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 BMW ALPINA B7 brings state-of-the-art technology, refinement, performance and exclusivity to the full-size luxury sedan class. ALPINA is a name famous in Europe for adding performance touches to BMW's, the name is not well known in North America.
Available in short and long-wheelbases, as well as rear or all-wheel drive xDrive models, the B7 is powered by a direct-injection, 540-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The B7 includes such standard luxury features as four-zone automatic climate control, power sunroof, high-gloss wood trim, heated and cooled 16-way multi-contour seats, voice-activated navigation system on a 10.2-inch color monitor, HD radio and BMW Assist emergency and information communications. Standard run-flat performance tires wrap 20-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels, while standard Park Distance Control, adaptive brake lights and steerable adaptive bi-xenon headlights provide active safety. High-tech options include side-view cameras, high-beam assistant, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and dual LCD screens for rear seat entertainment.
For 2013, the exterior has been refreshed, the engine power has been bumped up 40 more horsepower and an eight-speed automatic replaces last years six-speed.
The Hyundai Tucson features a sleek and fluid exterior design and competes in the popular CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment.
The Tucson is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive arrangements, and is available in GL (FWD only) GLS, and Limited trims. The GL is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. GLS and Limited trims receive a 176-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features include six-airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control and active front head restraints.
Garish, or just livin' large? You make the call with the QX56. But there's no denying the space (seats up to eight) or functionality (tows up to 8500 lb.) of this massive, somewhat porcine vehicle. Power is provided by a direct-injected 5.6-liter 400-bhp V-8 mated to a 7-speed automatic, and a choice of 2wd or 4wd. But that's one of few choices you'll make, as there's just one lavishly appointed trim level, with a navigation system and 13-speaker Bose audio. We'd opt for the dual-monitor Theater Package to keep the kids entertained, which features an upgraded remote control and interface for 2013. Also, Moving Object Detection is added to the standard Around View Monitor and auto-dimming exterior mirrors are standard.
The Ford Escape is a mid-size sport-utility vehicle, which incorporates the latest technology and style; setting a high standard in the SUV category.
The five-passenger Escape is available in S, SE, and Titanium trims, in either front or four-wheel drive. Engine choices start with the 168-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Also, a 173-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is available. For even more power a 231-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is offered. All variations are paired with a six-speed select-shift automatic transmission. Impressive features offered on the Escape include a Panoramic Vista Roof, satellite radio, SYNC, MyFord Touch, a trailer towing package, heated leather seating, navigation system, auto park with cross traffic alert, Sony audio, MyKey, and an industry first hands-free power liftgate. Standard safety features include seven-airbags with drive knee airbag, passive anti-theft system, AdvanceTrac stability control with anti-rollover technology, four-wheel disc brakes, and tire pressure monitoring.
The 2014 Ford Escape is now standard with a rear view camera and SYNC on all trims.