Thursday, 08 December 2022

 

As the appetite for SUVs continues to grow, lineups continue to expand. 

For Volkswagen, their latest entry slots in at the bottom of their lineup — a brand new subcompact SUV called the 2022 Volkswagen Taos.

It enters an expansive field of competitors including the Chevy Trailblazer, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul, Nissan Kicks, Jeep Renegade, Toyota C-HR and more.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 VW Taos, and I”m back with a full report.

This two-row, 5-passenger SUV impresses by being roomier than many of its rivals in terms of rear seat comfort and overall cargo space, the inclusion of solid tech and safety innovations, and an enjoyable driving experience courtesy of its turbocharged power plant.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Luxury SUV buyers have a bevy of strong options available today, but one name that’s always in the conversation is Audi.

For more than a century, the German automaker has delivered high-quality vehicles that can compete with the best that competitors such as BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Volvo, Cadillac and others have to offer.

In the world of SUVs, Audi’s smallest offering is the compact Q3, which I recently had the opportunity to test.

With elegant styling, responsive handling and a tech-savvy setup, it stands out in this class in many ways. It offers luxury car buyers a chance to break into the class without spending the big bucks required to take home larger Audi SUV options, which can cost up to twice as much.

Read on to learn more about how it measures up in a segment where anything less than excellence won’t be accepted.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

In the world of luxury crossovers, one of the growing sectors is coupe-style designs that aim to offer a slick look while maintaining practicality.

Infiniti is one of the luxury crossover brands fighting for buyers in this segment — debuting its QX55 model for the 2022 model year and battling against other coupe-style SUVs from brands including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Genesis.

This model has its origins going back to the long-time Infiniti FX model, which had its run from the early 2000s to 2017, and shares many interior, powertrain and suspension elements with Infiniti’s QX50 SUV, but offers an improved exterior design.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the 2022 QX55, and I’m back with a full report on how it stacks up to its luxury rivals.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

BMW has a variety of popular models, but even for this sports-car focused brand, SUVs are increasingly stealing the spotlight.

Case in point: The BMW X3 — a compact luxury SUV offering — is now the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S. with over 75,000 vehicles sold in 2021.

That’s a tremendous success considering the strong competition in this sector from brands including Genesis, Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln and more.

I recently tested the 2022 BMW X3, which features design upgrades as well as tech improvements, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Due to sheer numbers, much of the conversation surrounding luxury SUVs focuses on non-domestic models.

But it’s important to remember that Detroit’s automakers are still holding their own in this popular segment.

One of those domestic brands battling for buyer loyalty in the luxury realm is Lincoln, Ford’s luxury arm, and one of the weapons in their arsenal is the 2022 Lincoln Nautilus, a two-row midsize luxury SUV — based originally on the Ford Edge — which continues to impress even against tough competition from Audi/Benz/BMW/Lexus/Cadillac/Genesis and other competitors.

Sitting between Lincoln’s smaller Corsair SUV and larger Aviator SUV in the lineup, it keeps the updates to interior design and infotainment that were first introduced for 2021, with no major changes for the 2022 model. 

I recently spent some time in a 2022 Nautilus, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in the intense luxury SUV battlefield.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

As large as vehicles have gotten these days, with the biggest SUVs looking more and more like monster trucks than ever, there is still a strong market — particularly among younger people and those who drive mainly in urban areas — for smaller and more maneuverable vehicles that don’t take up so much space.

That’s where vehicles like the 2022 Nissan Kicks — a subcompact crossover first introduced a few years back — come into play. WIth a no-frills approach that’s the polar opposite of the ultra luxury offerings available today, it’s focused mainly on offering an attractive, tech-savvy ride that is also affordable.

I recently tested the 2022 Nissan Kicks (in the top SR trim level), and I’m back with a full report of what it offers and how it compares to the myriad small SUV offerings available to today’s car-buying public.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Long a favorite of off-roaders who prefer rugged vehicles and sticking with the traditional, truck-based, body-on-frame style of SUV, the Toyota 4Runner is back again for 2022.

With its last major refresh over a decade ago, the 2022 version of the 4Runner is likely the last hurrah for this rendition before a new version is unveiled for 2023.

I recently spent some time driving a 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport, a new trim level added to the 4Runner lineup this year, and I’m back with a full report on how it looks, drives and performs.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

 

 

I’ve long been a fan of the Nissan Pathfinder, a three-row SUV that has been around for nearly four decades and has often been ahead of the curve in terms of capability, design and technology. I have driven them on long road trips in the past and found them to be very comfortable and among the strongest 3-row SUVs for families traveling near or far.

But with its latest major updates coming in 2016, it was about time for a redesign. With an endless assault from rival SUVs unveiling their latest and greatest, you can’t stay stagnant that long in this business. So the 2022 model year brings us a brand new Pathfinder model — completely redesigned inside and out — that is more in tune with the current state of SUVs.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of this new Pathfinder, and I’m back with a full report. WIll this new version live up to its past, and does it measure up to the seemingly endless competition in the segment?

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

If there’s one thing Chevy does not lack for, it’s SUVs.

From the tiny Trax to the massive Suburban, there’s a grand total of seven offerings in their SUV range, so they have something at literally every size and capability level.

One of the newer entries in that list brings the return of a familiar nameplate — the Trailblazer.

No, it’s not the same as the old TrailBlazer, which was a larger SUV from 2001 through 2008, which eventually morphed into the Traverse model.

More than a decade later, the name is back (minus the capital “B”), but this time as another compact SUV option. It slots in between the smaller Trax and larger Equinox in the Chevy lineup, and I recently got the chance to spend some time in a Trailblazer to see how it stands up in today’s crowded vehicle marketplace.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Finding an SUV that offers a truly enjoyable driving experience is harder than you might think. Too often, in the process of improving other areas of the vehicle, the drive quality becomes a neglected area on many of the top-selling SUVs.

The good news is that some companies, such as Mazda, don’t go that route. They recognize that people want to enjoy their drive time and offer a vehicle that allows people to do so.

For 2021, the CX-5 retains this feature, which separates it from the competition in the compact SUV category, while also improving its technology offerings by adding a new standard 10.25-inch center display as part of Mazda’s infotainment system.

I recently tested a 2021 CX-5 and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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