From mild to wild, Mercedes offers E-Class models to suit everyone's fancy. The E350 sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon gain a new 3.5-liter 302-bhp direct-injection V-6 and 7-speed automatic. An unchanged BlueTEC diesel remains a sedan option. E550 models receive a new 402-bhp 4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8. A wagon joins the sedan for the hot E63 AMG treatment including a new 518-bhp 5.5-liter V-8 and 7-speed MCT transmission. The former also features a panorama roof and rearview camera. E-Class safety, infotainment and luxury equipment varies by model. Convertibles are fitted with a 2-piece Aircap wind deflector to help reduce turbulence with the top down. Wagons have standard 7-passenger seating, a power tailgate and rear air suspension.
R&T Overview:The truck-based TrailBlazer uses old-school parts such as a solid rear axle, while its contemporaries have been shifting to independent multilink suspensions. The difference is felt when you’re on a packed-gravel county road and come to a railroad crossing—here, the TrailBlazer wiggles more than its competitors over bumps. On smoother roads, the TrailBlazer runs quietly, feeling like an oversized wagon in the way it coddles its occupants. The standard engine in the TrailBlazer is a 4.2-liter inline-6 that puts 285 bhp to the rear wheels via a 4-speed automatic; all-wheel drive is optional. The hot SS model lives up to its name with a 6.0-liter V-8 that pumps out 390 bhp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. The TrailBlazer is a competent SUV in need of transmission and suspension updates.
The Accord is Honda's largest car, offering generous interior space for up to five people wrapped in stylish exterior sheet metal.
The Accord is available either as a two-door coupe or four-door sedan with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine. Depending on the trim chosen, three transmissions are available: a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, or a CVT. Cloth upholstery is standard on all but the EX-L and Touring models, which feature leather seats and a leather-covered steering wheel. Safety is enhanced on all Accords with six standard airbags, including side-impact air bags for front seats and side curtain air bags. Four-wheel disc, anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, and Brake Assist also come standard. The Accord can be luxuriously equipped with features such as heated power mirrors, power heated front seats, navigation system, LED head and brake lights, lane departure warning and Smart Entry.
The Accord has been completely redesigned for 2013. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder now feature direct injection. Six-speed manual or automatic, and CVT transmission choices replace the previous five-speed units.
The Hyundai Sonata is a four-door, five-passenger sedan which has an established reputation for being well built and excellent value for money. The Sonata features a stylish coupe-like exterior and modern interior.
The front-wheel drive Sonata is offered in five trim levels: GLS, SE, SE 2.0T, Limited, and Limited 2.0T. The GLS and Limited are powered by a 198-hp 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine. The SE features dual-exhaust which increases the engine output to 200-hp using the same 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine. The SE 2.0T and Limited 2.0T feature a 274-hp 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine. The standard transmission on all trims is a six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC. Standard features include motor driven power steering, air conditioning, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and Blue Link. Standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control, brake assist, six-airbags, occupancy classification sensor, and active front head restraints.
For 2013, the GLS trim is now standard with the six-speed automatic transmission. Also, the optional Premium Package offered on the Limited trims, now includes a panoramic sunroof.
The Toyota Yaris combines a well-tailored, roomy interior with agile performance and a fuel efficient engine in an entry-level car.
The front-wheel drive Yaris is available as a hatchback (three-door or five-door) or a four-door sedan. The subcompact Yaris is powered by a 106 horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to either a five-speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic. The hatchback is available in three trim levels, L, LE and SE, the sedan comes as one base level trim. Safety features in the hatchback include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, electronic stability and traction control, whiplash lessening front seats, tire pressure monitoring, front seatbelt pretensioners and nine-airbags, including a driver's knee bag and driver/front passenger seat-cushion airbags.