utility vehicle

utility vehicle

Posted on by Simona  
BMW X3

The BMW X3 is getting a tech refresh in the next year or so, with nearly production-ready versions testing the new LED lights on the roads. Blinkers and low beams and DRLs... oh my!

We expect no major changes under the hood, so the revised X3 will offer the same engine lineup as the current model: a four-cylinder engine and an inline-six for the top version. Most likely BMW will work a bit on improving fuel economy and the output level.

Snappers managed to catch the upcoming revised version of the BMW X3 testing on the roads of Munich, Germany.

The car started to loose more of its camo, and reveals something very interesting:as revealed by the indicator stripe on top of the headlight, it appears that the revised X3 will focus its looks on the new 3 series LED and grille style.

Click past the jump to read more about the revised BMW X3, which is expected to bring these refreshed features as an early 2015 model.

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.

Posted on by TB +  

Seeing a line of pristine Carrera White Audi ’s from across the paddock at Autobahn Country Club was almost enough to make a guy start jogging to get the first seat time. The brand-new S Q5 was on the pre-event list of attendees, and the new grille finish of the Q5 in brilliant white was very promising.

Within closer range, the “TDI clean diesel” script was visible on the side of almost all ten Audi ’s on offer for the car writers to sample. The A7 and A8 were common sights leaving the club gates, but at least one car writer was mildly disappointed.

Not only was the S Q5 not present, but diesel engines all around? Eek. One bright spot was visible: a gigantic white Q7 with some snazzy fender flares on anthracite grey alloys.

Also... a diesel, but this was more TopSpeed style.

A quick blast up to my gravel road photo spot was enough time to fall head-over-heels for the big Q7, even as its replacement is firmly on the horizon for 2014 or 2015.

This Audi is a creamy beast with torque for days even in the 3.0-liter TDI specification. The real clue to its fresher-than-average looks is the S-line trim worn by the tester, which brings along a host of sporty programming options and décor inside as well.

When a Cayenne is too bouncy, and an Escalade is too soft, look no farther than the Q7 TDI S-line for a seven seats and a ride that is ’juuusst riight’.

Click past the jump for all the beautiful sunny photos of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line, plus some first-hand observations on how the small-capacity diesel engine performs.

Posted on by Simona  

The second generation Hyundai Tucson was announced in 2009 and the only update it received was back in 2011 when the old GL trim was replaced by a new GLS version. Things are completely different for the 2014 model year though, as the Tucson was updated with some minor changes on both the exterior and the interior, but under the hood it received two new, more efficient engines.

The 2014 Tucson will be Hyundai ’s first vehicle on the American market to be powered by the new 2.0-liter Nu GDI engine, with other models to follow at a later point. Next to the new engines, the 2014 Tucson is also offering an all-new SACHS Amplitude Selective Damping (ASD), Hyundai’s Blue Link safety, service and infotainment telematics system, two-stage reclining rear seats and third-generation navigation with a larger seven-inch touchscreen display and HD Radio technology.

For 2014 model year the Tucson will be offered in three trim levels: GLS, SE and Limited with prices ranging from $21,450 to $27,700.

Updated 07/22/2014: Hyundai announced prices for the 2015 Tucson which is now available in dealerships. The model received pretty much no changes for the 2015 model year, so prices remained unchanged: $21,500 for the base GLS version and up to $27,800 for the Limited edition. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Hyundai Tucson.

Posted on by TB +  

The arrival of a diesel engine in the luxurious and easy-driving 2014 Ram 1500 pickup is huge news. Until this point, diesel engines for all truck lines have been restricted to just 2500 and 3500 models.

Ford and Chevy continue without a small diesel engine in their light trucks, and are about to feel the hurt from the new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

As much as car buyers traditionally loathe the idea of diesel engines, truck buyers adore it.

Under the chrome Ram hood, the 3.0-liter, V-6 diesel option even delivered a (momentary) 36 mpg via the standard eight-speed automatic during a light cruise on the test route. But that is not even the best part.

The Ram EcoDiesel packs all the benefits of 25-mpg-plus highway efficiency, but none of the typical diesel engine noise or the driving dynamics of an 18-wheeler. This is a machine whose huge torque reserves and lighter front end join forces to make a smooth, quiet and nimble truck. All that comfort on the air springs front and rear has virtually no major tradeoff in the capabilities tallies versus the F-150 or Silverado .

While both of those leading trucks — Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado — are also quite refined in the drivetrain these days, none offer the absolutely S-Class -rivaling smoothness of the Ram 1500 Laramie over bumps.

Un-laden half-ton trucks might have smooth engines, but are still a pitter-patter of suspension clatter in back on good sunny days. On bad snowy or rainy days, that inherent over-sprung feel can become downright treacherous over mid-corner bumps.

