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The guide to the Ultimate Guide

When it comes to buying a new car, American consumers have never had so many good choices. Today’s vehicles are more reliable and better built than ever, no matter where they are designed and manufactured. Safety, convenience, and luxury features that were once found only in premium brands have trickled down to mass-market cars. And whether you measure desirability in terms of 0-to-60-mph times or in EPA fuel economy figures, there are dozens of excellent vehicles to choose from in virtually every category that will meet — and likely exceed — your expectations. The most compelling vehicles for 2013 are those that combine agile handling, versatility, and fuel efficiency, so we’ve made a special attempt to bring them to your attention using the labels in the key on the right. More and more cars, SUVs, and trucks are available with hybrid powertrains or engines that burn diesel fuel. And slowly, electric cars are making their way into the mainstream marketplace. Within each review, we have provided EPA fuel economy ratings for both city and highway driving. If a range is provided, it indicates differences among optional engines and transmissions, and/or two-wheel-drive versus four-wheel-drive models. For more detailed information on mileage, visit www.fueleconomy.gov.

As you peruse the reviews in the 2013 Ultimate New Car Guide, keep in mind that they are delivered to you with a bias. We at AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE are, first and foremost, car enthusiasts. This means that we judge cars for their technological, aesthetic, and emotional aspects as much as for the mobility they provide. It goes without saying that reliability and quality are important to us, but we are unapologetically biased toward cars that are fun and rewarding to drive. We’ve been privileged to drive virtually every one of the 270 vehicles reviewed in this buyer’s guide, and we believe that the many hours we’ve spent behind the wheels of those cars give us a unique perspective from which to assess their strengths and weaknesses. In each review, you’ll find a list of the vehicle’s pros and cons, along with a summary of what’s new for the 2013 model year and a list of direct competitors.

The prices shown for each vehicle are the latest available base price ranges, including destination charges and any gas-guzzler taxes, at press time. Before you go shopping, you should consult manufacturer websites for the most up-to-date pricing information (see page 176), and be sure to check out the latest new-car reviews at our website, www.automobilemag.com. Good luck with your new-car purchase.

ULTIMATE GUIDE KEY

HYBRID

Vehicles that are offered with a hybrid (gasoline-electric) powertrain.

DIESEL

Vehicles that can be equipped with a modern, fuel-sipping diesel engine.

ELECTRIC

Vehicles that are propelled by an electric motor powered by a battery pack.

High Mileage

Vehicles that are rated at 30 or more mpg, city or highway, with at least one of its available powertrains.

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