5 vehicles most stood out on the roads in 2018

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Mercedes-Benz S560

Drive more than one new vehicle a week over the course of a year and some will stand out. Blistering speed, elegant style and sumptuous interiors leave impressions, but so do great driving cars that are incredibly practical. We have a selection tor review, so let’s get busy.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Ice storms and slow roads be damned when behind the wheel of this ferocious beast. It lays down tread with its 707 horsepower supercharged V8 engine and fortified all-wheel-drive system. As a symphony of bottled swagger, it smokes 0-60 mph in 3.5s and reaches 180 mph. It gets 11/17-MPG city/highway, but who cares when snuggled into leather and suede seats, listening to 825w Harman Kardon audio and gazing at carbon fiber trim. You’ll want a cigarette after every drive.
As-tested price: $90,880.

Mercedes-Benz S560. I drove two S560s, so the quandary is, “Sedan or cabrio?” Working in its favor, the four-seat convertible with its retractable cotton roof and Swarovski crystal headlamp accents is classically beautiful. But, the sedan flaunts gravitas rolling up anywhere. Twin flatscreens, Nappa leather, Bermester audio, night vision cameras, massage seats and heated armrests thoroughly spoil passengers. Both cruise effortlessly with 463 horsepower Biturbo V8 engines and air suspensions. Both are divine, but there’s nothing like seeing that chrome star at the end of the hood.
As-tested price: $139,405.

Alpha Romero Giulia Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Slap this Italian stud on the ass and hear the screaming Ferrari-derived twin-turbo V6 engine that spirits 505 horsepower to zap 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and touch 191 mph top speed. Alfa’s D.N.A system adjusts the throttle, steering, suspension and transmission for sport, comfort or economy. Brembo brakes deploy the parachutes. Check the carbon fiber front splitter, rear spoiler, hood and roof. Sweet leather accompanies an infotainment screen expanse that looks like black Murano glass. Crank the 900w Harman Kardon audio and find your road.
As-tested price: $89,895.

Volkswagen Golf R

Ford F-150 Platinum Diesel. If you’re going to live in Texas, you gotta love a truck! This sexy boy is dressed to the nines in Platinum trim that flashes a bold chrome grille, 20-in. wheels and LED bed lights. Military grade aluminum panels keep it light. Climb up the power deployed steps and luxuriate in Dark Marsala red leather, black wood trim, heated/cooled seats and sweet B&O audio system. Smooch beneath the stars via a twin panel moonroof. Afterwards, pump the turbo-diesel engine to pull 13,200 lbs. of weekend toys with quietly deployed 250 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque.
As-tested price: $70,375.

Volkswagen Golf R. With all of this exotic machinery, you may think my brain malfunctioned by including a VW. This car’s about simply getting lost in the drive. The two-box exterior is dignified by LED headlamps, 19-in. wheels and R-specific body trim. Open the hatch and throw in all your gear. Up front, appreciate the flatschreen instrument cluster, Fender audio, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise and forward collision mitigation. Step into the 292 horsepower turbo-four, with all-wheel-drive, that tosses the car 0-60 mph under 5s and achieves 21/29-MPG city/hwy. Rev and enjoy!
As-tested price: $40,635.