The outlook:Apple fans have long wanted the functionality of their iPhones fully integrated with their cars. CarPlay delivers this integration for navigation, phone, music playback, and messaging, with an emphasis on voice command. CarPlay will become available by the end of 2014 in select aftermarket Pioneer stereo head units. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata will likely have CarPlay operational by the end of the year, while Honda and Ferrari have also promised implementation.
The outlook:The Mustang is one of Ford's hallmark cars, and the 2015 model marks its 50th anniversary, making it extraordinarily important. Ford modernized this new generation of the Mustang in many ways, including adopting an independent rear suspension, Ecoboost engine technology, and losing the retro styling. With appeal for aficionados and the average car buyer, this one will be hot.
The outlook:Nissan adopts radical styling for the new generation of its large crossover Murano model, emblematic of an overall new energy in the company. Although the Murano holds over an older engine, its revamped continuously variable transmission should help efficiency. And if it's anything like the new Rogue, it will offer a lot of content for the money.
The outlook:Boring Toyota typically plays things safe, especially when it comes to its best-selling Camry. But for the 2015 model, the Camry’s getting an uncharacteristically aggressive (and polarizing) look for the new sporty XSE trim level, as well as new high-tech cabin that includes Qi wireless phone charging. Is this more aggressive Camry the beginning of a fun future for Toyota? We can’t wait to find out.
The outlook:VW fans in the US have been anticipating this new generation of GTI, the hot hatchback version of the Golf, and they won't be disappointed. More power than the outgoing version is a definite plus, as is an adaptive suspension system, adding a bit of performance tech from the factory. As a hatchback, the GTI enjoys a fair amount of everyday practicality.
The outlook:Nissan showed off an updated Juke at the Geneva auto show, with styling just slightly more extreme than the existing version. The 1.6-liter engine carries over, but an updated head unit promises new NissanConnect services. The Juke will remain a polarizing vehicle, loved by few.
The outlook:The Huracan takes everything that we loved about the Lamborghini Gallardo -- the sharp supercar styling, the powerful V-10, and the all-wheel-drive grip -- and updates it for the next generation. The new entry-level Lambo smooths out its predecessor’s angles, upgrades its interior with a new digital dashboard, and outfits its power-train with the brand’s first dual-clutch gearbox.
The outlook:The coupe version of the ATS gives Cadillac another arrow in its quiver to compete with BMW and Audi. This small, nimble sedan offers modern practicality, luxury, and performance, accented by Cadillac's angular styling. The ATS Coupe should go further in converting new buyers to Cadillac.
The outlook:Subaru updates its bread-and-butter, the Outback, for its fifth generation, focusing on the things that current Subaru owners will appreciate. Carrying over the same engines, Subaru adds interior space and updates the styling to reflect its new design ethos. Current Subaru owners will remain fans with the new Outback, while the model's attributes should attract new fans.
The outlook:Ford took radical steps in updating its F-150 pick-up truck, a bold move considering how important this vehicle is to the company. Adopting an aluminum body, the new F-150 shaves considerable weight, which should result better fuel economy than the competition. Likewise, Ford's Ecoboost engine choices make for excellent efficiency. Ford is betting that F-150 fans will appreciate this pioneering step forward.
The outlook:Over the last few years Lexus has been trying to add a performance edge to its cars, but the lack of a coupe in the lineup made it hard to take the brand seriously. With the RC, Lexus will finally be back in the coupe game. A V-6 version will appeal to casual buyers, while an F Sport looks to compete with the BMW M4.
The outlook:Not everyone is looking to put a massive touchscreen in their dashboard. For those looking for simpler car tech, there’s the DEH-X6700BS cramming Siri Eyes Free connectivity, full Bluetooth connectivity, and Pandora app control into a single-DIN receiver. It also features Android MTP media access, a rarity in even the most-advanced receivers on the market today.