Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

  Sports Utility Vehicle and 4x4 cars and trucks news and reviews

Kahn Design again pulls out all the stops with its latest Land Rover Discovery . Equipped with the twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, V-6 diesel and a whole host of upgrades, this Discovery is truly unique. Another made-to-order example of Kahn perfection.

Outside the seven-passenger SUV, Kahn has added an aggressive aero package that includes a 3D mesh grille, beautiful gun-metal grey 22-inch wheels, vented front and rear air dams, stainless steel entry sill plates, and brake calipers finished in liquid red. LED light strips and privacy glass finish off the look.

As with each Kahn creation, the interior receives a great deal of attention. The plain Land Rover seats are gone. In their place are these exquisitely quilted and perforated leather seats for all seven passengers. The same leather treatment is given to each door’s armrest and atop the dashboard gauge cluster.

Swarovski diamonds encompass the center clock bezel while diamond-quilted leather covers the glove box. Vented aluminum brake and gas pedals ride above the unique floor mats, while a colored rpm gauge keeps close tabs on the 3.0-liter diesels spins per minute.

Even with all the modifications, the Discovery 4 still retains all those legendary Land Rover go-anywhere capabilities. Land Rover’s Terrain Response system includes five different settings for challenging obstacles and harsh climates. The four-corner air suspension provides a sporty ride while hitting the pavement and can be raised for tackling tougher territory.

Overall, the Kahn Design Discovery 4 offers enough style and bespoke luxury to suit those with finer tastes, as each vehicle is custom built for each buyer.

Click past the jump for more pictures and info on the Land Rover Discovery 4

Toyota, Camburg Engineering and DC Shoes teamed together to bring the ultimate snowboarder’s dream truck to the 2013 SEMA auto show happening November 5th through 8th.

Starting with ideas for motocross, skateboarding and snowboarding builds, Toyota and DC Shoes asked the footwear company’s fans for their choice on which to build. The fans voted and Toyota delivered.

DC Shoes and Toyota chose Camburg Engineering for creating the dream truck. Beginning with a 2014 Toyota Tacoma , Camburg brought to life ideas from professional snowboarders like the massive front snowdeflector; a telescoping ramp for loading a full-size snowmobile on the truck bed; a full suite of audio awesomeness, including an in-dash iPad Mini and a pop-up tent mounted to the truck’s roof rack. Sitting inside the truck’s bed is a huge sliding toolbox with enough space to store gear for a weekend expedition.

“Our fans loved the concept of the snowboard-ready Tacoma, and the real-life version will blow them away,” said Dan Hartloff, events and partnerships manager for DC Shoes. “This Tacoma would add a new level of intensity to any practice session or impromptu ride with friends.”

Besides the iPad Mini, the Tacoma’s interior is treated to an integrated charging station powered by on-board batteries separate from the Tacoma’s engine battery for powering cell phones, laptops and cameras. A wireless, all-weather Scoshe boomBOTTLE pumps the music outside the truck even in the thickest of blizzards.

Vision Vision through those blizzards is no problem with the roof-mounted, 40-inch LED light bar and the two light pods sitting atop the Meyer snow deflector. Oversized General Grabber tires keep the truck moving forward – all powered by Toyota’s trusty 4.0-liter V-6.

Click past the jump for more on the 2013 Toyota Tacoma SEMA truck

Last month, we told you about the latest special edition to grace the iconic Jeep Wrangler : The 2014 Polar Edition . It made its debut at the Frankfort Auto Show and was outfitted for duty in Europe only. Its Euro-spec bumpers and spare tire cover took hopes away that the United States would see their own version. But alas, the Polar Edition Wrangler is headed our way this November.

The U.S.-spec Wrangler Polar Edition is based on the Sahara trim package and still retains all the extra luxury amenities, like power door locks and windows, heated leather seats up front, automatic climate control, and available navigation. What sets the Polar Edition apart is its unique badging, color schemes, grille inserts and 18-inch, gloss-black, alloy wheels. The package is offered in both two- and four-door configurations.

Those with a trained eye will notice the differences in other details as well. Polar white trim adorns the steering wheel, A/C vents and grab handles, while silhouetted glacial ranges appear on the powerdome hood and in the seatback stitching. The large “Polar” badge affixed just aft of the front tires tells of a special location at 78° S and 106° E in Antarctica where the lowest temperature was ever recorded on Earth – a chilly -128.56 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 Celsius).

