Redesigned Cars of 2014 and 2015
Completely Revamped or Mildly Refreshed, You'll Find It Here
If you're thinking about buying a new car this year, you have more options than ever. Sorting through them all isn't easy, though, so we've compiled a complete list of every redesigned or partially updated new car on the market. Some are ground-up revamps, while others are simple nicks and tucks to keep the car fresh for another year or two. Either way, you'll have all the knowledge you need to decide which vehicles belong on your shopping list.
2015 Audi A3/Audi S3
The 2015 Audi A3 adds a new small sedan to Audi's lineup. Compared with the outgoing A3, this new car will not be offered as a hatchback, and is slightly larger for more passenger and cargo space. Three different four-cylinder engines will be available for the A3, including a 1.8-liter and a 2.0-liter diesel. A dual-clutch automatic gearbox is standard. Drivers looking for more power can opt for the 2015 S3, which should produce at least 300 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2015 Audi A3 will start at $30,795 and compete with the BMW 2 Series and the Mercedes-Benz CLA250.
2015 Audi A8/Audi S8
Both the Audi A8 and the S8 receive a minor refresh for the 2015 model year. Though the engines (a V6, a diesel, two V8s and one W12) carry over from previous years, the exteriors have been updated with new headlights and taillights, new colors, a new front end design and an assortment of new colors. Pricing for the 2015 models has not been announced, but the 2014 versions start at $75,995 for the base A8 and climb to $113,395 for the more powerful S8. The A8 line competes with the BMW 7 Series, Hyundai Equus and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
2014 Audi R8
Though the Audi R8 has been on sale since 2008, it still looks incredibly fresh. Still, Audi made some subtle tweaks for the 2014 model, including a minor style upgrade and some new model variations. An all-new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission replaces the clunky single-clutch unit used prior. Of course, you can still get the 2014 Audi R8 with a six-speed manual gearbox if that's your thing. Engine options include a 4.2-liter 430-hp V8 and a 525-hp 5.2-liter V10. The R8 is available in coupe and convertible styles, with the lightweight "Plus" model available only on hardtop variants. The 2014 Audi R8 starts at $119,150 and competes with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911.
2014 Bentley Flying Spur
No longer saddled with the "Continental" name, the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur comes to market with an all-new look, more power and a host of upgrades that promise this sedan will still live up to the Bentley name. Beyond the sculpted exterior and the more powerful 12-cylinder engine, the Flying Spur gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission that makes the car both faster and more fuel-efficient. Win-win! The 2014 Bentley Flying Spur has a starting price of $205,825 which puts it in comparison with the Aston Martin Rapide and Rolls-Royce Ghost.
2014 BMW 5 Series
BMW's midsize sport-luxury sedan gets a makeover this year with an updated exterior, new trim levels and some additional features. The minor face-lift on the outside is barely noticeable, but the interior gets more interesting upgrades including standard navigation, direct-text input for the infotainment system, an optional rear entertainment screen and new trims tied to the specific packages (M Sport, Luxury or Modern). New this year is the diesel-powered 535d. This diesel luxury sedan makes 255 hp and 413 pound-feet of torque while returning 30 mpg combined. Other engine options include a 4.4-liter V8, a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder or a thrifty 27 mpg four-cylinder. An eight-speed automatic is standard across the board. The 2014 BMW 5 Series starts at $46,247 and competes with the Audi A6, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
2015 BMW M3
Now that the 3 Series coupes have adopted the 4 Series name, the legendary M3 coupe is now the M4 coupe. That means the M3 is now a sedan only and for 2015 it ditches its previous V8 engine in favor of a turbocharged, inline-6 with roughly 425 hp. Expect the M3 to start in the $60,000 range and compete against the Audi RS 5, Cadillac ATS-V and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.
