By Jennifer Geiger on May 7, 2014
Now that auto show season is over, the wait is over when it comes to seeing which new cars will hit dealerships soon, but now the real wait begins.
There's plenty to look forward to, because there are almost too many new vehicles to choose from such as the redesigned, more modern Ford Mustang and the sleek, futuristic electric car from BMW, the i8. They're not all sports cars though; the tiny Jeep Renegade SUV and midsize Hyundai Sonata sedan are also on our list.
Check out the top 10 new vehicles the Cars.com reviewers can't wait to drive:
This Italian brand's return to the U.S. after a 20-plus-year hiatus comes in the form of a curvaceous new coupe. After years of delays, the rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine Alfa Romeo 4C is set to hit dealerships this summer with exotic styling, a lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum body, and turbocharged four-cylinder power. Bellissima!
"From its striking exterior to all of the unique cabin interfaces, everything about the 4C screams exotic, including its carbon-fiber construction. In an era where cars have been packing on the pounds, the 4C is an interesting counterpoint that I can't wait to drive," said Senior Editor Mike Hanley.
Ford redesigned its iconic pony car this year with a look to the future. The more modernly styled Mustang is lighter and wider for 2015, and a new turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine joins V-6 and V-8 engines.
"I'm a sucker for a V-8, but I'm most interested in driving the new Mustang's turbocharged four-cylinder engine with its promise of performance and class-leading fuel efficiency," said Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek.
The polarizing style of Jeep's 2014 Cherokee still has people talking about the brand's design future, and there will be plenty of chatter about the new-for-2015 Renegade. It has the blocky, rugged look Jeep is known for, but the new SUV is very small, a subcompact actually.
"We haven't had a small, off-roadable, fun-sized SUV in this country since the demise of the Chevy Tracker and Suzuki Sidekick. Here's hoping the tiny Jeep, with its butch styling, turbo motor, removable roof panels and entry-level price will deliver the goods," said Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman.
4. 2014 BMW i8
Admit it, ever since watching Tom Cruise dart through the streets in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," you've been waiting for BMW's futuristic-looking plug-in electric car to go on sale. Us too. The sci-fi-looking i8 delivers the drama with a long, low, wide body and swing-up scissor doors. Power comes from a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and an electric motor; BMW claims a 4-second zero-to-60-mph time, definitely suitable for any action hero.
"It looks as outlandish as the concept, with an exotic drivetrain to match. This is one BMW addition I can get behind," said Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays.
Porsche's Cayenne SUV was an unexpected hit for the automaker, and now Porsche is taking that formula and shrinking it. The new-for-2015 Macan boasts baby Cayenne styling and a choice between two potent twin-turbocharged V-6 engines.
"When I was a little girl, I simply couldn't resist anything in miniature form (tea sets, cooking utensils, my then-adorable baby brother). Maybe that's why the Macan appeals to me. It's like a miniature Cayenne, with what I'm assuming will be a very grown-up, sophisticated driving experience. Win-win," said Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela.
Lexus' new sport coupe turned heads at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the RC F continues to make an impression months later. With a face dominated by a giant, gaping version of the brand's spindle grille and a pair of sleek, upswept headlights, the RC F strikes a menacing pose backed up by some serious numbers: Power comes from a 5.0-liter V-8 engine good for around 450 horsepower and 383 pounds-feet of torque.
"With its massive hourglass grille, the RC F has the aggressive styling aspect down; it has a lot more attitude than the BMW M4, one of its main rivals. I'm curious, however, to see if Lexus has cracked the code and delivered a worthy performance-car driving experience," Hanley said.
Brute power, dynamic handling and head-turning style are three Corvette hallmarks - the new high-performance Z06 raises the ante on all accounts. The 2015 Z06 wears a new front splitter and rear spoiler as well as a unique carbon fiber hood with a larger heat extractor vent. GM says the new Stingray variant is both powerful and efficient; its 625-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 uses cylinder deactivation to save fuel, a first for a supercharged V-8.
"The regular Corvette Stingray is a brilliant machine: fast, well-made, beautiful and chock-full of amazing technology. Chevrolet turns the Corvette up to 11 with the new Z06, adding a supercharger for insane speed, a new transmission to handle it and a look that screams racecar," Bragman said.
Big changes are in store for Mercedes-Benz's compact car. The C-Class grows in size and adds some powertrains as well as a suite of high-tech safety features for 2015. The luxury car also gets a new home this year; production is moving from Europe to Mercedes' plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. "The last C-Class was a disappointment from start to finish. The new one looks worlds improved, but does that mean it will go to the front of a competitive class or arrive midpack?" asked Managing Editor David Thomas.
During last year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford wowed the masses with its Atlas concept pickup truck. Fast-forward a year and the real deal looks pretty promising. The automaker's perennial best-seller got a huge makeover for 2015. The new F-150 gets a pumped-up grille, weight-saving aluminum components and several new powertrains.
"Crazy new technology and body materials. New powertrains, new interior, new packages, new aluminum body. They've redone everything and reset the bar for everyone to chase," said PickupTrucks.com Editor Mark Williams.
The midsize sedan class is packed with great choices, but a redesign for 2015 makes Hyundai's offering stand out. The new Sonata adds a little muscle to its character with a larger version of the brand's hexagonal grille and a more upright-looking nose. LED daytime running lights and extra chrome trim add some class outside, and new comfort and convenience features keep the Sonata's interior appealing.
"Hyundai's midsize sedan was already an affordable, good-looking, feature-packed sedan; a face-lift and more features only sweeten the Sonata's appeal," said Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears and Steven Pham
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer