This week, we’re doing our annual “What’s Really New” for 2015 in the car category. Although many cars receive tweaks from minor to major, we’ll specify both the all new vehicles and the number of cars available by brand. Here we go:
Acura: Of the four cars available from Acura, it’s the 2016 mid-engine Acura NSX that receives note, with roots all the way back to when to 1991. Expect NSX to compete in the $135,000 and up crowd. Also new from Acura is a TLX sedan, that starts at $30,995 and replaces TL and TSX lines.
Alfa Romeo: Not since 1955 has this much excitement centered around the return of Alfa Romeo to North American shores. It’s called the Alfa Romeo 4C, and this new mid-engine sports car starts at $60,745.
Audi: Of eight cars available, all-new is the 2015 A3 compact sedan which now complements the topless S4. Audi is looking to make a real dent in the compact class, where it needed a sedan to compete. All other Audis, including A’s 5,6, 7 and 8 and TT/TTS are similar or tweaked a bit for the new year.
BMW: Of the nine BMWs available, all arrive at dealers similar to 2014 models. However, several of the 15 versions do receive some nice upgrades. Still, as for all new, you won’t find it this year at BMW.
Cadillac: There’s a brand new Cadillac badge this year, but all of the four Cadillac cars are similar to 2014. Included are CTS/CTS-V, ATS/ATS-V, ELR and XTS. My choice? The Cadillac CTS-V with the Corvette drivetrain.
Chevrolet: The nine 2015 Chevys available at your dealership are unchanged or have minor revisions, but we’re still going to give Corvette a nod as all-new, thanks to the breathtaking 2014 new generation. I even like the new rear lights.
Chrysler/Dodge: With six cars to choose from, the all-new 2015 200 is one beautiful car. We reviewed it three weeks ago and it’s worthy of praise. As for Challenger and Charger, the 707 horsepower Hellcat Hemi is all new, and even the 300 receives some pretty nice upgrades too. This is a company on the move. The Viper and Dart are similar to ’14.
Fiat 500: No major changes to report on the 2015 500, sans a few new names and a retro ‘1957’ edition.
Ford: New for 2015 is the Mustang, complete with an independent rear suspension and three engines to choose from. The five other Fords are either unchanged or tweaked for the new year.
Infiniti: One of my favorite brands, all-new for 2015 is the Infiniti Q30 hatchback, available as a 2016 model. This new entry level Infiniti is the first to incorporate Mercedes-Benz technology, including a turbocharged four cylinder engine. The three other Infinitis, Q50, Q60 and Q70, are similar to 2014.
Jeep: Jeep introduces a brand new model for 2015. The Renegade is based on the same architecture as the Fiat 500X.
Jaguar: Four Jaguars are available, with the F-type receiving some noteworthy upgrades while the XF, XJ and XK remain similar to ’14.
Kia: Six Kia models highlight the 2015 year, with the already test driven and high luxury Kia K900 an all-new offering.
Lexus: Six models are available at Lexus showrooms, including the new and sure to be popular 2015 Lexus RC Coupe, which is an IS sedan sans two doors. If you really want to go, try on a 467-horse V8 for size but it’s not cheap as $62,400 gets you started.
Lincoln: There’s lots of buzz about Lincoln’s new compact SUV dubbed the MKC which starts at $33,995. The two sedans, MKS and MKZ, are unchanged.
Mazda: Mazda’s four vehicles, specifically Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6 and Miata remain unchanged for 2015, although all have undergone some significant upgrades the last three years. Look for a new Miata in 2016.
Mercedes-Benz: There are a total of 10 Mercedes-Benz models to choose from for 2015. Two models, theB-Class Electric Drive ($42K) and C-Class, ($37K) are all new and look to attract many consumers . The top line AMG sports car starts at near $225,000.
Mini Cooper: The four Mini’s include the all-new Mini Clubman for 2015, while Mini coupe/convertible and Mini hardtop are unchanged.
Mitsubishi: Three offerings come your way for 2015, although none are all new. The i-Mev Hybrid, Mirage and Lancer stay the same with some minor tweaks.
Nissan: Nissan dealers have seven distinct automobiles to offer, from a $13K Versa all the way to a $104K GT-R/Nismo. Although none are all-new, just about every one receives a tweak for the new year.
Scion: Scion’s four cars include FR-S Coupe, xB hatchback, the mini-compact iQ and popular tC. None are all-new for ’15.
Subaru: Of the three cars from Subaru, the big news is an all-new 2015 Legacy, which is already receiving positive press. The Impreza and BRZ sports car round out the cars, the latter a rear-drive sports car reviewed on these pages a few months ago.
Toyota: With a total of seven cars to choose from, Toyota enters 2015 with a new Camry to enhance further its “best selling car in the U.S.” crown even more.
Volkswagen: Six cars for 2015 from VW include an all-new Golf hatchback model. Our test drive next week, the “CC,” has just been towed away after hitting a huge deer. If you want a convertible, the last year of the EOS is at hand, and it’s a real beauty.
Volvo: The two 2015 Volvo models, S60 and S80, are now available and both are very impressive with major tweaks. Mechanically, you can even order a four cylinder with a turbo and a supercharger, the first modern manufacturer to do so. (No turbo lag if you have a supercharger, too!)