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.

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The TSX is one of Acura’s sportiest models with European suspension tunes keeping the front-drive sedan interesting to drive. It competes with low-spec Lexus IS models, base Audi A4 s, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA250 , as well as numerous mid-size cars, like the Hyundai Sonata Turbo .

The big news for the model is that last year’s Special Edition model continues into 2013 packing a deeper front bumper, some tasteful side skirts and a new rear bumper that emphasizes the TSX’s dual exhaust pipes. The SE is one of the cheapest trims and is offered on the four-cylinder models only. Coming with either a six-speed manual or no-cost automatic transmission, the Special Edition also dresses up the interior with unique lighting, red stitching and some great-looking aluminum pedals.

The TSX has been Acura’s cheapest model since its 2003 introduction, but the bottom rung is now occupied by the Civic-based ILX sedan. The TSX is not much larger inside than the ILX but packs more refined driving manners, better handling, and an optional V-6 that dramatically improves performance, but it comes with some drawbacks versus the high-revving four that powers most TSX’s.

Refreshed in 2011, the TSX is looking very familiar and tired in standard trims, making the Special Edition more desirable than ever. The TSX’s primarily German competitors have all moved up a size and price class in the 10 years since the TSX debuted, soon to be replaced by future compact sedans from Audi and BMW .

Click past the jump for the full review of the Acura TSX Special Edition.

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The new Nissan Altima is enjoying a sales up-swing at the moment following a $580 price cut that took effect May 3 of this year. The cheapest Altima’s are now just below $22,000 up to just above $30,000 for the loaded V-6 SL model. This comes on the back of poor launch sales and critiques of the marshmallow driving characteristics.

The big news for the 2014 Altima is the introduction of an all-new, Nissan-developed hybrid drivetrain option.

From extensive technical previews of the new supercharged 2.5-liter four plus Li-Ion battery packs, Nissan is clearly proud of the system and will also roll it out on the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid for the first time.

Pre-2011 Ford and Nissan hybrids used technology from the Toyota Prius for the electrified system components including the transmission, power inverter, battery, and charging control unit via a licensing agreement. The Toyota-supplied components were then married to Ford or Nissan platform and engine designs.

As a result, the Altima Hybrid drove a lot like the Prius despite using a more-powerful gasoline engine for primary power. This is set to change with the new 2014 Altima Hybrid. The supercharged four-cylinder should deliver good torque and the use of lithium-ion batteries will mark a first for a mainstream, value-oriented hybrid sedan.

Will one Hybrid be enough to battle the Camry Hybrid, the Plug-in Honda Accord and the two hybrid variants of the Ford Fusion ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the new Nissan Altima Hybrid.

Posted on by Simona  

The most powerful model in the Audi A4 lineup comes equipped with a 3.0 TFSI engine that delivers a total of 272 horsepower. Pretty good, but what if the A4 could do better?

ABT Sportsline had this question in mind and developed its new AS4 package that takes the output to an amazing 380 horsepower, which is even more impressive than the 333 horsepower that the S4 delivers. Peak torque was also increased to 369 pound-feet, which represents an increase of 74 pound-feet.

Customers interested can update any other version in the A4 lineup: the 1.8 engine can be increased to 211 horsepower and the 2.0 liter TFSI to 270 horsepower. If you drive a diesel car you can also opt for some improvements. The 2.0 TDI version can be tricked to deliver 205 horsepower and the 3.0 TDI 300 horsepower.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A4 by ABT Sportsline.

Jaguars are cool. Jaguars are awesome. Jaguars are the best.

Anytime you attach those three descriptions to the British automaker, chances are, you’re going to have a lot of people agreeing with you. That includes German tuner, Loder1899, who not only loves Jaguars, but loves them enough to give one of the brand’s models - the XF V6 Diesel - a comprehensive aerodynamic and performance upgrade.

The trick to appreciating Loder1899’s program is to look at the details. The things you’ll notice are the new components, including the front apron, the boot lid spoiler and the carbon-fiber diffuser. Looks great, right?

But once you really take a closer look at the car, you’ll also notice that a lot of its components have been blacked-out, particularly the grille, the headlights, the hood vents, front intakes, side mirrors, side vents, the taillights and even the Jaguar badges. What all this blacked-out goodness does is turn the XF into a wicked saloon that oozes of attitude. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a new set of 21-inch wheels wrapped in 255 tires.

Under its hood, the XF V6 Diesel also gets the benefit of having a remapped ECU unit that increases its output from the standard 275 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque to an impressive 310 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, good enough to allow the car to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the standard model with a top speed of 155 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the Jaguar XF Diesel

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Mercedes has just start production of the new-generation S-Class , but along with the images from the production plant, it "accidentally" revealed the AMG version of the luxury sedan, making us believe that an official debut is getting closer.

As you can see from this video, the new S63 AMG will offer no big surprises: you are just looking at a new S-Class with the usual AMG updates, like bigger air intakes, marked side sills, a new rear bumper, upgraded wheels and tinted indicators in the mirrors. For the rear, there is also a new exhaust system with four tailpipes.

Under the hood, AMG will place a new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 engine that will deliver somewhere between 536 and 550 horsepower.

