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sedan

sedan

  A sedan car is a four-door vehicle, with a separate hood covering the engine in the front, and a separate trunk for luggage at the rear — the achetypical 3-box car. However, other variations of the body style exist as well, including two-door and hatchback/fastback models.

Posted on by Simona  

It’s not very often that a smaller vehicle is a company’s flagship, but we don’t care what BMW might tell you about the 7 Series , the 3 Series is the automaker’s top dog. Its styling has always worked and never been vulgar like some other models in the BMW lineup. Additionally, it’s won more awards from the automotive press than the Los Angeles Lakers have NBA titles.

Believe it or not, the 3 Series has been around since 1975, but it really came into its own in 1992, when it won the first of 19 straight "Car and Driver 10 Best" awards. In 2006, it won the "World Car of the Year" and also the What Car? "Car of the Year" awards. Under the hood, the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six won the "International Engine of the Year Award" for 2007.

To keep up with this impressive tradition, the sixth generation 3 Series unveiled at BMW’s plant in Munich has been built as a revolution and not as an evolution. The new model sets new benchmarks in terms of sporting prowess, elegance, and comfort, and has grown significantly in size compared to its predecessor.

Update 06/28/2013: This review has been updated to include the 2013 model year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 3 Series.

Posted on by TB +  

There’s a distinct thematic change when moving up Audi’s performance ranks from A to S to RS models. This four-door super-limo sticks to the script by offering the controlled but comfortable ride of the A8 paired with extreme power and sprint performance.

How quick is the S8? What do you have to drag race it against? It’s beaten everything from the R8 to the BMW Alpina B7 . Only a select few cars on earth can beat this beast for sheer effortless pace. Just floor it and hang on tight.

The S8 is then a luxury barge with the performance potential to pass an R8 without really trying. It is one of those cars you can imagine Audi executives designing for themselves first and offering for sale second.

The S8 comes in atop the other A8 variants, including a TDI for 2014, but below the range-topping A8 L W12. After the BMW ’s shaming at the drag strip, only the upcoming Bentley Flying Spur and the brand-new 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic can keep up with this level of AWD pace. Oh, and don’t forget the crushing prowess of the Porsche Panamera Turbo .

The A8 /S8 pair is unique within the Volkswagen Group because the costly aluminum space frame and panels are not sharable assets for Bentley or Porsche at the moment. The addition of a world-beating 520 horsepower twin-turbo V-8 engine and eight-speed automatic mean the S8 is one of the most desirable super sedans available at any price.

The major downsides for the A8 – old man styling, slowness – virtually disappear when the car is packing the S8 engine and body kit. Is it enough to earn sales from the extremely capable competition?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Audi S8 with highlights on cool performance features and equipment.

Posted on by Simona  

The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is still a relative baby in the industry after only making its debut in 2009. But in the short time that its been around, the 5er GT has made quite an impression on a lot of people, but not exactly for the right reasons.

Next to the 5 Series Sedan and Touring , BMW will also be offering a facelift version for the not-so-successful 5 Series GT.

Just like with the sedan and touring, the 5 Series GT has received a host of changes to its design to make it a little more enticing to the public, including a new front bumper, a slightly revised grille, and a new headlight design. On the backside, it will receive a new bumper and taillights with new graphics. All these changes, while extensive in description, don’t really add the kind of eye-popping upgrades that we were looking for in the 2014 model.

The interior of the 5 Series GT is wonderful, though. That’s pretty important considering that with its young age relative to its competitors - the Audi S6 and the Mercedes E-Class, among them - BMW needed something to catch some eyes and pique their interests.

Where the 5 Series GT has the leg up though is the impressive powertrain options being offered. The old N55 engine is still alive and kicking, as is the world famous N63 powertrain that gives some serious noise under the hood of that fastback.

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The Fusion Hybrid finally cracks the code to unravel Toyota’s stranglehold on the eco market by offering consumers what they actually want: a gorgeous sedan shape, a quiet cabin and very good handling. These are all places where the Prius cannot compete. The Ford also runs lithium-ion batteries for a 47 mpg rating, despite costing just $27,000.

