utility vehicle

utility vehicle

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and it doesn’t get much bigger than the Chevy Suburban. For 2015, Chevrolet is rolling out its newest Texas Edition-branded truck meant to pay homage to the state that buys the most Suburbans of all.

The special Texas Edition package is available on LT and LTZ trim levels and comes with a host of upgrades. The upgrades are often popular options in the Lone State, so the Texas Edition helps group them all together. So-equipped Suburbans come with the Max Trailering Package, which includes a 3.42 axle ratio and trailer-brake controller. That’s in addition to the standard two-inch receiver hitch and built-in wiring harness.

Polished 20-inch, aluminum wheels come with the LT package while the LTZ gets massive 22-inch rolling stock. Of course, Texas-sized badging is included to show off the ‘burban’s special package. LT trim levels get an additional nine-month extension of SiriusXM radio subscription as well as navigation while the LTZ trim levels come with those without the Texas Edition package.

Things under the hood are left stock, as the 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 still pumps out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Active fuel management, variable valve timing, and direct fuel injection help the Chevy small-block achieve 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. A six-speed automatic transmission keeps the V-8 spinning in its powerband.

Checking the Texas Edition option box does cost a Texas-sized penny. For LT trims, the Texas Edition costs an additional $2,195 and on the top-trim level LTZ models, the price runs $1,095. Of course, that’s on top of the Suburban’s regular price tag.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Suburban Texas Edition.

Toyota is releasing its own special-edition truck aimed at hunters, campers, fishers, and marine enthusiast who live in the Gulf States region of the U.S. Toyota and Bass Pro Shops have teamed up to build the 2015 Tundra Bas Pro Shops Off-Road Edition.

The truck includes some special features that set it apart from other Tundras. The crew-cab Tundra sits on 20-inch, matte-black wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. Pocketed fender flares keep mud off the bespoke Silver paint, while a spray-in bed liner does the same for the cargo box. A stainless-steel exhaust tip and oval side steps, and custom Bass Pro Shops decals finish off the look. Bass Pro Shops-branded carpeted floor mats help protect the interior.

The Tundra is otherwise stock, still sporting that 5.7-liter, i-Force V-8 making 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission does the shifting, and an electronically controlled transfer case sends power to the front axle when traction becomes an issue.

The Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition Tundra will only be available in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas starting in October 2014. The truck will retail for $43,975.

Perhaps the most interesting incentive the truck carries is a “lifestyle package” from Bass Pro Shops worth approximately $1,000. Customers get to choose between fishing, hunting, camping, or marine gear to throw in their Tundra’s bed.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition.

The Chevrolet Tahoe is receiving a new round of special upgrades, thanks to the launch of the Z71 package. Fans of the Tahoe will immediately recognize the "Z71" designation as Chevrolet’s long-used order code for off-road goodies earmarked for its lineup of SUVs and trucks.

The Z71 has actually been around longer than most people expect. It first appeared in 1988 and has since become a staple for the company’s big-boy models in much the same way the Z/28 package has become synonymous with the Chevrolet Camaro.

This year, Chevrolet’s bringing back the Z71 for its all-new Tahoe and Suburban models. It’s actually been a while since we last saw a Tahoe Z71, but with an all-new Tahoe now available, it seemed like the perfect time to dust off the Z71 package to help introduce the new Tahoe to the world.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71.

I used to have a lot of love for the Subaru Outback. I owned one for a while, and it was one of the best cars I have ever possessed. All Subaru’s have a very special feel about them, like they are built for a purpose. They are a bit rough, a little uncouth, but that is what makes them special. There is this feeling that they will really take you over any terrain, and that they will never cease to function. Nothing quite drives or feels like a Subaru. But then my Outback died, and I have since moved on.

Now, despite this great drive, Subaru has long been lambasted for creating cars that are too poorly built, too uncomfortable and too unrefined. Now with the introduction of the all-new 2015 Outback, Subaru is promising that all those woes have been corrected and it is promising more power and fuel economy to boot. Is this new machine good enough to make me get rid of my Volkswagen go back to Subaru? Has Subaru managed to fix all its issues while maintaining that special feel and attitude that has defined the brand for decades? My Outback was a 2000 model; what has Subaru managed in 15 years over three more generations?

I spent seven days and more than 500 miles beating the new Outback on-road and off to see if it still had that special magic.

