utility vehicle

utility vehicle

The Outlander Sport joined Mitsubishi’s lineup in 2011, and save for a mild tweak to the continuously variable transmission, it hasn’t changed much since. When it debuted, the Outlander Sport was essentially a smaller version of the larger Outlander model. That all ended in 2014, when Mitsubishi completely revised the front end of the bigger Outlander model and left the Sport model to carry the sportier, Lancer-inspired grille. Heading into 2014, the Outlander Sport gains a few extra goodies, including new steering wheel-mounted controls and HD radio on the range-topping SE model.

I once loved Mitsubishi models. You had the Eclipse , Lancer Evo and the 3000GT to do the sporty stuff in, a few SUVs to do the heavy hauling with, and a slew of sedans and hatchbacks to do your A-to-B driving. Well, now Mitsubishi is due to lose the Evo , the 3000GT is long gone, and the Eclipse is gone, leaving the lineup rather bare.

Last year I had the chance to drive the 2014 Outlander , and I came away a little disappointed in what it offered. Now I am getting the chance to drive the range-topping 2014 Outlander Sport SE. Can this compact SUV fare any better than its big brother did?

Click past the jump to read my review on the 2014 Outlander Sport SE to find out.

Update: Ram is set to kick off the live stream at 11:00 a.m. ET, so grab some popcorn and find out what this new product will be!

When Fiat Chrysler executives were spilling the beans last May about the big-picture-plans concerning nearly every single product under the corporate umbrella, Ram Trucks CEO Reid Bigland got his turn to divulge future product plans for Ram. Well, it seems we’re only a week away from that first debut.

Ram Trucks released an invitation to a livestream event scheduled for Thursday, June 26th at 11 a.m. EDT. The invitation simply says it’s a “new product announcement.” What exactly Ram is announcing, we can’t be completely sure. However, we have a pretty strong suspicion.

Within last month’s Fiat Chrysler five-year plan layout, Ram was listed as giving a mid-cycle refresh to the Ram 1500 for the 2015 model year. Though we haven’t seen any camouflaged 1500s roaming the streets, we’re sure this will be topic on the 26th.

Like always, the heavy-duty lineup gets its refresh the following year — and Fiat Chrysler’s plan follows that pattern. The Ram 1500’s refresh for 2015 will serve to keep the truck selling big numbers until its next scheduled generation change in 2017. Then the HD cycle starts over again with new 2500 and 3500 trucks rolling out in 2018.

As always, stay tuned to TopSpeed for the update next week as Ram pulls the covers off its latest truck.

Click past the jump for more info on the current 2014 Ram 1500

The Cherolet Colorado debuted in 2004 as the replacement to Chevy’s first-ever, American-built compact pickup: the S-10 (the LUV that predated the S-10 was an Isuzu product). The Colorado continued with only minor changes through the 2012 model year when it was abruptly discontinued. Little did we know at that time, this was more of a break than a discontinuation of the model, as the covers were pulled off the totally redesigned 2015 Chevy Colorado at the 2013 LA Auto show joining the still fresh Silverado and Silverado HD. The Colorado is based on the global truck platform, but is highly ‘Americanized’ with many key components swapped out for heavier-duty items based on the new Silverado.

The Colorado rides on a fully-boxed, hydroformed steel frame giving it a sturdy platform for hauling and towing. Initially the Colorado will come with two gasoline engine options with a diesel debuting the following year. This diesel engine shows just how serious Chevy is in making the new midsize pickup a class-leader. We suspect that other automakers will soon follow suit and offer diesels in their midsize pickups.

Updated 06/18/2014: Chevrolet announced specifications for the 2015 Colorado which will go on sale this fall. With output starting from 200 horsepower, the new Colorado will be the most powerful in the midsized truck segment. Full details after the jump.

Updated 08/05/2014: Chevrolet announced prices for the 2015 Colorado which will be put on sale later this fall. Prices will range from $20,995 for the base version and up to $34,990 for the Colorado Z71 crew cab 4x4 with the 5-foot box.

Click past the jump for photos and details of the all-new 2015 Chevy Colorado

The Volkswagen Amarok is one of the youngest pickup trucks on the mid-size market. Launched for the 2010 model year, and assembled in both Germany and Argentina, the truck is sold with a range of four engines across the world, three of which use diesel as fuel. Currently the Amarok is not available in the United States, but word has it Volkswagen is considering a North American introduction in the near future.

