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$30K-$40K

$30K-$40K

Lexus ’ goal of becoming a player in the luxury market has received a shot in the arm with the arrival of the 2014 ES . Not only is it more dynamic looking, thanks to its adaption of Lexus’ new design ideology, but it also has all the luxury amenities and requisite technology to lock horns with the big boys of the market.

Say what you want about the 2014 ES 350, but you can’t deny that it has arrived and made its intentions known that it’s not going away anytime soon. The limited engine choices could be a drawback, given how versatile and generous other models are in in their drivetrain variety.

All that being said, though, the ES definitely qualifies as a true luxury contender. It’s revised looks and incredibly detailed interior is already enough to justify that billing.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus ES 350.

We’re sure that Nissan still wants its full-sized Armada to do well, but there’s just a number of things about it that makes the though of it burning up the sales floor a pipe-dream. In a market that includes the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Jeep Grand Cherokee , Nissan isn’t doing the Armada justice by keeping its outdated looks going.

That’s the biggest concern we have of the Armada, but its not the only one. The SUV does have a lot of optional equipment available, which is a good thing if the Armada’s basic template was already good enough to stand on its own. But it’s not, and Nissan should’ve just done its customers a solid by at least adding some of this equipment as standard features.

It’s performance numbers is up-to-par with its competitors, which is a sigh of relief. But for the most part, the Armada really deserved better than what Nissan’s giving it in it in 2014.

So we’re hoping that a next-gen model is in the works. Otherwise, the Armada will likely continue to loiter in obscurity, as its rivals take most of its sales away.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Armada.

For 2014, Mitsubishi gave the Outlander a full overhaul, and you couldn’t ask for a more comprehensive overhaul. The Outlander has lost all that made it unique in the crossover SUV realm and inherited a rather boring look. In fact, it looks totally out of place in Mitsubishi’s lineup, to be perfectly honest. The Outlander wasn’t all bad though, as the tester that I received had a lot of options added, which made for a nice week driving it around.

Under the hood of my tester was the base 2.4-liter four-pot that only produced 166 ponies and 162 pounds of twist. Why Mitsubishi didn’t send it with the optional V-6 is beyond me. The 224 horsepower and 215 pound-feet would have likely made for more fun and a quieter ride. Not that the V-6 isn’t underpowered in its own right.

The Outlander is really a love it or hate is type of vehicle. Traditionalists likely enjoy its normal styling, but generation X and Y likely think it is too boring to compete. Can its features overcome the sharp looks of the Toyota RAV4 and the larger third row in the Kia Sorento ?

Click past the jump to read the full Driven review to find out.

The midsize SUV market is one of the most competitive segments in the auto industry today and GMC has a strong contender with the 2014 Acadia . Combining a simple yet rugged look with a spacious interior and a powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, there’s no reason why the Acadia should be relegated as a second-tier SUV. It’s first rate all the way.

Good job by GMC for keeping itself from over-thinking the Acadia SUV . It’s even smarter of the company to resist the urge of trying to one-up the competition.

GMC kept things at an even keel and it worked wonders in giving the Acadia an impressive identity that’s become even more important with so many worthy competitors in its segment. Nothing’s worse than being identified as a "run-of-the-lot" model and to its credit, GMC steered clear of doing that to the Acadia with an impressive list of features buyers ought to be interested in.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 GMC Acadia.

The 2014 Honda Pilot has a lot going for it, and buyers will be wise to open a space in their minds to this midsized SUV .

Here’s the thing: the Pilot may be classified as such, but really there are hints of full-sized characteristics in this baby. Start with the interior, which has ample enough space to comfortably fit up to eight passengers. That’s full-sized right there. Also factor in the typical Honda stamp of reliability and fuel efficiency, which, again, is a star on the Pilot’s windshield.

It’s hard to find a whole lot of things to be wary of on the Pilot. But if there is one, you have to look outside where the Pilot isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with its aesthetics. Sure, the dimensions are right, and it does have nice maneuverability, but the fascia looks totally boring.

