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.
The 5 Series GT receives little change aside from a shuffled option package and a body kit. The somewhat odd 5 GT fits in the BMW lineup just above a 5 and below a 7. It's closer to a 7 as denoted by their shared wheelbases. Drivetrain options consist of the powerful turbo engines mated to an 8-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional for both. As a road-hugging alternative to an SUV, the GT is a logical choice. It impressed us at the test track by sprinting to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. It seems its odd styling is all that holds it back. A new M Sport Package is available and may rejuvenate its look. It adds a sport-tuned exhaust, raises the speed limiter and installs an aero kit for just about $4200.
The Chevrolet Equinox is a competitively priced mid-sized SUV that offers exceptional versatility, distinctive design and a high-level of practicality.
The Equinox is available in four trim levels, LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ, and can be had in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The standard drivetrain is a 182-hp 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. A 301-hp 3.6-liter direct injection V6 is optional on the LT and LTZ trims. Both engines have E85 FlexFuel capability. Standard safety features include: four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, electronic stability system, six airbags, tire pressure monitor, OnStar, security system and daytime running lights. Available high-tech features include remote vehicle starter, forward collision alert and lane departure warning, navigation system, rearview camera and a power liftgate.
For 2014, the Equinox receives minimal changes; the LTZ trim is now standard with 18" chrome-clad aluminum wheels.
If you’ve got a spare $100K or so burning a hole in your pocket, let us direct you to the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. The large 2-seat roadster is offered in three models: SL550 (382-bhp 5.5-liter V-8), SL63 AMG (518-bhp 6.3-liter V-8) or SL65 AMG (604-bhp 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12). The price builds in similar increments, ranging from the $102K SL550 to the $139K SL63 all the way to the $198K SL65 AMG. Zero-to-60 acceleration times drop as well, from 5.4 seconds to 4.2 sec. New Direct Steering in the SL550 quickens steering simply by changing the gearing in the steering rack. The limited-availability SL550 Night Edition includes a special interior treatment plus two-tone 19-in. AMG wheels, special paint, silver brake calipers and darkened head- and taillights.
The Volkswagen Eos is a unique all-season convertible with an integrated power panoramic sunroof that sets it apart from all other retractable hardtop convertibles on the market.
The 2013 Eos is powered by a 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. There are four available trims: Komfort, Sport, Lux, and Executive. Standard features include heated front seats, electronic dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, SIRIUS satellite radio, and Bluetooth Handsfree wireless connectivity. Safety features include active seat-integrated rollover bars, daytime running lights, electronic stability program, hill hold control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and front and side airbags. Steering linked Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard on all but the Komfort trim.
For 2013, a new Sport trim has been added to the line-up.