The fact that Volkswagen is not bringing the Amarok pickup truck to the United States has become increasingly frustrating lately. Especially with so many special editions and trims offered across Europe. The Canyon and the Dark Label editions are the first that come to mind, but we also dig the Power Concept , which could turn into a cool, sportier version of the pickup.

And to rub more salt in our wounds, Volkswagen is introducing a new high-spec model to sit atop the Amarok lineup for the 2014 model year. Dubbed Amarok Ultimate, the new truck borrows the well-equipped status of the Highline model it is based on, and features additional visual and tech upgrades meant to increase its appeal.

Making things even better is the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel unit that comes with it. The mill is available in two flavors, packing 138 horsepower and 177 horsepower, respectively. Like with the rest of the Amarok lineup, the only downside of the Ultimate is its exclusive double-cab body configuration. There’s also the hefty sticker, which is set at €34,770 and €41,376.30 respectively ($47,158 and $56,135 as of 06/12/2014).

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate.

Ever since the Land Rover’s Range Rover trudged over its first rough ground in 1970, the SUV has been leading the pack in terms of off-road ability and useful amenities wrapped in a utilitarian package. Originally only sold outside the United States, the Range Rover didn’t make its first official (and non gray-market) U.S. sale until 1987. Since then, the Range Rover has undergone three generational changes, with each becoming more luxurious than the last. The fourth-generation Range Rover debuted for the 2013 model year with a heavily revised and highly stylized design, and a more rounded, aerodynamic look.

I recently spent a week getting to know the Brit inside and out. My tester came nearly fully stocked with every conceivable option available from Land Rover, including the ultra luxury Autobiography Package. The list of amenities reads like a dream car wish-list. Full Semi-Aniline leather seats; rear seat entertainment package; 18-way power front seats with memory, massage, heating, and cooling; 1700-watt, 29-speaker Meridian 3D surround sound system; exterior Surround Camera System; Adaptive cruise control; Parallel Park Assist; four-zone climate control; and Adaptive front headlights. And that’s just the most notable of the optional extras.

The list of standard features is twice as long and includes things like the 12.3-inch TFT gauge cluster screen, the full panoramic glass roof, 21-inch alloy wheels, permanent four-wheel-drive with Land Rover’s Terrain Response System, and of course, power everything.

Speaking of power, the Range Rover had no shortage of it under its aluminum hood. Perched inside is a supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 cranking out 510 horsepower and a rock-crawling 461 pound-feet of torque. Guzzling back the required premium gasoline, the massive 5,100-pound SUV sprints to 60 mph in a scant 5.2 seconds. To say the Range Rover Autobiography is an exercise in excess is an understatement, but for a select number of buyers, it combines the right amount of high-end luxury with the go-anywhere capabilities Land Rovers are known for.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Range Rover Autobiography

Nissan has been building midsize trucks since 1985, with models stretching all across the globe. Here in U.S., the Hardbody and then Frontier have filled the slot, but overseas in nearly every other country, it’s been the Navara. Now for 2015, the Navara moves into its twelfth generation with the NP300 Navara.

While we were expecting Nissan to announce the U.S.-spec Frontier sometime soon, the automaker has been quiet on the details. We do suspect many if not most of the Navara’s details will transfer over to the Frontier, but we cannot be certain. That’s especially true when considering the powertrain options.

As for the new NP300, the updates are more evolutionary than revolutionary. A more ridged high-strength frame holds still the independent, coil-over suspension up front with a leaf spring suspension out back. Power comes from two — so far — improved engines: a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, gasoline mill and a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder, turbo-diesel. Both engines are more efficient and powerful, helping the truck do more with less fuel. A seven-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission are offered with both engines.

An electric, shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is available and is assisted by Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system, Hill Start Assist, Hill Decent Control, and Active Brake Limited Slip. That last feature uses the brakes to apply force to a spinning wheel in low-traction situations on both the front and rear axles. The mechanical differential then sends power to the opposite wheel.

These nitty-gritty features all work together to get make the Navara look like a solid contender for Nissan in the upcoming years. As far as the U.S. version, it appears we’ll have to wait a bit longer for any news. But when it comes, rest assured that TopSpeed will have it covered.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara.

