The late Carroll Shelby told us once that the biggest thing he would change about the auto industry would be to convert all cars to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), simply because there's much more of it than oil. The latest heavy-duty version of GMC's Sierra is equipped to use CNG or gasoline with a 6.0-liter V-8, and since these trucks get regular workouts by fleets, they have easy access to CNG fuel stations. New last year, the sturdiest Sierras are available with GM's highly refined 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8, with a range of 680 miles and it's rated for B20 biodiesel. With proper towing equipment, the 3500 HD model can tow 18,000 lb. with a rear frame hitch or 23,100 lb. with a fifth-wheel setup. Tenfour, good buddy.
In addition to pioneering a wealth of automotive safety features, Volvo built its reputation with wagons. For 2012, the XC70 carries on this proud tradition alone as the V50 and V70 are no more. Volvo positions the XC70 as a crossover with its increased ride height and rugged SUV-inspired styling. There's a choice of front- or all-wheel drive for the XC70 3.2 equipped with its 240-bhp inline-6. The T6 AWD packs a punch thanks to a turbocharged 300-bhp engine. Like the S80 sedan, the XC70 gains standard City Safety and the dash-mounted Volvo Sensus 7-in. color monitor. Other changes include new Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels, standard Bluetooth audio streaming and voice-control functionality for the optional navigation system.
The Hyundai Sonata is a four-door, five-passenger sedan which has an established reputation for being well built and excellent value for money. The Sonata features a stylish coupe-like exterior and modern interior.
The front-wheel drive Sonata is offered in five trim levels: GLS, SE, SE 2.0T, Limited, and Limited 2.0T. The GLS and Limited are powered by a 198-hp 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine. The SE features dual-exhaust which increases the engine output to 200-hp using the same 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine. The SE 2.0T and Limited 2.0T feature a 274-hp 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine. The standard transmission on all trims is a six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC. Standard features include motor driven power steering, air conditioning, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and Blue Link. Standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control, brake assist, six-airbags, occupancy classification sensor, and active front head restraints.
For 2013, the GLS trim is now standard with the six-speed automatic transmission. Also, the optional Premium Package offered on the Limited trims, now includes a panoramic sunroof.
The new model year 2012 finds Aston Martin offering an even dozen versions of its popular Vantage. From the nearly $200 grand V-12 Carbon Black to the V-8 Vantage N429 Coupe with manual gearbox at $131,600, there is a beautiful sports coupe for any wealthy enthusiast. And the joy of driving an Aston Martin is worth the price of admission. Beautifully finished interiors with leather upholstery, manual or Sportshift gearboxes, and a variety of standard features plus a lengthy list of options make it easy to personalize "your" Aston Martin. New for 2012 are a Garmin satellite navigation system, beam-blade windscreen wipers and a wide range of colors for the brake calipers. With either the V-12 or the V-8, you'll find plenty of driving excitement.
The Sorento is Kia's entry into the cross-over utility vehicle (CUV) segment. The Sorento features unibody construction and a streamlined, modern appearance.
The Sorento is available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) in five- or seven-seat configurations. A 191-hp direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 290-hp 3.3-liter V6 are the available engine choices. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the wheels. All-speed traction control, stability-control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, overhead curtain airbags, anti-whiplash head restraints and ignition disable are just a few of the standard safety features offered. Alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, steering wheel audio controls, heated front seats, navigation system and a rearview camera are all available.
The Sorento has been significantly refreshed and repackaged for 2014.