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 BMW X6 M expands on the X6 Sports Activity Coupe model lineup, introducing legendary BMW M power to a distinctive 4-door, 4-passenger vehicle that combines coupe-like agility and style with the versatility of a SUV.
The BMW X6 M is available in one comprehensive trim level, powered by a muscular 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 555 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed Sport automatic transmission with Steptronic manual shift mode and steering wheel paddles is standard, along with BMW's xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The X6 M boasts standard features that include an adaptive sport suspension, 20-inch aluminum wheels, bi-xenon adaptive headlamps, heated front M sport seats, leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, HD radio and a voice-activated hard drive-based navigation system, including 12 gigabytes of dedicated media storage and DVD video capability. Safety features on every X6 M include anti-lock disc brakes, Dynamic Stability Control with traction control and rollover sensor, BMW Assist, front and rear parking sensors and a tire pressure monitor, as well as front side-impact airbags and overhead curtain airbags for both rows.
The iconic Volkswagen GTI was arguably the first "hot hatch" when VW made a small hatchback fun to drive, now in its sixth generation, the GTI still lives up to the original's sporting intentions.
The GTI is available as a four-door, with a 210-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox, (DSG), which allows the driver to shift sequentially, without doing the clutch work, via paddles on the steering wheel or the shift lever itself. An extensive list of standard equipment is included, features such as well-bolstered cloth sport seats with plaid inserts, halogen fog lamps, alloy pedals, SIRIUS satellite radio, 18-inch performance tires on alloy wheels, sport suspension, six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, an 8-speaker touch-screen audio system, Bluetooth and a multi-function leather steering wheel.
For 2014, the GTI overall is unchanged. The Wolfsburg Edition and Drivers Edition are the only two trims available.
The Regal is Buick's mid-size sport sedan, featuring sleek, aggressive styling, a high level of standard equipment, and impressive attention to detail. It seats five passengers in comfort, while providing responsive handling and a dynamic, yet refined, ride.
The front-wheel drive Regal is available with three different four-cylinder engines that feature direct fuel injection, they include a 182-hp 2.4-liter with the mild hybrid eAssist system, a 220-hp 2.0-liter turbo and a 270-hp 2.0-liter High Output turbo in the GS. Drivers also have a choice between a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and a conventional six-speed manual transmission (turbo engines only). Every Regal is outfitted with aluminum wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, satellite radio and a USB port. Additional trim-dependent standard and optional equipment includes a power sunroof, Bi-Xenon adaptive headlights, passive entry/start, garage door opener, upgraded audio and a navigation system. The GS model gets an exclusive treatment that includes a GS-specific grille and front/rear fascia treatments, an adaptive performance-tuned suspension with Interactive Drive Control, 19-inch aluminum wheels, sport seats and piano black interior trim accents. Standard safety features on all Regal's include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control systems, OnStar and a tire pressure monitor, as well as six airbags; rear side airbags and rear parking assist are also available.