Monthly Archives: December 2013
Vehicle models that haven’t changed for a long time are often seen as outdated or comparatively less desirable, but the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line marks a notable exception in that case. This SUV has been on sale for almost six years now and still, without a major redesign, the little crossover from VW remains one of the most rewarding vehicles in its segment. With the already present 4 trim levels namely, S, SE, SE with Appearance and SEL, this year the sport new R-Line debuts as the top-of-the-line trim level for the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan.
The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line is powered by a turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder engine good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound feet of torque. Enhancing the driving experience is a six speed automatic transmission mated to the engine. While the standard Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line comes with front wheel drive, the all wheel drive (also called the 4Motion) is optional. The automatic transmission accelerates the vehicle from rest to 60 mph in a sprint time 7.5 seconds, which is pretty impressive for a crossover in this niche. EPA-estimated fuel economy rates 23 mpg combined, 21 city/26 highway for the front wheel drive model. The all wheel drive model returns the same 23 combined (20/26).
The 2014 Volkswagen R-Line rocks 19 inch alloy wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights, a sport tuned suspension, LED license plate illumination, automatic wipers, power folding exterior mirrors, full power front seats, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, special interior accents which includes the R-Line steering wheel with paddle shifters and an auto dimming rearview mirror.
The sporty body kit of the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line is stylish at the same time. Lines and contours on the sides perfectly complement the look of the SUV and the headlights just the right amount of oomph for the crossover. On the inside, the dashboard of the R-Line strikes with solidity and sophistication with supple materials in abundant supply. While the climate and audio controls remain well placed and easy to use, compact dimension of the touchscreen limit the amount of information that can be displayed, however, it offers a crisp, intuitive interface.
The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line’s turbocharged four cylinder engine hits the sweet spot. While the compact crossover faces tough competition with the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 in terms of cargo space, the R-Line boasts a stronger base engine and such a gratifying acceleration that more power seems unnecessary. R-Line feels a little sportier when driven around turns, all credits to its firmer suspension tuning. This vehicle is primarily about comfort and that is all you can experience while driving the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line. The way this compact crossover drives with its refined cruising character, it invites comparisons to luxury crossovers. While the fact prevails that this luxury compact crossover doesn’t come cheap at all, every single compliant and exceptionally hushed ride in the 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line will testify for every little penny you spend on this work of art.
Kia Motors has been quite a strong competitor in the international market, and being one of the very few Korean companies that have been able to do so, the company has managed to turn many heads during its course in the market. The company has launched a number of extremely efficient SUVs in the traditional sector, and has released quite a number of concept models for the future as well. Its SUV, the Kia Sportage has however, managed to be the most famous and sought after vehicle of the company. Although already extremely efficient, the SUV has now undergone some changes under the hood for the new 2014 model, and will be available with slightly modified and even more stylish looks to the company’s customers from next year!
The major change that the company has brought about in the SUV is that the previous 2400cc inline four cylinder engines have been replaced by direct injection engine of the same displacement. Direct injection engines are well known for being extremely efficient as they are capable of delivering better fuel economy statistics as well as better power outputs as compared to traditional inline engines of the same displacement values. As was expected, the values of power output and torque has been enhanced from 176 horsepower and 168 pound – feet in the 2013 model to 182 horsepower and 178 pound – feet in the 2014 models. Also, although the company hasn’t yet released the numbers for the fuel economy of the new models, they are expected to be increased by significant amounts as well.
There are two other major changes to the trims of the 2014 Kia Sportage. The Sportage still comes in three trims, the LX, EX and SX. However, the company has equipped the base model in manners that has reduced the difference between the LX and EX trims significantly. For example, the sporty shock setup has also been added to the LX trim, making the ride better! Also, the company has chosen to drop manual transmissions of the base model, and has decided to incorporate automatic transmission to the LX model.
