1. BMW 3 Series
One could quarrel that the BMW 3 Series is the most benchmarked car on the planet. That is to say, other carmakers frequently compare their products to the 3 Series, in a sense validating BMW’s popular sedan as the automotive gold usual. For 2012, BMW has polished their gold standard to an even brighter luster with the introduction of the 2012 3 Series sedans: the 4-cylinder 328i and 6-cylinder 335i. Larger, faster and more competent, the latest BMW 3 Series remains the car to beat in a field that includes, among others, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Infiniti G37.
2. Cadillac CTS Review
Building upon Cadillac’s commitment to reinstate its place as the world’s standard of luxury, the 2012 CTS lineup aims to bring the fight directly to its European and Japanese competitors with a brand-new power plant, additional standard tackle and a host of high-tech features. For 2012, diversity is the name of the game. With sedan, coupe, and wagon models, high-performance CTS-V variants for each body style, and obtainable all-wheel drive (AWD), the Cadillac CTS series is perhaps the most diverse nameplate in the luxury segment.
3. Audi A5 Review
The 2012 Audi A5 and its more sporting complement, the 2012 S5, deliver comfort, performance, handling and luxury, all wrapped in a package that is attractively gorgeous on the outside, beautifully luxurious on the inside and crafted with impeccable fit and finish. Powered by a range of smooth, powerful and fuel-efficient engines, and offering the availability of Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system, the A5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe and S5 Cabriolet offer extremely appealing options in a market full of stiff competition.
4. Acura TL Review
When the current-generation Acura TL curved in the 2009 model year, its bold aesthetics garnered mixed feelings from car reviewer and the buying public alike. Some liked the sharp angles, while detractors were chiefly critical of the large beak-like front grille. For the 2012 model year Acura has softened the TL’s face and made a few other external refinements. With a mild facelift and better fuel economy, Acura hopes the freshened TL will lure even more buyers from varied temptresses like the BMW 5 Series, Infiniti M and Lexus ES.
5. Lexus RX Review
Lexus helped craft the luxury-crossover segment when it debuted the RX 350 SUV more than 10 years ago, and today nearly every high-end automaker offers at least one viable option to the vehicle that started it all. Even so, the 2012 RX 350 still counts itself as one of the most popular models in the section, and with superior reason. The vehicle has embraced a slow-and-steady approach to model changes, with engineers refusing to radically alter a formula that continues to draw buyers into the store. With a capable V6 engine, a quiet and well-executed interior and abundance of room inside, the 2012 Lexus RX 350 – along with its carbon-footprint-conscious brother, the RX 450h hybrid version – proves that success doesn’t require a reinvention of the wheel. It just helps when you hold the unique blueprints.
6. Infiniti G Review
For 2012, the Infiniti G series continues its tradition of charming car buyers looking to get what they pay for in entry-level luxury, and then some. The 2012 G offers sedan, coupe, and adaptable variants, plus rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) and the choice of an efficient 2.5-liter or powerful 3.7-liter V6. The 2012 Infiniti G models have established once again that they can not only run with the best in their class, they can do so at a lower cost to you.
7. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz has long been equated with comfortable, expensive cars. The fresh-for-2012 C-Class coupes and sedans, starting in the mid-$30,000 range, represents a more digestible entry point for those in the hunt for the pampering and cachet of a Mercedes without going into (too much) debt to reach it. Now Mercedes has made its entry-level lineup even more alluring with a new base model, the C250, powered by a small, fuel-efficient 4-cylinder. At the other end of the C-Class range is the C63 AMG with a thundering 451-horsepower V-8. What all of these baby Benzes have in common, though, are the quality craftsmanship and driving ability for which Mercedes-Benz vehicles are known.
8. Lexus IS Review
Roughly 10 years after its initial launch, Lexus’ IS still struggles – at least in many markets – for its footing in the sport-sedan section. And although it is in the seventh year of its second generation, and while offering V6 and V8 powertrains, capable suspension and a niche-oriented hardtop convertible, the IS rarely gets a state when the media or community discusses sport sedans. In the majority metro markets, the 3 Series BMW, A4 Audi and, to a lesser extent, the Infiniti G37 is ubiquitous, while the Lexus IS (in any variant) goes about its business almost in disguise. That shouldn’t deter the sport-sedan prospect, however, from test driving an IS 250, IS 350 or IS F. presentation is crisp, styling is beautiful and long-term reliability is well ahead of the German competition.
9. Buick LaCrosse Review
When Buick’s all-new LaCrosse debuted for 2010, it was praised for external and interior
Design and refinement and has sold well as a result. Now, for the 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist, comes the first application of GM’s energy-efficient eAssist “mild hybrid” knowledge as the standard LaCrosse powertrain. Essentially a major upgrade to the system offered in some 2007-09 GM vehicles, eAssist couples a small motor-generator to a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to provide power assist for launch and hastening, along with regenerative braking, which morphs the motor into a manufacturer during deceleration to replenish the battery.
10. Hyundai Genesis Review
Defying the critics, Hyundai has successfully created a line of high-end presentation luxury sedans that are gaining traction with the public. A prime example is the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan, a influential, well-equipped, midsize luxury 4-door sedan. On paper it is every bit the equal (and, in some cases, the better) of alike models from Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Acura and BMW. However, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is priced more in line with vehicles such as the Chrysler 300, Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen CC. Many owners believe the 2012 Hyundai Genesis car more upscale than these near-luxury makes. A look at the normal and available content might convince you they’re right. With power supplied by a choice of thrifty V6 or two potent V8s, including a new 5.0-liter model with 429 horsepower, the rear-wheel drive Hyundai Genesis sedan is set to drive Hyundai to places the brand has never been, and customers to savings they’ve hardly ever known before.