The Explorer looks rugged, but that's deceiving. In fact, it should be viewed as a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive family wagon. It's not rough and tumble like it used to be, back in the day when it was body-on-frame, and had locking hubs and a low-range transfer case. The engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that's used in many other Fords, from Flex to Fusion. It makes 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in about 8.5 seconds, using the standard 6-speed automatic transmission. The Explorer earns five stars in its NHTSA crash rating in every category except rollover, but we can't think of any tall SUV that gets five stars there. With the IIHS, the Explorer got top scores in the moderate-front overlap, side impact and roof strength tests, but only Marginal in the small-overlap crash test. One feature that might enhance safety but doesn't factor into crash ratings is the Explorer's Curve Control within the stability control; it adapts throttle and brake to upcoming corners. Also standard is trailer sway control.
The Mustang was redesigned for 2015, featuring an independent suspension to replace the live axle in the rear end, and introducing a turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2017 Mustang outclasses the pre-2015 Mustang, with beautiful control and stability. The EcoBoost 2.3-liter four-cylinder uses a twin-scroll turbo and direct injection, to make an entertaining 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. The aviation theme of the interior delivers large, clear gauges and information located directly in front of the driver, and the ergonomics are good, with tactile switches and knobs.
The Ford Escape is no frumpy crossover. It's more like a tall wagon than an SUV, with rakish styling and sporty handling. The Escape offers responsive steering, crisp handling, and best body control. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning with braking, lane keeping, and active park assist that can steer the car into a parking space. A warning on the dash goes off if the car senses the driver is tired. The front seats are slim and firm. The electronic parking brake, small as a button, frees up center console space. There's a horizontal vent under the LCD screen that does a good job of heating and cooling the climate controls and kneecaps. There's a CD player on the center stack. The Escape's handling is sharp and engaging, responsive with great body control, much better than your average crossover. The steering is crisp, weighty and fast. What makes it so good might be the electronic torque vectoring, which dabs the inside front brake in a corner to help the car turn. That's why it's so sharp.
Blind Spot Information, System, Navigation, Trailer Tow Package, FX4 Off Road Package, Trailer Brake Controller, Lariat Sport Package. Ford went radically lean when it redesigned the Ford F-150 for 2015, giving its ever-popular full-size pickup an aluminum-intensive body. Visual appearance didn't change much, considering the dramatic re-skinning. Though the big pickup remains upright in profile, the F-150 lost 500 pounds or more. The redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 may not look all that different, but those familiar lines disguise what is unquestionably the most sophisticated and capable version of this best-selling pickup ever to hit the road. The restyled grille and distinctively shaped headlights are the most obvious visual clues that you're looking at an all-new truck. One of the first things you notice when driving the 2015 Ford F-150 is that it really does feel lighter, more agile and less-trucklike. The ride quality is relatively firm, which could be related to the new F-150's lightweight body and the higher payload it enables. The F-150 is solid and predictable when driving around turns and it's quiet on long highway drives as well.
The 365-horsepower turbocharged V6 in the all-wheel-drive SHO model is a blast. It accelerates from zero to sixty in about five seconds, using a 6-speed paddle-shifting transmission and riding on a tuned suspension. With stiffer shocks and springs, and larger anti-roll bars, it turns in crisply, especially for a big sedan. The steering delivers good feedback and a precise, direct action. It feels nicely balanced and grips the road well, although the body leans when driven hard in corners.
2015 Ford F150, ABS, Roll Stability Control, Rear View Camera, Reverse Sensing System, SYNC Hands Free, Navigation, FX4 Off Road Package, Trailer Brake Controler, Blind Spot Information System. Ford went radically lean when it redesigned the Ford F-150 for 2015, giving its ever-popular full-size pickup an aluminum-intensive body. Visual appearance didn't change much, considering the dramatic re-skinning. Though the big pickup remains upright in profile, the F-150 lost 500 pounds or more. The redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 may not look all that different, but those familiar lines disguise what is unquestionably the most sophisticated and capable version of this best-selling pickup ever to hit the road. The restyled grille and distinctively shaped headlights are the most obvious visual clues that you're looking at an all-new truck. One of the first things you notice when driving the 2015 Ford F-150 is that it really does feel lighter, more agile and less-trucklike. The ride quality is relatively firm, which could be related to the new F-150's lightweight body and the higher payload it enables. The F-150 is solid and predictable when driving around turns and it's quiet on long highway drives as well.
2016 Ford F150, ABS, Roll Stability Control, Reverse Sensing System, Rear View Camera, SYNC 3, Blind Spot Info System, Navigation, Lariat Chrome Package, Trailer Tow Package, Trailer Brake Controller, Tailgate Step, Skid Plates. This truck has a clean SGI report. The use of lighter aluminum body panels instead of steel benefits both fuel economy and payload capacity, and these panels are also surprisingly resilient. Despite its large proportions, the 2016 F-150 is a reasonably agile beast. With potent power coming from all but the base engine, accelerating up to highway speeds or passing slower traffic is reassuringly easy. Rearview and surround-view cameras make backing into a tight parking spot a stress-free affair.