There are some other changes as well, the most prominent one being the new front grille, which will definitely add a new look to the conventional Sportage look. The new 2014 2014 Kia Sportage models also feature new cuts and sleek designing changes on the exteriors of the vehicles. Also, all the trims now feature a tilt and telescope adjustable steering wheel. The company’s UVO Services come standard on the EX and the SX models, while customers going for the base LX model can choose if they want it or not. Also, the EX model will feature slightly different fog lamps than other 2013 models. In the interiors, all the trims feature an amazing rear ventilation system accompanied by reclining outboard seats. These features add to the overall comfort of the Kia Sportage SUV. The EX trim also features heated front seats, giving the SUV a nice luxurious touch.
The company has definitely made amazing changes to the already awesome Sportage. It is definitely going to be interesting to see how good do these SUVs fare against other giants of the market!
Having remained one of the best selling SUV’s for several years the Honda CR-V is a perfect blend of practicality, comfort, usability, driver involvement, fuel economy, reliability and low ownership cost and these qualities still remain unmatched by any other compact crossover SUV till date. Folks who look for a small family vehicle this little SUV should top your test drive list. The 2014 Honda CR-V carries over unchanged into the new year and no issues with that since the compact crossover one of the best in its niche.
What best describes the Honda CR-V is the word “easy” because that is certainly what it makes your life. The 5 passenger crossover SUV comes in LX, EX and EX-L trim levels. While the LX comes standard with 16 inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, a blind spot mirror, a rear view camera, cruise control a height adjustable driver seat, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a 60.40 split folding seat with reclining trunk mounted fold handle, Pandora internet radio control and all the fancy stuff that there should be in a modern compact crossover, the EX adds to it 17 inch alloy wheels and other luxuries like a sunroof, fog lights, body colored mirrors and door handles, rear privacy glass, a cargo cover and six speaker sound system. The EX-L boast everything along with roof rails, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, dual zone climate control, leather wrapped steering wheel and leather upholstery, eight way power driver seat with two way power lumbar, satellite radio and even a seven-spear surround sound system including a sub woofer.
Powered by a 2.4 liter four cylinder engine, the 2014 Honda CR-V runs on 185 horsepower and twists with 163 pound feet of torque and is mated to a five speed automatic transmission that comes standard with all the models. There is a choice for the buyers between front or all-wheel drive on all models. The fuel economy rates at 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combines while they drop by 1 mpg each in AWD models. The real world driving also testifies the numbers. The Honda CR-V greets the driver with a very precise steering wheel and commendably steady handling. Also, ride quality is smoother and unlike the previous generations, 2014 Honda CR-V sports a relatively quiet cabin.
The 2014 Honda CR-V faces tough completion with competitors like the Chevy Equinox, the 2014 Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and of course the 2014 Mazda CX-5. In fact, the Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Forester also stand as strong alternative. And since the exterior of the 2014 Honda CR-V is quite bland and materials used in the cabin aren’t as high-quality as in some of the rivals, it seems hard to get excited about the vehicle. But for those who believe in making decisions based in practicality and sensibility rather than an emotional choice based on a highly stylish grille or amazingly plush interiors, nothing comes remotely close to the 2014 Honda CR-V.
The German automaker Audi argues that the Q5 boasts interiors of a luxury car, the handling of a sport sedan, and the ground clearance of a crossover SUV. Interestingly, the brand never needed to argue since the 2014 Audi Q5 actually blends the three of the above qualities and is one of the most loved compact luxury crossovers in its class. For 2014, Audi Q5 lineup welcomes the addition of a powerful yet fuel efficient turbodiesel model while the base 2.0 liter gets a power upgrade to 220 horsepower. Rest updates are confined to equipment changes across various trim levels.
