We all know the Super Duty is a rugged workaholic but, this year, Ford gussies it up for a night on the town with an available new Platinum series that will exceed even the Lariat and King Ranch for upscale content. It's available in Crew Cab only, and powered by either a 6.2- liter sohc gasoline engine or the amazingly quiet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The Platinum has unique exterior touches like a perforated satin-chrome mesh grille and 20-in. polished aluminum wheels. Inside are 10-way-power leather captain's chairs, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a navigation system viewed on the 8-in. screen of MyFord Touch, which is new throughout the Super Duty lineup and optimized even for users who may be wearing work gloves.
The Audi A6 continues a legacy of dynamic excellence and exceptional comfort, with impressive attention to detail inside and out. The A6 is a 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan, available in both front-wheel and quattro all-wheel drive. For 2014, a new 3.0 TDI quattro model debuts.
The A6 is offered as one front-wheel drive variant, the 2.0T Premium, or as three all-wheel drive quattro variants - 2.0T Premium, 3.0T Premium Plus and the new 3.0 TDI Premium Plus. 2.0T models are outfitted with a 220-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, paired with either a Multitronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) or an eight-speed automatic with manual mode. 3.0T models include a 310-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6, while 3.0 TDI models get a 240-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel (TDI) engine. Both V6 engines feature start/stop technology, and are mated to the eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. Electromechanical steering and the Audi Drive Select program augment efficiency and handling. Standard equipment on every A6 includes a power sunroof, 17-inch aluminum wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, satellite radio and an Audi Music Interface. Additional trim-dependent features include 18-inch aluminum wheels, Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lamps, passive entry/start, HD radio, and Audi Connect with internet access and smartphone integration, as well as a MMI navigation plus system featuring extended functionality, including an 8-inch LCD display, touchpad control, real-time traffic information and internal memory for digital media storage. Safety features consist of electronic stability and traction control systems, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, active anti-whiplash front head restraints and six airbags. The Audi pre-sense collision mitigation system is also standard on every A6, while the 3.0T and 3.0 TDI are further equipped with front/rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Other available technologies include Audi Side Assist blind spot monitoring, Audi Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality, Head Up Display, LED headlights and Night Vision Assistant, including pedestrian detection.
The Audi A6 carries over with minor changes for 2014. Heated front seats are now standard on the front-wheel drive 2.0T, while a new Black Optic Package offers unique 20-inch aluminum wheels, along with a high-gloss black grille. Additionally, a new 3.0 TDI (diesel) quattro model joins the lineup.
The Bentley Continental GT has been a huge success since its introduction in 2002, and for 2009 things continue to improve. The Speed version was added last year and has really caught on, thanks to its special look and its 600-bhp W-12 engine. All Continental models come with 6-speed automatic transmissions by ZF, with manual activation available via the gearshift lever or the steering-wheel paddles. Thanks to all-wheel drive, the Continental offers enormous grip in even the most inclement conditions. The Speed gets its own dark-tinted matrix-look grille, and at the rear there is a lower bumper valance and specific tailpipe tips. Every Continental is proud to show off its interior, as it is lovely to look at and even nicer to sit in. Comfortable grand touring is the order of the day.
Subaru’s answer to the station wagon, the Outback is based on the Legacy platform. That means you get the same interior and exterior styling, but with much larger cargo volume, nearly 20 cu. ft. more, in fact. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded down, an impressive amount of gear can fit in the back of an Outback, a full 71.3 cu. ft. (that’s more volume than a Toyota Venza). If that’s not enough, all Outbacks come with an integrated roof rack. The cross bars slot into the main bars, keeping them close at hand. Retracted, it allows for more efficient highway cruising, while still being ready to spring into action. On top of that, the Outback sits 8.7 in. off the ground, more than enough for urban expedition duty.
Saab was just about to introduce the all-new 9-5 sedan when General Motors sold off the company. It is based on the same platform as the Buick LaCrosse and despite its GM heritage, it maintains a distinctly Saab family look to it. According to Saab, the SportCombi version, unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, will become available during 2012. The seats can be folded down to provide an almost flat floor with an absence of intrusions to maximize cargo space. Both models have a choice of a turbocharged 4-cylinder or turbocharged V-6 engine and can be optioned with Saab’s XWD all-wheel-drive system. The old Saab 9-5 was loved for its enormous load-carrying capacity and the new version carries on the tradition—as long as you can find one.