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2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 SV

2013 Nissan Altima

Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2013 Nissan Altima, a midsize sedan that starts at $21,500.

2013 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe

2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe

Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2013 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, a premium-midsize car that starts at $76,000.

Test car came equipped with: Driver Assistance Package, M Sport Package, Premium Sound Package, adaptive cruise control, leather dashboard trim, premium leather upholstery, 20-way multi-contour heated front seats, smartphone connection, 20-inch wheels and tires. Total MSRP with $895 destination = $101,495. (Note: Pricing approximate; vehicle was supplied with no window sticker or specific equipment list.)


2013 Acura ILX 2.0L

Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2013 Acura ILX, a premium-compact sedan that starts at $25,900.

Test car came equipped with: no options. The Tech model is priced at $32,295, including an $895 destination charge. Like parent Honda, Acura prices option packages as separate models.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

Future Cars Station wagons may be a hard sell in SUV-crazy America, but Volkswagen isn’t giving up on them. A recent Car and Driver online report quotes Rainer Michel, product-strategy director for VW of America, as saying the front-wheel-drive Jetta SportWagen will be redesigned for 2014, the first complete re-do for this model since it was reinstated for 2008 after a few years furlough. Not only that, Michel says the company is thinking of adding an all-wheel-drive quasi-SUV version along the lines of the Alltrack concept from last April’s New York Auto Show.


Lexus LF-CC

The 2012 Mondial de l’Automobile—aka Paris Auto Show—opens on the last weekend in September with this expo’s usual slew of major introductions. Among them is a preview of the next-generation Lexus IS premium-compact car. It takes the form of a concept coupe called LF-CC for, er, “Lexus Future-Concept Coupe.” Toyota’s luxury brand has also used LF as shorthand for its evolving “L-Finesse” design language, and styling is indeed the main motivation for this show car. It’s meant as another example of how Lexus is transforming its overall design approach from bland to bold per CEO Akio Toyoda’s push for more eye appeal and dynamic ability in everything his company builds.


2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander, a compact SUV that starts at $22,345.

Test car came equipped with: Touring Package, Navigation/Rearview Camera Package, Entertainment Package. Total MSRP with $810 destination = $35,300.

Euro Spec Mk VII, 2014 Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen IDs this car as “European Golf VII” with “expected U.S. launch as a 2014 model”

Volkswagen’s new seventh-generation Golf compact car has been unveiled ahead of a planned U.S. debut in summer or fall of 2013. Though the information released so far applies to Euro-spec versions that start sale before 2012 is out, American-market Golfs should differ only in available powertrains, features, and model choices.

Coolest American Cars of 1962

1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder

Events recently conspired to remind me that it’s now 50 years since I started high school. With model-year 2012 having passed into history, I thought my minor golden anniversary was a good excuse for recalling a few “golden oldies” from model-year 1962. This is a personal list, so don’t be offended if you don’t see one of your favorites.

1958 De Soto Ad

1958 De Soto Ad

Everyone knows that ad agencies are paid to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, even if it means stretching the truth or indulging in wishful thinking. Auto-ad copywriters are particularly skilled at all those things. Witness these three random examples from the end of the “happy days” era: 

VW XL1 Plug-in Hybrid

Volkswagen XL1 Concept

A new round of spy photos confirms that Volkswagen’s radical XL1 plug-in hybrid coupe is on track for its promised debut sometime in 2013. VW had announced that timing in unveiling a concept preview at the January 2011 Qatar Motor Show. Test prototypes, since spied in various global venues—including wintertime Arctic locales and most recently in Europe—appear virtually unchanged from the low-slung 2-seat concept with its semi-teardrop shape and dramatic beetle-wing doors.