Category: SUVs

By on January 14, 2019

Image: Kia Motors

Is it possible to be more American that a Kia Telluride? Probably not. Clint Eastwood drove one in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. John Rambo rolled into a small, Northwestern town behind the wheel of one shortly after his repatriation. John Wayne owned two, and the Telluride was the first vehicle to storm Omaha Beach. From its exhaust pipes come clouds of red, white, and blue.

Folks, this vehicle is more American than a bald eagle eating apple pie on July 4th. It is the three-row SUV that rowed across the Potomac to get to a dealership near you, and don’t you forget it. Read More >

By on January 11, 2019

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

The sky’s apparently the limit when it comes to the variety of vehicles that might emerge from Volkswagen’s dedicated MEB electric architecture. While the automaker’s looming EV onslaught already contains a hatchback, crossover, microbus, panel van, and possible luxury sedan, VW feels something’s missing: a tough, off-road ute.

One VW exec is pushing hard to give electric vehicles a brawnier image. Read More >

By on January 4, 2019

Image: Ford

After rocking the same design with only minor alterations since 2011, Ford will soon debut an all-new Explorer. Arriving this year as a 2020 model, the model adopts the modular CD6 platform shared with Lincoln’s Aviator, making the new version of the venerable SUV rear-drive biased once again. New powerplants are also on the way.

Before we lay eyes on the new ute, however, Ford wants to show us, once again, the Explorer’s law enforcement brother: the Police Interceptor Utility, which the company first revealed under the cloak of darkness last June. We now have light. A wildly common sight on North American roads, the new version of the copped-up Explorer is all about nabbing bad guys … and saving departments money. The vehicle you see here arrives with a standard hybrid drivetrain. Read More >

By on December 18, 2018

Image: JLR

Hoping to generate some buzz ahead of its reveal, Land Rover released an incomplete, low-resolution side-on image of the upcoming, reborn Defender on Tuesday. The model, which disappeared from European dealers after its aging body was declared a danger to modern pedestrians, will return next year as a 2020 model. Apparently, it will hold on to its beloved boxy shape, as anything less would inspire French-style street protests on United Kingdom carriageways.

Also, unlike the last Defender, this one’s coming to America. Read More >

By on December 1, 2018

When Jeep finally rolls out the Grand Wagoneer early next decade, there’s a chance buyers might fork over upwards of $100,000 for the hulking luxo-ute, depending on trim. Two years before ascending to the CEO’s office, then-Jeep head Mike Manley speculated that, if the vehicle was right, people might spend up to $140,000 on a Jeep-badged SUV.

Well, British buyers will be able to do that next year. Read More >

By on November 28, 2018

Image: Hyundai

It’s been a rough couple of years for Hyundai of America, but the automaker’s crossover-stacked product strategy is now bearing fruit. It’s not alone in this. The addition of new utility models like the subcompact Kona helped the brand shrug off slagging car sales, posting crucial monthly sales gains in 2018, just as the large Ascent crossover helped keep rival Subaru on a good sales footing.

While there’s change afoot among Hyundai’s car offerings, it’s big vehicles that fill both coffers and imaginations, and the Korean brand needs a large (but not too large) three-row utility to stimulate sales and profit in the North American region. Hyundai feels the Palisade is just the ticket. In fact, you’re already forgetting the Santa Fe XL nameplate as you read this. Read More >

By on November 28, 2018

Image: GM

General Motors’ full-size, body-on-frame SUVs are growing long in the tooth, but man, are they popular. It helps that The General keeps finding ways of sweetening the pot here and there, all while ticking the MSRP slightly skyward. By all accounts, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between consumer and manufacturer.

Last year brought the RST (Rally Sport Truck) versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, which GM followed up with this year’s appearance of an extra half-step of luxury in the form of the “Premier Plus” trim. For the extra expenditure, customers gained newfound access to the company’s coveted 6.2-liter V8 and refined 10-speed automatic.

