2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Initially designed to replace the boxy, dated, but still rugged G-Class sports utility vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class takes on an entirely different role in the Mercedes-Benz lineup by taking on the Cadillac Escalade, Audi Q7 and Lexus GX470.

The GL-Class is essentially a stretched and somewhat squared off version of the smaller ML-Class vehicles. They share the ML's fully independent suspension, unibody construction and some powertrain choices.

A recent facelift for the GL-class resulted in redesigned bumpers, front grille, faux skid plates and LED tail lamps pair up with revised alloy wheels in 19 to 21-inch diameters, depending on trim and equipment levels.

The GL receives Mercedes' PRE-SAFE system, which prepares the vehicle and occupants for an impending collision.
In the interior the driver and passengers are able to enjoy even more generous appointments. Fine details and high-grade technology raise both visual appeal and comfort to a new level. Further highlights are provided by stylish yet functional ambient lighting, as well as chrome highlights on the frame and selector lever cover, seat adjustment controls and the loudspeakers in the front doors. Another eye-catching detail is the chrome luggage compartment sill panel with "Mercedes-Benz" lettering.

For the GL320 CDI and GL450, major options include a Harman-Kardon audio system, xenon headlamps, a heated steering wheel and rear seats, and a premium package with front-and-rear obstacle detection, navigation, power telescoping steering wheel, memory seats and mirrors and a power liftgate. A sunroof and full leather upholstery are also available.

Making the GL more capable when the pavement ends is an Off-Road package, which includes a two speed transfer case, locking center and rear differentials, a roof rack, skidplates and a height-adjustable air suspension.

Outstandingly high seating comfort is assured by the multicontour front seats in black leather with seat climatisation. These offer first-class comfort on long journeys, even in mid-summer temperatures. They are accompanied by burr walnut wood trim, and the same, high-grade wood plus leather adorns the steering wheel and selector lever.

Leather upholstery is complemented by burl walnut or maple wood trim. Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, power windows and locks, DVD navigation, power front seats with three-position memory, and rear parking assistance.

    *Standard "mbrace" telematics system
    *Alcantara leather headliner in G55 AMG
    *Rear-passenger reading lamps
    *Optional HD radio and Sirius Real-Time Traffic
    *Ambient lighting is standard
    *Leather dashboard
Externally Mercedes-Benz has significantly upgraded the "BA3 Final Edition". AMG flared wheel arches in the vehicle colour, in combination with 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels and tyre size 265/60 R 18, underline the striking appearance of the special model. Running boards and a spare wheel cover with a 3D Mercedes-Benz star in stainless steel, as well as an AMG radiator grille in a 3-louvre design with chrome highlights, emphasise its exceptional position in the range. Standard features also include an electric sliding/tilting sunroof, metallic paintwork, rear mudflaps, carbon-fibre look inserts in the protective strips, an ultrasonic reversing aid and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The GL550 adds 21-inch wheels, special running boards and nearly all of the available features as standard to the mix. The only factory options on the GL550 of note include KeylessGo and a rear seat entertainment system.

This distinctive SUV's strictly utilitarian appearance is somewhat softened by body-colored bumpers and rocker panels, plus a stainless steel spare-tire cover.

    *New 18-inch twin five-spoke wheels (G550)
    *Spare wheel cover
    *Body-colored door handles
Standard on the GL320 CDI is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine that puts out 210 horsepower and an impressive 400 lb-ft. of torque, the highest of any GL model. Though not certified for sale in states that follow California or Northeast emissions rules in the United States, the GL320 CDI is available elsewhere, where buyers will discover 23 MPG fuel economy on the highway and effortless power around town while obtaining 17 miles per gallon. That performance is due in part to a seven-speed automatic transmission, which is standard on all GL-Class models.

At $1,000 higher than the GL320 CDI's base price of $59,950 is the GL450. Motivated by a 4.6-liter, 335 horsepower, 339 lb-ft. of torque V8, the GL450 is otherwise identical to its diesel brother.

Topping the range is the new-for-2008 GL550, which features a 382 horsepower, 5.5 liter V8. Though its 391 lb-ft. of torque isn't quite up to the GL320 CDI standards, the GL550 moves with authority at all speeds. Both the GL450 and GL550 are rated at 13 and 17 mpg in the city and highway, according to the EPA.
Outstandingly high seating comfort is assured by the multicontour front seats in black leather with seat climatisation. These offer first-class comfort on long journeys, even in mid-summer temperatures. They are accompanied by burr walnut wood trim, and the same, high-grade wood plus leather adorns the steering wheel and selector lever.

Standard equipment also includes a convenience telephony system in the armrest, with a universal interface for various mobile phone cradles, extended telephone functions, a charging function and an external aerial for optimum reception. Useful accessories include rubber mats for the footwells and load compartment, as well as a load compartment cover including additional stowage boxes.

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
At the launch of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-class convertible, the German carmaker brought along some classics from its past. We were thus reminded that golden oldies such as the 1971 280SE 3.5 were great four-place convertibles that could be hustled at reasonable speeds but couldn’t be considered sports cars.

It was a smart move, because the new E-class convertible isn’t sporty like the droptop versions of the BMW 3-series or Infiniti G37. Instead, it’s a beautifully made, solid cruiser that has space for four, drives well, is quick, and has some style.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a cabin done in a style that is meant to recall solid, dependable Mercedes from the past. Angles are sharp, the materials first-rate and the look is decidedly somber, especially when adorned in monotone color schemes and dark wood trim -- very German, in other words. The general design is the same regardless of body style, except for the available three-spoke sport steering wheel and electric gear selector (column-mounted in the sedan and wagon; console-mounted in the coupe, convertible and AMG).

All E-Class models come with Mercedes' COMAND electronics interface, which combines a large display screen, a control knob and dash-mounted buttons. There's a bit of a learning curve involved, but it's generally neither better nor worse than similar systems from Audi or BMW.

In terms of space and comfort, the E-Class sedan, convertible and wagon are excellent. The seats are firm, but offer endless comfort and support over the long haul. The coupe and AMG models feature sport seats that offer a closer fit, designed to keep you in place through turns. The sedan's backseat is quite spacious, matching the BMW 5 Series as the most welcoming rear quarters in the midsize luxury class. With the wagon, you get a generous 57 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity, and a rear-facing third-row seat. The convertible offers comfortable seating for four, provided rear passengers are about 5-feet-9 or less, and its cabin is one of the most serene of any convertible due to its AirCap system. In the coupe, the rear seat's legroom is about the same as in most luxury two-doors, but headroom is limited.
A Classic Formula

The E-class cabriolet doesn’t feature a folding hardtop, using instead a traditional cloth roof that’s nearly an inch thick. The top is sealed well and seemed to be nearly as quiet at highway speeds as a metal roof. It takes about 20 seconds to furl and unfurl, with another five seconds added for all four windows to chug up or down. One benefit of the cloth top is that it allows for decent trunk space: 11 cubic feet with the top down and 14 with it up. That’s a great deal more commodious than the trunks of folding-hardtop convertibles when their tops are lowered.

