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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Why Drive an SUV?

Are you hesitant about purchasing a new SUV? After all, sometimes the full-sized vehicles get a bad rap for their negative impact on the environment. However, as auto companies continue to find fuel-efficient ways to power the large vehicles, it’s becoming quite apparent just how appealing they can be. The crossover SUV, in particular, has really been dominating the auto market recently.

Reasons to Drive an SUV:

  • A Roomy Interior: SUVs are known for being spacious enough to handle all of your family members and their corresponding cargo. Though SUVs don’t have the same cargo carrying capacity of a truck, they are quite capable of transporting large furniture and huge groups of people. Their interiors are also quite versatile. With the seats folded down or up, there are many options available for storage. A few SUVs even offer power tailgates like trucks do, so drivers have easy access for space. In short, they offer many of the same advantages of a van without being as bulky. They’re also much more appealing to look at. Some SUVs hold up to eight or more passengers, and if you have a large family this is extremely important. Some of the most roomy SUVs on the market include the Chevy Suburban, the Ford Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator, and the Cadillac Escalade.
  • Powerful Insides: SUVs are powerful because they typically boast a six- or eight-cylinder engine. And, though a standard SUV may only produce around 200 horsepower, ultra-powerful models like the BMW X6 M achieve well over 500 horsepower. As mentioned, most SUVs, like trucks, are capable of towing up to a few tons, which means that family boating activities are always an option. Because many SUVs are also equipped with 4WD, off-road activities can also be a viable option. 4WD capability also means that an SUV will also be able to safely navigate in all types of weather, be it a snow storm, a rainy afternoon, or a beautiful summer day.
  • Precise Handling: Though each SUV comes with its own degree of handling, most SUVs have quite excellent handling capabilities. Of course, 4WD is a big part of this, as it allows for use in remote or hard-to-reach areas. Other SUVs may be equipped with all-wheel drive, which is also helpful in all-weather situations. Either way, have a drivetrain that handles well on all types of terrain and road surfaces is essential for the adventurous types. Excellent handling also means that many SUVs can respond quite quickly in situations where reactions are key.

To be fair, there are also downsides to driving an SUV. As previously mentioned, fuel ecomony can be an issue, but there are safety factors to consider as well. Though vehicles continue to get safer each year, SUVs can have more potential to roll over than other types of vehicles. With the IIHS cracking down on rollover safety ratings, however, this is becoming less of a concern.

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Celebrities and SUVs!

Who doesn’t love a bit of celebrity stalking? We all have our favorites, stars, whose movies we love, whose teams we desperately root for and whose songs are always playing in our head. And crazy as it may seem, if we love a celebrity, we end up loving and aping their style which includes their clothes, shoes, accessories, cars and sometimes home furnishings as well!

And when you talk celebrity cars, the first car that comes to mind is the Cadillac Escalade. Yes, the same car that has starred in several movies, made appearances in music videos and shuttled celebrities from one event to another. Whether it is the luxurious vibe the Cadillac exudes or the awesome style with which it has been crafted, the reason it appeals to so many stars can be anything! Its sportiness combined with supreme comfort is perhaps what draws superhot stars like David Beckham, Kobe Bryant and Anna Kournikova to it.  Legendary stars like Andy Garcia, Teri Hatcher and Dennis Quaid also cruise around in the Cadillac Escalade. And if you thought SUVs were not for fashion heiresses, think again because Paris Hilton chose the Escalade to be her royal chariot!

The name Mercedes-Benz spells class and style. So it comes as no surprise that famous stars like Emma Roberts, Megan Fox, Kanye West and Joel Madden ride in a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. This chunky car with its edgy style and design is also the chosen ride for Disney stars like Ashley Olsen, Hillary Duff, Ashley Tisdale, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Brenda Song. Its funky charm and exuberance adds a new dimension to their girl-next-door image. And it is not only female starlets who ride in a Meredes-Benz G-Wagon, the ever powerful Terminator of Hollywood; Arnold Schwarzenegger owns this car too. Other celebrities spotted riding this powerful SUV include pop princess Britney Spears, fashionista Nicole Ritchie, The Hills star Audrina Patridge and American superstar Joel Madden.