Ford’s most promising hybrid to date is joined by a plug-in model called the Fusion Energi. The Hybrid is the volume electrified sedan and packs some great technology into one of the most attractive midsize car shapes on the market.

The Hybrid might actually be the pick of the range that also includes a 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder in a new-for-2014 ‘S’ trim at the bottom of the range.

The Fusion Hybrid offers nearly all of the Energi’s benefits for about $10,000 less. This makes it a really viable contender among urban dwellers without access to a garage plug.

The 47/47/47 mpg across all EPA categories takes most of the headlines but the Fusion Hybrid also drives really nicely and is more balanced that the typical sedan, thanks the trunk-mounted battery pack helping even the weight distribution of this front-drive car.

Conventional Hybrid sedans are just starting to really move up the sales charts versus the dedicated Prius hatchback. Even among Prius owners, there is some latent desire for a classic large sedan’s refinement and handling. The Fusion Hybrid aces these criteria and many more, via a sophisticated suite of interior technologies and active safety options that are from a class above.

How will the Ford fare versus this fall’s supercharged Nissan Altima Hybrid and the popular Toyota Camry Hybrid ?

Click past the jump for the first-drive review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid with highlights on the new features and equipment.

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There was a time when the S4 was the most exciting Audi offered in the United States. What a difference 10 years can make. The S4 is now joined by the S5 , RS5 , S6 and R8 sports models with more appearing on the horizon every year. In the face of the new lineup, the S4 looks pretty tame by comparison.

The looks are deceiving, however. The S4 may have lost its shouty atmospheric V-8 engine for this generation, but replaces it with a supercharged V-6 that weights nearly 200 pounds less and delivers acceleration sprints in the mid 4’s all day long. The $50,000 S4 offers a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or a rare six-speed manual.

The 2014 S4 faces a mild identity crisis in the face of the increasingly expensive BMW M3 that has long been its arch nemesis. Audi makes sure that even the speedy 335Xi model cannot keep up with the S4 in a straight line. Otherwise, S4 the package stays pretty similar to the core A4 style and value proposition. In fact, the S4 is basically just an engine and handling package over the base A4 that is only offered in 2.0-liter form.

How does it stack up versus the 335Xi and the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport ? All three sedans are offered with AWD and run extra-powerful V-6 engines that use forced induction to increase power while maintaining decent efficiency stats.

Click past the jump for the full review of the S4 with highlights on the new features and equipment for 2014.

Posted on by Simona  

The Audi A7 is one of the latest models added to Audi ’s lineup. It was previewed by the Sportback concept in 2009, with the production version that arrived in 2010. The top version - S7 - was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show and put on sale in early 2012.

Audi decided to add a four-door coupe to its lineup after seeing the success of the Mercedes CLS-Class . Shortly after, Porsche added the Panamera and then just recently, BMW served up the all-new 6 Series Gran Coupe for more discerning buyers.

As it is still too soon to talk about any possible updates, the S7 continues to remain unchanged for the 2014 model year, with the only new addition being an available Black Optic and bicolor package that features a black optic grille with high-gloss Single-frame surround and gloss-black window surround.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi S7.

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The Audi S6 is the only Volkswagen Group model so far to use the revolutionary new twin-turbo V-8 paired with the firm’s twin-clutch transmission. The technical merits of the design allow the S6 to beat the remarkable sub-4-second sprint stats achieved by the larger S8 despite packing 100 fewer horsepower.

The transition from the luxury A6 to the S6 is a comprehensive redesign of nearly all the car’s key mechanical systems and components. The exterior style barely moves forward from the A6 S-line but does include a number of S6-exclusive elements, like the giant quad exhaust system, and deeper fascias and bumpers.

The S6 raises the bar on every aspect of the standard A6’s performance. It also changes the car’s competitive set from BMW 535i and Mercedes E350 models up to the Porsche Panamera and the new E63 AMG 4Matic . For 2014, the S6 has some reshuffled option packages and a new Black Optics trim pack to increase car’s road presence.

