No Longer Compelled To Introduce New models only in October, auto manufacturers have moved up and pushed back their timetables according to when cars are ready. To this end, many of the vehicles coming out this spring are late-arrival '94s, while others are early-bird '95s. But all have been produced with car buyers foremost in mind - well-equipped, competitively priced vehicles that offer the best value for your dollar. For example, after a two-year hiatus, the Buick Riviera makes it return as a luxury package for under $30,000.
After a model year's absence, the Riviera has returned with newfound elegance and passion. At 207.2 inches long and 75 inches wide, this Riviera casts the largest shadow of any two-door car in production on the American market. This translate into a stirring presence on the road with unrivaled spaciousness.
Buick's 3.8-liter V-6 engine has been increased to 205 horsepower (hp) and an optional supercharger adds another 20 hp. A rigid new platform makes for a soft ride and surprisingly adept cornering ability.
While the dashboard remains the lone weak link in Buick's aim at styling leadership, the exterior sets new designs standards by showing an appreciation for classic cars, while breaking new ground in automotive art.
Buick is at the forefront of a new generation of cars that perform remarkably well. The Riviera brings new beauty and design distinction at a surprisingly affordable price, starting at $27,632 and remaining under $30,000 for a well-equipped luxury coupe.
MONTE CARLO COUPE
Chevrolet is trying to make a greater distinction between the two- and four-door versions of its Chevrolet Lumina. In four-door form, the car remains a Lumina, while the Monte Carlo nameplate, not used since 1988, will be its coupe version.
Although its competitors have gone to "cab forward" designs, Chevrolet is continuing with the old-fashioned long hood, short trunk style. Its more modern appearance comes from simply rounding its corners. Inside, things have been updated with dual airbags and manual seatbelts which replace the awkward door-mounted seatbelts found currently in the Lumina.
The drivetrain continues as is, with a 160-hp 3.1-liter V-6 engine as the base model. The Z34 version gains a 210-hp 3.4-liter 24-valve engine for more sporting performance. Prices are not yet set, but will be increased over the 1994 Lumina coupe, which ranges from around $16,875 to $19,835.
With sport-utility vehicles becoming one of the fastest growing segments in the auto market, Chevrolet has finally renewed its Blazer, which has remained largely unchanged for more than a decade.
A sleeker exterior surrounds a modernized truck with almost the same dimensions as the current model. While the four-door styling changes only modestly, the two-door model really takes on a "sport" theme. A sharp forward cant of the "C pillar" (just behind the rear side window) makes the new Blazer appear to be in motion without rotating a wheel.
Underneath, the potent 4.3-liter V-6, already the most powerful six-cylinder in its class, remains unchanged. The interior undergoes remarkable alternation, in favor of the ergonomically attractive interior of the new S-10 pickup. Prices aren't available until late summer, but should increase only slightly from the current base price of about $16,000.
Charging hard into the low-price segment of...