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Posts Tagged ‘SUV’

Build Your Own: 2016 Chevrolet Suburban

March 11th, 2016 No comments

If you want to see Design Editor Gernand vigorously shake his hands in fits of rage tell him you went to a dealer and just “picked up something off the lot.” No thought. No planning. No care as to what you drove away in. It has wheels and tires and gets you from A to B. UGH!!!! I’m starting to tap out these words on the keyboard in aggravated fervor just thinking about it! This is NOT how the Automotive Trends editorial staff purchases cars. No, we exercise much care in the selection of our options when buying new and even more discrimination goes into our used car purchases. We are among the ever dwindling subset of the population that would prefer to order and wait 6 months for a car to make sure we got EXACTLY what we wanted. And seeing as how we are frequent users of the automakers’ Build Your Own button on their homepages we figured we would have a little fun and bring you our varied views on what each of us find necessity in a vehicle. For our first foray, Gernand decided we would pretend buy Suburbans. Read more…

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.

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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2014 NAIAS: 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban

January 17th, 2014 No comments

For 2015 the SUV side of Chevrolet’s lineup benefits from the same improvements that propelled the Silverado pickup to North American Truck of the Year honors. That includes the revised engine family now featuring direct-injection as well as the chassis improvements that yield an improved ride and quieter cabin. The interior is vastly improved with better materials and a car-like center stack design that puts everything within easy reach.

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…

2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

May 9th, 2011 No comments

2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

 Diesel Power and 28-MPG

      Much the same as many ground breakers, the first generation Volkswagen Touareg sought to set the world on fire with its 5.0-liter 310hp and 553 lb-ft of torque V10 turbodiesel. But it didn’t. The price of entry was too high, $64,565, and then of course there is the fact that most American’s don’t like diesels, unless it’s under the hood of a Golf or Jetta. No matter, because Volkswagen is trying again. Read more…

Video Review: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI

March 31st, 2011 No comments

      Editors Gernand and Muxlow take a little road trip to get a gauge for just how fuel efficient the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI can be. Tune in to the Automotive Trends Garage Episode 2 for final details on how the Touareg fared.