Jaguar F-TYPE. Chevrolet Volt. Volkswagen Beetle R-Line. The 2014 model year was full of gems and game changers that are still as good as they were at launch, but at a pitch perfect price point. Find out exactly why these vehicle made our best-of list for 2014.
Prior to the release of the lauded F-TYPE in 2014, nearly four decades passed with no true sports car in the Jaguar lineup. But it was worth the wait, because this roadster is absolutely breathtaking. Underneath the low-slung aluminum monocoque is either a supercharged V6 or V8, the former pumping out 340 or 380 horsepower depending on trim, while the latter produces a pulse-pounding 495 horsepower. The optional Active Exhaust system is a must-have, which allows electronically controlled bypass valves to open up and emit the most beautiful free-flowing note ever heard.
All new for the 2014 model year, the Sierra 1500 full-size pickup underwent countless changes improving aesthetics, performance, and comfort. LED signature lighting was offered for the first time, and GMC upgraded the body with copious amounts of high strength steel to increase rigidity and shed weight. Inside, freshly developed durable fabric resists both daily wear-and-tear as well as stains. There were a trio of different EcoTec mills packaged with this truck including a 4.3-liter, 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter capable of towing a maximum 12,000 pounds.
Although initially on sale in 2010, Chevrolet’s popular plug-in hybrid received a big push in 2014 when the brand announced a $5,000 price cut to better compete with fellow electrified cars such as the Nissan Leaf. In addition, the Volt received another mid-cycle update in the form of slightly greater emissions-free range thanks to a revised battery. Engineers managed to squeeze out an additional three miles, for a total of 38, and as a bonus, the miles per gallon equivalent went from 94 to 98 MPGe.
There are those who consider the modern era VW Bug to be a feminine vehicle, but they probably haven’t experienced the grade-topping R-Line edition originally introduced half a decade ago. This maximum-fun version has more aggressively styled bumpers complete with integrated front splitter and rear diffuser, 19-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, leather interior, special badging and a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor making a healthy 210 horsepower.
Love it or hate it, the fifth generation Cherokee certainly turned heads at the vehicle’s unveiling a few years back. The mid-size crossover utilizes a unique headlamp setup sitting underneath separate combination daytime running light/turn signal housings and above discretely mounted foglights. Looks aside, the “KL” Cherokee is as rugged as any Jeep featuring 4×4 capability, a 4,500-pound tow rating, 3.2-lire Pentastar engine, and a segment-first nine-speed transmission. It also debuted some never-before-seen fuel economy tech: a fully disconnecting rear axle.