Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Subaru may not be the largest automaker, but they know what their customers like, and do it very well.

One vehicle that stands out in their lineup is the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, including the brand new off-road friendly Wilderness trim level introduced for 2024.

Aimed at adventurers, the Crosstrek is quickly becoming a contender for the best-selling Subaru model in the U.S. I recently got the chance to test out a 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness.

Read on to learn 5 key things you should know about this unique vehicle offering.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Subaru owners have never been the type to follow trends, and have always gone their own way. So it’s fitting a vehicle like the Subaru Crosstrek comes from the automaker.

This outdoor-friendly offering — completely redesigned for 2024 — is a niche offering that offers a unique set of capabilities that most other SUVs in its class don’t share.

This small crossover doesn’t aim to be the fastest in its class, but it does aim to be the most capable in all weather conditions, and a vehicle you’re comfortable taking onto the back roads without fear.

I recently tested a Crosstrek in the Premium trim level, but the big news this year is that Subaru has unveiled a Wilderness model that’s especially off-road friendly.

Read on for everything you need to know about the all-new 2024 Crosstrek.

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

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

Kia has earned a lot of headlines in the past couple years, but most of it has been surrounding their Telluride SUV, which came in with a bang and took the industry by storm.

But now it’s time for another vehicle to make news: The 2021 Kia Sorento, which is assembled at Kia’s plant in West Point, Georgia.

Debuting a brand new generation of the vehicle, which is lighter and smaller than the Telluride, Kia is presenting another alternative for families that is just as versatile as the Telluride, but also more fun to drive and off-road capable.

Read on for a full report on what it has to offer to people shopping for the best new 3-row SUVs.

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

In my experience, I’ve found that you’re either a Jeep person, or you’re not.

Many people will avoid Jeeps like the plague, as it’s just not for them. But for those of you who are Jeep people, you probably think there’s no legitimate alternative.

Here’s a look at a couple Jeep options, the 2020 Wrangler, and the 2020 Renegade.
I’ll start with the Wrangler, the ultimate Jeep for Jeep people.


In terms of looks and design, the Jeep Wrangler exudes that off-road character that you’ve come to expand from this brand that dates back to the WWII era. You’ll never mistake the Wrangler for another ride.

It’s a totally unique vehicle, incredibly rugged, and you can literally take it apart (doors, roof, windshield are all optional) if you want to experience an extreme sense of freedom while driving (just check the forecast first).

The Wrangler sits high up,  is made of very strong materials and has a unique grill that has never been mimicked. A Wrangler is a Wrangler, and that's why it has kept its loyal fans for so long.

Another unique aspect of the Wrangler is the large number of customization options, both from the factory and in the aftermarket.

Even the paint colors are nice. My test vehicle had a pumpkin metallic clearcoat paint that was a type of bright orange that was shocking yet pleasing to the eye. Inside was a more traditional look with black leather trim seats.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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