While Nissan's Versa sedan came in for a ground-up redo for 2012, the 5-door Hatchback version carries over from the 2011 model year with two models, S and SL. Perhaps to soothe hatchback fans, Nissan ups the ante by adding four new option packages for the S model and then making what was the Premium package now standard equipment on the SL edition. With that upgrade come such extras as the Bluetooth Hands-free phone system, the "Intelligent" key and 16-in. alloy wheels. Opt for the S version and you get the 122-bhp 1.8-liter twincam four with a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. SL models also have the 1.8 but are only fitted with the CVT transmission. Now the Vehicle Dynamic Control system is standard on both S and SL models.
The Cadillac Escalade is a large, luxurious SUV that delivers performance and style. Classy and powerful, it looks great for a night on the town or can haul everything needed for a weekend getaway.
Available as a 4x2 or 4x4, the Escalade is powered by a 403-hp 6.2-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management and E85 compatibility, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes a power liftgate, stability control, remote start, Bluetooth compatibility, a rear-view camera and side curtain airbags. Some options are Magnetic Ride Control and 22-inch chrome wheels. The Platinum Edition takes style and innovation to a whole new level with standard equipment such as LED headlights, power running boards, and a rear seat entertainment system with two monitors.
The 2014 Cadillac Escalade carries over from 2013, with some changes to the exterior color availability.
The Audi Q5 provides the versatility of an SUV with the driving characteristics of a sport sedan, with the goal of being the sportiest in its class.
The Q5 is powered by a 211-hp 2.0T four-cylinder engine, or a 272-hp 3.0T supercharged six-cylinder engine, bolted to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system provides surefootedness in all conditions. Standard features includes 12-way power front seats, aluminum trim, 10-speaker DSP sound system, leather seating, LED rear lights, a trip computer, satellite radio, and tri-zone climate control. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control, five seatbelt pretensioners and six airbags.
For 2013, Audi Q5 receives a refreshed interior and exterior design, electric power steering, and E85 flex-fuel capability. The 3.2-liter engine has been replaced by a 3.0T engine.
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.
Despite undergoing a complete overhaul in 2012, the Audi A6 isn't exactly sitting still for 2013. The performance-oriented S6 now joins the lineup, as does a diesel-powered variant. The base A6 sticks with a 211-bhp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, coupled to a CVT transmission. Unfortunately, Audi does not allow its highly-regarded Quattro all-wheel-drive to be ordered with the inline-4. That means you'll have to pony up the extra cash for the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. With a 0 to 60 mph time of approximately 5.3 seconds (about a full 2 seconds quicker than the standard car), that's not necessarily a bad thing. The S6 is good enough to warrant its own entry, but suffice it to say the 420-bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 and 7-speed S tronic gearbox provide stellar performance. Technophiles will love the MMI navigation system with Google Earth and optional Bang & Olufsen stereo.