Mercedes revamps the C-Class sedan for 2012 and adds an attractive new coupe to the mix. Both begin with the C250 Sport featuring a new 201-bhp 1.8-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder turbo. The C350 nets a 302-bhp 3.5-liter V-6. Targeting enthusiasts, the top C63 AMG has a 451-bhp 6.2-liter V-8. Sedans also offer a C300 4Matic with a 228-bhp 3.0-liter V-6. Standard 7-speed automatics include a Speedshift multiclutch version for the C63. Redesigned interiors gain new audio with a 5.8-in. color display, Bluetooth and USB port. Coupes receive standard paddle shifters, sport bucket seats and split-folding rear seats. Attention Assist, Adaptive Brake with Hold function, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Sport Assist are among C-Class safety features.
The Ford Edge is a five-passenger crossover sport utility that answers the call for a roomy vehicle with utility and style. It isn't a truck. Nor is it a minivan. Yet it's more than a car.
The front-, or all-wheel drive Edge is powered by a 285-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, while the Edge Sport adds a 305-hp 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6; both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission, the Sport adds steering wheel shift paddles. Available on the front-wheel drive SE, SEL and Limited trims is a 237-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine which boasts enhanced fuel economy. Standard safety features on all models include six airbags, four wheel anti-lock brakes, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, auto-locking power locks, an occupant classification system and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Optional safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, collision warning, blind spot detection, rear-view camera and rain sensing wipers. MyFord driver connect technology manages all the information the driver needs, with minimal distraction to actually driving.
For 2014, the Edge carries over unchanged, but with two new paint colors.
The Ford Flex is a full-size family vehicle that features three-rows of seating, bold styling and is highly functional. The Flex competes directly in the popular crossover segment.
The front-wheel or all-wheel drive Flex is powered by a 285-hp 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine. Available on the all-wheel drive Limited only is the 355-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift. Available features include a Multi-Panel Vista Roof, interior refrigerator, and capless fueling. Standard safety features include four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability and roll control, six airbags, and a tire pressure monitor.
After a 2013 refresh, the Flex rolls into 2014 unchanged.
The Buick Verano is a compact luxury sedan that features upscale styling and progressive technologies, along with comfortable seating for five and a high level of standard equipment.
The front-wheel drive Verano is available in four trim levels: Base, Convenience Group, Leather Group and Premium Group. It is powered by either a 180-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection, or a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the Premium Group trim. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, and an optional six-speed manual is available with the 2.0-liter engine. Every Verano is outfitted with 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, satellite radio, USB port and Buick's IntelliLink system, which allows smartphone integration and audio streaming through the vehicle's infotainment centre, controlled via a seven-inch LED touch screen. The Convenience Group adds heated exterior mirrors, heated front seats, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and a 6-way power driver's seat. The Leather Group is further equipped with leather upholstery, passive entry/start, upgraded audio and a heated steering wheel, while the Premium Group is visually distinguished by dual exhaust outlets and a flushmount rear spoiler. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control systems, rearview camera, OnStar and a tire pressure monitor, as well as ten airbags. Ultrasonic rear parking assist sensors, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert are standard on all but the Base trim level.
The Buick Verano carries over with minimal changes for 2014. A universal garage door opener is now standard on all but the Base trim level, and heated front seats have been added to the Convenience Group. Additionally, new safety features - including Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning - are standard on all but the Base trim.
As the first result of the Chrysler and Fiat partnership, the brand new Dodge Dart shares a platform with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback. However, Dodge’s engineering team put in overtime to give this American-built sedan its own style and character. The result is not only good-looking, both inside and out, but also surprisingly fun to drive – especially equipped with the optional turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine. A perfectly fine 160-bhp 2.0-liter “Tigershark” 4-cylinder powers the base model. At the top of the range is another Tigershark 4-cylinder, this time a 184-bhp 2.4-liter that is standard on the sporty R/T model. Between the two is the turbo 1.4-liter, which delivers a stout 160-hp and impressive fuel economy figures. For our money, the smallest engine is probably the best of the trio. There are three transmissions offered across the range: a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, and 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual. We found the Dart to be agile and extremely well behaved, and noticeably more enthusiastic than segment leaders like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.