2017 Ford F350, ABS, Reverse Sensing System, Rear View Camera, SYNC 3, Navigation, Twin Panel Moon Roof, FX4 Off Road Package, Skid Plates, Spray In Box Liner, Platinum Ultimate Package. This truck has a clean SGI report. The full-size F-350 has been thoroughly redesigned from the wheels up. Upgrades include a beefed-up frame, gutsier engine, more spacious cabins and a wide range of convenience and technology offerings, all intended to make the hard work these trucks are made for just a little bit easier. The automaker's Super Duty engineering team gave the F-350 substantially larger frame rails and crossmembers made of 95 percent high-strength steel. An integrated hitch receiver extends farther into the frame, making it possible to tow the heaviest conventional trailers without the hassle of using a special weight-distributing hitch. Lightweight aluminum body panels are more dent-resistant and hundreds of pounds lighter than those of the outgoing version, help to offset the frame's added mass. The 2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty's more rigid frame and reworked suspension combine to make it feel more confident going down the road. Both handling and ride quality are noticeably better than in the outgoing model.
There are myriad advancements rolled into the F-series Super Duty for 2017, including an all-new aluminum body and bed (just like the light-duty F-150), a stiffer steel frame, and a revised Power Stroke turbo-diesel 6.7-liter V-8 engine option. Yet for truckers who occasionally venture into crowded urban areas or tight worksites, the Super Duty's new variable-ratio steering system could be its most noteworthy enhancement. The setup gives the driver the impression of greater maneuverability by, as Ford puts it, mechanically adding or subtracting rotations to driver input at the steering wheel. Said another way, for a given steering input, the front wheels will turn more at lower speeds and less at higher speeds. What's truly special about the setup is that it's based within the steering wheel's hub, not in the steering gear itself, as is common. This allowed Ford to retain the F-series' hydraulically assisted recirculating-ball steering system, simplifying the manufacturing process. For those who enjoy probing the outer towing limits of trucks smaller than semis, Ford boasts that the F-350 can now lug up to 32,000 pounds. If you tow a mere race car or travel trailer, it likely will feel as though nothing's back there.
2015 Chrysler 200, ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Uconnect Hands Free, Heated Front Seats, Sun/Sound Group, Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof, Comfort Group, Back Up Camera, Heated Steering Wheel, Black Aluminum Wheels. This car has a clean SGI report. The 2015 Chrysler 200 is crisply contemporary, as charismatic and eye-catching as anything in the category. From its forward-thrusting nose to the sleek faux-coupe roofline and cleanly understated tail, it has a chic world-car presence that will easily earn its place in the front row at valet parking. The key to any car is its road behavior. Here the 2015 Chrysler 200 has real strength. Its well-weighted steering feel and chassis responses are controlled and agile. Not surprisingly, given Chrysler's Fiat ownership, the Chrysler 200 has alert European road feel. It's a lively, precise car that engages the driver's attention, and that, in turn, heightens everyone's safety.
The all-new 2017 Kia Sportage enters its fourth generation with a major redesign that puts a little less emphasis on sport and a lot more emphasis on quality and comfort. Not to mention an intriguing new face. The 2017 Sportage emphasizes elements that almost always pay off in the showroom: quality interior furnishings, plenty of room, creamy ride, quiet operation, safety features in step with the times, and a good value story.
1962 Chevrolet Nova Chevy II. Professionally installed 6 point roll cage. Like new Mickey Thompson 16" wide tires. Weld Racing aluminum wheels. S&W frame and ladder kit. Tubbed and narrowed 9" 4:88 rear end. Transmission is a TCI Power Glide Streefighter II with a 5500 stall torque converter. B&M floor shifter and trans brake. Motor is a 350 CI bored over to 406.
A five-passenger wagon, the Subaru Outback is a compelling alternative to taller SUVs, offering excellent capability in all types of weather and brilliant handling on unpaved roads. Outback blends features of compact crossovers, SUVs, and small wagons. Its superb all-wheel drive and long-travel suspensions were developed while winning world rally championships. Its Porsche-like horizontally opposed engines lower its center of gravity for improved handling dynamics, while a generous ground clearance allows quick travel on primitive roads and capability in rugged terrain. On paved roads, it feels smooth and refined, on wet roads it feels safe and secure. The 2018 Outback features revised styling, with new headlights, grille, bumpers, and mirrors. An updated infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A new safety system locks doors when the 2018 Outback reaches 12.5 mph. Comfortable and roomy inside, the Outback features a particularly functional, cleanly designed dashboard. Soft-touch materials appear here and there. Limited and Touring editions combine simulated wood with genuine leather. Not only are front seats comfortable, they provide great views, especially useful for the driver. Nicely supportive and well-bolstered, they are mounted on long seat bases. The Subaru Outback is a practical wagon with outstanding all-weather capability and excellent handling in slippery conditions.
