The 77-year-old Suburban has developed multiple personalities in its lifetime. One is a massive, luxurious station wagon, historically favored by Texans. Optional equipment includes power-operated running boards and a body that's refined with no gaps between bumper panels and sheet metal. The next personality is a butch off-roader, with a locking rear differential, big tow hooks in the front and a front skid plate. The base Suburban comes standard with a 320-bhp 5.3-liter V-8 and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine has an iron-block in rear-drive models, while the 4-wheel-drive models get an aluminum version of the V-8. The heavier-duty 2500 model gets a larger 352-bhp 6.0-liter V-8, plus a more robust frame and suspension.
The Ford Expedition EL is a longer bodied version of the regular Expedition. When equipped with four-wheel drive, the Expedition EL will get you there whether the road is dry, wet, snowy, or even when there's hardly any road at all.
The Expedition EL adds more cargo-carrying capacity with a long 131-inch wheelbase. For 2013 the Expedition EL is available in four trims: XL, XLT, Limited, and King Ranch. It is powered by a SOHC 5.4-liter V-8 that is rated at 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment. It is available with either rear-wheel drive or electronically engaged four-wheel drive. A Class IV trailer hitch and trailer sway control are standard. The Expedition EL offers towing capacities in the 9000-pound range. Safety equipment includes front and side-impact air bags, three-row head-protection curtain air bags, anti-lock braking, and electronic stability control with anti-rollover technology.
The long-awaited new Focus turns out to have been worth the wait, challenging small-car perceptions with an upscale combination of amenities and technology. More to the point, it's a hoot to drive and frugal, too, thanks to a direct-injected 2.0-liter I-4 boasting twin independent variable cam timing. Not enough? Sometime in mid-2012, the 2013 Focus ST (photo) will make its debut, packing a turbocharged EcoBoost I-4 and 6-speed manual. Handling has always been a Focus strength, but now typical frontdrive understeer is all but missing thanks to standard torque-vectoring control that distributes torque between the drive wheels to improve cornering traction and turn-in. Then there's the Focus Electric, said to recharge in half the time of a Nissan Leaf.
R&T Overview:Where some might put a toe in, Kia simply jumps. The Korean company’s midsize sport-utility represents a full-bore effort, with the most powerful V-8 in it class, as well as 7-passenger seating, excellent towing capacity and reasonable (for the class) fuel economy. With a robust body-on-frame design, the Borrego sports a 276-bhp V-6 or an impressive 337-bhp V-8, the last driving Kia’s first 6-speed automatic. Available as EX or upscale LX versions with rear- or all-wheel drive, the Borrego offers dual-zone climate control with optional rear air conditioning, power-adjustable pedals, heated seats front and rear, plus the usual leather and power assists. Safety equipment includes dual-stage front and side-impact airbags, curtain-type head airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. All in all, an impressive effort.
So you’ve got a large family. Does that mean that you should have to sacrifice luxury for an 8-passenger van? Infiniti doesn’t think so, and it’s betting you won’t, either—which is why it invested in an all-new QX56 just last year. Understandably, the big Q is mostly carryover for 2012, the only changes being the addition of features to the available Technology, Deluxe Touring and Theater Packages. Available in 2- or 4-wheel drive, the QX only comes in one well-equipped trim level, then lets you customize it from there with a long list of available equipment. Standard features include leather-trimmed, heated front seats; 13-speaker Bose audio system; Tri-Zone automatic temperature control; Bluetooth hands-free phone system and navigation.