"Top cars of 2012: CNET On Cars holiday special"
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Cooley On Cars
Cooley On Cars
Top cars of 2012: CNET On Cars holiday special
-One hundred high tech cars cost our driveway in 2012 from the very small to the unbelievably large, but in this episode, only large score [unk].
It's the best cars we drove all year and then check the tech.
We see cars differently.
We love them on the road and under the hood but also check the tech and are know for telling it like it is--
the good, the bad, the bottom line.
This is CNET on cars.
Welcome to a special year end edition of CNET on cars I'm Brian Cooley, and we do something very different in this episode.
We're gonna be counting up the five cars that got the highest review scores and all of 2012 here at CNET.
This is more than just a list.
It's a great snapshot of the year that was in terms of high tech cars and modern driving.
So, let's started with number 5, kind of pains me to bring you this car
because it's just about the ugliest thing on 4 wheels, at least in my opinion.
It's the Porsche Panamera, but at least they sent us a Turbo S. As long as you stay inside, drive the thing and look at it, this is quite a ride.
Now, many of you who watch these videos.
Now, I've got an ongoing love-hate relationship with a Panamera.
I loved to drive it.
I hate to look at it and would to pay for it.
It's just big pudgy looking thing.
It looks like a beached whale in any color.
Then when you go and paint it beluga white, are you kidding?
This is one seriously attractive ride, but that's not we're here for.
Let's get inside.
Now, the inside of a Panamera is admittedly a very nice place to sit, go driving, take a nap, just about anything.
This is a nicely appointed car but it's very familiar at this point.
We've seen this new style Porsche console, which is kind of this high rising.
It gets kind of button crazy down here on this sort of spine of buttons that are in sort of an order but really that is kind of got everything sprayed around here.
Not much has changed up here though since the last Panamera we saw.
We have a good sort of
3-D fly overview available on the nav screen.
You've got hard buttons down here for all your major functions, but this is also a touch screen.
Now a Turbo S is only available of one gearbox the PDK, which is some really long phrase for double clutch manual.
And you've got this very simple gate and you've got your shift paddles.
Well, really, what are these things kind of aluminized wedges to give you up and down shift on either side.
It's an ambidextrous wheel.
I'll check this out.
Because we have a high trim with a PDK, you've got this really cool indicator.
It looks like it's just a name plate that tells you you got a PDK like got of a reminder to that, but you've got these illuminating indicators-- sport, sport plus, and launch control on the right because you can put this thing into all those modes partly because we have a Sport Chrono Package.
That's what the chronometer on the dash tells you if you don't even see the spec sheet.
You got these 2 sport buttons.
The sport is gonna tighten up everything from shifting to throttle response to suspension behavior.
Sport plus takes you into a launch control mode, and this one is interesting.
This is your automatic start-stop defeat button,
So when you come to a stop shut down lift off, lift off the break.
It's gonna refire.
You can defeat that here.
Our car has a reverse camera and you can see when I've got that up.
You also have an overlay of the sonar map, front and rear.
That's a nice blending of indications.
I like when it's altogether like that.
Gauges are almost entirely classic Porsche and they do the five ring thing, but I love the one second from the right.
That's roughly 4.8-inch rond display.
They can show just that aspect of the main head unit
which they PCM.
You can dedicate that to any part of it like audio there and nav here.
Okay, now the engine on a Turbo S is a big part of the Panamera story when you go to this level.
That's the part why it costs to that much.
It's a 4.8-liter V8 with 2 discrete turbos, a true twin Turbo.
You can see each one down the side of the motor right there.
You've got direct injection as well.
VarioCam, which is Porsche's very elaborate variable cam timing system for lift and advance.
And then on top of all these, you've got this beautiful engineering of a Porsche motor, so everything is happening here at a high level.
The result: 550 horsepower, 553 foot-pounds of torque gets this 4398-pound beast up 60 in 3.6 seconds, always going through all wheel drive, that's a given on a Turbo S and through that PDK seven speed dual clutch gearbox.
