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 Dodge Charger is a boldly designed full-size four-door sedan which can be factory equipped from mild to wild to suit virtually any buyers needs or desires.
The Charger is available in SE, Rallye, R/T and SRT8 trims. SE and Rallye models come equipped with a 3.6-liter V6. A 370-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8 comes on R/T models. SRT8 features a 6.4-liter Hemi V8. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on Rallye and R/T trims. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, brake assist, active head restraints, curtain airbags and an ignition immobilizer. Available features include HID headlights, heated front and rear seats, satellite radio, blind spot detection, leather trimmed power seats, power adjustable pedals, navigation system, power sunroof and more.
Corolla shoppers are practical folks who value things like durability and quality over cutting-edge design. Following up on last year's cosmetic freshening, the 2012 Corollas receive more standard features. The base model gains power mirrors, door locks and windows. Meanwhile, the midrange LE receives steering-wheel audio controls and 16-in. wheels. It and the top S trim gain a new sound system with XM satellite radio, USB/iPod port and Bluetooth streaming audio. All Corollas feature an economical 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Those seeking a dash of sport will be attracted to the front, rear and side spoilers, alloy wheels and new double-stitched seat accents on the Corolla S.
The Volvo XC90 offers classic Volvo attributes in a midsize SUV. An IIHS Top Safety Pick several years running it's safe, comfortable, and practical.
The XC90 seats up to seven people. Rear and front passenger seats fold down to provide more cargo room. A second-row child booster seat is standard equipment. The 240-hp 3.2-liter inline-six is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, matched with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission, allowing driver selectable shifting. When equipped for towing it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth are standard features. Safety features include electronic stability control, side-impact and side curtain airbags, Roll Stability Control, Blind Spot Information System, and all-disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.