Wednesday, 31 May 2023

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

There’s no shortage of luxury SUVs available today; in fact they seem to be growing in number.

But if you want one with a body-on-frame, trucklike construction that will let you get out of the city and into the great outdoors, the number of options is significantly smaller in the luxury realm.

One option that’s been around for many years is the Lexus GX 460, a 4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger luxury SUV that aims to please both on-road and off-road.

It would seem to be a strike against the GX 460 that it hasn’t seen a full refresh since the 2010 model, literally an eternity in car years. Surprisingly though, it holds up quite well despite its old age — though some buyers may be swayed by more modern-looking competitors in the luxury realm.

One bright spot for 2022 is the new Black Line Special Edition — which brings a fresh new design approach to the GX lineup.

I recently spent some time in a 2022 GX 460, and I”m back with a full review.

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

The subcompact crossover market is quite saturated these days — which competitors including Honda’s HR-V, the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Venue, Mazda CX-30 and Jeep Renegade, among many others.

But Subaru, a brand that doesn’t top sales charts but has fiercely loyal followers, has perhaps the best offering in this segment — the Subaru Crosstrek, which gets a strong design upgrade, more powerful engine option and safety/tech upgrades for 2021. I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2021 Crosstrek Sport, and I’m back with a full report on a vehicle that spices up its segment.


The exterior of the redesigned 2021 Crosstrek stands out from the competition, both in terms of its sleek look and unique colors offered. Subaru has never gone the way every other automaker has with its designs, and this is no exception.

The vehicle features a redesigned front fascia that includes a new bumper cover and grille, new wheel design, and new color options such as Plasma Yellow Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl. I had a test vehicle with the yellow pearl color and it looked very sharp and unique on the roadways.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

While the bulk of Toyota’s sales come from the smaller end of the lineup (its Camry and Corolla sedans, plus the RAV4 crossover), they also have some strong offerings at the larger end of the vehicle spectrum.

The high-end and massive Toyota Land Cruiser sits atop the brand’s vehicle chain, but lurking just below it is another offering that can also handle itself well off-road and in all weather conditions, and at a more affordable price — the Toyota Sequoia.

I recently drove a Toyota Sequoia, and I’m back with a full report (Note: I drove a 2020 model year Sequoia, but there are only minimal changes for 2021)


The best way to describe the Sequoia’s design is to say that it looks like a tank. It’s tall, bold and in your face, and even longer than the Land Cruiser at 205.1 inches (17.1 feet) long. Ground clearance is an impressive 10 inches, allowing for better off-road performance.

When you are in the Sequoia, you are sitting up high and looking down at the world around you on the roadways. Even most SUVs look small from this vantage point.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

In today’s automotive world, a vehicle like the Toyota Land Cruiser truly stands out, as it’s among the last of a dying breed, and that breed is high-priced, extra large body-on-frame SUVs.

The Land Cruiser has been around for seven full decades, starting in 1951 as Toyota’s version of a Jeep-style, off-road vehicle. Over the years it has retained that off-road ability while evolving into perhaps the classiest vehicle offered by Toyota.

What’s unique about the Land Cruiser is Toyota finds itself competing against both non-luxury vehicles (Ford Expedition, Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Nissan Armada, and Toyota’s own Sequoia), as well as luxury vehicles such as the Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX, Infiniti QX80 and Cadillac Escalade.

After some time spent behind the wheel of a 2020 Land Cruiser (which is essentially identical to the 2021 version), I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Looking at the Toyota vehicle lineup, most of it is pretty tame and domesticated. 

But there’s one item that dramatically departs from this model — The off-road star known as the Toyota 4Runner. There are few true direct rivals to the 4Runner, making it almost in a class of its own and filling a unique niche.

Amazingly, this vehicle has not been updated since 2010, an eternity in car years. Read on for a full review of how it holds up as we enter the 2020s.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

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