Still and all, buyers who have to think of family trips on their next SUV purchase would be wise to consider the Pilot, snoozy looks notwithstanding.

Click past the jump to read more about Honda Pilot

Source: Honda Pilot

Mired in the shadows of the more commonly known Passat, the Volkswagen CC is actually a much better option to consider for interested buyers.

That might be a bold statement, but it doesn’t come with any tinge of hyperbole, either.

There’s a lot to like about the CC. It’s body dimensions convey the look of a luxury car and the interior does its best to make you feel like you’re in the same environment. It also has a choice of powertrains that you can pick depending on your preference.

And best of all, you know that you’re not going to burn any holes in your pockets by buying one. Sure, getting the top-of-the-line 3.6 VR6 4MOTION Executive might be a stretch at $42,895, but all other models fall in the range of $32,000 to $38,000.

At the very least, you know you’re getting a ride that’s worth the money.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen CC.

If there was ever a car in Volkswagen’s lineup that probably has nine lives, it’s probably the Eos . Talks of discontinuing the model have risen to the surface numerous times and yet, here it is, alive and kicking in 2014.

The 2014 Volkswagen Eos continues on in its slot as Volkswagen’s resident entry-level convertible . Not much has changed since the current generation model arrived in 2011 and in some ways, that can be attributed as a positive for the Eos.

See, over the course of its time, the convertible has been offered with some impressive features, including a hardtop roof, comfortable seating, and yes, the option to do away with a ceiling and let your hair enjoy the cool breeze of Mother Nature.

Even its turbocharge engine can be attributed as a boon for the Eos because at the end of the day, riding a convertible is only as good as the power it has under its hood.

So welcome to 2014, Volkswagen Eos. You’ve certainly earned your stay at the party.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Eos.

The Honda Crosstour suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis. Is it a wagon or is it a crossover ? Honda classifies it as the latter, though, so that’s good enough for us.

In some ways, the Crosstour has the qualities of both car types yet it still behooves us to watch Honda peddle the vehicle when it already has a full lineup of models that customers to choose from.

But hey, give credit to the Japanese carmaker for venturing into the road less travelled. The Crosstour really is on a unique platform and to be fair to it, the vehicle does have some impressive qualities about it that should make for an intriguing purchase, even if you have to compromise on some things to make way for other things.

It’s confusing, we know, but then again, isn’t that the state of mind the Crosstour will leave you in?

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Honda Crosstour


It wasn’t that long ago when Hyundai was relegated as an afterthought company in the auto industry. Those times, though, are all but gone, because the Korean brand has more than become a player in the business, it’s actually established itself as a contender in some markets, including the compact SUV division.

Hyundai can largely thank the Santa Fe for that, and with a new look, new features and options to match, the 2014 Santa Fe Sport is ready to take on the world.

One of the Santa Fe Sport’s new goodies in its 2014 model year is the company’s new Blind Spot Detection system (BSD) and a rear parking assistance system. Those two technological upgrades alone are certainly worth more than the standard lip service.

That aside, the 2014 Santa Fe Sport also boasts a steady diet of upgrades, something Hyundai actively did to ensure that its prized SUV has been given the proper training to duke it out with its rival models.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

The 2014 Acura TSX has officially been unveiled and in the two years since it received a facelift, the model sure looks like it’s need of another one.

That’s not a knock on the TSX per se, just an observation based on the improvements its competitors have had since then. There are still some pretty interesting qualities to one of Acura’s sportier models, including the rather spacious interior cabin and the refined handling characteristics, but if the Japanese brand has any intention to keep up with the times, it’s pretty important that it starts with arguably the first thing customers will notice when in the market for a new car.

The TSX SE model is back, though, and that’s a huge plus, especially for those looking for a cheap yet performance-inclined midsize sedan . The return of the two powertrain options also gives the TSX a little performance variety, much needed considering that it’s segment has some pretty strong competitors that offer equal amounts of horses with more features catered to enticing buyers to splurge money for their respective models.

But Acura opted to keep still with the 2014 model. It should be enough to get the TSX its fair share of looks, but not enough to put it over the top as one of the most desired models of its class.


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