Although the car looks like an E-class sedan with the roof removed, down to the gawky crease over the rear fender, it’s dimensionally closer to the C-class. (Remember, the E-class coupe and convertible effectively replace the old CLK-class lineup.) The wheelbase is 106.9 inches, which is about two inches shorter than the C-class sedan’s and 6.2 inches shorter than that of the four-door E-class. Although the wheelbase is slightly shorter than the cozy BMW 3-series convertible’s, the rear compartment is spacious enough for two full-size adults to hang out and enjoy an alfresco automotive experience.

Gadgets Galore

To make the experience a bit less breezy back there, Mercedes has introduced a gizmo on the E-class called Aircap. This is a retractable spoiler that’s mounted on top of the windshield, intended to divert air over the passenger compartment. It doesn’t have any effect on tonsorial elegance with the side windows down, but with them raised, there was notably less wind whip at speeds up to 50 mph. Aircap, which is standard on all E cabrios, looks a bit dorky when deployed, but you don’t have to look at it while you’re driving, only enjoy its benefits. Mercedes also makes its Airscarf heating system available on the E-class cabrio; it wafts warm (or cold) air around front occupants’ heads and necks via vents embedded in the headrests.

As one would expect with a Mercedes, the car has airbags up the wazoo—no fewer than seven standard, with rear side bags on the options list. The body structure has been reinforced under the floor and behind the rear seats to recover some of the rigidity that’s lost without a fixed roof. The windshield surrounds have been beefed up. Mercedes also fits two hefty, 1.4-inch-diameter tubular roll bars under the rear headrests that pop up in the event of a rollover.
Engine performance and fuel economy has been improved, starting from the base model up. As before, the E350 offers 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the V8 E500 cranks out 382 hp at 6000 rpm and 391 lb-ft between 2800 and 4800 rpm. Both models will be offered with all-wheel-drive. Customers can also chose between the the six-cylinder E 350 CDI with an output of 241 horsepower and an even more efficient E350 BlueTEC, developing 211 horsepower and meeting EU6 exhaust emission standards planned for 2014. All the other engine variants in the new E-Class meet the EU5 limits.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, front pelvic airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.

Also standard is Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness and alerting monitor) and PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants). The Driver Assistance package adds a blind-spot warning system, a lane departure warning/correction system and PreSafe braking. Rear side airbags are optional on the sedan, coupe and convertible, while an infrared night vision system is optional on the sedan and wagon.

In government crash testing, the E-Class sedan earned a solid four stars and a perfect five stars for frontal- and side-impact protection, respectively. The sedan also got a "Good" rating -- the highest available -- in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
With stylish, eye-catching design, exclusive appointments and cutting-edge technology, the extensively updated 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class underscores its flagship position in the world of refined automobiles. Powered by a new 429-hp V8 biturbo engine which achieves a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy and 23% improvement in CO2 emissions, the CL550 4MATIC opens a new dimension of efficiency in the luxury coupe segment. This significant reduction is achieved thanks to the newly-developed BlueDIRECT technology with third-generation spray-guided direct injection, energy-efficient control of alternator, fuel pump, air-conditioning compressor and power-assisted steering system. It also features the use of low rolling resistance tires and, on the CL600, the energy-optimized Active Body Control system. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz developers equipped the CL-Class with state-of-the-art multimedia technology, thus helping this model retain its position as the epitome of quality in its class. The MY2011 CL-Class will make its U.S. debut in Autumn of 2010.

With the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Mercedes-Benz is emphasizing fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions in this exclusive high-end segment. According to Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG: "The CL is the ideal ambassador for our brand. It combines in a particular degree those things that characterize Mercedes-Benz: fascination, perfection and responsibility. And with the new generation we have gone a step further, too - especially in the realm of efficiency. But in terms of design, safety, comfort and output, too - the CL shows the way forward: simply follow Mercedes."

In the realm of safety, a combination of cutting-edge camera and radar-based assistance systems - unique in the luxury coupe segment - including the innovation of the Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist systems, makes the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class a "thinking" partner of the driver. The modified Active Body Control (ABC) with crosswind stabilization system and the Direct-Steer system also contribute to enhancing safety and driving enjoyment.
In line with its serene character and sophisticated technology, the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class also sets standards for onboard infotainment. The latest innovation, SPLITVIEW technology, is optionally available for the COMAND system centrally located in the center console. This innovative display concept allows the driver and front passenger to view different contents simultaneously on the same screen. For example, while the driver uses the map-based navigation system, the front passenger can watch a DVD.

The standard COMAND control and display system with Bluetooth®, USB and SD card interfaces offers customers the possibility of exporting their stored data to other vehicles and multimedia devices. It is also possible to transfer and update navigation data. Mercedes-Benz integrates the Media Interface - an interface for mobile audio and video devices - via an auxiliary cable located in the glovebox. Standard audio equipment also includes radio, a 6-disc CD/DVD player with MP3 function, an equalizer with speed-dependent volume control and the 7.2 GB MUSIC REGISTER which stores around 2,500 digital music files in MP3, AAC or WMA format. The system recognizes music files played on CD, DVD or from the MUSIC REGISTER using its stored Gracenote® database, and shows the title, album and performer in the color display. The new Music Search function enables passengers to search SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music titles and performers.

The standard Navigation system features a nationwide map system stored on a 40-Gigabyte hard disk, enabling extremely rapid route calculation. Another factor contributing to a high level of navigation ease is the detailed 3-D map display with SIRIUS real-time traffic information.

The standard Voice Control system allows the driver to operate the navigation, telephone and audio devices via whole-word input -- meaning the driver no longer needs to spell out his commands but simply speaks whole words when entering the destination, choosing a radio station or a music title from the Music Register, or when calling up a name from the phone book.

Co-developed by Mercedes-Benz and Harman Kardon® surround sound system with Discrete Logic7® technology delivers an outstanding performance with three-dimensional sound.
More aggressive both front and rear, the CLS is considerably more styled than its rather understated predecessor as Mercedes-Benz continues to hone the modern four-door coupe segment it essentially invented.

From the rear, we can easily see the automaker’s Bentley-esque rear "hips" that take the E-Class sedan’s look to a whole new level. A much flashier pair of tailights adorn the rear as well.

Up front, Mercedes-Benz opted for full LED headlamps, the world’s first to offer the full range of turn signals, running lamps, low- and high-beam functions purely from LEDs. The advantage of LEDs comes in the form of reduced energy consumption and longer bulb life.