Read on to find out more about the all-new 2015 Subaru Outback

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the show. We had a great time putting it on, and maybe it will brighten up your day when you hear it. As always, we appreciate anyone and everyone who listens and watches. Don’t forget to leave us your questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions below in the comments.

This week we have Justin back, and he has a new car for Weekly Wheels, so we let him start things off with a look at the Acura ILX . After that I get to talk about how the new 2015 Subaru Outback is a great SUV, but a terrible Subaru. Mark finishes us off with a look at the new Audi A3 . Small spoiler, I like it more than he does, even if it is missing a door.

For the news segment of the show I spend some time talking about my new review for Forza Horizon 2 . I think that is the only important part of our whole show really, but the other two figured that we should cover other news as well. In the end we talked about the Lamborghini Asterion , the death of the Lotus Evora, and Infiniti’s desire to build a car that it kind of already makes. We also have some truck talk with Mark as we discuss the fuel economy ratings of the new Canyon and Colorado trucks before we all get angry at GM’s latest “sport truck.”

We didn’t have any questions from last week’s show to answer, so we skipped the Question and Answer section to head straight to Own, Drive, Burn. Our own Ciprian provided us with a trio of the worst cars Ferrari ever made to choose from. I’ll be honest; it wasn’t a super great or entertaining ODB. Sorry about that.

As always, we all hope that everyone has a super great Friday and a wonderful weekend. We will be back next Thursday with another awesome episode. See you guys then.

The GMC Canyon first came on the scene in 2004 as the replacement for the GMC Sonoma pickup that dates back to 1982. While both the Sonoma and Canyon were corporate twins to the Chevrolet S-10 and Colorado , the GMC had it own styling. The Canyon proved to be a great improvement over the Sonoma, offing stronger engine choices and better fuel economy. Canyons were available in single, extended, and crew cab forms, with bed lengths to suit each cab. Now for 2015, the GMC Canyon is back in production, having been on hiatus since 2012. The 2015 model is completely new, with an overhauled exterior and interior, new engine options, and a far superior overall design. Like the years prior, GMC’s latest Canyon shares most of its underpinnings with its Chevrolet counterpart.

The Canyon comes with two initial engine options for 2015: a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V-6. Both are gasoline mills. However, for 2016, a 2.8-liter, I-4, Duramax, turbo-diesel engine will be offered. Automatic and manual transmission are available, both sporting six gears. The truck rides on a fully boxed, hydroformed steel frame.

Updated 09/22/2014: General Motors has announced the EPA fuel economy estimates for the Canyon. At its best, the midsize truck achieves 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. GM also released payload ratings, listing the V-6 Canyon at 1,620 pounds. Both stats are class-leading.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 GMC Canyon.

GMC announced its reentry back into the sport truck game. However, its submission to the competition is decidedly drab. Now before you run for the pitchforks, let me explain. GMC has some history in the sport truck market, namely the 1991 Syclone and 1992 through 1993 Typhoon. Both the Sonoma-based Syclone and Jimmy-based Typhoon used a turbocharged and highly modified version of the 4.3-liter V-6, sported lowered suspensions, bigger brakes, and an all-wheel-drive setup. The Syclone was capable of hitting 60 in a blistering 4.3 seconds on its way to a quarter-mile run of 13.6 seconds. Impressive times still today.

So what’s the Sierra Elevation Edition got beneath its murdered-out bodywork? The 580-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 borrowed from the Camaro ZL1 ? Perhaps the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 from the Corvette Stingray ? No and nope.

This "sport truck" sports a bone-stock, 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 found in the base Sierra. Of course, for some extra scratch, customers can upgrade to the 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8. The story continues throughout the rest of the truck. Stock brakes, stock tires, and stock suspension.

GMC has included plenty of upgrades in the Elevation Edition, though they consist of purely cosmetic changes. Body-colored grille, bumpers, door handles, mirror caps, side moldings, and wheels replace the chrome bits normally found on the Sierra. Does it look good? Yes. Does its bite match its bark? Sadly, no.

