The FJ Cruiser has fun written all over it. Retro styling evokes Toyota's legendary FJ40 from the halcyon days of the 1960s. This thoroughly modern edition is built atop a shortened 4Runner frame employing a 4.0-liter V-6 and 5-speed automatic transmission with 4x2 or part-time 4x4. Selecting the 6-speed manual gearbox nets full-time awd with a locking center differential. The FJ's clamshell side doors aid rear seat access. A Trail Teams Special Edition, now offered in Radiant Red, features Bilstein shocks, Active Traction Control, 10-speaker JBL sound, floating ball multi-information display and unique cabin trim. Convenience, Upgrade, Off-Road and TRD packages along with individual options enable buyers to build the FJ of their dreams.
Toyota's curvaceous crossover now comes in a choice of three trim levels. The LE replaces the former base model while gaining standard heated mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. Moving up to the midrange XLE adds leather trim, Smart Key with push-button start, a backup camera and power tailgate. Carryover 2.7-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V-6 engines team with front- or all-wheel drive. The flagship Limited V-6 has standard navigation, panoramic sunroof, JBL Synthesis sound with satellite radio, USB/iPod port and Bluetooth streaming audio. Option packages enable these features to be added to the XLE. Designed at Toyota's Calty Southern California studios, the Venza continues to deliver a smooth, carlike ride with SUV-style cargo capacity.
Lotus’ acclaimed bantam weight Elise gets a revised body design this year that incorporates a new front clamshell, rear bumper and mid-engine cover which Lotus says improves aerodynamics in the interest of fuel economy. It also gets revised headlamps which now incorporate LED turn signals and daytime running lights as well as new standard cast or optional forged wheels. The engines remain unchanged, with the high-revving 1.8-liter in the Elise (189 bhp) and supercharged version of this inline-4 (218 bhp) in the Elise SC. The Elise’s fastback twin, the Exige S 240, continues on with the higher output supercharged inline-4 making an impressive 240 bhp. There will also be special edition Roger Becker (RGB) models, offered for both Elise and Exige.
Honda dubs the Pilot a midsize SUV, yet with seating for eight, this crossover offers a practical alternative to some supersize competitors. Following last year's exterior freshening and cabin upgrades, changes for 2013 are limited to an expanded list of standard features including a rearview camera. The Pilot's sophisticated 3.5-liter V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management is coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission and choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Models include the base LX, uplevel EX and top-line Touring. An available navigation system includes 60-gig memory with room for thousands of audio tracks. To store larger items like luggage and sports gear, the second- and third-row seats fold flat into the floor, opening up 87.0 cu. ft. of room.
The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car with handsome styling and nice lines. It has excellent interior space and standard safety equipment.
The Elantra is available in Sedan and Coupe body styles. Both body styles have seating for five and class-topping cargo capacity. One engine is offered; a 148-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder. A six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC are available. Standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control with traction control and six airbags. Available features include a power sunroof, turn signal equipped exterior mirrors, 17-inch aluminum wheels, heated front and rear seats, leather seating surfaces, satellite radio, navigation, Bluetooth and more.
A Coupe variant has been added to the Elantra line-up for 2013. The sedan GLS trim now sports 16-inch wheels and tires, cruise control, air-conditioning and a telescoping steering wheel. The sedan Limited trim gains a power driver seat with lumbar.