SUVs

2011 Lincoln MKX More Than a Fancy Ford

Across the board, Ford and Lincoln engineers have been working to stay at the front of the technological field in their vehicles and most of that emphasis has been in the implementation of MyFord and MyLincoln technology packaging recently. At the same time, much of the fleet has been getting minor (and in some cases, major) cosmetic surgery and powertrain upgrades. The 2011 Lincoln MKX midsize crossover we tested recently is an example of one of those getting a little…


2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV a Real ‘Stunner’

Prepare to be shocked. Sticker-shocked that is. Are you sitting down? I am about to give you the window sticker price of the new 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV I recently tested. Set your faces to stunned … 88 – and I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout no Benjamins either. 88 grand, 88 large, ochenta y ocho mil, 88 Grover Clevelands. The big Jag we just had wasn’t that much, and it gave massages. Yes, Cadillac’s biggest SUV is sporting quite the pricetag…


Nissan Murano: Premium Crafted Crossover

Truth be told, yes, I would much rather be writing about the new Nissan Juke or Leaf but the rep for the automaker only sent me a Murano, a crossover that has been in the Nissan lineup for a few years now. Murano was one of those vehicles that, at first glance, was polarizing – you either loved it or hated it. To be perfectly honest I was not a big fan of the original styling. But Nissan pushed forward…


2011 GMC Acadia Denali Brings the Bling

Glitz and glamour are no longer reserved for the Cadillac bunch. Denali packages have been offered on GMC Sierra pickups for years and bring a certain sparkle to the lineup. That sparkle is being spread. The “Professional Grade” division of General Motors has added the top-of-the-line Denali trim package to its Acadia crossover utility vehicle. Acadia is GMC’s larger-than-mid-sized CUV that is made for families who want the capacity of a big ute but not the heft usually associated with…


2011 Mitsubishi Outlander GT Super This Week

What a difference a year makes. It was February, 2010 that we received a record snowfall here in North Texas and almost one year later we get socked in with ice and sleet just as teams arrive here for the big football game. I hope they feel right at home. For me, I am just thankful that this time around for the frozen weather I can actually get out of my driveway. No roadsters or performance cars this year, no…


2011 Ford Explorer, part deux

In the immortal words of “Master” from MasterBlaster, “Embargo lifted.” I hate press embargoes. Many who saw my initial feature last week on the 2011 Ford Explorer probably won’t even see this update, but for those that made their way back, thank you. I will now dive into my experience with and impressions of the “SUV of the 21st century.” (And I thank Ford Motor Company for giving me the opportunity to drive a V-6 version of its competition, the…


2011 Ford Explorer: The SUV for the 21st Century?

When an automaker has 96 percent name recognition in a vehicle, it is no wonder you keep that name the same despite changing the game. Ford has done that with the 2011 Explorer. The marque is third in consumer recognition behind the tying Mustang and F-series pickups and once sold upwards of 430,000 units in a single year for this popular sport utility vehicle. Waking up from dreaming of the good old days Ford found consumers are not drawn to…


2011 Ford Edge Sport Fresher and Hipper

The Ford Edge crossover utility vehicle paved the way to a new segment for Big Blue Oval to compete. We recently got familiar with a 2011 Edge Sport model, aimed at customers who want a fresher, hipper crossover and this year Ford has updated styling AND technology. The Edge Sport rolls on up to 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, a first for this segment. The Edge Sport 22-inch wheel/tire handling package elevates the already “sporty” crossover to a new level of…


2011 Kia Sportage: I like you fine, thanks

I really don’t know much about those sock puppets featured in the new Kia Sportage commercials and I am no expert in marketing but I do know a good thing when I see one, and the completely new-for-2011 Sportage compact CUV is a good thing. I recognize the Kia marketing team’s efforts and believe they have done wonders for the brand. That is not to take away from designers and engineers at the automaker, though, far from it. A clever…


Good is as good does, and good is the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

“So – what’s good?” Oh, don’t I wish I had a nickel for every time I am asked this question about new cars. And “good” can mean so many things to so many folks. A quick check over at thesaurus.com gave me some 250-plus ways to describe “good.” I would add to the list the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s good – darned good. I guess good minds think alike in Detroit these days as both Jeep and Ford are…


2011 Subaru Outback: Swiss Army Knife on Wheels

If I were told today that I would have to choose only one vehicle that I would drive for the rest of my life, not knowing what the rest of my life would entail, that vehicle might very well be a Subaru. And tempted as I would be to pick something like the WRX, in the end my decision would probably be the Outback.