The 2014 Audi Q5 2.0T comes standard with all wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0 liter inline four cylinder engine good for 220 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque. An eight speed automatic transmission comes as standard. EPA estimated fuel economy is 20 city/28 highway and 23 mpg combined. The Q5 2.0T accelerates to 60 mph from rest in a sprint time of 6.8 seconds which is a performance on par with the Audi’s peers. The Audi 3.0T sports a supercharged 3.0 liter V6 engine that generates 272 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque. Along with the standard eight speed automatic transmission, an automatic stop-start system saves fuel by shutting off the engine when the car comes to a halt. This 3.0T engine is capable of accelerating the Q5 from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds which surely is a very quick time for a vehicle in this class. Fuel economy estimates stand at 18/26/21. Next in the lineup, the Q5 3.0 TDI features a 3.0 liter turbocharged diesel V6 good for 240 hp and a whopping 428 pound feet of torque. The automatic stop-start system is standard. The brand claims a sprint time of 6.5 seconds for a 0 to 60 mph acceleration while fuel economy estimates stand at 24/30/26. Lastly, Q5 Hybrid pairs the 2.0T’s engine with an electric motor and a battery pack and generates an output of 245 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.
The 2014 Audi Q5 sports classy interiors and top notch construction. Despite its compact size this crossover manages to deliver a roomy experience whether you’re seated in front or rear seats. The rear seats slide fore and raft, which is a rarity in this segment of luxury crossovers.
The SUV delivers smooth, powerful acceleration and the eight speed automatic transmission is refined and responsive. As the brand “argues”, the handling is excellent. The steering is similarly quick and responsive but is said to have a rather artificial feel. One rather funny or annoying thing about the Q5 is its random refiring since the automatic stop-start system doesn’t keep the engine off at very long traffic lights.
While the compact luxury crossover faces head to head competition with models, like the roomier Volvo XC60, the equally excellent handling and performance boasting BMW X3 or the even more stylish Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque or the mpg driven Mercedes Benz GLK-Class, the 2014 Audi Q5 is a candidate that does everything well and hence becomes an ideal choice!
The new Lexus luxury utility vehicle (LUV), 2014 GX 460 gets all gussied up and quite extensively so that the mid-sizer seems less a truck than a Lexus on stilts. The freshened up GX 460 went through far deeper facelift than the now-trademark spindle grille and the LED applied to the Lexus LX 570 last year. The equally tough and trail SUV now boasts gigantic rear fender flares and striking front grille design that marks the extreme L-finesse. Though not the sleekest SUV in town, the 2014 Lexus GX 460 prides itself on global heritage just like Toyota LandCuiser Prado! Also the truck like demeanor is evident of the fact that this is going to be, if not the best and the most rugged, one fine play on the market of off-roaders. And all of it comes under a reasonable price despite additional technology and safety equipment that are included as standard. Cherry on the cake!
The raised roofline, necessary to make sufficient space for the third row of the newly designed seven-seater still got generous ground clearance of about 8.3 inches minimum. The unconventional hour glass shaped grille on the Lexus GX 460 though getting mixed responses is still unique and is sure to make the little SUV to turn heads and stand out. The LED daytime running lights in headlamps are a success. Lexus’s white LEDs are every bit bright as bright and helpful on roads as in SUVs from Audi or BMW. Excellent for low visibility conditions these LED lights use a very little amount of energy and provide a prominent light graphic for road safety. The clear taillights are strange as the fashion aware buyers of the Lexus legacy might question them but they still strike out.
The midsized SUV, 2014 Lexus GX 460 sports a 4.7 liter V-8 engine belonging to the Tundra pickup. Generating enough power of 301 HP and mated to an all-new-five-speed-automatic-transmission and a Torsen center differential which biases the torque (329 pound feet of torque) towards the end with traction, this engine makes this SUV maneuverable with a light duty full time four wheel drive. The car can reach up to 60 mph from rest in a sprint time of 8.5 seconds while it sports a top speed of 112 mph. The undeniable capability and the body-chassis structure of the new 2014 Lexus GX 460 make it deft enough to be creek-and-groan-free in the rough. However, being more of a luxury utility vehicle you might want to keep it away from way too nasty conditions for it is quite plushly outfitted for that.
It is expected that the 2014 Lexus GX 460 will be seen competing with the BMW X5 and the Mercedes ML500 and possibly Merc GL too while it’s priced at a sum of $45,000. For the love of a gritty feel of a 4WD truck underneath your seat the GX is massively appealing. This purposely built off road machine is added with extra style and so much luxury along with a giant price cut making it one definite consideration among serious SUV fanatics!
