The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is an athletic SUV designed to bring on-road performance driving to the traditional Land Rover off-road experience. It enters its second generation in 2014, with bold, revised styling inside and out and additional standard equipment, along with a new lightweight all-aluminum monocoque platform and new powertrains.
The five-passenger Range Rover Sport is now available in four trim levels: SE, HSE, Supercharged and Autobiography. The SE and HSE are powered by a new 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, while the Supercharged and Autobiography trims boast the carryover 510-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Both powerplants feature Both powerplants feature new start/stop technology, which shuts the engine down during temporary stops to save fuel, and are mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode; additionally, Supercharged and Autobiography trims get steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Full-time four-wheel drive with Land Rover's acclaimed "Terrain Response" system helps tackle a wide range of off-road conditions, while Supercharged and Autobiography trims add Adaptive Dynamics with variable suspension dampening for sportier handling and an active locking rear differential. Standard equipment on the SE includes a power liftgate, 19-inch aluminum wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, passive entry/start, a new Meridian audio system and voice-activated hard drive-based navigation with internal memory storage; HSE and Supercharged trims add a panoramic sunroof, fog lights, 20-inch aluminum wheels, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Autobiography trims are further outfitted with 21-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive headlights with automatic high-beam assist, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, three-zone automatic climate control and upgraded audio with HD and satellite radio. Standard safety features on all trims include eight airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with traction control and roll mitigation, and a rearview camera with front visual display; Autobiography trims also get a surround camera system and blind spot monitoring with closing vehicle sensing and reverse traffic detection.
There's a special feel in the Continental, from the moment you open the heavy door and get your first nose full of that leather interior. Keep in mind that, in a Bentley, we're not just talking "seating surfaces." This is leather everywhere, including the dash, the pillars, the headliner, everything. The front thrones are about what you'd expect, but the well being of the back-seat passengers is completely dependent on the generosity of those up front to scoot their seats forward.
The Continental has used a twelve-cylinder engine from the get-go; it's a large, 6.0-liter unit with its cylinders arranged not in a V but in a W shape. Spin the W-12 to life and it settles into a deep bass rumble. 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque are waiting to be unleashed by your right foot. More recently, Bentley added the (lower-cost) option of a turbocharged V-8. Although its 500 hp and 487 lb-ft are shaded by the W-12, it's amazing how similar in character the two engines are. The V-8 accelerates the Continental GT from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds; the W-12 accomplishes the same feat in 4.4 seconds.
Any version of the Continental GT or GTC is impressive underway. This is a heavy car and yet it accelerates and changes direction with alacrity. The steering is neither overboosted nor too heavy, and it is commendably precise. Also notable is the beautifully matched calibration of the throttle and brake -- neither jumpy nor grabby; both have a long travel that is nicely progressive.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan is very popular in Europe and may get more common here in the U.S. thanks to revised front and rear styling that’s more in line with the Touareg’s. For 2012, the Tiguan is available as an S, SE or SEL model, with either fwd or awd. As before, the only engine is VW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 with 200 bhp. In 2012, though, thanks to enhancements made to the 6-speed automatic transmission, the Tiguan now gets 27 mpg on the highway, up from 25. The base model is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. SEL models are well-equipped, even fitted with bi-xenon headlights that point into corners. A U-shaped row of LEDs around the headlights serve as daytime running lights while adding to this compact crossover’s fresh look.
R&T Overview:Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the new VW Passat is a bona fide competitor for the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It’s super roomy inside, especially in back, and there’s a choice of three engines: a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder with 177 bhp, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder with 140 bhp and VW’s 3.6-liter VR6 with 280. Don’t be fooled by the diesel’s low bhp; this oil-burner has lots of torque, and although it does not make this new Passat exceptionally quick, it’s very efficient, able to squeeze 43 miles out of a gallon of diesel fuel when mated to the 6-speed manual transmission. If you value luxury over efficiency, get the 3.6 SEL Premium, which has leather, keyless entry, navigation, power seats and interior chrome accents.
The Chrysler 300 stands out with bold, imposing styling. Its strong lines give off a sense of power and refined stature.
The 300 is available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, with V6 (Base and S) or V8 power (SRT8 only). The 3.6-liter V6 sends power through an eight-speed transmission. The performance oriented SRT8 receives a mammoth 6.4-liter V8 and five-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, active-headrests, driver knee, seat-mounted side and overhead curtain airbags, traction control, stability control and ignition disable. Available features include heated and ventilated leather front bucket seats, navigation system, Bluetooth and automatic dual-zone climate control.