2020 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

Chevy released the Blazer one year ago and has already done a complete renaming of it’s trim levels for the 2020 model along with a few other trim and package updates. Chevy added a new mid level engine option with the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder. Trim level names have changed from L, 2.5L, 3.6L cloth, 3.6L leather, RS, and Premier to L, LT, 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier. They have also added an auto start stop override button, three new exterior colors and a new redline edition. For our testing Chevy sent us a top-of-the-line 2020 Blazer Premier AWD …

Read more 2020 Chevrolet Blazer Premier AWD – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2019 Honda Passport AWD Elite – Review by Ben Lewis

What’s in a name? We’ll skip the Shakespearean reference, and go for the automotive one. Do they make sense? Sometimes. A 911, well that’s a model number. A Maxima – uh, is there a Minima? Now we have the all-new Honda Passport. Wait, we’ve heard that name before. Yep, there was a Honda Passport in the ‘90s. Well sorta. That Passport was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo, which wasn’t a bad vehicle, and it was a smart idea – Honda needed a compact SUV to fight it out in that red-hot segment. This was three years before the 1997 CR-V would …

Read more 2019 Honda Passport AWD Elite – Review by Ben Lewis

2018 Ford F-150 Raptor 4×4 SuperCrew – Road Test Review

You really learn a hell of a lot when driving the world’s coolest pickup truck on the daily for a week. The first things might be about yourself.  No matter how good you might feel on a typical day, there is another level of happiness at least 3X greater!  Lording over all traffic with this menacing widebody is great for the soul and for an instant upgrade in self-confidence. You also learn about the folks around you.  Colleagues who might not talk much will become Raptor fanboys.  Circling and touching the badass FORD grille, the enormous tires and the sheer …

Read more 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor 4×4 SuperCrew – Road Test Review

Battle of the 2019 Jeep Cherokees – Trailhawk Vs Limited – By Matt Barnes

A few months, back we had the chance to test drive the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited. We really enjoyed our time with the vehicle and you can read about it here. Recently, Jeep sent us the Trailhawk version of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee, with the same 3.2 liter V6 and 9 speed automatic transmission. This gave us a good opportunity to compare the two similarly equipped vehicles, costing within $200 of each other. Similarities Both 2019 Cherokees we tested came with: Adaptive cruise control Lane keep assist 9 speaker audio system with the 8.4 inch Uconnect and GPS setup Leather …

Read more Battle of the 2019 Jeep Cherokees – Trailhawk Vs Limited – By Matt Barnes

2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

When looking at the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee, one may wonder how a solid axle XJ from a few decades ago has evolved into a smooth-riding, fully independent suspension and a seemingly less off road capable vehicle. From our experience, the new Cherokee is much better on road and is every bit as capable and possibly even more capable than its predecessor. Exterior For 2019, the Jeep Cherokee has a few exterior updates that are different from the 2018 model, making it more attractive and lighter. The bumpers, LED head lights, LED tail lights, hood and liftgate have all been …

Read more 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2018 RAM 2500 Limited 4×4 Long Box – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

When thinking of an HD pickup truck, the first things that come to mind are diesel power and a terrible ride. Only one of those two things is true with the 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Crew Cab 4×4 Long Box. Our test vehicle came with a lot of upgrades and packages, making it one of the most comfortable three-quarter ton trucks we have ever driven. Exterior This was an attractive truck from nearly any angle. It really stood out from all the other vehicles around it due to its enormous size and alluring deep indigo red paint. The Limited Tungsten …

Read more 2018 RAM 2500 Limited 4×4 Long Box – Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2018 Ford Expedition Platinum – HD Road Test Review

If you love big trucks and fast Fords…. the 2018 Expedition will be a game-changer for your family. Here is a truck so full of substantive improvements and taste upgrades that a reviewer barely knows where to start. How about 10-speed automatic and chassis rigidity that is through-the-roof versus any Expedition before. And then there is exterior style that takes time to even sink in.  Ultra-modern. Best LEDs on the road. Stance for days comes naturally with these new alloy body panels. We have a terrific drive video, 100 photos and standard headers below for this class-leading full-size SUV.   HD …

