R&T Overview:The Charger was given a major refresh for 2011, with a new skin, powerful new V-6 and greatly updated interior. For 2012, the rest of the makeover package arrives with the addition of an optional ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, available on rwd and awd V-6 models. The extra gears add 4 mpg to the Charger's highway rating. The SRT8 returns for 2012 as well, with a 6.4-liter Hemi that delivers 470 bhp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. It also incorporates the Fuel Saver Technology used previously only on the 5.7 Hemi. Buyers with more modest power requirements can choose either the base 3.6-liter V-6 with 292 bhp or the R/T with 5.7-liter Hemi and 370 bhp. An optional Rallye Package spiffs up the V-6 model, while R/T buyers can order awd for extra security in foul weather.
Try not to stare. This hot hatch making your heart race is a Volvo. The C30 is a sexy compact with attitude. It’s also fun to drive thanks to the standard turbocharged 5-cylinder engine that puts out a delightful 227 bhp. While the C30 T5 remains the most affordable Volvo, the R-Design appeals to extroverts with a full body kit, leather seating and alloy pedals. It also ups the fun factor with sport chassis tuning and 18-in. wheels. New this year, both models can be enhanced with Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels that include goodies like LED daytime running lights, 650-watt premium sound, a sunroof and navigation. While the 6-speed manual is our gearbox of choice, an available 5-speed automatic lets drivers shift for themselves whenever the urge strikes. Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System, xenon headlights and Keyless Drive remain optional.
After decades of building various spin-offs for Chrysler, the company returned the favor three years ago by giving Mitsubishi a badge-engineered version of the Dodge Dakota. The Raider lineup shrinks for 2009 with the elimination of 4wd models. The LS 2wd soldiers on with a choice of extended and double cabs. A 210-bhp 3.7-liter V-6 is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox on the former and a 4-speed automatic on the latter. Air conditioning, rear-access doors, variable wipers and a sound system with a CD player and auxiliary input are standard on the extended cab. The double cab adds power windows, door locks and mirrors; keyless entry, cruise control and 16-in. alloy wheels. An optional value package includes side steps, mudguards, a bed liner, cargo rail protectors, a scuff plate and a bright exhaust finisher.
They may share names, but the Outlander Sport shares little with the bigger Outlander; the Sport is the smaller, lighter, more efficient sibling. It's also one of the few SUVs that's offered with a manual transmission. With its rear 60/40 split seats folded down, you get 49 cu. ft. of storage space. And although it rides higher than a car, the step-in height is certainly more car than off-roader. A 140-watt stereo, USB jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls are standard, while awd SE owners can opt for a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate 9-speaker system and hard-drive-based navigation system. For 2012, the Sport gets recalibrated transmission and engine mapping, new wheel designs and better engine noise management.
The Chevrolet Volt is a four-passenger, five-door compact hatchback plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. For (up to) the first 40 miles, the vehicle drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered, engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank.
The Volt is powered by an 115kW electric motor and 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack, enabling it to travel approximately 40 miles on a charge. The 1.4-liter gasoline range extender generates electricity and provides an additional 300 miles of driving. The battery can be charged with a standard household 120-volt outlet in about ten hours, or in about four hours with a 240-volt outlet (similar to a clothes dryer outlet). Standard features include automatic climate control, alloy wheels, passive entry, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity. OnStar's Mobile Application allows drivers to communicate with their Volt from their smartphones - it uses a real-time data connection to perform tasks such as setting the charge time, displaying charge status, unlocking the doors and remotely starting the vehicle to pre-condition the interior temperature. Safety features include eight airbags, traction control and stability control. The optional Premium Trim Package includes leather seat trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats. Safety Packages include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, front and rear park assist and a rear camera. An audio system with navigation, 30-gigabyte hard drive, Chevrolet MyLink with Bluetooth streaming audio, NavTraffic real-time traffic display and Bose speaker system is optional.