Cadillac Escalade buyers don’t have that desire, as the top-flight powertrain comes standard in all trim levels. They might, however, wish to look meaner. And Cadillac’s banking that they’ll pay more for the privilege. Read More >

By on November 24, 2018

Image: JLR

During Jaguar Land Rover’s unveiling of the updated version of its smallest Range Rover model, the automaker made sure everyone knew the only carryover components from the not-fully-baked first-generation model were the door hinges. This is not your realtor’s Evoque, JLR assures us.

Revealed in its native UK, the second-gen Range Rover Evoque — arriving next year as a 2020 model — keeps the tidy footprint of its predecessor while boosting the model’s high-zoot trappings and technology. It’s more powerful, greener, and capable off-road than before, JLR claims, and there’s no longer even a whiff of Ford about the thing. Under that hood is an engine proudly flying the Union Jack. Read More >

By on November 13, 2018

Image: Ford

It’s possible the 2020 Ford Bronco just had an unlikely reveal after photos of last month’s Las Vegas dealer convention found their way online. On a Ford website, no less.

Slated for production alongside the 2019 Ranger in Wayne, Michigan, the Bronco is returning to satisfy the burning itch felt by longtime fans of the rugged, body-on-frame SUV. But is this that vehicle? Read More >

By on November 12, 2018

A couple of weeks out from the LA Auto Show at which it is scheduled to debut, a Russian car enthusiast site has published a picture of what certainly appears to be the 2020 Hyundai Palisade.

Cribbing a few styling cues from other recent Hyundai crossovers, including a grille vaguely shaped like a pointy mushroom bookended by low-slung headlight peepers, the ride shown here looks all set to appear in a school drop-off queue near you.

Read More >

By on November 9, 2018

Or, at least, Italian communities. In an unexpected benefit of Fiat Chrysler and its Italian-American relations, a few of the Arma dei Carabinieri are being outfitted with armored Jeep Grand Cherokees. Nineteen of them, to be precise.

With power going to all four wheels, Italian cops should be able to chase their quarry clear across Trevi Fountain. All it needs are some Boadicea wheel attachments.

Read More >

By on November 7, 2018

ford explorer police interceptor utility

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s probe into reports of exhaust gasses leaking into the cabin of certain Ford Explorers continues, the company doesn’t have to worry about the brakes on its law enforcement variants anymore.

After launching an investigation into front brake hose failures — at the request of the Sacramento Police Department — in 2015, the NHTSA returned the verdict this week. Nothing inherently wrong with those front stoppers, it said. It seems the Sacramento PD really, really pushes its vehicles in pursuit training. Read More >

By on November 5, 2018

Image: Ford

Great things can happen when you combine something that’s already good with a symphony orchestra. Procol Harum’s 1971 live recording of Conquistador is proof of that. For Lincoln Motor Company, a marque which just suffered another disappointing sales month, the vehicle on which it has placed so much hope isn’t leaving any luxury stone unturned.

Next year’s Aviator, a rear-biased midsize SUV that makes the MKX look like a minivan, plans to woo buyers by taking them out on the town. You won’t be able to avoid a night at the symphony in this vehicle. Read More >

By on October 25, 2018

Image: VW

The world needs to adopt North America’s penchant for high-riding SUVs if Volkswagen has any hope of building a clean, green, safe future for your kids. That’s basically the message coming from the automaker, which wants 50 percent of its global product mix to be made up of crossovers and SUVs by 2025.

High-margin SUVs will bolster the brand’s business, the company says, helping bring in the cash needed to eventually take your internal combustion engine and steering wheel away. Read More >

By on October 17, 2018

Image: BMW X7

It’s finally here and it’s, um, polarizing. BMW’s largest utility vehicle, the X7, uses the brand’s versatile CLAR platform as a starting point for the most controversially styled Bimmer since Chris Bangle left the building.

Arriving at dealers in March, the X7’s derrière is not, nor ever will be, the main source of viewer displeasure. This large vehicle has a big face and BMW knows it. It’s proud of it. Poised to tackle the likes of Mercedes-Benz’s GLS and other capacious, three-row premium utilities, the X7 makes sure it will never go unnoticed. Read More >

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