Inside, the all-new CLS gains a more wrap-around-style dashboard with more innovative and upscale materials before. Matte galvanized trim surrounds the air vents, while hand-sewn leather wraps the dashboard.

More important to the CLS’s saucy mission is that it will look even more like an actual coupe—in particular, the none-too-ugly-itself CL-class (which will be known as the S-class coupe in its next iteration). Specific changes, particularly easy to spot in one shot thanks to Mercedes parking a current-gen CLS right next to the slightly camo’d one for comparison, include a much broader, wider grille; subdued L-shaped headlights; and a more sculpted front bumper. The roofline and banana-shaped body are both similar to those of the current model, although some musculature around the rear wheels seems to have developed in the transition. As for the back end, it will likely be tough to distinguish it from that of the current car.
As with the current model, which was basically an E-class sedan underneath, we expect the new CLS to share powertrain choices with the more staid sedan, including its 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8. The inevitable AMG model will be powered by either the ubiquitous 518-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 or a turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8—the latter of which Mercedes is already testing—and we anticipate the CLS AMG will adopt the E63’s chassis upgrades and quick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission. Expect slightly more sporting characteristics across the board than the corresponding E-class and, alas, higher price tags to boot.
Tradition: an exclusive line of ancestors

The new generation CL-Class continues the great tradition of Mercedes-Benz coupes, which reaches back to the legendary supercharged cars of the 1920s and '30s. Since the 1950s Mercedes-Benz has produced an uninterrupted series of exclusive two-door cars which combine sophisticated design with trailblazing technology - every model an automotive classic. The W 188 model series 300 S Coupé - which entered series production in 1952 - marked the beginning. A contemporary report called it the "measure of what it is possible to achieve in automotive engineering".

This statement has remained true for all subsequent models, right down to the current Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, because the luxury coupes from Mercedes-Benz featured - apart from their timeless design and the highest level of comfort - trailblazing innovations in automotive technology. Thus it was that in 1961 the 220 SE Coupé was the first series-production Mercedes-Benz to be equipped with disc brakes. In 1995 the ESP Electronic Stability Program celebrated its world premiere in the S 600 Coupé of the C140 model series, and in 1999 the Active Body Control suspension system was introduced for the first time in the C215 model series CL-Class. The technological innovation PRE-SAFE® brake made its debut in a large Mercedes-Benz coupé. Now two new developments in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Active Lane Keeping Assist and the Active Blind Spot Assist, will help prevent accidents or reduce their severity.

2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Even those who don't know much about automobiles associate the three-pointed star with engineering excellence and superb construction. While it's true that Mercedes-Benz let quality slip at the beginning of the decade (largely due to electronics reliability), its current offerings show a return to the company's long-standing glory. A solid example would be the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which provides much of the luxury, performance and refinement of its large-size sedan siblings but in a more affordable package.

Within the C-Class lineup, buyers can choose from three very distinct versions of this compact sedan. The C300 Luxury offers a plush, quiet ride along with a few classic styling cues such as the traditional Mercedes grille with its stand-up hood ornament. The C300 Sport and C350 Sport models cater to the driving enthusiast with a firmer suspension, a Mercedes SL-style grille, LED running lights and darker wood accents within the cabin. The C63, Mercedes' answer to BMW's M3, is in another league altogether with its thundering 451-horsepower V8, ultra sport-tuned suspension and aggressively bolstered sport seats.

Whichever version you consider, the C-Class will impress you with excellent fit and finish, good build quality, user-friendly high-tech features and a refined ride (even the C63 is relatively comfy). The few demerits include the C300's acceleration, as this model's V6 is outgunned by a few rivals, notably the Audi A4's turbocharged four-cylinder. And the C-Class can be pricey alongside comparably equipped competitors such as the Infiniti G37 and Lexus IS. It's also worth noting that the BMW 3 Series offers a more involving drive for the enthusiast. Still, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains a shining star, offering luxury sport sedan intenders a well-rounded, well-regarded choice.

Just tugging on the door handle makes you feel as if you've cracked open an impenetrable vault. The C-Class's interior is beautifully crafted, though its austere ambience and angular design may convey a less luxurious feel to some. Opting for wood trim or a two-tone color scheme at least introduces a small amount of warmth.

The controls are straightforward for this class of car, and Mercedes' optional COMAND electronics interface is fairly easy to use. The iPod interface is particularly user-friendly.

Though the current-generation C-Class is bigger than previous editions, it's hardly the best choice for growing families. Some might find a child seat difficult to install in the narrow, bucketlike backseat positions, and the 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is on the small side.

Whether you go with the Luxury or Sport models, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz comes as a well-equipped luxury sedan. All 2011 C-Class models get Bluetooth connectivity; a power sunroof; dual-zone climate control; power windows/locks/mirrors; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; power front seats; and cruise control. And options include a music hard-drive system, nav system, panoramic sunroof, heated seats, and xenon headlamps.

The C63 AMG includes leather upholstery; an AMG gauge pack; a sunroof; dual-zone climate control; Bluetooth; Sirius; a telescoping steering wheel; cruise control; and a garage door opener.
While there's only a single sedan body style available in the C-Class, it's anything but a one-trick pony. C300 and C350 models are both offered in both Sport and Luxury guise, and there's quite the aesthetic difference between them. The Luxury models carry the familiar Mercedes-Benz grille and a three-pointed star as a hood ornament, along with trim and wheels that give you that austere classic Benz look, if that's what you're in to. Sport models forgo the ornamentation for a flat badge on the grille, as well as a different, less glitzy front-end look—and, for 2011, get new LED running lamps (in bi-xenon-equipped models) instead of fog lamps. The differences between Sport and Luxury models carries through to the interior as well, though it's mainly a matter of trims; in the Luxury, you'll find burled walnut, chrome, and a four-spoke wheel that lives up to the austere Benz image of yore. If you want something more in line with BMW, the Sport is the pick.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models provide the utmost comfort for front occupants, but those in back, even if they can get in, will be left wedging their legs against the back of the front seats. In all fairness, when looking at rival models like the Audi A4 or BMW 3-Series, that's just how it is in this class. While the base C300 does include some barely luxury-grade plastics, overall the C-Class models come with distinctive materials and excellent fits and finishes. Cabins are well hushed from road and wind noise, though you do hear the engine more than some might expect in a luxury car (Luxury models are quieter).

The so-called Sport models are distinguished by a grille-mounted star badge and AMG body styling, with deeper front and rear aprons, under-door rocker panels, and twin-spoke 17-inch wheels of staggered width or optional 18-inch wheels.

Sport models also feature firmer suspension, a three-spoke steering wheel, a titanium-colored instrument cluster, and a different choice of interior materials.

