SUVs

My Day at the 2014 Toyota Tundra and 4Runner Preview Event

As I mentioned in a brief post the other day, last week I had the opportunity to travel to south-western Pennsylvania to stay at the Nemocolin Woodlands Resort and see, and drive, the 2014 Toyota Tundra and 2014 Toyota 4Runner. The resort was amazing and served as a terrific backdrop for getting to know the new Tundra and 4Runner. What follows is a brief description of our day along with…


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT One Sweet Ride

A year ago, we tested the world’s most expensive Jeep in the form of the Grand Cherokee SRT8, a vehicle I stated was apparently intended for those with plenty of disposable income and pay little attention to fuel prices. For the 2014 model year little has changed, save for the fact that gas prices have inched up a bit along with the sticker price of the new model while its…


Down and Dirty with the 2014 Toyota 4Runner

During this week’s Press Preview of the 2014 Toyota Tundra and 2014 Toyota 4Runner, we had a chance to spend some “quality time” in different models of each truck. And while we spent some time with the trucks on nicely paved roads, we also had a chance to go off-road with both vehicles. The event took place on the grounds of the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA, a gorgeous…


2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport an ‘Odd Duck’

An “odd duck” of sorts showed up in my driveway recently courtesy Mitsubishi media fleet – a 2013 Outlander Sport crossover utility vehicle. Odd as the automaker has already released an all-new 2014 Outlander but apparently the Sport variant will live on in the previous form for a while longer. We last looked at the Mitsubishi crossover in 2011 when we took delivery of the GT model during a freak…


Ford’s 2014 Product Preview

Design is still the leading factor when purchasing a new vehicle according to Ford Motor Company. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker opened its 2014 product preview for journalists with a “talk show” format presentation in which Ford president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs and global product development group vice president Raj Nair answered prepared questions about Ford’s present and future. Hinrichs explained Ford’s recent gains in market share are driven by…


2013 Buick Encore is the new ‘Cute-Ute’ on the Block

Buick is celebrating its 110th birthday. A quick trip down memory lane brings back such iconic models as Century, Roadmaster, Skylark, Riviera and Regal. The new era of Buick features a new Regal as well as a LaCrosse, an Enclave, and now – an Encore. Yes, Buick’s newest member of the fold is also its smallest, entering the staid brand into the subcompact crossover market with a new American entry…


2013 Infiniti JX35 Has Beauty, Style, and Grace — and Soon, a New Name

In recognizing its behemoth QX fullsize SUV is not for every family, Infiniti has delivered a more of a “right-sized” crossover to meet the needs of families who, in their words, recognize the need to grow up without growing old. Enter the 2013 Infiniti JX35. Cross-developed with the new Pathfinder seven-passenger from Nissan, JX delivers interior flexibility and roominess, safety, three-row seating, performance and a host of hospitality features in…


2013 Acura RDX Graduates with Honors

Almost as if being handed its diploma and told to get a job, Acura has shed the frat-boy “hoodie” of the first-generation RDX crossover for a suit and tie on model year 2013. Gone is the chiseled styling and the (much beloved) spunky turbo four with Acura opting instead for more mainstream body lines and a smooth V-6 engine. RDX has been (barely) surviving in the shadows of the likes…


2013 Chevrolet Suburban is the Prairie Schooner of the Modern World

The Suburban Carryall – prairie schooner of the modern era, the longest-running nameplate in the automotive industry, the original SUV. As Chevrolet heads into fall production of its iconic Suburban fullsize family hauler, it enters the 79th year of production of the model all the while keeping faithful to its initial concept of spaciousness and capability. The 2013 Suburban is built on the GMT900 body-on-frame truck platform underpinning all of…


2013 BMW X1 Sport Activity Vehicle Bleeds 3-series DNA

BMW is a marque used by many automotive journalists as their “industry standard.” While I do not agree with many of my colleagues across the board on this, for me the X3 crossover from Bavaria is at the top of its game so there was much anticipation when the automaker brought its newest cute ute to the states in the form of the X1 Sport Activity Vehicle (BMW-speak for crossover…