2014 Cadillac CTS
Now in its third generation, the 2014 Cadillac CTS grows in size and adds a host of high-tech and luxury touches. Cadillac now offers a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as its base engine, while a choice of two V6 engines (one with 420 hp) is available. The 2014 CTS is available with either rear- or all-wheel drive and, depending on engine and driven wheels, a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission. The interior of the 2014 CTS has been fully upgraded with leather trim, a configurable gauge cluster and a large color touchscreen equipped with Cadillac's CUE infotainment system. The 2014 Cadillac CTS starts at $46,025 and competes with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro
For 2014 the Chevy Camaro is mildly updated. On the outside of all 2014 Camaros is a new one-piece taillight, new spoiler, new headlights and a new grille. On the inside things are pretty much the same as before, except new Recaro seats are optional for SS and ZL1 coupes. The 2014 Chevy Camaro starts at $24,550 and competes with the Ford Mustang.
2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray
There's little left to say about the new Corvette that's on sale now. It's faster. It's more powerful. It's better-looking. And it's far more involving to drive. Starting at $51,000, the Corvette lacks direct competitors but could be cross-shopped against anything from the BMW M4 to the Nissan GT-R and the Porsche 911.
2015 Chevy Corvette Z06
The 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 takes the already powerful Chevy Corvette Stingray and turns everything up to 11. Instead of a naturally aspirated, 455-hp V8, it's got a supercharged V8 producing at least 625 hp and 635 lb-ft of torque. It has a stiffer suspension than the standard Corvette, functional aerodynamic enhancements to improve performance and bigger, stickier tires for even more grip. Additional aerodynamic packages are optional for buyers looking for something even more extreme. The 2015 Z06 is available for the first time with an eight-speed automatic as well as a traditional manual gearbox. Chevy hasn't put an official price on the 2015 Corvette Z06, but said it would start close to the current Z06, which costs $76,595. The 2015 Z06 competes with the Ford Mustang GT500, Porsche 911 GT3 and SRT Viper.
2014 Chevrolet Impala
All-new for 2014, the Impala is loaded with tech and luxury goodies like an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, suede upholstery, rearview camera and climate control knobs that aren't buried in the touchscreen. The new Impala is longer than the car it replaces, which allows for more passenger space. The Impala offers a choice of three engines, including one hybrid variation. The only transmission offered is a six-speed automatic. The 2014 Chevy Impala starts at $27,670 and competes with the Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu
The 2014 Chevy Malibu isn't all-new this year, but there have been significant updates. There's new front-end styling on the outside, and the inside is upgraded with more rear-seat legroom and a new center console. For 2014 the hybrid "Eco" model will be phased out and replaced with a 2.5-liter engine that now gets automatic stop-start. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes more power. The 2014 Chevy Malibu starts at $22,965 and competes with the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
2015 Chrysler 200
A new sedan in the midsize segment is an important event. New, more efficient four- and six-cylinder engines (184 hp and 295 hp, respectively) are available, paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission when the 200 hits dealers in late spring. Chrysler says to expect up to 35 mpg on the highway from four-cylinder models. An advanced all-wheel-drive system capable of running in front-drive-only mode to save fuel will be optional. The new 200 is less expensive than the outgoing model and starts at $22,695. Its primary competitors are the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
2014 Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is doing a bang-up job convincing Americans that small cars aren't "cheap cars" and the 2014 Fiesta is even better. There's a subtle upgrade to the already tight exterior and a list of new standard and optional features. The 2014 Ford Fiesta has standard Bluetooth, an iPod interface, the Sync voice-controlled infotainment system and an optional new 6.5-inch touchscreen. The 2014 Fiesta also adds a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 123 hp. The 2014 Ford Fiesta starts at $14,418 and competes with the Chevy Spark, Hyundai Accent and Nissan Versa.
