With a bushel full of crossover vehicles on the market, the buyer has a wide range of choices. The Mazda CX-9 should be at the top of the list as it is reasonably priced, good looking, carries seven people and can be had with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. There are three models in the lineup: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The only engine is Mazda's 3.7-liter dohc V-6 with variable valve timing. It pumps out a healthy 273 bhp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, which enables towing loads of 3500 lb. Interior fitments are well done and features include climate control, Bluetooth phone capability and Sirius satellite radio. All in all, the CX-9 offers the utility of a minivan but without the stigma.
There's a name for cars like the Mazdaspeed3: pocket-rocket. This refers to a compact-size car that provides more driving excitement than you can imagine. The 4-cylinder MZR 2.3-liter engine pumps out 263 bhp and 280-lb.-ft. of torque thanks to a responsive turbocharger. It's largely a carryover model for 2013 but has some changes, including 18-in. gunmetal alloy wheels, black outside mirrors, rear roof spoiler and rear lower valance. Inside for 2013, there is a Technology Package including a 5.8-in. full-color touchscreen nav system, HD radio, Pandora audio application, SMS text message audio delivery and voice reply. The Mazdaspeed3 is a 5-door with its large opening rear hatch that makes it easy to take your adventure gear with you. But the real adventure is in the driving!
While it may not be everyone's first choice when midsize sedans are discussed, the Subaru Legacy deserves consideration for a variety of reasons. First off, it has a safety-oriented all-wheel-drive system that's sure to be welcomed among those who live in snow country. There's also a wide choice of engines and transmissions to power this sedan, and "conservative" is not found anywhere in Subaru's design language. Our preferred model is the 2.5 GT, with its turbocharged engine, standard 6-speed manual transmission and sporty but compliant suspension. All trim levels have an especially roomy back seat, and options include a Harman-Kardon audio system, navigation, bluetooth and moonroof.
The BMW 5-series puts an emphasis on the driving experience. Now in its sixth generation, this mid-size luxury car remains a true sports sedan by delivering aggressive styling, precise handling and outstanding safety.
Available in rear-wheel, or xDrive all-wheel drive, the 528i features a 241-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic with Steptronic. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control with active micro-filtration, a 12-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, HD radio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, electric power steering, and iDrive control system with integrated owner's manual. Safety is provided by six airbags, active anti-whiplash front head restraints, electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring and BMW Assist telematics and bi-xenon adaptive headlights.
For 2013, the split fold-down rear seat and universal garage door opener are now standard equipment
The Chevrolet Tahoe is a purpose-built, full-size four-door, family-oriented SUV. A sharp, precise driving feel, Active Fuel Management engine technology, and enhanced safety features make it a popular choice among full-size SUVs.
The Chevrolet Tahoe is available in 2WD or 4WD and offers three distinct trim levels. The LS, the LT1 and the LTZ. The Tahoe seats up to nine passengers and when it is equipped with the Trailering Package, it is rated to tow up to 8500 pounds on the 2WD model and 8200 pounds on the 4WD model. All Tahoes come with a 320-hp 5.3-liter Vortec V8 E85 FlexFuel engine coupled to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission. Safety features standard on all models include dual-stage front airbags, side curtain airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with dynamic rear proportioning, Stabilitrak stability control system with rollover mitigation, tire pressure monitoring system, and OnStar.