Read more 2018 Ford Expedition Platinum – HD Road Test Review

2017 Jeep COMPASS Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If you like small crossover/SUV’s, you’re living in the golden age. Where most manufacturers were once happy to offer one model, it seems like many are doubling – or tripling – down, to give you your own perfect blend of goodness. And that includes Jeep. Here we have an all-new Jeep Compass. Originally introduced in 2007, the Compass was sort of a slapped-together version based on the Dodge Caliber. More tall wagon than true ‘ute, it still proved to be very popular with buyers, but kind of felt out of place with the Jeep Brand. Fast forward 10 years, and …

Read more 2017 Jeep COMPASS Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Jeep Compass 4×4 Limited – HD Road Test Review

Guess who does not love compact crossovers, generally, for their woeful speed and handling?  This guy. So the 2017 Compass really had its work cut out for it when it came to CRD for a review.  We were pre-biased and would’ve been tossed from a jury trial for inability to be impartial. Our personal disdain for micro-SUVs is dead wrong based on vehicle sales charts, though. Mini crossovers are the hottest segment of the car business these days.  They are replacing huge chunks of traditional compact and midsize car sales – through their combination of coolness and capability. Jeep is …

Read more 2017 Jeep Compass 4×4 Limited – HD Road Test Review

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VIDEO – 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 Finds Bomb-Crater Lake

    How awful are those posts on sites that just open to a video.  No words really, just a giant play button.  And you never really want to watch the video that second, right? We try to spare you those posts here.  But there are exceptions. When a video production approaches true The Grand Tour production values.  When a drone-cam tracks your Jeep romping in tall grass and from over water.  When dual GoPro’s with different cabin angles was ridiculous but still tolerated by the talent. When you’ve found a peachy dirt road to mimic rally speeds around corners — tail …

Read more VIDEO – 2017 Jeep Compass Limited 4×4 Finds Bomb-Crater Lake

2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A long time ago, the SUV was a truck. In fact, many of our SUV-owning friends used to call them trucks. It was a badge of pride. Tough, no-nonsense. Go anywhere. The anti-Minivan in every sense of the word. But we got seduced. Today, nearly everyone wants car-like comfort, luxuries, swank styling. Rugged capability? Who cares. Well, if you’ve seen the weather lately, or watch the hot TV shows, you know, it might not be such a bad idea to have a little go-anywhere in your garage. Which leads us to today’s question: What vehicle do you want when the …

Read more 2017 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017 Nissan TITAN SL 4×4 – Road Test Review

Trucks are all about strength.  Why not have more towing, hauling and running power than you might need?  There is huge peace of mind in knowing you have so much excess capability. At some point, though, that extra muscle makes life more difficult.  That point is arguably between 1500 and 2500 pickups.  Yes, the 2500s have even more giant motors and higher tow ratings.  The new Nissan Titan bridges this gap and aims for 1500 ease of use but near 2500 size and stats. The Titan XD straddles that gap perfectly and the XD option comes standard with the 5.0-liter …

Read more 2017 Nissan TITAN SL 4×4 – Road Test Review

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2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR 4×4 Supercab – First Drive Review

When Ford gives you Raptor keys, there is an instant rush of blood to the brain.  Me!? Yes! The truck is absolutely gigantic even in shortie Supercab setup here.  A half-foot wider and big step taller than any stock F-150 around.  The cabin is the tiniest part of the huge widebody fenders, wide-track racing suspension and jumbo offroad tires. It is quite an event — even just parked calmly in subtle magnetic grey. What’s the first thing you do with a Raptor?   For me, it is Go find mud!  A rock quarry with greenlight from the dudes working?  YES! …

Read more 2017 Ford F-150 RAPTOR 4×4 Supercab – First Drive Review

Own the 007 Spectre 2014 Land Rover Defender SVX!

A Defender pro-mod by Q himself!  Or was this the villain car in that Alpine chase.  Oh yes.  Bond is actually driving a crashed plane at the time. This SVX machine will let its new owner be a Bond hero daily.   2014 Land Rover Defender SVX “Spectre”

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In Pictures: 2017 GMC Canyon Denali 4×4 SWB Crew

Hard to hide the disappointment we had with the 2017 Canyon Denali.  This was a delayed-release flagship for GMC’s midsize trucks.  Denali models usually have everything standard and are a big, big upgrade in luxury style and amenities. This Canyon Denali does have a huge standard equipment list and a new grille to its credit.  But overall, the amount of Denali badges is the biggest change you will notice. Underwhelming on the off-road course with these low, low running boards.  Not thrilled that the GMC Canyon’s LED light accents are not actually DRLs.  And bummed to find regular halogen reflectors …

