suv

suv

  A Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is a type of passenger vehicle which combines the load-hauling and passenger-carrying capacity of a large station wagon or minivan with features designed for off-road driving. They have been the hot car to own for the past 10 years, but lately they are regarded as gas guzzler and substantially dangerous because of high potential to roll over.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

The Volvo XC90 , first introduced in 2003, was a mega-hit, gaining MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year in 2003, and the North American Car of the Year award. Even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson has famously owned three of the previous-gen XC90’s and has praised them for being incredibly practical and pleasant to drive. Those are some big shoes to fill for this second-gen XC90, but it seems Volvo is up to the task.

The second generation XC90 will debut in 2015 and is said to be brimming with the latest and greatest automotive technology. To celebrate the year Volvo was founded, the first 1,927 buyers who order their crossover online will get what’s called the First Edition XC90. These few lucky buyers will get a fully loaded XC90, with many exclusive items that won’t be found on the standard model.

If you want one of these First Edition Swede’s you’re gonna have to hurry. Alain Visser, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales says, “Those who want to be among the first ones to own the best SUV in the world have to act fast. The huge interest in the all-new XC90 indicates that the First Edition will sell out quickly.” Whoever gets one of these First Edition models will get to own a very special version of quite possibly the best all around SUVs on the market.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo XC90 First Edition

The current Mitsubishi Outlander is on its last leg, which explains why Mitsubishi is giving it a fresh look before an entirely new model arrives in 2017. There’s still little information about this ‘new model’ but as it turns out, Mitsubishi is giving us a little preview at the Paris Motor Show with the debut of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S.

It’s unlikely that the successor will be called the Outlander because that would go against the premise of the new model taking the Outlander’s place in Mitsubishi’s lineup. Instead, Mitsubishi is promoting the Outlander PHEV Concept-S as a preview of the Outlander PHEV production model, complete with refined design aesthetics that combines the technology of the company’s twin-motor PHEV system with the spirit of a tried and true 4x4 SUV .

We’ll know more about the Outlander PHEV Concept-S at the Paris Motor Show in October. For now, indulge yourselves with these two teaser photos that Mitsubishi graciously sent to our inbox.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept-S.

It’s a secret that’s been talked about for quite some time now, but finally, the cat is now out of the bag. Land Rover has officially confirmed what a lot of people have believed was a foregone conclusion. The company will create a new Discovery sub-brand and the first model to come out of this new family of Land Rovers will be the Discovery Sport.

Land Rover has announced that the Discovery Sport will be built as a premium compact SUV . That’s only one part of the announcement, though. More important is the creation of an entire family of models that will finally separate the luxurious Range Rover line from the more lifestyle-oriented Discover line.

There are going to be some concerns on how this affects the company’s entire lineup, specifically on whether it would cannibalize models within the company now that you have two distinct families that still offer pretty much the same thing.

But Land Rover doesn’t seem to care about those concerns and is pressing forward with the arrival of the Discovery Sport that will be based on the Discovery Vision Concept , which Land Rover has brought to the New York Auto Show .

It’s still not known how much of the concept will be translated to the Discovery Sport, but initial returns point to an impressive package that could be teaming with new technology. The Discovery Sport should also play into the luxury image of Land Rover, but not to the extent where it completely impedes on the Range Rover line. So while we expect it to come with a dose of luxury, we still expect it to be a combination of utility and luxury that should play well to a market that wants a good combination of both.

Updated 09/02/2014: The first images of the new Discovery Sport surfaced online with just hours before the SUV’s official debut set for September 3rd. (Jalopnik)

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

It’s been a while since we last heard from Swiss tuner Mansory . So we were admittedly caught by surprise when the tuner sent us details of its new aftermarket program. We’ve gotten used to Mansory building insane-looking kits for supercars we forgot that it’s equally adept in dressing up SUVs like the Range Rover Sport .

The tuner’s program for the Range Rover Sport is typical Mansory. It’s got a comprehensive mix of aerodynamic and performance upgrades for a wide range of Range Rover models, including the Sport and the Vogue.

