The Ridgeline is a pickup built the Honda way. Instead of traditional bodyon-frame construction, it employs a rigid unibody derived from the Pilot SUV. Four-wheel independent suspension delivers a smooth ride. Suitable for lightduty use, the short cargo bed features a hidden storage compartment under the floor. Motorcycles, an ATV or larger cargo will fit when the dual-action tailgate is folded down. Ridgeline's 3.5-liter V-6 teams with a 5-speed automatic transmission and full-time awd. The roomy 5-passenger cabin is big on creature comforts with the top RTL model featuring heated leather seats and a navigation system. The rear seats can be converted to tote cargo such as golf bags. A rearview camera is now standard on all Ridgelines.
The Volvo XC70 is a crossover wagon providing comfort and stability on the road, and security and peace of mind on rough roads or when the weather turns bad. New for 2014 the XC70 has been updated inside and out.
A very functional wagon, the XC70 features higher ground clearance and SUV styling. Available in all-wheel or front-wheel drive the XC70 3.2 features a 240-hp 3.2-liter inline-six. A 230-hp 3.2-liter PZEV engine is available. The all-wheel drive XC70 T6 includes a 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine. Both engines are paired with a Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission, allowing driver selectable shifting. With seating for 5 and a flat folding back seat the XC70 offers great versatility and maximum cargo capacity. Safety features include electronic stability control, side-impact and side curtain airbags, and anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth and Hill Descent Control.
For 2014, the Volvo XC70 has been refreshed and updated.
The Forester 2.5i offers strong mid-range torque and we were pleased by its willing performance. This non-turbocharged engine is rated at 170 horsepower peaking at 5800 rpm. Its torque, that force that propels you away from intersections, peaks at 174 pound-feet from 2000 to 4000 rpm, a broad range. That makes the Forester 2.5i feel responsive when driving around town. Acceleration performance when drag racing from a standstill is slow, however, taking a very long 9.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph.
Fuel economy for the Forester 2.5i is an EPA-estimated 24/32 mpg City/Highway with CVT, 22/29 mpg with 6-speed manual transmission. Regular gasoline is recommended, so there's no need to buy more-expensive Premium. Over a week of mixed local driving, a Forester 2.5i we drove averaged 23.1 mpg, not great but acceptable for an all-wheel-drive compact utility vehicle.
We think the Forester 2.5i works best with the 6-speed-manual; the available CVT does sap some of this engine's energy. We liked the manual transmission's crisp shifter and smooth clutch.
Forester 2.0XT can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 6.2 seconds. Forester 2.0XT models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine rated at 250 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 2000 and 4800 rpm. Indeed, we found the 2.0XT's willing turbo engine runs out of steam at a modest 6000 rpm. The 2.0XT engine uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Subaru's Dual Active Valve Control System (D-AVCS) and intercooled turbocharging. Forester 2.0XT models come with the CVT.
Fuel economy for Forester 2.0XT models is an EPA-rated 23/28 mpg. Premium gasoline is recommended for these high-compression, turbocharged engines.
Not surprisingly, this compact utility vehicle is no fire-breathing track carver, but the Forester 2.0XT's sport suspension on more aggressive 18-inch tires and wheels is definitely sharper and more responsive than the standard set-up, and its larger ventilated-rotor brakes are stronger and more effective.
Honda’s midsize SUV receives a Hollywood makeover with a big, bold three-bar grille and sleeker front fascia. The eight-passenger cabin gains a redesigned instrument panel along with upgraded audio systems. Honda also has improved fuel economy for the standard 3.5-liter V-6 equipped with Variable Cylinder Management technology. The Pilot continues to offer a choice of four trim levels with front- or awd. Select the top Touring model and be treated to a wealth of luxury features including a DVD rear entertainment system, navigation, Bluetooth, backup sensors and a handy power tailgate. Cargo carrying versatility remains the Pilot’s forte with second- and third-row seats that fold flat into the floor revealing 87.0 cu. ft. of space for gear.
Decent sized, fun, do-everything, utilitarian—that in a nutshell is Mitsubishi's Outlander. Utilizing the same aggressive front styling as the Lancer, the Outlander can be outfitted with Super All Wheel Control, which manages torque to each of the four driven wheels through differential and brake control. This sporty system helps the Outlander feel quite agile, as if it's smaller than it reallty is, while also ensuring sure-footedness in tough conditions. Aside from the base ES model, the Outlander can seat seven, although full-size folks may not enjoy the ride in the far back. The 2-piece tailgate is a clamshell design, with the lower door folding down into the bumper, creating a low lift-over height.