Read more In Pictures: 2017 GMC Canyon Denali 4×4 SWB Crew

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2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4 at Amelia Island Concours [45 Photos]

  Ever wanted a truck that was so outrageous it might stop traffic dead on sight? Welcome to the G-Class 4×4-squared. This G550 4×4 even upstages the G65 parked right beside it.  This “normal” twin-turbo V12 G-wagen looks like a child’s toy parked next to the 4×4! The G65 and this G550 are actually priced pretty similarly.  The 4×4 comes in G550 and G63 variants, with this G550 coming in at about $220k.  The G65 is just a few thousand more and will be MUCH quicker.  But not nearly as outlandish.   2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4

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2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4×4 – HD Road Test Review

As recently as ten years ago, all you had to ask for was a seven-seat SUV. The options were pretty limited and you found your way into various full-size Suburbans or Expeditions. These days, car shoppers have to get a lot more specific.  There are over 50 SUV and crossover models capable of seating seven.  But they are certainly not all equally capable. The Ford Explorer aims to be one of the largest mid-size SUVs out there – one with real seating in the third row and decent luggage room with all seats up.  The Explorer is very-much an SUV versus a …

Read more 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4×4 – HD Road Test Review

MANSORY Geneva Showstoppers – Top Five Wildest One-Offs

If you ever ask yourself, ‘ Hey, I wonder what Mansory has been up to lately,’ you are in for some fireworks. Mansory’s exotic customs are some of the most lavish and exclusive in the world.  And the latest set does not disappoint! Most striking are the cars they use as their starting points.  Seriously special metal to begin with… then gilded and leathered and ostriched to the max! Gatorskin cabin? Cobalt inlays? Diamonds to match? They do it all. For 2017, Mansory is bringing their new Rolls-Royce Dawn, Bentley Bentayga, AMG GT and a pair of G-Wagens.  Their G63 …

Read more MANSORY Geneva Showstoppers – Top Five Wildest One-Offs

Der neue Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet: Streng limitiert: Open-Air-Luxus on- und offroad

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet – Ragtop V12TT G-Wagen!?

HOLY ****!  You are not going to believe the latest G-Class mutant from Mercedes-Maybach. It is dubbed the G650 Landauletand incorporates the hardcore suspension and chassis mods from the 4×4-squared, a monster V12TT powerplant… and an open-roofed limo cockpit! So much to take in.  Soak up the official details and 25 photos of this incredibly fun new way to spend $750 large. Love it! 2017 Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet The new Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet: Strictly limited: open-air luxury both on- and off-road 13. February 2017 Stuttgart *Fuel consumption combined: 17.0 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 397 g/km Stuttgart. A …

Read more 2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet – Ragtop V12TT G-Wagen!?

2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4×4 V6 – Road Test Review

Welcome to the most luxurious Jeep Cherokee of all time. Dubbed the Overland as this new-for-2016 trim, the Cherokee now packs its feature lists to overflowing proportions. You name the luxury feature, and this truck has it. Along the way, the Cherokee Overland 4×4 V6 has almost grown out of its Ford Escape and Honda CR-V competitive set.  In power, safety and premium elements, this Cherokee Overland competes much more closely against the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. The problem with those much-tougher rivals is easy to imagine: they are great little trucks that handle well, have speedy turbo powertrains and …

Read more 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4×4 V6 – Road Test Review

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2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

  You say you want a small crossover/SUV? We can’t blame you. It’s just about the hottest-selling segment in the industry, and it looks like the small family sedan is taking a firm backseat because of it. And while there are a lot of nice choices out there, there is a problem. They all sort of look alike. There are notable exceptions like the mutant amphibian Nissan Juke. And the squat-and-squashed Mini Clubman. But in general, and HRV, CRV, CX-3, CX-5, RAV4, Forester, Rogue all look – and function – like relatives at a family reunion. Is the Jeep Renegade the cure …

Read more 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk 4×4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota TACOMA Limited 4×4 DoubleCab – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

The mid-size Toyota Tacoma has been around for a long time, and has deserved its reputation for being rugged, reliable, and inexpensive to operate. And they don’t change much over the years.  In fact, the 2015 model had been mostly unchanged since the 2005 edition.  As you can imagine it was long overdue for an update.  Enter the 2016 model. The 2016 model features an all new engine and transmission, new interior and exterior styling, yet the core of the Tacoma’s mission statement remains the same. Truth be told, it has been so long since I’ve tested a Tacoma, I …

