From Corolla to Corvette: 2014 a big year for new cars and trucks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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From Corolla to Corvette: 2014 a big year for new cars and trucks

FILE - In this March 27, 2013 file photo, the 2014 CLA 45 AMG Mercedes-Benz is presented at the New York International Auto Show, in the Javits Center, in New York. The CLA 45 AMG all-wheel-drive with 355 horses goes on sale in November. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

DETROIT - More than 81 U.S. car models will be new or refreshed in the 2014 model year, from big-selling mainstream cars like the Toyota Corolla to rarified supercars like the $1.3 million LaFerrari.

The auto industry is feeling good after several rough years during the recession. Sales of new cars and trucks are expected to reach 15.5 million or more this year, their highest level since the recession, and many think they'll continue to rise in 2014. Low-interest auto loans and moderating gas prices are helping spur consumers to buy.

There are some common threads among the new models in 2014. Automakers are all updating their interiors, replacing hard plastic with soft-touch arm rests and dashboards, and adding larger touchscreens, cooled seats and more ways for drivers to access their smart phones.

Luxury carmakers like Mercedes and Maserati are adding lower-priced models to their ranges, hoping to boost sales, while lower priced brands like Kia are moving upmarket.

Fuel economy is important. Honda and Porsche have new hybrids, BMW is releasing its first electric car and Mazda will soon become the first Japanese automaker with a non-commercial diesel in the U.S. market. Electric car maker Tesla expects to introduce its Model X crossover by the end of this year.

Many automakers are also adding stop-start technology, which automatically shuts the car down at stop lights to save fuel. There's also more use of aluminum and high-strength steel to cut the weight out of cars.

But here's what you really want to know: Which vehicle has a new in-car vacuum cleaner? The Honda Odyssey minivan, of course. And which one has optional fiber optics sewn into the headliner to look like stars? That would be the Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Here are the 2014 highlights from each brand.


RLX: Acura got a new flagship sedan in March when the 2014 RLX went on sale. With a new, 3.5-litre direct-injected V-6 engine, the 310-horsepower RLX is the most powerful Acura sedan yet. It gets 24 mpg in combined city and highway driving, which is 1 mpg better than its chief competitor, the Lexus GS 350. Acura stretched the sedan for a roomier interior and also makes standard AcuraLink, which connects to drivers' phones for real-time traffic updates, text messaging and other features. Options include adaptive cruise control that works at speeds as low as 20 mph, and a lane-keeping system that nudges the wheel to keep the car in the centre of its lane if the driver is drifting. The RLX starts at $49,345 including shipping.

MDX: The new 2014 MDX, Acura's seven-passenger SUV, went on sale in June. It has lots of new standard features, including keyless entry, jeweled LED headlights, sliding second-row seats and an 8-inch touchscreen dashboard display. It also has some new optional features, including adaptive cruise control that works at speeds as low as 20 mph and a lane-keeping system that nudges the wheel to keep the car in the centre of its lane. The MDX is built on a new underbody and is 2.8 inches longer. It's also 275 pounds lighter than the previous model, thanks to wider use of high-strength steel and aluminum. Acura says that gives it a nimbler feel and better fuel economy of 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Under the hood is a new, 3.5-litre V-6 engine with 290 horsepower and a six-speed transmission. For the first time, a two-wheel-drive model is available. The MDX starts at $43,185 including shipping.


RS 7: A track-tested performance variant is added to the A 7 lineup. The RS 7 gets a twin-turbo 4-litre V-8 with 560 horsepower that takes the car from zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds. Audi says it's the most powerful RS model yet. Goes on sale in the fall. Price not announced.

SQ 5: First high-performance S model added to Q5 SUV lineup. Supercharged 3.0-litre V-6 with 354 horsepower; goes from zero to 60 in 5.1 seconds. Available in the summer. Price not announced yet.

R 8: High-performance line gets and update with standard LED headlights and round two-outlet exhaust. There's a new 550-horsepower V-10 engine available with a new seven-speed transmission that can take the car from zero to 60 in 3.3 seconds. R8 starts at $114,900 excluding shipping.


