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 MINI Paceman is the two-door sporty version of the Countryman crossover and is the eighth model in the MINI line-up.
The two-door, four-seat Paceman is available in three different trims: the Cooper with a 121-hp 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine, the Cooper S with a direct-injection, 181-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, or the John Cooper Works with a 208-hp version of the Cooper S turbo engine. All trims are mated to either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission. For added all-weather control and road-handling, the Cooper S can also be equipped with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, while the JCW is standard with ALL4. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, electronic traction and stability control and anti-lock brakes. A wide variety of interior trim materials and colours are available, as well as features such as bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, navigation system, harman/kardon audio, and satellite radio. Bluetooth and HD radio are standard equipment.
For 2014, heated mirrors and washer jets are now standard on all trims, and several new packages have been introduced including John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages for the Cooper and Cooper S models.
Honda is preparing to launch an all-new fourth-generation CR-V for 2012. A concept vehicle previewing the design direction of the new model reveals bolder styling with a wide, three-bar grille, curving roofline and tall, angled taillights with a three-dimensional look that wrap further into the body. The CR-V continues to be based on the Civic, which is also new this year. Honda says a more fuel-efficient engine, reduced curb weight and a revamped interior are planned. In keeping with tradition, expect a 4-cylinder as the lone powerplant along with front- and awd models. The CR-V’s cabin will offer more space for passengers plus a lower cargo floor for easier access. A third-row seat is a possibility, although it would only be suitable for kids. Specifications are for 2011 model year.
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 Buick Verano is a compact luxury sedan that features upscale styling and progressive technologies, along with comfortable seating for five and a high level of standard equipment.
The front-wheel drive Verano is available in four trim levels: Base, Convenience Group, Leather Group and Premium Group. It is powered by either a 180-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection, or a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the Premium Group trim. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, and an optional six-speed manual is available with the 2.0-liter engine. Every Verano is outfitted with 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, satellite radio, USB port and Buick's IntelliLink system, which allows smartphone integration and audio streaming through the vehicle's infotainment centre, controlled via a seven-inch LED touch screen. The Convenience Group adds heated exterior mirrors, heated front seats, an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and a 6-way power driver's seat. The Leather Group is further equipped with leather upholstery, passive entry/start, upgraded audio and a heated steering wheel, while the Premium Group is visually distinguished by dual exhaust outlets and a flushmount rear spoiler. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control systems, rearview camera, OnStar and a tire pressure monitor, as well as ten airbags. Ultrasonic rear parking assist sensors, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert are standard on all but the Base trim level.
The Buick Verano carries over with minimal changes for 2014. A universal garage door opener is now standard on all but the Base trim level, and heated front seats have been added to the Convenience Group. Additionally, new safety features - including Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning - are standard on all but the Base trim.