How do you update an already retro design? You flatten its roof, make it look more masculine and hope the design attracts more male buyers. Longer, lower and wider than the New Beetle, the new Beetle is based on an all-new chassis (related to the Golf's), fitted with either a 170-bhp 2.5-liter 5-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic or the 200-bhp direct-injected 2.0-liter turbo mated to VW's dual-clutch 6-speed automatic. Manual transmissions, says VW, will come at a later date. Also coming later (in 2012) is the super-efficient 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine, which is expected to give this 4-seat front-driver highway fuel economy of 40 mpg. The Beetle Turbo, of note, has multilink rear suspension, whereas the standard Beetle has a twist beam.
The Hyundai Tucson features a sleek and fluid exterior design and competes in the popular CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment.
The Tucson is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive arrangements, and is available in GL (FWD only) GLS, and Limited trims. The GL is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. GLS and Limited trims receive a 176-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include six-airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control and active front head restraints.
If you're on a tight budget, you can probably find a Nissan Sentra that will fit your lifestyle. Rather conservative are we? There's the basic 2.0, 2.0 S, SR or SL versions, the initials moving you up from plain-Jane and cloth seats to leather upholstery and a Nav system. Engine? A 140-bhp 2.0-liter four and 6-speed manual or CVT. Ready to step out a bit more? Go with the SE-R and its 177-bhp 2.5-liter and the same transmission choices, plus specific sport seats and added gauges. Just looking for wheels until you can afford that GT-R? Try the Sentra SE-R Spec V. Now your only choice is a 6-speed, but it would be our choice anyway. Along with that come great-looking alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and you've barely broken $20,600.
Those who live life large and want a coupe to match would do well to consider the Mercedes CL-Class. Loaded with luxury and charisma, the CL550 sports a 4.7-liter bi-turbo direct-injection V-8 with 429 bhp and 4Matic all-wheel drive. The C63 AMG ups the ante with a 536-bhp 5.5-liter V-8, Eco stop-start technology, 7-speed multiclutch automatic transmission, sport suspension and unique styling cues. Moving up to the CL600 nets a 5.5-liter V-12 with 510 bhp. The range-topping CL65 AMG boosts 6.0-liter V-12 output to 621 bhp. A new spotlight function for the Night View Assist Plus safety feature coordinates infrared headlights and a night-vision camera to identify and warn roadside pedestrians while alerting the driver on a display screen.
What used to be a narrow niche of vehicle is growing into a class of its own as more manufacturers look to provide variety for a wide range of customers. Here in the 4-door coupe category, Audi presents the A7, which stylishly blends together room for four adults and hatchback cargo capacity with a sporty silhouette. Where others have failed to produce something cohesive and proportional, Audi succeeds and adds to that a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 (310 bhp), 8-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive as standard. For those wanting even sportier performance, the S7 isn't far off, injecting 420 twin-turbo V-8 horses into this Sportback with commensurate chassis and exterior upgrades to go along. How far the interior goes is up to you.