Check this up,
Porsche loves electric controllable rear wings.
This one is sleek.
Look at how it's segment.
This reminds me of those IBM Thinkpads in the late 90's they had the butterfly keyboard.
It comes up at a certain width and then it expands to give you more bite in the air when it's actually up, kind of cool.
The first thing you notice of this car is you've got some real 9/11 DNA in here.
That's a pretty good trick.
Now, what you're totally aware of is you do have a longer wheelbase
and a lot more car longitudinally you're dealing than in a sports car, but this car does a lot to get around it.
All-wheel drive is really hoping of course that's tuned toward performance driving, not toward off road.
The power comes on real nicely.
Twin turbos are great for that.
Neither one of them has to do everything.
They only have one bank a piece and they can be very responsive, so the power comes on like a bigger engine that is naturally aspirated.
Great exhaust note.
Steering is an electric on this car.
It's an advanced, but hydraulic accessories driven power steering.
I gotta say as much as I think this car is an ugly and pretentious, pompous, expensive.
Sure, it's a joy to drive.
By the way that Panamera was not the most expensive car we drove all year.
That honor goes to the Bentley Mulsanne at over $409,000.
Isn't that like a jumbo mortgage or something?
Let's go to number four now.
A car that's iconic you can identify one of these miles away.
Doesn't mean it's the paragon of beauty.
But it is a green tech twenty force, the 2012 Toyota Prius but in this case in plug in hybrid.
Here it is, 2012, production Prius plug.
We did have a prototype a few months ago, but this is the real deal, available now only in the West Coast and north east state.
Why do you get up plug in Prius?
People asked me this question all the time.
Here's the difference.
It's got a bigger battery that you charge both by driving like in a regular Prius and also by plugging it and when you can't that's different than a standard Prius the reason you go to all this trouble to put this bigger battery in is to get more electric range.
A standard Prius can go a mile or 2 on battery only at low speeds.
This car can go 11 to 16 miles on battery only add up to 62 miles per hour.
It behaves like an electric car if you just use it around town.
In fact, you might never put gas in this car if you have like
a ten-mile commute each way that doesn't go beyond sixty miles an hour.
Okay, the plug-in hybrid doesn't have anything different in the cabin than a standard Prius.
We've got this head unit which I call In-Tune light.
It's the smaller screen.
At this point in history, it only has Pandora and Bing from the In-Tune app suite.
Later in 2012, they'll be adding things like movie tickets.com and Open Table.
If you upgrade this car
to what's called the advanced model, you get the better head unit we've seen before which is more a Lexus like.
And it already has all the apps in it plus a bunch of other features coming in that package.
Now, here's what you see you various energy monitors.
Again, those are also found on the Prius, but you're gonna see numbers here you're ever seen on a standard Prius like that one at the bottom middle, consumption, average, over more than 300 miles 61 miles per gallon.
That's what a bigger batteries gonna get you.
And like the current third gen Prius, you can also look at all kinds of historical averages
and you can enter the average consumption of your other car so this guy will always remind you how much you're saving by driving it versus the one on the garage, and all these Prius plug ins are nicely equipped.
They don't make a stripped one which is part of why the price is a little steep.
We'll get to that in a minute.
Your sources are gonna include AM, FM, HD radio, satellite radio, should you choose to activate it, and of course, you got an optical drive up here, A2DP Bluetooth streaming, and of course Bluetooth handsfree for telephony.
On a standard outlet, this battery takes three hours to charge from dead flat or an hour and a half you get a level-two charger.
Toyota sells you a level two charger with their partner Leviton for about a grand installed at your house, and of course when you drive, you're also trickle charging the battery but, you need to plug it in ones and while to get the full benefit.
When you lift the hood on a Prius, you're getting into a very different world.
The motor is not that different from the standard Prius.
The battery is, and the numbers that come out of it are also different so for example.