Jeep has given the Polar Edition Wrangler a few mechanical changes too. A limited-slip rear differential comes standard and can be combined with an available electronic locker inside the Dana 44 axle. Up front, a Dana 30 is turned by the part-time Command-Trac NV241, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72-to-1 low range.

The Wrangler is still motivated by the Pentastar 3.6-liter, V-6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, while getting an EPA-estimated 21 mpg highway. Both a six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmission are available. Sadly, we won’t be getting the 2.8-liter Turbo Diesel found in European Wranglers.

Click past the jump for more photos and info on the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Polar Edition

Ford F-Series Super Duty

Ford has finally settled a class-action lawsuit over claims it sold defective diesel Power Stroke engines in 2003-2007 Super Duty trucks and E-Series vans. The 6.0-liter, V-8 turbo-diesel in question was manufactured by Navistar International, Ford’s diesel supplier since 1994.

The lawsuit originates in customer complaints over the 6.0-liter having defective exhaust gas recirculation valves and coolers, oil coolers, fuel injectors and turbochargers. Some failures were so severe that Ford replaced entire engines and even bought back trucks that couldn’t be easily repaired.

For those vehicles that were repairable, Ford will have to reimburse owners a percentage of their costs for each component they replaced, along with half of the $100 deductible owners paid for having their vehicle serviced under Ford’s five-year/100,000-mile engine warranty. The lawsuit also reimburses owners anywhere from $50 to $825 for post-warranty repairs done on their trucks and vans with under 135,000 miles on the clock.

The troubled 6.0-liter Power Stroke was the nail in the coffin for Ford’s relationship with Navistar. In 2010, Ford dumped the company and moved it diesel development and production in house. The result is the current 6.7-liter Power Stroke that produces 400 horsepower and an astounding 800 pound-feet or stump-pulling torque for 2014.

Oddly enough, Navistar was released from the litigation proceedings, leaving owners and Ford to fight it out.

Click past the jump for more on the 2014 Ford Super Duty

Posted on by TB +  

The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is heavily revised with new air suspension options, an all-new interior, and a fifth-wheel trailer towing option that allows these huge trucks to hitch a trailer right into the bed of the pickup truck.

The Heavy Duty Ram line also brings a mild exterior refresh with the projector-beam lights on posh trims like the Laramie test truck.

A quick spin was enough to have me looking for poundage to haul somewhere, maybe a friend who likes to ride dressage horses competitively?

Sadly, not enough time to test the limits of this tall workhorse by towing some show ponies out back.

This all-new 2014 Mega Crew Cummins 2500 is the big chief of the Ram family, with over 800 pound-feet of torque and tow ratings that would make a tractor trailer blush with embarrassment. For a non-truck-guy, the 2500 Ram is generally thought of as the 20,000-pound trailer max — in the right settings.

The 3500 Ram is now in a class of one with a 30,000-pound towing max, again with the right option boxes ticked.

With base pricing just below $30,000, how does the Ram HD line compare with the best-sellers from Ford and Chevy ?

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 Diesel.

Posted on by Simona  

The G63 AMG is the coolest of the of the entire G-Class bunch, but even a great car can be improved now and again. The folks over at German Special Customs did just that when they came up with an amazing upgrade kit for the G63 AMG that transforms the off-road machine into something truly bad-ass.

The base G63 AMG pulls power from a 5.5-liter, V-8 biturbo engine that delivers a total of 544 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. That’s well and good, but GSC decided to bump this up by way of reworked software and a modified exhaust system. As a result, the GSC-tuned G63 AMG now delivers a total of 620 horsepower, 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque.

In addition to the engine upgrade, the tuner is also offering lots of exterior new parts made in carbon fiber, a new set of wheels and an updated interior with a 320 km/h speedometer.

The G63 AMG also received some upgrades on the outside, but we could definitely live without those. That body kit a bit odd looking, and those low-profile tires on fancy rims all but negate its off-road capabilities.It’s not our cup of tea, but it may strike your fancy...

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG by GSC.

Posted on by TB +  

For an entry-level engine configuration, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT Double Cab 4.3-liter is quite a contender as the most affordable and stylish do-it-all truck on sale now.

A quick intro to the fuel-economy leader of the all-new Silverado Double Cab V-6 was accompanied by only a brief spin around the block.

Even so, the bright red paint, huge chrome grille, and six-lug wheels made quite the impression.

Click past the jump for all the details of TopSpeed’s intro to the most affordable Silverado trucks on the lot for 2014.

Posted on by Tushar  

As part of One Ford , the company will launch a new crossover for sale in late 2014 that is tailored to the universal global preferences of value and style.

