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 Sonata models made a huge leap forward in 2011 with a completely redesigned car that really performed well. And for 2012, Hyundai is touting the standard Blue Link system that provides traffic and weather information, connects to roadside assistance, and can run diagnostics, alert you to maintenance needs and more. Another standout feature is the Theta II 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that provides 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. And the 2.0 turbo and the Hybrid (40-mpg rated) add to the choices. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual (base model) or the 6-speed automatic with Shiftronic so you can choose gears if you like. Inside and out, the Sonata is a design delight and offers fine ride character and handling.
The ATS sedan is an all-new addition to the Cadillac lineup. The Cadillac ATS is a lightweight, compact sport sedan with a level of performance, luxury, and sophistication that will challenge the competition.
The ATS has a choice of three engines. A 2.5-liter inline-4 engine producing 202-hp matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission is available with rear-wheel drive. Available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive a 270-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and a 320-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine are also paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is available with the 2.0-liter turbo and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include eight airbags, a Bose speaker system, sport suspension, and LED lighting for the gauges. Available features include Brembo brakes, HD radio, Bose 10-speaker surround sound, CUE - Cadillac User Experience technology with an eight-inch LCD touchscreen, navigation, Magnetic Ride Control, and a wide range of new safety features to help prevent crashes.
The XK combines Jaguar's new modern design style with traditional luxury car touches like genuine wood and supple leather.
Available as a coupe or convertible, the XK packs a 385-hp 5.0-liter V8 engine. The XKR features a 510-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. A special-order only, XKR-S uses a 550-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. A six-speed automatic transmission with console mounted rotary shifter and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters channels all that power to the rear wheels. Standard equipment includes touch screen navigation, keyless entry with keyless start, a seven-inch video display, Bluetooth, front and rear park assist with rear camera, and electronic parking brake. The XKR-S adds forged wheels, aerodynamic enhancements, and race inspired seats.
The BMW 3-series delivers a special mix of sporting performance, practicality and European luxury in a compact package. It's the car that defines 'sport sedan,' and the benchmark every luxury car maker from Acura to Volvo aims at when it develops an entry-level luxury sport sedan.
The all-wheel drive 328d is available as a sedan or wagon and is powered by an advanced turbo diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 180-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque while connected to an eight-speed automatic. Standard safety features include six airbags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with adaptive brakelights, rain sensing wipers, front fog lights, traction and stability control and active anti-whiplash head restraints.