FLYING SPUR: All new with traditional Bentley styling, contemporary cues and a sporty stance. All-new interior with hand-crafted leather and wood veneers. Powered by Bentley's 616-horsepower, 6-litre twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine and an eight-speed transmission. Goes from 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. Priced north of $200,000. We don't know if that includes shipping, but it doesn't matter.


i3: BMW's first electric car, the i3, goes on sale in the U.S. next spring. It's expected to go 80 to 100 miles on a single charge and has an optional, gas-powered generator that can maintain the battery's charge if the car is too far from a charging station. Drivers can opt for an optional wall-mounted charging station that can get the battery 80 per cent charged in less than three hours. On the outside, the i3 — which is made almost entirely from high-strength carbon fiber instead of steel to save weight — will turn heads with its chunky, wraparound windows and big, 19-inch wheels. The i3 starts at $41,350, or $45,200 with the range-extending generator. That doesn't include state, local and federal incentives, including a $7,000 federal tax credit for electric cars.

1-SERIES: The 1-Series coupe and convertible are discontinued. They will be replaced by the 2-Series sometime next year.

3-SERIES: For the first time in the U.S., the 3-Series lineup will include a diesel. The 328d midsize sedan has a 2-litre, turbocharged diesel engine with 180 horsepower. When combined with BMW's fuel-saving EfficientDynamics program, which includes automatic shutdown at stops, regenerative braking and optimal aerodynamics, the 328d will get an estimated 45 miles per gallon on the highway. The 328d starts at $41,525, including shipping.

4-SERIES: The 4-Series will replace the 3-Series coupe sometime in the coming year.

5-SERIES: The 5-Series also gets a new diesel. The BMW 535d has a six-cylinder, turbocharged diesel with 255 horsepower. Estimated fuel economy is not yet available. The 535d starts at $57,525.

X5: Production of the 2014 X5 began in South Carolina in August; the seven-passenger SUV goes on sale later this fall. The third-generation X5 looks longer and more sharply defined than its predecessor, with a rounded and pronounced nose. On the inside, navigation and a 10-.2-inch touchscreen dashboard is now standard, and buyers can now opt for heated rear seats. The base model, the sDrive35i, is the first X5 with rear wheel drive. It has a turbocharged, 3.0-litre V-6 with 300 horsepower and starts at $52,800. An all-wheel-drive version is $55,100. At the top of the lineup is the xDrive50i, with a 445-horsepower, turbocharged 4.4-litre V-8. It starts at $68,200. Early next year, a diesel version, the xDrive35d, will arrive in the U.S. It has a new, 265-horsepower 3.0-litre V-6 and starts at $56,700. BMW estimates it will get 26 miles per gallon on the highway.


LACROSSE: The aging flagship sedan of the brand traditionally driven by old people loses some of its wrinkles. The LaCrosse, in its first update since 2009, gets some minor cosmetic changes on the outside in an effort to make it look more rounded and modern. It also gets LED daytime running lamps and tail lights and a larger front grille. Inside, the seats are new and more supportive, and the centre stack gets an update with fewer buttons than the old models. Base engine is GM's 2.4-litre four-cylinder with the "e-Assist" electric motor to boost gas mileage. Updated versions were hitting showrooms in August. Starting price is $34,060 including shipping.

REGAL: Buick's German-engineered sports sedan gets similar cosmetic changes to the LaCrosse on the outside. Inside, more supportive seats and a simpler dashboard and centre console give it a sportier look. The 2.4-litre four-cylinder "e-Assist" engine and electric motor become standard, and the suspension was tuned to be more responsive. A new, more powerful version of GM's 2-Liter turbocharged engine, with 259 horsepower, is in the sportier models, the turbo and GS. Updated versions hit showrooms in the fall. Price hasn't been announced. Old one starts at $29,015 including shipping.