Driving a Corvette should be an emotional experience, drop the top on a nice day, blare the stereo and you'll have what psychologists call a peak experience. It's a fantastic feeling and at those moments the Corvette more than justifies its price, which is a bargain compared to other truly capable high-performance sports cars. The best thing about the 2007 Corvette is that you don't have to suspend right-brain rationality to enjoy it. Chevrolet has eliminated nearly all the cruder, less desirable traits that characterized Corvettes of yore, and its performance does not exact a painful toll on driver or passenger. The Corvette could be a reasonably comfortable daily drive. Driven sanely, it can deliver pretty good mileage, too, up to 28 mpg highway by the EPA's formula, better than most SUVs.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a luxury vehicle in addition to being a solid highway cruiser and a capable off-road machine. The current-generation Grand Cherokee was introduced for the 2011 model year. With its rugged-looking, high-shouldered stance, Grand Cherokee neatly straddles the dividing line between traditional and contemporary. The 3.6-liter V6 makes 295 horsepower and is fitted with fuel-saving engine stop-start technology. Grand Cherokee promises best-in-class towing capacity, at up to 7,400 pounds. Grand Cherokee boasts one of the most comfortable, best-appointed cabins in its class. Seating is particularly well-designed, with adult-friendly legroom in front and back. Large doors open wide, easing entry/exit. The driver and front passenger get generously wide cushions with moderate bolstering. That extra width helps in back. Three adults will likely sit comfortably. Rear seatbacks recline and tilt, folding down using a single lever. Grand Cherokee is one of the best handling, best steering SUVs in its class. Road manners are smooth and crossover-like, without a bounding ride.
The Cadillac SRX is a five-passenger luxury crossover SUV with a placid ride, potent powertrain, deluxe accommodations, and the latest technology. The SRX is built on a unitbody, like a car. This is the SRX's final season, as a replacement named XT5 is expected for 2017. SRX ranks near the peak of its class in safety, having earned five-star crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick. Cadillac provides quite an array of safety systems, including adaptive cruise control and cross traffic alert, as well as a Safety Alert seat and automatic front/rear braking assist. Refined and subtle, the cockpit is a modern blend of large touchscreen interfaces with well-done, traditional details, led by stitched leather trim and hand-cut/sewn instrument-panel coverings. Well-contoured seats, front and rear, provide ample space for five. Front occupants benefit from extendable thigh bolsters. Most riders should be pleased by the seat height.
Not all crossovers and SUVs age well, but the subtle, simply styled Q5 still looks handsome after almost a decade in Audi's lineup. Throughout its life, excellent build quality has been a strong point. Despite its status as one of the oldest crossover SUVs in its category, the Q5 earns plaudits for its roomy and comfortable cabin -- and its luxury touches. Highly refined and richly finished, the cabin demonstrates strong attention to details, as well as to trim choices. The interior also makes good use of available space, helped by an upright dashboard. Both the driver and front passenger have good views ahead, and satisfying seats. A relatively long wheelbase translates to sufficient legroom for back-seat occupants. That seat slides, reclines, and folds forward. When folded, cargo space almost doubles, totaling more than 57 cubic feet. Smaller-item storage includes 1-liter cupholders.
The BMW X5 is the one that broadened the luxury sport-utility trend. Introduced for 2000 and last reworked for the 2014 model year, the X5 ranks near the top of any list of luxury-level SUVs. Those who demand more can step up to the X5 xDrive50i, with a 445-horsepower, 4.4-liter turbo V8 that surges ahead with abundant authority. Acceleration time to 60 mph drops to 4.7 seconds. Virtually a benchmark for its category, the X5 blends refined, civilized road behavior with authentic off-road capabilities. Add a helping of interior comfort and style, and the amply-equipped X5 is a vessel of temptations, with a broad choice of potent powertrains
The Porsche Cayenne SUV is a large crossover, crossing over into the world of Porsche Turbo sports cars. It isn't rugged, but it is deft off road. All-wheel drive is standard. It most closely competes with the full-size Range Rover. The Cayenne feels like a coupe inside, with a lot of curves in upscale materials, and that analog clock. It feels like the Porsche Panamera, with its sweeping instrument panel, sculpted vents, and slanting console with its spine of buttons. The matte-metallic brightwork is cheery. The standard 7.0-inch touchscreen has voice navigation, and brings you Google Earth and Google Streetview. The handling is exemplary, compared to virtually any other tall utility. The steering feel is excellent, relative to other SUVs. Surprisingly, there's very little body roll. The grip in the corners is immense, on huge wheels and tires.
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