Wednesday, January 27, 2016

75th Anniversary: Now That’s a Milestone

This fun little crossover need not get overlooked or put in a box so to speak.  It is roomier than you would think by the looks and has plenty more to offer.


Jeep is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. It's celebrating with a special edition. Not just one special edition, either. The all-American off-road brand has wheeled out six – one for each model in its lineup.  Though the specifications for each of these 75th Anniversary Edition specials differs from model to model, they each feature an available green paintjob, wheels in a low-gloss bronze finish, orange trim, interiors upholstered in a unique mesh fabric, and (of course) special badges inside and out. They also each feature some manner of open-air aperture, from the fully convertible roof on the Wrangler through the fabric roof panel on the Renegade to the more conventional power sunroofs on the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Compass, and Patriot.

The shades of green paint depend on the model. The Compass, Patriot, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee offer Recon Green, the Renegade a brighter Jungle Green, and the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited can be had in Sarge Green. If you don't dig the verde approach, you can still order yours up in a different color.  The Wrangler special naturally comes the most prepared for off-road duty, packed with rock-crawling equipment like Dana axles with a choice of axle ratios. The 75th Anniversary editions are set to hit dealers within the next few months.

Come get more info at Greenville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 5401 Interstate Hwy 30 Greenville, TX or give us a call at 903-454-0283 today!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0

The current-generation Sentra debuted in 2007, making the 2012 model one of the oldest small sedans available this year in terms of design. It still has some nice qualities, but overall the Sentra has been outclassed by newer and more desirable models this year.
Among the Sentra sedan's best qualities are decent fuel economy, a comfortable interior and a long list of desirable standard features and options. There are even two sporty variants, including the 200-horsepower SE-R Spec V, designed to appeal to driving enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, the list of weak points is considerably longer. Mainstream 2.0 models just don't offer a very appealing driving experience due in part to the droning created by the CVT and an outdated rear suspension design that delivers only passable handling and marginal ride quality. Even with its firmer sport suspension, the SE-R Spec V can't quite match the moves of other high-performance compacts like the Mazdaspeed 3.
While buyers looking for affordable transportation will still find the 2012 Nissan Sentra worth a look, the car ultimately feels a little long in the tooth compared to its newer or more recently refreshed competitors. Instead of the Sentra, we recommend checking out other top choices like the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf. Within this group, you'll find more engaging driving experiences, better fuel economy, more power, more attractive designs, newer features and higher levels of overall ownership satisfaction.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan Sentra sedan is offered in six different trim levels, including four mainstream models based on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR and 2.0 SL) and two high-performance variants powered by a 2.5-liter engine (SE-R and SE-R Spec V).
The entry-level Sentra 2.0 starts with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, power windows and locks, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The Sentra 2.0 S adds 16-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, cruise control, remote keyless entry and a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an iPod interface.
The 2.0 SR includes those items and adds styling cues from its sportier siblings including distinctive front and rear fascias, side sill extensions, foglamps, a rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels. Moving up to the SL gets you a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo with satellite radio and a color display.
Options on the 2.0 models vary by trim level and include leather upholstery with heated front seats (SL only) and a Convenience package that bundles keyless entry/ignition, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel (S/SR only). A Technology package adds a navigation system, satellite radio and an iPod interface (S/SR only). A Special Edition package includes everything in the Convenience and Technology packages plus a sunroof (SR only), while the Special Value package includes the sunroof, navigation and a rearview monitor (SL only). An Audio package includes an eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system (SL only).
The Sentra SE-R trim level is equipped similarly to the 2.0 SR but adds 17-inch alloy wheels, performance-oriented suspension tuning, an aero-style body kit, cloth sport seats, the SL's stereo with color display and gauges that allow the driver to monitor things like oil pressure and g-forces during cornering. The SE-R Upgrade package adds a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a rearview monitor, the navigation system, satellite radio and the Rockford Fosgate audio system.
The SE-R Spec V builds on the SE-R's sporting nature with more power, higher-performance tires, an even firmer suspension with a lower ride height, larger front brakes and sportier interior trim. One drawback to the added performance of the Spec V is a structural reinforcement brace between the rear shock towers that prevents the rear seats from folding. Also available on the Spec V is an optional SE-R Spec V Upgrade package that includes all the items in the SE-R Upgrade plus a mechanical limited-slip front differential.

Powertrains and Performance

2012 Nissan Sentra models with a "2.0" in their name are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 140 hp and 147 pound-feet of torque. The Sentra SE-R and SE-R Spec V get a 2.5-liter engine that produces 177 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque and 200 hp and 180 lb-ft, respectively. In our testing, the Spec V sprinted to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, a quick time for its class.
The 2.0 Sentra base model comes fitted with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, with the option of a CVT. The CVT is standard on the 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL and even the SE-R, which also gets steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The Spec V is only offered with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox.
Sentra models equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and CVT achieve an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 30 mpg in combined driving; with the manual transmission those numbers drop noticeably to 24/31/27 mpg. The SE-R isn't bad at 24/30/26, and even the Spec V manages a still respectable 21/28/24 mpg.

Safety

The 2012 Nissan Sentra comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The sportier SE-R models come with four-wheel disc brakes, while the others have rear drums.
In government crash tests, the Sentra received an overall score of four stars (out of five). Within that rating, it earned three stars for overall frontal crash protection and three stars again for overall side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Sentra its highest score of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sentra's interior features unexpectedly spacious front seats that make it easy for even tall folks to get comfortable, though the lack of a telescoping steering column is a downer. The backseat is more of a mixed bag, with good headroom and hiproom offset by a shortage of legroom. Trunk space, at 13.1 cubic feet, is average for the class.
From a driver's perspective, the dashboard gets high marks for the simple and straightforward design of gauges and controls. One notable exception is the optional navigation system's smallish 5-inch screen, which requires a fair amount of squinting to read.

Driving Impressions

What you think of driving the 2012 Nissan Sentra sedan depends a great deal on what's under the hood. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes decent power, but the CVT creates a less-than-appealing droning sound when accelerating. Handling is just passable. The ride quality is fine on smooth roads but becomes a bit rough over broken pavement.
As you'd expect, the SE-R Spec V is another story altogether, with abundant acceleration and noticeably sharper handling. Some of the fun is lost due to the manual transmission's balky action that can't compare to the precise feel of shifters in competitors like the Honda Civic Si.

Friday, January 15, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The company spent a fair amount of time polling its 6 million owners about what they liked and didn't like about minivans in general. Most mentioned the segment's "image problem," characterizing themselves as "martyr drivers," wearing their rides like scarlet letter A's branding them sensible "adults." So global design chief Ralph Gilles gave his team the ultimate mission impossible: style a beautiful minivan.

Chrysler officials said the new Pacifica arrives with more than 100 innovations, which in automotive parlance is not always so impressive. First, there’s the plug-in hybrid powertrain. This is a first for any minivan, and it’s certainly about time. The hybrid Pacifica, which newly developed electric variable transmission uses two electric motors to drive the wheels and 16 kWh lithium ion battery pack, will achieve 30 miles on electric power before the engine kicks on to help. It hits 80 mpg-e in city driving. Other fuel economy numbers were not released.

The other powertrain is the venerable and improved Pentastar V-6, which creates 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Engineers tweaked some parts of the engine to provide some incremental improvement and will add a start/stop system to the vehicle later in the year to improve fuel economy even more.

