Saturday, 22 June 2024

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

Just when you thought we were at SUV overload, here comes a brand new entry.
The difference though, compared to many new SUV debuts, is this one actually makes a lot of sense.

What I’m talking about is the new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander, a larger version of the longtime favorite Toyota Highlander that aims to improves Toyota’s take-home rate vs. other popular three-row midsize SUVs such as the Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-90, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer.

Expanding on the many positive attributes of the Highlander, the Grand Highlander delivers additional cargo space as well as more room for third-row passengers. (Note: If you like of the look of the Grand Highlander and want a more upscale version, the brand new 2024 Lexus TX is another option to consider)

This vehicle is essentially an answer to folks who liked the Highlander in concept, but moved away to other brands due to it lacking the proper space for their larger families. By adding additional room, Toyota is inviting these families back into the fold.

I recently got the chance to test the 2024 Grand Highlander, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
Sunday, 11 February 2024 16:42

2024 Acura MDX: 5 Things To Know

In the midsize luxury SUV category, there are many strong choices that are worth considering, so each entry in this category must present its own unique character.

I recently tested one of those options, the 2024 Acura MDX, which has a lot to offer to the SUV buyer — even against strong competition from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Cadillac and other key luxury players.

Between its athletic drive quality, striking design and affordable nature compared to most luxury rivals, it’s an SUV that should strike a sweet spot for many car buyers.

Read on for 5 key things to know if you’re considering the 2024 Acura MDX for your next vehicle.

1. Unique, bold Acura design   

Though the look of the 2024 MDX carries over from the most recent redesign in 2022, it remains one of the standout exterior designs in the segment.

The front end features a muscular-looking grille and unique lighting design that won’t be confused with any of its luxury rivals, the rear features a dual exhaust setup, and the overall design is sleek and eye-catching.

19-inch wheels are standard, but you can upgrade to 21-inch wheels. You also get a panoramic sunroof and power liftgate.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Mazda has slowly been revamping the design language of its SUV lineup for the past several years, and those changes have now reached the top of the ladder and its largest offering.

Their previous three-row SUV was the CX-9, but now it’s been replaced for the 2024 model year by a brand new entry called the CX-90 — a three-row SUV that seats 6 to 8 passengers depending on configuration, and comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Competing with category heavyweights such as the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Toyota Grand Highlander, it’s got a tough array of opponents.

But for drivers who love to drive and want a ride that’s both family-friendly plus sporty and fun to drive, Mazda has long been a leader in this segment, and the CX-90 holds up tremendously well even in this tough atmosphere.

Mazda also has the benefit of offering some of the more luxurious vehicles you’ll find from a non-luxury brand.

I tested the 2024 Mazda CX-90 3.3 Turbo Premium Plus model, and I’m back with a full report on how this new offering measures up in the SUV landscape.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Three-row crossovers are consistently a big hit with buyers, and in the luxury SUV segment there is a crowded field of contenders from all the major luxury automakers — including Lincoln, Acura, Audi, Genesis and many more.

Infiniti, the luxury brand from the Nissan camp, puts up the 2023 Infiniti QX60 in this category — in essence, offering a more upscale version of its Nissan Pathfinder model.

Fresh off a 2022 redesign, there are only minor changes for 2023, and the QX60 remains a likable luxury ride that holds its own in the segment by offering a quality design both inside and outside the vehicle, plenty of standard features, as well as strong safety systems.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Going 14 years between redesigns is almost unheard of in today’s automotive landscape. In that time span, many models have come and gone, and those remaining have undergone a few major updates.

Suffice it to say that the arrival of a brand new 2023 Toyota Sequoia, last redesigned when President Barack Obama was just taking office, is a pretty big deal.

The Sequoia is Toyota’s largest vehicle sold in the U.S. and competes with other three-row heavies such as the Jeep Wagoneer, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, and Ford Expedition.

Completely new looks inside and out, a bold new hybrid powertrain and a massive tech system featuring a 14-inch screen are among the highlights of the brand new Sequoia, whose large size and rugged capabilities set it apart in an industry heavily focused on smaller crossover vehicles.

I recently drove the 2023 Sequoia — which is based on the body-on-frame chassis used on the Toyota Tundra truck and Lexus LX SUV — and I’m back with a full report on whether the changes live up to the hype of such a lengthy wait.

 

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

When the Hyundai Palisade burst onto the scene a few years ago, the brand new flagship SUV became an instant smash.

With upscale and comfortable seating for up to 8 passengers, the Palisade is one of the vehicles leading the resurgence of Hyundai in the tough SUV battleground. Ironically, one of its top competitors is a corporate cousin, the Kia Telluride, along with the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

But everything must change to stay relevant, so a refresh to the Palisade’s design inside and out has arrived for 2023. There’s also a new stylish and rugged trim level (XRT) added for 2023, improved tech setup, and safety upgrades.

I recently tested a 2023 Hyundai Palisade, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up against today’s best SUVs.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

In the stratosphere of the automotive world, you will find a small number of extra large land yachts also known as three-row luxury SUVs.

These flagship offerings from the biggest luxury names battle head-to-head to be chosen by elite buyers willing to shell out well into six figures for the latest and greatest luxury rides. In the Lexus lineup, the vehicle battling in this class is the LX 600, which was fully updated for the 2022 model year, then saw some minor changes for the 2023 model year.

Holding from four to seven passengers, depending on configuration, it battles heavy hitters in the segment including the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7, Range Rover, and Lincoln Navigator.

WIth a body-on-frame design that boosts its off-road prowess, sharp design inside and out, and much-improved tech offerings, the LX stands out as a leader in a segment where a vehicle must do everything right to be successful.

I recently tested a Lexus LX 600 F Sport, and I’m back with a full report on how well it competes.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

As the number of SUVs continues to expand in a seemingly exponential manner, it’s sometimes difficult to classify where certain vehicles compete.

One vehicle battling in a unique area that fends off competitors on multiple sides is the 2023 Buick Enclave, one of the most intriguing three-row midsize SUV offerings from the U.S. Big Three automakers.

An upscale offering from GM, the Enclave is high-brow enough to battle with names such as Volvo and Acura, but it’s simultaneously fending off competitors from brands like Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Ford, which are traditionally not viewed as luxury offerings.

It’s an introduction to the world of the more upscale SUV, without fully diving into the luxury lifestyle to keep pricing more realistic.

The 2023 Enclave sees little changes from the 2022 model, which underwent some major design and tech transformations that are carried over.

Buick’s goal with the Enclave is to deliver a strong overall vehicle — impressing through its design, tech, safety features and drive quality — that will pull potential buyers from either the lower-end or higher-end options into the seat of the Enclave.

With extensive cargo room, a smooth driving experience, and truly impressive technology offerings, it does that to a great extent.

Read on for a full breakdown on how the 2023 Enclave compares to its many competitors in this very popular vehicle segment.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

As the appetite for large luxury vehicles continues to grow and options increase, competition has never been tougher.

One contender in this category that’s been around for many years is the Infiniti QX80, the flagship body-on-frame, V8-powered SUV from the luxury marque.

Ahead of an anticipated full redesign for 2024, I recently was able to test the 2023 Infiniti QX80, a truly classy ride which still manages to impress despite its longevity — even when it battles in a class that includes tough competitors such as the BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, Audi Q8, Jeep Grand Wagoneer and more.

Read on for a full breakdown of the QX80’s design, drive quality, tech and more.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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