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What's New for 2014

2014 Acura RLX

2014 Acura RLX

Meet the replacement for the Acura RL, the RLX. The new car gets fresh exterior styling, along with larger dimensions. The interior is made over as well, with luxurious bits and pieces to go with a quiet and spacious cabin. A 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and producing 310 hp powers the RLX. A hybrid version of Acura's signature SH-AWD is available, as is front-wheel drive, along with a host of other goodies such as a lane-keeping assist system and a Krell sound system.

Autoweek Opinion: The RLX leans away from sport and toward luxury with its range of features and high comfort levels. It's a solid, straightforward alternative to the likes of the Lexus GS, Mercedes E-class and Audi A6.

2014 BMW

2014 BMW 4-series

The BMW 3-series coupe is gone; the new 4-series replaces it as BMW shuffles up its model nomenclature. Exterior design falls in line with the 3-series sedan, looking mostly like you would expect, and the interior is typical BMW with different trims and the use of higher-quality materials. Power comes from either a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 (240 hp) or a 3.0-liter turbocharged I6 (300 hp). An M3, excuse us, M4 coupe is on the horizon, as well.

Autoweek Opinion: Although the name has changed, the 4-series picks up where the 3-series coupe left off. BMW loyalists will be pleased. Newcomers will want to take a look.

2014 Cadillac

2014 Cadillac CTS

The redesigned CTS is pointed right at BMW's 528 and 535, a feat successfully accomplished through weight reduction and a handful of great powertrain options. Cadillac has also made 20 former options standard features on the new car, helping it cement its place in the realm of must-drive performance luxury sedans.

Autoweek Opinion: If you can't wait for the rumored V-Series model, the twin-turbo V6 CTS Vsport makes for a great twisty-road companion.

 

2014 Chevrolet Impala

2014 Chevrolet Impala

The last-generation Impala bored us to tears, but the 2014 model finally seems to recapture some of the famed nameplate's long-lost glory. The exterior is redone, giving the car an upscale and premium look. The interior is all new, too. Powertrain options for the Impala are either a 2.5-liter I4 (195 hp) or a 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp); both are mated to a six-speed automatic.

Autoweek Opinion: Chevrolet has produced a solid, high-quality American sedan with a great mix of comfort, quietness and stealthy sportiness. This car is worthy of the Impala name.

 

2014 Ford FiestaX

2014 Ford Fiesta

Following on the coattails of the Focus ST, the Fiesta ST forms a powerful package in the euro-style, small-hatch department. The exterior remains unchanged from 2013, still adorned in body-matched accents and ST badges galore. An optional ST Recaro package gives the car a sportier look and adds comfort thanks to Recaro heated front seats. The ST gets a 1.6-liter, 197-hp turbocharged four, six-speed manual gearbox, torque vectoring and an upgraded suspension.

Autoweek Opinion: Big performance on a budget. We relish the lightweight chassis and the car's nearly 200 hp.

 

2014 Honda Accord

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

The Accord lineup gets two new green options with the introduction of a regular hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The latter, offered initially only in New York and California, has a 124 mpg-e city rating and an electric-only driving range of 10 to 15 miles. For the rest of us, the new Accord Hybrid carries an EPA fuel economy rating of 50 mpg in the city and 45 mpg highway thanks to a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder, two-motor hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack. Calculated driving range in the regular hybrid 673 miles, according to Honda.

Autoweek Opinion: With a reasonable price of entry and impressive fuel figures, it looks like Honda will deliver a competitive hybrid Accord.

 

2014 Infiniti Q50

2014 Infiniti Q50

The Q50 succeeds the G Sedan in Infiniti's brand realignment—it is switching all cars and coupes to the Q-line, while SUVs and cross-overs are designated QX. The Q50's proportions are similar to the G's with a more aggressive front end. The interior is also revamped, and the car includes features like Active Lane Control. A 3.7-liter V6 (328 hp, 269 lb-ft of torque) and a hybrid powertrain are available; each gets a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Autoweek Opinion: Infiniti takes a shot at the BMW 3-series, Lexus IS and Cadillac ATS. The Q50 offers sharp styling and agility, plus enough features to make this a solid option in the entry-level, luxury-sports sedan market.

