It has been many moons since the Buick brand offered a high quality compact option but with the 2013 Buick Verano, General Motors has an affordable compact sedan that offers a luxurious interior, a superb ride and drivetrain that is both powerful and efficient that makes the Verano exactly what Buick has been needing.
This past summer, I spent a few hours driving around Florida in the 2013 Scion FR-S in an area with no traffic, no stop lights, no real turns and no destination which really showcased the performance attributes of the FR-S but it didn’t really give me a chance to see what it was like to drive under normal circumstances – a problem solved recently when I spent a week behind the wheel of Japan’s uber popular sports coupe.
The 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport is a premium luxury sport sedan fitted with all of the amenities and features that a car claiming to be both luxury and sporty should have – with these attributes combining to create a roomy sedan that is a blast to drive while also being packed to the roof with the greatest of creature comforts.
I have driven the Hyundai Veloster a handful of times including spending a full week testing the funky little hatchback and my only concern was that it could use a little more power – a problem that is well solved with the Hyundai Veloster Turbo which adds a turbocharged to the standard 1.6L engine and more than just a little more power.
The Fiat 500 Abarth might not be the fastest or the most high tech sports car in America but with a price starting just under $23,000, fuel economy measures in the 30-34 mile per gallon range and driving characteristics that make it just as much fun to drive as far more power and far more expensive sports cars – it is my belief that the Fiat 500 Abarth is not only the most engaging compact car sold in America but it is also the most exciting car sold in the US with a price tag under $25,000.
When you look at the traditions of American luxury it is all about being the biggest and having the best of everything - two qualities that are well represented in the 2013 Cadillac Escalade Platinum and while the top of the line Escalade might carry a big price tag, there is no question that this is truly a premium American luxury vehicle.
The German auto industry is ripe with sports cars that can offer an exhilarating driving experience with a stylish exterior combined with a luxurious, high tech interior but few do it as efficiently as the 2012 Audi TT 2.0 Quattro S-Tronic Coupe – a compact sports coupe that offers everything that you would expect from a European luxury sport model.
The 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged very well may be the perfect embodiment of the British luxury brand as it isn’t the biggest, it isn’t the fastest and it isn’t the most powerful among the lineup but much like the four legged Jaguar in the animal world – the XF Supercharged is sleek, smooth and powerful enough to be taken seriously be its prey.
Now in its forth generation, the 2013 Toyota Avalon now for the first time offers a hybrid version, which takes full advantage of the revised Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive to achieve a potential 39-40 mpg in both city and highway driving.
With the refreshed 2013 Toyota Avalon, the brand is targeting a younger demographic with the first offering from the brand envisioned, designed, engineered and manufactured entirely by the American branches of the corporation.
The Ford Mustang has been a top dog in the high performance world for almost 50 years now but one area where the factory stock Mustang has been criticized was handling – a critical point that has been resolved with the incredible 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302.
I recently found that the receiver lock on my Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab was getting harder and harder to deal with when I was changing my hitch receiver so I began shopping around for a new lock. I was first introduced to the BOLT products at the SEMA Show with their “one key lock technology” and considering how handy their product appears – I picked one up for my own truck.
Since the Lexus brand was first introduced in the United States, the LS lineup has been the flagship vehicle so it should come as no surprise that with the introduction of the 5th generation LS Sedan for the 2013 model year – the Japanese luxury brand hasn’t taken any shortcuts with their new premium sedan.
When the Chrysler 300 was first introduced in the 1950s, the high performance sedan was informally referred to as the “businessman’s muscle car” and with the introduction of the 2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8 – the 300 moniker is as much of a muscle car as it has ever been with more power and luxury than has ever been offered by the Chrysler brand in the past 50 years.
General Motors has featured the new Chevrolet Sonic in a variety of commercials where the sporty little compact is doing things like flipping off of a ramp or skydiving but after spending some time driving the Sonic 5-door Turbo – I can confidently say that GM has finally developed a compact model that is efficient, affordable and a whole lot of fun to drive.
In the world of the compact sport utility vehicle, the battle of the most efficient offering is heating up but with the ability to average better than 30 miles per gallon with a mix of city and highway driving – the 2013 Mazda CX5 is the current king of the hill in terms of being the most efficient SUV available.
The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is powered by the same powerful twin turbo EcoBoost V6 engine as the 2012 and older models but the exterior refresh displayed across the entire 2013 Taurus lineup gives the newest SHO a look that is far more appropriate for a modern high performance sedan.
Last week the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press hosted their first annual 4XFall event, providing the opportunity to test the performance of the highly upgraded 2013 GMC Terrain Denali and Acadia Denali offroad in the historic Gold Rush site of Caribou CO.
There was a point in time when getting all of the high end luxury features in the Chrysler 300 meant that you had to order a 300C, which includes the Hemi V8 and the price increases that come with that pricier drivetrain but with the 2012 Chrysler 300 Limited Luxury Series – owners can have all of the luxury amenities available on the 300 with the efficiency and power of the Pentastar V6.
I recently had the pleasure of spending 8 days behind the wheel of the 2012 Audi Q5 3.2 Quattro and I cannot emphasize more what a pleasure it truly was – with an aggressive exterior, a luxurious interior and a drivetrain that provides a driving experience that is hard to find in a sport utility vehicle.
I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec - a V6 powered sports coupe that presents itself as the best chance yet for the Korean automaker to challenge the American muscle cars even without a V8 engine.
Before driving the 2012 Kia Soul!, I really didn’t think much of the funky little crossover beyond the ultra catchy television commercials featuring the hip hop “Hamstars” but after spending a week driving the Soul!, I’ve learned that this vehicle is way more than just a fun advertising campaign.
The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox AWD LTZ is the top of the line trim package for the smallest of the Chevy sport utility vehicles and the level of detail inside allows this compact SUV to offer luxury comforts with a price well below comparably equipped models around the industry.
The diminutive Mitsubishi lineup offers two sport utility vehicles that share the same name and recently, I had a chance to spend a week behind the wheel of the roomy 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC - the larger of the two company SUVs packing seating for seven and realistic fuel economy of 25mpg on the open road.
After spending 8 days behind the wheel of the 2012 Audi A4 2.0, there is little question as to why this is among the bestselling European luxury cars in the America with tons of amenities inside and an efficient drivetrain that maintains a fun to drive attitude – all under $40,000.
I recently had a chance to log a few hundred miles in the 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE with the standard 2.4L GDI engine, the mid-level package for the company’s bestselling vehicle in the US which offers an incredible number of luxury goodies with the only thing missing being leather surfaces.
I recently had a chance to spend some time in the 2012 Ford F150 XLT 4x4 with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and since this was my second time testing the F150 powered by an EcoBoost V6 from the 2012 model year – I took a little different approach to my road test this time around with a long drive on the highway to test the fuel economy figures of the super-efficient engine.