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 ATS sedan continues to offer a world-class driving experience. The Cadillac ATS is a lightweight, compact sport sedan with a level of performance, luxury, and sophistication that challenges the competition.
The ATS has a choice of three engines. A 2.5-liter inline-four engine producing 202-hp matched with a six-speed automatic transmission is available with rear-wheel drive. Available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive a 272-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four and a 321-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 front 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 new Acura ILX sedan is the Japanese luxury brand's attempt at making its range more affordable and, depending on the model you choose, a bit more fun. Based on the current Honda Civic, the base ILX comes with a 150-bhp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and starts at $25,900. While perfectly suitable for most driving situations, the optional 201-bhp 2.4-liter inline-4 (coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission) is much more entertaining. Too bad Acura hasn't quite perfected the feel and feedback from the electric-assisted steering. Your options are also limited when it comes to choosing a gearbox. A 5-speed automatic is the only transmission offered with the base model, and the manual is the sole choice with sportier 2.4-liter. Skip the pricey ILX Hybrid altogether, its 111-bhp 1.5-liter engine is underpowered, and the mechanically identical Civic Hybrid gets significantly better mileage and costs thousands less.
The Porsche Cayenne combines legendary Porsche sports car performance with convenient SUV utility and all-condition capability.
The all-wheel drive, five-passenger Cayenne is available in five trims for 2013: V6, S, GTS, Turbo and Diesel. The V6 is powered by a 300-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine, the S and GTS have a normally aspirated 4.8-liter V8 with 400-hp for the S and 420-hp for the GTS, while the Turbo gets a 500-hp twin-turbocharged version of the same 4.8-liter V8 and the Diesel gets a 3.0-liter V6 with 240-hp. There is an eight-speed automatic transmission with an auto start-stop system available on the V6 and is standard on the two V8 powered trims. The diesel gets the eight-speed automatic as well, but without the auto start-stop system. Notable features available on the Cayenne include: Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), a conventional moonroof or a panoramic roof system, Bi-Xenon headlamps, power memory seats, 4-zone climate control and a Bose surround sound system.
R&T Overview:Of all of GMC’s models, the Envoy and Envoy Denali receive the fewest updates for the 2009 model year; hands-free Bluetooth cellphone connectivity now comes standard, and there are three new metallic paint colors to choose from—Quicksilver, Silver-Green and Sand Beige. If you like the Envoy’s looks and practicality and have additional coin to spend, then by all means upgrade to the Denali version with its more upscale luxury and convenience features. Another tip: The 5.3-liter V-8—standard on the Denali and the optional powerplant for the Envoy—actually delivers better fuel mileage (15 mpg city/21 mpg highway) than the inline-6, thanks to GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology. Although large, the GMC Envoy only seats five.