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AutoInfluence’s Best New Cars of 2016

Cruze-2

2016 is quickly approaching, and that means a plethora of new vehicles will be appearing on your local car dealer’s lots. It’s not particularly easy to rank the newest cars of a specific class, especially since some of the vehicle’s haven’t even been reviewed yet. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Chevy leads the list below, featuring multiple cars that earned our “best of” awards. The next time you decide to go shopping for cars, stop in to your local Lexington, Kentucky Chevrolet dealer, where you’ll be able to find many of the cars below…

Compact Car – Chevy Cruze

Cruze

The Cruze may not necessarily lead the pack of compact cars in any one spec, but it’s consistency across the board earns it the top spot. The best-selling model in the Chevy brand, the 2016 Cruze continues to impress, improving on the areas that needed some modifications, but leaving us with the best attributes of the vehicle.

The new D2 front-drive architecture results in a must sleeker and lighter design, as the Cruze has dropped 250 pounds from the 2015 model. Chevy didn’t stop there, as the interior’s been redone as well. There’s a new seven-inch MyLink touch-screen display, which is compatible with Apple and Android phones. There’s also the inclusion of 4G LTE, meaning you can always take work with you without worrying about internet.

We know that the tank can hold 15.6 gallons, allowing for up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The standard 1.4L turbo engine should present an improvement over last year’s engine, which was capable of producing 138 horsepower and 148 ft-lbs of torque.

Mid-Size – Chevy Malibu

Malibu

The 2016 Malibu features some changes across the board, including the inclusion of the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, capable of producing 160 horsepower (or if you’d prefer, you can opt for the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, capable of producing 250 horsepower). Considering all this power, it’s impressive that Chevy still managed to improve the fuel economy, as the car should return 27/37 mpg city/highway.

The interior is just as luxurious as the past, boasting plenty of features. The six-speaker audio system supplements the eight-inch MyLink Infotainment system, and there’s also the option for ventilated front seats, navigation, adaptive cruise control, and a new Teen Driver system, which keeps a driver focused on the road.

Last year’s Malibu was praised for it’s price. This year’s Malibu will mostly be praised for it’s price, but it’ll also be remembered for it’s changes and impressive specs.

Full-Size – Cadillac CT6

2016 Cadillac CT6

Cadillac promised a return to the “old-world, full-size Cadillac luxury” car (as described by Edmunds.com), and they’ve certainly delivered with the CT6.

The exterior and interior resemble your typical Cadillac, as leather, wood and aluminum covers the cabin. There’s still the “low-slung, long-wheelbase” body, but the familiar design hides a new GM chassis, intended to be used in future luxury cars.

There are plenty of other additions, including the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, capable of producing 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. They’ve added a rearview mirror (that utilizes video images), as well as an incredible 34-speaker Bose audio system.

Crossover SUV – Mazda CX-3

CX3

As you may have heard, Mazda essentially combined their crossover and hatchback. The result? The CX-3, of course! As Edmunds.com describes, the company essentially made a shorter, smaller version of the CX-5 crossover.

The car will feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which should result in 146 horsepower and 146 pounds-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive capabilities come standard, and the car is expected to return 29/35 mpg city/highway.

The SUV comes in a variety of trims, including Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Each offer their own specific features or capabilities, including 16-to-18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, LED headlights, and so much more.

The spec that will put the vehicle over the top is it’s estimated $20,000 price tag, which will rival any other crossover SUV on the market.

Mid to Full-Size SUV – Honda Pilot

Pilot

There are some attributes of an SUV that you expect to accompany a new vehicle, particularly a roomy interior. There are also attributes that you don’t always expect to accompany a new vehicle, like impressive fuel efficiency. That’s what makes the Honda Pilot so good: it combines the expected with the unexpected.

The interior, specially the rear seats, are as roomy as you’d expect, as there’s 38.4 inches of rear leg room and 62 inches of rear shoulder room. This makes for an expectedly comfortable ride. The vehicle’s all-wheel-drive capabilities makes it a powerful and reliable mode of transportation, and you can expect to be safe with all of the included safety features.

Perhaps most impressive of the Pilot’s details is it’s fuel efficiency. The car is expected to travel 20/27 mpg city/highway, and the range is roughly 390 miles city and 526.5 miles highway. The car has a max fuel tank capacity of 19.5 gallons.

Performance Car – Ford Focus RS

Focus

Perhaps one of the fastest cars on this list, the Focus RS combined it’s all-wheel-drive system with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. The result? 345 horsepower, 325 lb-ft of torque, and an estimated sub-five second 0-60 time.

The company also remodeled the exterior, claiming that the new body shape will deliver “downforce as well as visual aggression,” making for an equally-stylish, more-powerful vehicle.

What makes the car even more desiring is the fact that it’s finally coming to the United States. The first two generations of the RS primarily sold in Europe, but the 2016 model will be sold globally.

Sports Car – Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 has always prided itself on being an enjoyable, fun car. That will surely be the case again in 2016, as the car is expected to deliver 155 horsepower, 148 ft-lbs of torque, and a 5.9-second 0-60 time. A new powertrain will only increase the amount of enjoyment you can get from the MX-5.

The Skyactiv fuel-efficiency technology comes through again, as the car is estimated to provide 27/34 mpg city/highway, and a 321.3/404.6 mile city/highway range. Part of the reason for these impressive specs is the inclusion of a stiffer chassis, putting less weight on the car.

Best of all? The car is very affordable (for a sports car). The $25,735 MSRP makes it one of the best buys among the class of cars.

Exotic Car – 2016 Koenigsegg Regera

Koenig

This is without a doubt the most innovative car to make this list. By combining a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine with three electric motors, Koenigsegg has managed to produce a car that is capable of 489 horsepower. The 0-249mph time is less than 20 seconds, and Mike Duff of CarAndDriver.com claims it’s the fastest-accelerating car in the world.

Company founder Christian von Koenigsegg was thrilled with the outcome of his car (via Duff):

“This is of course very different to what people are used to in sports cars,” admitted company founder Christian von Koenigsegg, adding, “It’s nice to shift down, hear the engine howl and then shoot off. However, given the massive electrical support and the power of the internal-combustion engine over 2500 rpm, the experience is otherworldly. At low rpm, the engine will still feel truly monstrous as the combined torque is unbelievable. The fun of shifting down and planning for the acceleration is quickly forgotten and not missed. It needs to be experienced.”

The one downside? The $1,890,000 starting price. Although, For everything included in the total package, that’s really not the worst deal.

 

It’s never easy to pick out the “best of” in a particular class, especially when there are so many heavy hitters. We certainly tried our best, though, and hopefully you’ll use the list above as a basis for your next car purchase.

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