The most-talked about 2012 new cars range from sporty to eco-friendly. Here are five models that are our minds:

Volkswagen Golf R
The 2012 Volkswagen Golf R is a grown-up version of the Golf of decades past. It’s the most powerful Golf ever at 266 horsepower and has better fuel efficiency than the Golf R32, which was released four years ago.

It’s also lighter than its predecessor and, for the first time, is equipped with Haldex 4Motion all-wheel drive. In addition to the expected two-door hatchback style, the Golf R is available as a four-door. Inside and out, it looks as though it’s gained a level of refinement and maturity, standing out among new 2012 cars.

Mitsubishi i
While the Mitsubishi i is, as “Car and Driver” magazine put it, “weird”, it offers some unique benefits. It’s arguably the most eco-friendly of all 2012 new cars. This electric city car can drive 62 miles on a full charge and is recharged with a home unit.

With its 66-horsepower electric motor, it topped the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2012 list of greenest cars, and is the first electric vehicle to claim that spot. It’s tiny, but it seats four. Though naysayers criticize its lack of oomph, it’s designed for city driving where the time it takes to get from zero to 60 is no big deal.

Audi A7
While the Audi A7 has been criticized as just a revamped A6, it’s one of the 2012 new cars generating a bit of buzz. Few have criticized its appearance, however it’s a good-looking car, with sleek Italian styling. This luxury hatchback has a 310-horsepower V6 engine under the hood and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet Sonic
The subcompact Chevrolet Sonic replaces the Aero, but the differences between the two go far beyond a new name. It’s available with a 1.4-liter turbo engine from the Chevy Cruze with 40-mpg potential, making it one of several new 2012 cars focused on fuel efficiency. Touted as more refined and fun to drive with a roomy interior, it’s available as a sedan and as a four-door hatchback.

2012 Hyundai Veloster
The Hyundai Veloster is one of several 2012 new cars marketed to younger drivers looking for a decent ride at an affordable price. It boasts an impressive fuel economy (40 mpg), sporty styling and an innovative front-hinged third door on the passenger side. Many tech options are available; many of them, such as iPod and USB auxiliary jacks and an AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system, are standard on every model, boosting its appeal to a youthful crowd.

These five 2012 new cars are some of the most talked about models of the year. Each is a unique snapshot of the changing auto industry. If you’d like a quote on any new 2012 car just follow the link for a free, no obligation price from a dealer near you.