Read more Road Test Review – 2016 Toyota TACOMA Limited 4×4 DoubleCab – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

Drive Review – 2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn 4×4 – By Carl Malek

A Tale Of Two Trucks – Part 2     2016 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn   Serving as our second test vehicle, the 2016 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn takes a different approach to luxury and in the process becomes a completely different truck. Like the 3500 Limited, the Longhorn package comes equipped with an impressive resume of standard and optional equipment, and it also came equipped with the same 6.7 liter Cummins diesel engine. But unlike the black on black color scheme that defined the dually, the interior of the Longhorn embodies the spirit of the American west, and as a result …

Read more Drive Review – 2016 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn 4×4 – By Carl Malek

Geneva Debuts – 2016 Volvo XC90 EXCELLENCE – Quad-Throne PHEV Limo for Davos Crowd

  Not just Rangies… but S-Classes and Audi A8’s too! The superlux livery market just found a new favorite: the XC90 T8 Excellence. Plugin-hybrid to ease your (guilty) conscience?  Check. SUV-easy entry and exit, plus jumbo cargo bay?  Check. Individual, 787-first-class seats in back with a full-length console and nap-ready headrests? Check. 4×4 grip for ski holidays or slushy commutes home?  Check. Subtle to the point of almost disappearing behind the bright window-edges and deep-tinted glass all around?  Check. The new XC90 Excellence certainly looks great on paper as the next favorite limousine for the Davos crowd. The Excellence order …

Read more Geneva Debuts – 2016 Volvo XC90 EXCELLENCE – Quad-Throne PHEV Limo for Davos Crowd

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HD Road Test Review + Videos – 2016 Nissan FRONTIER Pro-4X V6 4×4 Automatic

Is newer better? That is the fundamental question many car shoppers ask themselves, and roundly find that Yes is the answer. But for truck owners, newer is far less likely to be automatically better. For the 2016 Nissan Frontier, the proven mechanicals, extra-tough frame and V6 4×4 setup is as trusty as your best friend. And luckily, it is almost as fun! We threw the Frontier into a few wild off-road donuts just minutes after its arrival… and came out that cloud of dust and dirt with rekindled love for the Nissan mid-size truck in 2016. Yes, even more than …

Read more HD Road Test Review + Videos – 2016 Nissan FRONTIER Pro-4X V6 4×4 Automatic

2015 Fiat Ducato 4×4 Expedition Concept Teases New ProMaster Drivetrain Option

The new RAM ProMaster vans in the US are winning some very devoted fans with their ultra-low floors and nimbleness even in the tightest American cities. All this and more is owed to its sibling, the Fiat Ducato, across the pond. This lavish concept van was a double threat for its reveal in Dusseldorf in August:  showcasing some awesome glamping upgrades inside and out. Yet also revealing a promising new 4×4 powertrain choice.  While this particular vehicle is a passenger model fairly unlike the US panel-van ProMasters that take most of the sales, the two trucks are nearly identical under …

Read more 2015 Fiat Ducato 4×4 Expedition Concept Teases New ProMaster Drivetrain Option

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HD Road Test Review – 2015 Lincoln NAVIGATOR 4×4 Reserve – Best Full-Size SUV?

We’ve loved the new Navigator since a brief drive back-to-back with an Escalade. The design might not be as flashy as the new GM trucks, but initial comparisons leaned heavily in favor of the Lincoln for ride, handling and performance. After many miles in Yukons, Suburbans and Escalades since that first drive, there is clearly much to love about their utility and V8 power. The new eight-speed automatics for the 6.2-liter V8s in Escalade and Denali are particularly impressive. But do they beat the anytime surge of turbo torque in the Navigator? Or the easy cabin tech controls? Same scenario …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2015 Lincoln NAVIGATOR 4×4 Reserve – Best Full-Size SUV?