2015 Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang celebrates its 51st year of production with the all-new, long-awaited 2015 Ford Mustang. Though it gets a new, tech-laden interior and stunning exterior, a more sophisticated independent rear suspension is the big news with the Mustang's 2015 redesign. The surprising news, however, is the addition of a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder to the lineup, in addition to the V6 and 5.0 V8 options. Look for the 2015 Mustang in dealers this fall. Pricing will likely be slightly higher than the old car, which started at about $23,000. Expect a GT 5.0 to approach $34,000. As always, the Mustang competes with the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and, depending on your mood, maybe even the Subaru WRX STI.
2014 Honda Civic
The compact sedan segment is incredibly competitive, and as such, Honda continues to refine the relatively new Civic. For 2014 the Civic gets new exterior styling, upgraded interiors, new transmission tuning and a host of new options. Chief among these options are keyless ignition and entry and an all-new touchscreen navigation/infotainment system and a better blind-spot camera. The 2014 Honda Civic starts at $18,980 and competes with the Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.
2015 Honda Fit
Honda is defying physics with a new Fit that's smaller on the outside but bigger on the inside. The new subcompact gets a 130-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder paired to either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). An additional 5 cubic feet of interior space should only enhance the one trait on which the Fit built its reputation: cargo space utility. Pricing hasn't been announced, but expect it to come in similar to the outgoing model, which started at $16,215. The Fit competes with the Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent.
2014 Hyundai Equus
Hyundai's full-size luxury sedan has been thoroughly upgraded for the 2014 model year, but you'd be hard-pressed to notice the changes from the outside. Though the exterior's refinements are minor, the Equus' interior is thoroughly revised with new materials, a new instrument panel, BlueLink infotainment system, cross-traffic alert and a new suspension. Finally, a three-row bench replaces the two captain's chairs in the rear. With a starting price of $61,920, the 2014 Hyundai Equus is aggressively priced against the BMW 7 Series, Cadillac XTS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan
All-wheel drive will be a new option when this completely redesigned sedan hits showrooms later this year. Otherwise, the news is mostly about styling, which is striking and makes the previous-generation Genesis sedan look conservative by comparison. Both the carryover engines — a 3.8-liter V6 (311 hp) and the 5.0-liter V8 (420 hp) — will remain coupled to an eight-speed automatic. Higher levels of performance, safety and luxury will be part of the package. The new Genesis should start around $35,000 and will compete with the Acura TLX, Lexus ES and Lincoln MKZ when it goes on sale this spring.
2014 Kia Forte
All-new for 2014, the Kia Forte steps up its game to compete in the ultra-competitive compact category. The 2014 Kia Forte is available in three body styles: sedan, coupe and a five-door hatchback. For 2014, the Forte is longer, lower and wider for a smoother ride and more passenger space. Engine options include a base 1.8-liter four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four. All Fortes are front-wheel drive and can be optioned with either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The 2014 Kia Forte starts at $16,700 and competes with the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.
2014 Kia Optima
The 2014 Kia Optima is mildly refreshed this year. Highlights of the changes include new front and rear styling, while interior enhancements include new front seats and a restyled steering wheel. There are new options as well, including keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors and new display screens. There are a number of trim levels for the Optima, but all cars remain front-wheel drive and are powered by either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The 2014 Kia Optima starts at $22,300 and competes with the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
2014 Kia Soul
The redesigned 2014 Kia Soul addresses the previous model's less-than-ideal ride quality with suspension changes, and the popular 2.0-liter four-cylinder has been upgraded to deliver more low-end torque for smoother driving. On the inside, the Soul gets higher-quality materials, a panoramic sunroof, Kia's Uvo infotainment system and more interior volume. The 2014 Kia Soul has a starting sticker price of $15,695 and competes with the Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.
2014 Lexus CT 200h
For 2014, this hybrid-only five-door is updated inside and out. LED headlamps, Lexus' signature Spindle Grille, a faux rear diffuser and a standard rear spoiler are the most obvious changes to the outside. Inside is a new infotainment system with optional Remote Touch Interface (a mouselike controller), dual USB inputs, upgraded steering wheel, updated seat materials and a new headliner color. There is also an F Sport version with a black roof, more aggressive body kit and a sportier suspension. The only powertrain is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder paired with a 650-volt motor-generator that produces a combined 134 hp and 42 mpg combined, according to the EPA. The 2014 Lexus CT 200h stickers for $32,960 and competes with the Audi A3, BMW 2 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLA250.
