In The Driver’s Seat

Shopping for a new car? B.E. offers its best picks for 2003

Why do you drive the car you drive? Performance, function, style, comfort, looks, and price are all part of the purchasing equation. And today the options are increasingly broad. Here, we narrow the choices down to five categories and offer our picks for the best in each class. We also found consumers who feel confident about their car choices for 2003.

FOR THE FASHION CONSCIOUS
Audia4 Cabriolet
Price range: $35,000 – $45,000
Body type: 2-door convertible
Engine type: I-4 20-valve turbo (late availability), V-6 30-valve
Displacement: 1.8, 3.0 liters
Horsepower: 170 @5900, 220 @6300
Torque: 166 @1950 –5000, 221 @3200
Transmission: Multitronic CVT
Drive: Front
Mileage: 18/25 – 20/29

Mini cooper
Price range: $17,000 – $26,000
Body type: 2-door hatchback
Engine type: I-4 16-valve,I-4 16-valve supercharged
Displacement: 1.6 liters
Horsepower: 115 @6000, 163 @6000
Torque: 110 @4500, 155 @4000
Transmission: 6-sp. manual, CVT
Drive: Front
Mileage: 25/32

Hummerh2
Price range: $50,000 – $55,000
Body type: 4-door sport-utility wagon
Engine type: V-8
Displacement: 6.0 liters
Horsepower: 315 @5200
Torque: 360 @4000
Transmission: 4-sp. auto
Drive: Part/full-time 4WD
Mileage: Not rated

LUXURY & EXTRAVAGANCE
Mercedes-Benz SL500
Price range: $88,000 – $105,000
Body type: 2-door hardtop-convertible
Engine type: V-8 24-valve
Displacement: 5.0 liters
Horsepower: 302 @5600
Torque: 339 @2700 – 4250
Transmission: 5-sp. auto
Drive: Rear
Mileage: 16/23

Maybach 57 &62
Price range: $290,000 – $350,000+
Body type: 4-door sedan
Wheelbase: 132.7″, 150.8″
Engine type: V-12 36-valve twin-turbo
Displacement: 5.5 liters
Horsepower: 543 @5250
Torque: 663 @2000
Transmission: 5-sp. auto
Drive: Rear
Mileage: N/A

GMC Yukon Denali
Price range: $47,000 – $52,000
Body type: 4-door SUV
Engine type: V-8, V-8
Displacement: 6.0, 8.1 liters
Horsepower: 320 @5000, 340 @4200
Torque: 360 @4000, 455 @3200
Transmission: 4-sp. auto
Drive: Full-time AWD
Mileage: 12/15

GETTING THE MOST FOR THE MONEY
Honda Pilot
Price range: $26,900 – $32,520
Body type: 4-door sport-utility wagon
Engine type: V-6 24-valve
Displacement: 3.5 liters
Horsepower: 240 @5400
Torque: 242 @4500
Transmission: 5-sp. auto
Drive: VTM 4WD
Mileage: 17/22

Nissan Altima
Price range: $17,000 – $25,500
Body type: 4-door sedan
Engine type: I-4 16-valve, V6 24-valve
Displacement: 2.5, 3.5 liters
Horsepower: 180 @6000, 240 @5800
Torque: 181 @4000, 246 @4400
Transmission: 5-sp. manual, 4-sp. auto.
Drive: Front
Mileage: 19/26 – 23/29

Suzukixl-7
Price range: $20,500 – $26,500
Body type: 4-door sport-utility wagon
Engine type: V-6
Displacement: 2.7 liters
Horsepower: 183 @5500
Torque: 180 @4000
Transmission: 5-sp. manual, 4-sp. auto.
Drive: Rear, part-time 4WD
Mileage: 17/20 – 18/20

toyotacamry
Price range: $19,500 – $30,000
Body type: 4-door sedan
Engine type: I-4 16-valve, V-6 24-valve
Displacement: 2.4, 3.0 liters
Horsepower: 157 @5600, 192 @5300
Torque: 162 @4000, 209 @4400
Transmission: 5-sp. manual, 4-sp. auto
Drive: Front
Mileage: 20/28 – 24/33

Honda Odyssey
Price range: $25,000 – $31,000
Body type: 4-door minivan
Engine type: V-6 24-valve
Displacement: 3.5 liters
Horsepower: 240 @5500
Torque: 242 @4500
Transmission: 5-sp. auto
Drive: Front
Mileage: 18/25

Honda Accord
Price range: $16,000 – $27,900
Body type: 4-door sedan, 2-door coupe
Engine type: I-4 16-valve, V-6 24-valve
Displacement: 2.4, 3.0 liters
Horsepower: 160 @5500, 240 @6250
Torque: 161 @4500, 212 @5000
Transmission: 5-sp. man (4-cyl.),
5-sp. auto, 6-sp. man (V-6 coupe)
Drive: Front
Mileage: 24/33 (4 cyl., auto) – 26/34 (manual)

ROAD WARRIORS
Volvox C-90
Price range: $34,000 – $47,000
Body type: 4-door sport-utility wagon
Engine type: I-5 20-valve turbo, I-6 24-valve turbo
Displacement: 2.5, 2.9 liters
Horsepower: 208 @5000, 268 @5100
Torque: 236 @1500 – 4500, 280 @1800 – 5000
Transmission: 4-, 5-sp. auto
Drive: AWD
Mileage (est.): 18/25, 15/20

Toyota 4runner
Price range: $29,000 – $42,000
Body type: 4-door sport-utility wagon
Engine type: V-6 24-valve, V-8 32-valve
Displacement: 4.0, 4.7 liters
Horsepower: 245 @5200, 235 @4800
Torque: 283 @3400, 320 @3400
Transmission: 4-, 5-sp. auto
Drive: Rear, full-time 4WD

Range Rover
Price range: $71,000 – $75,000
Body style: 4-door sport-utility wagon
Engine type: V-8 32-valve
Displacement: 4.4 liters
Horsepower: 282 @5400
Torque: 325 @6600
Transmission: 5-sp. auto.
Drive: Permanent 4WD
Mileage: 12/17

ACROSS THE WEB