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.
To continue the momentum generated by the launch of an all-new tC last year, Scion is offering the tC Release Series 7.0 for 2012. Dressed in bright yellow paint with a TRD body kit, it features black 18-in. alloys, yellow and black interior accents and a smart key with red push-button starter. A limited run of 2200 ensures exclusivity. Meanwhile, the standard tC continues with modest changes including Bluetooth and a new Pioneer audio system with HD radio. Performance-minded drivers relish the tC’s 180-bhp 2.5-liter engine whether coupled to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Plentiful standard features include a panoramic moonroof, sport-tuned exhaust, stability and traction control, knee airbags and active front headrests.
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.
The MINI Roadster provides the driving enthusiast with a unique combination of fun-to-drive performance, engineering and unconventional open-top attitude.
The Roadster is available in three different trims: the Cooper with a 121-hp 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine, the Cooper S with a direct-injection, 181-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, or the John Cooper Works with a 208-hp version of the Cooper S turbo engine. All trims are mated to either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety equipment includes four airbags, fixed roll hoops, run-flat tires, traction and stability control and anti-lock brakes. A wide variety of interior trim materials and colors are available, as well as features such as bi-xenon headlights, active rear spoiler, sport suspension, Dynamic Traction Control, navigation system, harman/kardon audio, parking sensors, and satellite radio. Bluetooth and HD radio are standard equipment.
The second-generation Continental GT Coupe has been on sale for some time but the new GTC convertible has only just arrived. The new car has essentially the same awd underpinnings but with an updated crisper look and interior. The performance and fuel economy have also been improved and some of the features found on the old Supersports edition have found their way into the regular models. For example, the GT now has a wider track, quick-shift technology and 60 percent of its power is sent to the rear wheels. There will also be a limited-edition (100 models) Supersports Convertible Ice Speed Record (ISR) to celebrate the world record of 205.48 mph. It will be powered by a special 631-bhp twinturbo W-12 engine and have some unique styling cues.