You only need to look at the photos to see how different the Range looks. It didn’t satisfied our overwhelming seal of approval, but some of us do think that it’s an acquired taste, which really is what Mansory is all about.

But we can’t argue about the engine upgrade on the Range Rover Sport, which includes a pulley kit used in addition to the famed Mansory engine control unit. Mansory’s got the pulse of every mechanical program it does and this one for the Range is no different.

Kind of makes up for that over-the-top look of the British luxury SUV.

Click past the jump to read more about Mansory’s program for the Range Rover Sport

2013 was a great year for Buick . GM’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles worldwide, topping a sales record that dates back to 1984. Deliveries of the Encore and Enclave models were decisive for the company’s growth, which is why Buick is adding a third crossover to its lineup as we move into the 2015 model year. Dubbed Envision, the new hauler slots between the Encore and the Enclave , in an already packed segment.

Launched on the Chinese market at first, with a North American release likely to follow for the 2016 model year, the Buick Envision comes with a couple of segment-first features. Additionally, the new crossover marks a premier for the brand, being the first Buick-badged vehicle to sport an Off-Road driving mode.

As with most GM vehicles built and launched in China, the Envision is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder unit that comes with decent output figures and a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission. The crossover promises to deliver class-leading fuel economy of nearly 27 mpg combined. Read on for the full details.

Updated 09/01/2014: Buick unveiled a series of new images and details on the new Envision. Click past the jump for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about the Buick Envision

Volvo’s recently released 2016 XC90 has the industry abuzz about the all-new crossover’s elegant design and futuristic interior. While the ink is still wet on the XC90’s debut headlines, Volvo has dropped an important piece to its latest vehicle’s puzzle. This Volvo-originated testing shows the new crossover getting subjected to the worst kinds of treatment.

The first battery of testing involves the common frontal offset crash at 40 mph. As the vehicle hits the barrier, the crumple zones do their job in defecting the majority of the crash’s energy away from the passenger compartment. It doesn’t even look like the side door was even scratched. Not even the windshield shows signs of damage.

The side impact test comes next, as the XC90 gets slammed with a dummy car at 35 mph. The simulated T-bone crash shows the side doors getting pushed inward, however the dual side-airbag system prevented the test dummy from ever hitting the door panel or window.

Lastly the rollover crash test simulates just that — a dreaded rollover where the vehicle spends time bouncing down the road on its roof. The test shows the side-curtain airbags deploying as the roof structure stays in place. It’s hard to tell for sure, but it seems all the occupants could simply open the doors and walk away from this crash.

While it hasn’t been official tested by the IIHS or NHTSA, it appears the all-new Volvo XC90 will pass with flying colors. It’s amazing how far crashworthiness of vehicles has come since Volvo became the first automaker to include seat belts in all its vehicles back in 1959.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Bentleys introduction to the SUV world will come in the form of the Falcon. Due next year, Bentleys new flagship model, will be designed by Luc Donckerwolke, who has worked for the Volkswagen group for many years now and was the designer behind the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo . His style usually utilizes sharp, crisp lines designed to reflect light. “I like really sharp, defined surfaces. If it’s too voluptuous, it’s too sweet. You need spices.”Said Donckerwolke.

This is somewhat different to the usual Bentley design, which is about softer, more rounded edges. However, despite his love for sharper lines, the new Falcon SUV will stick closely to the Bentley design language while still being a new direction for the famed British brand. “We are adapting the DNA of the brand to a new topology of car, but it’s always good when you do something that the brand hasn’t done before.”

A larger issue that Donckerwolke faces is creating a car for both the Western and Eastern markets. The Chinese and Russians seem to like the EXP 9 F concept , in which the Falcon is based, quite a bit, however the Western markets seemed more opposed to it. So the design for this car has to meet somewhere in the middle for both markets. Donckerwolke claims this is a difficult task and says Bentley “can’t design for just one market. We are ambassadors of a culture, and we have to look like a Bentley.” Hopefully Donckerwolke is up to the task, as he will have some stiff competition from Maserati and Aston Martin, which are both developing their own SUVs .