2014 Lexus IS
All-new for 2014, the Lexus IS introduces bold new styling inside and out, a larger interior and more features than ever before. The 2014 IS comes in 250 and 350 trims, the former getting a 2.5-liter V6 that makes 204 hp, while the latter gets a 306-hp 3.5-liter V6. The 350 also benefits from an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the 250 (and all-wheel-drive 350) get a six-speed automatic. The 2014 Lexus IS starts at $37,010 and competes with the Audi A4, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
2014 Mazda 3
Refreshed styling and interior features accompany less controversial — and downright more attractive — styling in the new 3. It's now good-looking, a superbly confident handler, efficient and available with two engines: a 2.0-liter and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. And it can be had in both sedan and five-door body styles right now. The Mazda 3 competes with the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
2014 Mazda 6
Fully redesigned for 2014, Mazda's 6 finally addresses the old car's previous issues with materials, ride quality and fuel economy. Without giving up on its long-help mission of delivering cars that drive well, the 2014 Mazda 6 finally has a ride that normal midsize sedan buyers would consider comfortable. Beyond that, the new interior features a control wheel for the new 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a host of options like Smart City collision mitigation, LED running lights, power sunroof and adaptive cruise control. The 2014 Mazda 6 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and is available with either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. A diesel version is expected later in the year. The 2014 Mazda 6 carries a base sticker price of $21,785 and competes with the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.
2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
With the wildly popular CLA-Class taking the C-Class' spot as entry-level Benz, the priorities have changed for Benz's breadwinner, which goes on sale this fall. First, it's getting bigger. Five inches will be added to the C-Class' total length, which will noticeably increase rear-seat legroom. A 2.0-liter four good for 235 hp will be the base engine, while a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 329 hp will be optional. A seven-speed automatic will be the go-to transmission and all-wheel drive will be available. A $40,000 starting price is expected for the new C-Class, which competes with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is thoroughly redesigned and now includes a four-cylinder diesel E250 Bluetec, an E400 hybrid and full-time all-wheel drive on the E63 AMG. It would be safe to assume that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an all-new vehicle, but it's not; it's simply a very deep refresh. The old car's straight-line styling has been replaced by a bulbous front end with dramatic air scoops, while the car's aggressive fender flares have been toned down. The interior changes are less dramatic, but there's a new instrument cluster, a new Mercedes-Benz-branded clock and, on some models, a new shifter. The new E400 hybrid has a 302-hp V6 paired with a lithium-ion battery pack and can go up to 22 mph on electricity alone. There's also an E350 — available as a coupe, sedan or wagon — with the same V6, just without the hybrid goodness. Moving up from there is the twin-turbo V8-powered E550 and then a full stop further is the wicked E63 AMG. That car packs full-time all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic behind a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 that can make up to 577 hp. The 2014 E-Class starts at $52,325 and competes with the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Cadillac CTS.
2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The flagship car of the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the S-Class, is all-new for 2014. This full-size sedan is where Mercedes experiments with new technologies, and the new version is no different. This car features technologies that can scan the road ahead and automatically adjust the suspension, LED headlamps that adjust automatically, LED accent lighting, 12.3-inch instrument panel display, Wi-Fi hotspot, hot stone massage, automatic parallel parking, cabin fragrance dispenser, adaptive cruise control, a 24-speaker stereo and more. Mercedes' 2014 S-Class is available with a 4.6-liter turbocharged V8 that makes 449 hp or one of two AMG models. The first is the S63 AMG that has standard all-wheel drive and 577 hp. The next step is the $200,000-plus S65 AMG that benefits from more than 600 turbocharged horses from a V12. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class starts at $93,825 and competes with the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera.
