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2014 SUVs Take Center Stage at LA Auto Show

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander

Although various small and midsize cars made a splash at last week’s 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, several SUVs were also unveiled to the world.

A completely redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander debuted last week, and it abandons a similar front fascia as the Lancer’s in favor of what Kicking Tires calls a “more rounded front end.” For the 2014 model year, Mitsubishi says in a statement the Outlander loses 200 pounds and will have an Eco mode that increases the Outlander’s fuel efficiency by reducing engine power when accelerating from a stop. The Outlander’s powertrain lineup carries over, but receives some minor tweaks that include slightly lower horsepower for both its 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 engines. The four-cylinder engine makes 166 horsepower and is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the 224-horsepower V6 is mated to a six-speed automatic. On the inside, the 2014 Outlander gains new interior materials. Auto critics often criticized the outgoing model’s interior quality. The Outlander also gets standard seating for up to seven, which was optional on higher trims in the previous model.

Edmunds reports that the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander will hit U.S. dealerships starting July 2013, and will also be available as a plug-in hybrid, which goes on sale January 2014.

2014 Kia Sorento

The 2014 Kia Sorento also was introduced last week, which Kia says is 80 percent all-new, but at first glance, Kicking Tires says, “the visual updates are modest.” Under the hood, the Sorento gains a new 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 engine option, while last year’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 191 horsepower is now standard on the LX and EX trims. No matter which engine you choose, the 2014 Sorento will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Electric power steering also replaces the hydraulic system used in the outgoing model. New optional equipment on the 2014 Sorento includes a programmable power liftgate, redesigned panoramic moonroof and cooled front seats. Additionally, Kia has added a new, higher-end SX Limited model for 2014, which comes with leather seating and heated rear seats standard, as well as exterior upgrades like Xenon HID headlights, 19-inch chrome wheels and red brake calipers. Kicking Tires reports that the Sorento will go on sale in “early 2013.”

2014 Subaru Forester

Subaru revealed its redesigned 2014 Forester at the 2012 LA Auto Show last week as well. The fourth-generation Subaru Forester gets a new optional turbocharged 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder engine that generates 250 horsepower. A new high-torque continuously variable transmission (CVT) will be standard on turbo models, and it features six- and eight-speed manual shift modes with paddle shifters. Subaru says in a statement that the 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine that carries over from the outgoing 2013 model paired with the new CVT will get an estimated 24/32 mpg city/highway, which is improved over the previous model’s 21/27 mpg with the same engine and a four-speed automatic. However, the EPA has not tested the 2014 Forester’s fuel economy yet. The 2014 Subaru Forester is expected to hit dealerships next spring. Subaru hasn’t released pricing information yet, but the 2013 model starts at $21,295.

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