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Falcon

SUVs and crossovers became increasingly popular beginning in the 1990s. Few automakers have yet to join this profitable segment, while most manufacturers that offer such vehicles are elbows deep into providing the sportiness and chutzpah more and more customers are demanding nowadays, while struggling to keep up with the stringent fuel-consumption and CO2-emission regulations. Granted, SUVs are now more than just plain, slow vehicles designed to haul people or tackle the roughest off-road trails.

Need a sports car that rides higher than usual and can carry four people comfortably? Porsche is ready to take your check and deliver a Cayenne . If legroom is what interests you most, but you also need more than 500 ponies and an off-road capable rig, then you’re better off with the Range Rover LWB . You’d rather trade British elegance and German sportiness for some American bling? No problem, you’re the reason why Cadillac is building the Escalade . There’s no doubt these are all great machines, but they all come with at least one drawback, they’re awfully expensive.

That’s not to say there aren’t any affordable SUVs that can offer seating for seven people out there. There’s a handful of seven-seaters you can buy for less than $50,000 that still offer plenty of posh features. We put together a list comprising the cheapest luxury seven-seater SUVs you can buy for the 2015 model year. Check it out below and let us know which one would you pick as a daily driver.

Click past the jump to find out more about the Top 5 Luxury 7-Seater SUVs priced under $50,000.

The second-generation BMW X6 M has been spotted testing on public roads since February 2014. Fast-forward to August 2014, the beefed-up crossover is already stretching its wide wheels on the famed Nurburgring track. And the camouflage keeps disappearing off its muscular body, as revealed by a new batch of spy shots we just received in our inbox.

It took BMW only a few days to ditch some of the swirly wrap that’s hiding the high-performance crossover from our eyes. While the black prototype that was pushing it hard on the "Green Hell" earlier this month had its side skirts and rear end hidden under a thick layer of camo, the red-painted example our paparazzi spotted in Germany wears a more casual dress.

The redesigned side skirts are now in plain sight, while the revised rear fenders and the tailgate are no longer obscured. Sure, there’s plenty of camouflage BMW needs to peel off the X6 M, but for the meantime we’re grateful we can squint our eyes a lot less to catch the little details making this crossover special.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X6 M

Well that was a wild and exciting Podcast. As always, we want to send a super special thanks to everyone who tuned in live, and to everyone who gave us questions to answer. If you didn’t happen to catch the live show, let me inform you of what you have waiting for you after you click that play button.

We start the show off in the usual manner with the Weekly Wheels segment where Mark talks about how good the Scion Scion FR-S is, even though it had an automatic transmission. I then proceed to tell him he is incorrect, and then we move on to talking about my time with the long wheelbase Range Rover. Spoiler: it’s like driving a house made of $100 bills.

We had a pretty busy news week and so there was a lot to cover. We move from the Range Rover straight into Mark’s choice for the five best off-road machines, talk about a worthless BMW that someone tried to sell for $18k and we even talk about the new pointless Mercedes SUV… sort of.

In other car news, we cover the shiny new Volvo XC90, the upcoming Focus RS rumors and the potential for a Ford Mustang with a 10-speed transmission. You know, like a mountain bike.

We finish the show with a fairly lengthy Q&A followed by our signature Own, Drive, Burn. For the viewer questions we discuss when the new NSX might finally arrive, what our current dream long term test car may be, the potential future of the Mazdaspeed3 and whether it is a good idea to buy a nice used car or a cheaper new one. For Own, Drive, Burn we decide between three legendary classic Hot Hatches.

The show did run a little long, but since it was the six month anniversary of our first podcast, we figured you guys wouldn’t care too much.

A quick parting note to all our US viewers. This is a crazy holiday weekend, and traditionally there are lots of incidents involving motorized things and the use of alcohol. We want you back next week, so don’t do anything stupid like drink and drive.

Don’t forget to drop your questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for next week’s show in the comments below.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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