SUVs

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 RX 450h models. The hybrid version now offers a sport…


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 crossover is no exception. After climbing behind the wheel of…


Over the River and Through the Woods – In the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec Luxury SUV

Forget for a second (if that’s possible) that this is one of the most opulent sport utes we’ve tested in a while, what with its Designo interior and host of Mercedes goodies. At the heart and soul of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec is a solid, proven platform offering a well controlled, confident on-road experience. And it was recently named SUV of the Year by Motor Trend. The GL comes with a choice of powertrains and our recent tester arrived…


Grinding Gears Garage tests the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali

Crossover utility vehicles are to the new millennium what minivans were to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s – all the rage. It seems, however, that many of their designs blend together, especially when friends get together and try to describe one they don’t know the name or brand of. “It’s that one with the round face and kind of rounded roofline, you know, the one that looks like an over-inflated sport hatchback…” or something like that. GMC’s latest –…


Back to the Future for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan has followed ranks of the likes of Ford and the Chrysler Group taking a risky move away from frame-based architecture to underpin its newest of sport utes, specifically Pathfinder from the Nissan folks. Nissan is taking Pathfinder back to a unibody chassis as it did for the second-generation vehicle in model year 1996. And, like then, Nissan is outfitting the truck with a 3.5-liter V-6. Unlike its predecessor, this fourth-gen vehicle has slimmed down while increasing in size and…


2013 Mazda CX-5 Crossover Brings the Zoom

The all-new 2013 CX-5 crossover utility vehicle from Mazda faces a daunting task – it is replacing not one but two models in the automaker lineup this year as both Tribute and CX-7 have received pink slips. CX-5 is also the first Mazda to take full advantage of the automaker’s new SKYACTIV technology that incorporates powertrain and chassis components working harmoniously. “The 2013 CX-5 is the vehicle compact SUV shoppers have been asking for – that only Mazda can build,”…


2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, a Hands-On Driving Experience

As I mentioned the other day, I had the opportunity to take a trip with a couple of dozen bloggers out to Park City, Utah over the weekend to check out the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. I described the incredible experience staying at the Montage Deer Valley resort, the awesome treatment from the hotel staff and all of the folks at Hyundai, and some of the great diversions such as trips to Sundance and Utah Olympic Park, as well…


Hyundai Takes Us up the Mountain to Discover the New Santa Fe!

If you really want people to experience a new SUV, what is the best way? How about taking them up a mountainous location at about 8500 feet elevation! And if you are looking to engage with media beyond the typical automotive press, what better way than to bring in people heavily engaged in social media such as Chip Chick, GeekDad and of course, Gear Diary! That is exactly what Hyundai did to introduce their new 2013 Santa Fe. After a…


Das 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Gleiskreuzung ist Wunderbar

“Gleiskreuzung” is the German word I found when translating “crossover,” as in crossover utility vehicle. I don’t know if Mercedes-Benz used that in naming its entry luxury GLK (as they still refer to it as a sport utility vehicle), but I am sure you can see the possibility. Regardless, Mercedes gives its cute ute a major makeover for the 2013 model year (inside and out) that includes some 1,000 new parts. We recently received the 2013 GLK350, and immediately one…


First Drive: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru is preparing to launch the 2013 XV Crosstrek as the latest member of the All-Wheel Drive family, entering a growing yet crowded compact crossover utility segment, one Subaru already competes in with other models. Crosstrek, the made-for-America moniker added to its new global XV model, appears as an even more “cutting-edge” model for the brand, slicing another segment into bite-size pieces for the consumer. We spent a little time getting to know the new Subie on the block on…


2012 BMW X3 ‘Simply The Best’

I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, here we go, another fanboy litero-gasmic rambling extolling BMW as the king of the blah, blah, blah…” Yep. Only I am not your typical “drank-the-Bimmer-koolaid” automotive journalist, in fact, it took me a long time to even recognize some of BMW’s prowess in the driving arena, and I still believe there are many other vehicles out there in their respective categories that outshine these Bavarian crèmes. Not so in the case of compact crossovers….


