Most Researched Cars of the Week: December 22 – 28

Most Researched Cars of the Week: December 22 – 28

A variety of cars made up this week’s list of most-researched vehicles including selections from American, Japanese and German brands.

Audi’s Q5 compact crossover made an appearance, as did the Mazda CX-5. Both fit into the same segment by size, but match different driver preferences. The Q5 offers a wider variety of engine options and costs quite a bit more. The German brand sells it with four- and six-cylinder gasoline options as well as a diesel six-shooter. Then there’s the hybrid and hotter SQ5 performance variant. Mazda’s small crossover serves a broader group of drivers, but with a narrower scope of engine choices restricted to a 2.0- or 2.5-liter “SkyActiv” four-cylinder.

BMW’s 328i was also a popular pick this week. It’s force-fed four cylinder makes 240 hp sending power to either the rear or all four wheels via an eight-speed autobox.

Ford hasn’t done anything exciting with its Explorer mid-size SUV this year, but that didn’t keep it from rising to the top as one of the most popularly researched cars this week. The base model starts just under $31,000 while the “Sport” model, which uses a turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, costs about $11,000 more to start.

Finally, the diminutive Ford Fiesta brought up the rear this week. Depending on your inclination, owning a Fiesta doesn’t mean condemnation to slow-paced sub-compact car hell. The Fiesta ST uses a 197-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to deliver thrills to the front wheels and passengers.

Click the hot links below to go directly to each of the cars or enjoy some casual browsing in our new car shopping section or learn more about your own top picks in our Tips & Advice area.

2014 Mazda CX-5

2014 BMW 328i

2014 Audi Q5

2014 Ford Explorer

2014 Ford Fiesta