Because minivans and families seem to go together, the Pacifica arrives with more than 100 safety features. It has a surround view back up camera that uses four cameras to create a complete view to see everything around the minivan when it’s backing up. It includes blind-spot monitoring, lane sense warning, and adaptive cruise control. And if you have five children who need to sit in car seats, Chrysler offers LATCH systems on five locations.
Come see all of Chryslers new offerings at Greenville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram5401 Interstate Hwy 30 Greenville, TX or give us a call at 903-454-0283 today!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2012 Hyundai Veloster Base

An old adage says, "Fortune favors the bold." We wouldn't be too surprised if we saw that quote hanging above the designers who developed the 2012 Hyundai Veloster. The new Veloster is a brave interpretation of the modern hatchback, with sleek lines, aggressive details and an asymmetrical three-door layout. Yes, there are three real doors here, not two doors and a hatch or rear-hinged mini door. Hyundai achieved this by using a longer coupe-like door on the driver side and two smaller sedan-like doors on the passenger side. The idea here is that you get sporty coupe styling without sacrificing convenience.
Built on a heavily revised Elantra platform, the front-wheel-drive Veloster is powered by a new 1.6-liter direct-injected inline-4 good for 138 horsepower. Buyers have the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a new six-speed automated dual-clutch transmission with shift paddles. That's decent power for a little car, but with an emphasis on fuel economy, don't be surprised if this hatchback's acceleration doesn't quite live up to what the exterior styling promises. For those with a penchant for livelier performance, a 208-hp turbocharged four-cylinder Veloster is expected next year.
As hatchbacks go, the 2012 Veloster delivers a decent amount of driving entertainment on twisting roads. The ride is mercifully compliant and the interior provides a fair amount of comfort. There's also a surprising number of standard features that are either options on other cars in this class or not available at all. A 7-inch touchscreen on the dash, a wide array of advanced BlueLink telematics and built-in Pandora Internet radio connectivity are just a few examples.
As the hip newcomer to the hatchback segment, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster presents some nice advantages. Compared to Honda's hybrid CR-Z, the Veloster is considerably more practical and gets nearly as good fuel economy. It's also more stylish than the Scion tC or more traditional hatchbacks like the Mazda 3. For a more premium experience, the Mini Cooper or Volkswagen Beetle are both better choices, but the Veloster counters with more standard features while coming in at a much lower price.
It can be said that you can't get ahead without sticking your neck out. With its 2012 Veloster, Hyundai has proved that.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is a four-passenger, three-door hatchback that is offered in one very well-appointed trim level. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED accent lights, heated sideview mirrors, a rear spoiler, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, full power accessories, a cargo cover, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and USB/iPod connectivity.
Also standard is a 7-inch touchscreen that comes with Pandora (via your iPhone) connectivity, two fuel economy coaching games and photo/video playback capability. Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system is also included.
Options are split into two packages. The Style package adds 18-inch wheels, a chrome grille surround with black highlights, foglights, a panoramic sunroof, a premium eight-speaker sound system, leatherette upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Tech package can be added to the Style package and gets you automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, a navigation system, a rearview camera, keyless ignition/entry and a 115-volt outlet in the center armrest bin. Hyundai also offers optional side graphic stickers.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster is powered by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 138 hp and 123 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and an automated dual-clutch manual transmission (DCT) is available as an option. The DCT also includes steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.
In Edmunds testing of a DCT-equipped model, the Veloster required 10.2 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph. That's pretty slow by economy car standards, let alone for a sporty hatchback. Estimated EPA fuel economy is 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway and 31 mpg in combined driving for the manual transmission; with the DCT, it is rated at 27/35/30 mpg.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2012 Hyundai Veloster include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Hyundai's BlueLink (which is similar to GM's OnStar service) also provides SOS assistance and crash notification.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Veloster came to a stop from 60 mph in a class-average 121 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Clearly, the most prominent feature of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster is its three-door layout. The larger, coupe-like driver door permits easy ingress and egress and the two smaller passenger-side doors provide added convenience for loading people or parcels. The front seats offer plenty of lateral support to hold you in while cornering, and ample cushioning for long-distance comfort. The overall interior design exudes a youthful and modern look without being kitschy or gimmicky. There is an abundance of hard plastic, but it's well-textured for a more favorable appearance.
In back, the Veloster isn't as roomy as other traditional hatchbacks, as the rear seat cushions are mounted quite low and headroom is limited by the sloping rear roof line. The glass hatch will also have those passengers' heads exposed to the sun, but at least there is ample legroom. These seats fold down to provide greater cargo capacity, but it may not be all that necessary, as the deep 15.5-cubic-foot trunk should suffice for most hauls. The rear hatch glass and roof edge, however, do obscure and distort the view rearward.
The Veloster is notable for its standard electronics and entertainment features. Hyundai's new BlueLink telematics system comes with the typical safety features, plus outbound text messaging and turn-by-turn navigation. Other extras include location sharing (via Facebook), a geo-fence system that alerts you when the car travels outside of a defined area (for keeping tabs on younger drivers) and valet alert functions. It's an impressive collection of features, though, like OnStar, it's fee-based. And in our initial tests, the voice recognition system had a difficult time interpreting many of our commands.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster's extroverted styling overstates things a little; this is still an economically minded hatchback. That said, the Veloster delivers a surprising amount of fun behind the wheel. The small four-cylinder engine won't blow you away in terms of acceleration, but the handling is both balanced and predictable. Most buyers will probably be OK with the Veloster's firm ride quality, but one should be aware that bumps and ruts in the road can generate unexpectedly harsh impacts.
In everyday driving, the cabin is fairly quiet in terms of wind and engine noise, but road noise is noticeable. The DCT transmission is also praiseworthy, with quick, smooth shifts in automatic or manual modes and responsive shift paddles. In nearly every way, the Veloster delivers a great deal more than its modest price suggests.

2012 Nissan Murano SL

In a segment where many of the choices are little more than uninspired boxes on wheels, the Nissan Murano has long stood out from the crowd. And while familiarity has made its rounded design seem somewhat less radical than when it was introduced nearly a decade ago, the Murano's look is still distinctive enough to turn heads.
Thankfully, there's more to the 2012 Nissan Murano's appeal than just its sheet metal. The combination of the strong 3.5-liter V6 and continuously variable automatic transmission -- one of the best CVTs in the business -- with a sport-tuned suspension results in a crossover SUV that's more enjoyable to drive than the norm. The Murano's five-passenger interior also earns points for its attractive styling, high-quality materials and many standard features.
The Murano does have a couple minor drawbacks, however, including compromised rear visibility and a maximum cargo capacity that's a bit smaller than its rivals. You might want to comparison shop the Murano's main competitors, the equally stylish Ford Edge, the more wagonlike Toyota Venza or the more off-road-capable Jeep Grand Cherokee. But overall the Nissan Murano still stands out thanks to its blend of keen styling, upscale design and lively performance.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan Murano is a midsize five-passenger crossover SUV available in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and LE.
The entry-level S comes well-equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers, deep-tinted rear privacy glass, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a reclining 60/40-split rear seat, a 7-inch monochrome screen, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio input jack.
The SV adds automatic headlights, foglights, a panoramic sunroof, roof rack side rails, power front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), a 7-inch color display, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio and iPod integration.
Stepping up to the SL trim gets you rain-sensing wipers, heated outside mirrors, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, driver seat memory, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with digital music storage. The LE trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, heated rear seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column and wood interior trim.
Optional on SL and LE models is a navigation system that includes voice recognition, real-time traffic and weather, Bluetooth streaming audio and increased digital music storage. Those two trim levels can also be had with a twin-screen headrest-mounted rear DVD entertainment system. New for 2012 is a Platinum Edition option for LE models that bundles exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, a special Sapphire Black paint color and the navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Nissan Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to a CVT and a choice of standard front-wheel drive or an available all-wheel-drive system. EPA estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 18/23/20 with all-wheel drive.

Safety

All 2012 Nissan Murano models feature standard antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive Murano with 18-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet -- a good performance for this class.
In government crash testing, the Murano received an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for overall front impact protection and five stars for side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Murano its highest rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the 2012 Nissan Murano's cabin you'll find an attractively styled space that rivals that of its upscale Infiniti FX cousin for quality of materials and assembly. The Murano also gets high marks for the intuitive operation of technology features including the navigation system, rear seat video entertainment setup and iPod interface.
There's also seating for five passengers, including a backseat with abundant head- and legroom and seatbacks that recline for greater comfort. Behind those rear seats is 31.6 cubic feet of cargo room, a number that's on par with the Murano's competitors. Folding those rear seatbacks down creates a nice flat load floor with 64 cubic feet of room, which falls a tad short of the space available in other midsize five-passenger SUVs.

Driving Impressions

While the 2012 Nissan Murano has its share of imitators, none can quite measure up to it in terms of the driving experience. For example, the nicely tuned suspension gives it nimble handling while still managing to deliver a comfy ride (at least on models without the available 20-inch wheels). Precise steering feel adds to the enjoyment.
The marriage of the eager V6 engine and CVT also works well. While other CVTs tend to respond sluggishly or keep the engine revving at a nearly constant drone, this unit performs as well as any traditional automatic.

