Today, June 25, is Leon Day, which marks just six months until Christmas Day. (“Leon” is “Noel” spelled backward.) Since it’s not even July and some stores already have the school supply aisles stocked, we wondered if it might be OK to begin thinking about asking for a car for Christmas – or to begin thinking about buying a car as a gift for a loved one (or yourself)?
Here are five vehicles that you might want to put on your wish list*.
2011 Audi A3
The 2011 Audi A3 is a small station wagon that doesn’t lack for style or substance. If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car that’s not a hybrid, the A3’s FrontTrak Premium Plus trim with a 2.0-liter TDI engine and 6-speed S tronic transmission rates an EPA Greenhouse Gas Score of 8 and an estimated EPA fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 42 mpg highway. It also comes in one of the sharpest new car colors out there: Aruba Blue Pearl (pictured above).
2011 Ford Mustang
As we noted in our list of “Must-Have Motors for Dads,” the 2011 Ford Mustang gets a power boost over previous model years. The Mustang’s standard V6 has been upgraded to a 305-hp, 3.7-liter engine, while the Mustang GT now has a 412-hp, 5.0-liter V8. It’s also loaded with technology features, including electronic power assist steering, the SYNC® in-car communications and entertainment system, and Ford’s MyKeyTM, which allows owners to assign specially coded keys for each additional driver to enforce specific driving restrictions.
See it now at a Ford Drive One Tour stop near you.
2011 Kia Sorento
If you’re looking for a crossover vehicle, the 2011 Kia Sorento CUV is loaded with standard features, from electronic stability control with traction control to hill assist control to the EcoMinder indicator that lets drivers know when their car is performing at maximum fuel-efficiency. Plus, it will be the first Kia vehicle to feature the Kia UVO in-car communications and entertainment system that is poised to rival the Ford SYNC® system.
2011 Lincoln MKT
For those who want a luxury ride without sacrificing practicality and cargo space, the 2011 Lincoln MKT may be the right fit for you. Built on the Ford Flex platform, this full-size crossover SUV is available with room for seven passengers, built-in navigation system, SYNC® in-car communications and entertainment system, MyKeyTM programmable keys, and Lincoln’s unique Vista RoofTM that features fixed glass panels with power front and rear sunshades.
2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid
If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient mid-size sedan, the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid is definitely a vehicle to check out. The Camry Hybrid pairs a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with a 40-hp electric motor to offer an estimated 31 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 35 mpg highway. Moreover, the ECO Button helps prioritize the hybrid system and the air conditioning for better fuel economy. To avoid being just a carbon copy of the conventionally powered Toyota Camry, the Camry Hybrid features a narrower grill and more open and sporty front valance.
* Most of these cars will be entering dealer showrooms later this calendar year. However, you can already view pictures, watch test-drive videos, and learn more about the technical details and features of each of these cars from our Car Research section. Each description above is hyperlinked to go directly to the Research page for that vehicle.