The Ford Focus Electric is taking the fight to eco-themed rivals like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. If you want to impress the neighbors, tell them the EPA's equivalency formula pegs the Focus Electric at 110/99-mpg in city and highway driving. Of course, this fun fact is tempered by the Focus Electric's estimated total driving range of 76 miles — that's better than the Mitsubishi i and about even with the Nissan Leaf. The Focus Electric accepts charge at 6.6 kW versus 3.3 kW in the Leaf. According to Ford's estimate, that means a full recharge via a 220-volt outlet is accomplished in 4 hours, or half the time you'd need for the Leaf. Performance is peppy, especially at city speeds, and top speed is set at 84 mph. A display on the dashboard fills with butterflies if you're gentle about applying the gas pedal. MyFord mobile apps allow you to locate charging stations, or pre-heat and pre-cool the car while it's plugged into the grid (thereby saving battery life once you're on the road).
The Ford Focus range has expanded to include two new models this year: the sport-oriented ST version and an electric-powered model. The Focus 5-door hatchback continues to offer an excellent mix of agile handling, cargo room, and strong fuel economy. Under the hood is a 160-bhp 2.0-liter inline-4 coupled to a standard 5-speed manual, with a 6-speed PowerShift automatic or range-topping 6-speed PowerShift with SelectShift manual controls optional. The ST is all about carving corners, while the Titanium trim level loads the Focus 5-door with luxury touches like leather seating, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, SYNC with MyFord Touch, push-button start, and dual zone automatic climate controls. For a sinister touch, the SE Black Pack appearance package includes a piano black grille, 17-inch machined alloy wheels and, as you might have guessed, a black paintjob to match.
The Cadillac Escalade ESV is largest of the Escalade luxury family, stretched an additional 21-in. in length for a truly cavernous cabin. Not just for passengers, when need you the hauling capacity, the ESV is good for 137.4 cu.-ft. of it with all rows folded—plenty of room for transporting cases of Dom Perignon. This interior space is decked from door to door in leather and wood trim, with standard equipment like heated and cooled seats, touchscreen navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, keyless entry/ignition and power everything. One item exclusive to the ESV however is a second 8-in. flip-down screen when you opt for the rear-seat DVD entertainment. This way, the back cabin passengers don't need to strain their eyes to enjoy movies on the go. Hauling all this luxury around, and an entourage of 7, is a powerful, left-lane friendly, 402-bhp 6.2-liter V-8, equipped with Active Fuel Management to help stretch your fuel load whenever possible. Available with rear or all-wheel drive, a locking rear differential comes standard when light off-road duty calls for it, with new revised grade braking performance for 2013. Opt for the Escalade ESV Platinum model and Cadillac's proven Magnetic Ride Control suspension technology is included as are ultra bright LED headlights, rear DVD entertainment, Platinum exclusive interior treatments and last but not least, huge fender-filling 22-in. chrome alloy wheels. Though its shear size could be counted as a safety measure, all Escalades come with roll-over prevention/mitigation through Cadillac's StabiliTrak, and comprehensive airbag protection throughout the cabin.
The Expedition is often seen with a large trailer in tow, a task that is easily handled, since this capacious SUV is built alongside Ford's F-150 and Super Duty pickups at the company's Kentucky truck plant. Although underpinned by a truck frame, the Expedition and its three rows of passenger seats has handling that belies its size, due to an independent rear suspension and double-wishbone design up front, whether ordered in rear- or 4-wheel drive. Two wheelbases are offered; the EL's is one foot longer and provides additional cargo space behind the third-row seating. For 2013, an integrated trailer-brake controller comes with the heavy-duty tow package, and dual headrestraint- mounted DVD systems are optional for rear passenger entertainment.
The XK combines Jaguar's new modern design style with traditional luxury car touches like genuine wood and supple leather.
Available as a coupe or convertible, the XK packs a 385-hp 5.0-liter V8 engine. The XKR features a 510-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. A special-order only, XKR-S uses a 550-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. A six-speed automatic transmission with console mounted rotary shifter and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters channels all that power to the rear wheels. Standard equipment includes touch screen navigation, keyless entry with keyless start, a seven-inch video display, Bluetooth, front and rear park assist with rear camera, and electronic parking brake. The XKR-S adds forged wheels, aerodynamic enhancements, and race inspired seats.