It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 20 years since the first time we saw the Lexus LS–on a chassis dyno with a pyramid of champagne glasses placed upon its hood, no less. Since then, the LS has grown—not only in size, but in model range. In addition to the “base” LS 460, there’s an LS 460 all-wheel drive (AWD), an LS 460 L (long), an LS 460 L AWD and the LS 600h L—the luxury hybrid that comes standard in long wheelbase with awd. Naturally, the LS’s cabin is swathed in leather, wood trim and abundant convenience features like SmartAccess keyless entry and a standard moonroof. New this year on the LS 460 is the limited-production (250 units) Sport Authentic Special, with 19-in. wheels, Brembo brakes, paddle shifters, navigation and more.
The Avalon is Toyota's flagship passenger car, with quality craftsmanship and dynamic styling that make it a desirable choice among full-size sedans.
The front-wheel drive Avalon is available in four trim levels: XLE, Premium, Touring and Limited. All are powered by a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. All trims feature heated exterior mirrors, automatic headlamps, heated leather seats, wood-grain style interior trim, automatic climate control, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth wireless audio streaming and phone connectivity, cruise control, Smart Key, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. Safety features include anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, vehicle stability and traction control systems, front and rear side-impact airbags, overhead curtain airbags for front and rear occupants, a driver-side knee airbag and active anti-whiplash front head restraints. Entune, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alerts, Safety Connect, rain-sensing wipers, three-zone automatic climate control, dynamic radar cruise control, eBin, pre-collision system and a rear camera parking aid are available high-tech features.
The Toyota Avalon was redesigned inside and out for the 2013 model year. Designers developed the concept in the US leaving nothing untouched in their quest for modern sophistication.
The Acura TSX is a sport sedan and wagon that offers 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.
Thanks to its size, traditional body-on-frame construction and multitude of options, the GMC Yukon family leaves a big footprint in the SUV market. There are two wheelbases available, 116-in. and 130-in. (XL), and choice of 5.3-, 6.0- or 6.2-liter V-8s, all of which are flex-fuel capable. Or if 20 mpg city sounds good, check out the Hybrid model. The long-wheelbase XL is available in the 1500 series or the heavier-duty 2500, which has a towing capacity of 9600 lb. There is an entry-level Yukon SLE available, but GMC’s biggest SUV is better known for the upscale Denali. The Denali model continues to add features, with standard blind-spot alert for 2012. The StabiliTrak system now includes electronic trailer sway control and hill start assist.
Mercedes revamps the C-Class sedan for 2012 and adds an attractive new coupe to the mix. Both begin with the C250 Sport featuring a new 201-bhp 1.8-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder turbo. The C350 nets a 302-bhp 3.5-liter V-6. Targeting enthusiasts, the top C63 AMG has a 451-bhp 6.2-liter V-8. Sedans also offer a C300 4Matic with a 228-bhp 3.0-liter V-6. Standard 7-speed automatics include a Speedshift multiclutch version for the C63. Redesigned interiors gain new audio with a 5.8-in. color display, Bluetooth and USB port. Coupes receive standard paddle shifters, sport bucket seats and split-folding rear seats. Attention Assist, Adaptive Brake with Hold function, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Sport Assist are among C-Class safety features.