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.
It’s three for one with Suzuki’s entry-level but amply equipped SX4. Instead of a single boring little sedan, the SX4 offerings are the SX4 Sport/Sport sedans with content reaching up to leather and a standard navigation system; the SX4 Crossover AWD with its raised ride height; and the new-last-year SX4 SportBack “hot hatch” with a lowered ride height and an appetite for asphalt. The Sport/Sedan models have a traditional sedan profile with separate trunk while the Crossover AWD and SportBack share a 5-door hatchback body with an abbreviated cargo hold. All SX4s enjoy an ample 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed manual or CVT automatic; the Sedan/Sport and the SportBack are front-wheel-drive only. All are well received and easy on the wallet.
R&T Overview:The Enclave comes with seven plush and supportive seats, three in the back row, and two in the middle and front rows. An optional three-person bench seat in the middle turns the Enclave into an 8-seater. Like its Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia siblings, the Buick is powered by the 288-bhp 3.6-liter V-6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Its high points are super-long highway range with its large fuel tank and above-average seating comfort. Like other Buicks, the Enclave runs quietly, and on a very fast run across the Nevada desert, we found our Enclave cruising confidently at higher speeds than we perceived, until we hit the corners, where it felt notably less confident. The Buick is quieter and styled more sleekly than its GM siblings.
R&T Overview:As Chevy's biggest sedan, the Impala holds six folks if you get the optional bench front seat, although these days it feels a bit tight to have an adult passenger seated at your right elbow instead of a cushy armrest. However, there's a space in American culture for a car that can take mom, pop, two kids, granny and gramps to breakfast Sunday morning. The Impala uses the most advanced overhead-cam 3.6-liter V-6 engine shared by other GM cars, and it can run on E85 ethanol fuel if you live in the Corn Belt. It also comes standard with a 6-speed automatic, as well as standard anti-lock brakes, stability control and a suspension that is not too squishy. Competitors may be larger and quieter, but Impala makes for a clandestine drive.
The BMW 7-series is the pinnacle of BMW sedans. A big luxury sedan that is loaded with state-of-the-art technology to keep you safe on today's roads.
Available in rear-wheel drive, or xDrive all-wheel drive, the 750i and long-wheelbase 750Li are powered by a direct-injection, 445-hp 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The 750 has many standard luxury features such as four-zone automatic climate control, power sunroof, high-gloss wood trim, heated 16-way multi-contour seats, voice-activated navigation system on a 10.2-inch color monitor, power trunk lid, HD radio and BMW Assist emergency and information communications. Standard run-flat tires wrap 18-inch alloy wheels, while standard Park Distance Control, adaptive brake lights and steerable adaptive bi-xenon headlights provide active safety. High-tech options include a head-up display, surround-view cameras, high-beam assistant, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, dual LCD screens for rear seat entertainment and ventilated front seats.
For 2013, the 750 gains 45-hp and has been refreshed inside and out.