The battery of standard Prius has nickel metal high drive one point three kilowatt hours.
This guy has a more advanced lithium-ion battery, kind of a giant version of what's in your phone or laptop, but 4.4 kilowatt hours, more than three times the capacity and a different charging and discharge behavior, higher performance.
In combination with this 1.8 liter lean burn gas engine like a standard Prius, you get 95 MPG equivalent while driving in electric mode.
That means an equivalent amount of energy
as gallons of gas, turns into 95 MPG.
It's a tortured EPA calculation or if you're running and hybrid mode like a regular Prius, you get the same 50 MPG average.
134 horsepower by the way, torque, who cares.
The bottom line is this car is not about performance, thought it is slower than a standard Prius, something 11 seconds versus under 10 for the standard Prius partly due to a heavier battery, 123 more pounds of weight on this guy.
But none of this really matters until we get inside, see how it rides and drives,
and see what kind of consumption figures show up on that dash.
Now, driving the Prius Plug-In, you're just very aware that the engine is not kicking in.
That's the main difference between this and standard Prius.
The ride quality seems about the same.
I thought it was harsher when I first was driving the car.
Today, I don't think, not noticeably so anyway.
But you're CNET EV mode light there on the eyebrow dash on all the time instead of for half a mile or quarter mile ago.
And you can get into the throttle and it doesn't kick into the gas engine.
It stays electric.
Drive it relatively short distances and you may not even know what a gas station is in a few years.
I'm Brian Cooley and I hope you're enjoying this special year end edition of CNET on cars counting up the five highest rated cars we tested all year long.
Now, before I move on to number 3, 2 and 1, let's talk about the tires on all the cars I'm showing you here.
They are high tech parts from the high speed Z-rated boots you'd find on that Panamera to low rolling resistance tires you'd find in a car like a Prius.
A run flat tires like you're gonna see on one of the cars a little later in our list.
Tires are tech, but you can't buy the right ones if you don't know what the side walls tell you and that's of great interest.
To the smarter driver.
The first thing you usually look at on a car tire is sort of the basic shape and size of it.
And that's this big line right here P175/65R14.
P means for a passenger car.
LT is light truck.
T is temporary, and ST is for a trailer.
Now, 175 is the width of the tire.
That's when it's mounted and inflated measured side wall to side wall in millimeters divide by 25.4 to get inches if you care.
The higher the number here, the wider the tires contact patch on the road, which should give you more lateral grip for cornering and look great,
but wider tires may reduce your MPG a bit by their greater frontal area which can create more wind resistance or by weighing more as well.
Now, 65 is your aspect ratio after the slash.
That's the ratio of height to width.
This tire is 65 high as it is wide.
The lower that number is, the more you've got one of those cool looking low wide tires.
Those are also great for sidewall stiffness, and let's face it, great aesthetics these days.
But you tend to get a harsher ride and very
low profile tires like 45s are very unforgiving of potholes.
R means radial just about every car tires are radial these days unless you've got a really old classic car and you put bias plies on in, but that's really rare.
Fourteen is the diameter of wheel that mounts on.
That's the size of this hole right here, and let's move over here, you'll find this sort of service rating.
Yeah, 81S, 81 is a load rating.
There's no real easy way to memorize.
You can go look it up anywhere on the web.
The S is your speed rating,
the speed at which the tire is designed to run consistently without flying apart.
S is only 812 miles per hour sustained.
They go way up from there to speeds and only super cars can do.
Now remember that whole Firestone-Ford debacle with tires blowing out and SUVs rolling over, ever since then the DOT Depart of Transportation has been pretty cagey about making sure tires are tracked and recallable.
Hence this number, DOT and then a bunch of gobbledygook after that.
This is your DOT batch and lot number.
You're gonna wanna use that later and the last set of numbers through these for the coming after it, like on this car it's 3410.
That's your manufacturing date, your freshness date.
This tire was made the 34 week of 2010.