2012 Hyundai Tucson

Over the years Hyundai has become known for delivering respectable bang for the buck, and this compact crossover is no exception. But in addition to the strengths the brand has built its reputation on, the 2012 Hyundai Tucson offers a couple more unexpected bonuses -- namely distinctive styling and a fun-to-drive factor -- that make it an appealing choice for a small crossover SUV.
Unlike the utilitarian driving experience common to many compact crossovers, time spent behind the wheel of the Tucson can actually be enjoyable. Credit for the Tucson's handling goes to its Euro-tuned suspension and nicely weighted electric power steering. The engine choices aren't quite as special -- a 165-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 176-hp 2.4-liter -- but they're generally competitive for the segment.
If there's one area where the Tucson doesn't shine, it would be its relatively small cabin. Compared to bigger rivals like the Chevy Equinox and the fully redesigned Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Tucson's backseat offers less room and neither slides nor reclines. Cargo room is also significantly less than in those other crossover SUVs. Another issue with the Tucson is a ride quality that some may find to be on the firm side -- especially with the available 18-inch wheels.
As such, the aforementioned larger crossovers would be better choices for families. However, those with less vital size requirements should find the 2012 Hyundai Tucson (as well as its mechanically similar cousin, the Kia Sportage) a keen choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Tucson is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV that is offered in three trim levels: GL, GLS and Limited. The GL base model comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, privacy glass, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, full power accessories, a trip computer and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB interface.
The GLS adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded suspension, roof rails, heated side mirrors with built-in turn signals, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth and leather upholstery, Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio controls and upgraded trim inside and out. All-wheel-drive GLS models also get heated front seats.
The Limited trim tacks on 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, a front wiper de-icer, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustments, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a cargo cover and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. An optional Premium package available only on the Limited adds a panoramic sunroof, touchscreen navigation system, a rearview camera and a seven-speaker upgraded sound system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Hyundai Tucson offers two different engine choices. Entry-level GL models come with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 165 hp and 146 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, but a six-speed automatic is optional. It includes the Active Eco system, which alters engine and transmission response to maximize efficiency. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the automatic, and 20/26/22 with the manual.
Stepping up to the GLS and Limited models gets you a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 176 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. In California-emissions states, this engine receives partial zero-emissions vehicle (PZEV) status and produces 170 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, but buyers have a choice of front- and all-wheel drive. In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive GLS went from zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds, which is slow, but on par with other entries in the class. Fuel mileage numbers stand at 21/30/25 with front-wheel drive and 20/27/23 with all-wheel drive.

Safety

The list of standard safety features on the 2012 Hyundai Tucson includes antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, hill holder and hill descent control. In Edmunds brake tests, the Tucson came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is about average among crossover SUVs.
In government crash testing, the Tucson received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this Hyundai its top rating of "Good" in the frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the 2012 Hyundai Tucson you'll find an attractive, functional and roomy cabin. The five-passenger interior is more stylish than several of its competitors, and gauges and controls are well-placed and easy to operate.
Up front, the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel on GLS and Limited models makes it possible for a wide range of different size drivers to get comfortable. The rear seat is a little smaller than those of its rivals and it also lacks the ability to both slide and recline.
The Tucson also gives up ground to its rivals in terms of cargo space. There are just 25.7 cubic feet behind the 60/40-split rear seats and 55.8 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down. That latter number falls short of the CR-V, Subaru Forester and RAV4 by around 15 cubic feet, an amount of space equal to the entire trunk volume of some popular midsize sedans.

Driving Impressions

Unlike the utilitarian driving experience common to many compact crossovers, time spent behind the wheel of the 2012 Hyundai Tucson can actually be enjoyable. Credit for the Tucson's handling goes to its Euro-tuned suspension and nicely weighted electric power steering. The downside is ride quality that's a bit on the firm side, though this year's model is better than past Tucsons thanks to the retuned suspension.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the GL base model is underpowered, and there's really no advantage to this engine (besides its lower price) considering the 2.4-liter returns stronger acceleration and roughly the same fuel economy. The bigger engine does sound a touch unrefined compared to rival four-cylinders, however.

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL

Nissan has been careful with the 2013 redesign of the Altima sedan. The general look is hardly a dramatic departure, but the thorough restyling inside and out speaks to the more upscale direction for the best-selling model in Nissan's lineup. Most of the Altima's major mechanical components are carried over, but fuel economy ratings have improved significantly: The four-cylinder 2013 Nissan Altima sedan is now among the most fuel-efficient midsize cars in this price range.
We liked the previous-generation Altima for its responsive handling, composed ride and user-friendly electronic features. These attributes carry over to the redesigned sedan, but are now complemented by a higher-quality cabin that remains quiet at highway speeds. The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan's interior features a more visually interesting design, soft-touch materials and more comfortable front seats. In addition, we've noted excellent fit and finish in the 2013 Altima test cars we've driven. The only real negative in this cabin is the tight rear headroom.
As in past years, the Altima sedan comes with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. Although the V6 makes for quick and satisfying acceleration, most people will find the four-cylinder's performance more than adequate. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Nissan offers instead of a conventional automatic transmission can take some getting used to (simply because it doesn't have fixed shift points), but its responsiveness in passing situations is impressive and it's the main reason the Altima earns such high EPA fuel economy ratings. With the four-cylinder engine and the CVT, the 2013 Altima has a 31 mpg combined rating, which is tops among non-hybrid, gasoline-powered midsize sedans.
Keep in mind that the Altima coupe is mechanically unchanged for 2013. It uses an older version of the CVT that isn't as efficient and has lower mpg ratings as a result. In addition, the V6 engine is not available on the coupe.
In many ways, the outgoing Altima sedan was more appealing than its fellow best-selling sedans, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It could also stand toe to toe with the well-equipped Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Passat. When you consider the numerous refinements Nissan made to this new 2013 Altima sedan, its position as one of the most desirable family sedans has only been strengthened. Though the redesigned Accord is a worthy challenger, the 2013 Nissan Altima is a must-drive if you're shopping for a midsize sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Altima comes in sedan and coupe body styles. The sedan comes in seven trim levels -- four trims for buyers selecting an Altima with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three trim levels for an Altima equipped with the 3.5-liter V6. The coupe comes in a single 2.5 S trim that is discussed following the sedan section below.
The base 2.5 Altima sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 4-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.
Moving from the base Altima 2.5 to the 2.5 S gets you cruise control, automatic headlights, a six-way power driver seat, more advanced functionality for the gauge-cluster LCD screen and a six-speaker sound system. The V6-engined 3.5S includes all that, plus 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport mode with paddle shifters for the CVT.
Advancing upward to the SV trim level brings 17-inch alloy wheels (2.5), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote ignition, a 5-inch color LCD screen, a rearview camera and an upgraded sound system that includes an iPod/USB audio interface, satellite radio, Pandora radio and hands-free reading of incoming text messages. A Convenience package (optional on 2.5 SV, standard on the 3.5 SV) adds a sunroof and a few other minor extras.
The top-shelf Altima SL adds xenon headlights, LED taillights, the sunroof (four-cylinder), leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a nine-speaker premium Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.
Option packages for the 2013 Altima are simple but none are available for either the Altima 2.5 or 2.5 S. The Navigation package for Altima 2.5 SV and 3.5 SV models includes a 7-inch in-dash monitor and steering wheel controls for the navigation system. The Technology package (available only for the Altima 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL) incorporates the navigation system and includes electronic safety features such as blind-spot warning, cross-traffic and lane-departure warning systems.
The Altima Coupe 2.5 S comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Convenience package includes automatic headlights, an eight-way power driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The Premium package (requires Convenience package) adds a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with a 4.3-inch color display, an iPod/USB audio interface and satellite radio. The Leather package (requires Convenience and Premium packages) includes xenon headlights, heated front seats, leather upholstery, ambient lighting and an auto-dimming mirror. The Technology package (requires all preceding packages) adds a navigation system, a touchscreen interface, voice controls, real-time traffic and weather, an auxiliary audio/visual jack and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sedan comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In Edmunds performance testing, this engine brought the Altima from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest four-cylinder family sedans. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city/38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, which is excellent for a midsize sedan.
Altima 3.5 models have a 3.5-liter V6 good for 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The CVT is again standard. In Edmunds testing, an Altima 3.5 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which also makes it one of the segment's top sprinters. Fuel economy is strong for a V6, with 22/31/25.
The Altima Coupe also gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it produces 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It, too, gets a CVT. Its fuel economy estimates are much lower than the sedan's at 23/32/26.