CTS: Cadillac's aging midsize sports sedan will be reworked from the ground up to better compete with the BMW 5-Series. That means less fat so it can handle better, GM says. The new CTS, due out late this year, will be 200 pounds lighter than the BMW 528i and 250 pounds less than the current CTS. The new version is longer and lower than the 2013 model, and its angles are far less severe. The interior gets a more upscale, hand-crafted look. There's a choice of three engines: a holdover 3.6-litre V-6 with 321 horsepower; a 2-Liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 272 horsepower; and the Vsport has a new 3.6-litre twin-turbo that puts out 420 horsepower. Two transmissions are available: a six-speed automatic and an eight-speed automatic. Price hasn't been announced. Current version starts at $39,990 including shipping.

ESCALADE: The flashy big SUV is completely redone based on General Motors' new pickup truck chassis. Details and prices haven't been announced yet, but the new SUV is due out early next year. Current version starts at $63,745.


CAMARO: The muscle car gets a small freshening for 2014 with a reshaped front and rear to make it more modern and athletic looking. But the big news is that the Z/28 is back as a no-frills, lighter, high-performance version. Last sold in 2002, the Z/28 has been reengineered at 3,800 pounds, about 100 pounds lighter than a standard Camaro. It can hit the racetrack with bigger brakes and the Corvette's powerful 7-litre, 500 horsepower V-8. But to shed weight, it forgoes some creature comforts. It has a one-speaker radio, stiff seats and only comes with a manual transmission. Air conditioning is an option, and there's less sound insulation. Goes on sale early next year. Expected to cost more than $55,000.

COLORADO: New midsize pickup aimed at the wet dog-and-kayak outdoorsy market to debut sometime next year. GM says it's reworked from the ground up and shares parts with similar trucks in other parts of the world. No other details have been released, including the price.

CORVETTE: First new version of the American sports car icon in nine years arrives at showrooms late this summer. The 2014 Corvette Stingray has a 455 horsepower, 6.2-litre V-8 engine that can take the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. Yet it can get up to 30 mpg in "Eco" mode with a seven-speed manual transmission. The aerodynamic car's engine can run on just four cylinders at highway speeds. A 1,000-person team at GM made the 2014 version lower and sleeker, saving weight by replacing the steel structure with aluminum. The hood is made of lightweight carbon fiber. The interior gets a more modern look with new touch screens. The new car starts at just under $52,000.

MALIBU: The homely midsize car gets an emergency refresh after just a year on the market in an effort to boost sagging sales in the most competitive part of the U.S. car market. It gets a new 2.5-litre, 196 horsepower four-cylinder engine and stop-start technology to raise combined city-highway mileage to 27 mpg. Designers also changed the front end to give it a more modern grille with chrome accents and a hood that slopes downward. Engineers also gave back-seat passengers 1.25 inches of added legroom by reshaping the back of the front seats. The chassis and suspension, including new springs inside the front struts, will cut body roll in turns and improve the ride, GM said. Due in showrooms in the fall, the Malibu will start at $22,965.

SILVERADO: All-new 2014 pickup trucks hit showrooms during the summer with a badly needed revamp that was delayed by General Motors' bankruptcy. The 2014 trucks look a little more aggressive and aerodynamic than their predecessors, and GM says they have quieter cabs and updated steering, suspensions and brakes. They're also 200 pounds lighter than Ford and Chrysler competitors, according to GM. GM offers three revamped engines: a 262-horsepower, 4.3-litre V-6 that it says can tow a substantial trailer; a 325-horsepower, 5.3-litre V-8; and a 6.2-litre V-8 with 376 horsepower. They can switch seamlessly to run on only four cylinders to get better gas mileage. There's also a step built into the rear bumper to gain access to the bed. Doors fit into recesses in the body to make the trucks quieter. A heavy-duty version also is due out next year. A Silverado crew cab with a standard box, the most popular variation, starts at $33,495.

SS: First Chevy high-performance rear-drive sedan in 17 years goes on sale late this year. The Australian-built car is a new version of the Pontiac G8, a much-revered sporty car that died when GM scrapped the Pontiac brand late in 2010. All SS models come loaded and seat five. Leather seats with added side bolstering for spirited cornering. Lane departure warning, blind-spot detector and backup camera, plus front collision alert are available. Wide, athletic stance with wheels pushed out. Slight "power bulge" in the aluminum hood. Big brakes. Same 6.2-litre V-8 engine now used in the 2013 Corvette, with 415 horsepower. The SS can go from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds. Price hasn't been announced.