Hyundai, being one of the best sellers of automobiles in the entire world, has been posing extreme competition for other major companies like Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, etc. Not just in the field of sedans and hatchbacks, but also in the case of crossover SUVs, Hyundai has shown amazing performance. One of its products, the Hyundai Tucson, which has proved to be a huge success as it runs most of the streets of many countries, has received many changes and will come out as a 2014 Hyundai Tucson version next year. Not to mention, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson has been declared as one of the most curvaceous and stylish looking crossover SUVs of the market!
The changes made to the 2014 Hyundai Tucson version have been done keeping in mind that the SUV demanded more power and control as compared to the previous models. Hence, it has received a new and much powerful engine in all its trims. Not are these engines much more powerful, but they also boast of better efficiency than previous ones. Also, the new models boast of better rides and handling statistics. As is apparent from these changes, Hyundai was mainly concentrating on enhancing the ride and driving statistics of the SUV. However, the changes are not only limited to this one field. The company has also made changes to the interiors of the vehicle. There is increased space in the interior cabins. However, Hyundai hasn’t made use of very undesirable upholstery, and the interior feel could have been much better!
All thanks to the amazing and modern looks, the company didn’t really need to make any changes to the exteriors of the SUV. However, there are new LED lamps to be installed in the headlights of the SUV, adding a new and modern touch. Also, some trims of the vehicle will offer a panoramic sunroof, making thing more luxurious!
Speaking of trims, the 2014 Tucson will come in four different trims – FWD 4-Door GLS, AWD 4-Door GLS, FWD 4-Door Limited and AWD 4-Door Limited. As their names suggest, the base model features a front wheel drive system while all others feature all-wheel drive systems. Also, the two higher models feature 2400cc engines while the first two feature 2000cc engines. Worthy of mentioning, these are new direct injection engines equipped with new Sachs dual-path dampers. These dampers were added because of complains about the previous Tucsons being a bit harsh in ride. These new dampers have been incorporated in such a manner that it has enabled the SUV to deliver comfortable rides without distorting handling. Also, another amazing thing is that Hyundai won’t be offering manual transmissions for the 2014 Tucson, and all the trims will feature automatic transmissions.
The base models of the 2014 Hyundai Tucson include all basic luxury features. Interestingly, all the models of the SUV will now feature comfortable, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson SUV would have definitely made it up to the top in the entire SUV Market!
Standing out from the current line up from the brand, the new 2014 Mazda CX-9 is not only the brand’s largest vehicle, but it’s also a holdover from another era at the automaker; the era before the brand decided to “go it alone” away from Ford and focus on engineering more lightness and fuel efficiency into its cars and crossovers. Although the 2014 Mazda CX-9 is not a class leader in gas mileage, like those other models, it still ranks as one of the better large crossover options if you need three rows of seating and a responsive, almost nimble driving demeanor.
It was only last year that the Mazda CX-9 received a modest set of upgrades with a new snout that closely matches the frond-end look of the recently redesigned CX-5 compact crossover, Mazda 3 compact car family and the Mazda 6 Sedan. Already, the Mazda CX-9 has been one of the better looking vehicles in its class but the Kodo ‘soul of motion’ design language applied with only the new front end and rear details to the 2014 Mazda CX-9 is a good fit with the SUV’s existing side profile. A number of minor aesthetic changes to the cabin can be seen in the 2014 Mazda CX-9. The centre stack area has been redesigned to accommodate a 5.8 inch touchscreen and overall the interior look, while clearly carried over is the better fit with the CX-5’s somewhat more upright look. The dashboard in the CX-9 features a graceful waterfall design that flows into the door panels with uncommon flair.
Performance changes aren’t much for the 2014 Mazda CX-9 and that is a good thing. The 3.7 liter ‘MZR’ V-6 engine produces a 273 horsepower and runs on regular gas. Mated to a six speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, the engine accelerates the crossover from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds for a front wheel drive configuration. An all wheel drive model needs 8.5 seconds for the same. The fuel economy is on par with that of other large crossovers at an EPA-estimated 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway) for front wheel drive models. The 2014 Mazda CX-9 AWD drops to 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway).
