Toyota’s longest-running nameplate is sold worldwide in various guises. Americans flock to luxury SUVs so our Land Cruiser overflows with creature comforts. Four-zone climate control, 28 air vents, three rows of leather-trimmed seats and JBL Synthesis audio with 14 speakers are standard. Yet underneath it all, the Land Cruiser is built to go anywhere. The 381-bhp 5.7-liter V-8 mates with full-time 4-wheel drive and sophisticated features like Kinetic Dynamic Suspension and Crawl Control with Downhill Assist. Safety Connect with 24/7 emergency assistance is standard. Want more? Toyota obliges with an Upgrade Package that adds a rear entertainment system, navigation with backup camera, cooler box, rain-sensing wipers and rear seat heaters.
The Cadillac Escalade ESV is a longer version of the Escalade. The ESV is a large, luxurious SUV that delivers performance and style. Classy and powerful, it looks great for a night on the town or can haul everything needed for a weekend getaway.
The ESV features a long wheelbase and an increase in total length, greatly enhancing third-row seat legroom and rear cargo space. Available as a 4x2 or 4x4, the Escalade ESV is powered by a 403-hp 6.2-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management and E85 compatibility, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Getting into the third row is easier with the ESV; its longer rear door provides a larger opening. Standard equipment includes a power liftgate, stability control, remote start, Bluetooth compatibility, a rear-view camera and side curtain airbags. Some options are Magnetic Ride Control and 22-inch chrome wheels. The Platinum Edition takes style and innovation to a whole new level with standard equipment such as LED headlights, power running boards, and a rear seat entertainment system with two monitors.
The 2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV carries over from 2013, with some changes to the exterior color availability.
The Hyundai Genesis sedan is a carryover model for 2013 which means no changes from 2012. Nevertheless, it’s worth reviewing what you get for your money. There are three powertrain choices: a 3.8-liter V-6 with 333 bhp; a 4.6-liter V-8 with 385 horsepower; and the Genesis 5.0-liter with an impressive 429 bhp. The transmission for each model is an 8-speed automatic with shift interlock and Shiftronic for those who like to choose gears. And the Genesis also boasts rack-and-pinion steering, disc brakes front and rear, independent suspension, and ample interior room, plus a good-size trunk (15.9 cubic feet). Cruising in the Genesis is a delight with an impressive sound system by Lexicon with 17 speakers, a choice of two navigation systems and a Bluetooth hands-free telephone link. For comfort there is an automatic climate control system, wood-grain interior accents, leather seating surfaces, and more. This is a family-size sedan that offers lots of space, many comfort features and very comfortable ride quality. With all the changes Hyundai has made in several of its other cars for 2013, it’s no wonder that the Genesis sedan is a carryover, especially considering all the improvements made for 2012.
The smallest car in Subaru lineup, the Impreza has been Subaru's mainstay for many years. And thanks to its standard all-wheel drive and rally racing heritage, it's garnered a strong fan base; it's on the list of must-have import car driving experiences. Available in either 4- or 5-door body styles, it comes with a new 2.0-liter flat-4 engine that features better gas mileage and decent power thanks to variable valve timing. While overall size is the same, an extra inch of wheelbase brings interior room up by a couple of cubic feet, very desirable in the small-car category. And just because the Impreza is the bargain of the bunch doesn't mean it doesn't come with tech features. Optional features include Bluetooth and satellite navigation.
While the majority of Grand Cherokees sold will never see a dirt road, let alone a genuine 4x4 trail, buyers can be confident that their “Trail Rated” midsize SUV can put its rivals to shame on the rough stuff. But roughing it is not what the Grand Cherokee is about. It’s about a premium driving environment in a rock-ready 4x4. Last year’s remake addressed many nagging issues with the Grand, such as cramped second-row quarters and underwhelming interior quality. The new Selec-Terrain and Quadra-Lift air suspension systems deliver improved on- and off-road performance (courtesy of five drive settings), and the new Overland Summit model raises luxury to decadent levels. Returning for 2012 is the fire-breathing SRT8—a boulevard screamer high on sporty moves, a sporty cockpit and the 6.4L Hemi’s insane 470 bhp.