2014 already? No one sells the jet packs and personal helicopters we thought we'd have by now, but today's new cars come close. Let's get you something new and shiny for 2014.
2014 RLX Sport Hybrid
Take luxury for a racetrack ride with Acura's latest technological mind blow. Other luxury automakers offer sportiness, luxury or fuel economy, but only Acura bolts all three into one car. The RLX rocks the industry's best navigation system with its own cellular connection to constantly update road conditions, distinctive jewel eye headlamps, and class-leading interior room that packs more space than the Hubble Telescope into a mid-size body.
But the real excitement lies underneath where Acura's sport hybrid system delivers all-wheel drive performance via two electric motors driving the rear wheels while a third electric motor and the gas engine handle the front axle. The system, which also propels Acura's upcoming exotic NSX, can precisely control how much of its 377 horsepower reaches each wheel, delivering exceptional control and sharp handling under all conditions. The performance of a Ferrari with the fuel economy of a moped? Sign me up.
Jack of All Trades
How many times have you wished you had another car? Today you need a people hauler, tomorrow requires a cargo van and next week you yearn for something sporty. Kill all those birds with one RDX.
The RDX fills more roles than Angelina Jolie and looks even better. Its 273 horsepower V6, six-speed paddle-shifter automatic, and sport-tuned suspension have fun-to-drive covered. The variable cylinder management and 28 mpg highway rating take care of your efficient commuting needs. And a standard rear camera, keyless access and available navigation with Zagat ratings cover the high-tech duties. The RDX can even tow up to 1,500 pounds. There's almost nothing this vehicle can't do.
One thing it won't do is depreciate. With the highest residual value in its segment, the RDX holds its value better than your 401(k).When trade in time comes, the resale value will remind you what a great decision you made in 2014.
Available at Valencia Acura
2014 Mini Convertible
The Convertible's dashboard holds a clue to the car's purpose - the "openometer" gauge. It tracks how long the top has been open in MINI's not-so-subtle way of goading you into fully enjoying the car.
Every drive in the MINI convertible makes a statement. It screams "Let's party!" the moment you get in. Bad day at work? No worries, drop the MINI's top and you're controlling a rolling party that would make a Hollywood starlet jealous. This car is so fun to drive it shouldn't have a seatbelt - it should have a roller coaster lap bar.
All the fun and games might raise doubts about the car's practicality. But owners know the Convertible makes more sense than an accounting degree. With fuel economy ratings as high as 28/35 and free maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, the Convertible will delight your banker as much as your inner child.
2014 MINI COUNTRYMAN
Big is a Relative Term
Looking to go big, but not over the top? Drive the big MINI. As the company's only offering with four doors, the Countryman can be had with front- or all-wheel drive and fuel-efficient engines producing from 121 to 208 horsepower. Based on the brand's rally car, the Countryman brings instant race-cred to any parking lot with more luggage capacity than an LAX carousel.
For MINI, big doesn't mean fat. Though it can haul five adults in comfort, it still delivers fuel economy up to 28/35 mpg and can turn around quicker than a hummingbird on roller skates. Of course, the Countryman retains all the classic MINI traits, from its wheels-to-the-corners "bulldog" stance to its classic high-style interior. And buying the car is half the fun when you make it yours with over 10 million option combinations from stripes to wheels to interior mood lighting. You'll never see another MINI like yours.
Available at MINI Valencia