The C300 Sport can be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic. The other two models come with the automatic only. Of course, the auto is no slouch -- it can skip gears for quicker acceleration and offers a manual control mode.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 hp and 221 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment for the C300 Luxury and optional on the C300 Sport, which comes standard with a six-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, the C300 Sport with the automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive drops these estimates to 18/25/20.

The C350 Sport gets a 3.5-liter V6 good for 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and the seven-speed auto is the only drivetrain combo offered. The C350 did the 0-60 sprint in 6.3 seconds, which is off the pace of more potent competitors but still plenty quick. Estimated fuel economy is 17/25/20.

The C63 AMG gets a burly 6.2-liter V8 that delivers 451 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic with three different shift modes. In Edmunds testing, the C63 reached 60 mph in a scant 4.4 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 12/19/15.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes standard with front side airbags, side curtain airbags, front-seat-mounted pelvic airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints, stability control, traction control and adaptive antilock brakes (that feature brake assist, brake drying, pre-pressure and hill-start assist). Rear side airbags are optional.

In government crash testing, the C-Class received four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for front and rear side protection. In testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the C-Class received top marks, including a "Good" rating for frontal-offset, side impact and roof-strength tests.

Driving Impressions
In a straight line, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 and C350 won't set any records. But steering and handling are precise, and in terms of overall dynamics, the car measures up just fine compared to others in this segment. Despite their somewhat sporty character, the Sport variants are never harsh on the road and can tackle long road trips with ease. The C300 Luxury rides a little softer than the Sport model and has a quieter exhaust system, resulting in a more serene driving environment.

The C63 is a completely different species. Packing a ferocious V8, the C63 is the German equivalent to a muscle car. While not quite as tactile or agile as the BMW M3, the C63 responds to driver inputs with added sharpness and a degree of communication few Mercedes-Benz models have ever offered.

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Mercedes-Benz has finally debuted the replacement for its original four-door coupe, the CLS. At first glance one should notice a similar silhouette to the outgoing model, but there are also an extensive number of fresh and highly accentuated lines that gives this four-door coupe a very bold, new look.

More aggressive both front and rear, the CLS is considerably more styled than its rather understated predecessor as Mercedes-Benz continues to hone the modern four-door coupe segment it essentially invented.

From the rear, we can easily see the automaker’s Bentley-esque rear "hips" that take the E-Class sedan’s look to a whole new level. A much flashier pair of tailights adorn the rear as well.
Those sweeping exterior lines continue right into the CLS interior, even visually linking the dash and the doors to the rear of the vehicle. The center console and transmission tunnel merge toward the rear, deftly dividing the two rear seats.

Larger outside dimensions mean more room inside the new CLS. In particular, there’s 0.8 inches more shoulder room in front and 0.5 inches in back, while there’s 0.3 inches more elbow room up front and 0.8 inches in the back seat.

Large rear doors are by far the most striking feature of the new coupe-like model. The rear doors represent tangible added value that complements its comfortable rear seating area. Leather and wood cover most of the interior surfaces, with natural-grain leather and a choice of wood trimming the dash.

Flowing Lines From the Outside In
The flowing lines of the dashboard are complemented by its surface, made from a soft-touch polyurethane skin sprayed onto the base material to provide a luxurious feel and high-quality appearance. This production technique enables a smoother integration of such elements as air outlets into the surface and eliminates unattractive panel seams. Even the passenger-side front air bag cover has an invisible seam.

The dashboard itself has a sound-dampening design and is insulated at the front to prevent engine noise from entering the passenger compartment. Cable and wire openings between the interior and the engine compartment have airtight seals to eliminate so-called sound bridges.

A steel cross member forms a strong anchor for the dashboard and its components. The radio, automatic climate control, instrument cluster and steering column are all attached to this solid structure, which both minimizes vibration and helps achieve low noise levels inside the new CLS.

New Cockpit Design
Looking through the steering wheel, a three-tube instrument cluster includes an analog speedometer in the center that incorporates a versatile color display. The left tube houses analog gauges for fuel level and coolant temperature, while an analog tachometer is on the right. A large display for the COMAND system sits atop a sweeping console, with an analog clock below it, flanked by fresh air vents. Next is a panel of switches for features such as heated seats, hazard warning lights or PARKTRONIC. Below the switches is a panel for the climate control system. The COMAND central controller – a rotary push-button similar to a computer mouse – is located between the seats, along with a large double cupholder and a stowage compartment that incorporates a 12-volt socket, an audio AUX-IN jack and the optional iPod-MP3 media interface.

The AMG Interior
Entering the cabin of the new CLS63 AMG, the driver is greeted by AMG door sill panels and AMG sport pedals with rubber studs – both in brushed stainless steel. When the door is opened, the three-dimensional TFT display in the speedometer welcomes the driver with a striking AMG logo.

The AMG menus include a “Warm Up” mode with oil and coolant temperature, while “Set Up” indicates the current ESP mode, the suspension setting (Comfort or Sport) and the transmission mode (“C,” “S”, “S+”, “M”). In “RACE,” a race timer is ready to record race track lap times.

A special AMG DRIVE UNIT on the console is angled toward the driver for easy access. With its E-SELECT shift lever in the center, the unit includes controls to choose the MCT sports transmission modes, ESP functions, the suspension setup and AMG drive modes. A park lock can be engaged by touching the “P” button.

In Command with COMAND
COMAND features a seven-inch TFT color display screen and a set of easy-to-use controls for the audio system, which includes AM/FM/weatherband/satellite/HD digital radio, Bluetooth, MP3 capability with Music Register, a PCMCIA card slot and GPS satellite navigation. The system also includes a six-disc CD-DVD player that’s connected to the Gracenote database, which allows the system to display the artist’s name, music genre, track titles and lengths. The navigation computer uses its own separate hard drive for the map database that covers all of North America.

An optional rear-view camera recessed in the trunk lid displays the area behind the vehicle in the COMAND screen whenever reverse is engaged. Improved optics minimizes the usual fish-eye view, and static lines projected on the screen make it easier to park and maneuver, for example, over hilly terrain.

Sound Studio On Wheels
A standard harman/kardon Logic 7 digital surround-sound system with Dolby Surround 5.1 uses two 610-watt amplifiers to power 14 speakers and a sub-woofer for a luxurious soundstudio listening experience. All amplifier channels have individually tuned frequency response, and the system includes speed-dependent volume control.

Antennas for the radio, GPS navigation, mbrace system and telephone are mounted on the roof in front of the rear window. A second radio antenna is built into the rear window glass, and phase diversity within the audio system chooses the best signal.
The four- and six-cylinder variants of the CLS feature 17-inch wheels fitted with 245/45 R 17 tyres as standard. The CLS 500 BlueEFFICIENCY is factory-fitted with 18-inch wheels and tyres in size 255/40 R 18 - this combination is available as an option for four- and six-cylinder models. Alternatively, 18-inch wheels fitted with tyres in size 255/40 R 18 at the front and 285/35 R 18 at the rear are available for all models. The 19-inch wheels which are available for the first time lend the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class an even sportier appearance. These wheels are fitted with tyres in size 255/35 R 19 at the front and 285/30 R 19 at the rear.