2015 Mercedes-Benz S600
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 is the fourth iteration of the all-new S-Class following up on the S550, S63 AMG and the S65 AMG. Visually, there are few differences, but it's what's underhood that counts. That's where this high-end luxury sedan packs a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine that produces 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. It is only available fully loaded with things like a head-up display, automatically adjustable suspension, adaptive cruise control and automatic braking to help minimize the severity of, or prevent, a crash. Pricing has not been announced for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600, but an MSRP of over $163,000 is expected. The S600 competes with the 2014 Audi A8L W12, the 2013 BMW 760Li and the 2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive.
2014 Mini Cooper
We hope a bigger footprint and body won't diminish the new Mini Cooper's character. The Cooper, which is available this spring, rolls out with a 134-hp, 1.5-liter three-cylinder base engine and 189-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder S trim power plant. Both are front-wheel drive and available with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Though pricing is yet to be announced, we expect the Mini to cost about the same as the outgoing model, which starts at $20,495. Direct competitors are scarce, but cross-shoppers should consider the Chevy Sonic RS, Ford Fiesta ST, or — if sporting intentions are important — even the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
2014 Porsche 911 Turbo/Turbo S
The top dog of the 911 family finally moves up to the car's newest platform. This car shares a very similar exterior with the normal 911, but gets a wider body, bigger wing, a more aggressive front end and way more power. The turbocharged 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder produces an impressive 520 hp to start and 560 hp in Turbo S trim. Keeping all that in check are standard all-wheel drive and standard four-wheel steering. The only transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. The $147,207 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo competes with the Audi R8, 2015 Corvette Z06 and Dodge SRT Viper.
2014 Porsche 911 GT3
The Porsche 911 Turbo is made for the open, unrestricted Autobahn and the Porsche 911 GT3 is the one for the racetrack. With a naturally aspirated (not turbocharged or supercharged) 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder, the GT3 makes 475 hp and has a 9,000 rpm redline. Like the new 911 Turbo, the GT3 is no longer available with a manual transmission; the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automated manual is the only option. Unlike the Turbo, the GT3 is rear-wheel drive, though it does feature four-wheel steering. The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 starts at $126,411 and competes with the Chevy Camaro Z/28, 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 and Dodge SRT Viper.
2014 Porsche 911 Targa
Porsche's new 911 Targa adds another variation of the 911 to an already very full portfolio. Splitting the difference between a sunroof and a convertible, the all-new 2014 911 Targa has a power-operated soft top that retracts into the rear of the car. The targa-top 911 is a classic version of the 911 that seems to split popular opinion, with some preferring the full convertible. The 911 Targa is available only in all-wheel drive with either a 350- or 400-hp six-cylinder engine. A manual transmission is standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4 costs $102,595 and the Targa 4S is $116,295. The 911 Targa competes with the 2014 Chevy Corvette and the Porsche 911 Convertible.
2014 Porsche Cayman
Porsche's incredibly popular "entry-level" coupe is fully redesigned (and very impressive) for 2014. The base engine is a 2.7-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder that makes 275 hp and 213 lb-ft of torque. Stepping up from there is the Cayman S, which is offered with a 3.4-liter six-cylinder that makes 325 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Both cars can be had with a traditional manual gearbox or Porsche's excellent PDK dual-clutch automatic. The 2014 Cayman also gets an all-new interior, wheels up to 20 inches, electric power steering, sport exhaust, launch control (for PDK-equipped cars) and an updated touchscreen audio system. With a starting price of $53,550 the Cayman competes with the Chevy Corvette Stingray and the Porsche 911.
