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Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Who said these big boys can’t run efficiently?

The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.

Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class VS Nissan Navara

Mercedes-Benz X-Class VS Nissan Navara

A close look between these corporate cousins

Well, Mercedes-Benz has officially debuted its first metric-ton (mid-size) pickup truck, the X-Class. But the truck isn’t a ground-up creation from Mercedes – rather the X-Class is based on the current Nissan Navara NP300. Mercedes has been forthright with its partnership with Nissan, saying it’s leveraging Nissan’s experience in the segment. But Thankfully, the X-Class isn’t a Navara with a Mercedes star slapped on – or so Mercedes says. In fact, the two trucks are rather closely related, though there are major differences between them. Let’s dive in and see what’s up.

Nissan has been building trucks since 1933, but it was the 1980s that brought iconic Hardbody the U.S. In 1997, Nissan changed the name to Frontier, while everywhere else in the world, the Navara name was used. The latest version debuted for the 2015 model year, marking the Navara’s third generation. As a traditional truck, it rides on a fully boxed ladder frame while power is sent to the solid rear axle or all four wheels via a part-time 4WD system. However, Nissan chose a five-link, coil-spring setup for the rear suspension, giving the pickup a smoother ride with a slight trade-off in payload and towing capacity versus its competition. American truck enthusiasts will spot same thinking within the Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups’ rear ends. Not surprisingly, this setup translates well to a pickup billed as “premium,” so naturally, the X-Class borrows the design. But you won’t find a Nissan engine under the X-Class’ hood – and that’s just the beginning of the changes. Keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

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How Did the 1991 Nissan Pathfinder Compare?: Video

How Did the 1991 Nissan Pathfinder Compare?: Video

Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, and Toyota go head-to-head with the original Pathfinder

With the refreshed Nissan Pathfinder making waves for the 2017 model year, we decided to look back at its beginnings. The Pathfinder debuted for the 1987 model year, but remained unchanged through 1995. That means the 1991 Pathfinder was midway into its first-generation stride when Motor Week pitted it against the best mid-sized SUVs on the market for that year.

Included in the tester were the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, and Toyota 4Runner. All were well equipped in high-ranking trim levels and fitted with 4WD. Though most owners rarely ventured off the beaten path, this video review focused on the off-road. It’s all about mud, ruts, and hill climbs.

I won’t spoil the outcome, but Motor Week found the Pathfinder to have the best ground clearance of the bunch, much in part to it having the largest tires. The journalists didn’t like the Pathfinder or 4Runner’s stiff ride, however, at least compared to the softer-sprung American brands.

The Pathfinder aside, it’s awesome to see these early 1990s SUVs in their prime, while getting put to good use. Be sure to catch the bunch sloshing through the deep mud pit. It proved to be a challenge, even for the high-riding brutes.

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Nissan Titan XD – Gas vs. Diesel Shootout!: Video

Nissan Titan XD – Gas vs. Diesel Shootout!: Video

Which V-8 is the fastest up the Ike Gauntlet?

The guys over at TFL Truck are pitting Nissan’s newest truck against itself. Yep, it’s all about gasoline versus diesel here in this head-to-head test. The two trucks are equipped very similarly Both are the 2016 Titan XD in crew cab, short bed form. Both have 4WD and both are equipped to two some impressive loads. But which powerplant pulls harder?

Yeah, most will say the diesel, myself included. It’s a 5.0-liter turbodiesel from Cummins that makes 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. It’s hard to beat that. However, Nissan’s heavily updated 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 now sports direct injection, Variable Valve Event & Lift technology, and a high compression ratio of 11.2:1, allowing the big V-8 to produce 390 horses and 401 pound-feet of torque.

Transmission and gearing wise, the Cummins is backed by a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission while the Endurance is mated to Nissan’s seven-speed automatic gearbox. For maximum towing, it takes the Cummins to hit the Titan XD’s 12,300-pound limit.

So which powertrain wins out? You’ll have to watch TFL Trucks’ video to find out.

Continue reading for more info on the 2016 Nissan Titan XD.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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C-Pillar Design Comparison: Lexus RX Vs. Nissan Maxima

C-Pillar Design Comparison: Lexus RX Vs. Nissan Maxima

If you’ve been following us lately, you probably noticed our new focus on comparisons. They helped us conclude the new Focus RS is a better alternative to the Golf R, and that the Porsche Boxster has the upper hand over the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Also, comparing the Focus RS and the 2015 Mustang made us realize Ford is brave enough to let use choose between two fantastic and highly desirable performance cars. If you enjoyed those, than be prepared for more, but until we roll out our next comparo, we will take a closer look at the 2016 Nissan Maxima and 2016 Lexus RX.

Confused? Than let me say that this isn’t a regular comparison. That would be impossible since the two come in different shapes and sizes, and, more importantly, compete in completely different segments. So what do the Maxima and the RX have in common, you may ask? Well, besides being made by Japanese manufacturers, these new models share a common design feature, which seems rather awkward with both cars having been introduced at the New York Auto Show. Keep reading to find out more about it.

Continue reading for the whole story.

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Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.

Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.

Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.

So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

Not much goes together quite like Texas and trucks. It’s the U.S.’ largest truck market by a long shot and it’s plain to see as you peruse any given parking lot. Texans love their trucks. That’s why the Texas Auto Writers Association crowns a Truck of Texas winner every year after an extensive evaluation process.

As a member of TAWA, I spent the better part of a week in the dusty hills outside San Antonio testing 75 contenders vying for the prized top spot. Eighteen automakers from around the world were in attendance, the majority bringing more than a handful of vehicles.

Ground zero for testing was the famed Knibbe Ranch, with hundreds of acres of sprawling across the Lonestar state. Muddy creek crossings and rocky hill climbs, combined with twisty country roads and newly paved highways provided the test beds. Those trucks, SUVs and crossovers brave enough to tackle the off-road section were subjected to rock-strewn dirt roads that punished suspension parts and underbody skidplates. More road-biased crossovers were thrown around narrow roads and up steep hills. The new pavement along the Texas highway was still covered in loose asphalt with orange caution cones proving a tempting (yet highly illegal) slalom course. Thankfully no one attempted that obstacle.

The 60 journalists judging the event had a huge decision to make. What truck, SUV or crossover would be crowned the Truck of Texas? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll announce the top winner and the winners of sub-categories on Wednesday.

Click past the jump for a full photo gallery

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