Posts Tagged ‘Luxury Sedans’
February 15th, 2013
The all-new 2014 Acura RLX midsize luxury sport sedan will be hitting dealerships in just a couple months, and with so much advanced driving technology on board, we can’t wait to get behind the wheel.
The RLX will replace the outgoing 2013 RL to now sit atop Acura’s luxury sedan model range. With pricing starting at around $50k (details below), it will compete with the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Infiniti M (soon to be Infiniti Q70), and Lexus GS.
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February 4th, 2013
Among all the cars gracing our televisions with exciting Super Bowl ads over the weekend, Mercedes-Benz’s new 2014 CLA compact had to be the hottest. And with a base price starting at $29,900, the CLA will open up the Mercedes brand to a new crop of buyers who may think twice about the $35,350 2013 C-Class.
The newest U.S.-market Benz shares a platform and many components with the third-generation A-Class hatchback, which we won’t be seeing on these shores any time soon. At launch, the CLA will sport an advanced new turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque on tap, mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch auto-manual transmission. Performance should be brisk, thanks to a chassis that’s significantly smaller and lighter than the C-Class.
Designed to compete with cars like the Audi A3, Acura ILX and Buick Verano Turbo, the CLA will feature a full complement of luxury features despite its low price point. Mercedes will offer new standard-equipment infotainment technology with a under the “mbrace2″ banner, including safety and security services, personal concierge, remote smartphone access and even in-car internet. The COMAND interface with navigation will be optional, as will a 12-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system.
As for safety tech, Benz will bring big-car active and passive safety features, including Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, DISTRONIC adaptive cruise control and PARKTRONIC active parking assist. If a crash does occur, seven standard airbags and a high-strength body structure should offer strong protection.
Mercedes will offer the CLA with an optional Sport Package that spices up exterior styling, as well as adding exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels and upgraded brakes. Those seeking a little extra exclusivity can spring for the Launch Edition, complete with metallic Mountain Grey exterior finish and another exclusive 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheel design.
Pricing and Availability
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA will go on sale in September 2013, priced from $29,900 with the turbo-2.0 engine. An AMG version, with around 350 horsepower from a hard-boosted 2.0-liter four-cylinder, will debut in 2014, with a diesel engine a distinct possibility.
January 15th, 2013
Lexus has revealed the first official details and production images for its totally redesigned 2014 IS compact luxury sport sedan ahead of the car’s official reveal at the 2013 Detroit Auto next week, and we think it’s the best design yet among the brand’s current crop of flowing “Spindle Grille” luxury models.
The massive front grille, which features a lower waistline for a more aggressive appearance and additional cooling with the optional F-Sport package, serves as a starting point for a curvaceous front-end design that’s mostly cohesive, and undoubtedly eye-catching. Sculpted headlamps are framed by independent LED daytime running lamps with an “L” shape. The rakish main body line extends all the way from the center of the grille rearward, accentuating the rear wheel arches and meeting with a pair of giant attractive taillamps.
With recessed sculpted side flanks and a cab-rearward design, the overall appearance is one Lexus calls “aggressive elegance,” and it fits the luxury sport sedan mold well while maintaining the typical Lexus smoothness that’s a refreshing change of pace from the brawnier BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Inside, you’ll find a driver-focused cabin with plenty of touches inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. The “Rioja Red” leather-trimmed sport buckets are slimmer than before, which along with a wider stance and longer wheelbase allow for a big increase in usable rear seat room, Lexus says. Electrostatic (touch-sensitive) controls for climate control join “metal-film 3D ornamentation,” a customizable moving driver’s meter in the dash cluster, and a new 60/40 split-folding rear seat for more cargo capacity when needed.
The 2014 Lexus IS will come in IS 250 and IS 350 trims, with the F-Sport performance and appearance package available on either trim. The IS 300h Hybrid will not make it Stateside. A high-performance IS-F model is sure to follow.
We don’t have any powertrain info or performance specs just yet, but you can see the big reveal streaming live on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern over at Lexus’s Facebook Page.
January 8th, 2013
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ is a sharp new luxury sedan that offers drivers a couple of cutting-edge new active safety systems that, when combined, take us one step closer to a world of fully autonomous cars.
Making use of a forward-facing camera mounted in the rearview mirror, Lincoln’s Lane-Keeping System promises the ability to correct the vehicle’s path within the lanes if the driver falls asleep or otherwise begins to wander. Other automakers offer tech that makes similar claims, but here’s the difference. Instead of simply using the stability control system to brake the inside wheels, Lane-Keeping System actually turns the steering wheel autonomously. The result is much smoother in its operation, especially mid-corner.
Add the Lincoln Motor Company’s Adaptive Cruise Control to the mix and we’re one step closer to fully autonomous driving. Using radar to keep tabs on the car ahead, the advanced cruise control system can maintain a preset distance, even applying the brakes when necessary to avoid a collision.
Combine the two systems, and the 2013 MKZ can technically make short work of navigating everyday highway traffic without any input from the driver. Note that these technologies aren’t designed to replace driver control just yet, but as proof of concept, Lincoln’s self-driving luxury sedan is one advanced piece of engineering.
January 7th, 2013
Buick sometimes gets lost in the shuffle with so many enticing new cars entering the market, but GM’s premium brand has a lot to offer as of late. Take the compact Verano, which receives a very welcome power boost for the new year in the form of the all-new 2013 Verano Turbo.
Like Acura with its new Civic-derived ILX, the Verano can be thought of the more grown-up version of a bread-and-butter compact car, in this case the Chevrolet Cruze. The two cars share a platform and are very close in dimensions, but the Buick comes with all the comfort and convenience features the brand’s buyers have come to expect.
What we didn’t see coming: 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque and a 6.3-second 0-60 mph time, plus an available 6-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed auto is standard). Fuel efficiency is passable at 20 city/31 highway mpg.
In essence, GM dropped its 2.0-liter ECOTEC DOHC turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder closely related to the unit in the Regal Turbo and GS, and Cadillac ATS, into its smallest car model. But thankfully, this isn’t some hack job trying to make a capable cruiser into a garish sport sedan pretender. The front-wheel-drive Turbo retains the Verano’s compliant yet sure-footed ride quality, and other than some subtle visual cues, it looks about the same.
And that’s a good thing. The surprisingly spacious, inoffensive Verano feels more like a downsized Buick LaCrosse than a blinged-out Cruze. Those who demand maximum comfort will appreciate the Turbo’s standard feature list, which picks up where the top-of-the-line standard 170-horsepower Verano Leather Group lets off. You’ll get leather seating, IntelliLink infotainment with Pandora and Stitcher internet radio services, a 9-speaker Bose premium surround sound system, and enough sound deadening for an smooth-as-silk driving experience.
With so much standard content, the option list is short: a power moonroof, a navigation system, a different wheel design, the 6-speed manual transmission and an engine block heater.
Pricing starts at just $29,105 plus destination, just over $2,000 more expensive than the top-of-the-line 2.4-liter model and undercutting the less-powerful Regal Turbo. The Verano Turbo is on sale now.