Safety

Every 2013 Nissan Altima sedan and coupe come standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera comes standard on all sedans but the base and S trim levels, and is optional on the coupe. Blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and a lane-departure warning system are also optional on the sedan.
In Edmunds testing, an Altima 2.5 SV sedan stopped from 60 mph in 130 feet, which is below average for midsize sedans. A 3.5 SL, however, stopped in a superb 114 feet, which is about 10 feet shorter than average.
In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The outgoing Altima sedan (and current Altima coupe) had a nice, though somewhat plain-looking, interior. In contrast, the 2013 Altima's cabin feels markedly more upscale. Materials are of visibly higher quality, particularly on the dashboard and console. The door armrests could still use more padding, but we've been impressed by the fit and finish in all the 2013 Altima sedans we've tested.
The gauge cluster is attractive, with a large, highly readable speedometer and tachometer on either side of the crisp, 4-inch LCD screen. Another highlight is the specially engineered "zero gravity" front seats used in all Altimas. With help from NASA research, the seats were designed to relieve common pressure points and improve comfort for the long haul. It works, as the new Altima's front seats are palpably different from before and more comfortable and supportive from the moment you slip in them.
In terms of space, overall interior room is almost exactly the same as before. That means headroom for the rear seat is at a premium and rear legroom is only average. Trunk space is similarly average at 15.4 cubic feet. The story is much the same in the coupe, though as is expected in a two-door, there's even less room to go around and getting in and out of the back is more of a pain. The coupe's trunk can only hold 8.2 cubic feet of luggage.

Driving Impressions

The Nissan Altima has a reputation for being one of the more rewarding family sedans to drive, and the redesigned 2013 Altima continues this legacy. The new Altima has a revised steering system this year, and feel and feedback remain accurate and consistent, reassuring the driver during tricky and delicate maneuvers. The steering combines with a retuned rear suspension that tightly controls body motions and also helps the Altima corner with more assurance. The ride quality remains very good nevertheless, while wind and road noise are pleasantly subdued.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers competitive performance for this class. It revs willingly and generates more than enough acceleration for everyday driving in both the sedan and coupe. Still, we prefer the version in the sedan, because it comes with a revised CVT that operates in a more refined manner and provides better fuel mileage. We suspect many drivers won't even realize this CVT isn't a conventional automatic transmission. At times, though, the Altima's CVT is almost too responsive to acceleration demands, resulting in higher engine rpm and a bit more noise than we'd like.
Meanwhile, the available 3.5-liter V6 in the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan provides some of the quickest acceleration in this class. It's a great choice if you really like to drive, but it's considerably less fuel-efficient.

2016 Chrysler 300: Variety

Rated by Kelley Blue Book at an amazing 10 out of 10, the newest model of the Chrysler 300 is here and ready to make a splash in 2016. Chrysler is looking to accommodate for your and your family’s need this year by offering six, yes six versions of their 2016 300 model. This allows for you to find the car that is in line with all you want out of it as well as the price you are willing to pay for it.


Throughout these six versions, you can get anywhere between 292 and 363 horsepower. When even the low side is high, you know you are gaining a quality vehicle. There are two different engines offered, the 3.6 liter V6 and the 5.7 liter V8, and the different versions of these engines is what creates the different versions of the car. The S 3.6 liter V6, S 3.6 liter V6 AWD, C 3.6 liter V6, S 5.7 liter V8, C 3.6 liter V6 AWD, and C 5.7 liter V8 are all of the engines offered. They offer horsepower between the range mentioned before as well as up to 19 miles per gallon city and 31 miles per gallon highway.

Another amazing aspect of this car is it has a standard towing capacity of 1000 pounds, so you can even tote some luggage on a trailer in the back on your way to the weekend getaway.

Come in for a test drive at Greenville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 5401 Interstate Hwy 30 Greenville, TX or give us a call at 903-454-0283 today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T

Whether it's the Elantra scrapping with the economy compacts or the Equus trading barbs with encrusted luxo-yachts, Hyundai seemingly has a fighter in every weight class. Among midsize sedans, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata is the Korean automaker's contender. In prior years, the Sonata was nothing more than a midpack player, but that all changed with last year's full redesign, in which the Sonata gained dramatic new styling, new engines and a revamped interior.
Under the hood is a choice of a powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder or, in lieu of a V6, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. With 198 horsepower (200 in SE trim), the base engine will satisfy just about everybody, especially when it returns a very impressive 28 mpg combined when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission. Equally impressive is the turbo engine, which cranks out 274 hp yet still gets nearly identical fuel economy estimates.
Inside, the Sonata is big enough that the EPA deems it a "large" car. Its total passenger volume puts it ahead of every class competitor except the Honda Accord, and its 16.4 cubic feet of trunk space is equally roomy. As is the case with all Hyundais, standard feature content is generous, and it comes at a price that's significantly less than most competitors. The Sonata also stands out in terms of design, as its cabin is attractive and fitted with upscale and easy-to-use controls. This year's model is also notable for the introduction of BlueLink, Hyundai's telematics system that's similar to General Motors' OnStar.
So how much of a contender has the 2012 Hyundai Sonata become? Not only is it a clear alternative to the traditional midsize safe bets, but we recently gave it the title belt in a comparison test against a 2012 Toyota Camry, 2012 Honda Accord, 2012 Volkswagen Passat and new Chevrolet Malibu. While Hyundai's midsize sedan may not be a class leader in every area, it is well-rounded and offers few drawbacks and tremendous value. All are still worth considering, however, along with the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima. The related 2012 Kia Optima also matches the Sonata in many respects. But one thing's for sure -- the Sonata no longer finds itself in the middle of the pack.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize family sedan available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the GLS includes 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted controls.
The sole optional equipment package for the GLS includes alloy wheels, automatic headlights and an eight-way power driver seat. The sporty SE includes all of the above and adds 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, foglights, a dark chrome grille, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition/entry and leather/cloth upholstery. Opting for the SE with the turbocharged engine also adds dual-zone automatic climate control and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. An optional Navigation and Sunroof package bundles (you guessed it) a navigation system with touchscreen display, a rearview camera, premium Infinity speakers and a sunroof.
The plush Sonata Limited has all the SE's features, but substitutes 17-inch alloy wheels, a cushier suspension and full leather upholstery. It also gains side mirror turn signal repeaters, a panoramic sunroof, heated seats (front and rear), dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded audio system (with HD radio) and unique interior accents. The turbocharged Limited variant adds 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Limited's sole optional package bundles the navigation system with the touchscreen display, a back-up camera and premium Infinity speakers.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard Sonata engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 198 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. The dual-exhaust SE makes slightly more power at 200 hp and 186 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the GLS, while a six-speed automatic is optional on that trim and standard on the SE and Limited. Sonatas sold in California-emission states can have PZEV emissions certification, though output drops slightly to 190 hp.
A powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine generating 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque is available on SE and Limited models. The six-speed automatic is standard.
In Edmunds performance testing, a 2.4-liter GLS Sonata with automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds -- this is a full second quicker than the class average. The 2.0-liter turbo with automatic transmission is significantly quicker still, making the same dash in a class-average 6.7 seconds.
The Sonata's EPA fuel economy estimates are equally impressive. The 2.4-liter engine is rated at 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 28 combined, regardless of transmission. In a long-term test with this engine, we managed to match the Sonata's EPA combined number. The 2.0-liter turbo, despite its significant boost in power, returns a very impressive 22/34/26 mpg.