Ford Adds More ‘Sport’ to the 2013 Ford Explorer SUV

Ford “reinvented” its popular Explorer sport ute for the 2011 model year, shedding its frame-based roots for a unibody platform shared with the likes of Taurus and Flex. For 2013, Ford is adding the option of the twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost engine in the midsize ute – calling the new model Explorer Sport. To add more of a sporty nature in the new Explorer Sport, engineers beefed up the platform rigidity…


2013 Toyota Highlander Limited 4WD in the Grinding Gears Garage

Toyota claims its Highlander midsize crossover utility vehicle pioneered the segment that saw traditional frame-based carry-alls attain more carlike attributes by converting to unibody architectures. Despite that, Highlander never really became a “household name.” That’s kind of a shame, as Toyota’s midsizer offers quite a few variants of its three-row CUV including choice of powertrains – four- or six-cylinder gas or hybrid engines – and front- or full-time four-wheel drive,…


2013 Ford Escape in the Grinding Gears Garage

Compact utility vehicles are all the rage these days, and in recent weeks (and months) many have graced my test driveway. Automakers near and far are seeking ways to stand out from one another in a bid for the consumer’s attention and at Ford that is certainly no different. For 2013, Big Blue Oval has completely overhauled its popular little Escape (that is still deems a sport utility vehicle), updating…


Hyundai Takes Social Bloggers to Coronado for the New Santa Fe!

As I had written previously, the folks at Hyundai took a group of ‘social bloggers’ to Park City, UT last August to introduce the new 2013 Santa Fe Sport. My review was highly favorable, but what was missing for me was the full-sized Santa Fe 6/7 passenger model – Hyundai teased that model, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures, get in or even touch the pre-production model they brought….


Preparing to Check Out the New Hyundai Santa Fe

Last August the folks at Hyundai took a bunch of non-auto-centric bloggers to Park City, Utah to check out the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. I described the experience here and the drive test here. It was a great experience, and the only thing missing was the full-sized 3-row Santa Fe. Now that is ready and today I am preparing to check out the New Hyundai Santa Fe !…


2013 Toyota RAV4 Is Going Places

In a little over a decade, the compact crossover/sport utility segment has more than doubled in the number of competitors and they come from all corners of the globe. Automakers have seen sales figures of these vehicles account for nearly 13 percent of all light vehicle sales and they all want a piece of that pie. Toyota introduced its first small SUV, known as the RAV4, in 1994 globally and…


2014 Kia Sorento Test Drive: Mid-Size SUV Loaded with Luxuries

Last week I joined a group of bloggers and traditional press in Scottsdale, Arizona for a chance to take a test drive and learn more about the 2014 Kia Sorento (SUV)  and Forte (4 door sedan) models. I should probably admit that other than knowing a few people who own or have owned Kia vehicles, I haven’t had much personal experience with the auto brand — unless you count taking a few hair-raising test…


GM Trio of Large CUVs are ‘Family Truckster Avant Garde’

Several years back, General Motors decided to begin offering consumers an alternative to large, frame-based SUVs that while still being family-friendly they were geared more towards actual usage by their owners and delivered better fuel economy along, improved ride and handling, and ease of use. This new family of large Crossover Utility Vehicles has proved popular with consumers and for 2013 GM has updated the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and…


The Return of the Corvette Stingray and the New Lincoln MKC Concept at NAIAS

Big news coming out of Detroit a day ahead of the auto show with a couple real head turners making early appearances to get the juices flowing. The biggest is the return of the Corvette Stingray as Chevrolet releases the 2014 Corvette to the world, paying homage to a true classic. In other news, the new Lincoln Motor Company has released images and information on a new entry luxury crossover…


2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport in the Grinding Gears Garage

Lexus created the luxury crossover segment when it debuted its RX some 14 years ago. For 2013, RX gets a makeover, including the addition of the new “face” of Lexus and a sport model. The new signature spindle grille leads a list of revisions for the RX lineup for 2013, which also sees fresher, sportier styling along with upgraded interiors. The RX is offered in gas-only RX 350 and hybrid…


2013 Infiniti FX37 AWD in the Grinding Gears Garage

Most vehicles I have tested do little for my visual senses while sitting behind the wheel. Sure, many of them are appealing to my eye as I walk up to them, but once behind the wheel there is little more. The idea is to keep your eyes on the road, right? Well, Infiniti has this “Essence” design influence that finds its way into production vehicles, and the latest FX luxury…