 

2014 Kia Cadenza

2014 Kia Cadenza

The Cadenza is Kia's new flagship sedan. The corporate grille pairs with handsome creases and lines throughout the body. Kia is calling this a car for those who want to move up from its Optima. The powerplant is a 3.3-liter V6 (293 hp, 255 lb-ft, FWD) and six-speed automatic. Interior features include standard navigation, leather, an LCD instrument cluster and Kia's UVO system.

Autoweek Opinion: Kia's entry-level luxury sedan makes a fine competitor to the Toyota Avalon, the Lexus ES and the Chevrolet Impala.

2014 Kia Forte

2014 Kia Forte

Kia's Honda Civic fighter features a handsome new design for 2014 that makes it look pricier than it is. The interior features improved materials and a better-than-good navigation system. Powertrain options are a 1.8-liter I4 (148 hp, 131 lb-ft) or a 2.0-liter four (173 hp, 154 lb-ft). The smaller engine can be paired to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic while the 2.0L is automatic only.

Autoweek Opinion: The Forte isn't necessarily a corner-carver, but power is adequate and it is reasonably priced. If you're after a good-looking, affordable car with a truly massive list of standard features, the Forte is definitely worth taking a look at.

 

2014 Mazda 3

2014 Mazda 3

Mazda's latest 3 loses the gaping, smiling grille in favor of a sleeker, better-looking design. The interior is also redone: Gone is the weird secondary screen on top of the dash; there's a head-up display and what Mazda is calling i-Activsense, a package including blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams. Two four-cylinders are available: a 2.0-liter (155 hp, 154 lb-ft) and a 2.5-liter (184 hp, 185 lb-ft). You can specify automatic or manual transmissions, both six-speeds.

Autoweek Opinion: The new Mazda 3 is one of the best-driving small cars on the market and has equipment normally reserved for cars twice its price. Enthusiasts wanting a small car can't go wrong. And the Mazda-speed 3? Be patient, friends, be patient.

2014 Nissan Versa

2014 Nissan Versa

The Versa Note hatchback joins the sedan for 2014, going up against cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mazda 2—you get the idea. The Note's exterior shape looks like it was inspired by the Honda Fit, with the same basic proportions and profile. The interior features options such as navigation, Pandora and Google connectivity. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder produces 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque, with either a CVT or a five-speed manual transmission.

Autoweek Opinion: In this ever-growing segment, there's something for everyone, and the Versa Note is for those who value practicality and cost saving.

2014 Toyota Corolla

2014 Toyota Corolla

The 11th-gen Corolla features more athletic and edgier styling reminiscent of the Furia concept car. The Corolla is the best-selling nameplate on the planet, and Toyota hopes this new model continues that momentum. It should: The last generation's interior was bland, but this car boasts higher-quality materials and a better layout. Two 1.8-liter fours are available, one producing 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, and the other 140 hp and 126 lb-ft.

Autoweek Opinion: We're confident Toyota will continue to sell a boatload. Potential new customers should take a look if value and efficiency top their lists. Today's small cars are playing the efficient-yet-fun-to-drive game really well, though, so the Corolla will have its work cut out for it.

 

2014 Volvo V60

2014 Volvo V60 Wagon

Coming in January as a 2015 model, Volvo's V60 wagon joins the U.S. market. Exterior styling is similar to the S60: essentially the same fascia and sleek profile. The interior is typical Volvo, with the corporate center console and a bunch of safety tech. Front-wheel drive versions get Volvo's new turbo-charged I4 engine with 240 hp, while all-wheel-drive models will stick with the 2.5-liter turbo I5 with 250 hp or 3.0-liter turbo I6 making 325 hp.

Autoweek Opinion: We like the S60 for its cozy cabin, unique styling, nimbleness and overall noteworthy packaging. If this applies to the V60, it'll be perfect for those buyers looking for more inside room than an S60 but don't need all the space offered in the XC60. Maybe this V60 wagon has found a sweet spot and feels right at home in the Volvo lineup.

Source: Autoweek Editors on 10/29/2013