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7 Major Characteristics of the 2017 Toyota 4Runner

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In a nutshell, the 2017 Toyota 4Runner is the auto equivalent of a multipurpose Swiss knife. It has everything you need from an SUV and more. Whatever you need it to be, the 4Runner will have your back. Thanks to its size, power, and that macho appeal, you can trust it to tow your boat, climb a mountain, carry seven passengers, and haul a variety of items such as picnic tables, barbeques, tents, and other supplies.

And yet, it still has the capacity to fit solo drivers. That is, if you love massive SUVs that can do anything you ask of it.

Strong and Dependable

No matter what you need, the 4Runner will offer comfort, versatility, and reliability because of its body-on-frame construction that features a 4-link rear axle and coil-spring suspension. You can choose between a 2WD, part-time 4WD with a two-speed transfer case or a full-time, multi-mode 4WD with a two-speed transfer case and locking center differential. All variants with four-wheel drive will have 9.6 inches of ground clearance.

There are three TRD models: the TRD Off-Road, the TRD Off-Road Premium, and the TRD Pro. Aside from these, the 4Runner is also available as the SR5, SR5 Premium, and the Limited.

Macho, Spunky, and Full of Character

Whether it’s freshly bathed or looked like they were born out of mud, the 4Runner will always look stunning. Physically, it has that catchy, bad-ass look that will make heads turn on the streets. All 2017 4Runners have projector beam headlights and LED rear combination lamps. The SR5 and TRD models have 17-inch alloy wheels that are available in three different designs: the 6-spoke design will be standard for SR5 and SR5 Premium, the 7-spoke design for the TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium, and the TRD Alloy painted matte black for the TRD Pro.

Powerful and Durable

Under the hood of all 4Runners, you’ll find the 4.0-liter V-6 that can produce 270 horsepower and 278 lb. ft. of torque, thanks for being paired to a 5-speed ECT-i automatic transmission with sequential shift mode. The torque will allow the 4Runner to tow a maximum of 5,000 pounds with a maximum of 500-pound tongue weight.

3 Things To Look Out For In The 2017 Rolls-Royce SUV

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Finally, Rolls-Royce is joining the SUV party. It’s better late than never, and we expect nothing but great things from Rolls’ Project Cullinan.

The production model of the Rolls-Royce SUV will be tested at the Arctic Circle by the end of this month. After proving itself in the coldest place in the planet, it will head to the Middle East where its ability to combat extreme heat will be challenged.

1. Exterior

Based on the spy shots released by Rolls itself, we can deem that the company will not be trying to revolutionize the way SUVs are made. This is, after all, their first foray in the segment and they want to be as safe as possible. Through the camouflage, we can see that the SUV will sport the same massive chrome grille and a pair of slim headlamps similar to the Ghost and Phantom sedans. What differs this are the larger bumper and skid plate placed below the grille.

The rear end will differentiate Rolls from all the other SUVs in the market. It used a wagon-like roof and tailgate, the latter supporting larger, horizontal taillights. So it can ride higher, the Rolls will feature 22-inch (if not larger) wheels.

2. Interior

What we can expect from the interior is that it will be draped in leathers and Alcantara with wood veneers and aluminum slapped on the dashboard and door panels. No Rolls Royce owner ever drives their own car (right?), so we can expect the backseat to mirror a first-class plane seating. All the features in the cabin will be customizable and Rolls’ Bespoke division will allow buyers to configure the SUV to their liking.

3. Drivetrain

A lot can still change here since it will be a while before Rolls releases the SUV, but we can expect a V-12 engine, as well as Ghost’s twin-turbo, 6.6-liter mill mated with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. This pairing can produce 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, making it the second most powerful Rolls Royce after the Wraith.

Unfortunately, you have to be really, really, incredibly rich to afford the Rolls Royce SUV, which will most likely have a price tag of around $350,000.

Three Things To Learn About The 2018 BMW X3

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If you’re a fan of the current BMW X3, you’ll be happy to know that the same snappy performance, elegant interior, and reasonable pricing are packaged in an all-new next-generation 2018 BMW X3.

Spotted testing once again, the new X3 is likely to arrive in showrooms starting next year as a 2018 model. Aside from what we enjoy with the current model, the German automaker added other elements to make this the perfect crossover SUV. What does anyone want in an SUV? Power, aerodynamics and cargo space. All of these you can find in this next-gen X3.

