The Yukon comes in three distinct flavors: a regular truck-based three-row SUV that's a Chevy Tahoe underneath the skin, complete with a 320-bhp 5.3- liter V-8; a 14-in.-longer version that's a Chevy Suburban underneath the skin; and an HD model with a stronger frame and a 352-bhp 6.0-liter V-8. There are also Denali models that feature a 403-bhp 6.2-liter V-8, as well as heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, retracting running boards and leather upholstery. The Denalis have a special sound-insulating package to make them quieter inside. These are not sissy trucks, though, since capable off-road packages are available with locking rear differentials, big tow hooks in the front and a front skid plate. The Hybrid Yukon and Denali get an impressive 20 mpg in the city.
The new model year 2012 finds Aston Martin offering an even dozen versions of its popular Vantage. From the nearly $200 grand V-12 Carbon Black to the V-8 Vantage N429 Coupe with manual gearbox at $131,600, there is a beautiful sports coupe for any wealthy enthusiast. And the joy of driving an Aston Martin is worth the price of admission. Beautifully finished interiors with leather upholstery, manual or Sportshift gearboxes, and a variety of standard features plus a lengthy list of options make it easy to personalize "your" Aston Martin. New for 2012 are a Garmin satellite navigation system, beam-blade windscreen wipers and a wide range of colors for the brake calipers. With either the V-12 or the V-8, you'll find plenty of driving excitement.
Cadillac's CTS comes in three forms: Sedan, Coupe and Sport Wagon. It's easy to be a fan of either or all. The exterior design is glamorous and unapologetically Detroit. Ditto inside. Even the base models are nicely finished with good detailing. There are several drivetrain combinations: Two aluminum 4-cam direct-injection V-6s, a 3.0-liter (270 bhp/223 lb.-ft. of torque) or a 3.6 (318 bhp/275 lb.-ft. of torque). Manual or automatic 6-speed transmissions. Drive can be via the rear or all four wheels. How much more variety could you want? With independent suspension front and rear, plus standard StabiliTrak stability control, the CTS has beautifully matched ride and handling characteristics. In short, this Cadillac manages to be an engaging car without being too firm.
The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart takes the performance attributes of its Italian cousin, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and infuses it with Dodge design. The front is styled with the unmistakable Dodge split crosshair grille while the rear features an available Charger-inspired"racetrack" full-width taillamp design with 152 indirect glow LEDs. Loaded with innovative technology, class-leading safety features and clever functionality, the Dart sets a new standard in the compact car segment by offering a high level of personalization, roominess, style and fun-to-drive dynamics. The Dart is available in three trims: SE, SXT and Limited. The Rallye Package is built off of the SXT trim. The R/T trim will be available later in the model year.
The standard engine for the SE, SXT and Limited is a 160 horsepower Tigershark 2.0-liter engine combined with a standard 6-speed manual or an optional 6 -speed automatic transmission. A 160 horsepower MultiAir Intercooled Turbo 1.4-liter engine with standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed dual dry clutch (DDCT) transmission (available 3rd quarter 2012) features more torque and is available on SXT and Limited trims. Standard equipment on the SE includes four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, brake assist, brake-lock differential, traction control, electronic stability control with roll mitigation, hill-start assist, ten airbags, a reactive head-restraint system, power windows and projector headlights. The SXT adds power mirrors, power door locks with remote keyless entry, 60-40 rear seats with pass-through, premium cloth seats, front and rear carpet mats, and air conditioning. The Rallye Package includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, body-color crosshair grille with unique black surround, dual chrome exhaust tips, fog lights and unique premium cloth seat trim with accents. The Limited trim features 17-inch aluminum wheels, heated exterior mirrors, chrome crosshair grill with body-color surround, fog lights, power driver's seat, front passenger in-seat cushion storage, cruise control, Uconnect Touch 8.4 touchscreen CD/MP3 stereo, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, ParkView rear backup camera, a 7-inch TFT customizable instrument cluster display and ambient lighting.
Available equipment includes high-intensity discharge remote headlamps; remote start system; proximity keyless entry; Keyless Enter-N-Go push-button start; rain-sensitive wipers; SmartBeam auto-dimming headlamps; ParkSense rear park assist system; blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection system; active grille shutters; underbody aerodynamic treatment, leather seat trim; heated front seats; front passenger in-seat cushion storage; express open/close sunroof; heated steering wheel; dual-zone automatic temperature control; SiriusXM satellite radio; 506-watt Alpine sound system; and a Uconnect Touch 8.4N CD/MP3/Navigation Multimedia Center.
When it comes to Mustangs, they don’t get any wilder than the Shelby GT500. Available in coupe or convertible format, either model comes with a spine-compressing 650-bhp supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission. Top speed is 202 mph and the sprint from 0-60 mph should only take 3.7 seconds. Considering its awesome performance, you might expect the GT500 to be an absolute beast away from the racetrack. Surprisingly, it’s easy to drive – though be warned, the rear tires can spin in 3rd gear. If you’re going racing, the optional Track Package adds an external engine oil cooler, along with coolers for the differential and transmission. Another choice is the Performance Package, which includes sportier springs, thicker anti-roll bars, a Torsen limited-slip diff and cockpit-adjustable Bilstein dampers.