Safety

All 2012 Hyundai Sonatas come equipped with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and BlueLink emergency telematics.
In government testing, the Sonata earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, four out of five stars for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Hyundai Sonata earned a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength protection.
In Edmunds brake testing, both a Sonata GLS and SE turbo came to a stop from 60 mph in about 120 feet, which are slightly above average for the class.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sonata feels as well built inside as it does out. The dash and center stack meld together in a seamless flow, while trapezoidal vents, sharp blue backlighting and, on some models, brushed-metal style trim pieces create an environment that looks both modern and upscale. Knobs, switches and controls operate with a feel and precision befitting a more expensive car, while the Limited trim -- with its available two-tone color schemes, piano-black trim and padded door panels -- is particularly appealing.
This year's new high-resolution touchscreen adds clarity and vibrancy to an already intuitive system for operating and viewing climate control, navigation, audio and phone functions. Also new is the new BlueLink telematics service, which, similar to OnStar, offers services like emergency crash response, remote opening of door locks, turn-by-turn navigation and speed and curfew limits for younger drivers.
Classified as a large car, the Sonata offers enough room for four adults to stretch out. Five can make do on shorter trips. But in our experience, headroom both front and rear is merely adequate, and 6-foot-tall passengers in back may find their heads bumping the ceiling due to the Sonata's sloped roof line.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata strikes a perfectly acceptable balance between comfort and confidence. Its chassis and suspension are taut, but not enough to transmit the road's every bump and rumble. Drivers seeking a measure of sport can opt for the SE, although its sharper handling capabilities don't really justify its rougher, bumpier ride. The Sonata's steering is OK but doesn't transmit much road feel.
On the move, the 2.4-liter engine provides thoroughly respectable acceleration for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. Gearshifts from the automatic transmission are seamless and drama-free. The manual transmission is fairly unexceptional, and we recommend the automatic. Power delivery from the turbocharged engine is smooth and linear, with no detectable turbo lag. That it returns excellent fuel economy is icing on the cake.

2013 Nissan Maxima 3.5 S

With its modest nameplate and unassuming sheet metal, the 2013 Nissan Maxima easily passes for just another midsize sedan at first glance. However, spend some time behind the wheel and you'll discover its luxury-oriented craftsmanship and performance. In essence, the car delivers the upmarket quality of Nissan's tony Infiniti brand but in a more discreet package.
With the Maxima, you get enjoyable handling that distinguishes itself with crisp steering response. The sedan's suspension is tuned to skillfully deliver both athleticism and comfort, and the cabin features high-end materials quality and a wider range of feature content than you'll find in four-doors with a similar price tag. Under the hood is a 290-horsepower V6 that provides impressively quick acceleration.
Of course, this Nissan isn't the only game in town when it comes to undercover luxury. The 2013 Chrysler 300 and 2013 Hyundai Genesis boast many of the same attributes (and a lot more interior room); the Volkswagen CC is also worth a look. And for a few grand more, traditional luxury models like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G Sedan, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60 offer more all-around refinement.
Still, there's clearly a place for the 2013 Nissan Maxima's understated appeal. If you want low-key luxury -- and have no issue with the snob-appeal deficit that comes with the humble Nissan marque -- this accomplished but unostentatious sedan is a great pick.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Maxima is available in S and SV trim levels.
The standard equipment list for the base S model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, power front seats (eight-way driver and four-way passenger), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Also included are an auto-dimming rearview mirror, trip computer, Bluetooth phone capability and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.
Moving up to the SV adds to the base S equipment foglights, leather upholstery and an upgraded driver seat with extendable thigh support and power lumbar.
The SV is eligible for a number of optional packages. The Monitor package adds a 7-inch color monitor, a rearview camera and an iPod/USB audio interface. The Cold package adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated mirrors, while the Bose Audio package adds a nine-speaker Bose sound system and satellite radio. Additionally, there's an SV Value package that essentially combines the Cold package with the Bose Audio package.
With the SV, buyers can also choose between the Premium and Sport packages. Both add xenon headlights, upgraded leather upholstery, driver seat memory functions, a ventilated driver seat, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with paddle shifters, the Bose audio system and all of the features in the Cold and Monitor packages. Rear bucket seats with a center trunk pass-through also replace the 60/40-split rear seatbacks.
The Premium package goes on to include a dual-panel sunroof, ambient lighting and wood trim. The Sport package adds instead a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels and special exterior and interior trim details.
The Technology package can be added to the SV Value, Premium and Sport packages. It adds a 7-inch touchscreen color monitor, a navigation system, voice controls and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Powertrains and Performance

Under the hood of every 2013 Nissan Maxima is a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 290 hp and 261 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels though a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
In Edmunds performance testing, the Maxima SV accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which is quicker than almost every other entry-level luxury sedan (with a base engine). The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for every 2013 Nissan Maxima includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags and active front-seat head restraints. A rearview camera is an option on SV models. In Edmunds brake testing, a Maxima SV with the Sport package came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet -- an average distance for both entry-level luxury cars and family sedans.
In government crash testing, the Maxima received four out of five stars for overall protection, with three stars for frontal-impact protection (four stars driver, but just two stars for the front passenger) and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Maxima its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side crash protection and a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cabin of the 2013 Nissan Maxima distinguishes itself with its premium flair. The interior design is sleek and modern, and materials quality is above reproach. All the requisite luxury-car amenities are offered; in total, there really isn't that much distinction between the Maxima's cabin and that of an Infiniti.
This Nissan's iPod interface is one of the best we've encountered; there's no learning curve, since the text categories exactly mirror Apple's. The interface is also notably quick, whether it's reading a device or accessing the various menus. The Maxima's optional navigation system is similarly pleasant to use, offering quick response and recalculation times.
Both front and rear seats present a pleasant blend of comfort and support, but keep in mind that the optional bucket-style rear seats make the center section all but unusable. Cargo room in the trunk stands at 14.2 cubic feet -- decent enough, but less impressive than what's offered by rivals like the Genesis and 300.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Nissan Maxima is certainly one of the more enjoyable picks in its segment when it comes to driving dynamics. Steering is precise and responsive, and its suspension is communicative. With that in mind, we'd recommend skipping the Sport package, as the firmer suspension makes for a harsh ride with no appreciable improvement to the car's handling.
Under the hood is an impressive powertrain, with brisk acceleration from the 3.5-liter V6. Even the CVT is a positive -- something we can't say for a lot of CVTs we've driven -- with responsive performance in automatic mode and an entertaining manual shift feature that allows you to run up and down through six simulated "gear ratios" for a sportier feel.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Grand Touring

If you are playing a word association game and say "sport coupe," it's unlikely someone is going to shout out "Hyundai!" Yet one of the best such cars on the market is indeed the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, an overlooked but nevertheless impressive two-door for savvy buyers with an eye for both well-rounded performance and good value.
Although it shares its basic structure with the larger and more upscale Genesis sedan, this performance-oriented coupe is smaller and designed to offer significantly sharper handling. In other words, it's a completely different type of animal. With its rear-wheel-drive layout and choice of two engines, including a 306-horsepower 3.8-liter V6, the Genesis Coupe is guaranteed to provide a fun time on a winding road. Plus, its list of available features, lengthy warranty and reasonable price make this Hyundai a smart buy even if you're just looking for an inexpensive coupe.
Frankly the Genesis Coupe is more in keeping with the new wave of American muscle cars than the sedan with which it shares its name. The Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang are also reasonably priced two-doors that provide an awful lot of fun. If handling precision and modern design is more important to you than available V8 power and 1960s nostalgia, the Genesis will actually be the more appealing car. In its pricier V6 guise, this Hyundai is also a solid alternative to the BMW 1 Series and Infiniti G Coupe.
The fact that the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is in the same discussion as any of the above cars should show how highly we think of it. Even if it's not the first sport coupe that comes to mind, it's definitely worth thinking about.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a performance coupe available in six trim levels: 2.0T, 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec, 3.8 Grand Touring and 3.8 Track.
The entry-level 2.0T comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, cruise control, full power accessories, a trip computer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a tilt-only steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.
The performance-oriented 2.0T R-Spec loses a few minor convenience items (such as cruise control) but adds 19-inch wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, a more firmly tuned suspension and a limited-slip rear differential, plus front seats with leather bolsters and red cloth inserts. The 2.0T Premium loses the R-Spec's mechanical upgrades but gains a sunroof, automatic climate control, a power driver seat, keyless ignition/entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system and an Infinity 10-speaker premium sound system.
The 3.8 R-Spec's standard equipment list is similar to the 2.0T R-Spec with the addition of the 3.8-liter V6 engine. The 3.8 Grand Touring is equipped much like the 2.0T Premium but adds heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The 3.8 Track adds xenon headlights, a rear spoiler and the R-Spec model's performance-related hardware.

Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis Coupe is powered by a choice of two engines.
The 2.0T models get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 210 hp and 223 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped 2.0T went from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the manual transmission, and 20/30/23 with the automatic.
The 3.8 models come with a 3.8-liter V6 that's good for 306 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a 3.8 Genesis Coupe with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Fuel economy estimates stand at 17/26/20 mpg with the manual and 17/27/20 mpg for the automatic.

Safety

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe comes standard with stability control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. In Edmunds brake testing, both a 2.0T and 3.8 Track stopped from 60 mph in an impressively short 111 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cabin of the Genesis Coupe boasts an alluring mix of eye-catching contours and generally high-quality materials. The dash's swooping curves flow into the door panels, although this interesting design requires an unconventional orientation for the power window and mirror switches.
The driving position is excellent (especially with the available power seats) and offers abundant outward visibility despite the low-slung seating position. However, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel means that a driver with shorter legs might find the wheel uncomfortably close to their chest. The controls are generally intuitive except for the standard iPod interface, and despite being an upgrade, the Infinity audio system generates only mediocre sound.
The front seats are superbly shaped for both enthusiastic driving and long-distance cruising. The rear seat, though, is strictly for kids and cargo. The 10-cubic-foot trunk is surprisingly useful, particularly with the rear seats folded down.

Driving Impressions

From behind the steering wheel, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe impresses with its solid handling, precise steering and generally likable ride quality. The firmer suspensions and high-performance tires under R-Spec and 3.8 Track models deliver even more impressive handling, though ride comfort suffers in the process.
Most buyers will find the levels of performance offered by the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to provide plenty of fun. That said, we think the rush of acceleration and gutsy exhaust note that come with the 3.8-liter V6 will be hard for many ordinarily level-headed buyers to resist.

2010 Nissan Armada Titanium

Armadas have come a long way since Spain's failed naval invasion of England in 1588, and the 2010 Nissan Armada is no exception. Like most modern armadas, Nissan's is far swifter than any galleon of yore, and it guzzles a lot of fuel in the process. In today's marketplace, the Nissan Armada plays the pirate's role, seeking to swipe some full-size SUV booty from the familiar domestic players in this gas-swilling segment. This U.S.-built Japanese behemoth is plenty capable, but it's been around for awhile, so newer rivals may be better choices.
The Armada was introduced for the 2004 model year, back when disposable income was plentiful, gas was cheap and environmental concerns were on the back burner. Sales in this segment have sunk since then, but if you're among the dwindling number of consumers who require a full-size SUV's services, there's still a lot to like about the Armada despite this three-row SUV's advancing age. Based on the Titan pickup, the Armada has the same rugged body-on-frame construction as its competitors, and it also has a pleasant interior that's a cut above the norm for this segment.
Unlike most of its rivals, the 2010 Nissan Armada is only available with one engine, a 5.6-liter V8 that pumps out 317 horsepower. Nonetheless, that's enough to give the Armada brisk acceleration around town and ample passing power on the highway, as well as a 9,100-pound tow rating when properly equipped. We've driven the Armada both with and without a trailer, and we were impressed with its capable all-around performance.
Predictably, the penalty for this performance is abysmal gas mileage, even by full-size SUV standards. Given the economic uncertainties and volatile gas prices of the past few years, it's no surprise that the market for behemoths like the Armada has shrunk. Nonetheless, there are still those who need the Armada's prodigious capabilities and are willing to pay the price at both the dealership and the pump. If you're among them, we'd advise taking a close look at the Toyota Sequoia as well as the Tahoe and Ford Expedition before climbing aboard Nissan's buccaneering Armada.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Nissan Armada is a large SUV offered in SE, Titanium and Platinum trim levels with standard eight-person seating capacity. The base level SE comes well-equipped with 18-inch wheels, side-step rails, rear parking assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear climate controls, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals. Also standard is an eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The Titanium Edition includes an auto-leveling rear air suspension, tow package (available on SE), foglights, keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, a power-folding third-row seat, a back-up camera, Bluetooth and an 11-speaker Bose audio system. The Platinum Edition adds front parking sensors, a power rear liftgate, a sunroof, dual power-folding mirrors, heated front seats and steering wheel, driver memory functions, a DVD entertainment system and a navigation system with real-time traffic and a 9.3-gigabyte hard drive with music storage.
Options on the SE include a power-folding third-row seat and a Driver Package that adds many of the LE's extra features. Second-row captain's chairs are available on the Platinum model as a replacement for the standard bench. The DVD entertainment system is a stand-alone option on lower trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Nissan Armada is available with either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. All models feature a 5.6-liter V8 that produces 317 hp and 385 pound-feet of torque. A "Flex Fuel" version of this engine that can run on E85 is a no-cost option in select markets. A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. With either drive setup, fuel economy is unimpressive even for a large SUV. EPA fuel economy estimates are 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 14 mpg combined regardless of rear- or four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Armada can haul 9,100 pounds.

Safety

The Armada comes standard with antilock disc brakes and brake assist, stability control, front seat active head restraints, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal-impact crash tests, the 2010 Nissan Armada scored five stars (out of five) for driver protection and four stars for passenger protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Armada's interior features some soft-touch materials and a generally pleasing design, exuding a sense of higher overall quality than most models in this class. However, there are still a few cheap plastic bits here and there. The Armada's smart blend of high-mounted buttons and touchscreen controls fall more readily at hand than those in Toyota's Sequoia.
All Armadas come standard with seating for eight, though the second-row 40/20/40 bench can be replaced by captain's chairs and a center console on the top-end Platinum model. There are also plenty of storage cubbies, making life easier on long trips with the family. The rearmost 60/40 bench is easy to fold flat even in models without the power-folding option, allowing plenty of configurations for people- and cargo-hauling. (By contrast, you have to physically remove the seats in a Tahoe/Yukon). With all seats dropped, the Armada offers a maximum cargo capacity of 97 cubic feet, which is about 10 cubes fewer than its rivals.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Nissan Armada's robust V8 feels stronger than its numbers suggest, though the massive weight of this truck is obvious when cornering or coming to an abrupt stop. The ride is usually comfortable, but some ruts can send considerable impact harshness through the steering wheel and seats. Newer truck-based SUVs like the Tahoe and Sequoia provide a smoother on-road ride. The Armada's steering is notably weighty -- nice at higher speeds, but an acquired taste in parking lots. Speaking of which, like other full-sizers, the Armada can be a hassle to maneuver on tight city streets and in parking lots. For the latter, the optional rearview camera and parking sensors are must-haves. Off-road performance is impressive for those so inclined.

