Kia has taken the once so-so Rio subcompact and turned it into a contender in this increasingly crowded marketplace. Right off, you notice the more sporty, sophisticated exterior styling, thanks to new sculpted contours and a posture that makes a 1.6-liter car look fun. Inside, the Rio delivers high marks for its class. The design not only ensures you won’t be bored behind the wheel, the newly extended wheelbase offers expanded passenger room. Fuel economy gets a boost with the 1.6-liter Gasoline Direct Injection engine when equipped with Idle Stop and Go system, which shuts off the engine when the car is at rest. There are three trim models: LX, EX and SX. Unfortunately, for driving aficionados, the 6-speed manual is only available in the LX, while EX and SX get the mandatory 6-speed automatic. Choose the Rio 5-Door hatchback…really.
The Audi Q7 has established itself in the luxury SUV class with bold styling, numerous tech features and five-star safety ratings.
The Q7 is available with three different engine choices, two supercharged, direct-injection 3.0-liter gasoline engines, one with 272-hp, the other, on the S line trim, with 333-hp. A 240-hp 3.0-liter V6 direct injection diesel (TDI) is also available, and they are all mated to a Tiptronic eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Standard features include leather upholstery, heated seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, 6-disc audio system and 18-inch wheels, power liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth, bi-xenon headlights. The TDI adds 19-inch wheels and chrome exterior trim. The S line adds even more standard luxuries such as Bose audio, three-panel sunroof, sunshades, side assist, advanced key and 20-inch wheels.
For 2013, all models receive minor trim upgrades & the TDI engine receives a slight bump in horsepower, otherwise the Q7 remains unchanged.
For some, Acura's ZDX might be the answer to a question no one asked. But for others, it could be a welcome beacon in a sea of look-alike luxury sedans. Introduced in 2010, the ZDX was the first model to be styled start to finish in the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California. To celebrate this landmark, Acura bestowed the ZDX with the 3.7- liter V-6 and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive from its MDX, plus too-cool features like a panoramic glass roof, hidden rear door handles and 19-in. wheels. Every ZDX interior features Acura's first hand-stitched leather dashboard, door panels and center console, plus Bluetooth connectivity, power tailgate and premium audio system. Also offered are the popular Technology and Advance option packages.
Infiniti has always seemed to struggle with the M’s identity, but with the introduction of an all-new M in 2011, the model’s future finally seems secure. To underscore that point, the M35h hybrid appears this year with 360 hp combined and an estimated 29-mpg combined fuel-economy rating. The V-6-powered M37 and V-8-motivated M56, meanwhile, get the addition of a new 18-in. wheel package, and the amalgamation of M56 Sport and Sport Touring packages into a single Sport Package. Both models are backed by a 7-speed automatic transmission, in rear- or all-wheel drive. As you would expect from a flagship sedan, the M is a showcase for “user-focused” technologies including the Infiniti Drive Mode Selector, Blind Spot Warning and Blind Spot Intervention.
The Cruze is Chevrolet's newest entrant in the highly contested compact sedan segment. It is based on a global platform that has been refined for America with an emphasis on fuel economy.
The Cruze features two new small-displacement four-cylinder engines; a 140-hp 1.4-liter turbo, or a 138-hp naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter. Depending on trim, a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. Available safety features include ten airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control and anti-theft alarm with engine immobilizer. The Cruze can be equipped with features such as heated leather power seating, sunroof, remote start, satellite radio, navigation system and automatic climate control.