By on March 23, 2016

2017 Acura MDX Front

Acura has two big changes in store for the refreshed 2017 MDX; one up front and in your face, the other hidden beneath its mainly familiar flanks.

The automaker’s flagship luxury SUV, revealed at the New York Auto Show, drops the “silver shield” grille that has adorned the face of Acuras big and small for years, favoring a diamond pentagon mouth reminiscent of the Acura Precision concept.

Acura said the Precision signaled a new design direction for the brand, so consider this the first shield to drop. (Read More…)

By on November 13, 2015

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

Under the best circumstances for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, I could find a half-dozen reasons not to drive it: It’s too big. Too heavy. Too slab-sided. Too thirsty. Too tall. Too long. Too unwieldy. Too gaudy. Too powerful.

But I kept driving it. Like a salmon driven upstream through bear-infested waters, the Escalade kept calling me to ignore the challenges and instinctually clamber up the power retractable running boards, loosen my belt and start the motor. Who wants to procreate in here?

It’s antithetic to my person. I’m not interested by big, heavy SUVs that cost $89,360 and return mileage firmly rooted in the teens — but somehow I am drawn to them.

Which makes me wonder: why? (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2015

2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country-016

I understand the logic behind the modern crossover, especially in Sweden.

Sweden’s 360,000 mile network of public and private roads is only 30-percent paved. That leaves some 252,000 miles of unpaved glory to explore. This high percentage of unpaved roads explains why Volvos have long had reasonable ground clearance, why the Swedes invented the headlamp wiper, why the XC70 exists and why Haldex was founded there.

The concept of the crossover is to give you the efficiency of a traditional “car” blended with some offroad ability normally found in a truck-based SUV. (Of course, the modern American crossover is little more than an all-wheel-drive minivan with less practical seats.) While other companies created boxy crossovers like the Highlander and CR-V, Volvo took a European approach by starting with a station wagon, adding all-wheel drive and jacking the ride height up to create the first V70 Cross Country. The result was more aerodynamic than an SUV, had the ride height of a crossover, the practicality of a station wagon and the driving position of a car. Hold that thought.

(Read More…)

By on September 15, 2015

news-2015-audi-e-tron-quattro-concept-4

Audi’s latest reveal, the e-tron quattro, might be only a concept at this point, but the all-electric SUV offers a glimpse as to what’s to come from the German premium automaker in 2018 when they roll out a production version in the same vein.

We won’t have full specs on the production EV until closer to launch, but Audi touts the e-tron quattro as having 310 mile range capability along with up to 496 horsepower from three electric motors driving all four wheels.

Yet, even with all that power and efficiency, can you find what’s missing from this all-electric concept?

(Read More…)

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