Over the past few years a number of car companies have gone out of business and/or stopped marketing in North America. One of the favorite “sports” auto people engage in is to guess who is going to bail next. One name that comes up often is Mitsubishi. I can tell you first-hand that those expecting to find the car company left for dead are whistling “Dixie” in the wrong key. I recently tested the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and was shown the “will to live” is alive and well.
Luxury in a small, fuel-efficient package is the new hot commodity in the automotive world. We want our good stuff, but we want it in a neat container that makes us feel good about saving precious resources and disposable income that otherwise would land in the pockets of big oil. In this vein, Buick has offered up for 2013 the very tidy and compact crossover Encore.
No matter how adept a sport utility vehicle is at climbing rocks, fording streams or tackling wild terrain, most of its life will be spent on hard pavement accomplishing the chores of everyday life. For that reason the all-new new fourth-generation Range Rover (only the fourth complete redesign in 43 years) has taken the upscale suburban driving experience to a new level. It’s one honey of a luxury SUV.
When you think of compact crossover SUVs, names such as Escape, RAV4 and CR-V instantly come to mind. We think another should be added to the list of small top-tier family haulers — the Subaru Forester. And today, Subaru has taken its already excellent Forester to a new level of sophistication with a complete remake for the 2014 model year.
Acura's flagship RL sedan has been in need of a complete redesign for several years, its last complete makeover coming in 2005. In the last couple of years it has been relegated to an afterthought, noted by its meager sales of just 379-units in 2012.
Acura finally and belatedly came to the rescue early this year with the introduction of the 2014 RLX, a modern, near-full-size luxury sedan that comes loaded with the latest in safety and entertainment technology, a competent direct-injection V-6 engine, and a supremely quiet and comfortable cabin loaded with rich leather and wood trim.
There is nothing in the automotive universe quite like a Porsche 911. The legend of the iconic Porsche since its debut in 1963 continues to grow with the newest iteration, which is four inches longer, has a two-inch wider front track and is 56 pounds lighter than the previous version without losing any of its classic proportions. Its styling continuity over the span of 50 years is amazing. The timeless design of Ferdinand (Ferry) Porsche lives on in grand fashion.
Fusion’s appealing styling has been well documented over the past year, and its new-found sales success shows that Ford designers took the mid-sized sedan in the right direction. Its Aston Martin-derived grille and long, lean body wrapped in curvaceous sheet metal sets a new standard for the segment.
But the Fusion has more going for it than its outward appearance. From its unique engine choices to its unusually sporty driving dynamics to its quiet, tasteful cabin to its long list of standard and optional equipment, the Fusion hits the mark.
(March 29, 2013) Almost every person has their own definition of a heresy. To some it might be putting ketchup on a prime filet mignon, to others it might be wearing a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s with an Armani tuxedo. I had my own definition, which was to equip a full-sized Jaguar with a V6 engine. In 2013 my “horror” came true and I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Just a couple of years after Toyota pioneered the car-based small SUV segment with the 1996 RAV4, it broke more new ground introducing the first luxury car-based SUV — the 1999 Lexus RX 300 — creating an industry segment that now includes nearly a dozen vehicles. Fifteen years later Lexus is still the luxury crossover leader. In fact the RX has never relinquished its sales crown by keeping the RX fresh with continual upgrades and meaningful changes.
Ford it seems has developed the near-perfect vehicle for the small family — or for anyone who values fuel economy, decent cargo space, and a surprisingly sporty demeanor. It has the high-riding traits of a compact SUV, the practicality of a hatchback and the fuel economy of a Toyota Prius. Ford calls it the C-Max, which comes only in hybrid configuration in the U.S. with an EPA rated 47 miles per gallon in both city and highway driving.