Best new cars for 2014 and 2015

Reviewing the best new cars for 2014 and 2015 on display at the 2014 Portland International Auto Show.

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The Portland International Auto Show may not yield the same industry buzz or have all the new-model reveals like LA, New York, Chicago, Detroit or Geneva, but it's a fabulous representation of what's on the horizon frrom the world's best automakers.

The century-old auto show featured eye candy including over a million dollar's worth of Italian sports cars, the brand-new Jaguar F-Type and the Mercedes SLS. And playing to Portland's reputation as an environmentally progressive city, the Clean Tech Center, one of the show's marquee attractions, featured a wealth of brand new electric and hybrid vehicles. This guide will detail all the best new cars for 2014 and 2015 on display at this year's Portland international Auto Show.

SUPER CARS

Always the most anticipated segment of the Portland International Auto Show, this year featured millions of dollars in super cars from Italian thoroughbreds Lamborghini and Ferrari, opulant Brits Rolls Royce and Bentley and the preeminent German luxury king Mercedes-Benz. These super cars are worth more than houses, so it's unlikely you or i will ever own one, but man are they pretty to look at. Check out the coolest super cars at the Portland Auto Show:

Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Huracan

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 5.2L V10
Horsepower:  560 HP
MSRP: From $181,900
 MPG: 13 city / 20 highway

 

Although the Gallardo is about to be replaced by the brand new Huracan starting next year, it is still an all-time iconic car that will turn heads no matter where it goes. It is Lamborghini's all-time sales leader, with over 14,000 Gallardos produced and sold in the past ten years. Before you lament the loss of the Gallardo, rest assured the Huracan will be every bit as cool. Not a bad way to sepnd a small forture.

Ferrari California

Ferrari

Body style: Convertible
Engine size: 4.3L V8
Horsepower:  483 HP
MSRP: From $198,000
 MPG: 13 city / 19 highway 

 

Representing the fourth model range for Ferrari, the California is a grand touring sports car with a front-mid mounted direct injection V8. it is the first front engined Ferrari with a V8, and the first to featuring a folding metal roof. That's part of the reason why it's called a California, so you know, you can drop the top in the California sun.  About 6,000 California models are produced per year, making them rather exclusive. 

Ferrari 458 Spider

Ferrari

Body style: Convertible
Engine size: 4.5L V8
Horsepower:  570 HP
MSRP: From $257,000
 MPG: 13 city / 17 highway 

 

The 458 Spider has that classic Ferrari look, with an aerodynamically pointed front end and lines that are aggressive yet elegant. The Spider is Ferrari's sportiest V8-engine model, with a top speed of over 200 mph and E-Diff and F1-Trac traction control systems that improve cornering and longitudinal acceleration. Just in case you feel like crusing the PCH at 200 mph. 

Ferrari F12berlinetta

Ferrari

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 6.3L V12
Horsepower:  731 HP
MSRP: From $315,888
 MPG: 12 city / 18 highway 

 

Long and sleek, the F12berlinetta is the most aerodynamic Ferrari ever made. One of the most expensive Ferrari models, the massive and mean V12 pumps out an awe-inspiring 731 horsepower to attain top speeds of over 210 mph. The F12berlinetta can accelerate to 120 mpg in 8.5 seconds. Oh my goodness.

Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls Royce Phantom

Body style: Sedan
Engine size: 6.8L
Horsepower:  453 HP
MSRP: From $440,000
 MPG: 11 city / 19 highway 

 

The ultimate boss car. Who can afford to put down nearly half a million dollars for a mansion on wheels? Well, pretty much nobody, which is what makes the Phantom the utlimate status symbol among the world's very elite. The best part of the Phantom? The people who own them usually don't even drive them; they pay to have people drive for them as they sip ultra-rare scotch in the back. If you're reading this, and you can afford a new Rolls Royce, congratulations on all your success.

2014 Mercedes SLS AMG GT

Mercedes SLS AMG GT

Body style: Convertible roadster
Engine size: 6.2L V8
Horsepower:  583 HP
MSRP: From $201,500
 MPG: 13 city / 19 highway 

 

A magnus opus for Mercedes-Benz, The Mercedes SLS AMG may be the coolest roadster on the planet, especially with the gull-wing doors. This front-engine 2-seater luxury grand tourer is tougher than anything your rich friends might drive ("Your SL is missing an S") with a more sophisticated and subdued look than the gaudy Italian super cars. New for 2014, The SLS AMG GT is super exclusive with only 350 units in existance. So if you see one out on the street, make a wish. 

