R&T Overview:It’s no secret that the 444-bhp 2012 Boss 302 has garnered rave reviews, even if its limited production means price negotiation will be virtually nonexistent. And though otherwise mostly a carryover for 2012, we think Ford’s Mustang has never been better. Its base 305-bhp Ti-VCT V-6 is good for up to 31 mpg highway, while the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V-8 generates 412 bhp and up to 26 mpg highway. Handling and braking are now fully on par with power output, and interior refinement is worlds ahead of Mustangs of yore—and the pony car competition. New options for 2012 include selectable steering effort, made possible by electric power-assist steering (EPAS). And the supercharged 550-bhp Shelby GT500 is back with optional Recaro bucket seats.
The Buick LaCrosse is a sophisticated mid-size sedan, seating five passengers in comfort while providing confident handling and a smooth quiet ride.
The LaCrosse is offered in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations. Available engines include a 182-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder with Buick's eAssist mild hybrid technology on front-wheel drive models and a 303-hp 3.6-liter V6 which is offered on both front- and all-wheel drive models. Engines feature direct fuel injection and are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. All LaCrosse models are equipped with aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, MP3 capability, a USB port and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Additional trim-dependent features include front fog lights, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, E-Z Key passive entry/start, a heated wood grain steering wheel and a power rear window sunshade, as well as a hard-drive based navigation system with DVD audio/video playback. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability, traction control and six airbags; other available technologies include rear side-impact airbags, rear parking assist, Xenon adaptive headlights, Head-Up Display and a Side Blind Zone Alert system.
The Buick LaCrosse carries over with minimal changes for 2013. Standard equipment, package and trim offerings have been adjusted.
The Audi TT roadster takes a good thing and makes it even better. The TT coupe is great, but who doesn't love a convertible when the weather is warm and the sun shining? Thanks to its standard Quattro all-wheel-drive, this is also one the few drop-tops that could get you through a sudden snowstorm. With its 211-bhp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 and dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission, the TT roadster is reasonably frugal when it comes to fuel consumption. Opting for the roadster means giving up the rear seat, there's room for only two onboard. Yet the rear seat of the coupe is cramped, so the sacrifice for unlimited sunshine is worth it. The power-operated folding soft top can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, and a wind deflector keeps noise and buffeting to a minimum - i.e. you don't have to scream or turn the stereo to max volume.
The BMW 7-series is the pinnacle of BMW sedans. A big luxury sedan that is loaded with state-of-the-art technology to keep you safe on today's roads.
The 760Li is powered by a direct-injection, 535-hp 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V-12 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 760 has an incredible list of standard luxury features such as four-zone automatic climate control, power sunroof, high-gloss wood trim, heated and cooled 16-way multi-contour front seats, heated and cooled rear seats with power and memory functions, power trunk lid, leather wrapped dash top, premium sound system, voice-activated navigation system on a 10.2-inch color monitor, HD radio and BMW Assist emergency and information communications. Standard run-flat performance tires wrap 19-inch alloy wheels, while standard Park Distance Control with surround-view cameras, adaptive brake lights, steerable adaptive bi-xenon headlights with high-beam assistant, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, provide active safety.
For 2014, the base audio system is now harman/kardon, a new Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster is now standard, and the iDrive controller adds a multi-touch surface to the top of the control knob.
Unlike most car models, the Kia Forte comes in several distinct flavors. The brand’s centerpiece is the Forte sedan, offered in LX, EX and SX trim. It’s a comfortable and agreeable ride with a solid standard features package across the board. The SX trim, with its performance-tuned suspension, 17-in. wheels, bigger front brakes and 173-bhp engine is the sportiest of the lot. But if sport is what you’re after, move directly to the 2-door Forte Koup SX—not an aggressive ride, but one that will certainly put a grin on your face in the turns. Buyers who are more in a family-about-town way should give the Forte 5-Door serious consideration. The hatchback opens to provide 19.4 cu. ft. of cargo space, compounded when the second-row seats are folded. All Forte variants enjoy a robust list of standard features.