Jittery and gas-guzzling pickups are starting to feel mighty obsolete in direct comparison to the swanky new Ram EcoDiesel.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven preview of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which is arriving in showrooms across five trim levels starting in December.

Posted on by TB +  

The GMC Yukon and its jumbo sibling, the Yukon XL, have been the grey sheep of the General Motors full-size SUV line for quite a few years now.

Without the badge cache of the Cadillac Escalade or the flagship status of the Suburban for Chevy ’s SUV line, the Yukon is a bit of an odd man out in among the GM full-size SUV nameplates that are redesigned for 2015.

At least, that used to be the case. The new Yukon is looking like a smart and savvy decision for many more buyers than ever before. This is not just a Secret Service convoy machine any more, and it brings subtle but elegant styling that even makes the Denali chrome grille look really out-of-touch versus current preferences toward more-subtle matte finishes.

While the new Denali , Escalade and even the Tahoe wear so much chrome up front that it might cause blindness in direct sunlight, the latest Yukon has a very mature, simple and timeless grille execution up front.

While still ringed in chrome, the dark inner grille detailing and the whole presentation just seems much more refined than the grinning Suburban and Tahoe.

But what about the Escalade ’s big V-8 that is not shared with the Suburban at all, or the Denali ’s high-tech LED headlight accents?

The best of the GM SUV buffet goes into the new Yukon and Yukon XL, which are expected to continue their mid-tier value pricing when the pair arrive in showrooms around February 2014.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2015 GMC Yukon and GMC Yukon XL, with all the details on the best shared Cadillac technology and features available on this lovable family truck.

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 .

Posted on by TB +  

The new Pathfinder is lighting up the sales charts with its seven seats and a newly luxurious, efficient and smooth driving experience. Far from going soft, the Pathfinder is still able to do all the truck-like things that made its previous body-on-frame models so memorable.

The TopSpeed Garage is much classier with the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum in "valet 1st position" out front.

Have kid-friendly features totally stomped out the lenedary toughness of the chiseled hardbody Nissan SUV’s from the 1980s? The irrelevance of this question is pretty clear. This is a business, and Nissan knows it.

We’re thrilled to report that the Pathfinder has not lost its way.

Guiding the trails like it did as one of the first semi-premium, imported SUVs in the 1980s, the Pathfinder is on a new trail now — a much smoother trail. One that has dual video monitors in back, a sliding/reclining second row to stretch out with the wireless headphones, and even a heated rear seats for the ultimate in couch potato lounge amenities in back.

But what about the irritating and non-premium character of most previous CVT automatics?

As confessed CVT haters and without rug-rats (yet), our expectations were quite mixed before the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum rolled into the TopSpeed Garage . The latest CVT automatic is standard and truly is a new breed of lightweight and economical transmissions, and we took a quick video of a brake torque launch to show how snappy this new Xtronic box is.

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Garage review of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4x4, by far one of the most impressive seven-seat crossovers on the market.

Posted on by Simona  

When debating Land Rover models, the Range Rover Evoque is our second favorite after the Range Rover Sport , of course. Apparently we are not the only ones with this particular interest in the British SUVs. Kahn Design also developed quite a passion for the Land Rover models, with most of its designs being based on various Range Rovers.

As we close out another Thursday, Kahn provides us with yet another wonderful Range Rover update, but this time, the design firm opted to customize the Evoque . And this Evoque is all about the color black. Everyone knows that black is the color of elegance, so the new Black Label kit transforms the Evoque into one classy rig.

Khan is typically all about the look and feel and doesn’t spend much time tinkering under the hood, and the Black Label is no exception, leaving the 240-horsepower, in-line four-cylinder engine unchaged.

Click past the jump to read more about the Range Rover Evoque Black Label Edition by Kahn Design.

Posted on by Simona  

At the end of 2012, Infiniti announced a new naming strategy where the letter Q would indicate sedans, coupes and convertibles models, and QX would indicate crossovers and SUVs.This new naming system takes over for the 2014 model year, ushering in the "new" QX60.

As of now, Infiniti offers four different crossovers and SUVs, including the QX50 (previously the EX35), QX60 (previously the JX35), QX70 (previously the FX35) and QX80 (previously the QX56). With the previous naming strategy, the numbers in the model’s name referred to the engine displacement, but now it indicates the model’s place in the lineup — the higher the number, the more expensive and luxurious the model; easy enough.

The QX60 carries over pretty much everything from the JX35 that Infiniti unveiled at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show , including the engine, exterior and interior look, and all the accessories. In fact, the new QX60 is little more than the 2013 JX35 with "QX" badges.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Infiniti QX60.


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