With the 2013 model year fast upon us, I got to thinking: Which of the 160-plus new rides will make the biggest impact, in terms of sales, brand image, or segment domination? To keep my list to a reasonable numeration, I figure my “Top 13 of 2013″ makes sense, or at least has a nice ring to it. Some of my roster I’ve driven, and like immensely. As for the others, well, I look forward to experiencing what I project will be standouts. Without further ado…
(1) Ford Fusion: With swoopy, coupelike lines, the Fusion adopts small-displacement turbo engines as well as hybrid and plug-in-hybrid options to lure midsize sedan shoppers. The last gen won our 2010 Car of the Year award, and this new one appears on track to make a run at the ’13 title.
(2) Honda Accord: Will Honda get its mojo back with its ninth-gen Accord? An all-new DI four-cylinder/CVT powertrain and a plug-in hybrid say yes.
(3) Nissan Altima: In case you missed it, the last gen was the second-best-selling car in 2011. Ditto through May 2012. For 2013, with a 38-mpg-highway, 7.4-second-to-60 four-cylinder and 43-pounds-lighter curb weight (2.5 SL), the Altima could easily surge to number one.