TAHOE: Completely redone full-size SUV, built on the pickup underpinnings with the same engine and transmission choices, comes out in the first quarter. GM has released few details, but engine choices and body styles are likely to be similar to the pickup trucks. Current model starts at $42,595 including shipping.

SUBURBAN: Ditto for the bus-like family hauler. Current model starts at $46,060.


NEW MIDSIZE SEDAN: It's still top-secret, but Chrysler says it will roll out a new, more competitive midsize sedan in the first quarter of next year. The new car will replace the aging Chrysler 200, which was buffed up three years ago until the company could come up with a new car based on underpinnings developed by Chrysler's Italian parent, Fiat. The 200 came out in 2006 and is far behind competitors in the dog-eat-dog midsize segment. No other details, including name and price, were announced.


DURANGO: The big seven-passenger SUV gets freshened with a new interior, additional electronics and voice commands, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission that raises gas mileage nearly 13 per cent on the V-6 model to 25 mpg on the highway. The outside gets new LED lighting for running lamps and new tail lamps. Price wasn't revealed, but the current model starts at $29,795 excluding shipping.


LAFERRARI: Ferrari sold all of its 499 limited-edition LaFerrari hybrid supercars before they even debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March. The LaFerrari has a 6.3-litre V-12 engine that gets a staggering 950 horsepower when it works together with the electric motor. The LaFerrari costs $1.3 million.


500L: The cute little Italian car that Jennifer Lopez used to tool around New York gets four doors and more room inside. So much room that Fiat says it seats five and is considered a large car. The 500L is powered by a 160-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. There's a choice of manual or automatic six-speed transmissions. It's already on sale in the U.S. with a base price of $19,100 excluding shipping.


FIESTA: Ford has freshened its smallest car with a new trapezoid grille to match Ford's other new sedans, the Fusion and Focus. But the real difference is under the hood. Later this fall, Ford will offer its 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine — now only in Europe — for the first time in North America. The 1.0-litre gets 123 horsepower and should deliver more than 40 mpg on the highway. Also new this fall is the sporty Fiesta ST hatchback, with a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine with 197 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. The ST has a specially tuned sport suspension, racing seats and aluminum pedals. The 2014 Fiesta starts at $14,000 with the base engine, a 1.6-litre four cylinder with 120 horsepower that gets 32 mpg in city and highway driving. Pricing for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost version hasn't been announced, but will likely be higher. The Fiesta ST starts at $21,400.

MUSTANG: A new version of the sports car — which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014 — is expected to go on sale in the spring. No details have been released.

FUSION: The Fusion midsize sedan, which went on sale at the end of 2012, has a new engine choice: a turbocharged 1.5-litre, four-cylinder EcoBoost with 178 horsepower. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6-litre I4 EcoBoost that used to be paired with that transmission is still an option on the Fusion, but only with a manual transmission. The new engine gets 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The 2014 Fusion starts at $21,900, but to get the new engine, you have to upgrade to an SE, which starts at $24,650. Other new options include inflatable rear seat belts and cooled front seats in the high-end Titanium trim level.

TRANSIT CONNECT WAGON: After a seven-year hiatus, Ford gets back into the minivan market with the Transit Connect Wagon, which is expected to go on sale at the end of this year. The vehicle, which is based on Ford's Transit Connect commercial van, has the van's high roof and industrial look but the tapered nose and trapezoid grille of Ford's cars. It comes in five- or seven-seat versions and has sliding doors on both sides. Ford will offer two four-cylinder engines: A 2.5-litre and a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine that will get an estimated 30 mpg or more on the highway. Pricing hasn't been revealed, but Ford says it will compete at the lower end of the minivan market with vehicles like the Dodge Grand Caravan, which starts at $19,995.


CANYON: New midsize pickup aimed at upscale commercial users is coming sometime in 2014. Few details have been announced, including the price.