2015 Hyundai Azera Base

Just a couple of years ago, buying a full-size sedan was the equivalent of buying a refrigerator: Don't expect much flash, just functionality. But cars like the 2015 Hyundai Azera have helped transform the purchase of a large car to an expression of style. The Azera is sharp and confidently shapely on the outside, while inside, you'll find design-driven functionality and high-quality materials and surfaces. Hyundai has made certain that nothing about the 2015 Azera looks or feels overtly utilitarian.
Acknowledging the breakneck pace of technology adoption, Hyundai has ushered in some new content this year, focusing particularly on driver-assistance systems. So blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert systems now are standard on all Azeras, while the Azera Limited picks up desirable driver aids like frontal-collision warning and lane-departure warning systems. All 2015 Azeras have a navigation system, and it features integrated smartphone apps like Pandora and Siri Eyes Free.
Apart from its long list of electronic features, the Azera's fundamental attributes also make it an estimable choice. Its standard 3.3-liter V6 engine is strong enough to please most buyers, and it's paired with an equally smooth six-speed automatic transmission. The ride is quite comfortable, and with ample front- and rear-passenger room and a cavernous trunk, you're all set for long road trips in Hyundai's full-size sedan.
However, there are now many intriguing choices in this once sleepy market segment. One of our favorites in this class is the Toyota Avalon, which has an appealing combination of comfort, quality and performance, along with a hybrid model for buyers who value fuel efficiency most of all. The Chrysler 300 offers a distinctive, retro-themed style, rear-wheel-drive performance and a choice of V6 or V8 power. If comfort is your overriding priority, it's hard to beat the Buick LaCrosse or Chevrolet Impala, both of which offer a plush ride quality, an impressive features list and a four-cylinder engine option for buyers who want it. There's also the Kia Cadenza, which is related to the 2015 Azera and accordingly offers many of its attributes in a different wrapper.
Although the 2015 Hyundai Azera doesn't offer any major advantages over its rivals, it's a fine all-around pick for a large sedan, especially if you're drawn to its styling.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Hyundai Azera is a five-passenger full-size sedan offered in base and Limited trim levels.
Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, blind-spot monitoring (with rear cross-traffic alerts), keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with driver lumbar adjustment, seat-bottom extension and memory settings), a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats (with 60/40-split folding capability), a chilled glovebox and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen interface with navigation and integrated smartphone apps (including Pandora and Siri Eyes Free), a rearview camera, Hyundai's Blue Link emergency communications and a 14-speaker Infinity audio system with satellite radio, HD radio, a CD player and USB and auxiliary audio inputs.
The Azera Limited adds 19-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, LED foglights, lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, ambient interior lighting, a power rear sunshade and manual side-window sunshades.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2015 Hyundai Azera has a 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and it sends power to the front wheels.
In Edmunds performance testing, the Azera accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which is a healthy dash but more or less an average figure for large sedans with a V6 engine.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway) for the base Azera and 22 mpg combined (19 city/28 highway) for the Azera Limited.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2015 Hyundai Azera include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front- and rear-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag and active front head restraints. All Azeras come with a rearview camera and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The Azera Limited adds lane-departure and frontal-collision warning systems and rear parking sensors.
Hyundai's BlueLink system provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and teen-driver-oriented features, such as curfew alert, speed alert and geo-fencing that provides notification when the vehicle travels outside a predetermined area.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Azera came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is average in this class with all-season tires. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Azera its highest score of "Good" for the car's performance in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Azera's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like most sedans in this class, the 2015 Hyundai Azera's interior has a distinctly upscale feel and appearance, though it's cheapened somewhat by the brittle, shiny plastics used here and there. If you can get past that lapse, the design of the dashboard and the center stack is appealing in its minimalist execution, including the revised layout for the center stack in the 2015 Azera that adds some welcome buttons and knobs for functions (yes, there's even a tuning knob for the radio) that formerly required you to wade through the touchscreen's menus. The large (and now standard) 8-inch touchscreen electronics interface is notable for its crisp graphics, and it incorporates Google POI search, Pandora Internet radio and, for iPhone users, Siri Eyes Free voice controls.
Front-seat comfort and support in the 2015 Azera is excellent and the rich-looking standard perforated-leather seats are both heated and ventilated. Only very tall or large adults will find space lacking in any direction. The Hyundai's 16.3-cubic-foot trunk capacity is close to segment-leading, and this trunk will easily swallow large suitcases or several sets of golf clubs.

Driving Impressions

With nearly 300 hp on tap, the Hyundai Azera's 3.3-liter V6 offers plenty of punch in most driving situations, even with four adults on board. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth enough, but it shifts in a leisurely fashion that may not please more demanding drivers. Most buyers will be content with this setup, but rivals offer a greater variety of engines, including four-cylinder and hybrid options for those willing to trade outright performance for some extra gas mileage.
Although the 2015 Hyundai Azera certainly is tuned mainly to deliver a pleasant ride, you'll find its handling around turns steady and confident. Still, rivals like the Avalon and the 300 blend sharper handling with acceptable ride comfort, and they steer a little more crisply, too.

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Nissan has been careful with the 2013 redesign of the Altima sedan. The general look is hardly a dramatic departure, but the thorough restyling inside and out speaks to the more upscale direction for the best-selling model in Nissan's lineup. Most of the Altima's major mechanical components are carried over, but fuel economy ratings have improved significantly: The four-cylinder 2013 Nissan Altima sedan is now among the most fuel-efficient midsize cars in this price range.
We liked the previous-generation Altima for its responsive handling, composed ride and user-friendly electronic features. These attributes carry over to the redesigned sedan, but are now complemented by a higher-quality cabin that remains quiet at highway speeds. The 2013 Nissan Altima sedan's interior features a more visually interesting design, soft-touch materials and more comfortable front seats. In addition, we've noted excellent fit and finish in the 2013 Altima test cars we've driven. The only real negative in this cabin is the tight rear headroom.
As in past years, the Altima sedan comes with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. Although the V6 makes for quick and satisfying acceleration, most people will find the four-cylinder's performance more than adequate. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Nissan offers instead of a conventional automatic transmission can take some getting used to (simply because it doesn't have fixed shift points), but its responsiveness in passing situations is impressive and it's the main reason the Altima earns such high EPA fuel economy ratings. With the four-cylinder engine and the CVT, the 2013 Altima has a 31 mpg combined rating, which is tops among non-hybrid, gasoline-powered midsize sedans.
Keep in mind that the Altima coupe is mechanically unchanged for 2013. It uses an older version of the CVT that isn't as efficient and has lower mpg ratings as a result. In addition, the V6 engine is not available on the coupe.
In many ways, the outgoing Altima sedan was more appealing than its fellow best-selling sedans, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. It could also stand toe to toe with the well-equipped Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Passat. When you consider the numerous refinements Nissan made to this new 2013 Altima sedan, its position as one of the most desirable family sedans has only been strengthened. Though the redesigned Accord is a worthy challenger, the 2013 Nissan Altima is a must-drive if you're shopping for a midsize sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Altima comes in sedan and coupe body styles. The sedan comes in seven trim levels -- four trims for buyers selecting an Altima with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three trim levels for an Altima equipped with the 3.5-liter V6. The coupe comes in a single 2.5 S trim that is discussed following the sedan section below.
The base 2.5 Altima sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 4-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player.
Moving from the base Altima 2.5 to the 2.5 S gets you cruise control, automatic headlights, a six-way power driver seat, more advanced functionality for the gauge-cluster LCD screen and a six-speaker sound system. The V6-engined 3.5S includes all that, plus 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport mode with paddle shifters for the CVT.
Advancing upward to the SV trim level brings 17-inch alloy wheels (2.5), dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote ignition, a 5-inch color LCD screen, a rearview camera and an upgraded sound system that includes an iPod/USB audio interface, satellite radio, Pandora radio and hands-free reading of incoming text messages. A Convenience package (optional on 2.5 SV, standard on the 3.5 SV) adds a sunroof and a few other minor extras.
The top-shelf Altima SL adds xenon headlights, LED taillights, the sunroof (four-cylinder), leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a nine-speaker premium Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack.
Option packages for the 2013 Altima are simple but none are available for either the Altima 2.5 or 2.5 S. The Navigation package for Altima 2.5 SV and 3.5 SV models includes a 7-inch in-dash monitor and steering wheel controls for the navigation system. The Technology package (available only for the Altima 2.5 SL and 3.5 SL) incorporates the navigation system and includes electronic safety features such as blind-spot warning, cross-traffic and lane-departure warning systems.
The Altima Coupe 2.5 S comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Convenience package includes automatic headlights, an eight-way power driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The Premium package (requires Convenience package) adds a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with a 4.3-inch color display, an iPod/USB audio interface and satellite radio. The Leather package (requires Convenience and Premium packages) includes xenon headlights, heated front seats, leather upholstery, ambient lighting and an auto-dimming mirror. The Technology package (requires all preceding packages) adds a navigation system, a touchscreen interface, voice controls, real-time traffic and weather, an auxiliary audio/visual jack and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sedan comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In Edmunds performance testing, this engine brought the Altima from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest four-cylinder family sedans. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city/38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, which is excellent for a midsize sedan.
Altima 3.5 models have a 3.5-liter V6 good for 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. The CVT is again standard. In Edmunds testing, an Altima 3.5 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which also makes it one of the segment's top sprinters. Fuel economy is strong for a V6, with 22/31/25.
The Altima Coupe also gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it produces 175 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It, too, gets a CVT. Its fuel economy estimates are much lower than the sedan's at 23/32/26.

