Toyota Land Cruiser SUV

Land Cruiser has evolved over time from a basic four-wheel-drive utility vehicle in its early years to an upscale eight-passenger sport utility vehicle (SUV) sold in 188 countries. Yet, this iconic vehicle has retained a loyal following as it remains true to its off-road heritage with uncompromising go-anywhere capability.

For the 2013 model year, Land Cruiser receives exterior and interior styling enhancements. Additionally, Land Cruiser will now come with all features as standard equipment, including new driving performance features, and an array of significant safety and convenience features. Among the many popular features that were formerly available as options, but are now standard, are rear-seat DVD entertainment system, color-keyed rear spoiler, rain-sensing windshield wipers, center-console cooler box, headlamp cleaners, leather-trimmed steering wheel, multi-information display, voice and Bluetooth® hands-free controls, leather-trimmed shift lever and heated second row seats. Toyota’s Premium Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Navigation with Entune multi-media system and JBL® audio is also standard.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

 Few cars offer the variety of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. There are four different body styles, four different engines, two sub trim levels and a multitude of options. Throw in the similar CLS sedan with its coupe-style roof and the family grows even further. Yet throughout this family, there isn't a bad apple in the bunch. Quite the opposite, really, as each E-Class iteration managed to earn the title Edmunds Recommended in our annual buyer's guide. Be it sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon, the E-Class is one of the finest cars on the road.
For 2012, they all get even better. With the exception of the carryover E350 Bluetec and its V6 turbodiesel, every E-Class has received a new engine that's more powerful and more economical. The gasoline-powered E350 now features a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 that bumps output up to 302 horsepower from its previous 268. The E550's V8 gets a more radical change, switching to a turbocharged, smaller-displacement mill that cranks out 402 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque. This V8 has also been  paired with standard all-wheel drive this year in the sedan package, but if tire-blazing action is your thing, the E550 coupe and convertible still send their power rearward.
And let's not forget the maximum-performance E63 AMG. This year it gets a new engine: a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 good for 518 hp (the same as last year) and 516 lb-ft of torque (a lot more than last year). The E63 AMG Wagon also re-emerges for 2012, satisfying the small but wonderfully nutty subset of drivers who demand sports car performance and grocery-getting utility in one high-class package.
Overall, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains a top choice against a plethora of competitors, including those from Audi (A5, A6, S5), BMW (3 Series coupe and convertible, 5 Series, M5), Infiniti (M37 and M56), Jaguar (XF) and Porsche (Panamera). It's hard to argue against any of these, but the E-Class provides the unmistakable Mercedes virtues of meticulous engineering and a driving character that strikes a wonderful balance between responsive performance and handling. If your only choice is figuring out which of the many E-Class variants to get, we wouldn't blame you.

Ford Shelby GT500

Some cars are forgettable -- those metal boxes on wheels that simply get you from A to B. Then there are cars that you'll never forget -- the special ones that take your breath away. With its aggressive styling and an engine that can impress even the most jaded automotive enthusiast, you'll never forget the 2012 Ford Shelby.
The Ford Mustang has already been our top pick among the muscled-up pony cars, and the GT500 simply cranks up the power to supercar levels. With 550 horsepower underfoot, this mega Mustang spanks Dodge Challengers and Chevrolet Camaros in the quarter-mile. The Shelby furthers its lead when the road begins to twist, thanks to a well-tuned suspension and sticky supercar tires.
With a price tag approaching $50,000, though, supremacy doesn't come cheap. That's more than double what the plenty capable 305-hp Mustang V6 costs and almost $20,000 more than the already raucous Mustang GT. That's a lot of scratch for a Mustang, especially one stuck with an interior not much different from a well-equipped Mustang GT. Unimpressive interior materials and a tilt-only steering wheel are even more glaring oversights at this price.
But on the whole, these are minor blemishes next to everything that's great about the 2012 Ford Shelby GT500. It's a quicker thrill than the Camaro and the Challenger, and its backseat makes it more practical than a Corvette. No doubt it will be a fond deathbed memory for those lucky enough to own one.

Ford Fiesta 1.6L Sport Ti-VCT

This Fiesta is powered by a 1.6l Duratec Ti-VCT which has a four (4) cylinder DOHC 16V engine which pumps out 122 (90 KW) ps at 6300 rpm while max torque is 148nm at 4300 rpm. Mate this to the 6-Speed Powershift® Automatic Transmission with dual-clutch technology and you get fuel efficiency and loads of torque when you want a more spirited drive! Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?

The sealed transmission requires no maintenance according to Ford so you don’t need to go change your gear oil every 20,000km or face the consequences if you forget.

For you women drivers, there’s even the HLA or Hill Launch Assist system which holds the car steady in D for a couple of seconds when you’re on a slope. No more panicking when having to stop on Jalan Maarof during a traffic jam.

Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing), gives up to 4.5% fuel efficiency, 7% peak power and 5% low speed torque. Working like a ratchet, the one-way valves allow precise timing of camshaft events, continually optimizing timing to provide maximum output or fuel economy, based on driver input.

2012 Honda Fit Review

The automotive press says the 2012 Honda Fit is a great choice because with its ample and flexible interior space, it can tackle nearly anything your family throws at it. 

Families may skip small cars, thinking that going for a small car means compromising on space. That’s not the case with the 2012 Honda Fit. The Fit has a Magic Seat that lets you haul anything from a bike to a tall plant in the back seat, and that’s in addition to the space in the rear cargo area. Even with the rear seats up, reviewers say they’re amazed that the Honda Fit has so much cargo space. Though the backseat isn't huge, it has space for three passengers or two car seats. All that utility and passenger space, as well as the Fit's outstanding safety scores has earned it our Best Hatchback and Subcompact Car for Families Awards.