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2016 BRABUS 850 4×4 Coupe is GLE63 Pumped Up to 850HP

Holy shiz! Look at this machine. Somehow, the full customization upgrade from BRABUS rocket sedans is even more intense on the SUVs. The new GLE63 Coupe is a perfect starting point. A launchpad, if you will. And stand back when this sucker blasts off! 3.8-seconds to 62-mph is the new pace, nearly a half-second quicker than the stock truck and its ~573HP.  Not just induction or electronics tweaks here. Nor just fortified engine internals. Nope, this 850 “6.0” has that name for a reason: the whole displacement of the motor is upped from 5.5-liters to 6.0L. This is a perfect …

Read more 2016 BRABUS 850 4×4 Coupe is GLE63 Pumped Up to 850HP

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Road Test Review – 2015 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 4WD Custom Sport Edition

Imagine a grinning face with a smile so big it put dimples on my cheeks. It was an August Wednesday — my change day for press drive vehicles — and I learned it would be a double week. And not just two polar-opposites; this week would be a head-to-head battle between a bright blue 2015 F-150 and a Diamond White Silverado. You might think you know what to expect of a different trim level of a car you’ve driven before. A Camry is a Camry is a Camry, right? But these trucks are different. Exponentially large configuration choices in the …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 4WD Custom Sport Edition

Road Test Review – 2015 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 SuperCab 2.7L EcoBoost – Goldilocks Lost

      The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 is a truck we have gushed over and raved about since the moment it rolled on stage at the Detroit show in 2014. Our drive opportunities so far have confirmed this future-tech masterclass is the most advanced pickup truck ever made. Loaded spec levels, LED lighting galore and prices above $50k have been our taste of the truck to date — so it was fantastic to spend a week of intensive driving the most-popular XLT with the mid-range 2.7-liter EcoBoost. What we found left us scratching our foreheads. There are a few …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 SuperCab 2.7L EcoBoost – Goldilocks Lost

2016 Toyota TACOMA Pricing and Tech Specs Ahead of Mid-October Showroom Arrival

  The new Tacoma just got back from a muddy romp around its namesake town in Washington state. Now time to shower up and hit showrooms nationwide as the best-selling mid-size pickup truck for 10 years running! The 2016 update is a big revamp by Tacoma standards, but is very light versus a normal Toyota mid-cycle refresh. It just so happens that the truck’s already-long product cycle was effectively frozen for a few years during the financial crisis. But buyer demands, CAFE requirements and, most of all, fresh competition has spurred Toyota to take its Tacoma into the workshop. Out …

Read more 2016 Toyota TACOMA Pricing and Tech Specs Ahead of Mid-October Showroom Arrival

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HD Road Test Review – 2015 GMC Yukon Denali XL 4×4 with New 8-Speed Automatic

Denali lovers have never had it so good: this swanky trimline now extends beyond the Yukon and into the full range from GMC. But for many shoppers, the sweet spot of the General Motors truck range is the Denali XL. Nearly all the tech and luxury of the Escalade, with a less shouty overall presence on the roads. This paradox of the Denali being more humble, yet costing similar to the Caddy is plain for all to see. The idea is that everyone knows the Denali is Caddy-plush, and costs about as much, too. For a big swath of buyers, …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2015 GMC Yukon Denali XL 4×4 with New 8-Speed Automatic

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HD Road Test Review – 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk Is Fun, Stylish and Smart!?

    INTRO – 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk Review HD Off-Road Drive Video 1 Nearly everyone has a great Jeep Wrangler memory from their youth. You were thin and gorgeous, laughing and loving the top-down lifestyle. Hanging a foot out the doorframe on a sunny afternoon. Tunes were playing, and exploring the world around you took on new meaning. Or you were discovering the huge straight-six torque that defined the truck for decades. Or just pining from the sidewalk at your sexy crush driving away. That collective memory is a core element of the brand’s appeal — and always has …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk Is Fun, Stylish and Smart!?

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2016 Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4-Squared Priced from $265k, Arriving In December

  The incredibly cool and macho new G500 4×4-Squared is officially available! Orders are open now for this new flagship, with pricing from $230k Euros and 422 horsepower via a new twin-turbo powertrain. The 4.0TT is shared with the AMG GT and delivers better power, efficiency and torque profiles than ever before. This engine is standard on the 4×4-squared as well as the standard G500 for this year, hitting 60-mph in just 5.9-seconds for the normal truck and up to 7.4-seconds as the 4×4-squared. The Squared’s biggest change mechanically is the addition of portal axles. Shared with the AMG 6×6, …

Read more 2016 Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4-Squared Priced from $265k, Arriving In December

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HD Video Review + Walkaround – 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4 Supercrew