The older tires before July or so of 2000, only had a 3-digit code.
In that case, it doesn't matter what the code is because there too old and you should probably replace them.
Average shelf life on a tire is generally thought to be 6 to 10 years no matter what you drive because sun, UV, and ozone
cause the rubber to disintegrate just by sitting.
Now, some of the old school data is spelled out the most clearly.
Tread wear, traction, and temperature in grades.
The thread wear is actually index number based on 100 as an average tire.
Traction is either double A to Z. This one is an A, so it's pretty good.
And temperatures A, B or C. Again, this is a midrange tire.
It gets a B. Tread wear is not something you really are gonna figure out from number though.
You're gonna wanna know what this thing is warranted for when you buy it.
That's where the rubber hits the road if you will.
And in terms of tread wear, there are a couple of ways to measure that.
There wear bars.
You see this right there, when those are flushed with the top that tread, your tire is done.
You're too low.
The old Lincoln penny thing still works also.
You can see all of this hair, your tire is worn out.
Now, here are a couple of good ones I get a lot of questions on, the colored dots on tires.
Here's this yellow one here.
When the manufacturer made this tire, they spun it, measured it, and this is actually the light spot.
No tire is perfect.
It's a little lighter here
than anywhere else around the circumference this can be useful when it's being mounted to a wheel in a way that will cancel that out.
This dot here.
It's on this tire.
Sometimes it's red.
That's the high spot.
No tire is perfectly round.
This is where it's a little bit higher around the circumference than anywhere else on the tire.
That can also be mounted to the wheel at its low spot and cancel out the irregularities.
Good to know if if you wanna get your tires mounted really well.
Tell the tire guys.
They know about this, and by the way these colored dots and making them on the wheel properly
is especially important on low profile tire because as a I mentioned, they are pretty unforgiving in terms of imperfections.
That's when you really wanna get these lined up ideally.
And the thing you'll deal with the most on a tire or you should kind of like flossing is checking your pressure.
It's like backing up a hard drive.
We don't do that either, but you should.
Ignore this number, maximum pressure 44 psi.
That's not the pressure to inflate the tire too.
That is set by the manufacturer.
You'll find that sticker on your car.
Okay, we're about to get back into our count up.
Car number three of all the ones we tested this entire year is coming up next and it might really earn number one for being the hottest looking.
That as CNET on cars continues.
Welcome back to CNET on cars, our year end special.
I'm Brian Cooley
counting up the five cars that did CNET style the best got the highest scores in our ratings all year long.
Number three is perhaps the only car in our list that I think.
It would still sell even if it didn't run.
That's how good an Audi S5 looks, and it's absolutely top of the pack in tech as well.
Now, I don't know about you, but I was long laboring under the mistaken impression that an Audi 5 was a big brother to an Audi 4. It's actually
at least in the current incarnation, the little brother.
It's one to three inches smaller in every direction especially length and wheelbase.
It's also a sub compact.
An A4 is a compact.
It's a whole bigger size class.
They call this the practical executive coupe, but the executives in the back going to be on neutral systems and to be practical you got to go to Europe and import your own five door hatchback model, which they don't sell there.
Now story inside this S five is high tech, but less.
You can't get everything Audi offers here.
There's is no head up display available.
There's no handwriting pad available.
You're gonna use the traditional MMI with the rolling-scrolling wheel, a little kick around knob.
and the four zone buttons around it as well as its dedicated controls.
The main technology pleaser in this car leaves behind this door.
You've got a SIM card there.
That means this car has its own three G connection.
It doesn't need to be connected to your phone at all.
That powers things like that.
You're looking at a map with the usual traffic and streets, but notice,
you've got Google Earth satellite imagery.
Nobody else does this like this.
You can also use this guy as a Wi-Fi hot spot.
So that same 3G connections powering the head unit can also power up to eight connected devices-- your tablet, your laptop.
That's slicing the onion too thin.
The 3G connection is just enough to run what's happening here.