2014 Nissan GTR

Nissan GTR

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 3.8L Twin Turbo V6
Horsepower:  545 HP
MSRP: From $99,590
 MPG: 16 city / 23 highway 

 

Don't think the Nissan GTR is a super car? check out that horsepower and get back to me. With 545 horses packed into a twin turbo V6, The Nissan GTR's power and performance is directly comparable to Lamborghini and Ferrari, but at half the price. This isn't a Nissan you take on your morning commute; this is a true blue racer that should be stored in the garage until it's time to take it to the track on the weekend. Sure, it doesn't have the same flair a a Ferarri, but who needs flair when you have an extra hundred grand in your pocket?  

LUXURY CARS

Placed alongside the super cars, the luxury cars on display at the Portland Auto Show, though still quite expensive, represent more of a reality to new car buyers than the Ferraris and Bentleys of the world. Highlighted by Maserati's big jump into the North American market, the luxury car wing featured the latest in performance luxury breakthrughs (Jaguar F-Type) and innovation at the entry level (Audi A3 Sedan, BMW 4 Series), offering something for everybody looking into the luxury segment. 

2014 Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli

Body style: Sedan
Engine size: 3.0L V6
Horsepower:  345 HP
MSRP: From $66,550
 MPG: 17 city / 25 highway 

 

Finally, a (relatively) affordable Italian sports car is available for the North American masses. Long-time niche player Maserati just threw its hat into the ring of midsize luxury sedans with the all-new Ghibli. Taking aim at the BMW 5 Series, the Ghibli is a spacious, fully appointed sedan with a Ferrari-designed 3.0L V6 that has some serious kick while remaining efficient enough for everyday driving. While $66,000 is still a hefty sticker price, it is a fraction of the cost of a typical Maserati. 

2015 Audi A3 Sedan 

Audi A3 Sedan

Body style: Sedan
Engine size: 1.8L Turbocharged I-4
Horsepower:  170 HP
MSRP: From $30,795
 MPG: 25 city / 35 highway 

 

For years now, the Audi A3 has been the little hatchback brother in the back of the showroom just hoping to get the scraps left behind from the A8 and A6. And now, it's getting the full flagship sedan treatment. The 1.8L four cylinder engine inspires a sporty 170 horsepower while achieving an impressive 35 mpg on the highway. The A3 sedan includes the same advanced technology features and fine-crafted leather upholstery as its flagship big brothers. 

2015 Jaguar F-Type R

Jaguar F-Type

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 5.0L Supercharged V8
Horsepower: 542 HP
MSRP: From $99,000
 MPG: 16 city / 23 highway 

 

For decades, the Porsche 911 has been the undisputed heavyweight luxury sports car of the North American market, but a number one contender may have just emerged with the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R and its massive supercharged V8 engine. This two-door roadster is every bit as beautiful as the 911, and is every bit the monster on the race track. The F-Type R also carries the same six figure price tag as the 911, so make your choice wisely. 

Cadillac CTS Vsport sedan

Cadillac CTS Vsport

Body style: Sedan
Engine size: 3.6L Turbocharged V6
Horsepower: 420 HP
MSRP: From $60,000
 MPG: 17 city / 25 highway 

 

How does Cadillac improve upon the CTS, named the 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year? Drop in a 3.6L Turbocharged V6 and cut as much weight as possible to send it flying around the race track like no Cadillac before it. The CTS Vsport represents Cadillac's return to racing respectability, and the $60,000 price tag should have anybody considering a German import to take another look at the domestic luxury king. 

2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

BMW models at Portland It'l Auto Show

Body style: Four-Coupe
Engine size: 2.0L Turbocharged 4-cyl
Horsepower: 240 HP
MSRP: From $41,225
MPG: 23 city / 35 highway

 

Kind of an amalgamation between several currently existing BMW models, the all-new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe essentially exists to combine the looks of a coupe with the functionality of a four-door sedan. It offers roughly the same looks and performance as the 3-Series GT and the two-door 4 Series coupe in some sort of middle-of-the-road compromise. It's a gorgeous car and the price is right, but it adds just one more difficult choice for the BMW buyer.  

2014 Kia K900

Kia K900

Body style: Full-size sedan
Engine size: V8
Horsepower: 420 HP
MSRP: From $66,400
MPG: 15 city / 23 highway

 

Yes it's a Kia, and yes it's a luxury car. A powerful, fully appointed luxury car that deserves your attention. I'm talking to you, Mercedes and BMW buyers. Don't let the nameplate fool you, the K900 is Kia's loud-and-proud entry into the fullsize luxury sedan market. With the look of a 7 Series BMW, and a V8 pushing out an impressive 420 horsepower, it's not crazy to pay over 60 grand for a Kia. 