The electronic stability programme which features as standard also monitors the tyre pressure and displays a warning in case of any sudden loss of pressure in a tyre. For this purpose the system continuously compares the rotational speeds of the wheels, which are primarily dependent on the vehicle's speed, the load and the tyre pressure. The control unit additionally refers to other driving dynamics-related ESP® sensor signals, such as lateral acceleration, yaw rate and wheel torques, in order to diagnose pressure loss in a tyre. In this way the system is able to establish any deviations, informing the driver accordingly on the central display.

Another distinguishing feature comes in the form of the LED High Performance headlamps, which are the world's first to offer all of the regular dynamic light functions using LED technology. This innovation boasts an impressive design - inside it is divided into three arrow-shaped layers from top to bottom: the upper layer contains an LED indicator, beneath which is a striking LED side light offering LED low beam functions. The side light can also be seen when the dipped beam function is switched on, thereby creating a novel and separate night-time design as a distinctive look. The lowest level of the headlamp houses the main beam and nightview functions. A total of 71 LEDs not only provide an unmistakable appearance, but also offer a significantly enhanced view of the road compared with previous systems.

The typical Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class outline, with its elegantly long proportions, is the dominating attribute of the new model. The effect of the dynamic, athletic form has been enhanced with a new interplay of lines and areas. The front edge of the structure above the wings slopes off towards the rear. This novel design feature, called the dropping line by designers, represents a new interpretation of a formal design element harking back to the uniquely rich wealth of forms present in historic Mercedes sports cars.

A distinctive and muscular sports car-like shoulder line above the rear axle highlights the athletic character of the new CLS. The flared wheel arches resemble the powerful thighs of a feline predator waiting to pounce.

The side view is rounded off with wide wrap-around tail lights featuring LED technology which are arranged in the form of a linking element to the rear of the vehicle. The shape is emphasized by the broad shoulder line, which is clearly visible from behind and supports the flat hardtop. A wide metal insert adds a further visual highlight at the rear.
When it hits the U.S. market in June 2011, the 2012 CLS line will offer a choice of two exciting models, both powered by new biturbo, direct-injection V8 engines. The 4.6-liter CLS550 engine produces 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque, and the high-performance CLS63 AMG model is powered by a 5.5-liter version of the new V8 that’s rated at 518 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque.

While both CLS models are fitted with seven-speed automatic transmissions, the CLS63 AMG features an MCT (multi-clutch technology) sports transmission with an innovative start-up clutch that replaces the conventional torque converter. Providing the direct feedback of a manual transmission with the total convenience of an automatic, the MCT transmission offers impressive versatility and faster shift times.

Motivation for this new CLS comes from a new twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8, good for 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque. This is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, like the AMG CLS63 AMG variant, which swaps the automatic for an AMG Speedshift transmission with paddle shifters.
Drivers of Mercedes vehicles are safer on the road than drivers of other car brands. This is the result of a study by Mercedes-Benz accident research based on official, anonymous data samples from the Federal Office of Statistics. Having looked at 18,748 accidents resulting in personal injury during the period from 2003 to 2007, the study found that the risk of being seriously or fatally injured as the driver of a Mercedes is 9.6 percent lower than for vehicles of other brands. The result represents clear evidence of the contribution made by the passive safety systems of Mercedes-Benz to reducing the consequences of an accident.

The main prerequisites for this include a stable body structure (see the section entitled "The Bodywork") as well as a whole host of sophisticated restraint systems. With nine airbags fitted as standard, not to mention four seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters as well as NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger, the new CLS offers an even more extensive package of safety equipment than the previous model. The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar during a side impact. For the first time, pelvisbags are included as standard for front seat passengers, which in the event of a side collision can help to reduce loads in the pelvic area. Sidebags are also available for the rear as an optional extra, which means that the new CLS makes a total of eleven airbags available for occupant protection.

Three-point automatic safety belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters are fitted as standard for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Mercedes-Benz is offering adaptive belt force limiters for the rear seats as an option. These adapt to the size of passengers automatically. The system detects whether the rear seat passenger is large or small as soon as the seat belt is put on, based on the length of the pulled-out seat belt, and can adapt its protective effect accordingly. The maximum belt force is activated immediately if the rear passenger is large in size, while in the case of smaller occupants the force exerted by the belt is initially set to a lower level.

2011 Mazda Tribute

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda Tribute
It must be tough for the 2011 Mazda Tribute at family get-togethers. Like the red-headed stepchild, this compact crossover sticks out as the oddball among its fellow Mazdas with their rakish profiles, beefy fender flares and wide-mouth grilles. That's because the Tribute has been adopted from a different family. Remove the badges from the Mazda Tribute and what you have is a Ford Escape, except without the Ford's many appealing high-tech features.

The Tribute and its Ford twin date back to the turn of the millennium, and you can tell, as this vehicle's blocky shape and upright driving position are indicative of the truck-based SUVs that used to rule back in Y2K. The Tribute has been thoroughly updated since then with refreshed styling, dramatically improved interior quality and more potent engines, but the underlying vehicle has remained the same. That means it lacks new, now-common features like a telescoping steering wheel or a reclining and sliding rear seat. And it drives with a truck-ish demeanor that seems very un-Mazda-like.

More important, it's also a little hard to fathom why someone would opt for a 2011 Mazda Tribute instead of a Ford Escape, since the Ford can be equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system, excellent self-parking technology and the innovative Sync electronics interface, which includes cell phone and iPod connectivity along with voice controls.

However, note that the Escape is far from a top pick among compact crossovers. It might have the admittedly appealing option of Sync, but it's still an aging design that lacks many of the beneficial attributes of competitors like the Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV-4. Either way you cut it, though, this 2011 Mazda is a Tribute to neither its adopted nor birth families.
The well-equipped, entry-level Sport trim offers all the convenience, safety and utility today’s young SUV buyers demand. Standard features include automatic headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD audio system, ambient temperature gauge, remote keyless entry system and power mirrors, door locks and windows. Cruise control is standard on vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. A roof rack and auto-dimming rear view mirror complete with compass, or Homelink® are also available.

The mid-level Touring trim builds on the Sport trim with the addition of privacy glass, a standard roof rack, six-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual adjustable lumbar support, overhead console with dual storage bins and front seatback map pockets.

