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 latest – the 2010 Terrain – seeks to step apart from that confusing landscape.
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 fuel efficient powertrain, is more stable on the road and offers all the latest comfort and convenience amenities as well…
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, followed by Cadillac and now GMC. For the Chevy version, designers give the 2010 Equinox a healthy injection of new…
I am not sure just exactly who coined the phrase “sport utility vehicle” but I feel they were a bit remiss in the target segment they were identifying. Most of those giant grocery-getters of the past decade-and-a-half were anything BUT sporty. Fast forward to the 21st century and we have seen an entire new breed of SUVs, yet most have been redefined as crossover utility vehicles given the nature of configuring some form of cargo box on top of a car-based platform. We recently spent some time behind the wheel of the latest Acura RDX, junior sibling to the MDX…
Volvo, that Swedish car company whose memorable commercials included stacking car on top of car, etc., is expanding its crossover utility line with a smaller version of its venerable XC90. The new cute ute, dubbed XC60, offers up everything big brother 90 does while allowing the automaker an appearance into the quickly expanding small premium utility segment that features standouts such as the BMW X3, Acura RDX and Mercury Mariner.
As General Motors enters its new generation, we are still testing vehicles designed and produced in its former life. The brand may have been resurrected, but much of what consumers will see over the next few years are the same products GM has been delivering – which is to say that while there are many bright spots in the lineup, there are still areas that need a bit of attention. We recently spent time in the new Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, and not just any old Escalade Hybrid but the new Platinum edition truck.
The Ford Edge crossover utility vehicle paved the way to a new segment for Big Blue Oval to compete. The big story for 2009 is the new Edge Sport model, aimed at customers who want a fresher, hipper look – a more personalized vehicle.
As fuel prices reached all-time highs late last summer, Kia found itself introducing its newest vehicle to the American market at the worst possible time. Another big SUV into a market already overcrowded, with consumer buying trends heading in different directions. Fast forward to spring 2009, and as the U.S. prepares for vacation season amidst much lower fuel prices – but an uncertain economy – Kia once again finds itself facing challenging issues selling the new truck.
Traverse, the name chosen for General Motor’s latest new people mover, refers to the verb and not the city in upstate Michigan where many of these vehicles will undoubtedly be headed each summer.
My relationship with the new fullsize GM hybrid SUVs continues to be a love/hate one. I love the fuel savings and cleaner emissions delivered by these “green beasts,” but I hate that consumers still cannot get one for less than 50 grand.
In a field already so overcrowded it can make ones head spin just trying to keep up, what’s one more model to further challenge for consumer dollars in the crossover utility vehicle segment? Volkswagen of America recently launched its all-new and highly anticipated compact sport utility vehicle Tiguan. Staying true to Volkswagen’s autobahn heritage, the Tiguan is truly the “GTI of compact sport utility vehicles.”
I never really took notice of the benchmark status of Highlander until recent new model introduction events held by competitor automakers. More and more I heard the name “Highlander” included in their marketing and technical presentations when reciting segment target data.
UPDATED WITH REVIEWS: Special Wednesday Walkaround: Two new models coming from American Suzuki – the all-new 2009 Equator pickup and the refreshed 2009 Grand Vitara. Suzuki hosted this press launch in the Texas Hill Country at the historic Knibbe Ranch. Click on image for video.
UPDATED: Reviews after the jump! This week’s Wednesday Walkaround is a double feature: We get first drives of the 2009 Hummer H3T pickup and the 2009 Hyundai Genesisi luxury sport sedan. Enjoy!
There are vehicles that are easy to drive and there are vehicles that are fun to drive, but so many times we see these two concepts fail to come together in one particular model. And then there is the Nissan Rogue.
GM is rolling out the third two-mode hybrid fullsize SUV later this summer. We got a first drive in the new Cadillac Escalade Hybrid recently as the automaker visited with members of the automotive media at the Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas. In addition to the new hybrid model, Cadillac representatives also showed their newest Platinum Escalade sporting one of the best-looking grilles of any fullsize SUV on the road today. The hybrid models use the same powertrain we first saw in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrids. It features a 6.0-liter gasoline V-8 engine mated…
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is based on the iconic FJ40 that was sold here in the U.S. between 1960 and 1983. Designer Jin Kim took on the daunting task of creating an exciting vehicle poised between RAV4 and 4Runner that appealed to a younger, more active consumer. Kim’s approach is described as “industrial modern” meaning a tool-like combination of ruggedness and functionality with an honest look and modern surfaces.
The crossover segment has seen huge growth in recent years, and even more growth in recent months. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is about to or has introduced a new crossover utility vehicle of some sort into the automotive market. The Dodge division of the new Chrysler/Cerberus corporate pairing is jumping into the fray as it introduces what is being called its first crossover vehicle, the all-new 2009 Journey. I beg to differ as Caliber sure seems more crossover than car, but we will play along – for now.
“Range Rover Sport is a high-speed, performance-oriented luxury SUV,” Land Rover North America Executive Vice President Richard Beattie said. “As the best driver’s vehicle Land Rover has ever made, it is ideal for fast, comfortable long-distance driving and a fitting compliment to our award-winning Range Rover.”
In my haste to bring you the exciting news about the upcoming IS-F luxury sports car from Lexus, I nearly overlooked the fact that we were in the Mobile Bay area recently to get our first impressions of another new vehicle from Toyota’s luxury division, the LX 570.