Offering amazingly strong acceleration for both around town driving and highway passing the Mazda CX-9 impresses with its agile responses. An accomplished highway cruiser, this SUV keeps road and wind noises to acceptable levels for backseat movie viewing and such. The steering, so precise, enable the driver to carve a consistent path no matter if one powers down the interstate or makes time on a rural two-way road. The steep rake of the windshields adds to the sporty vibe of the giant crossover. The suspension is a combination of compliance and poise and this is one of the best handling crossovers around.
Yes there are competitors like the Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder, but the 2014 Mazda CX-9 stands out with its powerful V6 engine, dynamic handling, agile responses and a stunning body.
BMW X7 has always been a newsmaker. Since its initial media leak and ostensible demise when the brand allegedly didn’t feel the need for a large SUV back in 2008, the X7 has been playing hide and seek quite well. 2011’s modestly improving economy and America’s relentless appetite for crossovers possible rekindles the project again. Once more there were all sorts of rumors and guesses regarding a possible coming of 2014 BMW X7. While some sources claimed that there is going to be the production of this full sized crossover others deny the new and said that all such plans are long gone. Well, for now, the big BMW X7 is right on its way back again all credits to the Chinese orders.
Said to bear the codename F17, the X7 would, in point of fact, be a long wheelbase version of the very platform that makes the basis of the X6 and X5. The question or rather a problem that arises is that the X5 and X6 already get poor enough fuel economy. As a matter of fact, this, appropriately, was the reason that X7 was dropped back in 2008. Instead the firm decided to spend its development time on the tinier X1 and X3 and its roll-out of diesels in the U.S. The change in the directions of the wind, however, for the large SUV is seen as a result of China pushing the issue.
Along with the X6 platform which is a long wheelbase, the F17 or 2014 BXW X7 is anticipated to take some of its features from the soon coming Audi Q9 and even maybe from the Mercedes GL new generation. Amongst new add-ons, a third row of seats, already detected, is a strong hint or rather a confirmation for more space, enough for 7 passengers.
The release date for the large crossover is a funny thing to predict since BMW X7 has a strong history of jumping out of nowhere and hiding again. Right now the firm is engaged in its project that includes bigger sedan exclusively for Chinese market, but surely that is not really enough to ramp up production of the efficient filling of incoming orders from China. Meanwhile, the brand is also paying attention to comply with sufficient level of supply for Germany and USA. America is considered as a way to rebound with a higher pace than wonderers might expect, by the company’s management, which in turn would result in a lowered need of rebalancing the process whose current rate was defined in the Seoul by some leaders gathered for a meeting. Another potentially shocking proposal was made at the meeting about the cancellation of production of the large new SUV for the American market.
While the 2014 BMW X7 is almost coming back triumphant and has a high chance of getting into production and released to the folks, chances of which are seen in the year 2018, one question still remains. It is yet not know which market the 2014 BMW X7 is meant for. USA or China?
It was only last year that the Ford Escape escaped from its box-like, SUV influenced past and emerged from a transformation, turning into a rakish, sporty and more car like crossover with crisp handling, forceful engines and even a slightly increased passenger space. The 2014 Escape steps into the new year mostly unchanged, although the Escape SEL trim has been dropped from the line up. Interestingly, there isn’t even any need for a change on this model of Escape as yet. The consumers in America have just started to notice and get used to the new look of Escape. The “SUV people” would remember how the Escape did its best impression of the first- generation Explorer from 2001 to 2012, down to the grille and window shapes and even the outdated graining of its interior plastics. This 2014 Escape is everything but that! A raffish and confident profile with an aggressive road-going stance on the outside and a sporty, almost cockpit like layout inside, the new 2014 Ford Escape is built to take breaths away.
