Car Guide 2014


What’s New for 2014

As they continue to shore up their mainstream car lines, an optimistic auto business likewise debuts several new sporty and luxurious new models over the coming months, and with the economy gaining steam, new full-size pickup trucks to do the heavy lifting. Here’s a look at some of the hottest new and significantly redesigned models reaching dealers’ showrooms for the 2014 model year.
Acura_RLX_140X140ACURA RLX: Acura’s new flagship sedan remains conservatively styled, but offers a roomier interior and added overall sophistication than the RL it replaces. The RLX comes powered by an economical 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 310 horsepower, with an all-wheel-drive version coming later in the model year that will deliver added muscle with a 370-horsepower V6. A standard Performance All-Wheel Steering system adjusts the angle of the rear wheels slightly while cornering to quicken the car’s handling. Also new is an Automatic Brake Hold function that keeps the brakes engaged for up to ten minutes without the driver having to keep a foot on the pedal. see listings | read reviews
Cadillac-ELR_140X140CADILLAC ELR: The new Cadillac ELR is essentially a luxury coupe version of the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle with distinctive styling and a posher interior. As in the Volt, the ELR is powered by an electric motor and a plug-in chargeable battery pack, but once the battery runs low (after about 35 miles on a charge), a small gasoline engine engages to run a generator that, in turn, powers the motor. Those with a modest commute may rarely have to visit a gas station. Cadillac promises quick acceleration with sporty ride and handling attributes and a long list of safety and convenience features. see listings | read reviews
Chevrolet_Corvette_Stingray_140X140CHEVROLET CORVETTE STINGRAY: One of the most significant new-car introductions for 2014 brings a hallowed name back to an iconic American sports car. Coming in coupe and convertible versions, the Corvette Stingray is completely redesigned with an all-new chassis and mechanicals residing beneath seductively sleek bodywork. A technologically advanced 6.2-liter V8 engine channels an estimated 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels, enabling the car to reach 60 mph in less than four seconds. Reengineered steering and suspension systems and an array of sophisticated chassis-control hardware promise tenacious handling, with a new Drive Mode Selector allowing the driver to tune the car according to 12 separate performance attributes.
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Chevrolet_SS_140X140CHEVROLET SS: The new top sedan at Chevy is a sporty aggressively styled rear-drive model that comes by way of General Motors’ Holden subsidiary in Australia. It packs a punch with the 2013 Corvette’s 6.2-liter 415-horsepower V8 engine, and can sprint from 0-60 mph in around five seconds. The SS rides on a sport-tuned suspension for grippy handling, with beefy Brembo-supplied brakes on hand for sure stopping abilities. A long list of standard and optional features include an Automatic Parking Assist function that steers the car into a parallel or reverse right-angle parking space with the driver only modulating the brake pedal.
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Fiat_500L_140X140FIAT 500L: More than just a four-door hatchback version of the Italian automaker’s perky two-door 500 subcompact, the 2014 Fiat 500L is an entirely different – and much more practical – vehicle. Featuring specific exterior styling cues with a distinctively cast cabin, it’s considerably longer and wider and taller than the 500 coupe, with 42 percent more interior room. Power comes from a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s estimated to generate 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque for lively acceleration and strong highway passing power.
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GMC_Sierra_1500_140X140GMC SIERRA 1500: The Sierra full-size pickup truck (along with its equivalent at Chevrolet, the Silverado) is fully redesigned yet retains its brawny broad-shouldered look. Again coming in a full range of configurations, new features include a handy step built into the rear bumper for easy access into the cargo bed and a longer 6.5-foot cargo box for Crew Cab models. Power comes from a trio of updated V6 (4.3-liter) and V8 engines (at 5.3- and 6.2-liters) that deliver improved acceleration, towing capacities and fuel economy. A nicely styled and roomy interior can be fitted with the MyLink infotainment system that allows users to control myriad functions via natural language voice-commands. see listings | read reviews
Infiniti_Q50_140X140INFINITI Q50: This midsize luxury sedan takes over from the previous G37 with smoother styling and added features. A 328 horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine drives the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, with a fuel-saving 3.5-liter V6 hybrid version alternately available; all-wheel-drive is optional. New high-tech features include an Active Lane Control system that automatically makes minor steering adjustments to help keep the Q50 centered between highway lane markers, and an i-Key system that allows up to four motorists to customize a wide range of operating parameters, automatically recognizing the user and making the necessary adjustments upon entry. see listings | read reviews
Jeep_Cherokee_140X140JEEP CHEROKEE: The new midsize Cherokee features a dramatically sculpted exterior that’s capped by a swept-back treatment of Jeep’s signature seven-slot front grille. It packs either a Fiat-supplied 184 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a new 271-horsepower 3.2-liter V6, with an advanced nine-speed automatic transmission standard. The Cherokee rides on a four-wheel independent suspension that should deliver excellent ride and handling manners around town, with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction control system and three separate 4X4 systems optional for exceptional off-road abilities. It offers many high-tech safety features, along with upscale amenities like a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a wireless charging pad for portable devices. see listings | read reviews
Kia_Cadenza_140X140KIA CADENZA: Kia, a brand known more for its budget-minded models, takes a step into luxury-car territory with its new Cadenza sedan. It’s about five inches longer than Kia’s popular Optima and comes powered by a 3.3-liter direct-injected 293-horsepower V6 engine that drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. It coddles its occupants with a luxurious interior, piles on all the expected amenities and offers a few top-shelf options the Optima lacks, including a power retractable rear sunshade and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel.
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Jaguar_F-Type_140X140JAGUAR F-TYPE: Coming wrapped in stunningly curvaceous styling, this new two-seat rear-drive convertible is positioned in size and price below Jaguar’s XK sports car. It packs a lively 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that generates either 340 or 380 horsepower, depending on the version. A 5.0-liter 495-horsepower supercharged V8 is also available that enables the F-Type to hit 60 mph in just over four seconds. All engines come mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that includes a manual paddle-shift mode. Its lightweight, yet-rigid aluminum structure, rear-drive configuration and sophisticated suspension promise sporty handling abilities.
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Nissan_Versa_Note_140X140NISSAN VERSA NOTE: Redesigned and renamed, Nissan’s subcompact hatchback looks and feels more substantial than before, continuing with a roomy interior that benefits from a tall horizontal roofline. Its 1.6-liter 109 hp four-cylinder engine is both peppy and economical. Class-exclusive features include an optional Around-View Monitor system that gives the driver to see a 360-degree look around the vehicle for easier and safer parking. Also optional is a Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant that can read messages aloud and enables users to respond by voice command or preset text (like “on my way”) to minimize distraction.
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Toyota_Tundra_140X140TOYOTA TUNDRA: While the redesigned Tundra full-size pickup largely carries over its engines and engineering, Toyota takes a few bold steps to target the domestic-branded competition, specifically the Ford F-150. Like that model, the new Tundra comes capped with five distinctive front-end treatments, one for each trim level. It also offers a new Platinum luxury version as well as a western-themed “1794” edition with plush accommodations that feature saddle brown embossed leather seating. As before, the truck comes in standard and extended-cab models and features a 4.0-liter V6 engine, with a 4.6-liter V8 standard on Crew Cab models and a 5.7-liter V8 optional. see listings | read reviews

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