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Posts Tagged ‘4×4’

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LTZ Crew

March 8th, 2016 No comments

Tweaking the Silverado Recipe

The recipe to building pickups used to be an easy one. Add a powerful engine to a well-baked frame that can haul a lot of stuff while towing a trailer safely and you could reliably find some farmers or tradesmen who would keep coming back for another serving every few years. But palates have changed and increasingly the stuff pickups are tasked with hauling is passengers, which is the only way to explain why the Silverado we just sampled does a convincing job of a luxury sedan with an open trunk. How else can you explain the need for LED lights, wireless phone charging, ventilated front seats and an 8″ touch screen in a pickup? Those are some flavorful modifications to a basic recipe. Lucky for you, dear readers, your AT Editors are always hungry and willing to sample the best a company can cook up. Read more…

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2015 NAIAS: 2015 Jeep Renegade

February 8th, 2015 No comments

Renegade. The name may come from Jeep’s past, but it just as well could describe the nature of the brand’s newest and smallest offering.  The first Jeep to be imported to the United States, rather than built here, the Renegade dares to take the brand into new places. The Renegade’s base engine is a turbocharged 1.4L 4-cylinder coupled to a manual transmission. A larger 2.4L and a 9-speed automatic are also available. Hard core Jeep fans may scoff at the origins and FIAT-based architecture, but others may find the Trailhawk version appealing for its off road capability with a 4WD low setting as well as snow, sand, mud, and rock selectable terrain settings. Experience open air freedom with the Renegades two-piece removable ‘My Sky’ roof panels.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Ram Rebel

January 13th, 2015 No comments

Ever since splitting off from Dodge in 2009, the Ram team has been working hard to establish itself as a stand alone brand. The new Ram Rebel furthers that cause. There is no mistaking this truck for anything but a Ram with its enormous lettering on the tailgate that reminisces of the days when pickup trucks had their brand names stamped into their tailgates. The grille ditches the long standing Dodge and Ram crosshair grille with a turned lower lip that looks oddly similar to a 1955 GMC truck (trust us, the similarity is uncanny). It may borrow its looks from an old GMC truck, but the Rebel borrows its names from a couple of old AMC products. Don’t be fooled by its overtly off road appearance; Ram isn’t attempting to go head-to-head with Ford’s ambitious Raptor. In fact the Rebel is available in 4×2 or 4x4 configurations. The Rebel utilizes FCA’s naturally aspirated 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, with air suspension, 33-in tires, factory lift kit, skid plates and tow hooks as standard. Since the Rebel borrows the Ram Power Wagon’s wheel arches it becomes apparent that this pickup is not meant to be a fully unique product, but rather one that offers a series of features in a tidy off-road package. Offered only as a crew cab model with the 5-ft. 7-inch bed, the Rebel gives one the choice of ugrading from the V6 to a 5.7-liter HEMI. Though much is borrowed on the Rebel, it seems there is a cause for this truck: off-road style.

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2015 NAIAS: 2017 Ford Raptor

January 12th, 2015 No comments

Ford Performance saw a golden opportunity with the introduction of the aluminum bodied F-150. If the outgoing Raptor was a good thing, certainly a 500 lb. lighter model would be an irresistible follow up. Emblazoned with its trademark F-O-R-D lettering spanning the width of the grille, flared fenders and curious running lights in the grille, this Raptor looks poised to continue to win the praise of the off-roading crowd. The 2016 Raptor is powered by an all-new high output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that Ford claims will better the current 6.2-liter V8’s 411 horsepower and 434 lb. ft. of torque while burning less fuel. All this power is transferred via an all-new 10 speed automatic transmission which can be manually shifted using paddles. Featuring FOX Racing Shox and increased suspension travel, Ford assures that the Raptor is ready to combat the toughest terrain.  The flared body panels are a full six inches wider than the standard F-150. No fewer than six drive modes are selectable for driving on all sorts of terrain including normal, street, weather, mud, baja and rock. For those who want a truck that can do more than simply shuttle lumber home from the hardware store, the Raptor looks to continue to please. Unfortunately, you’ll be waiting until the fall of 2016 to drive one home.

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Video Review: 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe LT

August 28th, 2014 No comments

If there is one word that could describe the Chevrolet Tahoe since its introduction in 1995, it would be ‘capable’. Based on the full-size Chevrolet pickups, its towing, seating and cargo capacities have been among the highest in the industry. Alas, these capabilities have come at a price. High curb weight, barn-like aerodynamics and massive size have contributed to high fuel consumption and poor on-road agility. As a result, consumers have left the full-size SUV segment for smaller and less capable crossovers.  or 2015 Chevrolet has introduced its all-new Tahoe and Suburban. In doing so, Chevy has made some clear attempts to lessen the drawbacks of owning a traditional SUV, but is it enough to halt the consumer exodus to more compromising car-based crossovers? We inspect this shiny new truck from tire to luggage rack to find out.

