With Thanksgiving coming up, we've decided to list a few of our favorite all-new cars that leave us feeling thankful. Our list only includes the latest 2014 models, and we've singled out cars that stand out, whether it's for performance, technology, fuel efficiency or just a simple gotta-have-it factor. If you're in the market for a new car, we think you should check out the models on our list. You'll be thankful that you did.
We're certainly thankful that BMW has brought us this highly efficient futuristic hatchback. It may not look like any BMW you've ever seen, but the right traits are there. It's lightweight (the curb weight is just 2,700 pounds). It's practical. It has rear-wheel drive, and 0-to-60 miles per hour comes in a snappy 7 seconds. But it adds another benefit that no other BMW can offer: fully electric power. BMW says the i3 can travel around 100 miles on a single charge, and it further notes the i3 can be fully recharged from a 220-volt outlet in just three hours, or just 30 minutes if you're using a supercharger. Pricing will start at $42,275 with shipping.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
One look at the latest Corvette and it's easy to see why we're thankful. The seventh-generation 'Vette boasts updated styling that gives the car a sleek, narrow profile compared to last year's model. But it's not just the appearance that has us smitten. We also love the Corvette's 455-horsepower V8, its standard 7-speed manual transmission and the fact that Chevrolet has upgraded the interior with a more upscale look -- even though pricing has remained reasonable, at around $51,000 plus options. Of course, it helps that the latest Corvette returns a whopping 29 miles per gallon on the highway, assuming that you can lay off the gas pedal.
Just a few years ago, pickups were utilitarian workhorses with sparse interiors and rough rides. We're thankful that's no longer the case. With its latest Silverado, Chevrolet has delivered a new benchmark in the era of the comfortable, usable pickup. But if you're worried the pickup has lost its edge, don't be: The all-new Silverado hasn't lost any of its abilities. It can tow, haul and carry more than its predecessor, while returning better fuel economy and a smoother ride. We also happen to love its new engines, both for their pulling power and their gas mileage. And we love that Chevy hasn't bumped prices, as the new model starts around $26,500.
Honda Accord Hybrid
The new Accord Hybrid may be a latecomer to the midsize sedan hybrid party, but we're thankful that Honda has revived the model for 2014. That's because the 4-cylinder gas/electric hybrid sedan returns a whopping 50 mpg in the city -- well above rivals such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid (43 mpg city) and Ford Fusion Hybrid (47 mpg city). We're also thankful for the sedan's reasonable pricing, which starts around $30,000 with shipping -- a figure that includes features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, push-button start and Honda's LaneWatch side camera that helps with lane changes.
It's hard not to be thankful for cars like the F-Type. In a world with an increasing focus on gas mileage and practicality, the F-Type doesn't deliver much of either. Instead, it offers the last word in cool: a top-down, 2-seat British convertible with gorgeous styling and a choice of powerful engines. Our favorite is the stunning F-Type V8 S, which manages to put out a whopping 495 hp through its supercharged 5.0-liter V8. And it's not just the power we like: The V8 S is tuned to sound like it's ready to go racing. The only thing we're not thankful for is the F-Type's price tag, which ranges from $70,000 for a base-level V6 model to nearly $93,000 for a V8 S. But that's the price of cool.
Don't get us wrong -- we're thankful for both of Mazda's all-new 2014 models. Those would be the 2014 Mazda6 and the smaller Mazda3, which are among the best-handling, and best-looking, cars in their respective segments. But the Mazda3 especially stands out thanks to its great gas mileage (it returns over 40 mpg with its base-level 2.0-liter engine), its upscale interior and an options list that makes you think you're considering a luxury car. That's true even though you aren't paying luxury car prices, since the Mazda3 starts under $18,000 with shipping.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA gives us a lot to be thankful for. There's the styling: It loses what some might say is Mercedes' more traditional design language for a flowing, curvy body that stands out from the entry-level luxury crowd. There's the engine: Even the base model boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that returns 208 hp. There's the gas mileage, which comes in at an economy-car-like 26 mpg city/38 mpg hwy. But most importantly, there's the price tag: The CLA250 starts at just over $30,000 with shipping. It's been years since we've seen that figure on a new car with a 3-pointed star on the grille.
If you're in the market for a compact SUV, you'll probably be thankful for the Nissan Rogue. It's a big step up over last year's model, in part thanks to handsome new exterior styling and an upscale new interior that gives the crossover a higher-end feel. But you'll also appreciate the long list of features, which includes safety gadgets such as forward collision alert and a blind spot monitoring system. And if that's not enough, consider this: The Rogue is the only compact SUV with 3-row seating. Not sold yet? Trust us. With pricing that starts from just $23,500, the Rogue is certainly worth a spot on your shopping list.
Range Rover Sport
If you like luxury SUVs, you'll be thankful for Land Rover's redesigned Range Rover Sport. The number-one reason is that it now has third-row seating, which means that for the first time you can buy an SUV with the Range Rover badge and seven seats. But there's so much more to love, such as the SUV's cutting-edge styling, its available supercharged V8 and its handsome new interior. There's also the world-class off-road ability, though we don't expect many drivers will get too familiar with the Range Rover Sport in the mud, especially considering its $63,500 base price.
It's among the most popular midsize SUVs around, and it's all-new for the 2014 model year. That's great news for shoppers interested in a new family SUV, since the latest Highlander picks up exactly where the old model left off. It's a little bigger than last year's Highlander, both inside and out. But it offers the same powerful V6, the same fuel-efficient hybrid model and the same practical interior that makes the Highlander so desired among today's parents. And pricing is also about the same as the outgoing model, with the base MSRP around $29,200 -- an increase of just $200 over last year's Highlander.
What it means to you: If you're looking for some of today's best all-new cars, our list of models that we're thankful for includes a few good suggestions.