Typically, when looking for a new car or truck, buyers settle on the same models, while ignoring vehicles that might be more satisfying. What's worse, they won't even try them, despite the fact that they possess qualities that many buyers would favor. This is a sampling of some that are worth considering. Like the old Alka-Seltzer ad stated, "Try it. You'll like it."CHEVROLET VOLT
While talking heads have vilified the Volt, it remains a smart solution for most commuters who will, most likely, rarely burn gas. Yes, it's pricey, even with a $7,500 federal tax credit, but green solutions usually are.TOYOTA SEQUOIA
The Sequoia is little more than an SUV body riding atop the Toyota Tundra pick-up platform. Its large size, off-road capability and Toyota reliability make this an SUV for the long haul.LINCOLN MKS
Offering a large interior, generous trunk and the latest in high technology, you might not expect the MKS to handle as well as it does. And unlike other luxury cars, it's not the biggest seller, so you won't see yourself coming and going.SCION XB
What started out as a darling of younger drivers has quickly morphed into a car that's perfect for anyone who needs a small car with big space, a feisty four-cylinder engine and a tall seating position.INFINITI M
Nissan's luxury brand has had trouble producing a memorable flagship car. With the M, they've found the perfect formula: it feels like a larger, more opulent G sedan. It's mmm-mmm good.BUICK REGAL
Designed in Germany, the Regal is a fun-to-drive sports sedan that many won't consider due to its Buick badge. Be brave. Opt for the turbo model and you'll have a real autobahn-burner.CHRYSLER 300
You might think that the Chrysler 300 hasn't changed much. But a host of mechanical and aesthetic upgrades have transformed it into a refined full-sized car with the fuel economy of a midsize.FORD FLEX
While some find the Flex's square shape a bit too extreme, it offers impressive cargo and people space. Meanwhile, its sturdy platform and available all-wheel drive make it a safe family carry-all.GMC SIERRA HYBRID
Along with its Chevy cousin, the Sierra is the only gas-electric hybrid pickup truck in the U.S. With EPA estimates of 20 mpg city, 23 highway, it's frugal for a full-size pickup and ruggedly handsome.JAGUAR XF
The XF was the first Jaguar in decades that didn't mimic past models. Its strong, modern, European shape established a new direction for Jaguar styling that evokes glamor despite a lack of curves.MAZDA6
Although its design is several years old, the Mazda6 is still one of the best-looking midsize cars on the market. And, being a Mazda, its performance and handling will entertain you every day.NISSAN TITAN
Detroit dominates the full-size truck class, something Toyota is trying to break. Lost in the shuffle is the handsome Nissan Titan, which boasts a powerful V8, agile handling and comparable payload capacity.VW JETTA SPORTWAGEN TDI
This compact wagon is unique, not only for its lack of competition but for its mix of cargo room (32.8 cubic feet), turbo-diesel fuel economy (20 mpg city, 42 highway) and European manners.VOLVO C30
While the C30 is a bit pricey, its unique looks, cribbed from the old P1800, make it a fashion statement more than an economy car. But looking good always has its price. Just ask a Mini driver.
Larry Printz is automotive editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.