The Yukon comes in three distinct flavors: a regular truck-based three-row SUV that's a Chevy Tahoe underneath the skin, complete with a 320-bhp 5.3- liter V-8; a 14-in.-longer version that's a Chevy Suburban underneath the skin; and an HD model with a stronger frame and a 352-bhp 6.0-liter V-8. There are also Denali models that feature a 403-bhp 6.2-liter V-8, as well as heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, retracting running boards and leather upholstery. The Denalis have a special sound-insulating package to make them quieter inside. These are not sissy trucks, though, since capable off-road packages are available with locking rear differentials, big tow hooks in the front and a front skid plate. The Hybrid Yukon and Denali get an impressive 20 mpg in the city.
GM’s Acadia hits the family sweet spot with 7- or 8-passenger seating, front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive layout, and towing capacity of 5200 lb. The second-row Smart Slide system makes it easy to crawl in or out, and you don’t have to travel far down the option list to find a kid-friendly rear-seat entertainment system. Families who avoided the worst of the Great Recession’s carnage may want to examine the upscale Denali, which includes perforated leather seats with matching door trim, heated and cooled driver and passenger seats, a head-up display and Dual SkyScrape sunroof. GMC keeps things simple with a single powertrain configuration, a 288-bhp VVT V-6 with 6-speed automatic. For 2012, there are new colors and some formerly optional equipment is now standard.
The Honda Ridgeline is an innovative full-size pickup truck. It features a unique design that includes the exclusive In-Bed Trunk, a locking compartment under the rear cargo bed floor that provides hidden, secure storage.
The four-door, five-passenger Ridgeline is available in four trim levels: RT, Sport, RTS and RTL. All are powered by a 250-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission; Honda's Variable Torque Management four-wheel drive system (VTM-4) and a limited-slip lockable rear differential are also standard. A trailer hitch is standard on all trim levels, rated for a maximum towing capacity of 5000 pounds. Trim-dependent equipment includes a power moonroof, aluminum wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control and satellite radio, while the RTL can also be outfitted with an optional voice-activated navigation system, including rearview camera and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink wireless connectivity. Standard safety features include Vehicle Stability Assist with integrated traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, active anti-whiplash front head restraints and a tire pressure monitor.
For 2013, all non-NAVI trims now have a rearview mirror with rearview camera display as standard equipment.
Thanks to its size, traditional body-on-frame construction and multitude of options, the GMC Yukon family leaves a big footprint in the SUV market. There are two wheelbases available, 116-in. and 130-in. (XL), and choice of 5.3-, 6.0- or 6.2-liter V-8s, all of which are flex-fuel capable. Or if 20 mpg city sounds good, check out the Hybrid model. The long-wheelbase XL is available in the 1500 series or the heavier-duty 2500, which has a towing capacity of 9600 lb. There is an entry-level Yukon SLE available, but GMC’s biggest SUV is better known for the upscale Denali. The Denali model continues to add features, with standard blind-spot alert for 2012. The StabiliTrak system now includes electronic trailer sway control and hill start assist.
The Volkswagen Eos is a unique all-season convertible with an integrated power panoramic sunroof that sets it apart from all other retractable hardtop convertibles on the market.
The 2013 Eos is powered by a 200-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. There are four available trims: Komfort, Sport, Lux, and Executive. Standard features include heated front seats, electronic dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, SIRIUS satellite radio, and Bluetooth Handsfree wireless connectivity. Safety features include active seat-integrated rollover bars, daytime running lights, electronic stability program, hill hold control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and front and side airbags. Steering linked Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard on all but the Komfort trim.
For 2013, a new Sport trim has been added to the line-up.