The next car on the list is as famous as the celebrities who drive it. The Range Rover, owned by over 100 stars in Hollywood alone, is one of the most loved celebrity cars. America’s most loved host and producer, Ryan Seacrest drives it, the sexy and talented Jessica Simpson owns it and Hollywood’s most beautiful Samaritan Angelina Jolie is seen riding in it. Exceptionally popular and infinitely stylish, the Range Rover is a definite winner among celebrities. You don’t believe us? Well, this is a car chosen by the great Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, any car appeals to them should simply be named the car of the century! Other celebs who swear by the class and opulence of a Range Rover are Michael Phelps, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Piven, Nicky Hilton and Paris Hilton. The most stylish couple in Britain, David and Victoria Beckham, also drive a Range Rover. And so does 007 Daniel Craig and the feisty Jennifer Lopez. Other Range Rover fans include John Mayer, Katherine Heigl and Keira Knightley.

 

 

Brand-New 2013 Land Rover Ranger Rover Drops an Amazing 700 Pounds

Have all those summer parties with cakes, ice cream, and BBQ been catching up to you? In the same way that it’s easier to gain weight than lose it for drivers, the same is true for their automobiles. With all of the new technology, comfort, and safety features available in today’s auto world, it’s easy for the weight of vehicles to creep up quickly. One way to combat this weight gain is by using lightweight materials. British auto brand Land Rover understands this fact, and its experts have put their good sense to use with the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover, which has been given a weight reduction of an amazing 700 lbs. this year (as compared to the model it replaces) due to its all-aluminum unibody structure.

New Land Rover Range Rover 2013So why is a lightweight vehicle ideal? First of all, it’s easier to handle and more aerodynamic, which also means that it’s faster. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, a lighter vehicle achieves greater fuel economy ratings. In order to keep up with consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles (not to mention government regulations) it’s important for automakers to make vehicles as light as they can possibly be without skimping on luxurious features. And, in the case of the new Range Rover, cutting 700 lbs. of fat without shrinking the size of the vehicle at all is quite impressive.

The upcoming Range Rover will boast a body structure that’s 39 percent lighter than the current model, though it still weight a rather heavy 5,000 pounds. And, though the vehicle has been lightened by 700 lbs. in the U.S., in other markets it’s been reduced by up to 926 pounds.

2013 Land Rover Range Rover Specs.:

It’s roomy: This Range Rover boasts 4.7 more inches of rear-passenger legroom when compared with the previous generation and is available in four-seat configuration and is much less cluttered-looking than the 2012 model.

Powerful Engines: A choice of V8 engines is available and include a (rumored) supercharged V8 (Jaguar offers a 5.0–liter engine that produces between 470-550 horsepower) and a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine that works with an eight-speed automatic transmission. We’ll have to wait to see if the horsepower stays at 375 or increases, and straight-line performance could benefit from the lost weight. These are the U.S. engines; others could be offered in different markets.

Off-Road Capability: Expected to be the same as the heavier model or better, with the most recent Terrain Response electronic system and improved ride and handling. The Range Rover has also offered impressive off-road power, but this year’s standard-road-drive could be smoother than ever.

More information will be released about the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover when it’s formally introduced at the Paris Motor Show next month, with deliveries scheduled to start in December of this year.

Be sure to stay tuned with reviewitonline.net for more new car reviews and the latest auto news. We’re always up-to-date on the latest happenings, and we can’t wait to share our discoveries with you!

A Short History of the SUV

A popular automobile genre in contemporary times, the SUV or Sports Utility Vehicle evolved to reach its current form, borrowing from several prototypes. Tracing the historical journey of these vehicles, we go back to the beginning of the 20th century when the automobile industry was experiencing the influx of innovations and new designs.

