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--- news (9/17/2012)

With so many new vehicles being introduced, Forbes culled a list of what we think are the most important 2013 models coming to market. Our list is based on factors such as breakthrough technologies, significant powertrain advances and, in some cases, the car’s importance to a company’s business model. Here, then, is Forbes’ list of the Most Anticipated Cars of 2013.

2013 Ford Fusion

Likely price: $22,000 to $30,000

Ford aims to redefine the competitive mid-sized car segment with the Aston Martin-inspired look of the new Fusion sedan, available with gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. The hybrid will get 47 mpg in the city, the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid will get the equivalent of at least 100 mpg.

2013 Honda Accord

Likely price: $21,000 to $28,000

Honda's 9th-generation Accord, arriving in dealerships now, offers direct fuel injection and a continuously variable transmission for better fuel economy, and will also come in a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model next year. The new HondaLink system works with your smartphone to connect the Accord with music, media, internet apps and roadside assistance. Safety systems include forward collision warning, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

2013 Ram 1500

Starting price: $23,585

The Ram pickup has a new base V-6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, start-stop technology and an optional air suspension, all of which contribute to its great mpg: 18/25 city/hwy. Through Chrysler's next-generation UConnect system, the Ram is also a Sprint wireless hotspot, allowing truck owners to access and update an expanding array of vehicle-related apps.

2013 Nissan Altima

Starting price: $21,500

Officially on sale since June, the redesigned 2013 Altima is just picking up steam in showrooms. Already the second most popular car in America, the new generation gets an impressive 38 miles per gallon on the highway. It's loaded with safety features and even sounds the horn when you've inflated the tires to the recommended pressure. Smart.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Price: TBA

The redesigned Pathfinder is 500 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, and gets up to 26 miles per gallon, a 30% improvement. But it remains a rugged and capable SUV, still capable of towing 5,000 pounds. Special features include a panoramic roof and a flexible seating system.

2013 Cadillac ATS

Price: $33,990 to $42,090

The new entry-level Cadillac makes no secret of its goal to target the world's best compact luxury cars. It's built on a new lightweight, rear-wheel-drive chassis for agility and features three engine choices. Loaded with safety technology, its standout feature is the intuitive Cadillac CUE information and entertainment system that's easier to use than most.

2013 Dodge Dart

Starting price: $15,995

The first joint effort by Chrysler and Fiat, the Dart is based on a sporty Alfa Romeo platform. Roomier than other compacts, it's classified by the EPA as a mid-size car. Features include an 8.4-inch touchscreen, upscale ambient lighting and customizable interiors. The Dart comes with three new fuel-efficient engines that get up to 41 mpg on the highway.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

Starting price: $25,275T

he redesigned Santa Fe now comes in two sizes. The five-passenger crossover debuted in August, and the longer-wheelbase version, with three rows and seating for seven, goes on sale in January. Three engine choices, two four-cylinders and a V6, are available, and it can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

2013 Lincoln MKZ

Price: TBA

Debuting later this year, the new Lincoln MKZ represents the future of Lincoln. It features impressive styling, with a distinctive retractable glass roof, and other unique features like a push-button gear selector, rear inflatable seatbelts and an intelligent system that controls driving dynamics.

2013 Tesla Model S

Starting price: $49,900 (after $7,500 federal tax credit)

The Model S is the second electric car developed by Elon Musk's Tesla Motors. It's available with three battery sizes, with a range of 160 to 300 miles on a single charge, and a top speed 110 to 130 miles per hour. A 17-inch touchscreen controls entertainment and information. The car seats 5 adults, plus two small children in rear-facing jumpseats.

2013 Ford C-Max hybrid

Starting price: $25,995

The C-Max is a compact utility van sold in Europe. In the U.S., it'll be sold only as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid. The C-Max hybrid has a 570-mile driving range, and gets 47 mpg in both city and highway driving. The C-Max Energi, coming later this fall, can go more than 20 miles on electricity alone, and will have a total range of 550 miles. Features in both vehicles include a hands-free liftgate and panoramic sunroof.

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