2000 Spring Auto Guide

The best vehicles for this season

in any respect. However, when you examine the exotic underpinnings, unusual materials and extraordinary scientific effort that went into this car, the Insight serves as much as a topic of conversation as it does transportation. If that’s not enough, while air will glide unnoticed over the aerodynamically efficient Insight, onlookers’ stares will firmly adhere.

Hyundai Accent
For the first time in years, Hyundai is actually enjoying some success. Credit the industry’s longest warranty, covering the car for five years and the original purchaser’s drive train for another five (or 60,000 and 100,000 miles).
To avoid paying through the nose for warranty repairs, Hyundai must build better cars. For 2000, the lowest-price model gets a refresh. The Accent gets revised styling and a host of improvements to make it ride more quietly.
At a base price of $8,999 to $10,299, the Accent is still one of the most affordable cars you can buy. Try as you might with CD player and power accessories, you can’t get the sticker price to exceed $13,000.
The 92-horsepower 1.5-liter engine is just perky enough, but try not to get involved in a stoplight competition. Small tires and a soft suspension won’t help you carve corners with gusto. Styling is current and fresh, but the Accent’s real strength is that Hyundai promises to keep you going long after the car is no longer new.

Jaguar XKR
Among the most beautiful sports cars on the market today, Jaguar’s XK8 still has the power to create passionate yearnings among well-heeled auto enthusiasts. But the most ardent fans have waited for Jaguar to give this car its best. Presenting the XKR. For this edition, the 4.0-liter V8 engine is treated to a boost in power. Where the 290 horses of the XK8 seemed adequate, the XKR gains another 80 more for an even more thrilling performance.
Jaguar knows better than to trifle with the car’s beauty. Exterior changes are limited to a wire-mesh grille, hood louvers, subtle deck lid spoiler and larger, 18-inch wheels. Underneath, this Jaguar also gains CATS-not the furry kind but what Jaguar calls a computer active technology suspension, which serves to keep things comfortable without diminishing handling. Leather, chrome and ample luxury are standard. You get a choice of coupe ($76,800) or convertible ($81,800). A new option ($2,400) is a GPS navigation system. Or you could just ask where you are. A crowd is sure to gather just to look at this gorgeous motor car.

Mercedes-Benz CL500
When it comes to the ultimate luxury coupe, Mercedes-Benz is very much on target. The new CL500 shares most of its underpinnings with the highly successful S-Class sedans, but then continues with an infusion of science. From the standard voice-activated cell phone to the GPS navigation system, this car is a stunning accomplishment. The CL500 has also learned its ABC’s, which in this case stands for Active Body Control, a suspension system that nearly eliminates body roll and suspension dive during cornering and braking. This adds much to the sporty feel without diminishing the plush

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