You use the hot spot on your phone for everything else.
Now, it's 3G not free G, so after a 6-month trial period on a new car, you're gonna pay 30 bucks a month
for that Audi T-Mobile hot spot connection, to two gigabyte plan.
After that you're gonna get throttled but, they still call it unlimited.
Okay, now, your media sources aside from radio are pretty rich.
Jukebox refers to 20 gigabytes of space on the car's hard drive, useless.
Here's my SD card.
I've got two slots for those.
My IOS device iPod, iPhone that goes in here on this MI connector cable, Bluetooth streaming as well as Bluetooth hands free, and this is your Wi-Fi streaming position.
If you wanna play media
from a Wi-Fi device on the hot spot that won't work, you'd go there.
Our cars loaded up with a Bang & Olufsen sound system, but unlike some, this one doesn't cost 4,000, 5,000 or 6000 dollars.
It's under a grand.
And what you really get here aside the usual bass, treble, balance pattern is some Bang & Olufsen DSP.
This system sounds good especially any reasonable price but like all systems it can't do a damn thing for a low bit rate MP3s or satellite radio.
These cars are all Quattro all-wheel drive by the way.
Here's our shifter.
In this case, we have a seven speed dual clutch automated annual that behaves a lot like an automatic, bring it down to drive.
Go over here for a more stick shifting situation.
That means when you input a gear on the paddles, it's gonna stick with gear.
This Audi drive select button lets you pick one of four drive personalities.
So you've got dynamic, you sportiest.
Individual, you can set each perimeter yourself on the screen.
Comfort is gonna be your most leisurely obviously.
And automatic will adapt as you drive.
-The parameters to effect with these are your steering response, electric power steering.
How responsive is it was the ratio.
You affect your throttle mapping how much one can get for centimeter pedal travel and it also affects your shift.
Okay in the engine bay as I mentioned, no more V8 available.
That 4.2 is gone at least in the U.S. We get a 3 liter supercharged, V6, with direct injection.
All the latest tech is here, and numbers ferret out pretty well,
333 horsepower to this guy, 325 foot-pounds of torque.
Nice high torque number relative to the horses.
That's a Turbo thing.
Zero to sixty and -- roughly 3900 pound car is under 5 seconds, about 4.9, but respectable while delivering 1828 MPG with the sequential gearbox.
If you go for that 6-speed manual, it drops down the 1726 and of course all these S5's are Quattro.
Every time I get and I'm always taken by one thing first and foremost they're so damn smooth.
The engine is like vibration free.
The suspensions are always very compliant even though sporty.
These are nicely engineered cars.
That said, the big story here is how is this V6 since you can't get the V8 anymore.
The power is either really good or flat footed depending on how the whole rest of the power train is driving.
So sometimes I got a great ump from a thousand rpm on up.
you got to cook it up to about three grand to get much out of it.
What I find really is the big issue here is what state the gearbox is in.
7-speed, that means when this guy is hunting seventh all the time as all cars do now until they game the EPA numbers.
You've got a lot gear.
you've got to dig out from under.
When you want to get acceleration from seventh to like fourth or third when you step on by the time the gearbox works its way up there, that hole up there in the lane you're trying to get is probably gone.
It doesn't happen a lot but the car does get kind of buried in high mileage high, high gearing situations once in awhile.
Going to sport certainly helps.
Mashing your own gears and a paddle certainly helps, but that's also kind of annoying in everyday driving.
Now, when it does get this sweet spot, it's really sweet.
This guy has really roady note when you really get into it.
By the way, if you love that Audi S5, but want something that will do a little bit better in the mud, you might wanna look our review of the Audi all road, which was relaunched, and we like that one on a lot in 2012, same cabin tech or ground clearance.
That's kind of a simple way to put it.
If you like high tech wagons, for me, it's a good choice.
Now, let's get to number 2, another hybrid but this one's got a very different mission than that Prius we saw earlier.
