Mazda has championed the rotary engine for many years and continues to produce the Renesis twin-rotor Wankel for the RX-8 4-door sports car. Seem confusing? Not really, as Mazda brought out the RX-8 in 2003 and it has proven to be a fun-to-drive sports car that will carry four adults in a pinch. When pared with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the rotary develops 232 bhp, while output drops to 212 bhp when mated to the 6-speed automatic transmission. Ride and handling are smooth and slick, interior comfort is quite high and if you want to have the ultimate RX-8, order the R3 edition with stiffer suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, a rear spoiler and more.
Built in Texas and designed for the American market, the Tundra is full-size in every respect. Brawny styling surrounds a rugged platform engineered to tow more than 10,000 lb. Regular Cab, Double Cab and Crew Max offer roomy interiors filled with creature comforts. Powertrain choices include a sophisticated 4.0-liter V-6, two V-8s displacing 4.6 and 5.7 liters, plus 4x2 and 4x4. Trim levels cover a full spectrum of possibilities from work to play. All now feature a black upper instrument panel and carpet, styled steel wheels, daytime running lights and heated mirrors. A backup camera is standard on the Limited while navigation remains optional. TRD Sport, Off-Road and Rock Warrior packages offer substantial opportunities for customization.
Once in a while, manufacturers go a bit too far in their quest to create a truly unique-appearing vehicle. Acura became the most recent victim of its own styling when it introduced the 2011 TL, a car that appeared to smile cartoonishly at onlookers with its oddly-styled front and rear fascias. Thankfully, Acura restyled the TL for 2012, and threw in a new Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission, improved fuel economy, revised interior appointments and technology upgrades to sweeten the deal. Standard features include an eight speaker audio system, dual-zone adaptive climate control, power moonroof and leather-trimmed interior. A newly available Advance Package adds ventilated front seats, larger wheels and a new blind-spot information system.
The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is the world's first all-wheel drive crossover convertible. It offers ample room for four adults, and plenty of cargo space with the top up or down. It is designed for a no compromise convertible experience for everyday life.
The two-door, all-wheel drive Murano CrossCabriolet is offered in one luxurious trim level and features Nissan's 3.5-liter six-cylinder VQ engine that generates 265 horsepower, which is sent through an Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with adaptive shift control. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, Bose audio system, cruise control, intelligent key with push button ignition, LED rear taillights, a fully automatic cloth convertible top with rear glass skylight, and dual zone automatic air conditioning. Standard safety equipment includes, vehicle traction and stability control, dual pop-up roll bars, brake assist, front and curtain side-impact airbags, and front seat active head restraints.
For 2014, the Murano CrossCabriolet receives two new exterior colors, and the standard 20-inch alloy wheels have a new design.
The Hyundai Tucson features a sleek and fluid exterior design and competes in the popular CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment.
The Tucson is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive arrangements, and is available in GL (FWD only) GLS, and Limited trims. The GL is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. GLS and Limited trims receive a 176-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include six-airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control and active front head restraints.