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 Chevrolet Equinox is a competitively priced mid-sized SUV that offers exceptional versatility, distinctive design and a high-level of practicality.
The Equinox is available in four trim levels, LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ, and can be had in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The standard drivetrain is a 182-hp 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. A 301-hp 3.6-liter direct injection V6 is optional on the LT and LTZ trims. Both engines have E85 FlexFuel capability. Standard safety features include: four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, electronic stability system, six airbags, tire pressure monitor, OnStar, security system and daytime running lights. Available high-tech features include remote vehicle starter, forward collision alert and lane departure warning, navigation system, rearview camera and a power liftgate.
For 2013, the Equinox receives a new 3.6-liter direct injection V6. Also, a color touch screen navigation system with Chevrolet MyLink is now available. Finally, new exterior colors are offered.
In addition to pioneering a wealth of automotive safety features, Volvo built its reputation with wagons. For 2012, the XC70 carries on this proud tradition alone as the V50 and V70 are no more. Volvo positions the XC70 as a crossover with its increased ride height and rugged SUV-inspired styling. There's a choice of front- or all-wheel drive for the XC70 3.2 equipped with its 240-bhp inline-6. The T6 AWD packs a punch thanks to a turbocharged 300-bhp engine. Like the S80 sedan, the XC70 gains standard City Safety and the dash-mounted Volvo Sensus 7-in. color monitor. Other changes include new Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum trim levels, standard Bluetooth audio streaming and voice-control functionality for the optional navigation system.
With more than eight million sold since 1973, the Civic needs no introduction. Yet the all-new ninth generation for 2012 does. Sedans and coupes gain more sophisticated styling, improved fuel economy and new technology. Civic DX, LX, EX and HF receive a massaged 140-bhp 4-cylinder engine that nets EPA 41 mpg on the highway for the last. Sporty Si models boast a new 201-bhp 2.4-liter four mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The Civic Natural Gas returns with expanded availability nationwide. Honda gives the Civic Hybrid a larger 1.5-liter gas engine, more powerful electric motor and lithium-ion batteries resulting in 44 mpg ratings for city and highway. A multi-information display, Eco Assist and Econ mode are standard on most Civics.