Offering the highest level of comfort and convenience found in the Tribute lineup, the fully loaded Grand Touring trim comes standard with everything found on the Sport and Touring trims, plus Satellite radio and much more. Additional standard exterior features include heated side-view mirrors and a power-sliding moonroof. A more sophisticated and cozy interior features leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, garage door opener, electrochromatic mirror with rearview backup camera display and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

For the most part, the Tribute's cabin is virtually identical to that of the Ford Escape. This isn't really a bad thing, as the control layout and build quality are generally impressive. The straightforward climate and stereo controls are split, with readouts placed high atop the dash in legible blue and white characters. Unfortunately, the Tribute does not offer the Escape's excellent available navigation system or the innovative Sync electronics interface, which includes Bluetooth, iPod interface and voice controls.

The Tribute's front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable, though a tilt-only steering wheel might prevent some from finding an ideal driving position. The rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, has an uncomfortably flat bottom cushion in order to create a flat load floor when the seatback is laid down, and the seat itself is devoid of reclining and sliding adjustments. Folding down the seat is a bit of a chore, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be lowered (it's that flat load floor thing again).

Cargo space stands at 31.4 cubic feet behind the second row and 67.2 cubes with the 60/40-split second row folded. This is a bit larger than Mazda's own CX-7 and smaller crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson, but the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 are bigger.
The Tribute’s sporty behavior also comes from its unibody construction and the fully independent coil-sprung suspension, as used on many sports cars. Many rival SUVs use truck-like body-on-frame chassis, which flex more and provide a much less stable platform for the suspension. The Tribute’s unibody construction provides superb structural rigidity, improving ride and handling, as well as contributing to fewer rattles and a much tauter driving feel.

The fully independent coil-sprung suspension – MacPherson struts at the front, multi-link at the rear – ensures each wheel responds independently to road conditions, increasing the sure-footedness of the vehicle, improving handling and road holding. It gives the vehicle more poise in difficult conditions, including at high-speeds and on unpaved surfaces, and also improves ride comfort.

The track, front (60.7 inches) and rear (60.2 inches) is wide, which also benefits stability, handling and road holding. Nitrogen gas-charged shock absorbers give superb wheel control, on- or off-road, and maintain their composure even after tough use. The Tribute handles like a well-sorted sedan, but with all the extra benefits of an SUV.

Another sports car touch is the use of rack-and-pinion steering for greater steering precision and response. Variable power assistance means low-speed maneuvering, such as parking, is easy. Yet at higher speeds, reduced power assistance preserves road feel and steering feedback. Electric Power Steering (EPS), which improves vehicle sensitivity, is standard, and, improves NVH and fuel economy by eliminating the power steering pump.

All Tributes have ventilated 11.9-inch front discs for strong heat dissipation which improves braking performance after repeated use, such as a long downhill stretch with many bends. Both Tribute i and s models are equipped with standard Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) to prevent wheel lock-up and skids, and to help maintain steering control under braking. The four-channel system is more advanced than a conventional three-channel set-up, as every wheel has its own sensor to provide individual braking control. Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) varies the distribution of braking force between the front and rear wheels depending on the load to stop the vehicle as quickly as possible.
The Tribute takes some naming queues from the Mazda6 utilizing " i " and " s " monikers to designate which engine is under the hood. Perspective Tribute owners have their choice between a 171 horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which comes with models dubbed " i " and an " s " model which comes with a 3.0-liter V6 model providing 240 horsepower.

Most other vehicles in this small SUV segment have similar four-cylinder or V6 engine options available. The Tribute's main competition comes from the Toyota RAV4, the Hyundai Tucson, and of course its Ford and Mercury half-brothers.

Like other Mazda models the Tribute has three trim levels available. A base "Sport" trim, an upgraded "Touring" trim, and the top of the line "Grand Touring" trim are offered.

The standard drive train for the Tribute is front-wheel drive. An electronic four-wheel drive option is available with any trim level as well. Standard safety features consist of six airbags, stability and traction control systems, and Anti-lock brakes with brake force distribution.
The 2011 Mazda Tribute comes with standard antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing of the Tribute's twin, the Ford Escape, we found that it came to a stop from 60 mph in an unacceptably long 154 feet, which is about 30 feet longer than it should be.

Thankfully, the Tribute and Escape's crash ratings are strong. The government gave them a perfect five stars in all front and side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tribute the top mark of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests, but the second-lowest rating of "Marginal" in the roof strength test.

2011 Mazda Miata

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda Miata
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata is an affordable, two-seat roadster that combines performance with riding enjoyment. An awesome, fun and sweet-looking ride, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has always managed to make reviewers purr with contentment. Ranked as #1 among 5 Affordable Sports Cars by U.S. News Rankings and Reviews for 2010, the Mazda MX-5 Miata carries over into 2011 with few changes.
For sports car enthusiasts who don’t have a lot of pocket money to spend on a high-falutin’ Ferrari or Maserati or even a Porsche or Corvette, the sub $30,000 MX-5 Miata represents a wonderful opportunity to look like a champ and drive like one as well. For 2010, the MX-5 Miata also scored as one of Car and Driver’s “10 Best”. The 2011 MX-5 Miata is due to hit dealerships in the Fall 2010.
Sitting behind the wheel of a 2011 Mazda Miata, you'll get the feeling that you're wearing the car, rather than sitting in it. The fit is snug for average-sized adults, but not cramped. Taller drivers, however, have found that the seat runs out of rearward travel, although there's loads more room than in previous-generation Miatas. As always, this Miata features simple, legible gauges along with well-placed, user-friendly controls.

The manual convertible top's operation is as simple as it gets -- push a button, pull a lever and toss the top over your shoulder. Dropping the top takes only a few seconds and raising it is just as easy. With practice, some longer- and stronger-limbed drivers can raise the roof without even leaving the seat. The power-retractable hardtop takes a bit longer to transform from coupe to roadster, but the added convenience, noise isolation and security make it a good choice as a daily driver.

One of the biggest drawbacks for small convertibles is a lack of trunk space, and the Miata is no exception. The 5.3 cubic feet of trunk space is barely enough for a weekend getaway and golf bags take quite a bit of wrestling to stow -- if they fit at all. Points are also deducted for the disappointing top-down stereo performance. Even the upgraded Bose system suffers from poorly aimed speakers that fail to envelop the occupants.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seat roadster that is offered in three trim levels: base Sport, well-equipped Touring and premium Grand Touring. All come standard with a manually operated soft top, while the top two trims can be had with a power-retractable hardtop (PRHT).

In Sport trim, standard features include 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a black vinyl convertible top with a glass rear window, air-conditioning, cloth seats, a six-speaker sound system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power windows and mirrors.

The Touring model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a shock tower brace for the front suspension, foglights, cruise control, power door locks, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, a six-CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a leather-wrapped shift knob. The Grand Touring steps up with the choice of a black or beige cloth top, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated seats, a seven-speaker Bose audio system and silver interior accents. The PRHT models are identically equipped.