You see Lexus uses hybrid technology as much
for get up and go as it does for getting away from gas stations.
Now, we're okay with that.
-And the elephant in the room of the cabin of Lexus is its big screen, that's a 12.3-inch LCD.
Most of the time the screen as a split, it shows a map or whatever the main function is.
On the left side-- on the right side, you get this small smaller axillary auxiliary screen, which shows you may be the music that's playing right now or its also get this energy monitor
for your trip information and the control stuff on this screen with this little controller right here, which I think it should have a more solid feel, given that this is a pretty high-end car and also it's sometimes hard to hit the buttons on the screen and really hit the mark you want, but another way to control this the and voice command, and this car has excellent voice command.
So, if I just the button on the steering wheel.
-After the beat, say a short cut menu command.
-Play artist Fleetwood Mac.
But we also have the Lexus and form system here, and that's very similar to Toyota and tune system.
So what that is that's Lexus is integration strategy.
The important app is running on my iPhone.
And that's that paired to car that work Bluetooth pair, that will also work if it's cabled into the car, so I've got my app screen launch here, and I've got apps like Pandora, Open Table, Yelp, and I've also got Bing search
And the cool thing about Bing is that also can do voice search with it.
I can't actually use the voice command button on the steering wheel.
I have to go to this little microphone icon on the screen.
And I've got a list of the results, get hamburger result with the controller here.
And so I've got and In-N-Out burger, hit the result for that, an I get an icon for the map, so I can just program that right in as a I'm going.
Now, also on this console we've got the dial here below the shifter.
That puts the car in a different drive modes.
We've got Eco to the left.
This will be de-tune the gas pedal and just you know frustrate the heck out of you when wanna actually get going.
You can turn it to the right, and you get in this sport mode.
This tunes the transmission to keep the revs up higher and keep power up all the time, then you can turn it once more to the right, and you get the sport plus mode.
Sport plus actually retains that transmission profile
And it also changes the suspension.
It actually dials in a more rigid suspension.
So, with the hybrid system, what they actually do they they start out with the 3.5 liter V6.
It's got direct injection and port injection which is a little weird.
The reason why they do that is port injection is quieter and so it uses port injection when the engine is running at slower speed because the direct injection which is lot more efficient when it's running at higher speeds.
So it's fast and it gets great fuel economy.
I mean what more could you want.
As a full hybrid, Lexus GS450h will turn off its engine when I stop at the light.
If I let my foot off the breaks, start creeping forward.
It will move forward under electric power.
What I find with this car, it's really too heavy to stay in EV mode for a long time.
If you wanna get out of people's away from behind, you really need to push that accelerator
and which will kick the engine.
You know there's really no getting around that, but I also find is that, you know, you can get moving and with the engine going, then just your kind of a cruising speed, lift off the accelerator really quick, little-- and usually the engine will cut off if you're at speed like under 35 miles per hour, and then you can get going.
Now, we're in a little bit of rough road right now and I can feel the-- a fairly rigid suspension
and this is change Lexus is made from the old days of old sort of grandpa cars with soft suspensions.
They made the suspension more rigid to help handling and that leads to, you know, maybe a little more bumps, but it handles it pretty confidently when you put it in a sport plus plus mode.
It actually tightens up that suspension, and that makes handle actually surprisingly well.
And that hybrid power train actually gives little a lot more power than a standard V6 car.
You get that 0 to 60 and I think there is a 5.6 seconds
point six seconds which is not bad at all.
The Lexus GS480h is just for $58,950.
With this car, we also have blind spot monitor that's 500 dollars and get that.
We also have this luxury package, which is $5,200 and includes acceptable trim elements and nice that little gimmicks here and there.
You could get that or not.
Nothing really essential there.
And the navigation system
with that 12.3 in the screen goes for 1735.
That's essentially you wanna get that.
The GS450h hits a lot of high points in tech.
That hybrid system gets great power and fuel economy.
The adaptive suspension gives great handling.