Safety

Every 2013 Nissan Altima sedan and coupe come standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera comes standard on all sedans but the base and S trim levels, and is optional on the coupe. Blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and a lane-departure warning system are also optional on the sedan.
In Edmunds testing, an Altima 2.5 SV sedan stopped from 60 mph in 130 feet, which is below average for midsize sedans. A 3.5 SL, however, stopped in a superb 114 feet, which is about 10 feet shorter than average.
In government crash testing, the Altima sedan received a perfect five stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The outgoing Altima sedan (and current Altima coupe) had a nice, though somewhat plain-looking, interior. In contrast, the 2013 Altima's cabin feels markedly more upscale. Materials are of visibly higher quality, particularly on the dashboard and console. The door armrests could still use more padding, but we've been impressed by the fit and finish in all the 2013 Altima sedans we've tested.
The gauge cluster is attractive, with a large, highly readable speedometer and tachometer on either side of the crisp, 4-inch LCD screen. Another highlight is the specially engineered "zero gravity" front seats used in all Altimas. With help from NASA research, the seats were designed to relieve common pressure points and improve comfort for the long haul. It works, as the new Altima's front seats are palpably different from before and more comfortable and supportive from the moment you slip in them.
In terms of space, overall interior room is almost exactly the same as before. That means headroom for the rear seat is at a premium and rear legroom is only average. Trunk space is similarly average at 15.4 cubic feet. The story is much the same in the coupe, though as is expected in a two-door, there's even less room to go around and getting in and out of the back is more of a pain. The coupe's trunk can only hold 8.2 cubic feet of luggage.

Driving Impressions

The Nissan Altima has a reputation for being one of the more rewarding family sedans to drive, and the redesigned 2013 Altima continues this legacy. The new Altima has a revised steering system this year, and feel and feedback remain accurate and consistent, reassuring the driver during tricky and delicate maneuvers. The steering combines with a retuned rear suspension that tightly controls body motions and also helps the Altima corner with more assurance. The ride quality remains very good nevertheless, while wind and road noise are pleasantly subdued.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers competitive performance for this class. It revs willingly and generates more than enough acceleration for everyday driving in both the sedan and coupe. Still, we prefer the version in the sedan, because it comes with a revised CVT that operates in a more refined manner and provides better fuel mileage. We suspect many drivers won't even realize this CVT isn't a conventional automatic transmission. At times, though, the Altima's CVT is almost too responsive to acceleration demands, resulting in higher engine rpm and a bit more noise than we'd like.
Meanwhile, the available 3.5-liter V6 in the 2013 Nissan Altima sedan provides some of the quickest acceleration in this class. It's a great choice if you really like to drive, but it's considerably less fuel-efficient.

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0L Turbo

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has a lot going for it. This five-passenger crossover is sharply styled and offers plenty of standard and optional features. It also has a pleasantly roomy and quiet interior, and accelerates and handles well enough to satisfy most buyers' performance expectations. But considering how heated the competition is among small and midsize crossover SUVs for 2014, a vehicle almost has to be this good just to measure up to the pack.
In reality, the Santa Fe Sport does more than just measure up: It's a bona fide standout. Introduced just last year, the Sport is the smaller sibling of the three-row, seven-passenger Santa Fe (covered in a separate review). The five-passenger Sport nixes the third row and measures 8.5 inches shorter bumper to bumper. As a result, the smaller Santa Fe is a bit more engaging to drive and navigates tighter confines with greater ease. Hyundai offers two engines here: a base 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a stronger, livelier turbocharged 2.0-liter.
Despite being the smaller sibling, the Sport is still quite roomy and boasts comfortable seating for adults and enough luggage or cargo space to easily handle daily errands and family life. And in keeping with Hyundai's current tradition, the Santa Fe Sport offers some pretty appealing convenience and luxury features for pricing that's quite competitive. Topping it all off is Hyundai's generous warranty coverage.
In addition, the 2014 Santa Fe Sport matches up in just about every area with top-ranked small crossover SUVs like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4. One of the few areas in which the Hyundai comes up short is fuel economy. Compared with the aforementioned competition, the Santa Fe Sport trails by 3-4 mpg in combined driving. But even with that caveat, we still wholeheartedly recommend the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport for your crossover SUV short list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a small crossover SUV with seating for five. It's available in base and 2.0 Turbo trims. Standard features for the base model include 17-inch alloy wheels; a rear spoiler; LED headlight accents; tinted rear windows; keyless entry; cruise control; a trip computer; full power accessories; air-conditioning; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; cloth upholstery; 40/20/40-split folding rear seats; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system; and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration.
Optional is the Popular Equipment package, which adds automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, roof rack rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a 4.3-inch touchscreen for audio control, a rearview camera and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way power lumbar support). The Premium Equipment package can be added to this and includes keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, sliding 60/40-split rear seats (with remote folding latches in the cargo area), dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded gauges, a color trip computer, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear window sunshades and a blind-spot monitoring system.
The Sport 2.0T comes with all of the above, along with a more powerful turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels and a tow package.
The Technology package is available for both base Premium and 2.0T models and adds larger wheels (19-inch for the 2.0T and 18-inch for base Premium Equipment package models), xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, driver memory settings, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen, an upgraded audio system for the base Premium model and a 12-speaker Infinity surround-sound system for the 2.0T.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the base 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy estimates are decent, with an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/27 mpg highway) for front-wheel drive. With all-wheel drive, fuel economy drops to 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city/25 mpg highway). Most competitors have slightly better fuel economy ratings.
The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that increases output to 264 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy drops only slightly, with an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city/27 mpg highway) for the front-drive 2.0T and 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city/24 mpg highway) for all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive 2.0T Santa Fe accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is slower than average for a small crossover with an upgraded engine.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, front seat active head restraints and hill hold and descent control. Also standard is BlueLink, Hyundai's emergency telematics system, which offers roadside assistance, crash response, remote door lock control and monitoring features for parents with teenage drivers (speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits). A rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring system are optional on the base model and standard on the 2.0T.
In government crash testing, the Santa Fe Sport earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't tested the Santa Fe Sport, but the larger, three-row Santa Fe earned a top "Good" rating in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. It also earned a top rating for its head restraint/seat design for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Santa Fe 2.0T AWD came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is about 5 feet longer than average.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has one of the nicer cabins in the small-to-midsize crossover SUV class. This is thanks in no small part to the cabin's outstanding materials quality, thoughtful placement of controls and overall spaciousness. As we've come to expect from Hyundai, the Santa Fe's cockpit could serve as a benchmark for elegant simplicity in the segment. Switchgear is well-organized and legible, while the touchscreen menus and functions are as intuitive as it gets.
The front seats are pretty comfortable for longer drives, with enough adjustments to accommodate drivers of all sizes. Second-row passengers will also find the quarters to their liking, with a wide range of recline angle and plenty of head- and legroom for the average adult, even with the optional panoramic sunroof.
Many crossover shoppers pay close attention to cargo capacity, and the Sport boasts a healthy 35.4 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats. The second-row seats fold flat to accept 71.5 cubes, which is right up there with the capacity offered by the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Driving Impressions

On either side of the driving spectrum, the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport has the potential to impress. Used as a leisurely commuter and kid shuttle, it offers a luxuriously compliant ride and the cabin remains whisper-quiet, even at highway speeds. On winding mountain passes, the Santa Fe feels fairly light and sporty for this class of vehicle. There are a couple of demerits, however. The steering has a tendency to wander on the highway (necessitating frequent small corrections by the driver), and rear visibility is poor due to its thick rear roof pillars (making the available rearview camera a must-have).
We've found the 2.0T engine impressive, with a smooth delivery of power that is on par with that of some V6 engines. As a result, this Santa Fe gets up to highway speeds with authority. Gearchanges from the automatic transmission can be a bit delayed, but the changes are so smooth that this minor sluggishness will likely go unnoticed. Budget permitting, we prefer the 2.0T engine, but the base engine will likely satisfy most drivers.