2013 VW Jetta Turbo Hybrid

SANTA FE, N.M . —  If one believes the automotive hype, the new darling of the industry seems to be electric vehicles. But, maybe not. There is a technology that seems to be appearing in many car lines that’s been around a while…but hasn’t received the respect it deserves — and this time I’m not referring only to diesels. What I’m talking about is hybrids.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. — Do you honestly think that because of high gasoline prices the sport utility vehicle market is a dinosaur? Revise your thoughts. The all-new fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder is in the flesh to dispel the myth and it’s doing so with superb design and style. The original Pathfinder, introduced more than 25 years ago, became an instant success and achieved the reputation of being the “perfect family adventure vehicle.”

Kia Sorento — A stylish crossover

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Several times over the past couple of years acquaintances in the market for a mid-sized crossover vehicle have repeatedly told us that the Kia Sorento was at or near the top of their shopping list. We find this rather amazing because not that long ago Kia was anonymous, known only as the builder of cheap high-mileage vehicles, and not on anyone's shopping list let alone at the top — until now.

2013 Buick Enclave

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — Five years may not seem like much in the overall span of time. However, in the case of the Buick Enclave it’s been the length of an evolution. First debuted as a 2008 model in May 2007, the Enclave is a prime example of a vehicle whose instant success more than doubled Buick's annual sales volume.

Audi A8L — Now with six cylinders

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Audi's incomparable A8 flagship sedan has become synonymous with the V-8 engine — at least on this side of the pond. Big luxury and big engines go together. That was then and this is now — throw synonymous out the window for 2013.

For the first time ever in North America, Audi has inserted a V-6 engine into its flagship sedan. Residing under the hood of the new A8 and A8L is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 making 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque.

2013 Buick Verano Turbo

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Buick Verano sedan is a very good small Buick, based on the Chevrolet Cruze/Chevrolet Volt platform taking the well-executed Cruze to a new level of refinement. The Verano fits right into the new Buick mold of smaller, firmer cars with European design and flare, and with more interior refinement than Buicks of the preceding two or three decades.

Ford Mustang V-6 — Tuned for performance

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The 2013 Ford Mustang bears a strong resemblance to the 2012 model, but there’s a lot more to the ’13 than what immediately meets the eye. For instance the Mustang gets a new front and rear fascia, a more prominent grille and splitter, standard high-intensity headlamps, painted body-side rockers, and LED tail lamps.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS

SAN FRANCISCO — If ever I’ve driven a vehicle that was the poster child for shedding a few “grams” and getting back into shape it’s the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS. The EPA lists this as a subcompact and it is on the small side. However small though it is the Sonic RS casts a large footprint of excitement — particularly for those behind the wheel.

2013 Audi A4/S4

BEAVER CREEK, Col. — My, how the family has grown! The Audi A4 family has been Audi’s best-selling product line for the past four decades and if history means anything the new 2013 version, the eighth-generation A4, will proudly carry on the family tradition. Often referred to as the “entry-level Audi,” as if such a moniker would apply, the new A4 brings a lot to the table in the way of performance, luxury, comfort and just plain driving fun.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

SAN FRANCISCO — For too many years the midsize sedan segment has been populated by a group of plain-Jane’s that were adequate for the job, but quite honestly a little underwhelming when it came to styling and performance. If complacency was the disease then Chevrolet has found the cure.