The Porsche Panamera is the S6’s biggest competitive threat for buyer attention. Does the Audi have the chops to dethrone the ranking AWD performance sedan king?

Click past the jump for the full review of the Audi S6 with info on the new-for-2014 features and options.

Posted on by Simona  

The 2013 XTS made its first appearance at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. The XTS bowed in with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that pumped out 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. This, combined with all-wheel drive in the XTS4, is enough to launch the sedan to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds.

Now, with just one model year under its belt, the XTS is set to receive its first major update: the addition of an all-new V-6 engine and a new Vsport trim level. If this V-6 powerplant seems familiar, it certainly should, as it is the same engine that will power the Vsport variant of the 2014 CTS .

Like the 2013 model year, the XTS will take on some familiar performance luxury sedans. The XTS’ key competitor, the 2014 E-Class, is revised for the new model year and features an all0new diesel engine. Also competing with the XTS is the 2014 Lincoln MKS , which carries over its full redesign from 2013 and packs a mean punch from its optional EcoBoost engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Cadillac XTS.

Posted on by Simona  

The CLS-Class made its debut in the U.S. in 2006 and it started off with a bang by offering the CLS55 AMG right off the bat. Sure, its 469-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 engine wasn’t nearly as stunning as the 5.5-liter used today, but it was impressive in its own right. Just a year later, the CLS63 AMG with its 507-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 engine gave it a spot in the market that few luxury manufacturers could match.

In the 2012 CLS63 AMG , Benz replaced the 6.2-liter engine with a 5.5-liter V-8 with a pair of turbochargers strapped to it. This smaller-displacement V-8 pumped out 518 ponies and 516 pound-feet or torque, but the AMG Performance Pack bumped that to a crazy 550 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. This Performance Pack dropped the 0-to-60 mph time to a lightning-fast 3.9 seconds.

For the 2014 model year, Mercedes-Benz is expanding the CLS lineup with the addition of a more powerful AMG S-Model . Alongside the hopped up S-Model is the standard CLS 63 AMG, which is equipped with its own slew of performance-oriented features, including the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

This makes the CLS the fifth model in Mercedes lineup to offer the 4MATIC system as standard, along with the ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG and G63 AMG and the E-Class luxury sedan.

With the super-sexy M6 Gran Coupe making its debut in 2014 with a 560-horsepower V-8 and the 2014 Panamera coming in with a revision and a 440-horsepower twin-turbo V-8, the CLS 63 AMG 4MATIC has a lot to be worried about.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG 4MATIC.

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The Audi A6 includes some new features and options for 2014 to invigorate sales of the aluminum-bodied luxury sedan. The U.S. market has been a bit of a dud for the new-shape design since its arrival as a 2012 model. That is not stopping its prospects elsewhere in the world.

The lengthened A6L is China’s most popular limousine by far. Everyone knows Chinese businessmen like the ride in the back seat. There’s much more to that preference than image and prestige.

Here are two little-known facts:

  • It is much easier and cheaper to pay someone to drive you to and from work in China than it is to park in urban centers.
  • The same businessmen who ride in the back during the week usually drive the car themselves on weekends, so the cars need more dynamic prowess than many believe.

Once these factors are considering, the option of a luxury shuttle for about $20 a week sounds great. Many Americans would jump at the chance to do the same thing.

That is not how we operate, however, so the A6 comes to our shores ready for a knock-down, drag-out brawl with two of the most competent luxury sedans on the market, the Mercedes-Benz E350 and the BMW 535i .

Do the A6’s luxury cockpit, advanced engines and sophisticated design offer enough incentive to lure conquest sales from other German brands? The company sure hopes so and even offers a $1,500 bonus to Mercedes and BMW drivers when they buy an A6 (or many other Audi models).

Click past the jump for the full review of the Audi A6 2.0T and 3.0T with highlights on new-for-2014 features and options.


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