The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is an athletic SUV designed to bring on-road performance driving to the traditional Land Rover off-road experience. It enters its second generation in 2014, with bold, revised styling inside and out and additional standard equipment, along with a new lightweight all-aluminum monocoque platform and new powertrains.
The five-passenger Range Rover Sport is now available in four trim levels: SE, HSE, Supercharged and Autobiography. The SE and HSE are powered by a new 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, while the Supercharged and Autobiography trims boast the carryover 510-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Both powerplants feature Both powerplants feature new start/stop technology, which shuts the engine down during temporary stops to save fuel, and are mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode; additionally, Supercharged and Autobiography trims get steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Full-time four-wheel drive with Land Rover's acclaimed "Terrain Response" system helps tackle a wide range of off-road conditions, while Supercharged and Autobiography trims add Adaptive Dynamics with variable suspension dampening for sportier handling and an active locking rear differential. Standard equipment on the SE includes a power liftgate, 19-inch aluminum wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, passive entry/start, a new Meridian audio system and voice-activated hard drive-based navigation with internal memory storage; HSE and Supercharged trims add a panoramic sunroof, fog lights, 20-inch aluminum wheels, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Autobiography trims are further outfitted with 21-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive headlights with automatic high-beam assist, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, three-zone automatic climate control and upgraded audio with HD and satellite radio. Standard safety features on all trims include eight airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability control with traction control and roll mitigation, and a rearview camera with front visual display; Autobiography trims also get a surround camera system and blind spot monitoring with closing vehicle sensing and reverse traffic detection.
In today's world of many different kinds of utility vehicles, Mazda has a clear-cut winner with its crossover CX-7. While there are no changes for 2012, the CX-7's popularity is certain to grow as more drivers discover its sleek looks, top-notch handling and choice of engines: either the 4-cylinder 2.5-liter with 161 bhp or the turbocharged 244-bhp 2.3-liter. On the option list are such choices as climate control, navigation system and Bluetooth hands-free phone hookup. With the turbo engine you can also opt for all-wheel drive so that the CX-7 becomes an all-weather family hauler with ample luggage space and plenty of power.
Competition among contenders in the heavy-duty pickup market is perennially fierce, which is why the Super Duty- after undergoing a major reworking just last year-has been tweaked again for 2012 to regain best-in-class conventional and fifth-wheel tow ratings (at least for now). Key to this tug-of-war supremacy are slight frame and hitch revisions along with the 800 lb.-ft. of torque now doled out by Ford's optional and startlingly quiet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8. Don't need that much? The standard 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 is E85-capable and, for 2012, can optionally be factory prepped for conversion to LPG or CNG fuels. From bare-knuckle commercial workhorse to leather-clad land-baron limo, there's a Super Duty for every need.
The Sierra was designed pre-recession, with a broad range of models from a compact-car-priced V-6 entry-level truck all the way up to a high-tech Hybrid with a sophisticated dual-mode transmission with two built-in electric motors. The V-6, however, is not for fuel economy and, in fact, gets just 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, while the V-8 trucks get one mpg better and the Hybrid gets 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway. It's loaded and quite a bit more expensive, however, partly negating the benefit of the reduced fuel expenses. The GMC Sierra is available with a 5-ton towing capability, and the "grade braking" feature now works in normal as well as tow/haul modes. The large options list uses the word "chrome" surprisingly often.
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.