The earliest SUVs were descendants of commercial and military vehicles that were required for transporting goods and people in rough terrains. In fact, it is widely held that the SUV took birth from the ancient ‘depot hack’ – a taxi-like vehicle which transported people and luggage from train stations to various locations. These depot hacks were also called carryalls or suburbans, the latter of which is nomenclature for the longest running SUV model – the Suburban by Chevrolet. Suburbans were popular in the 1920s, 30s and 40s as vehicles of practical use having a truck-like structure, and many automotive brands launched models in this name.

The 1950s brought some change in the regular design of the suburbans. Many models favoring a car-frame over truck-like structure came into vogue. These new vehicles became popular amongst big families since they had a fuss-free interior, lots of space and a hardy exterior. These revamped suburbans also became parent to the modern-day station wagons.

It is in the 70s that the SUVs hit their lowest point. It is in this decade that fuel-efficiency, emission control, small engines and high mileage became important concerns for vehicle-owners. Thus, the concept of the mini-van emerged. These were similar to the old carryalls in terms of the purpose they served though they could not match the spaciousness and power of its predecessors. Nonetheless, it kept the concept of SUV-like vehicles alive till the 80s, which is when they came back into prominence.

With the dawn of the 1980s, automobiles began being considered as more than just a practical transport option even for the middle-classes of society. People began to expect a combination of style, elegance, utility as well as road-presence in their automobiles. This is when the lavishly large Sports Utility Vehicle came into vogue again.

The popularity of SUVs increased significantly in the 1990s and early 2000s, especially in countries like the US, Canada, Australia and India. By this time, the SUV design had diversified into variously sized models – Compact SUVs, Medium SUVs and Full Sized SUVs. While now SUVs are also produced by luxury automotive brands, they still find usage in rural societies in most parts of the world. Thus, though the Sports Utility Vehicle has undergone many modifications over the 20th century, it has become one of the most widely popular vehicle-types since the turn of the last century. Given their popularity and utility in the present day, one thing is for sure; SUVs are here to stay. Watch out for them on a road near you!

SUV Sales Gain Heat

It may seem a bit surprising, but SUVs are more popular than ever! You’re probably wondering that what kind of sorcery is working behind this sudden rise in SUV sales. Let me provide you with an insight in the marketing strategies recently employed by SUV manufacturing companies like Honda, Mazda, and others.

The question that needs answers first is that what led to the stagnant growth of the SUV market? What could have been the sole reason behind it, if it weren’t the drastic hikes in gasoline and fuel prices? With all the poor mileages that SUVs are known to offer, the heavy increment in fuel prices was expected to bring about a fall of around 20% in the prices of SUVs.

Another less important factor is the size of the vehicles. The gigantic sizes that traditional truck based SUVs were based on was initially welcomed by consumers, especially due to the “perceived” safety factors involved in driving a large car. Sadly, physics doesn’t approve of vehicles that have heights beyond a certain level in correspondence with their base width. As a result, the traditional SUV emerged with a much higher tendency of turning turtle on sharp corners. Moreover, they proved to be much more dangerous when road accidents were considered both for the ones traveling in the SUV and for the ones whose vehicles were hit by SUVs.

These factors, along with a number of other facts (including environment concerns, noise, less ideal for inner city driving) were quickly realized by the SUV manufacturing companies and new marketing and manufacturing strategies were developed. These new strategies proved to be much more effective than the ones that were employed previously. During the era of traditional SUVs, 1 of every 5 vehicles sold was a SUV. Big enough, right? After the successful implementation of the below mentioned strategies, 1 of every 3 vehicles sold was a SUV! Now that’s big!

