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The headlights on Land Rover’s small SUV _ the Range Rover Evoque _ also give that vehicle “a bit more of the sinister look,” according to IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland. The slim lamp also represents an advance in functionality.

“The great thing with lighting technology is that you can actually have a very narrow light and still have a tremendous amount of road illumination,” she says.

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CRYSTAL CLEAR

When it comes to headlights, there’s bling, and then there’s the king of bling.

The Acura RLX’s headlights look like a crystal chandelier, courtesy of a horizontal collection of lenses and LED light that has been split and directed in a beam pattern, according to Hulick of Osram Automotive.

He says Acura’s lights are a great example of a vehicle being simultaneously eye-catching and illuminating with the help of LEDs.

“Lighting, in my opinion, has replaced chrome as the jewelry on the car.”

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STEPPING UP

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck has a practical feature that breaks up the boring horizontal view of the bumper.

There are two steps that make it easy to climb into the bed to fetch tools or tie down a load. The steps are inset into the corner of the bumpers, and even have treads to stop work shoes from slipping.

The always-ready steps could give GM an advantage over other automakers in an increasingly competitive pickup market, especially with buyers who constantly are going in and out of the truck bed.

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AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher and Associated Press writer David Runk contributed to this report.

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