utility vehicle

utility vehicle

The Skoda Octavia Scout will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show and it should mark Skoda’s intention of becoming a player in the crossover market.

To be fair to Skoda , the new Octavia Scout does possess some notable elements, even though the crossover does follow some of the same characteristics of its predecessor. The notable rough and sporty exterior is a big plus, given the rather bland public perception the company has in the industry.

More than that, the Octavia Scout also gets a choice of engine and a four-wheel-drive system that should improve the car’s performance and handling credentials.

Whether it’s enough to attract a new segment of buyers is another thing; Skoda still has some work left to do in that regard. But it’s pretty comforting knowing that the company is trying and at this stage in its ascent, you can be sure that it’ll have more surprises for the Octavia Scout when the vehicle makes its debut in Geneva.

Click past the jump to read more about Skoda Octavia Scout

Maruti Suzuki’s billing as the largest car maker in India comes with some responsibilities, one of which is releasing vehicles that will help the company keep its place in the said pecking order.

Well, the company took a big step in that direction with the unveiling of the new SX4 S-Cross crossover. Looking a lot like the Suzuki Grand Vitara , the SX4 S-Cross is being tipped as a worthy entrant into the burgeoning crossover market in India.

As far as credentials go, the Maruti-Suzuki carries a whole lot of it and its betting on the SX4 S-Cross to be able to carve a niche for itself once it goes on sale in the country in the not-so-distant future. The crossover is being tipped to carry a 1.6-liter gas engine that’s capable of producing 120 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. It’s not exactly all-conquering numbers but given the choices you have in the Indian market, that’s more than enough to be right up there in class.

Likewise, the SX4 S-Cross is also expected to be have four-wheel drive capabilities with the engine mated to a six-speed transmission. And as far as safety goes, customers should feel good about the SX4 S-Cross after it received a 5-star Euro NCAP rating. In case you don’t know, those are the highest of marks a vehicle can get.

Click past the jump to read more about Maruti Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

The small commercial van market in the U.S. doesn’t carry the same weight as most of its peers, but make no mistake, this is an important market for small businesses looking to get a decentlypriced, high-performing hauler that can also masquerade as a nice people ride.

The 2014 Ram Cargo Van gives customers all those options and a whole lot more, all for a decent price that won’t burn holes in your pockets. First launched in 2012 for small business haulers, the Cargo Van has since turned into one of the leading models in the segment, thanks to numerous class-leading capabilities, including performance and range.

Add that to the aforementioned low cost of ownership with ample amount of cargo space to boot and you’re looking at an ideally suited ride that can meet all the needs of business owners looking for a versatile commercial van with impressive power backing it up.

Click past the jump to read more about Ram Cargo Van

Believe it or not, heavy-duty trucks play in a highly competitive segment with businesses and tradesmen looking to buy the best truck with the highest towing and hauling capacities while still being coddled in a comfortable and stylish cabin full of useful technology.

Though it’s highly competitive, there are only three true players: the Chevrolet 3500 , the Ford F-450/F-550 and the Ram 4500/5500. Each truck has its strong suits and all do a darn good job of moving heavy stuff around, but the current standout in the segment is indubitably the Ram. Offering more options and ways to customize its trucks, the Ram caters more to those looking to build the exact truck to fit a specialized need.

Power comes from two iconic names in the industry, HEMI and Cummins. HEMI might be more associated with the high-horsepower performance crowd, but Chrysler ’s 6.4-liter HEMI as recently made its appearance in the heavy-duty truck segment. It’s high torque output combined with its variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation make it a great alternative to the more expensive diesel. However, when the loads are heavy, the Cummins is the engine to have. Generating an enormous 750 pound-feet of torque, the Ram 5500 can pull a massive 29,600-pound trailer with ease.

Moving heavy stuff around is important, but getting people to and from the job site is equally so. The Ram Chassis Cab’s interior is a basic carbon copy of the near-luxurious cabin of the Ram 1500 Ram 1500 , 2500, and 3500 trucks. Uconnect, a 7-inch TFT display, and navigation are just a few amenities the Ram boasts – and they can be had inside a truck that’s fitted with a dump bed.

Click past the jump to read more about Ram Chassis Cab

The Subaru Outback has always been the Boy Scout of the car/wagon/crossover crew, with its standard AWD and rugged, foul-weather-defeating demeanor. While that demeanor won’t likely change, reports say the Outback is getting a Legacy -style work-over for the 2015 model year and will make its grand entrance at the 2014 New York Auto Show this spring.

Since the Outback is essentially the wagon version of the Legacy, it makes sense the recent changes to the 2015 Legacy would make their way over to the Outback. What this means for the Outback is a new exterior look with a similar reworked grille, headlights and raked windshield. The extra body cladding and plastic bits that make an Outback look like an Outback will surely make their return.

Inside, the same redesigned dashboard, instrument panel and center console with softer touch, more premium materials will be present. The coupe -like look of the new Legacy obviously won’t make the jump as cargo room and rear passenger headroom are bigger priorities in the Outback.

History tells us the powertrain offerings will be identical as well. The new Legacy offers two engine choices: a 2.5-liter flat-four making 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque and the 3.6-liter flat-six putting out 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, both engines are stuck with CVT transmissions with no conventional manual on the horizon.

Updated 04/03/2014: Subaru has officially confirmed that the 2015 Outback will be officially unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show. With the occasion a first teaser image reveals that the new Outback will follow the steps of the more-recently unveiled Legacy sedan.

Updated 06/05/2014: Subaru today announced prices for the 2015 Outback which will arrive into dealerships this summer. Prices will range from $24,895 for the base 2.5i version to $32,995 for the 3.6R Limited version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru Outback.