2014 Porsche Panamera
Porsche's upgrades to the 2014 Panamera still can't hide the car's prodigious rear end. That said, the upgrades have vaulted the car to even more impressive levels of sedan supremacy. The biggest change you'll notice is that a new, long-wheelbase version, the Panamera Executive, has been added to the lineup. This version puts an additional 5.9 inches of space between the car's wheels, which results in some leg-stretching passenger space. Porsche also adds an S E-Hybrid model that offers 20 miles of EV driving range and a supercharged V6 for when the juice is low. Beyond the hybrid, the Panamera is available with a choice of one of two V6s, or one of two V8s. The most powerful version, the Panamera Turbo, makes 520 hp. The 2014 Porsche Panamera starts at $79,075 and competes with the Audi A7, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
2015 Subaru Legacy
The 2015 Subaru Legacy is all-new and is highlighted by a roomier interior, better fuel economy and an engaging new design. The new Legacy is powered by either a 2.5-liter, 175-hp four-cylinder or a 256-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. Both engines are hooked up to a CVT and full-time all-wheel drive. With the 2.5-liter engine, the 2015 Legacy is expected to achieve 30 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway). The interior has been upgraded with thicker, more high-quality materials, additional sound dampening and a higher seating position that increases visibility. A new 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system is also available with Aha and Pandora integration. A rearview camera is now standard on all Legacys. The 2015 Subaru Legacy goes on sale in the summer of 2014 with an estimated price of about $25,000. It will compete with the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
2015 Subaru WRX/WRX STI
Subaru's new WRX is stiffer, lower, longer (in wheelbase) and more powerful than the car it replaces. It comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and a performance-tuned CVT is optional. The new STI turns the handling up to 11 but offers the same 305-hp flat-4 as the last STI. Neither WRX is available as a hatchback. Pricing isn't announced for either car yet, but given the competition in this price range we don't see much room for dramatic price increases for either car. The current WRX starts at about $27,000 and the STI starts at about $35,000. The primary competitor for both cars is the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, but the upcoming 2015 Volkswagen Golf R is also a consideration, as is the 2015 Ford Mustang.
2014 Toyota Corolla
The 2014 Toyota Corolla is all-new. Even the casual car shopper will notice the new exterior styling on the 2014 Corolla; it's bold and interesting compared with previous Corollas. The transformation continues in the interior, where there's a genuine attempt at style. New materials and build quality are on par with the segment. While it has a new CVT instead of the old conventional automatic, the 2014 Corolla retains the old 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Tweaks to the car help it achieve 42 mpg highway. Bluetooth, USB interface, a tilt-and-telescoping wheel, 60/40-folding rear seat and more are standard, while a 6-inch touchscreen, alloy wheels, sport seats and vinyl upholstery can be found on higher trims. The 2014 Toyota Corolla starts at $17,610 and competes with the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Kia Forte.
2015 Volkswagen Golf/Golf R
New styling, coupled with a wider body and longer wheelbase, increases the Golf's overall dimensions, which should improve its appeal among utility shoppers. Two engines are available in the base Golf: a 170-hp, 184 lb-ft 1.8-liter four and a 2.0-liter diesel good for 150 hp and 236 lb-ft. The R model's 2.0-liter turbo-4 yields 290 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque and powers all four wheels. The popular GTI model returns with 217 hp, routed through the front wheels. All three engines send power through either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission. Golfs are expected before spring, and the Golf R should hit dealers shortly thereafter. Pricing isn't available yet, though the Golf should start around $18,000 and the R model will likely start at about $35,000. The Golf competes with the 2014 Mazda 3 and 2014 Subaru Impreza. Golf R shoppers should also consider the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and 2015 Subaru WRX STI.
2014 Volvo S60
Volvo's S60 sedan gets even more stylish for 2014 with a face-lift that highlights the car's already pleasing shape. Beyond the sharp new styling, the 2014 S60 benefits from new seats, new instruments, metallic accents and a set of new option packages. The S60 is available with either a 250-hp five-cylinder or a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that makes either 300 or 325 hp depending on the trim. 2014 Volvo S60s start at $33,315 and compete with the Audi A4, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.