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Fiat 500

Competition is the name of the game for 2013
by James T. Hurst

This year offers more than 70 new models with choices from gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and even electric-motor combinations. Fuel economy continues to improve with some models offering 100 miles per gallon in electric mode to a combined economy in the mid 40s in the hybrid mode. Quality, safety, and technology continue to soar, offering unimaginable access to the Internet, music, and information. Competition has really brought the auto industry into reality and literally started the rebirth of the American auto industry. 

See also OutSmart article on Firing Order, a new Houston mag dedicated to the hot rodder.

Fiat 500

New for 2013 are the Fiat 500L and 500e that join last year’s Fiat 500 and 500c. The 500L is a new four-door model and has noticeably more room, while the 500e is an all-electric model. This Fiat comes with a lithium-ion battery that powers a 111-horsepower electric motor. The battery can be recharged in less than four hours and will be able to go 80 miles before recharging. The 500L will have a 1.4-liter Multiair turbocharged 4-cylinder, raising the output to 160 horsepower, and is 16 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the current lineup. This year also brings improved fuel economy on the standard 500 and 500c, with gas mileage of 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. A new audio system gives the Fiat 500 and 500c better in-cabin sound to go with its new colors and premium leather seating.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealerships:
Clear Lake Fiat
I-45 South, Clear Lake Exit
888.433.5111

ClearLakeFiat.com
Sterling McCall Fiat
10505 S.W. Freeway
713.981.3521
FiatofSouthWestHouston.com

Ford C-Mac

Ford C-Mac

Although Ford introduced the C-Max in Europe with a variety of gasoline and diesel engines, this new U.S. model comes as the C-Max Hybrid and the plug-in C-Max Energi with a larger battery pack for more electric-only driving. The C-Max delivers fuel ratings of 47 mpg (city and highway) using a DOHC 16-valve Atkinson cycle 2.0-liter inline-4 producing 141 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque. The combined power rating is 188 horsepower using the 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Ford offers a wide variety of options, ranging from SE to SEL, that include top-of-the-line entertainment and convenience packages.

 

 

Acura RCX

Acura RDX

The 2013 Acura RDX is described as a small luxury CUV which offers strong acceleration, quick shifting, drive-by-wire throttle and speed-sensitive power steering. Although this CUV may appear compact, the plush interior, long wheelbase, and wide stance all come together for a confident sporty ride.  Performance comes in the form of a 273-horsepower, 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine, variable cylinder management, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Acura RDX has the best highway gasoline fuel economy for a V-6 in its class.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealership:

Sterling McCall Acura
10455 S.W. Freeway
713.596.2300
SterlingMcCallAcura.com

Kia Sorrento

Kia Sorrento

Kia’s flagship crossover for 2013 offers three engine choices: a 175-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, a 191-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, and a 276-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The Kia Sorrento can be described as a very good-looking, nicely detailed SUV that drives like a car. There are various configurations and options that include transmissions, traction systems, and seating that will appeal to the buyer. The Kia Sorrento offers strong safety scores, along with an array of standard equipment that makes it a strong mid-size SUV contender.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealership:
Fort Bend Kia
26633 S.W. Freeway
866.979.7496
FortBendKia.com

Mini Paceman

Mini Paceman

New for 2013, the Mini Paceman can be described as a “Sport Activity Coupe.” It sports a sleeker roofline, standard 1.4-liter inline-4, and an optional turbocharged variant that pumps out 184 bhp. Both versions come with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Although the Paceman is the same size as the boxier Mini Countryman Crossover, passenger room is identical. The notable difference is its rear headroom due to the sleeker roofline. The Paceman opted to have two individual rear seats instead of the traditional bench seat, thus creating more of a lounge atmosphere.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealership:
Momentum Mini
10000 S.W. Freeway
800.557.5374
MomentumMini.com

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Chevrolet has chosen to respond to the Ford Mustang Boss 302 with the introduction of the optional ILE package on the 2013 Camaro. This package was originally introduced in 1988 to address handling issues with the Pro-Am road-racing series. For 2013, this $3,500 package returns to tighten things up on the Camaro SS. Along with an exclusive manual transmission, closer-ratio gearing, lighter 20-inch wheels, and beefed-up suspension, the Camaro SS comes ready to challenge any competitor.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealership:
Knapp Chevrolet
815 Houston Ave.
713.446.6691
KnappChevrolet.com

Porsche Cayenne Diesel

Porsche Cayenne Diesel

Entering the second generation for the Cayenne, Porsche introduces the 2013 Cayenne Diesel. The newly optional 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine now generates 240 horsepower and a maximum 406 lb-ft of torque. This higher output and impressive torque allows the Porsche Cayenne Diesel to sprint to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 135 mph. The 8-speed Triptonic transmission transmits the high torque of the Cayenne Diesel, providing economical performance driving with low fuel consumption.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealership:

Porsche West Houston
11850 Katy Fwy
281.899.3400
PorscheWest.com

 

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60

The 2013 Volvo XC60 is ranked in the top five luxury compact SUVs by U.S. News. It is a stylish, sporty, and capable all-road vehicle combined with Volvo’s long record of safety innovations. The XC60 comes with the base 6 or the turbocharged 6-cylinder, which most people favor. This vehicle blends high-tech items such as Bluetooth and HD Radio with safety features like class-exclusive City Safety that helps prevent low-speed crashes. Other options include a navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a lane-departure warning system.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Dealership:

Momentum Volvo
10150 S.W. Freeway
800.548.2952
MomentumVolvo.com

 

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

BMW introduces the new 6-series Gran Coupe for 2013. This is BMW’s response to the Mercedes Benz CLS and the Audi A7. The 6 Gran Coupe is the alternative four-door in between the 5- and 7-series. The Gran Coupe adds about 200 pounds to the 5-series. This new model is offered in two engine choices: the 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6 producing 315 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, or the DOHC 32-valve 4.4-liter V-8 producing 445 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. Top speed for the Gran Coupe is 130–155 mph. EPA numbers list the Gran Coupe at 15–21 mpg city and 22–30 mpg highway.

 

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James T. Hurst

James Hurst is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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