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Video Review: 2014 Nissan Armada Platinum

May 21st, 2014 No comments

The full-size SUV market is shrinking, but Nissan is still trying to get a piece of it with their commodious Armada. We came to realize during our week with a fully-loaded Platinum version that they have their work cut out for them going up against major new players like the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. The problem is that you don’t even have to be in the car review business to see the Armada’s shortcomings. The engine is down on power with only 317 hp on board this nearly three ton people mover, and unfortunately the outdated 5-speed automatic can only partner with it to return 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. That’s an expensive reality even by class standards standards. The disappointment continues inside with subpar ergonomics, materials that are out of place in a $54k vehicle and a small infotainment screen. Now it’s not all bad by any means. We loved the comfortable seats, the second row DVD screens and the 2-speed transfer case gives the Armada a fighting chance in the worst weather Old Man Winter can drop on you. But was it enough to earn our recommendation in the end? You’re five minutes from finding out.

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2013 NAIAS: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and SRT Grand Cherokee

January 14th, 2013 No comments

      If we were keeping a list of long-in-the-tooth vehicles most in need of a refresh, the Jeep Grand Cherokee would not be on it. After all, it debuted as a 2011 model and impressed everyone enough to earn the distinction of being the most awarded SUV ever. So we were a bit surprised when Jeep rolled out a refreshed Grand Cherokee lineup for 2014 at their Monday morning press conference. Not that we’re complaining. With new features like an 8-speed automatic and a modern 3.0-liter diesel joining the powertrain lineup, the Jeep marketers can now advertise the dickens out of a 30 mpg highway rating. The changes don’t stop there as the front and rear receive noticeable improvements in the form of new lighting elements with LEDs, a shorter and higher grille, new foglights and wheel designs plus a host of interior refinements. The most significant of which is the 8.4” center screen and 7” screen in the middle of the gauge cluster. They can be programmed to display just about anything and work very well. SRT fans won’t feel left out either, since their 2014 Jeep is benefiting from most of the cosmetic tweaks and the 8-speed automatic comes along to dramatically boost real-world passing times and fuel efficiency. There is also a one button Launch Control system to make sure your stop light drag races go off without a hitch. Look for these in showrooms in the Fall. Read more…

2011 Land Rover LR4

July 21st, 2011 No comments

The Gadgetmobile of SUVs

     Muddy is an appropriate word to describe Land Rover’s LR4. Just as the British brand’s name invokes images of 4×4 vehicles traversing damp and muddy English terrain, it also recalls a muddy history of vehicular nomenclature. The LR-what? For those who care to keep track the LR4 is the replacement for the LR3 which was the replacement for the Discovery. We greatly miss the Discovery name mainly because we can no longer make Land Rover marketers cringe whenever we affectionately call it the “Disco.” However, we weren’t missing the Discovery’s tired old bones after spending a week in the high-tech leather-lined confines of the best value Land Rover in today’s showrooms. Read more…

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2011 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC

June 16th, 2011 No comments

Room and Range

     If your personal version of suburban bliss includes substantially more than the American average of 1.8 children then the 5-passenger Mercedes ML just isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need the 7-passenger capability of that German Suburban known as the GL. And if every fuel stop along the family vacation route turns into a 45-minute chicken nugget munching, souvenir buying, potty break free-for-all then Mercedes’ latest diesel engine and its 550-mile range is the choice most likely to maintain your sanity. Luckily, there is just such a combination, and the Mercedes GL350 BlueTEC offers the room and range needed to be the perfect family hauler. Read more…

2010 Toyota Tundra

November 1st, 2010 No comments

Big Ol’ Honking Pickup Truck

     We tried to lead with something more insightful, but that is pretty much the best way to describe the third-generation Toyota Tundra. It’s big. Very big. Every aspect of it seems purposely designed to out-scale the domestic competition once and for all. In fact, I don’t think the pictures do it justice (and I took the pictures!) It almost has the look and feel of a three-quarter-ton Ford Super Duty. It’s as if Toyota overshot the half-ton class and landed in a five-eighths-ton class of one. Clearly this Tundra makes up for Toyota’s last two half-hearted foray’s into the full-size pickup realm with girth to spare. But there is more to being a successful pickup truck than size. Has Toyota done their homework? Read more…