Most options are grouped in packages. Sport models can be equipped with the Convenience package that includes most of the Touring upgrades (this package is included in Miatas with automatic transmissions). Touring and Grand Touring models can enhance the Miata's already nimble handling with the Suspension package (only available with a manual transmission), which includes a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential. The Grand Touring qualifies for the Premium package that features stability control, keyless ignition/entry, xenon headlights, Bluetooth and satellite radio. An Appearance package adds a different front spoiler and extended rocker sills.

Also available this year is the limited-production Miata Special Edition. It's essentially a Grand Touring PRHT with the Premium package and, if it's a manual transmission, the Suspension package. The Miata Special Edition also includes unique exterior and interior colors.
 “Zoom-Zoom” automaker may have a new high-tech 4-cylinder engine, code named “Sky-G” in the works for their 2011 Miata. Reports put the potential mileage as high as 70 miles per gallon.

According to InsideLine, the naturally aspirated 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that was first introduced at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show is expected to produce power in the same realm as the current Miata, roughly 150 hp, and would easily retain the Miata’s existing power-to-weight ratio with the 2011 model’s expected weight of 2,200 pounds.

The eye-brow raising fuel economy figure of 70 mpg was speculated by some speaking to InsideLine, as well as a 50 mpg figure. Both figures were reportedly based on testing with a vehicle approximately the size and weight of the Mazda Kiyora concept car that debuted at the Paris Auto Show in 2008.

Although specifics on how the engine achieves such high mileage have not yet been released by the automaker, it is reported that the engine achieved these figures in a natually aspirated form, and was between 1.3 and 1.5-liters.
Driving Impressions
One of the Miata's greatest attributes continues to be its ability to bound from corner to corner on a tight and winding road. This ability is due in no small part to a suspension and steering feel that are as communicative as a political pundit in an election year. The seat-of-the-pants feel and feedback from the wheel give the Miata the goods to satisfy nearly any driving enthusiast, though some horsepower junkies may yearn for more under-hood punch.

Still, the free-revving four-cylinder always seems eager to play and the short-throw manual gearbox is as good as it gets. Drivers with less sporting intentions should still find the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata easy to live with and comfortable for long stints in either top-up or top-down mode.

2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3
In the sport hatchback segment, the Mazdaspeed 3 has been the one to beat the past few years. Its combination of nimble handling, pin-you-to-the-seat turbo power, practicality and value have made the "Speed 3" a favorite among those looking for thrills on the cheap. It has also been a favorite among our staff, having won most of the comparison tests we've thrown it into.

At the heart of the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3's appeal is its turbocharged 2.3-liter engine. Packing 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, this turbo-4 is a hard charger and will get you to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds. The downside, though, is that it's almost too much power for the front-drive Mazda 3 chassis; nailing the throttle can result in a notable amount of torque steer. That said, it's easily managed and reminds you that this potent hot hatch demands respect from your right foot. The precise steering, buttoned-down suspension and sticky tires make the MS3 fun in the corners, too.

Beyond the spirited driving experience, other key attributes of the Speed 3 include a well-trimmed cabin boasting solid fit and finish as well as some features (either standard or optional) that you might not expect in this segment. You also get a fair amount of utility, too. Thanks to its decent-sized rear seats and 42.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity, the Speed 3 can handle just about anything life throws at you.

If we were to level a complaint about the Mazdaspeed 3, it'd be that it's almost too sport-oriented. You can only get it with a manual transmission, for instance, and its firm ride quality and road noise might seem a bit harsh for people living in areas with poorly maintained pavement. The more mature Volkswagen GTI, in comparison, is easier to live with on a daily basis.

There are also other options for an affordable hot hatch, like the stylish Mini Cooper S and the all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Subaru WRX. You might even consider coupes like the Chevrolet Camaro V6, Ford Mustang V6 and Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Though we definitely recommend Mazda's spicy Speed 3, there's quite a spread in this hot hatch buffet so we suggest sampling all via test-drives if you're not sure what flavor might appeal to you most.
The 2011 MAZDASPEED3 is loaded with all the goodies a driving enthusiast wants, but without anything that would add undue weight. Standard features and equipment include variable intermittent windshield wipers, roof-mounted aerodynamic antenna, illuminated vanity mirrors, electroluminescent gauges, aluminum pedals, MAZDASPEED –branded black/red cloth seats, door trim, interior trim, floor mats, scuff plates and black/red decoration panel; and dual-zone climate control. An available MAZDASPEED3 Technology Package offers advanced keyless entry, push-button start, a compact full-color navigation system, Sirius satellite radio with six months of free service, a perimeter alarm, six CD changer, and BOSE® Centerpoint® surround sound – a five-channel surround system engineered cooperatively with BOSE® that enhances the listening experience thanks to a digital amplifier, noise cancellation technology and 10, strategically placed, premium speakers. For 2011, the MAZDASPEED3 Technology Package is expanded with rain-sensing front wipers, auto on/off headlights, Bi-Xenon headlights with auto leveling, Adaptive Front-lighting system (AFS), and LED rear combination taillights. Because the weight and structural penalties would compromise the pure driving experience, the MAZDASPEED3 is not available with a moonroof option.
The design of the MAZDASPEED3 evolves the model’s visual identity to create a sportier, more aggressive appearance. The result is a more emotional design that takes the sporty, agile nature of the MAZDA3 5-Door to a new level.

The MAZDASPEED3 is easily distinguished from its siblings. Start at the front, where a lower air dam and round fog lights frame an organic, metallic-black grille. The hood houses an intercooler scoop to improve charge air cooling, and the front fenders are flared to contain the car’s wide tires.

From the side view, the 18 x 7.5-inch aluminum wheel design is unique, but modeled closely on the deeply sculpted, expressive, and very lightweight 19-inch forged wheels on the RX-8 R3. Sculpted side skirts and a low stance also give away the MAZDASPEED3’s sinister motives. From the rear, large dual exhaust tips, , and a large, roof-mounted rear wing give it away.

Nagare-inspired design defines the exterior and continues into the cabin, which features color coordination and materials chosen to excite the driver and passengers every time they take a seat. Black is the keynote color employed throughout the interior, while the seats and trim fabric have an organic red graphic design. This MAZDASPEED3-exclusive design is distributed throughout, with red stitching enhancing the sporty interior character on the steering wheel, seats, door trim, shift lever boot, and center armrest.

The dashboard of the MAZDASPEED3 is designed to give a roomy feel while displaying critical information up high and deep into the dashboard, closer to the driver’s field of vision and focal point. The instrument cluster for the MAZDASPEED3 also includes an LED turbo boost gauge positioned between the meters.

