No offense, ladies, but the Nissan Rogue that's so popular among your demographic is butching up for 2014 in hopes of gaining greater acceptance in the boys club. Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman reunited with the compact SUV, which he previously reviewed, at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, pointing out the masculine-looking features like LED headlights and taillights, daytime-running lights and an aggressive-looking grille.
The oomph of the redesigned Rogue's 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder isn't quite as manly as Bragman would like, but vastly improved interior quality and comfort more than make up for it.
Subtle styling changes to the 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop are largely conducive to its upscale aspirations. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays got an up-close look at the compact car last week during the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, taking note of new LED headlights surrounded by horseshoe-shaped daytime running lights, a pushed-forward nose, and increased length and width.
Despite the upsizing and seat upgrades, Mays says there's still headway to be made on the driver-comfort front. If you were put off by the odd center-stack placement of the power-window controls, they've been moved to a more conventional position on the door.
Typically, concept cars either start as outrageous contrivances that retain little shock value upon production, or the "concept" is so close to production that there's little difference once it’s in showrooms. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the 2014 BMW i8 — the automaker's first plug-in electric hybrid — is nearly as out-there as it was in "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," with upward-and-outward-opening doors, aluminum and carbon fiber throughout, and even "laser headlights" where legal.
The double-team of the i8's turbocharged three-cylinder and electric motor means it'll only take you 4 seconds to get to 60 mph, but Mays warns it takes far longer to maneuver your body into the driver's seat.
Audi's compact car lineup gets two new stars this year with the 2015 A3 sedan and Cabriolet. Developed with the U.S. and Chinese markets in mind, the new A3 is larger than you'd expect, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays.
Signature styling outside and an emphasis on clean, simple design inside means this new sedan will fit right into the Audi family. The A3 goes up against the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and should prove to be a formidable opponent. Watch the video for more.
The latest addition to a growing class of shrinking vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz GLA250 compact (or is it subcompact?) crossover looks like a cross between a wagon and a crossover, and not necessarily in a good way.
In person, the profile looks a bit awkward — sort of like a crossover with an exceptionally short greenhouse, and a rear end that tapers as sharply as a common hatchback car rather than a wagon or an SUV. By comparison — to my eye, at least — the competing BMW X1 looks more like a downsized, slightly more wagonized X3.
As the S-Class ramps up, the SLS AMG supercar winds down: The SLS AMG GT enters its last model year for 2014 with a Final Edition. Here's a rundown of the super-powered duo.
The Volkswagen e-Golf doesn't look a lot different from the regular Golf. It has the same crisp lines and tidy profile, but its few unique elements like blue-colored accents and C-shaped LED daytime running lights will be easy to miss. From a design perspective, it's the anti-Nissan Leaf.
California drivers will be able to put a white carpool-lane sticker on it, which might be the most important exterior feature of all.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG pretty much looks like the S63 AMG got spiffed up to go out on the town — but don't let that air of sophistication fool you. How the S65 really wants to spend its evening is eliciting visceral thrills courtesy of its twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12, good for 621 horsepower, 738 pounds-feet of torque, a zero-to-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. For what it's worth, Mercedes says the new S65 — now debuting simultaneously at both the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show — is the "world's most fuel-efficient V-12 high-performance saloon" relative to its power; that's due in part to weight savings afforded by its use of a lithium-ion battery instead of a conventional starter and backup battery.
Exterior styling cues that make the S65 stand out visually include AMG forged light-alloy wheels, high-gloss chrome adorning the grille, aerodynamic elements, front splitter, side sill panels, rear diffuser and the twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system. Luxurious appointments in the cabin include Nappa leather upholstery with an exclusive diamond design and delineated perforations, along with an AMG sports steering wheel, instrument cluster and analogue clock. New tech innovations include a head-up display and an easy-to-operate touchpad with a hand-rest-integrated input area. Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.
Introducing an aggressive new look and the promise of improved driving dynamics while maintaining its estimated fuel economy of 43/40 mpg city/highway, Lexus fancies the 2014 CT 200h as both "mean" and "green." The redesigned hybrid hatchback is now debuting simultaneously at both the Guangzhou Motor Show in China and the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, where we got a peek. The most obvious styling update is the expansive new hourglass-shaped Lexus spindle grille, the center of which has been pushed forward to create a three-dimensional form. Other exterior cues include 10-spoke 16- or 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a new "shark-fin" antenna, revised rear bumper design, L-shaped reflector housings and a black lower-center section emphasizing the vehicle’s broad rear stance. Inside is a new door-panel trim and stitched upholstery design, while new available interior trim finishes include "striped wood" and metal film.
Lexus says performance enhancements include increased body rigidity, suspension retuning and improved aerodynamics to create a "more agile, engaging" driving experience, while noise-reduction measures have quieted the cabin and reduced vibrations. Check out the photo gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.
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