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 Acura TSX is a sport sedan and wagon that offer a satisfying blend of performance, style and efficiency. The TSX boasts a muscular appearance and great handling, complemented by enhanced comfort, convenience and safety features. New for 2013 V6 models include the Technology Package as standard equipment.
The front-wheel drive TSX is powered by a 201-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and auto transmission with Sequential SportShift, steering wheel paddles and Grade Logic Control; or a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine and five-speed automatic. A six-speed manual transmission is optional with the 4-cylinder Special Edition. The TSX Sport Wagon is available exclusively with the 4-cylinder engine and five-speed auto powerteam. The TSX is well-equipped, with a power moonroof, Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, heated front seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, satellite radio and HandsFreeLink (Bluetooth) wireless connectivity. The 2.4-liter model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, and the 3.5-liter model includes 18-inch alloy wheels and unique suspension tuning. The Technology Package includes a navigation system with voice activation, integrated rearview camera parking assist and upgraded audio and climate control systems. Standard safety-enhancing features include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, front side-impact airbags, overhead curtain airbags and active anti-whiplash front head restraints.
The Toyota Land Cruiser remains at the top of the class when it comes to luxury and off-road capability. It provides legendary durability and reliability thanks to Toyota's impressive level of quality control.
The four door Land Cruiser can seat up to eight passengers in three rows of seating. A 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the four-wheel drive system. Driving at low speeds on rough or steep terrain, the Crawl Control system automatically controls the vehicle's engine and brakes which allows the driver to focus on steering. The Land Cruiser boasts ten airbags and standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, brake assist, active traction control, tire-pressure monitoring system, vehicle stability control, and active front headrests for whiplash protection.
The Ford Edge was given a thorough makeover last year, so expect only minor tweaks for 2013. There’s no doubt the Edge grabs attention, from the stylish base model right up to the Sport version that rides on 22-inch alloy wheels and has a menacing blacked-out front grille. A 3.5-liter V-6 serves as the base engine and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Interestingly, you’ll have to pay more for a smaller engine, specifically the turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-4 that offers an estimated 30-mpg on the highway. The 4-cylinder also reduces overall weight of the Edge, which is a plus because the Edge can sometimes feel substantial to a fault. However, the 4-cylinder is not available with optional all-wheel-drive. It’s a shame you can’t have extra all-weather capability and the economy of the 4-cylinder. The enthusiast’s choice is the Sport model, which comes with a 305-bhp 3.7-liter V-6 and uprated suspension, along with styling enhancements and an upgraded cabin.
Bling city, here we come. Even those not enamored of big luxo SUVs have to give Cadillac credit for what it has created in this landmark machine. Such presence, normally mounted up on tall 22-in. chrome wheels. This is not your climb-every-mountain SUV, aimed more at Nordstrom than Mount Whitney, but it is one rugged body-on-frame design, the Hybrid fitted with a 6.0-liter 332-bhp V-8 matched to a 2-mode hybrid system that returns 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway in 2- or 4-wheel-drive form. That's a 33-percent bump over the non-hybrid Escalade with 403-bhp 6.2-liter V-8. Not bad for a 5900-lb. machine that will transport seven adults in quiet luxury, in heated or cooled leather seats, watching a DVD out back, drinks heated or cooled... hey, bling be me.