The new global SUV will be revealed to the world media at the 2013 LA Auto Show before going on sale almost globally by 2015. So why all the mystery about what the new world-wise five-seat crossover will be?

It is the 2015 Edge, scheduled for display in LA as lightly dressed as a concept car before going on sale in Summer 2014 all over the world.

The current Ford SUV range in Europe consists of the EcoSport and the Kuga that can be categorized as crossovers unlike the new Ford Edge that is planned for launch next year.

The EcoSport and Kuga began life as a "global models" made specifically for certain target markets.

The rest of the Ford model range comprises of hatchbacks, sedans and MPVs that have been popular with folks in continental Europe.

Click past the jump for all the details known so far about the new Ford Edge, including the competition it will face in Europe for the first time.

Land Rover Defender

It is indeed a sad day as we learn of Land Rover’s plans to end production of the iconic but barely road-worthy Defender .

Automotive News reported that recent sales stats of this lovable truck are in a tailspin during its last years on the market before saying ‘bye bye’ for 2015.

U.S. federal safety, emissions and import duties on small trucks keep the go-anywhere vehicle from roaming our shores with its lack of compliance to such thing as crumple zones and airbags. The one Defender we did get is long gone even in England: the V-8 automatic convertible two-door. Almost all green and very charming, these were the rich-guy Wrangler Jeep of the 1990s.

In the markets where it is sold outside the UK, like continental Europe, 50 years of history is almost a negative feature versus ultramodern crossovers. The Defender’s main problem is that it drives like a ’lorrie’ and is more uncomfortable and thirsty with diesel than one too.

Europeans have simply lost interest in the Defender, with Land Rover selling a mere 561 units in the first eight months of 2013, according to JATO Dynamics.

The historic SUV first saw production in 1983 and was sold within the US in very limited numbers. It was built on both a 90-inch or 110-inch wheelbase and featured a variety of different powerplants - both gasoline and diesel – and body configurations.

The Defender ’s extreme prowess off road and its rarity have earned it a cult following among enthusiasts. Such conditions have kept values for Defenders rather elevated for those in the US – even causing some to enter the country via the black market and away from Uncle Sam’s watchful regulatory eye.

However, there may be a silver lining in losing the Defender . A replacement for the hard-hitting rover is likely in the works and would be built well within the safety standards of governments world-wide and feature amenities buyers no longer consider optional. Power steering, a suspension that absorbs bumps and strong A/C are all features the Defender lacks.

Much of JLR’s cash is tied up trying to resuscitate Jaguar, so the Defender is taking a back seat in the new world of Euro6 and Cafe fuel standards.

"The Defender replacement remains far from ready due to a lack of volume and weak business case," analyst Max Warburton with Bernstein Research wrote in a recent report on Jaguar Land Rover.

Land Rover did show the DC100 concept at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show , but according to Warburton, the project has since been scrubbed.

He says Land Rover is currently mulling over an aluminum-bodied vehicle that would employ the current Range Rover’s underpinnings as a possible Defender replacement.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Land Rover Defender.

Posted on by TB +  

Off-roading can be just as challenging, scary and life-changing as a high-speed track session with a supercar .

With supercars, the chances of a costly mistake are present but manageable. The tracks are typically perfect, the guard rails are there to keep you out of the trees in the case of a spin out, and generally, backing off the throttle is enough to recover control before anything goes *crunch*.

Off-roading, however, brings a real chance that poor driving or the wrong car will result in serious damage to both that driver’s confidence and the car’s rolling ability.

While most racetracks are filled with other cars to help you get home after putting yours into a wall, the situation out on desolate off-road trails is much more grim is something really breaks. Being stranded becomes a real possibility, with bad results almost a sure thing.

After popping three tires and cracking an alloy rim of the 18-inch wheels and 35-section tires of my (poor, abused) Subaru Legacy GT wagon in Oak Ridge, Tennessee a few years ago, I had to limp down the mountain on two hideously-bent donut spare steel wheels. Tires sheared off long before, so it was a clunky and scary ride to a place that a tow truck could find me.

It was this moment I finally realized something: as with everything challenging, to go off-roading the right way, you need the right tools.

Those tools have adjustable suspensions, huge wheel travel, and tires so knobby that a 65 mph cruise on the highway sounds like a Monster Truck.

Great A/C, comfy seats and mechanical reliability are also key parameters for this list.

Click past the jump for the full Top-Ten Best Off-Road SUVs, featuring everything from Bowler Land Rovers to the Nissan Xterra .


Back to top