Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

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

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 .

Okay, so we all loved the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning from the 1990s and 2000s, but it was never really a useful truck. You couldn’t take it off-road; well, we’ll rephrase that to you shouldn’t have tried taking it off-road; and it wasn’t much for towing either. So, it was basically a sports car with a bed...

After discontinuing the SVT Lightning, following its 2004 run, Ford went to task developing a new SVT pickup that was everything the Lightning wasn’t. And now we have the SVT Raptor : a jacked up F-150 with up to 12.1 inches of suspension travel, a snarling V-8 engine with 411 horsepower, and likely one of the best-balanced four-wheel-drive systems in a pickup.

Well, being car lovers, what else could we ask for? For Shelby to get its tuning hands on this beast it push it to extremes so obscene that the FCC is investigating it, of course — 575 horsepower, to be precise, thanks to a supercharger and some other tasty bits. Unfortunately, Shelby is limiting this supercharged, baja monster to only 100 units, so you’d better get to buying before supply runs out.

For those of you that can’t swing the $60k-plus required to own this Shelby-tuned pickup, World’s Fastest Car Show from Motor Trend has a test video (above) that at least sheds some light on what you’re missing out on.

You know as well as we do that Justin Bell wouldn’t take the Shelby down a six-lane highway in Southern Cali and tell us how smooth it runs. Rather, he opted to thrash the Shelby SVT Raptor in a more fitting manner by taking it to the Vegas Off-Road Experience (VORE) and gave it the hammering that Shelby intended it to have. We’re not too sure if Shelby saw the video yet, but It either loved the fact that it got a good workout and video evidence of its performance, or it billed Mr. Bell for the massive wear and tear on the suspension, tires, engine and brakes.

Either way, at least we get a nice look at this rare Shelby rig. Enjoy!

Posted on by TB +  

The Toyota Tundra really needs an all-star halo truck to liven up its competent but forgettable range of full-size trucks, which are redesigned for 2014. This exclusive speculative preview of the 2015 Tundra Baja 1000 imagines how a Ford Raptor rival from Toyota would compare with the hot-selling off-roader from the segment-leading F-150 .

The Tundra reached its U.S. sales peak in 2007, when the big rig was all-new and came from its billion-dollar assembly plant right in the heart of Texas. Since then, the Tundra has struggled to even crack 100,000 units, which is a major sore spot when even the dullest Toyota sedans like the Corolla are able to rack up more than triple the total volume of the Tundra.

So what is missing from the Tundra ’s three cab styles, short and long bed options, and three engines that top out with a potent 5.7-liter V-8 making 383 horsepower? The Tundra is missing more than a few million loyal customers, first and foremost, versus the long-trenched buyers of Ram , Ford , Chevy or GMC trucks.

Even the also-ran Nissan Titan PRO-4X is trying on some new off-road hero truck ideas for next year’s all-new model. For slow-moving
Toyota ? So far, the world’s most admired car maker has only dipped its toes into the pool.

The new 1794 Edition of the Tundra packs more fake silver trims than a Nokia factory, and the Toyota Racing Development 4x4 stickers its dealers like to apply do not seem to have the same effect as the Raptor ’s unique grille, huge fender flares, Fox racing suspension and sand-basted attitude.

TRD is just about the worst acronym imaginable, so this TopSpeed preview of a Tundra off-roader is dubbed the Baja 1000.

Click past the jump to get a closer look of the 2015 Toyota Tundra Baja 1000.

Posted on by Simona  

AS each week closes out, Mo and the folks at KAhn design roll out another fine example of the designer’s customization skills. This time, Kahn based its upgrade on the Land Rover Defender , and Kahn describes it as "a unique interpretation of an iconic vehicle." We couldn’t agree more.

As per usual with Kahn, the new Chelsea Wide Track package includes only exterior and interior updates, and the Defender is a good canvas for this, since it has never been about speed or power. Kahn took to task updating the look of the rugged Defender , and to enhancing its notorious off-road capabilities.

For this, Kahn added in a new aerodynamic kit with new front and rear wings, hood and side vents with mesh stainless steel, stainless-steel mesh for the front grilles,military-style headlights, and Kahn badges on the wing and tailgate.IT’s subtle, but it manages to give the rugged defender a refined look; kind of like putting an unshaven Clint Eastwood in a Armani suit.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Defender Chelsea Wide Track by Kahn Design.


Back to top