1. More Interior Space

Crossover SUVs have suffered tremendously for its failure to offer adequate interior and cargo space like it’s bigger brother, the SUV. It’s understandable why since the crossover wasn’t made to rival the SUV. It was just made to be bigger than the sedan, but significantly smaller than the SUV. The focus was on ground clearance than interior space. But thanks to a more efficient engineering and the use of lightweight materials, the 2018 X3 is equipped with a larger interior.

That is thanks largely to the adoption of the CLAR modular platform that was first seen in the 2016 7-Series. The SUV version will be debuting in the X3, and will likely appear in the new X5 and X7 as well.

2. Diesel and Plug-in Hybrid Options Available

For those of you waiting for a battery-powered electric X3, this isn’t the year for that, unfortunately. Under the hood of this new X3, you’ll find almost the same engine as that of the latest 3-Series. This means that the crossover is offering BMW’s new B58 modular 3.0-liter inline-6 and inline-4 units, including diesel and plug-in hybrid options. The battery-powered electric X3 will arrive towards the end of the decade.

3. Performance Variants are Coming

There will be an X3 M40i and X3 M, the latter was apparently spied in prototype form. Its engine will be coming from the M3/M4 line which produces 425 horsepower. These performance variants will have an aggressive body form that is also wider than the current X3.

5 Important Features Of The 2018 Toyota CH-R

Let’s go straight to the point. Toyota outdid themselves with the new CH-R, their entry to the SUV crossover segment. It made its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, where it wowed motor enthusiasts with the very aggressive styling, rich interiors, and a competitive drivetrain options.

1. Exterior

The CH-R will remind you of the Hyundai Veloster because of the C-pillar-mounted door handles on the rear. These handles nearly intersect with the sloping roof, making for the sporty and aggressive design, which Toyota calls “distinctive diamond.” Up front, the CH-R looks a lot like the RAV4. But thanks to the unconventional design of the bumpers, grilles, fog lights, air scoops, and angular panels, the CH-R can easily be set apart.

The funkiness and slightly rugged look of the CH-R continues at the back and finished with 18-inch alloy wheels and rear spoiler that protrudes over the liftgate’s glass.

2. Interior

What you’ll find inside is a refined and polished design for a crossover. The dashboard is made of matte and gloss finish while bits of chrome can be traced in the overall layout of the interior. There’s the 7-inch infotainment screen, the HVAC controls, the leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel, and small driver information screen to complete the interior look.

3. Drivetrain

Under the hood, the CH-R is a typical Toyota. Its power will come from a 2.0-liter natural aspirated four-cylinder that can produce 144 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. The oil pump must be given special recognition. It’s a coaxial two-port oil pump that allows for continuous oil pressure manipulation during different driving conditions.

4. Safety

Toyota packed the CH-R with a variety of safety features, which are normally available for higher-trim models but will not be standard to the crossover. The Toyota Safety Sense P includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function, forward collision warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function, Automatic High Beams, and Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Then, of course, there’s the usual full suite of airbags, seatbelts, rear seat child restraint LATCH points, crumple zones, and a passenger safety cell.

5. Price

There’s no pricing information yet for the CH-R, but prices are expected to be higher than the RAV4. It should start around $25,000.

13 New Spy Shots of the 2019 BMW X7 Emerge

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In 2014, BMW announced plans to make a full-size SUV, the platform of which we are now seeing based on these spy shots. There are no surprises with the design of the BMW X7 since there have been speculations already that it will be patterned after the German company’s next-generation X5.

Here are things you need to know about the X7 before trying to get your hands on it:

Competition

The BMW X7 will compete against full-size SUVs in the luxury arena. In this segment are the Audi Q7, Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Land Rover Range Rover Long-Wheelbase, Lincoln Navigator and upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

Design

There are no surprises when it comes to the design. The X7 looks like a stretched version of the next-generation X5, though the former is more muscular on the front section. Based on the spy shots, it’s easy to see that the grille and lights are all test units. They will be replaced once advanced prototypes have been tested and released.

For the X7, the platform that would be used is the German company’s flexible CLAR, a modular platform which made its debut on the 2016 7-Series and the 2017 5-Series. This platform will be soon used on all BMW models from 3-Series and up.

The CLAR platform promises lightweight construction and compatibility with electrified powertrains. Because of this, we can now assume that the X7 will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, along with the regular V-8 and inline-6 options. A V-12 may also be offered, though expect this to only be available for the M760i M Performance trim.

Interior

The cabin of the BMW X7 will be similar to the 2016 7-Series, especially the cockpit design. It will have three rows of spacious seating, a driver-focused layout, and an advanced infotainment system with gesture control.

Production of the X7 will take place in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It will be introduced in 2018, so it will likely be a 2019 model.