SIERRA: Completely revamped 2014 versions of the upscale pickup reached dealers during the summer. Like the Chevy Silverado, the Sierra looks a little more rounded and aggressive than the current model. It also gets three revamped engines: a 262-horsepower, 4.3-litre V-6 that it says can tow a substantial trailer; a 325-horsepower, 5.3-litre V-8, and a 6.2-litre V-8 with 376 horsepower. They can switch seamlessly to run on only four cylinders to get better gas mileage. There's also a step built into the rear bumper to gain access to the bed. And the doors fit into recesses in the body to make the trucks quieter. GM is trying to give the Sierra the image of a more upscale truck with nicer interior materials. A heavy-duty version also is due out next year. Sierra crew cab with a standard box, the most popular variation, starts at $33,995 including shipping.

YUKON: New version of the big SUV based on the Sierra underpinnings with the same engines and transmissions is due out in the first quarter of next year. Pricing wasn't announced. Current Yukon starts at $43,450 including shipping.


CHEROKEE: Chrysler Group's answer to the hot-selling Honda CR-V will make its way to showrooms late in the summer after some software tweaks to the new nine-speed transmission. The new Cherokee has a dramatic look that makes one wonder if it's a Jeep. It ditches the traditional boxy look for a more aerodynamic style and replaces the brand's round headlights with sharply angled slits. It has a much smaller grille. The interior is plush and full of luxury options. The Cherokee replaces the aging Liberty, which was badly in need of an update. It comes standard with a 184 horsepower four-cylinder engine that can get up to 31 mpg on the highway. The Cherokee also has a system that disengages the rear axle when all-wheel-drive isn't needed. It will start at $22,995, or $400 less than the Liberty.


ACCORD HYBRID: The Accord, which was new for the 2013 model year, gets a hybrid version in 2014. Honda says the hybrid, which goes on sale in October, should get 49 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 47 mpg combined, which would make it the most efficient midsize hybrid on the market. The Accord hybrid has Honda's new two-motor hybrid powertrain. One motor is fixed to the back of the engine and serves as a generator for the lithium-ion battery, which can power the car in all-electric mode at low to medium speeds. A second motor transfers power to the front wheels and is recharged from regenerative braking. The hybrid system is paired with the Accord's new, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Icy blue accents around the grille and headlights will help you spot them on the road. Pricing hasn't been released, but a plug-in hybrid version of the Accord, which gets 46 mpg combined, went on sale last year starts at $39,780.

FIT: A new version of the subcompact Fit is expected sometime in 2014, but Honda hasn't released any details. A Fit-based small SUV, shown in concept form at the Detroit auto show in January, is also expected to debut in 2014.

ODYSSEY: The world's first in-vehicle vacuum cleaner makes its debut on the updated 2014 Odyssey minivan. The styling is a little sharper on the front and rear. A six-speed transmission is now paired with the 3.5-litre V-6 engine on all trim levels, improving fuel economy to 19 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway (up 1 mpg from the previous model, which offered a five-speed transmission). Other features now standard on all trim levels are Bluetooth connectivity, a four-way power passenger seat, and a text-messaging system that lets you hear and respond to incoming texts. The Odyssey starts at $28,825 including shipping, but you'll have to pay a lot more for the vacuum cleaner. That's only available on the Touring Elite model, which starts at $44,450.


ELANTRA: The Elantra small-car will get a refresh in 2014. Expect more details in a few months, possibly at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

EQUUS: The 2014 Equus luxury car gets some revisions, including a grille with thinner chrome bars and new 19-inch wheels for a sportier look and a revised suspension for better handling. Inside, the materials have been upgraded and both the instrument panel and the rear console controls have been redesigned to improve their ergonomics. There's a larger, 7-inch instrument panel display and a larger, 9.2-inch dashboard display with larger and more legible graphics. A blind spot detection system is now standard. The 5.0-litre V-8 engine with 429 horsepower remains the same, and so does the fuel economy. The Equus gets 18 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The 2014 Equus, which starts at $61,000, went on sale in July.


News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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