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From Acura to Volvo: New car models in 2014

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 7:08 a.m. MDT

Associated Press
More than 81 U.S. car models will be new or refreshed in the 2014 model year, from big-selling mainstream cars like the Toyota Corolla to rarified supercars like the $1.3 million LaFerrari.

The auto industry is feeling good after several rough years during the recession. Sales of new cars and trucks are expected to reach 15.5 million or more this year, their highest level since the recession, and many think they'll continue to rise in 2014. Low-interest auto loans and moderating gas prices are helping spur consumers to buy.

There are some common threads among the new models in 2014. Automakers are all updating their interiors, replacing hard plastic with soft-touch arm rests and dashboards, and adding larger touchscreens, cooled seats and more ways for drivers to access their smart phones.

Luxury carmakers like Mercedes and Maserati are adding lower-priced models to their ranges, hoping to boost sales, while lower priced brands like Kia are moving upmarket.

Fuel economy is important. Honda and Porsche have new hybrids, BMW is releasing its first electric car and Mazda will soon become the first Japanese automaker with a non-commercial diesel in the U.S. market. Electric car maker Tesla expects to introduce its Model X crossover by the end of this year.

Many automakers are also adding stop-start technology, which automatically shuts the car down at stop lights to save fuel. There's also more use of aluminum and high-strength steel to cut the weight out of cars.

But here's what you really want to know: Which vehicle has a new in-car vacuum cleaner? The Honda Odyssey minivan, of course. And which one has optional fiber optics sewn into the headliner to look like stars? That would be the Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Here are the 2014 highlights from each brand.
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