The traditional gigantic models like Hummer and Ford Excursion are no longer manufactured. Instead of designing SUVs on truck based models, manufacturers are making new SUVs more sedan-oriented. This gave birth to a new car designation, the Crossover, or Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). We all have heard of the Ford Explorer, the truck based SUV that played an inevitable role in the rise of the SUVs a decade or so ago. While designing the new Explorer, Ford switched from truck based pattern to a more sedan based pattern, the one that Ford Taurus uses. Now with the relatively smaller size, and much more fuel-efficient engine, Ford undoubtedly saw a better future in the SUV market. Similarly, Mazda launched its new CX-5, which was said to be “sold out” by Mazda’s spokesperson, Jeremy Barnes, and boasts of giving a mileage of 30MPG (12.75kmpl) on a highway!

These smaller SUVs proved to be much more practical. “Nobody wants to drive what their parents drove,” says Mazda’s Barnes, explaining the popularity of the CUV with the younger generation. And this rise in popularity has translated into increased sales for the car manufacturers. The CUV design has been employed by many of the major companies like Honda, Ford, Mazda and others, and has energized the market for everyday utility vehicles.

Are SUVs Good For The Environment?

SUVs, there are some who love to hate them while others who hate loving them! Both sides have their own reasons. The haters will point out the massive proportions of an SUV, their slight ostentatious looks and their much discussed effects on the environment. The SUV lovers will tell you that it is one of the safest, most luxurious and adventurous creation on four wheels. Wondering which side to pick? Maybe simplifying the most widely publicized issue might help. And that is the hotly debated question of the environmental friendliness of SUVs; in order to understand this completely, there are several factors to be taken into account.

During the 1990s, the period in which SUVs became insanely popular, fuel prices were very cheap. However, the days of wallet friendly fuel prices are long gone and in today’s world of sky rocketing fuel prices, it is becoming extremely difficult to maintain a SUV.  Also, SUVs gulp up fuel at a rapid pace, the most inefficient SUV being the Mercedes Benz ML63 AMG, which gives an average of around 12mpg.

Cartoon of SUVs and the Effects on the Environment

Pollution is another SUV side effect. SUV emissions lead to the depletion of the ozone layer. Also, the great amount of pollutants given out by SUVs causes the creation of ground level ozone which then leads to lung diseases and asthma. Statistics show that SUVs emit 30 per cent more carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons as well as 75 per cent more nitrogen oxide that normal cars. So as far as keeping the environment clean and free from harmful pollutants is concerned, SUVs are definitely not putting their best foot forward! The detrimental emissions of SUVs have long term effects like severe climate change. Gases like carbon di oxide and carbon monoxide cause calamitous phenomenon like global warming. In fact, Ford Escape Hybrid, one of the SUVs with a good fuel economy, emits around 5.7 tons of carbon di oxide in a year!

And needless to say, the demand for fossil fuels is increasing day by day, all thanks to the rapidly increasing number of SUVs on the road. This desperate need for oil has led to explorations in areas like the Arctic and the Californian coastline, both of which are highly susceptible natural ecosystems. If such sensitive and vital habitats are tampered with, the result can be disastrous for all of mankind.

Owing to all these environmental problems, SUV manufacturers have tried to come up with solutions over the years. The most successful endeavor has been the development of hybrid SUVs. Hybrid engines reduce emissions to a great extent and offer exceptional fuel economy. Also, the performance offered by hybrid SUVs is as good as its fuel driven counterparts. Ford Escape Hybrid offers around 34mpg in the city; a number that suggests this technologically advancement will help in reducing environmental degradation. Another technique that is used by manufacturers is reducing the weight of the SUVs that helps in decreasing tailpipe emission. So, all is not lost and there might soon be a day when this world will see a completely eco-friendly SUV.

Five Red-Hot New SUVs to Consider in 2013

2013 is quickly approaching, and many motorists are considering replacing their aging, outdated vehicles with shiny new ones for the new year. Car buying isn’t what it used to be, however, with new nameplates and never-before seen models hitting dealerships at every turn. From well-appointed luxury vehicles to cost-efficient reliable ones, drivers have never been faced with as many great choices as they are right now. So, what’s an overwhelmed buyer to do? Simply consult our handy list of the hottest upcoming 2013 SUV models, of course!

