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.
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.
In the world of subcompacts, it's hard to beat Hyundai and its Accent 4-door. This model was redesigned in 2012 and now has a smooth, fluid styling that makes it attractive from all angles. It's also worthy of note for having a coefficient of drag of a slim 0.30. And this of course aids the fuel efficiency of 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The Accent is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4-cylinder that brings a horsepower figure of 138 at 6300 rpm. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Either is a good choice and those who truly enjoy small sedans with peppy engines can go for the manual gearbox which is a pleasure to use. It's also worth noting that the 4-door's curb weight is a trim 2396 pounds. But don't presume that this little sedan is stripped of goodies; it is equipped with Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control. So the handling performance is a treat. And while this is a small sedan, it does come with air conditioning, power windows and heated mirrors, power door locks and AM/FM Satellite radio with CD and MP3 audio system. With prices of $14,545 for the GLS with 6-speed manual and $15,545 for the automatic, it's no wonder the Hyundai Accent 4-door is a popular sedan.
The Dodge Charger is a boldly designed full-size four-door sedan which can be factory equipped from mild to wild to suit virtually any buyers needs or desires.
The Charger is available in SE, Rallye, R/T and SRT8 trims. SE and Rallye models come equipped with a 3.6-liter V6. A 370-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8 comes on R/T models. SRT8 features a 6.4-liter Hemi V8. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on Rallye and R/T trims. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, brake assist, active head restraints, curtain airbags and an ignition immobilizer. Available features include HID headlights, heated front and rear seats, satellite radio, blind spot detection, leather trimmed power seats, power adjustable pedals, navigation system, power sunroof and more.
The Ford Fiesta is a sub-compact, front-wheel drive, five-passenger car. Available in four and five-door bodystyles, the current benchmarks for the sub-compact segment are being tested by the Fiestas styling, comfort and luxury features, technology, and overall practicality.
The Fiesta is offered in three trims, S, SE, and a Titanium model. For 2014 there is the addition of the new ST trim to the hatchback lineup. Power comes from a 120-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. An advanced six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission is optional. The ST gets a turbocharged, direct-injected version of the 1.6-liter that offers nearly 200-hp, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Standard features on all models include air-conditioning, capless fuel filler system, power body-colored mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, aux audio input jack, electronic power-assisted steering and hill launch assist. Higher trim levels include cruise control, keyless entry, Ford's MyKey system, HD and satellite radio, alloy wheels, power windows, rearview camera with reverse park sensing, SYNC hands-free communications and entertainment system and SYNC with MyFord Touch. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, seven airbags including a driver knee airbag, tire pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
For 2014, the Fiesta is a refresh with new interior and exterior styling, feature changes across the entire lineup and the addition of the ST performance hot hatch.