Elantra: The Elantra small-car will get a refresh in 2014. Expect more details in a few months, possibly at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
Equus: The 2014 Equus luxury car gets some revisions, including a grille with thinner chrome bars and new 19-inch wheels for a sportier look and a revised suspension for better handling. Inside, the materials have been upgraded and both the instrument panel and the rear console controls have been redesigned to improve their ergonomics. There's a larger, 7-inch instrument panel display and a larger, 9.2-inch dashboard display with larger and more legible graphics. A blind spot detection system is now standard. The 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 429 horsepower remains the same, and so does the fuel economy. The Equus gets 18 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The 2014 Equus, which starts at $61,000, went on sale in July.
Infiniti is changing the names of all of its vehicles in the 2014 model year. All sedans, coupes and convertibles will have the Q badge (the M becomes the Q60, for example), while SUVs and crossovers will be called QX. The move helps clarify where each model stands in the brand's lineup and also gives a nod to the brand's original flagship sedan, the Q45.
Q50: New to Infiniti's lineup is the entry-level Q50, a small competitor to the Lexus IS and BMW 3-Series. It has a low, wide look and taut lines. Under the hood is a 328-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 that gets 20 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway. A hybrid version, which gets an estimated 36 mpg on the highway, is also available. The Q50, which went on sale this summer, starts at $36,700 (excluding shipping) for the base model and $43,950 for the hybrid.
QX60: The QX60 crossover, previously called the JX35, gets a hybrid version that's available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy and pricing haven't been released for the hybrid, which goes on sale in September.
F-Type: The two-seat, rear-wheel-drive sports convertible was unveiled at the Paris auto show in 2012 and went on sale in the U.S. earlier this summer. Jaguar says the F Type has the company's most advanced use of lightweight aluminum to date, giving it a stiffer and more dynamic ride. There are three engine choices: Jaguar's new 3.0-liter V6 with either 340 horsepower or 380 horsepower outputs, or a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 495 horsepower. The latter can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph. All are mated to an eight-speed transmission. On the inside, Jaguar has modified its touch-screen controls and now has physical dials for heating and ventilation. On the outside, there's a big grille and vertical headlights that follow the sleek lines of the car. To help the flow, the door handles remain flush with the car until they're unlocked, and a hidden rear spoiler rises at 60 mph and lowers again when the speed drops below 40 mph. The F Type starts at $69,000 excluding shipping.
XJR: After a four-year absence, a top-of-the-line R sport model returns to Jaguar's XJ sedan lineup. It has a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 550 horsepower and 502 pound feet of torque mated to an eight-speed transmission, and it can go from zero to 60 mph in a blistering 4.4 seconds. The XJR also has new, low-profile 20-inch wheels. A stop-start system, which shuts the vehicle down at stop lights, helps save fuel economy, which clocks in at 18 mpg in combined city/highway driving. The XJR starts at $116,000.
Forte: The 2014 Forte small car, which went on sale in March, is bigger and sportier than the outgoing model. There are three trim levels: the base LX with a 1.8-liter, 148-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission that starts at $15,900; an LX with an automatic transmission starting at $17,400; and the EX, which has a 2.0-liter, 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine and starts at $19,400. The LX gets 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving; the EX gets 1 mpg less. On the inside, the Forte has premium standard features, including wheel-mounted audio controls, satellite radio, power windows and heated folding side mirrors. Cruise control and keyless entry are optional. Two variations will go on sale this fall: The Forte5 hatchback and Forte Koup two-door. Those performance-oriented models will have two engine choices: The 2.0-liter, 173-horsepower four-cylinder or a new, turbocharged 1.6-liter I4 with 201 horsepower. Pricing hasn't been announced for the Koup or the Forte5.
Cadenza: Kia pulled its full-size Amanti sedan off the market three years ago. Now, it returns and gets significantly more upscale with the 2014 Cadenza. The Cadenza's big, 18-inch wheels and long, contoured hood give it a premium look. It's equipped with Kia's most powerful V6 engine ever, a 3.3-liter V6 with 293 horsepower, and has several new standard features, including a navigation system and rear-view camera in an 8-inch dashboard touch screen. Options on higher trim levels include Kia's first lane departure warning system, which beeps if the driver leaves the lane, and water-repellent front side windows. The Cadenza starts at $35,100, which includes complimentary maintenance for 36 months or 37,000 miles.
Sorento: The 2014 Sorento crossover isn't completely new, but it has been significantly updated. It sits on a new chassis — to improve ride and handling — and has a new standard engine, a 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder with 191 horsepower. A new 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horsepower is also available. The redesigned Sorento — which seats five or seven with the optional third row — offers two Kia firsts: a blind spot detection system and a power liftgate with programmable height levels. The outside is bolder with a larger grille and optional 19-inch wheels, while the inside is more sophisticated, with a simpler dashboard and a bigger, 8-inch touchscreen that's standard on higher trim levels. The Sorento, which went on sale in the spring, starts at $24,100.
Soul: The funky, boxy Soul has a more premium look in its second generation, with more width and length and a more aggressive grille. Inside, there are upgraded materials and a larger, 8-inch touch screen in the dashboard. To improve the driving dynamics, the body is stiffer and the suspension has been reworked. There's an updated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower on the base model, and a 2.0-liter, direct-injection I4 with 164 horsepower on higher trim levels. Pricing and fuel economy numbers haven't been released for the new Soul, which goes on sale this fall.
Range Rover Sport: Land Rover boasts that the 2014 Range Rover Sport is its fastest vehicle ever, with a zero-to-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a much more agile feel thanks to its new, lighter aluminum underbody. The inside is more luxurious and contains a new folding third row with two seats. Under the hood, there's a 3.0-liter V6 with 340 horsepower or a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with 510 horsepower. The base engine gets 23 mpg on the highway; the V8 gets 17 mpg. The Range Rover Sport, which goes on sale this fall, starts at $63,495.