2011 Ford Explorer: Back from the drawing board

Welcome to July 26, 2010, or what the folks in Dearborn, Michigan are calling “Ford Explorer Day.” Ford Motor Company has become known for segment-defining vehicles in its rich history. The Model T, the Model A, F-series pickup, the OG pony car Ford Mustang and a vehicle that began a new revolution when introduced in 1990, the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle. In recent years, Explorer (and nearly all SUVs) have fallen from their lofty perches in manufacturers lineups. SUV…


Ford to launch next Explorer into cyberspace

No pyrotechnics, no dazzling light show or blaring music, no lasers and no Vogue runway models. Ford Motor Company will not be using any of the usual tricks and effects found surrounding a new model launch when they introduce the world to the 2011 Ford Explorer next week. Instead, they plan on a massive Facebook attack combined with face-to-face events in key markets throughout North America. Like pornstars and musicians before them, automakers are migrating to the web for their…


At nearly 70, Jeep is still the one.

Jeep has such a storied and legendary history while also being the one brand most synonymous with offroad. For nearly half a century the iconic runabout carried American servicemen and women to and from their assigned posts and in recent decades the Jeep Wrangler has garnered more “best of” awards in the offroad segment than all competitors combined. Several years back Jeep decided to expand the platform a bit, stretching the chassis from two doors to four, giving birth to…


Chevrolet celebrates diamond anniversary of Suburban

I attended an event today at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas, that gave me cause for deeper reflection. Chevy is celebrating the 75th year of the Suburban model. A single product with three-quarters of a century lineage – now that is something. It got me to wondering: In this modern era of “here today, gone tomorrow” and disposable lifestyles what new products would be able to survive 75 years. Sure, brands can live long lives, and of…


2010 Jeep Liberty offers bit of freedom from the day-to-day

Photos courtesy Jeep While Jeep heritage has been going strong for more than half a century, most of its product lineup is still in its infancy. Compass and Patriot are actually more like adopted children – loved by their new parents but not sharing any DNA. Then there is Liberty. The Jeep Liberty was first introduced as a 2002 model but was quickly relegated to popularity around college campuses and sorority houses. Seeking to get back to its roots, Jeep…


2010 Toyota 4Runner the “Miley Cyrus” of SUVs

Photos courtesy of Toyota The State Fair of Texas hosted the world debut of the fifth-generation 4Runner midsize SUV this past fall. The event marked the 25th anniversary for 4Runner, and celebrating more than 1.5 million units sold since launch. “Backed by a quarter-century of heritage combined with the integration of the latest comfort, convenience and performance technologies, the all-new 4Runner has evolved into one of the most advanced mid-sized truck-based SUV’s on the market while at the same time…


Suzuki makes Grand Vitara a bit, well, grander

The (possible) internal memo from Suzuki management to product team: “Make our sport utility Grand Vitara a bit grander.” Under the mantra of “Travel light and live fully,” Suzuki positions the Grand Vitara (along with some of its other vehicles) as a “lifestage” vehicle, not a move up or a move over.


2010 GMC Terrain changing landscape of crossovers

Crossover utility vehicles are to the new millenium what minivans were to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s – all the rage. It seems, however, that many of their designs seem to 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…


2010 Honda Pilot a wolf in sheep’s clothing

The newest Honda Pilot is something of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Honda dubs it a crossover utility vehicle due to its not having a ladder frame architecture supporting the unit, but I feel this is about as close to a true SUV as one can get. Last year, Honda introduced us to a completely made over Pilot, one that offers eight-passenger functionality without sacrificing ability and agility. The new model is larger inside and out, boasts a stronger, more…


2010 Chevy Equinox

The discussion started as casually as most do. A co-worker asks “Would you buy a GM vehicle right now?” My answer? You bet. And one of the reasons is their new Chevy Equinox. The platform actually began underpinning the newest Saturn Vue a couple of years back, but as with all good (and not so good) architecture used by the General, it would soon spread across other corporate lines. Chevrolet chose it for the remake of the Equinox crossover utility,…