LUXURY ELECTRIC CARS

Every year, the electric car market grows at a near-exponential rate as public demand for highly efficienct, environmentally responible vehicles continues to increase and more and more automakers throw their hat into the ring. Riding in the wake of the popular Tesla Model S, electric cars are starting to pop up in some unexpected places, like at Cadillac and BMW. The new luxury electric car class is currently just an expensive niche, but the success of cars like the BMW i3 could send it to the mainstream. 

2015 BMW i3

BMW i3

Body style: Sedan
Engine size: Synchronous electric motor
with 22kWh Lithium ion battery
Horsepower: 170 HP
MSRP: From $41,350
MPG: 80-90 mpg equivalent

 

Easily the most anticipated segment of the Portland International Auto show this year, the BMW i3 Born Electric Ride offered the people of Portland an opportunity to ride around in BMW's first-ever all-electric vehicle. There's plenty of buzz about the latest innovation from BMW; the i3 is the first production car to be constructed entirely of carbon fiber, and potential BMW i3 buyers will have to take a spot in line on a six-month waiting list ahead of the i3's North American debut in May 2014. Not only does it have the stylish elegance and sporty performance of a BMW, it gets an equivalent of 80-90 mpg on its electric motor. 

2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in

Cadillac ELR

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 1.4L four-cylinder,
154 kW motor
Horsepower: 207 HP
MSRP: From $75,995
MPG:

82 mpg in EV mode, 
33 mpg combined

 

Cadillac making an electric car? Isn't that like Kia making a flagship luxury sedan? Yes it is, and it's the sign of the times as automakers diversify their lineups to satisfy all kinds of driver preferences. Starting at $75,995, you wonder what kind of electric car buyer would be willing to pony up that kind of cash, and what type of Cadillac buyer would be open to an electric car. Still, the sporty ELR gets an impressive 82 mpg equivalent in EV mode and 33 mpg combined with the gas engine. Who ever thought a Cadillac would ever attain that type of fuel efficiency?

FULL-SIZE TRUCKS

Consistently the best-selling vehicles in America, full-size trucks are big business for the "Big Three" domestic automakers GM, Chrysler and Ford. That's why every year they put a lot of effort into making their trucks the most technologically advanced, capable and comfortable vehicles in their stable. Check out the latest innovations on the classic Silverado, F-150 and Ram:

2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD

Chevy Silverado HD

Body style: Full-size truck
Engine size: 6.0L Vortec V8
Horsepower: 360 HP
MSRP: From $31,310
MPG:

Est. 12 city / 18 highway

 

The latest Chevy Silverado HD has a radically improved interior that's fully loaded and downright luxurious, but the Silverado's best selling points will aways be its long-term dependability and impressive towing and hauling capability. The 6.0L Vortec V8 is paired with advanced towing technology like Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start assist to effortlessly tow up to 23,200 pounds 

2015 Ford F-150

Ford F-150

Body style: Full-size truck
Engine size: 3.7L V6
Horsepower: 302 HP
MSRP: From $24,445
MPG:

Est. 17 city / 23 highway

 

If you're thinking about buying a new truck, you've probably already heard by now that the 2015 Ford F-150 will be constructed entirely of aluminum to reduce curb weight and maximize the production of the the 3.7 L V6 engine. Ford subjected the  F-150 to testing in the most treachrous conditions imaginable, including the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race, to deliver the best model yet. 

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Body style: Full-size truck
Engine size: Turbocharged diesel V6
Horsepower: 240 HP
MSRP: From $39,940
MPG:

Est. 21 city / 28 highway

 

Demand for diesel is increasing in the United States, and so is the number of diesel vehicles hitting the market. At the forefront is the 2014 Ram 1500, named Motor Trend 2014 Truck of Year thanks in large part to the impressive turbocharged EcoDiesel V6. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 28 mpg on the highway, which is almost unheard of even five years ago. With the success of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, expect a lot of immitators in the coming years. 

AMERICAN MUSCLE

Just like the super cars, many patrons of the Portland Auto Show arrived excited to see the latest in classic American muscle from the Chevy Corvette and the Ford Mustang. This year is no disappointment, as these two models are the hottest and rowdiest they've ever been.