The 2014 Honda Pilot has a lot going for it, and buyers will be wise to open a space in their minds to this midsized SUV .

Here’s the thing: the Pilot may be classified as such, but really there are hints of full-sized characteristics in this baby. Start with the interior, which has ample enough space to comfortably fit up to eight passengers. That’s full-sized right there. Also factor in the typical Honda stamp of reliability and fuel efficiency, which, again, is a star on the Pilot’s windshield.

It’s hard to find a whole lot of things to be wary of on the Pilot. But if there is one, you have to look outside where the Pilot isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with its aesthetics. Sure, the dimensions are right, and it does have nice maneuverability, but the fascia looks totally boring.

Still and all, buyers who have to think of family trips on their next SUV purchase would be wise to consider the Pilot, snoozy looks notwithstanding.

Click past the jump to read more about Honda Pilot

Source: Honda Pilot

The Land Rover Defender has soldiered on decade after decade escaping any major update from its humble roots as a utilitarian military vehicle built to weather extreme environments, incoming artillery, and any off-road challenge Mother Nature could throw at it.

Through the years though, the Defender has softened up around the edges, with most changes happening within the cabin. While the changes have been enough to keep it afloat, safety regulations and dwindling sales have ushered in the Defender’s demise. Its last year in production is scheduled for 2015.

Before the Defender ’s last stand, Land Rover is dolling it up for a few last hurrahs. Two all-new special edition packages will be offered for 2015: the ‘Black Pack’ and ‘Silver Pack.’ By selecting either pack, the roof, front grille surround, wheels, and interior trim are turned either a Santorini black finish or bright Indus silver finish. The exterior body color is then painted black or silver to highly contrast the other parts.

Other bits include a color-matching ‘Defender’ script on the hood, tented privacy windows, and a black Alston headliner. Contrasting wheels are also present.

The packs will make their official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Both packs will be available on the short (90-inches) wheelbase, two-door and the (110-inch) long wheelbase, four-door Defender. Pricing has yet to be released, but unless you live outside the U.S., it won’t matter. The Defender doesn’t meet Federal regulations and hasn’t been available stateside for many years.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Land Rover Defender Black And Silver Packs.

Citroen has made its reputation building innovative and forward-thinking cars. Since the post WWII days with the Citroen DS , the French automaker has always thought outside the box, and this C4 Cactus is no exception.

The two defining outward features are unmistakably its unique yet familiar shape and the colored, bumpy panels affixed to its sides. While they are major components in making the C4 Cactus what it is, they aren’t its only innovative or interesting qualities. Other endearing qualities can be found within as well.

The C4 Cactus’ interior looks like a cross between an IKEA and a classy men’s wardrobe boutique, with Android software running the infotainment system and gauge cluster. Materials and their overall design are high quality with a certain vogue, yet timeless attribute.

While certain things inside and out might seem expensive, Citroen’s goal was to significantly reduce the cost of ownership – and they’ve done it by a good 20 percent. Fuel savings goes a long way in saving owners money, namely its 91 mpg rating in diesel form measured on the European cycle. Weight savings also plays a huge role here. Weighing in at a mere 2,127 pounds, the Cactus is said to be much easier on its running gear, lessening the need to replace parts as often.

Citroen seems most proud of saving customers money in the area of body damage. The Cactus’ Airbump system reduces the chance of parking lot dings and minor finder bender damage with its thermoplastic polyurethane construction and air-filled pockets. Even with their purposeful nature, the Airbump panels sure make a bold statement while living up to its Cactus name.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Citroen C4 Cactus.

Toyota Tundra

Note: Current generation pictured here.

It appears Toyota will be the next automaker to adopt diesel technology into its full-size truck segment. According to WardsAuto, the Tundra will be getting a V-8 diesel powerplant when its next generation debuts in 2016. What’s more, word has it Tundra’s new oil-burner will be supplied by famed diesel builder, Cummins. And not just any Cummins at that…

It will be a version of the same 5.0-liter V-8 turbodiesel that rival truck-builder Nissan has slotted to power its next-generation Titan set to debut next year. Not only is this huge news for Tundra fans, it represents uncharted territory in diesel engine sharing on the light-duty level. Truck buyers are a fiercely loyal bunch, so it will be interesting to see where exactly loyalties fall — with the truck- or engine-builder.

There’s no official word on how the Tundra’s diesel will compare to the Titan’s, which is said to be rated at “more than” 300 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The only sure thing is the certainty of some very intense engineering meetings between the three companies.

The overriding reason diesels are catching headlines these days is the need for automakers to meet the impending CAFÉ standards that are tightening up on corporate average mpg ratings. The target: a company average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Nissan and Toyota aren’t the first to go diesel. Ram , in fact, already has their 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel currently on sale in the U.S. Rated at 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the EcoDiesel Ram 1500 achieves a class-leading 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Tundra.

Source: WardsAuto

Chevy has graced visitors of the Chicago Auto Show with news about its new 2015 City Express van. While we traditionally have a good idea about what is going to be revealed a few days ahead of time, this came out of left field.

The Nissan NV200 -based van is little more than a Chevrolet rebadge, but it gives Chevrolet a tool to use against the Ford Transit at a minimal cost.

If you are looking for a smaller way to haul your kids, you are still going to need to look at the Mazda5, as City Express is purely a functional machine. It has two seats, and a load of cargo room; that is it.

Still, there is a lot to love about this little Chevy, so click on through to find out all the details from its drivetrain to its max cargo capacity.


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