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Consumer Reports regularly ranks cars on factors like reliability and bang for the buck. The company recently crunched all the data collected on 2012 models, and now it’s announced a list of ten Top Picks for the year.
In compiling its rankings, Consumer Reports looked at three factors: reliability, safety, and a road test. To keep things fair, each data set came from a different source. Reliability was based on surveys of over 1,000,000 vehicles, provided by the magazine’s subscribers. Safety data came from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and government sources. And of course, Consumer Reports conducted extensive studies of its own to determine road test scores.
Extravagance and opulence and…mud plugging? That’s the message telegraphed by the Bentley EXP 9 F concept vehicle introduced at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
Meant to mingle in garages with Mulsannes and Continentals, the EXP’s billed as a “luxury performance SUV concept” that clearly has a future in the British brand’s lineup. Executives at Volkswagen Group indicate the Bentley, and a similarly sized Lamborghini SUV to be previewed next month at the Beijing auto show, are almost certain to be approved for production.
The next James Bond movie, tentatively called Skyfall, isn’t due in theaters until late this year. That hasn’t stopped the automakers tied to its production from pointing out which vehicles will feature prominently in the film, however.
We already know that a Range Rover Evoque will be present, although we don’t know who will be driving it. We recently told you that Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 will make an appearance, likely as an homage to the 50th anniversary of the franchise.
The Lexus RX 450h, on sale since 2009, is set to gain a facelift this year and a sporty new trim line, to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The 2013 RX will gain some of the styling cues found on the 2013 Lexus GS range, giving the front end a sharper, more aggressive look.
Just as the Prius-based CT 200h has recently gained a sportier look and feel with F Sport trim, so too does the 2013 RX 450h. Lexus’ new “spindle” grille gets chrome trim lines and the grille itself gets mesh rather than slats. Large alloy wheels and uprated suspension complete the picture.
Inside, the F Sport gets black leather trim throughout, with aluminum-faced pedals and unique badging.
There’s no word yet on any drivetrain upgrades (unless you can read Japanese), but an upgrade to match the 338-horsepower hybrid powertrain found in the GS 450h is a possibility.
Porsche has confirmed today that its upcoming compact SUV will be called the Macan.
The name is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger and according to Porsche it embodies the suppleness, power, and dynamics of the new model.
Along with the reveal of the new name, Porsche also dropped this teaser image showing the look of the Macan and an accompanying video.
Although highly stylized, the image reveals a similar styling treatment to that found on the current Cayenne, as well as a five-door body and very low ride height. The headlights also appear to carry the squared-off look seen on the new 2013 Porsche Boxster and which was first employed on the concept version of the upcoming 918 Spyder hybrid supercar.
Over the past few months, we’ve started to hear more and more about Tesla’s 2014 Model X — the all-electric crossover SUV that will follow the 2012 Model S into production in year’s time.
So far, everything has been positively enigmatic, but now clean tech specialist Theo O’Neill has shed more light on what financial analysts from Barclays called the Model X’s “falcon doors.”
O’Neill hasn’t seen the car in real life or ridden in it, but after seeing photographs, he’s pretty excited about how the doors operate.
If you watched the Super Bowl last night, you probably caught Chevrolet’s ad for the 2012 Silverado pickup. Most saw it as a clever riff on the whole 2012/Mayan calendar/world-ending thing that’s rumored to occur later this year. When the folks at Ford watched it, though, all they saw was red.
The premise of the ad is simple: the apocalypse has arrived on schedule, delivered by a shower of falling meteors, alien space ships, volcanic eruptions, and a plague of frogs. As the dust settles, four friends meet up at a pre-designated rendez-vous point in their Chevrolet Silverados. Backed by strains of Barry Manilow’s 1976 key-change extravaganza, “Looks Like We Made It”, the four briefly discuss their friend Dave, who’s nowhere to be seen.
There’s a lot to like about the upcoming 2013 Ford Escape, including improved overall fuel economy (although we’re sorry to see the end of the Escape Hybrid), and significantly better styling, both inside and out, than its predecessor.
What we didn’t know until now was how much the new Escape would cost. Truth be told, we still don’t have an exact price, but thanks to the Ford Escape microsite, we have pricing “for survey purposes only.”
A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that the Escape recall is due to a faulty brake master cylinder reservoir cap. In certain cases, that cap can leak brake fluid, which may drip down onto the wiring that controls the anti-lock braking system. Over time, the leak may cause corrosion of the electrical connectors, which could result in melting of the wires, or in some cases, a fire.
The winners of the 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards have been announced, as the auto industry kicks off the new year at the annual Detroit auto show.
In December, a panel of 50 journalists named six finalists for the two awards. On the car side, the NACOTY jurors put the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, and Volkswagen Passat up for top honors. In trucks, which includes vehicles classified as trucks by the EPA, the finalists included the BMW X3, Honda CR-V, and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
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