As sedans go, the Panamera is unique. While most of its competitors look like family cars, the 5-door Panamera looks like a sports car for four. In fact, it resembles a 911—a bloated one, some say. But styling aside, the Panamera is the luxury sedan to own. Even the nicely appointed base model with its fuel-frugal 300-bhp V-6 does a respectable 160 mph, 7 mph less than the Panamera S Hybrid whose V-6 gasoline engine/electric motor combination produces 380 hp while merely sipping fuel. But few sedans can touch the sensational new 550-bhp Panamera Turbo S, whose 190-mph top speed and 3.6-second 0-to-60 time make this sedan as fast as a sports car—like Porsche’s own 911.
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.
With so many configurations of the 7, it's no surprise that BMW is leaving it as is this year and focusing more on other models. This luxury sports sedan carries the enthusiast torch with the factory- tuned Alpina B7 whose twin-turbo V-8 has an increased output of 500 bhp, which is enough to rival the straight-line performance of the V-12-powered 760Li. The Alpina, of course, takes to corners far more readily. At the other end of the fuel consumption spectrum is the 740i with its 315 bhp turbocharged inline-6, and twin-turbo V-8 hybrid that's consumption of 17/24 mpg is about equal. This year, the ActiveHybrid 7 can be fitted with an M Sport Package giving it good looks, performance and economy.
Chrysler puts a luxurious spin on the minivan with the Town & Country. Innovative seating and upscale features inside and out set this van apart from the competition.
The most important feature, both from a usability stand-point and competitive stand-point, is that this van features Stow'n Go seats. The second and third-row seats can be folded into the floor. No more fumbling to release and remove awkward heavy seats and then try to find a suitable place to store them. Combine this with Chryslers new seat trim that repels all but the most caustic stains, and you have a truly family-friendly vehicle. A 3.6-liter V6 sends power through a six-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. All trims come equipped with features such as a tilt and telescoping steering column, remote keyless entry, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a tire pressure monitor. Available features include Smartbeam headlamps, a navigation system, power sliding doors, remote start and satellite radio.
It would be hard to make a bigger splash than the 200's Super Bowl commercial debut, introducing not just a car but a new "Imported from Detroit" marketing slogan. Does the 200 deserve the hype? Compared with the old Sebring, at least, it certainly does. The 200 offers more power thanks to Chrysler's new 3.6-liter V-6, which clocks in at 283 bhp. A nicely turned-out interior with soft-touch material replaces the cold, hard surfaces of the past. And the exterior styling seems more mature. Some of the Sebring's strengths carryover, such as the convertible model, with choice of power soft- or hardtop. The path to 200 ownership begins with the inexpensive LX, with 2.4-liter I-4 and 4-speed automatic. For all the bells and whistles, seek out the 200 S.