And it's got app integration with all those other.
Cabin tech features.
It's all around a great tech car and I have no problem giving it an editors' choice.
-Now if you like that GS a lot,
but you're not of the market for a hybrid or the attendant cost penalty that goes with it.
Check out that car's little brother the 2013 GS350, non-hybrid, outstanding car as well, and it shares that huge 12.3-inch dash mounted LCD, another hot ticket.
When we come back, we're gonna get to the real hot ticket of the show, the number one car in terms of CNET score all year.
And it's not number one buy on those, it blew the field away.
That's coming up as CNET on cars continues.
Welcome back to CNET on cars the year end count up.
I'm Brian Cooley bringing you the five cars that scored the absolute best all year long in CNET review ratings and that brings us the number one.
A car that scored so high, there really wasn't anyone near it even at number two.
In fact, I recall, the CNET car tech team came together after we all drove this car will and we all looked around and said, okay what did you like about it, and every one of us said, "I got nothing that never happens." The Gran Coupe joins Audi A7, Mercedes CLS, Porsche Panamera,
and even a jagged on a VW, an answering baby boomers who want a fast back roof line without splitting their trousers getting in the back, hence, the 4-door coupe.
Inside no surprises here BMW's standard an excellent tech.
Including HD radio Bluetooth streaming and a hard drive for media storage.
There's Google connected nav with search on are really wide screen front wall like cams go with the standard rear cam optionally and banging all apps audio brings you
this pop up acoustic dispersion lens, but that package is 3,700 bucks.
For a scant 250 almost nothing in BMW terms you can get on screen Facebook and Twitter support but through your iPhone only.
This first model, the 640, has one powertrain choice.
BMW is well known 3 liter inline six with the twin scroll Turbo delivering 315 horsepower and 330 foot pounds of torque.
That moves this 4,200 pound car to 60
in about 5.4 seconds while delivering quite respectable 20/30 MPG.
Your only choice in the transmission of an 8-speed automatic and the only place to put the power is the rear wheels.
So, BMW promises a model that uses all 4 parts soon.
Okay, let's for a ride in our Gran Coupe.
Remember, it's a 640 i powertrain.
We've seen this before.
This is nothing new.
It's a great motor.
Move a little bit bigger car a longer little more on the hook,
but can really feel the fact you've got rear wheel drive steering with the accelerator is not difficult at all.
The car feels-- it feels its weight.
[unk] of the car that feels like it's gonna fool you there's a big car, but a very capable big guy.
This BMW 8 speed is gonna make some people blanche, but from 95% of buyers even those who are gonna press this car a bit like we're doing today, it's a good gearbox.
It really has good quick shifts and that great tractability you want in every day driving.
It's a nice blend.
And of course being a BMW feels like a bank vault dial together, but that's what you'd expect at this price point and from this company.
Notice, we got the 4 BMW drive modes here that are little different on this car.
If you go all the way down, you get to Eco Pro, really dials off the responsiveness and maximizes your economy.
And then you get into comfort plus comfort, and then you get your sport setting your soul sport setting on this car, which is sport plus, and it also turns off your traction control.
And once we do that, really do have some fun here in these corners.
Now by the way the Tesla Model S came in at the very end of the year with the same high score and editors' choice rating as that BMW.
It's an outstanding high tech car, but EVs are still very, very niche, so I give it an honorary mention here at the top of the list and look forward to monitoring electric vehicle adoption in the years ahead.
So, there they are five outstanding cars.
If you've got a five car garage I think I just give you your shopping list.
But you know they were so different and yet they have certain things in common.
To my mind, first of all, they all set out to do something and executed well.
Secondly, they all have really good and really useful cabins tech.
And third they're all fun to drive in their own way.
Car makers take note, we just gave you the road map to great products.
I'm Brian Cooley thanks for watching this episode and all the CNET on car shows.
If you wanna catch up on you've missed,
go to CNEToncars.com.
We'll see you next time we check the tech.
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