The impressive athletic look of the 2014 Ford Escape is validated by its road manners. The Mazda CX-5, however, makes it impossible for other compact crossovers to stand in competition with its amazing handling, the Ford Escape handles equally beautifully. There is a myriad of choice in what you desire under the hood of your 2014 Escape. Ford turns to a trio of four-cylinders, replacing its former four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines and the much-loved but discontinued Ford Escape Hybrid. The base engine that powers the 2014 Ford Escape is a carryover 2.5 liter four cylinder grunt meant for fleets, while the mainstream choice is a 1.6 liter turbocharged four-cylinder with straight line acceleration producing 178 ponies, competitive with its chief rivals, the Honda CR-V and the four-cylinder Toyota RAV4. Leading the charge is a 2.0 liter Ecoboost four cylinder engine capable of producing 240 horsepower and accelerating the compact crossover to 60 mph from rest in a sprint time of less than eight seconds (faster than Mazda CX-5). A six speed automatic transmission is standard with all models.
Do not make the mistake of confusing the sleeker look of the new Ford Escape with less passenger space. The front seats are slim and rather firm and the SUV offers just enough space for two adults to sit in the back. The cargo hold is larger and the rear seats fold and flip down its own headrests to add to the storage space. The interiors hold a modern look that is less familiar and bolder. Chiseled, contoured and heavily styled instrument panel, as said before, looks more like a cockpit. Even the exterior of the 2014 Escape is now modern with passing resemblances to the new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or Mazda CX-5.
Taut ride quality, impressive handing, an easy to indulge in cabin and extremely stylish body mated to a potent engine makes Ford Escape one the very fine crossovers in its class. While tough competitors like the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V stand right next to it, the 2014 Ford Escape should be highly considered.
Large families prefer large crossover and that is not rocket science. The obvious attraction to large crossovers is because they offer plenty of room for the passengers and their belongings and along with that the availability of all wheel drive to get them confidently to their destinations in foul weather conditions. The 2014 Chevy Traverse stands as a sensible choice as it is a spacious, well performing family vehicle that is so not a minivan. Essentially a vehicle that is designed and engineered especially for those who found themselves bewildered at the lack of large family vehicles, 2014 Chevrolet Traverse, while misses on some charm, still manages to grab attention with its looks, features, availability of space comfort and safety.
The design of 2014 Chevrolet Traverse has seen a little change since it was first introduced in 2009. Last year the tall station wagon underwent mini touch ups in the front and rear while it still stands miles away from the GM termed “an athletic new exterior design”. The façade is refreshed in the new Chevrolet Traverse but what is more striking are the Camaro influence tail lamps which break though a factory-farm of same-as crossover design. On the inside, the Traverse is nothing exciting, but it is extremely functional. With last year’s freshening up the SUV sports new wood and silver accents, some contrast stitching and ambient lighting. Other add-ons from the last year also include the reconfigured climate control and more soft-touch materials.
Although the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse isn’t as quick or as agile as a sports utility vehicle since it isn’t, but it is quick enough for a family vehicle. At about a massive 5,000 pounds the Chevy Traverse is one heavy vehicle and it does little from behind the wheel to mask that. Running on a smooth 3.6 liter direct injection V6 engine the monster produces 288 horsepower and 270 pond feet of twist. Engineered for more confident passing power and quicker shifts, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse still is a combination that needs to work hard up highway grades or from a standing start. That aid, the beast can tow up to 5,200 pounds which is impressive and highly functional. The vehicle comes with a choice in the front wheel drive or all wheel drive configurations, however, the AWD versions are a little more sluggish.
For those who bid their goodbyes to their minivans and decided not to bow down to that image again, the Chevrolet Traverse still remains one of the most spacious, passenger friendly vehicles on the market. Since the primary mission of the Traverse is people moving the GM has made the most of the seating space in the vehicle. The safety features in the Traverse impress greatly. But the exterior of the Traverse disappoints with a blander look than earlier. Moreover, the great market of large crossovers offer SUVs like the 2014 Ford Flex, the Mazda CX-9 and though a little bit smaller but excellent, the Hyundai Santa Fe. Still, with its handsome styling, huge cabin and impressive day-to-day functionality, the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse stands firm in its position in the current population of the family-friendly crossovers.