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 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 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 big news at Honda for 2013 is the all-new, ninth-generation Accord. It’s a bit smaller on the outside for improved handling, and edgier styling sets the tone for the new sedan, coupe and plug-in hybrid. New engines include a direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with a choice of 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmissions. The new 3.5-liter V-6 offers a 6-speed automatic. A 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder teams with a 120-kW motor and lithium-ion batteries for the hybrid. Honda claims an electric range of 10–15 miles in city driving at speeds up to 62 mph with battery recharging taking less than four hours via a 120-volt outlet. New features include Lane Watch blind-spot display plus a standard rearview camera.
In giving the A5 range a freshening, Audi decided to jettison the 4.2-liter V-8 from the performance-themed S5 Coupe. This handsome hardtop is now powered by a 333-bhp supercharged V-6, the same engine that Audi has been using in the S5 Cabriolet. We’ll miss the exhaust snarl and slight horsepower advantage of the outgoing 8-cylinder – even if Audi assures us the latest model is more fuel efficient than before. Quattro all-wheel-drive is standard and, thankfully, a 6-speed manual transmission is still optional for anyone who likes to shift for themselves. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is also available. The exterior has been given a mature makeover, with re-profiled front and rear fasciae. Inside, the cabin has been similarly updated, with chrome and high-gloss finishes lending a more upmarket feel to Audi’s business-class coupe.