The 2012 Honda Fit does have some flaws. Test drivers are disappointed that the front seats aren’t height-adjustable, and find that taller passengers will need more leg space. And while many reviewers think the base engine will be plenty powerful for most drivers, some say the Honda Fit struggles uphill and needs an extra boost on the highway.

But overall, test drivers think these quirks will be minor details for shoppers in this class because they’re looking for something affordable and fuel-efficient that can carry people comfortably, haul sports equipment or move their child into their college dorm.

Kia Forte

The 2012 Kia Forte ranks 9 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 31 published reviews and test drives of the Kia Forte, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Other than an engine that doesn’t pack a punch, reviewers say there is little they don’t like about the 2012 Kia Forte. 

More than anything else, reviewers appreciate the 2012 Forte’s versatility and practicality that will appeal to a range of shoppers. The Kia Forte is available in three body styles (sedan, coupe and hatchback), has an interior that’s comfortable for four (five is a squeeze) and has good fuel economy. Add to that a standard features list that includes Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port for an iPod, and reviewers say the 2012 Kia Forte is one of the best options on the market for shoppers who want a quality car that won’t break the bank.

But the 2012 Forte won’t impress budding race car drivers because even the sport-tuned SX trim is a bore. Reviewers suggest shoppers check out the Mazda3 and Ford Focus, which are significantly more fun to drive, but say shoppers who want a small car with a low price and a lot of standard features should stick with the Forte.

The 2012 Kia Forte comes in three body styles: sedan, coupe and hatchback. The sedan is available in LX, EX and SX trims, while the hatchback and coupe are only available in the highest two trims. For 2012, the hatchback is not available with a manual transmission and the EX gains a tilt and telescopic steering wheel

Volkswagen CC

As Volkswagen takes dramatic steps to make its lineup more attractive to Americans, it is making its lineup simply less attractive. The new Jetta and Passat are both bigger and cheaper than the cars they replace, but they're also rather boring looking. Boring is a word nobody would use to describe the Volkswagen CC, until maybe now. VW will be showing off an updated CC at the L.A. auto show later this month, and the good news is that the sultry sedan gets a bit more standard content. The bad news is it now wears VW's new corporate grille.

We Saw This Coming
The old CC's plunging, double-height grille is gone, replaced by a piece that looks as if it were plucked right off of the 2012 Passat. Likewise, the head- and taillights have been reshaped from the sculpted fare on last year's model into larger, simpler units. That this would happen was obvious when we spied a camouflaged CC out testing this past summer. It's not ugly, and the net effect is not as bad as we'd feared, but the new, simpler shapes up front rob the car of some of its glamour. If the lights are toned down, at least their illumination power has been cranked up: adaptive bi-xenon headlights and LED taillights are now standard.

Fortunately, little else changes for the CC. Its 200-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four and available 280-hp, 3.6-liter narrow-angle V-6 engines will carry over. Unlike the Passat, which moved to a larger platform in its 2012 redesign, the CC remains on the old architecture. Volkswagen isn't talking pricing yet, holding that information until closer to the March 2012 on-sale date, but don't expect any major changes. The current CC starts just below $30,000 when equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo and a manual transmission, and reaches all the way up to $41,210 for an Executive model equipped with 4Motion all-wheel drive and the V-6. Even with a little less glam, it'll be an enticing package, but c'mon, VW. You didn't have to do this.

Mercedes-Benz E63

This is an E-Class, after all, and it comes with the requisite luxury touches -- high-quality materials, soft-touch plastics, and most importantly, extensive sound deadening -- that completely skew the perception of speed by eliminating pesky things like wind and road noise. "Go Directly to Jail" velocities come surprisingly easily and with no warning, especially with your foot planted firmly on the accelerator. Imagine, if you will, a gas pedal attached to a string, and on the other end of that string are a bull's nether regions. Be gentle and there will be no trouble; be aggressive and there goes the china shop -- and your license. Usually, staring at the speedometer is a bad idea. In the E63, it's almost a necessity.

Chevy Sonic Sedan

The Sonic's 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder notches a horsepower rating of 138 with a substantial 148 lb-ft of peak torque between 1850 rpm and 4900 rpm. Engine power is on par with the class-leading Hyundai Accent's 138 hp 4-cylinder and exceeds the Honda Fit's 117 hp as well as the Ford Fiesta's 120 hp. It's the impressive level of turbocharged torque, however, that means the Sonic, unlike many rivals, never feels overworked.

The Sonic's turbocharged 4-cylinder as well as its 1.8-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder also power the Chevrolet Cruze sedan. The turbocharged Sonic engine mates to a 6-speed manual transmission. An automatic isn't offered with the turbocharged engine, but the 1.8-liter engine is available with either a 6-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual.

While we appreciate the 1.4T combo with the stick shift, it would be nice if a six-speed automatic was available. Without it, unless you drive stick you don't get anywhere near the claimed 40 mpg numbers. Instead, the 1.8L engine gets 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for the 5-speed manual and 25/35 for the 6-speed automatic.

While the turbocharged engine doesn't toss occupants deep into the seatbacks, it does translate into admirable fuel economy. During a 40-mile trek with speeds in the 65 mph range, our test car's mpg readout (located within a rectangular pod-shaped display) hovered around 39 mpg. In continual stop and go city driving, the mpg varied between 27 and 34.7.

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