The driver’s seat is especially critical in any performance car. Without solid lateral support, a driver loses the focus, control and precision needed to really enjoy driving. The MAZDASPEED3 seats are designed to provide that support without compromising everyday comfort.
Allow us to explain. The current-generation ‘Speed 3, a turbocharged affair with 263 horsepower, has won two consecutive comparos and made our coveted 10Best list for 2007 and 2008. We’ve routinely praised its sub-six-second 0-to-60-mph sprint, lively handling, and all-around enthusiast appeal, so we’re very excited about the prospect of a new version.

Powertrain details are thin on the ground, but we doubt the current 2.3-liter turbo will reappear. Instead, we're guessing the new car will use either a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, or the same 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder employed in Europe's new Ford Focus RS. Regardless, expect at least 300 horsepower so as to keep ahead of the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.

One of our only gripes with the Mazdaspeed 3 is its propensity for torque steer, a trait we'd love to see mitigated by all-wheel drive in the new car. But the Euro-spec Focus RS—with which the Mazdaspeed 3 will likely share many components—will be front-drive only, seemingly precluding AWD for the Mazda.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Though the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3 itself hasn't been crash tested, the similar Mazda 3 five-door hatchback upon which it's based has been tested. In government testing, the Mazda 3 scored five out of five stars for driver and front passenger protection in a frontal crash, five stars for front side protection and four stars for rear side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Mazda 3 its highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Driving Impressions

Routing 280 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels is usually a recipe for annoying amounts of steering-wheel-tugging torque steer. This phenomenon is certainly present in the 2011 Mazdaspeed 3, though the engine's torque-limiting software helps keep it manageable for the most part.

In any case, there's no doubt that the Speed 3 is one of the best-handling and most entertaining hot hatches on a winding road. Impressively precise, the steering provides plenty of communication and faithfully transmits road information like few front-wheel-drive cars can. Considering the car's performance potential, the suspension manages to also provide a fairly compliant ride, though the Mazdaspeed 3 ultimately isn't as comfortable as other models like the GTI.

2011 Mazda MAZDA6

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Mazda MAZDA6
Who says a family sedan has to be sedate? Amid a deep field of competitors, the 2011 Mazda 6 proves otherwise, with athletic performance and little in the way of sacrifice. In addition, sleek styling, comfort for full-sized adults, top safety scores and a price that won't break the bank all combine to make it a worthy choice.

Mazda prides itself in delivering an exhilarating driving experience, and even in the rather tame sedan segment, it manages to inject some personality into the mix. How much fun you'll have behind the wheel of the Mazda 6 largely depends on which engine you pick. The base four-cylinder is just fine for the daily commute, but the lively V6 certainly increases the grins per mile. Handling is admirable for every Mazda 6, and anyone can appreciate this car's spacious interior and large trunk. There's not much to complain about, with subpar fuel economy and the use of some chintzy plastics in the cabin being the car's only notable drawbacks.

That said, competition in the family sedan class has gotten more formidable with the introduction of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and the 2011 Kia Optima. Both trump the Mazda 6 in terms of price and features and are competitive in regard to performance, though they lack the interior space of the Mazda. Other top choices include the sporty Nissan Altima, the very impressive Ford Fusion and the stalwart Honda Accord. At the end of the day, there isn't a bad pick among these choices, and the 2011 Mazda 6 is certainly worth a look.
 The facelift interior has undergone a further refinement in materials for a higher quality feel. These include new chrome detailing with piano-black panelling, and chrome plating is newly added to knobs and switches that passengers use on a daily basis - for the climate control and audio dials, parking brake knob and the inner door handles. New piano-black is introduced for the audio and climate control panelling, the centre stack frame, around the shift gate and for the panel containing the steering wheel buttons.

There is also new surface finishing on all decorative panels - matte-silver coating for the standard model, and a silver-hairline finish in full-gloss look for the Sports Grade model. Completing the facelift interior updates are new line patterns in the upholstery of the seats, and newly-available brown leather for those looking for a premium feel.

The 2011 Mazda 6 features an interior that is attractive and modern in design. A gracefully arching center stack sweeps from the top of the dash down to the center console. Some of the controls, however, are a bit more complicated than those of its competitors. Red electroluminescent gauges further enhance the visual appeal, and the roomy backseat (even for 6-footers) is a definite plus. Legroom and headroom are plentiful in all seats, but the wide front seats might lack lateral support for narrower occupants.

Despite the Mazda 6's attractive design, some cheaper plastic materials are scattered throughout the cabin. Higher trim levels have odd black-and-silver-patterned flourishes that might be an acquired taste for some. Points are also deducted for the underperforming standard audio system, and even the upgraded Bose system could disappoint some listeners. On the plus side, the Mazda 6's 16.6-cubic-foot trunk is one of the biggest in its class, while the trunk's unobtrusive hinge mechanisms and the 60/40 split-folding rear seats further enhance cargo-hauling capabilities.
New fog lamps bezels are introduced that are more pointed and lowing. These bezels frame an "inner eye" made up of a round fog lamp inside a lowing lower lid for a strong sense of refinement. There are also newly-designed headlamps , and an upper grille with a new winged Mazda logo that is black on all grades and body-coloured on the Sports Grade. Deeply etched character lines running up from the grille between the fenders and the bonnet complete the most athletic Mazda 6 front ever.

The winged motifs from the front are repeated by the rear combination lamps that have new chrome- plated winged decorations that make the lamps look wider and seem to low even further into the side panels. The lamps themselves are a combination of clear lenses and LEDs . Mazda 6 facelift also gets stylish new 17- and 18-inch aluminium wheel designs that twist slightly for a very sporty, three- dimensional look. These not only enhance the silhouette with a premium look, they are also one kilogram lighter than the wheels of the previous model.

Customers can choose between 10 body colours for the facelift, including two all-new colours to the Mazda line-up - Clear Water Blue Metallic , Midnight Bronze Mica - and two that are new to the Mazda 6 line-up - Graphite Mica and Black Mica.
The 2.0-liter engine Atenza models, available in both the Sedan and Sport Wagon body types, have been updated with Mazda's direct injection MZR 2.0L DISI*1 gasoline engine. This engine provides plenty of power as well as outstanding fuel economy that exceeds Japan's "2010 fuel economy standard plus 15%." All grades equipped with a 2.0-liter engine qualify for Japan's eco-car incentive program and are subject to 50 percent less tax under the government's eco-car tax reduction program. Additionally, the entire Atenza range, including front-wheel drive (FWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) grades, qualify as Super-Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (SU-LEV) by achieving exhaust emissions that are at least 75 percent lower than the levels set in the Japanese Government's 2005 exhaust emissions standard.
Standard safety features for all 2011 Mazda 6 models include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, both the i and s Grand Touring models came to a stop from 60 mph in about 125 feet.

The Mazda 6 has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in a perfect five-star rating for frontal and side-impact protection for all occupants. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Mazda 6 its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side impacts, while roof strength tests yielded a second-best "Acceptable" rating.

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