Thursday, 25 July 2024

Kia’s SUV lineup has become one of the strongest in the automotive landscape, and that’s true not only because of larger vehicles like the Telluride, but also its smaller crossover options.

The compact Kia Sportage SUV is one of those offerings, slotting between Kia’s Seltos and Sorento in terms of size, and competes against some heavy hitters such as Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2024 Kia Sportage X-Pro Prestige AWD, a more off-road friendly version of the Sportage, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in the compact SUV battlefield.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The numbers don’t lie.

And the numbers show that the Nissan Rogue is one of the top-selling vehicles in the country.


In terms of SUV sales, it is topped only by the Toyota RAV4, Tesla Model Y and Honda CR-V, and it has more impressive numbers than every other SUV available, with more than 270,000 sold in 2023.

Within Nissan’s lineup, it’s also by far the most popular option — doubling sales of the Altima.

The Rogue achieves this success by offering strong fuel mileage, an attractive look and a strong tech setup. It’s not trying to be the most exciting or sporty SUV, instead offering a solid, user-friendly overall package that will appeal to both families and individuals.

Upgrades have been made to the design and tech in the 2024 Nissan Rogue, including Google features now being built into its tech setup. I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the 2024 Rogue (a Platinum trim model), and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

A global giant, Volkswagen continues to make its best effort to find its place in the SUV market in the United States.

One of their key offerings is the Tiguan, which slots in the middle of its SUV lineup between the smaller VW Taos and larger VW Atlas/Atlas Cross Sport options. It’s the highest-selling vehicle for Volkswagen in the U.S., with more than 71,000 Tiguans sold in 2023.

It’s competing with some strong vehicles, including Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Mazda’s CX-5 and CX-50, and more.

Standing out is tough in this segment, but VW pulls a bit of a wild card by offering the Tiguan with a third row, a feature most of the alternatives do not offer. 

There are no major changes for 2024, as the main changes for the 2024 model are additional features becoming standard on lower trim levels. (Note: A completely new design is anticipated for the 2025 model year.)

I recently spent time behind the wheel of a base model 2024 Tiguan, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in today’s SUV landscape.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

In recent years, Hyundai has asserted itself as a strong contender in many different vehicle categories, and that’s probably the most true in the compact SUV segment, where its Hyundai Tucson has regularly been a top-seller.

It’s the most popular Hyundai model in the U.S., with over 200,000 Tucsons sold in 2023, in large part due to its standout exterior design, roomy and upscale interior, plus comprehensive warranties and competitive pricing.

I recently tested a 2024 Hyundai Tucson XRT AWD model, which featured an attractive and aggressive design, and there are a variety of Tucson models offered — including hybrid options for the eco-friendly buyer.

Last fully redesigned in 2022, the 2024 Tucson features minor changes to the various trim levels and adds some tech and safety features, but maintains the strong features that have kept it so competitive in a segment featuring strong competition including the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Looking at the automotive sales charts, one thing becomes pretty clear — often the vehicles that sell the most are far from the most flashy. 

Such is the case with the 2023 Chevy Equinox, which is the second-best selling vehicle for Chevrolet behind only its Silverado pickup truck, and one of the top-selling small SUVs in the country.

Focused on a solid user experience, strong design and high-level tech features, the Equinox won’t be the fastest or the most head-turning model in the segment, but it’s clearly doing something right based on how the car-buying public is taking to it.

Changes to the Equinox for 2023 are minor, including a slight bump in horsepower, and updated paint scheme options.

I recently spent some time behind the week of a 2023 Chevy Equinox RS, and I’m back with a full report on how well it battles against a bevy of top competitors including Toyota’s RAV4, Honda’s CR-V and the Ford Escape.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

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

As the reinvention of their SUV lineup continues, Mazda continues to introduce impressive new models.

The latest is the 2023 Mazda CX-50, a compact crossover that will battle with leading competitors in the segment including the Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape.

And just to clarify, the CX-50 is different from the already existing CX-5, another compact crossover currently in the Mazda lineup (which may or may not continue to coexist in coming years). The CX-50 shares a platform with the smaller CX-30, and upcoming models in the pipeline that are anticipated include the larger CX-70 and CX-90.

While the introduction of these new vehicles brings in some new designs, what doesn’t change is the quality of what’s under the hood, and that’s the excellent Mazda power plants that made this brand stand out in a bevy of SUV competitors, especially for driving enthusiasts who want to enjoy their daily drive.

I recently tested a 2023 Mazda CX-50, and I’m back with a full report on how the new offering measures up to Mazda’s lofty standards.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

If you’re looking for a compact SUV these days, there is no shortage of options to consider. So to stand out, automakers must take new approaches. 

On that note, let me introduce the 2022 Subaru Forester, and its new Wilderness edition — a vehicle that definitely stands out among its competitors.

This all-wheel drive, 5-passenger vehicle with impressive ground clearance can operate confidently on city streets, but also step up when some light off-roading or rough weather presents itself. For the outdoorsy type of person, it serves as a welcome alternative to the usual suburban family ride, while keeping many of the qualities from those vehicles such as strong tech and safety features.

The WIlderness trim, new for 2022, comes with a redesigned bumper, grille and headlights, plus roof rails that can support more weight.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Compact SUVs are one of the most reliably successful sellers in today’s automotive ecosystem, putting up some of the biggest overall numbers once you get past the top-selling trucks.

Chevy’s Equinox competes in this tough segment — battling a bevy of competitors including the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.

For those buyers who remain loyal to the U.S. “Big Three” options, the Equinox emerges as one of the top competitors in the segment. While not completely redesigned, the 2022 Equinox does get some minor refreshes and offers a bold new RS trim level.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 Equinox RS, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in the segment.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The compact SUV class is one with limitless options for car buyers, but one key element that is usually missing from these vehicles is power. Many of them are well-designed but lack oomph when you’re behind the wheel.

But one brand that has never lacked oomph is Mazda, and they offer several options in the compact SUV class — including the CX-5, CX-30 and CX-50.

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is essentially a lifted version of the Mazda 3 hatchback. Slight changes have been made to the model lineup for 2022 (including a new Carbon Edition trim level), and all-wheel-drive is now standard on all CX-30 trims.

I recently spent some time driving a 2022 CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus edition, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up vs. the competition. 

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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