The Toyota Camry is America’s best-selling sedan. So if you take this already proven platform, pile on luxury features and bestow it with buttery-smooth refinement, you’re bound to have a winner—and Lexus does with its ES 350. True, its styling is conservative—but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Leather-trimmed seating, a one-touch tilt/slide power glass moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel are all standard. In fact, the ES 350 only comes one way: loaded, with a variety of options and packages. A new limited-production ES Touring Package offers 17-in. wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, Saddle Tan leather and Brown Walnut wood trim.
The Volvo XC90 offers classic Volvo attributes in a midsize SUV. An IIHS Top Safety Pick several years running it's safe, comfortable, and practical.
The XC90 seats up to seven people. Rear and front passenger seats fold down to provide more cargo room. A second-row child booster seat is standard equipment. The 240-hp 3.2-liter inline-six is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, matched with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission, allowing driver selectable shifting. When equipped for towing it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth are standard features. Safety features include electronic stability control, side-impact and side curtain airbags, Roll Stability Control, Blind Spot Information System, and all-disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
The 2014 XC90 carries over from 2013.
The Ford Fiesta is a sub-compact, front-wheel drive, five-passenger car. Available in four and five-door bodystyles, the current benchmarks for the sub-compact segment are being tested by the Fiestas styling, comfort and luxury features, technology, and overall practicality.
The Fiesta is offered in three trims, S, SE, and a Titanium model. For 2014 there is the addition of the new ST trim to the hatchback lineup. Power comes from a 120-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. An advanced six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission is optional. The ST gets a turbocharged, direct-injected version of the 1.6-liter that offers nearly 200-hp, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Standard features on all models include air-conditioning, capless fuel filler system, power body-colored mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, aux audio input jack, electronic power-assisted steering and hill launch assist. Higher trim levels include cruise control, keyless entry, Ford's MyKey system, HD and satellite radio, alloy wheels, power windows, rearview camera with reverse park sensing, SYNC hands-free communications and entertainment system and SYNC with MyFord Touch. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, seven airbags including a driver knee airbag, tire pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
For 2014, the Fiesta is a refresh with new interior and exterior styling, feature changes across the entire lineup and the addition of the ST performance hot hatch.
The Hyundai Sonata sedan has been quite a success since its introduction two years ago and now it has become the number three seller in the mid-size sedan category, trailing only Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord. For 2013 the Sonata GLS with the Popular Equipment Package now has fog lights and heated front seats, and comes in at a price of $21,720. The Sonata SE also gets heated front seats and the Limited version comes with a standard sunroof. All 2013 Sonata gasoline models are fitted with the 2.4-liter inline-4 that puts out an impressive 200 bhp at 6300 rpm and 186 lb-ft of torque at 4250. If you want more, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine available on the SE and Limited models offers 274 bhp and 269 lb-ft of torque while still providing 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway mileage. And all Sonatas for 2013 are fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control. On the road, the Sonata provides good handling and ride, thanks to its independent suspension with MacPherson struts up front and multi-link at the rear. If you want even more excitement, the SE version has sport-tuned suspension with stiffer springs and stabilizer bars that increase roll stiffness, along with 18-in. low-profile tires. Sonata also offers all the communication, navigation, phone and sound system options you could ask for.
If you’ve got a spare $100k or so burning a hole in your pocket, let us direct you to the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. The large 2-seat roadster comprises three models: SL550 (382-bhp, 5.5-liter V-8); SL63 AMG (518-bhp 6.3-liter V-8) or SL65 AMG (604-bhp, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12). The price increases in similar increments, ranging from the $102k SL550 to the $139k SL63 all the way to the $198k SL65 AMG. Acceleration times drop as well, from 5.4 seconds to 4.2 seconds. New Direct Steering in the SL550 quickens steering simply by changing the gearing in the steering rack. The limited availability SL550 Night Edition includes special interior treatment plus two-tone 19-inch AMG wheels, special paint, silver brake calipers and darkened head- and tail-lamps.