This year’s crop of SUVs is mainly comprised of crossover SUV models, which have all but conquered the SUV market and supplanted the traditional truck-based SUVs of the ‘90s and early 2000s due to their increased fuel economy numbers and more car-like handling. Many automakers now include compact crossover SUVs in their lineups, though traditional crossovers are still quite popular.

Five of the Hottest SUVs for 2013: (In no particular order).

1. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek: A sort of hybrid between a compact wagon and a crossover SUV, this stylish vehicle is a more rugged and higher-riding version of the popular Subaru Impreza on which it’s based. As with all Subaru models, this stylish crossover comes standard with all-wheel drive, though this particular model is perhaps even more impressive when mated with a gearless CVT automatic transmission. (There’s also a five-speed manual trans mission available. Stand-out features include a voice and touchscreen controlled navigation with real-time traffic alerts, an HD radio, and a rear-view camera.

2. Mazda CX-5: (as seen in the included photo) This all-new crossover SUV has been touted as one of the most fuel-efficient around due to its 2.0-liter Mazda SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine that achieves a respectable 26 mpg city/ 33 mpg highway and features all-wheel drive as optional. It’s sporty, and uniquely stylish, as well!

3. Infiniti JX: The all-new Infiniti JX began reeling in a ton of attention much before it premiered in production form, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint now that it’s here! A luxury SUV with seating for seven, advanced safety features, a roomy and elegant interior, and a stylish exterior, the JX is all that a family desires, and more. Impressive safety features include a new Backup Collision Intervention system, while a Drive Mode Select feature keeps the journey smooth in all weather conditions.

4. Buick Encore: A boldly-stylish new subcompact crossover with a ton of flair, this sporty little SUV boasts a super-quiet interior and smooth ride due to its active noise cancellation system. It looks quite a bit like the Chevy Sonic, to which it’s mechanically related.

5. BMW X1: Both strong and sleek-looking, this new subcompact crossover SUV is also very agile and speedy. It’s a bit smaller than the BMW X3, and is therefore also more cost-efficient, yet it still has features to impress even the choosiest drivers and passengers, including a start-stop function for heightened fuel economy and an advanced xDrive all-wheel drive system (standard with the BMW 35i engine and optional with the four-cylinder 28i engine) for maximum handling on wet or dry roadways.

Remember, reader, these are excellent vehicles to consider for a 2013 (or late 2012) purchase or lease! For more great advice, be sure to stay tuned here with suv.reviewitonline.net. We always have the latest news, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

How Safe Are SUVs?

While buying a SUV, what are the factors taken into account? Performance, a SUV should be powerful, deft and as speedy as a sports car. Comfort, who doesn’t love a luxurious ride? A SUV must be cosy but it must also look classy and elegant. Then come features, all the latest gadgets must be crammed in there because James Bond isn’t the only one who deserves an uber cool ride! And don’t forget appearance, SUVs may be of epic proportions but a little style doesn’t hurt anyone! People look out for stylish cuts, edgy colour schemes and eye catching looks.

But amidst all these demands, aren’t you forgetting a very important aspect? Safety, yes, SUVs are big and burly but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe. In fact, they are one of the vehicles that are most prone to accidents. So if you thought that your SUV only needed to be shiny and loaded, think again, safety is a highly vital aspect when it comes to SUVs.

First, a big car doesn’t mean it is a safe car. So don’t go by the size. Next, you should know that the government conducts crash tests that determine how safe a SUV really is. Crash test ratings are a great parameter for comparing the safety standards of a SUV. The most worrisome aspect about a SUV is its propensity to roll over. SUVs have high ground clearance; this increases their centre of gravity which in turn leads to rollovers. In fact, statistics show that one third of traffic accidents have been caused by rollovers. Only in case of side collisions, SUV occupants have an upper hand because they might avoid injuries due to the height of the SUVs but in case of a rollover, only luck will allow someone to walk away unscathed.

