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 Versa Note fills the 5-door hatchback slot in Nissan's line-up and brings sharp styling and unique technologies to the sub-compact class.
The Versa Note is front-wheel drive and is powered by a 109-hp 1.6-liter four cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual or Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Safety comes from six standard airbags, front seat-belt pretensioners, engine immobilizer, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability and traction control. A rear view camera is available, as is a surround view monitor system, part of an SL Tech package that includes a touch-screen navigation system, Bluetooth streaming audio and NissanConnect which provides Google functionality as well as real-time fuel, flight and weather information.
The Gelandewagen (cross-country vehicle) was developed more than 30 years ago for military use. Today's sophisticated G550 continues to be built in Austria by Magna Steyr. Suitable for transporting the Pope, the civilian version is a no-compromise off-roader capable of climbing grades up to 36 degrees or traversing lateral inclines of 24 degrees. A 382-bhp 5.5-liter V-8 transfers torque to independently locking front, center and rear differentials. While the previous supercharged AMG V-8 is discontinued, a new Edition Select appearance package makes its debut. It features AMG fender flares, unique alloys, carbon-style moldings and Piano Black wood cabin trim. As expected in this price class, the G550 comes fully equipped with luxury and convenience features.
The Subaru BRZ is a front-engine rear-wheel drive 2-door sport coupe. Engineered and designed together with Toyota, the attractively styled and lightweight BRZ embodies a return to sports car roots.
The rear-wheel drive BRZ is powered by a 200-hp 2.0-liter flat boxer 4-cylinder engine with both direct and port injection and is matched with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Its sporty nature is further strengthened by including a Torsen limited-slip differential as standard equipment. Standard equipment includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, ventilated disc brakes front and rear, HID projector headlamps, voice-activated navigation, and an audio system with HD radio, eight speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. Front seats are comfortable sport buckets and the rear seatback folds forward to create more storage space. Safety features include six airbags, stability control, traction control, and brake assist. Available features include leather/alcantara seats, keyless start, and heated front seats and exterior mirrors.
The Mitsubishi Lancer offers an enticing range of compact cars from practical economy to sensible all-wheel-drive sedan to sporty liftback to rally rocket. The Lancer sports a tidy, sleekish shape with a bold and distinctive shark mouth. Its interior is clean, seating is comfortable, instrumentation is blessedly simple.
Good engines give it good value, with its base model bringing 26/34 miles per gallon City/Highway, according to the EPA. Seven airbags, including one for the driver's knee, help make it safe, in addition to anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and the mandated tire pressure monitor. Lancer was last redesigned for the 2008 model year.
The 2012 Lancer SE is a new model. It uses Mitsubishi's all-wheel drive system called AWC (all-wheel control), with the proven 2.4-liter engine making 168 horsepower. Ready for the Snow Belt, the Lancer SE comes with heated seats and mirrors.