Two HD drive videos, three animated flyarounds and 110 photos of the new F-150 Platinum! This truck is incredible in every way. It is easier to focus on areas where the Platinum F-150 does not feel as special or sporty as a Range Rover Sport. From behind the wheel, any similarity with that sweet super-truck is a huge asset for the full-size 4×4 market. The Platinum is really convincing in its design and tech upgrades outside, if a bit less so inside. The tacky wood accents are a low point, as is the lack of lateral support in the somewhat …

Read more HD Video Review + Walkaround – 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4 Supercrew

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium 4×4 with KDSS Suspension

The whole SUV world of has gone soft. Crossovers from near and far have ditched their rugged truck frames in favor of cushy third rows and lazy AWD. What is a real off-roader to do for an SUV with 2015 tech and features alongside totally invincible traction and durability?! You can pick up a Wrangler Unlimited with its four-door hardtop giving year-round thrills, or perhaps the Nissan xTerra? Or you can stick with the one you know delivers: the Toyota 4Runner. This is a truck that maintains the greatest parts of its core appeal for 30 years of US sales, …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium 4×4 with KDSS Suspension

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Road Test Review – 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 with Ken Glassman

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 By Ken Glassman   The Jeep came into existence during World War II, when the US Government needed a small agile 4-wheel drive vehicle that could get through mud, snow, and sand, and carry 4 soldiers, crawl up and down hills, ford small streams, tow a light artillery piece, and be reliable and easy to service. Millions of them were built, and they saw action in the forests of Europe, and the sands and jungles of Asia in World War II, as well as Korea, and even Viet Nam. And millions of soldiers drove …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 with Ken Glassman

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Concept Flashback – 2008 Citroen HYPNOS Was X6-Sized Missed Opportunity

  This 2008 Citroen concept is best known for its melted candy interior – with a swirl of wild colors looking a bit like a bag of Skittles left of the dashboard of a car in direct sunlight. But in fact, this crossover was one of Citroen’s first attempts at a soft-roader. Powered by a 2.0-liter HDi turbodiesel making 200-horsepower to the front wheels, plus a hybrid electric setup with 50HP for the back axle. The crossover and SUV space presented and still does present a fantastic opportunity for mass-market brands to achieve premium sales they all crave. Evidence? How …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2008 Citroen HYPNOS Was X6-Sized Missed Opportunity

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HD Road Test Review – 2015 Ford Expedition Platinum EL

Test drives are so instantly illuminating. Writing (and reading!) car reviews, you can think you know all about a machine from afar. Then you slide behind the wheel and buckle in, tap the start button and are surprised beyond belief. In some cases, the car or truck you think you will love is not quite all you hoped. In other scenarios, a full-size SUV that looks pretty mature and dull outside can actually be the best-driving, most-satisfying and best-value truck you’ve ever driven! This 2015 Expedition EL Platinum falls into the latter category. So incredibly amazed was this driver that …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2015 Ford Expedition Platinum EL

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HD Road Test Review – 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 ReviewINTRO Once or twice a decade, a new car or truck will come out and be so good, so likeable and so well-done that it can make all the other OEMs think hard about matching it. In the case of mid-size pickup trucks, that incredible new car is the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. In a segment that has been in the doldrums for a least five years, the new Colorado is good enough to have Ford and Ram scratching their heads — reviewing old emails with a search heading of “Ranger” or “Dakota.”  Why did we cancel …

Read more HD Road Test Review – 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

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2015 Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² Debuts Hardcore Off-Road Kit, New 4.0L V8TT and LWB Options

A concept only in name, the new G500 4×4² does what it says on the tin: four-by-four — squared. A giant wide-track design and 37-inch tires run much of the hardcore offroad tech from the AMG G63 6×6, but under the skin of the standard G-Class. This G500 runs the latest 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the AMG GT, but retuned to have rock-crushing torque at all times versus peaky high-rev horsepower. Even so, 422 ponies is plenty when riding this high off the earth below! Mercedes calls this a concept, but the G500 4×4-squared is almost a sure-thing for limited-production …

Read more 2015 Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² Debuts Hardcore Off-Road Kit, New 4.0L V8TT and LWB Options

Mecum Florida 2015 Favorites - 1987 Volkswagen SYNCHRO 4x4 TurboDiesel Westfalia 11

Mecum Florida 2015 Favorites – 1987 Volkswagen SYNCHRO 4×4 TurboDiesel Westfalia

A VW Vanagon with, get this: – factory Synchro 4×4 – Westfalia full camper van setup inside – turbodiesel engine from the factory with five-speed manual – and 45k original miles Those four, folks, are a very rare combination in the US market. Any suriviving VW Vanagon — or bus, for stoners — is relatively special these days. But a 4×4 with these cool off-road upgrades like the steel bumpers, rally lights, custom nose detailing and four-pack of round headlamps, plus tinted brake lights!? Very, very cool. For me, the only thing that would make this VW cooler would be …

