We've got the scoop on the cars that will be making headlines this year.
2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Dodge Ram 1500
2013 Ford F-150
2013 Ford Transit Connect Wagon
2013 Nissan Altima
2013 Nissan Sentra
2013 Honda Accord
2013 Honda Civic
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
2013 Nissan Pathfinder
2013 Chevrolet Traverse
2013 GMC Acadia
2013 Chevrolet Impala
2013 Buick Verano Turbo
2013 Cadillac ATS
2013 VW Golf R
2013 MINI Paceman
2013 Audi A4 Allroad
2013 Range Rover
- 2013 Ford Fusion
- 2013 Dodge Ram 1500
- 2013 Ford F-150
- 2013 Ford Transit...
- 2013 Nissan Altima
- 2013 Mazda6
- 2013 Nissan Sentra
- 2013 Honda Accord
- 2013 Honda Civic
- 2013 Subaru XV...
- 2013 Nissan...
- 2013 Chevrolet...
- 2013 GMC Acadia
- 2013 Chevrolet...
- 2013 Buick Verano...
- 2013 Cadillac ATS
- 2013 VW Golf R
- 2013 MINI Paceman
- 2013 Audi A4 Allroad
- 2013 Range Rover
What to look for: The style wars are about to begin. Kia may have fired the first shot with the Optima, but Ford is looking to deal the knockout blow with this great-looking new Fusion —but not if the Mazda6 has anything to say about it.
What to look for: The Ram (and the F-150, too) are trying hard to make their case as a do-it-all family vehicle. Luxury details, spacious cabin, tech-toys: The new Ram has them all. But, for the first time, it should also get decent fuel economy (7.8 L/100 km highway) thanks to the first-ever eight-speed transmission in a pickup, mated to the Pentastar 3.6-litre V6.
What to look for: Ford doubling-down on even more high-tech features. For the first time in the F-150 line, the MyFord Touch control system will be an option. In theory, it’s a do-it-all, intuitive infotainment system, but in reality it’s complex and still buggy. Outside, there’s a new grille and probably more chrome options.
What to look for: It may call itself a ‘wagon,’ but Ford’s not fooling anyone. The Blue Oval is getting back into the minivan game. It’ll seat five or seven passengers, have two sliding doors, high-tech and luxury options like a panoramic roof and SYNC, plus either a 2.5-litre or 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine.
What to look for: No, it’s not going to win any battles in the mid-size style wars, but the Altima can duel with the best when it comes to comfort and space. Not to mention fuel economy: Nissan claims 7.4 L/100 km city and 5.0 highway.
What to look for: Well, just look at it. It looks great. And, best of all, early indications are that it drives as well as it looks. It’s much lighter than the outgoing model, despite the fact it’s actually one of the largest cars in the segment. The engine will probably be the 2.5-litre SkyActiv unit with 189 hp, and 189 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual will be on offer as well.
What to look for: The seventh-generation Sentra is all-new. The compact sedan is powered by 130 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque from its 1.8-litre engine. Of course, this being Nissan, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is on offer as well. Fuel economy is said to be just 5.8 L/100 km combined.
What to look for: No, it doesn’t look too different from the old one, but the driving experience is much improved. In fact, our reviewer thought out of all the mid-size sedans currently on sale, this was the best-driving one of the bunch. You can still get either a four-cylinder or V6, the latter with 278 hp (up from 271 hp in the previous version).
What to look for: Man, we’ve never seen a car company do this before. The all-new 2012 Civic was a bit of a dud. It was good, but too conservative. It was dulled and blunted. So Honda is doing something unprecedented. They’re giving the car a major refresh, well ahead of schedule, in an effort to bring back some of the old Civic’s magic. [Corrected – The 2013 Honda Civic is not a re-hash of the 2011 model. It is a major refresh of the 2012 model.]
What to look for: A jacked-up Impreza hatchback. Think of it as the successor to the Impreza Outback of old. Extra ground clearance, plus Subaru’s signature all-wheel drive system makes this one tough compact car. It starts at just $24,495, too.
What to look for: The new SUV from Nissan is eschewing its tough old body-on-frame construction in favour of a more suburb-friendly unibody structure. The result is less weight, better fuel consumption and a more comfortable ride.
What to look for: Revision, not revolution, for the big seven-seater from Chevy. A re-style brings its looks more in line with other newer offerings from the brand: new lights, grille, air intakes, etc.
What to look for: Again, not an all-new car, but an update. Outside there’s a new grille, LED headlights and shiny 18- and 20-inch wheels. The interior is similarly revamped. There are also a few new safety features: a centre-side airbag, cross-traffic alert and even a heads-up display.
What to look for: The full-size Impala gets a redesign to bring it slightly more up-to-date. The engines on offer are a V6 or one of two four-bangers: a 2.4-litre and a 2.5-litre Ecotec. The latter develops 195 hp and 187 lb-ft of torque. It’s still front-wheel drive only, though.
What to look for: With the new 2.0-litre Ecotec four-cylinder turbocharged motor, Buick has finally addressed the main shortcoming of the compact Verano sedan: power. The new motor has 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to take on all other contenders in the compact luxury market. Zero-to-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds!
What to look for: It’s arguably the best Cadillac in decades. The chassis is buttoned down, and the driving experience is (for the first time ever) on par with its German rivals. The CUE infotainment system works very well, and the fact you can option the car with a six-speed manual is nice.
What to look for: We thought the super-hot AWD Golf R was a one-model-year only limited edition. But, happily, we were wrong, and the sprightly hot hatch is coming back for 2013. We still won’t get the three-door model, though, only the five-door.
What to look for: Nobody asked for it, but it’s coming anyway. The Paceman is basically the jacked-up MINI Countryman but with two fewer doors. It’s sort of like a mini Range Rover Evoque. The engines on offer should range from basic Cooper spec to all-out John Cooper Works. Of course, ALL4 AWD is available, too.
What to look for: Out goes the regular Audi A4 wagon, in comes this A4 Allroad. It’s half-way between a wagon and an SUV: jacked up a bit for better off-road performance, but still with the wagon body. Very practical, but then again, so was the A4 wagon.
What to look for: To the untrained eye, you might not notice this is, finally, an all-new Range Rover. It’s much lighter thanks to its aluminium body, which improves everything from cornering and handling to fuel economy. The Range is going ever more upmarket, though, with luxury features like massaging seats and a starting price of $114,000 for the Supercharged model.