Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the new VW Passat is a bona fide competitor for the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It’s super roomy inside, especially in back, and there’s a choice of three engines: a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder with 177 bhp, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder with 140 bhp and VW’s 3.6-liter VR6 with 280. Don’t be fooled by the diesel’s low bhp; this oil-burner has lots of torque, and although it does not make this new Passat exceptionally quick, it’s very efficient, able to squeeze 43 miles out of a gallon of diesel fuel when mated to the 6-speed manual transmission. If you value luxury over efficiency, get the 3.6 SEL Premium, which has leather, keyless entry, navigation, power seats and interior chrome accents.
The Acura ZDX is the brand's four-door sports coupe, combining dramatic coupe-like styling with the functionality of a sedan and the versatility of a sport utility vehicle. Along with a bold road presence and cutting edge technologies, it offers a luxurious interior, with hand-stitched leather on the dash, center console and door panels. The 5-passenger ZDX is powered by a 300-hp 3.7-liter V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters; Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system enhances all-surface, all-weather control. A panoramic glass roof, power tailgate, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, USB port and HandsFreeLink (Bluetooth) wireless connectivity are found on every ZDX. Standard safety-enhancing features include anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, six airbags, active front head restraints, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot information system and rearview camera parking assist with sensors. The Acura ZDX is refreshed for 2013. The features offered with the Technology Package and some of the features from the Advance Package are now standard equipment. Such features include: auto-dimming exterior rearview mirrors, ventilated front seats, proximity key, audio and climate control memory settings, voice activated audio and climate control, voice-activated navigation system, ten-speaker audio system with 15 GB of internal storage and wireless streaming.
The Nissan Pathfinder is a mid-size SUV perfectly suited to the urban family lifestyle. It is offered in both front- and four-wheel drive configurations, providing performance and styling without sacrificing comfort.
The seven-passenger Pathfinder is available in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. All trims are powered by a 260-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a CVT transmission. The S trim is well equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a 6-disc CD changer; SV trims add a single disc CD player with satellite radio and MP3 capability, power driver seat and Bluetooth; the SL trim is further outfitted with a power liftgate, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, and Intelligent Key passive entry/start; Platinum trim receives 20-inch alloy wheels, Around View parking aid, and navigation system. Safety features found on every Pathfinder include electronic stability and traction control systems, anti-lock disc brakes, active anti-whiplash head restraints, and a tire pressure monitor with Nissan's Easy-Fill Tire Alert system.
The GMC Yukon has a fresh and comfortable interior. Building on a recent redesign, it carries over for 2014 with a sleek body mounted on a strong, stiff frame with power steering, disc brakes, and a touring suspension.
Available in 2WD or 4WD and in three trims, the Yukon seats up to nine passengers and is rated to tow up to 8500 pounds when equipped with the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package on the 4x2 model. The SLE and SLT trims both come with a standard 320-hp V8 5.3-liter engine which is E85 fuel compatible and coupled to a an efficient six-speed automatic transmission. The 2WD or AWD Denali trims come with a standard 403-hp 6.2-liter V8 which is E85 fuel compatible and coupled to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission. Safety features standard on all models include dual-stage front airbags, side curtain airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with dynamic rear proportioning, StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation, tire pressure monitoring system, and OnStar.
For 2014, the GMC Yukon has some exterior paint changes and the optional Convenience package is now standard equipment on the SLE trim.
The Toyota Venza is a five-passenger vehicle that couples the styling and comfort of a passenger car with the flexibility of a sport utility vehicle (SUV), to give customers a stylish alternative to the traditional sedan.
The Venza offers the choice of two powerplants, a 181-hp 2.7-liter four-cylinder or 268-hp 3.5-liter V6. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift control and can be had in either front or all-wheel drive. There is also the choice of 19-inch wheels, standard on four-cylinder models and 20-inch on V6 models. The 2014 Venza features three trim levels. The LE includes dual-zone automatic climate control, power windows, locks and mirrors, privacy glass, cruise control, electronic stability control, seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, front seatbelt pretensioners and front active head restraints. The XLE adds a power liftgate, voice-activated touch-screen DVD navigation system, satellite radio, leather upholstery and Toyota's Smart Key System and the Limited trim adds High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and a JBL 13 speaker audio system to the list of standard features.