While I hate to dog on GMC for its newest offering, it seems a bit half-hearted. The General Motors’ parts bin is a seemingly limitless supply of go-fast goodies just ready to be bolted on. In fact, Chevy already teases up with the Cheyenne concept at the 2013 SEMA show. If GM wanted to set the bar far above the upcoming Ford F-150 and already-award-winning Ram 1500 , it could easily do it. Why the trigger isn’t getting pulled, perhaps we’ll never know.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition.

It’s not exactly as extravagant as the Aston Martin Vanquish Carbon Edition , but GMC’s own interpretation of a Carbon Edition for the Sierra still has some appeal. Meet the Sierra Carbon Edition, a stylish interpretation of the popular and recently overhauled Sierra 1500 pickup . It comes in three different versions, allowing customers to choose the trim that’s best suited for their needs and whims.

The most dressed of the three is the Sierra Carbon 22 Edition that GMC offers on the double- and crew cab versions of the Sierra SLE. This version comes with a pair of carbon-fiber appearance graphics on the hood and the tailgate. It’s not the real material, but I still give GMC props for at least trying. This version also has a plethora of additional features, all of which you can find after the jump.

Meanwhile, the Carbon 20 Edition, which buyers can get with the Sierra SLE double cab, also has the same carbon-fiber graphics as the Carbon 22 Edition. The most obvious difference here is that it features a set of 20-inch, aluminium-alloy wheels.

Then there’s the standard Carbon Edition that’s available on the base Sierra 1500 double cab. It’s not as comprehensively detailed as the Carbon 22 and 20 Editions, but it still has a lot of unique options, including remote keyless entry, a 110-volt power outlet and LED cargo box lighting.

All of GMC’s Sierra Carbon Edition models come standard with a 4.3-liter, EcoTec3, V-6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. Customers do have the option of upgrading to a 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 that produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. The models are also available with either two- or four-wheel-drive systems.

The base model of the Sierra Carbon Edition retails for $33,075. If you want the upper-tier Carbon Edition models, the Carbon 20 Edition starts at $38,275 while the Carbon 22 Edition goes for $42,270. Orders for the double-cab versions of the Sierra Carbon Edition are already being accepted with crew-cab models set to follow suit in October.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 GMC Sierra Carbon Edition.

The Infiniti QX60 is relatively new in the crowded crossover market. Technically, 2014 is the QX60’s first year in production, but its literal existence dates back to 2013 when Infiniti introduced the three-row crossover as the JX35. Thanks to the automaker’s nomenclature shake-up for the 2014 model year, the JX became the QX60 with no major changes happening to the vehicle itself. Infiniti has made things simpler with its new naming structure, keeping sedans named with the prefix Q and the SUVs named with the prefix QX.

I recently spent a week utilizing the 2014 Infiniti QX60 for its intended purpose. I hauled people, their stuff, and even attached a car seat for my toddler. The rear-seat DVD system kept passengers entertained, and the all-wheel-drive system helped the QX60 navigate a few torrential Florida downpours.

I spent the majority of the week’s driving on the highway with a smaller portion stuck in city traffic. The Infiniti felt at home in both situations, especially with its optional Intelligent Cruise Control system. Speaking of optional equipment, my QX60 tester came equipped with over $14,000 in extras. To say it was loaded would be an understatement.

Even without the extra goodies, the QX60 comes with a laundry list of features befitting a premium brand. But does that make this crossover a good buy?

Keep reading past the jump to find out.

Needing the right tool for the job often requires ingenuity. That’s exactly the case at Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona proving grounds. The team of engineers needed a truck-like vehicle to haul test gear, but something that got great gas mileage around the 3,050-acre complex.

Meet Sparky, the wild idea a few Nissan engineers cooked up while trying to solve the dilemma. The team started with a stock Nissan LEAF, the all-electric hatchback and combined it with several parts scavenged off a Nissan Frontier pickup. The combination is something of a Frankenstein, but it gets the job done.

Not using a drop of fuel, little Sparky makes his way across the grounds and helps out with testing of future Nissan products. "I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring the team together. We had a need for a truck . Something to drive around, a shop truck," says Roland Schellenberg, one of Nissan’s masterminds behind Sparky.

Helping build Sparky was Arnold Moulinet. “I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work,” he says. “We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed.”

Now the Nissan development team has an electrically powered mini truck that functions as park of the team. “It’s something that we all put together,” says Schellenberg. “We all share, so it has a little bit of everybody in there.”


1 2 3 4 5 next >
Back to top