The Honda Odyssey is considered by many to be the gold standard in minivans. It's refined design with creative storage solutions, and spirited driving dynamics make it stand-out year after year.
The Odyssey is available in five trims: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite. All trims use a 248-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine that features Honda's variable cylinder management system (VCM), which allows the V6 engine to switch among three, four, and six cylinders to increase fuel efficiency. The interior features a third-row Magic Seat that folds into the floor. Maximum seating capacity for the Odyssey is eight passengers. Safety features such as side-impact and curtain airbags, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are standard on all models. Luxury features such as leather trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, navigation and entertainment system are all available.
The 2013 Odyssey is now standard with an 8" i-MID screen, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, USB Audio Interface, 2-GB CD Library, and rearview camera.
The Volkswagen Jetta is the least expensive German sedan in the North American market. Now in its sixth generation, the Jetta looks to provide something for everyone with a wide range of trims and powertrains.
The Jetta sedan offers four different engines, a 115-hp 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder, a 1.8-liter turbocharged gas four-cylinder generating 170 horsepower, a 140-hp 2.0L TDI clean-diesel four-cylinder for those looking for maximum fuel economy, and a 210-hp 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder in the GLI. Buyers that go with either gas engine can choose between a five-speed (six-speed in wagon) manual transmission or six-speed Tiptronic automatic; while TDI and GLI buyers select from either a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed DSG auto with Tiptronic. All Jetta's are standard with safety features such as six air bags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability program, tire pressure monitoring, brake assist, seatbelt pretensioners, traction control and head restraints at all seating positions. To set the GLI apart, it includes sport bumpers and side skirts, tinted taillights, red brake calipers and 17-inch alloy wheels. The GLI Autobahn trim adds features such as 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, heated seats and a Fender premium sound system.
For 2014, the big news is that the 2.5L five-cylinder engine has been replaced by a 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder.
The Buick Encore is a compact crossover SUV that features upscale styling and amenities in an efficient package.
The Encore is available in four trim levels: Encore, Convenience, Leather and Premium, and two drive types: front or all-wheel drive. It's powered by a 138-hp 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control systems, OnStar, and ten airbags. Other standard features include: Buick QuietTuning acoustics package with active noise cancellation, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, IntelliLink audio system with 7-inch color touch screen and an oil life monitor. The Convenience trim adds: dual-zone climate control, rearview auto-dimming mirror, blind spot sensor, remote start and front fog lamps. The Leather trim adds: heated front seats and steering wheel, power adjustable front passenger seat, leather seating surfaces and driver seat memory system including the exterior mirrors. The Premium trim adds on the tech with rain sensing wipers, Bose audio system, lane departure warning and Ultrasonic front and rear parking sensors including rear vision camera.
The Sonic replaces the Aveo as Chevrolet's smallest car in North America (it's still called Aveo in Europe), but it also signals that GM has finally realized, like Mini, Fiat, Scion, Mazda, Honda and Ford, that small cars can be really cool. Like the Aveo, the Sonic will come as a 4-door sedan or hatchback, the sedan gaining about 4 in. in length, while it's slightly narrower and lower. The Sonic, however, shares the same 138-bhp 1.8-liter or turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinders as are available in the larger Cruze. The torque-laden turbo motor comes only with a 6-speed manual, while the 1.8-liter has a 6-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual. The turbo produces much more torque than the 1.8, and boost arrives without lag.
The Ford Escape is a mid-size sport-utility vehicle, which incorporates the latest technology and style; setting a high standard in the SUV category.
The five-passenger Escape is available in S, SE, and Titanium trims, in either front or four-wheel drive. Engine choices start with the 168-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Also, a 173-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is available. For even more power a 231-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is offered. All variations are paired with a six-speed select-shift automatic transmission. Impressive features offered on the Escape include a Panoramic Vista Roof, satellite radio, SYNC, MyFord Touch, a trailer towing package, heated leather seating, navigation system, auto park with cross traffic alert, Sony audio, MyKey, and an industry first hands-free power liftgate. Standard safety features include seven-airbags with drive knee airbag, passive anti-theft system, AdvanceTrac stability control with anti-rollover technology, four-wheel disc brakes, and tire pressure monitoring.
The 2014 Ford Escape is now standard with a rear view camera and SYNC on all trims.