is an intelligent cruise control system that matches the speed of the car ahead and an upgraded audio system with Bose sound.
The Chevrolet Traverse crossover utility vehicle combines the smooth ride and responsive handling of a car with the cargo capability and high seating position of a traditional truck-based sport utility vehicle.
The Traverse comes in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ. Each trim is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. A direct injection 3.6-liter V6 engine sends power to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The well-equipped interior features two front bucket seats and two different seating configurations for the second and third row seats, accommodating a maximum of eight passengers. An extensive list of safety features come standard; these include: side curtain overhead airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for driver and front-seat passenger, an available front center airbag, anti-lock brakes, and electronic traction and stability control.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan is very popular in Europe and may get more common here in the U.S. thanks to revised front and rear styling that’s more in line with the Touareg’s. For 2012, the Tiguan is available as an S, SE or SEL model, with either fwd or awd. As before, the only engine is VW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 with 200 bhp. In 2012, though, thanks to enhancements made to the 6-speed automatic transmission, the Tiguan now gets 27 mpg on the highway, up from 25. The base model is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. SEL models are well-equipped, even fitted with bi-xenon headlights that point into corners. A U-shaped row of LEDs around the headlights serve as daytime running lights while adding to this compact crossover’s fresh look.