The 77-year-old Suburban has developed multiple personalities in its lifetime. One is a massive, luxurious station wagon, historically favored by Texans. Optional equipment includes power-operated running boards and a body that's refined with no gaps between bumper panels and sheet metal. The next personality is a butch off-roader, with a locking rear differential, big tow hooks in the front and a front skid plate. The base Suburban comes standard with a 320-bhp 5.3-liter V-8 and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine has an iron-block in rear-drive models, while the 4-wheel-drive models get an aluminum version of the V-8. The heavier-duty 2500 model gets a larger 352-bhp 6.0-liter V-8, plus a more robust frame and suspension.
R&T Overview:A hot-rod GS version of the powerful Regal Turbo is added to the lineup, using a 270-bhp variant of the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the regular Turbo model, which boasts a strong 220 bhp. This is the highest specific output of any GM regular production engine ever made, at 135 bhp per liter. Initially, all Regal GS models come with a 6-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels, but offset front struts keep torque-steer minimal. The front brakes are massive 14-in. discs with Brembo calipers, and electronically variable damping keeps the car stable in quick corners. Later in 2012, a 6-speed automatic transmission will become available. Pirelli PZero tires wrap 20-in. polished aluminum wheels and allow cornering at an impressive 0.90g.
The BMW 428i is the latest addition to the ever growing vehicle line-up from Munich. Formerly the 328i coupe, the new 4-series looks to separate itself from the 3-series sedan on which it is based by offering more aggressive styling and sportier driving.
The 428i is available in rear- or xDrive all-wheel drive and is powered by a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission (RWD only) or an eight-speed automatic. Standard safety features include eight airbags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with adaptive brakelights, traction and stability control, active anti-whiplash head restraints, and BMW Assist eCall which includes emergency request and automatic collision notification. BMW's Air Curtain, auto stop-start, and Brake Energy Regeneration alternator help to make the 428i more efficient.
The Range Rover is Land Rover's most prestigious offering, a luxury sport utility vehicle with a long history of quality craftsmanship and legendary "go anywhere" off-road prowess. Now in its fourth generation, with highlights that include a lightweight all-aluminum body structure, new suspension design, exterior and interior styling revisions, and a host of innovative standard and optional features.
The five-passenger Range Rover is available in four trim levels: Base, HSE, Supercharged and Autobiography. The Base and HSE are powered by a 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6, while the Supercharged and Autobiography trims boast a 510-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Both powerplants feature direct fuel injection and are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters. Full-time four-wheel drive with Land Rover's acclaimed "Terrain Response" system and an electronic air suspension help tackle a wide range of off-road conditions; Supercharged and Autobiography trims get Dynamic Response and enhanced "Terrain Response 2 Auto" systems. Standard equipment on the Base includes a power liftgate/tailgate, 19-inch aluminum wheels, Xenon headlights, passive entry/start, heated leather seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, hard drive-based navigation and a Meridian sound system, complete with HD/satellite radio, Bluetooth wireless music streaming and DVD audio/video capability; the HSE adds a sliding panoramic roof, 20-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, auto-dimming exterior mirrors and heated rear seats. Supercharged trims are further outfitted with 21-inch aluminum wheels and enhanced interior trim elements, while the exclusive Autobiography showcases soft-close doors, premium seating with massage function, front and rear climate-controlled seats, an upgraded audio system and integrated rear seat entertainment. Safety features include eight airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with traction control and roll mitigation, front and rear park assist and tire pressure monitoring. Adaptive front lighting, automatic high beam assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, a surround camera system and automated Park Assist are also available (standard on the Autobiography).
With its coupe-like roof, sleek windshield and short rear deck, the 4-seat CC remains one of the best-looking cars on the market, offering what VW calls "expressive head-turning design for the cost of a traditional sedan." Seems like a fair assessment to us. And for 2012, the CC gets an interior makeover, highlighted by new sustainable-wood trim and an elegant dash clock centrally mounted over the stereo. Buyers have six CC models to choose from, ranging from the $28,515 Sport to the $40,090 VR6 4Motion Executive. The Sport has a 200-bhp 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder and a 6-speed manual transmission, whereas the Executive is fitted with the 280-bhp 3.6-liter VR6 and a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Front-drive and all-wheel-drive models are available.