Nissan has accompanied its teaser photo of what we assume is the 2015 Frontier with a teaser video ahead of its June 11th unveiling. The drop of the new teaser video is confirmation that Nissan has high expectations for the midsized pickup truck . That’s not a surprise considering that the Frontier has been in dire need of an upgrade for years now.

The teaser photo didn’t do much in showing the truck in all its glory. Unfortunately, the video isn’t any better. There are some quick cuts to the pickup, but you’re either going to have sharp eyes or quick hands to pause the video to get a better look at it ahead of its unveiling next week.

Still, give credit to Nissan because it’s done a good job building up the hype surrounding the pickup’s debut, boldly proclaiming that it has undergone over 40,000 quality control tests covering a distance of 1 million km in real-world conditions.

Those are serious numbers if Nissan isn’t exaggerating them. Should they be true, you can bet that expectations surrounding the new truck will go to another level.

Time to prove the hype, Nissan.

Nissan has just dropped a massive teaser for its upcoming 2015 Frontier midsize pickup truck . Seen on the automaker’s Instagram feed, the image shows what looks to be a crew-cab, short-bed truck with Nissan’s familiar grille perched between headlights and LED daytime running lights. The social media site also reveals the truck’s debut date of June 11th.

This is big news for midsize truck fans, as the current Frontier as been around, basically unchanged, since 2004. The new truck will also likely usher in a newly redesigned Xterra SUV, which it shares much of its architecture.

Other noticeable changes include a pronounced roof rack, bold ridges along the edges of the hood leading from the headlights to the A-pillars, chrome-surrounded lower fog lights, and a front bumper featuring moderately high approach angle. The truck will likely continue using a body-on-frame design in order to compete with General Motors’ upcoming Colorado and Canyon twins.

What’s more, Nissan may further compete with the 2016 version of the GM trucks when they debut the first diesel-powered, U.S.-spec midsize truck in recent history. Back at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan showcased a 2.8-liter, inline four-cylinder, Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Nissan even admitted back then the concept truck was created to gauge the public’s response and interest in future truck products. I know we sure sang its praises.

Diesel engine or not, an updated — if not all-new — Nissan Frontier is a welcomed sight. With General Motors and now Nissan joining the midsize truck category for 2015, we’re greatly anticipating other manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon. Toyota, Ram, and Ford have been put on notice.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Nissan pickup truck.

Source: Nissan

It’s no mystery that the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is the most powerful and skillful factory-built pickup truck you can buy nowadays. Its 6.2-liter, V-8 mill churns 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet, while its hardcore underpinnings enable it to take on just about any terrain. It’s the perfect machine, right?

Well, not quite. Not as long as tuning shops like Hennessey Performance and Roush are turning them into more powerful and more capable vehicles. We can’t speak on behalf of all truck enthusiasts, but we know certain drivers need at least 500 ponies with their truck.

Fitting in this category are the folks over at ZR Auto, who purchased a Raptor and took it over to Hennessey before using it as a shop truck and as a loaner car. Equipped with the HPE600 package, which turns any Raptor into a supercharged Velociraptor , the truck’s horsepower increased to 600 ponies. That’s more than a 2014 Corvette Stingray and nearly as much as a 2015 Corvette Z06 .

ZR Auto’s next step was to put the Velociraptor on the dyno and see how many of those horses get lost on their way to the wheels. Check out the video to see just how many horses it puts to the wheels.

As Americans give pause to remember those men and women who honorably gave their lives in defense of the United States, we take a look at the top-five military vehicles that our troops used. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but one of that celebrates a wide variety of military muscle spanning over the last 70 years of American history.

These vehicles have demonstrated their ability to perform their duties with amazing skill, while traversing all sorts of hostile terrain from hilly landscapes riddled with mud and ruts to sandy deserts miles away from civilization. Some have rather specialized tasks, while others are more general purpose. Either way, they’re fascinating to look at.

These vehicles not only inspire cheers of patriotism and pride, but also awaken our inner child for all things military. And while there are tons of military vehicles the world over that demand just as much respect, our list focuses on those hailing from the U.S.

Click past the jump for our list of Top Five Military Vehicle


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