2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray

Corvette Stingray

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 6.2L V8
Horsepower: 455 HP
MSRP: From $51,000
MPG:

Est. 17 city / 29 highway

 

The Chevy Corvette Stingray is all new for 2014 and marks the beginning of the seventh Corvette genreation. Lighter than ever with an all-new aluminum frame, the 6.2L V8 sends it flying with over 455 horsepower, and the stiffer body gives you complete control whipping through the turns. This isn't a gas-guzzler like the Ferraris; it gets a solid 29 mpg on the highway. Really, the Corvette Stingray offers everything you could ever want from a sports muscle car. 

2014 Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 3.7L V6
Horsepower: 305 HP
MSRP: From $22,510
MPG:

Est. 19 city / 29 highway

 

It's been 50 years since Ford introduced the first Mustang, and it's been a staple of American popular culture ever since. The latest rendition of the Mustang borrows generously from the past, replicating that aggressive pony-car look that's become so iconic on the race track and on the big screen. But the technology put into the new Ford Mustang is as modern as it comes. Recalibrated stability control and sport-tuned suspension keep the 3.7L V6 (or upgraded V8) under control, while dual-zone climate control and leather upholstery keep you as comfortable as possible.  

AFFORDABLE SPORTS CARS

Sure, you can drop $100k on a 400-horsepower luxury racer that's ready to go right out of the box, but it's likely you don't have a spare $100k and that's okay. The best affordable sports cars on display at the Portland International Auto Show are light, quick and ready to tune and mod to your racing heart's desires. Best of all, you can fulfill your need for speed without breaking the bank.

Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 2.0L Turbo H-4
Horsepower: 200 HP
MSRP: From $25,595
MPG:

Est. 22 city / 30 highway

 

Just like the Ferarris and the Lambos on the list, the Subaru BRZ is not a car you take out every day on your work commute; this is a car you tinker with and mod in your garage all week, then take it out to the track or the winding country roads outside of town and let it rip. This car is strictly a racer, stripped of excess interior features to cut as much weight as possible and get everything it can out of the 200-horsepower SUBARU BOXER engine. 

Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX

Body style: Sedan
Engine size: 2.5L Intercooled Turbo H-4
Horsepower: 265 HP
MSRP: From $25,995
MPG:

Est. 19 city / 25 highway

 

Oh, the classic tuner car. Every speed freak has at one time or another raced around in the Impreza WRX. Built for rally racing, it's light, quick and infinitely customizable. Drift through turns on the track or take it off-road with the famed Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Unlike the BRZ, the WRX is equipped to be an everyday car, with plenty of interior options and decent fuel economy.

Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 2.0L Turbo H-4
Horsepower: 200 HP
MSRP: From $24,700
MPG:

Est. 22 city / 30 highway

 

The Scion FR-S is pretty much the exact same car as the Subraru BRZ with a different badge on the hood. Same engine, same horsepower, same weight, same dimensions and everything else. So why did Toyota build the FR-S? Hard to say exactly, other than branding and marketing it to a younger demographic that might be getting into racing for the first time. It's slightly cheaper than the BRZ, so you can call it the Subaru BRZ entry-level model. 

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Body style: Coupe
Engine size: 2.0L Turbocharged I-4
Horsepower: 260 HP
MSRP: From $24,250
MPG:

Est. 21 city / 30 highway

 

Nice work by Hyundai to put out such a sexy and sleek racer. The Genesis' coupe design makes it look fast, and its optional 3.8L Turbocharged V6 is an absolute beast inside the light frame. The suspension on the Genesis Coupe can be calibrated to suit your desired racing needs, and the paddle-shift SHIFTRONIC system lets you shift gears like Formula 1. 

Get the lowest local price quotes on the best cars for 2014 and 2015 now

All the best new cars for 2014 and 2015 on display at the Portland International Auto Show again proves, as automakers continue to listen to the buying public, that cars are getting more advanced, more powerful and more efficient with each passing year. Electric cars are becoming more mainstream, sports cars are becoming lighter and quicker and trucks are becoming more efficient. It is certainly a buyer's market. If you're iterested in one of the best new cars for 2014 and 2015, use Reply! to find the best quotes from dealers in your area.

Photo Credit: "Jaguar F-Type" and "Audi A3 Sedan" via Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author

Alex Gabriel is a content editor at Reply! with several years of digital marketing and and copywriting experience. A native of Portland and graduate of the University of Oregon, Alex has a passion for test-driving new cars he can’t afford. Click here to connect with Alex on Google+.