What can C70 drivers do in 30 seconds? Press a button and have their ride transform itself from an all-weather coupe into a wind-in-the-hair convertible. A luxurious four-place cabin is swathed in leather and bedazzled with aluminum accents. The new Premier Plus trim level adds HomeLink, Keyless Drive, a digital compass and rear park assist. Step up to the Platinum and be rewarded with Volvo premium sound and a handy navigation system. Motivation is supplied by a 227-bhp 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder teamed with a 5-speed Geartronic transmission. Safety features include stability control, double-locking doors, a rollover protection system and door-mounted inflatable side curtains to protect heads when the chips are down—and so is the top.
The S8 is the performance-enhanced flagship of Audi's lineup. It is based off the A8 luxury sedan and features all the cutting edge innovation that Audi has to offer.
The S8 is powered by a 4.0-liter 520-hp V8 bolted to an eight-speed paddle-shifted Tiptronic transmission and Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system to put the power to the ground. Inside it has standard leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, ten airbags, and power memory front seats. To differentiate it from the A8, Audi gave the exterior a subtly more aggressive look with larger air intakes, larger rocker sills, quad exhaust tips, silver mirrors and black painted brake calipers wrapped by 21-inch wheels. On the inside, there's a three-spoke steering wheel with contrast stitching, aluminum pedals and shift paddles, gray instruments and Carbon Atlas trim. Options include such luxuries as a 1400 watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, adaptive cruise control, night vision, lane change assist and a solar sunroof.
For 2014, Audi side assist and Audi pre sense rear are now standard equipment.
The XTS sedan is the newest addition to the Cadillac lineup. Larger than the CTS, the XTS offers the high level of quality and innovation that Cadillac owners are used to. With the debut of some of the most technologically advanced features in the brand's history, the XTS is definitely a modern luxury vehicle to consider.
Available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive models; the XTS is powered by a direct-injected, 3.6 liter V-6 engine producing 304 horsepower and 264 foot-pounds of torque. It is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission that includes tap up/tap down steering wheel shift controls. The XTS is the first vehicle in the Cadillac lineup to offer the CUE system, a comprehensive in-vehicle experience with an intuitive design for information and media data control. Standard features include 10 airbags, an 8-speaker Bose audio system, and dual-zone climate control. Available equipment includes a driver awareness package, power rear sunshade, heated front and rear seats, and a 12.3-inch color screen.
The Sonata models made a huge leap forward in 2011 with a completely redesigned car that really performed well. And for 2012, Hyundai is touting the standard Blue Link system that provides traffic and weather information, connects to roadside assistance, and can run diagnostics, alert you to maintenance needs and more. Another standout feature is the Theta II 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that provides 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. And the 2.0 turbo and the Hybrid (40-mpg rated) add to the choices. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual (base model) or the 6-speed automatic with Shiftronic so you can choose gears if you like. Inside and out, the Sonata is a design delight and offers fine ride character and handling.
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.