When the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover was launched in the U.S. last winter, it was received with enthusiasm and questions about how the changes introduced in the new generation would affect its performance. After a few months in the market, the flagship Range Rover model is certainly proving its worth. Motor Trend magazine just conducted a face-to-face comparison between the 2013 Range Rover Supercharged and the Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG to see which premium SUV offers the best overall package for drivers who are prepared to pay the big bucks in exchange for luxury and performance.
Both models command a six-figure sticker price, with the Mercedes-Benz being slightly more expensive, and on top of that you can add options to your heart’s content if you want either one in the best possible trim. On paper, the Range Rover has less power, but in reality it accelerates more quickly thanks to its new leaner body and lighter aluminum frame. Actually, performance figures are very similar overall but, if refinement is a priority, the Range Rover comes on top with a quieter ride. Motor Trend editors valued its seating space, luxurious roomy interior and comfort, giving the Range Rover the edge in ride quality over its German rival. And just in case you wanted to take such an expensive vehicle off-road, the Range Rover is undeniably the more capable model.
If you want to be part of the exclusive group of Range Rover owners and drive a capable and luxurious SUV that handles like a premium sedan, come to our Maine Land Rover dealership and test-drive the new 2013 Range Rover. You will get noticed on the road.
For a nameplate that has been part of America’s automotive history since 1903, Buick is looking more youthful than ever. Having gone through thick and thin during its long journey, the company is celebrating its 110th anniversary with steady sales gains and an expanding customer base. Those achievements have been driven by new models like the Buick Verano and Encore, which have been designed with modern styling and technology to attract younger generations.
A reputation for refinement and solid engineering has been the hallmark of the Buick nameplate throughout its history. Currently, Buick is the longest-running U.S. auto brand still in business today, and it has sold more than 43 million vehicles since its inception. The marque’s ability to develop new technology and adapt to ever-changing circumstances have allowed it to retain its loyal customer base stateside while attracting new buyers in the rest of the world, where the brand is synonymous with prestige.
“Buick is working hard to expand its customer base in America by attracting younger customers, and that has meant meeting those buyers’ preferences for smaller vehicles with new offerings in the compact sedan and crossover segments,” said Chris Harper, general manager of Goodwin Buick, a Maine Buick dealership. “By developing entry-level luxury models like the Encore and Verano, Buick is bringing its signature quality and refinement to drivers who also value modern styling and technology at an affordable price.”
Starting at less than $25,000, the 2013 Buick Encore luxury compact crossover sports a sculpted exterior marked by a waterfall grille and chrome accents. Inside, the Encore maintains Buick’s reputation for calm cabins with standard QuietTuning technology and Buick’s first application of Bose Active Noise Cancelation. Tech-savvy buyers will be pleased that the voice-activated Buick IntelliLink infotainment system is also standard, enabling hands-free phone calls and access to smartphone apps like Pandora Internet radio.
Like the Encore, the 2013 Buick Verano compact sedan comes standard with QuietTuning and IntelliLink, and it can be had for less than $24,000. The base model’s Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces an impressive mix of responsiveness and fuel efficiency, producing 180 horsepower while returning up to 32 mpg on the highway. For buyers who put a priority on performance, the Verano Turbo is now available with a 250-horsepower Ecotec 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that allows the car to sprint from zero to 60 mph in an estimated 6.2 seconds, yet it still nets up to 31 mpg on the highway.
“Buick’s new models like the Encore and Verano appeal to the increased practicality of today’s buyers, but they also remind those drivers that they deserve comfort and driving fun along the way,” added Harper. “Buick has never lost its focus on delivering high-quality luxury and performance, but it also recognizes shifts in buyer habits, and that is why it remains competitive after 110 years on the market.”
Compact SUVs currently make up the fastest-growing segment in the auto industry, which can create a difficult decision for buyers trying to sort through the clutter. Fortunately, Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com has compiled this year’s list of its 10 best SUVs under $25,000, showcasing some of the best compact models out there. Securing the No. 2 spot was the 2014 Mazda CX-5, which was praised for its fun-to-drive factor, its fuel-efficient SKYACTIV technology and its smart-yet-stylish design.
KBB.com editors were also impressed by the CX-5′s five-seat practicality, which does nothing to diminish the crossover’s responsive handling. Despite being a relatively recent addition to the Mazda lineup, the CX-5 has already collected a number of automotive awards, including being named a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the best small SUV of 2013 by Car and Driver magazine. The CX-5 is hard to miss, with a fluid exterior that follows Mazda’s KODO, or Soul of Motion, design philosophy, but what drivers can’t see is equally important in setting the compact SUV apart from the competition.
“The Mazda CX-5 is perfect for families who want more than just a vehicle that can go from point A to point B, because it has very engaging handling despite its great fuel efficiency and spacious interior,” said Jeanette Downing, general manager of Goodwin Mazda, a Brunswick, Maine Mazda dealer. “With the CX-5, it is easy to forget you’re driving an SUV that has more than 34 cubic feet of space in the back, or about 65 cubic feet just by pressing a button and folding the back seat.”
Mazda’s SKYACTIV engineering is instrumental to the CX-5′s ability to provide impressive performance and efficiency regardless of all that cargo space. SKYACTIV technology focuses on improved engine compression ratios, transmission optimization and lightweight-yet-rigid frames, which combine to boost responsiveness while keeping fuel consumption to a minimum. The CX-5 was the first vehicle in Mazda’s lineup to incorporate the complete suite of SKYACTIV elements, and it serves as a solid example of how integrative vehicle design can produce excellent results after being implemented from the ground up.
When equipped with the standard 155-horsepower 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine, the Mazda CX-5 returns up to 35 mpg on the highway, making it the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market during freeway driving. SKYACTIV technology allows the powerplant to consume 15 percent less fuel than Mazda’s previous MZR 2.0-liter engine. For the 2014 model year, buyers can also now upgrade to a new 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G unit that produces 184 horsepower while still netting up to 32 mpg on the highway.
“The Mazda CX-5 offers hybrid-like efficiency without the inflated price tag associated with a gas-electric powertrain, and yet, there is no mistaking it for a hybrid once you step down on the pedal,” Downing added. “If you also consider the standard Dynamic Stability Control and traction control, as well as the optional all-wheel-drive system, then you’re getting all-weather capability without having to pay the extra fuel costs that come with other capable SUVs.”