Ford Adds EcoBoost to the 2012 Edge Lineup

The Edge crossover utility vehicle paved the way to a new segment for Ford to compete in and since its introduction several years ago the model line has proved very popular. Last model year, Ford raised the bar a bit higher by updating styling and technology while also adding the Edge Sport model aimed at customers wanting a fresher, hipper crossover. This year, Ford gives consumers a broader choice for powering their Edge by adding EcoBoost technology to the model…


2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 Most Powerful Jeep Yet

With gas prices continuing to drop across the U.S., perhaps it is time to start thinking about that “impulse” purchase you put off when a gallon of the precious fuel rose to near 4-bucks-per. I recommend Jeep’s new “MUV” or Musclecar Utility Vehicle. Recently we spent a week in the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, the most powerful production Jeep on the road, period. SRT has released an SRT8 Grand Cherokee previously but for 2012 the hot rod gets the beefier…


Testing Nissan’s 2012 Armada Platinum 4×4 Brought on Some ‘Vuja De’

As soon as I slid behind the wheel of Nissan Armada full-size SUV in Platinum 4×4 trim I was overcome with a weird sense of deja vu, as in, “Didn’t I just review one of these?” Yes – and no. I have had the Nissan Titan pickup and a 2011 and 2012 Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV (which, by the way, received a makeover) in the past year so technically one could surmise I had reviewed the Nissan Armada already. The…


2012 Land Rover Ranger Rover Supercharged Still the One For Me

With the new year upon us (and nearly a month down already) I feel it is time once again to answer that question I hear all-too-often: “David, what is your favorite vehicle?” At the end of the day when it is all said and done (and money is no object), my fave still remains the flagship of the Land Rover fleet – the Range Rover Supercharged. And most recently, the pride of Solihull, England and the guardian of her royal…


2012 Nissan Xterra PRO-4X: Everything You Need. Period.

For some automakers, reinventing the wheel seems to be a common theme for certain model lines in order to remain competitive. For Nissan and its Xterra sport ute, the wheel works just fine. Aside from a mid-decade styling makeover and switch to the Nissan’s new truck-based F-Alpha platform, Xterra has continued to prove itself worthy in the contemporary “daily driven offroader” segment that includes the likes of 4Runner and Liberty. Nissan gives Xterra most of the modern amenities found across…


Nissan JUKE Puts the ‘Fun’ in Funky

The segment is urban sport cross(over) and the manufacturer is Nissan and for the many of you (like me, initially) wondering what the heck this vehicle is I present the JUKE. Funky name and a funky style to be sure but one spin around the block and JUKE proves itself a worthy competitor in this, and the global, market. After Cube and LEAF, Nissan brought JUKE to the U.S. showing it is not afraid to release vehicles with somewhat polarizing…


2012 Cadillac SRX Gets a New Ticker

The Cadillac SRX is all-new for 2012 – under the hood that is. The current generation luxury crossover came to life a couple of years ago after a complete transformation that brought SRX from a “don’t-call-me-a-wagon” wagon to a modern sport-luxe utility. Sharing the same platform as the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain, the 2012 SRX now sports one engine offering, that being a peppy direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 that cranks out 308hp and 265 lb. ft. of torque. This is…


Infiniti Redesigns the Flagship, Delivers All-New 2011 QX56

Photos by the Author While the flagship QX from Infiniti arriving in new form and function was news in and of itself, what really excited me was the possibility of its beefier powertrain rolling over to the shared platform of the Titan pickup. I have seen the new spec sheet for the 2012 Titan and my bubble burst – more of the same old, same old I am afraid. The large rigs in the Nissan/Infiniti stable all shared the same…


2011 Dodge Durango More Than Merely ‘Best Yet’

To say the 2011 Dodge Durango is the best yet is an understatement. Previous versions were a bit overweight and somewhat unrefined so improving the SUV would not take much. For this makeover Dodge engineers went above and beyond. Choosing to begin with a clean slate, they tapped an architecture already in the pipeline from the days of corporate partnership with Daimler. The new Durango, as with the latest Grand Cherokee from Jeep, rides on the platform designed for the…


2011 Land Rover LR4 Proves ‘Disco’ is not Dead

DNA testing of the new Land Rover LR4 would reveal that there is still a good bit of Big Blue Oval pulsing through its veins. The brand’s latest mid-size SUV may receive corporate mail from an Indian postmark but development of the LR4 in current form began back when Dearborn, Michigan was a frequent destination for Land Rover hierarchy. The new LR4, as with its predecessor LR3, is a US-market designation. The platform is known globally (and previously here) as…