These safety issues have prompted SUV manufacturers to come up with better designs and features. Electronic Stability Control is a feature that has brought on a great change in the world of SUV safety. ESC reduces the chance of a rollover to up to 85% and this has increased the SUV fatality rate considerably. SUVs like Honda CR-V, Ford Edge, Subaru Forester and Santa Fe are some of the safest SUVs in the market. They not only come with Electronic Stability Control but they have extra features like side airbags and curtain air bags that further reduce the risk of grave injuries.

Other safety features include seat belts in the 3rd row seats, head restraints that come with whiplash protection and multiple air bags. Another safety aspect to be kept in mind is rear visibility. Several SUVs come with rear visibility cameras that are included in the base model; hence, buyers don’t need to pay extra. Also one must make sure that the braking system is excellent and the steering is responsive. Safe SUVs are those which respond quickly, manoeuvre easily and can be handled without much effort. So don’t be deceived by the glamour of SUVs and make sure you pick your ride after thorough research.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Expands and Evolves

All SUVs are not created equal- especially when it comes to their roomy interiors. Luckily, luxury auto brand Mercedes-Benz knows exactly what its family-friendly buyers desire, and the company has worked diligently to address many of the issues large families face. In short, if you’ve been searching for a large, family-friendly SUV that got both luxury and style, you should check out the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL- Class, which has been stretched quite a bit for the next model year.

Power: The newest GL- Class boasts more clout than its predecessor, with a 3.0-liter BlueTec diesel engine that produces 240 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque (an increase of 40 hp and 50 lb.-ft.) The GL 550 models, for their part, feature a new 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged gasoline engine, with engine output varying depending on the trim level of the model. All GL- Class models come with a seven-speed automatic transmission that’s also available on the smaller Mercedes-Benz M- Class.

Exterior:The exterior of the new Mercedes-Benz GL- Class has seen several edits since the last model year, from the new flared wheel arches and side stampings on the back of the vehicle to its new LED and bi-xenon lights. This style makeover seems to be inspired most by the newest Mercedes-Benz M–Class. Of course, as mentioned, the new Mercedes-Benz GL- Class models have also been stretched. The U.S.-made GL- Class is longer, wider, and taller than the current 2012 model.

Safety Features: Include Crosswind Assist, Parktronic with Active Park Assist, Collision Prevention Assist (to help prevent rear-end collisions), Pre-Safe (which prepares drivers for collisions), Adaptive Brake Assist (prepares the braking system for an upcoming collision), a rear-view camera, Attention Assist (to help protect and alert drowsy drivers), and adaptive high-beam assist for the headlights on the new Mercedes-Benz GL 350 and the Mercedes-Benz GL- 450 models. The most luxuriously-appointed GL- Class model, the Mercedes-Benz GL 550 adds Lake Keep Assist and Passive Blind Spot Assist (optional on other models). Adaptive cruise control is optional for all models as well.

Inside the Cabin: The new GL- Class also looks quite a bit like the Mercedes-Benz M-class inside, with such features as: the brand’s multi-function COMAND control system, an optional hard drive-based navigation system (which is standard for the 550 model), a seven-inch display that control’s the vehicle’s audio and entertainment options, tailored leather seating (on the 550 model- faux leather Artico material for the other trims), a climate control system, 10.4 cubic feet of storage in the rear cargo area, and three rows of seating.

Overall, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL- Class is quite luxurious, well-appointed, and provides ample space for large families. Of course, it’s not the speediest vehicle around at zero-to-sixty in 8.8 seconds for the base model, but it does achieve an amazing 5.6 seconds for the 550 model, which is quite impressive for a family-hauler. Families of five or more are sure to appreciate the room it has to offer, and it has the capacity to hold up to seven persons. The GL 350 starts at $73,700, while the top-of-the-line GL 550 starts at $95,900.

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