Rumors suggest that the new S63 AMG will be making its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , but we expect some details on it a little bit sooner.

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Acura has revamped the TL just in time for the summer sales rush with a Special Edition, which packs more tech for less money. The most noticeable exterior changes to the Special Edition are the handsome 18-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels and a subtle boot-lid spoiler.

The Special Edition dresses up the mid-range TL line nicely, giving the front-wheel-drive model some of the stance and aggression of the SH-AWD model that packs a larger engine and adaptive, torque-vectoring AWD.

The current TL shape has been around since 2009 when a redesign took the crisp, chiseled looks and replaced them with some of the most unusual styling elements imaginable: the shield grille and the pinched tail being the key examples. It’s perplexing as to why this is the look that then populated the rest of the Acura line.

Basically: the TL grew up, got ugly and changed its priorities. No longer the slightest bit cool, the TL decided that refinement was the way to go.

Half the team did not get the memo, however. The SH-AWD model offers body control and traction the previous TL would’ve loved, and finally a six-speed manual was offered with that top trim level. Paired with the refinement and isolation inside the new TL, however, the sporty credentials just don’t stick.

With price pressure from the Hyundai Genesis , better performance in the Infiniti Q50 and far more badge kudos in the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 , where does the TL fit in today’s market?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Acura TL.

Posted on by Simona  

Chrysler has unveiled the first details on a new limited-edition vehicle set to be unveiled at next month’s Chicago Auto Show. The new Mopar ’13 Dodge Dart will join the current lineup of limited-edition vehicles offered by Mopar: Mopar ’10 Dodge Challenger , Mopar ’11 Dodge Charger and Mopar ’12 Chrysler 300 .

This special Dart will be distinguished by a gloss-black finish with a pair of car-length Mopar Blue stripes, plus a very cool aerodynamic kit and an updated interior.

The new Dodge Dart Mopar ’13 will be limited to only 500 units, and will be put into production this spring at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. Each customer will also get a limited-edition sketch of the vehicle signed by Mark Trostle, Chrysler Group Chief Designer for the Mopar Brand.

Updated 01/31/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

UPDATE 06/13/13: Dodge has released pricing details for the Dart Mopar ’13. Click past the jump to read at least how much it’s going to cost you to own one.
Hit the jump to read more about the Mopar ’13 Dodge Dart.

Posted on by Simona  

Clean diesel models are just starting to make their ways into the North American market, and to everyone’s surprise, they do quite well. For example, in the first quarter of 2012, sales numbers were up 35 percent when compared to the same period of 2011 and things continue to improve.

From all diesel units sold in the USA last year, a total of 44 percent where the Jetta TDI, a pretty astounding result, considering this is about half of a market that offers about 25 clean diesel models, which experts say will double by 2017.

The first step into this direction was made at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show where Chevy unveiled the new Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel - not a big surprise considering Cruze is Chevrolet’s hottest-selling sedan.

The model will be put on sale at a starting price at $25,695, which is about $2,500 more than the Jetta TDI priced at $23,055.

UPDATE 6/12/2013: This review has been updated with the official drivetrain specifications. Surprisingly, they are significantly better than GM originally estimated.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel.

Posted on by Simona  

BMW unveiled the M3 CLS (Coupe Sport Lightweight) back in 2004 when only 1,400 units have been produced. Sadly, the M3 CLS was never released in the North American market and was offered only in two exterior colors: Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic.

Now, BMW is preparing to celebrate the car’s 10th anniversary and it started with a very cool reunion in Munich, Germany. About 50 BMW M3 CSL owners from different parts of Europe came to this reunion and made a real spectacle of it. It’s pretty easy to get a good idea of what happened in there by watching this short video (above) released by BMW.

The M3 CSL was built using a forward-thinking intelligent lightweight technology that set the benchmark for the car construction of future models. Thanks to this construction, the M3 CLS was about 243 pounds lighter than a standard M3 . With its 360-horsepower engine the M3 CSL could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, while top speed was limited to 155 mph.

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Introduced two years ago, the current Elantra sedan is now part of a three-strong lineup that also includes the Hyundai Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT hatchback in U.S. showrooms. The core package is shared by all three, but the latest Elantra sedan benefits from the newest interior tech from each of the spin-offs.

Despite little new styling flair, the Elantra sedan remains one of the finest small cars on the road and its new features keep it top-of-class versus the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla that inhale most of the compact-sedan sales.

Hyundai ’s great progress since 2007 hit a serious snag with the admission that the company’s internal EPA figures used the wrong testing procedure. Automakers often do the testing themselves using a very specific protocol that ensures parity across makes and models. Believed to be a good-faith mistake, the EPA dispatched multiple teams to the Seoul-based headquarters of Hyundai-Kia to show them how to run the tests properly.

Existing Hyundai and Kia owners were compensated with checks to cover the difference between advertised economy and the new results, typically a few hundred dollars. Not a big ding in reputation, but all advertising had to be pulled and re-done so there’s been a bit of radio silence in 2013.

The lineup for 2013 is frankly better than ever, especially this perky little Elantra sedan.

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery.


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