Read more Mecum Florida 2015 Favorites – 1987 Volkswagen SYNCHRO 4×4 TurboDiesel Westfalia

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Concept Flashback – 2003 Peugeot Hoggar Was Twin-Engine 4×4 a la 2015 DKR Racer

Here is a fun look at a dune buggy from Peugeot more than a decade ago. The brand had long ditched its  off-road-race pedigree through the 1990s, and with it any available 4×4 powertrains. The only way they could make this little cabrio a true 4×4 involved some very unique engineering. In what is a strange and exponentially more complex arrangement than a prop shaft, the Hoggar has twin four-cylinder turbodiesel engines. Both mounted transversely – with one on each end. Think of it like the noses of two Peugeot hatchback’s joined by a chromoly chassis in between. It is …

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HD First Drive Review – 2015 Ford Transit PowerStroke Diesel

  In the broad and deep Ford Transit line for 2015, there are more than 50 variations in cab setup, overall length, wheelbase, roof height, engine and rear axle setup. The dually rear-end in LWB, high-roof cargo configuration is surely one of the hardest-working in the bunch. This extends to its payload and tow ratings as well as its overall cost-of-ownership. For cargo and passenger Transits that will cover huge miles with a full pack of cargo in back or on tow, the PowerStroke diesel is a welcome option to consider. This cutting-edge 3.2-liter inline-5 diesel is one of the …

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2015 Ford Transit Upfits Bring 30+ Factory-Adjacent Suppliers For Streamlined Procurement

One of the most impactful changes in the 2015 Transit vs Econoline is that a huge variety of custom cargo upfits can now be ordered right at a local Ford dealer or through any fleet manager. This means the trucks arrive ready-to-work with exactly the right set of interior cargo solutions, exterior racks or even full chassis conversions. We saw a great selection of the Transit Upfits available on Ford’s recent roadshow — and were very, very impressed. Ford’s suppliers all now have factories within 20-miles or so of the giant Transit hub in Kansas City. This means the trucks …

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Update2 – Road Test Review – 2015 Lincoln Navigator Driven Back-to-Back with Escalade ESV = Surprise Winner!

UPDATED 10.9.14 Corrections to the suspension specs of the Navigator Select trim, as well as the name of the LWB Escalade from EXT to its actual name, the ESV. It has been hard to take the new Navigator and Expedition seriously in the face of the newer-seeming Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade. The Navigator seemed to be the slightest of light refreshes versus those all-new models from across town. But after time at the wheel of both the Navigator and the new Escalade ESV — we were strongly leaning toward the Navigator. This surprised no one more than your humble scribe. …

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Part Two: 2013 Giugiaro PARCOUR ROADSTER in 50 High-Res Photos

  PART TWO: The Roadster When off-roading, why not have the wind in your hair and a bit of breeze above your head? All the better to see the amazing terrain this XGT could sail through… This Roadster evolved from one of the best-received concepts of all time from ItalDesign Giugiaro: an off-road Gallardo called the Parcour. Very rarely is the crossover and SUV trend so elegantly bottled into a super-high-performance package like this. With a completely fresh design, the Parcour looks truly ready to bounce off rocks down any rally track tomorrow. In fact, the machine was so thoroughly …

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2013 Giugiaro PARCOUR in 100 Photos: V10 SUV Set Tone For Upcoming Lambo 4×4 and Audi Nanuk

This beast was one of the best-received concepts of all time from ItalDesign Giugiaro: an off-road Gallardo called the Parcour. Very rarely is the crossover and SUV trend so elegantly bottled into a super-high-performance package like this. With a completely fresh design, the Parcour looks truly ready to bounce off rocks down any rally track tomorrow. In fact, the machine was so thoroughly engineered that the hardtop Parcour was sold at Pebble Beach last year by Giugiaro for about $600,000. Its mechanical package is rock-solid, primarily because it shares the mid-engine chassis, transmission and AWD system of the well-proven Gallardo …

Read more 2013 Giugiaro PARCOUR in 100 Photos: V10 SUV Set Tone For Upcoming Lambo 4×4 and Audi Nanuk