Photos

Here are the latest photos of the camouflaged 2019 BMW X7 from Motor Authority:

4 Facts About The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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Finally, Volkswagen unveiled its 2018 Atlas, a three-row, seven-seater SUV that the German automaker hopes would play a major role in the SUV segment in the United States. This was first previewed in 2013 by the CrossBlue concept.

According to a report, the SUV made its world debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, and will be expected in showrooms in the spring of 2017. Built at the Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Atlas will arrive as a 2018 model.

1. Based on MQB Platform

Similar to the Golf and other Volkswagen models, the Atlas is going to be made from the MQB platform, the largest version available to make a case to be the segment’s most value- and family-oriented SUV. It is expected to go against the Ford Explorer, the Toyota Highlander, the Chevrolet Traverse and the Honda Pilot.

2. Largest Vehicle of VW

With measurements of 198.3 inches in length, 77.9 in width and 69.6 in height, the Volkswagen Atlas is the biggest vehicle in the VW fleet. It has an airy cabin that was almost based on the CrossBlue concept. It features massive knobs, large touchscreen infotainment system, as well as wood trims on the console.

3. Two Powertrain Options

Once launched, the Atlas will have two powertrains. The base is the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that can produce 238 horsepower. The second option is the 3.6-liter V-6 that can cough up 280 horsepower. Initially, Volkswagen wanted to release a diesel option, but the recent scandal hounding it proved too much for the company. Fuel-conscious buyers need not fret because there might be a hybrid option in the future.

A front-wheel drive will be paired with the inline-4 while the V-6 has an option of an all-wheel drive. The 8-speed automatic transmission will be standard. VW said that EPA ratings will be announced when its nearing market release.

4. A/V Tech is Topnotch

Tech items include Fender audio system with 12 speakers, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration. Safety features include forward collision warning, blind spot and lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

Boxy Mercedes SUV: The Living Legend

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Not many visualize an SUV from Mercedes-Benz that is high and box type. But made initially along the lines of military vehicles for the use of the civilians, the G-class SUV from the company has today become one of the oldest of its cars.

Rumors have it that the car was made on the insistence of the then Shah of Iran who happened to be a major shareholder of Mercedes-Benz. This G-class Mercedes was also referred to as G-Wagen. It was made by a company called Magna Steyr that was formerly Magna-Steyr-Puch.

This was the reason why this boxy SUV from Mercedes was called Puch-G where it was sold under the brand name Puch. Introduced way back in 1979, this boxy Mercedes SUV is still being produced by the company.

G-class happens to be a bold and beautiful vehicle from Mercedes. On the one hand it has beautiful sublime looks and it boasts belligerent character.

In many ways, this large luxury vehicle from Mercedes Benz reminds one of a military automobile standing outside a gated community. As an owner, you can take pride from the fact that you get to see the other cars and individuals from a height. But this is just the start as this old and boxy Mercedes SUV which starts at a base price of $120,000 is mighty quick and gives a powerful feeling with its all wheeled drive.

G-class was not available to the people in America surprisingly for a long period of time even though the car found its way into the country through grey market. It was only in 2002 that this SUV got introduced in the USA. It was christened G-500 and fitted with a V-8 engine.

Combining Off-Road Capabilities with Comfort and Safety

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The development of the G-class started in early 70’s when the two companies namely Daimler-Benz and Steyr Daimler Puch started collaborating to design a vehicle that had off-road capabilities but also stood high on safety and comfort. It took years of designing and production with a prototype used to test the off-road abilities in coalfields of Germany and the Sahara desert.

Not many people are aware of the fact that the first of the G-Wagen produced by the company was delivered by the company to the Vatican City where it became the popemobile in honor of the then pope. This particular vehicle, once it retired from the service of the Pope, was permanently shifted to the museum of the company in Stuttgart in Germany. Thousands of people come to take a glance at this revered automobile widely known as The Papa-G.

One of the Oldest Surviving Vehicles in the Stable of Mercedes-Benz

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Today, G-class from Mercedes is like a living legend, being manufactured by the company even after 37 long years. It is undoubtedly a tribute to the engineering and design of this automobile. However, the company has tried its best to make sure that this aging vehicle remains modern and stylish by changing the engine and replacing it with a more powerful and racy one.

There are glaring changes made in the exteriors of this SUV as well to make it competitive with other modern SUVs. One of the reasons why this vehicle is still going strong is because of the desire of the wealthy people to get some more in the form of off road capabilities from this model.

G-class is a good automobile with ample space for the driver and the passengers. Not a lot of space to stretch out but not so small to get you cramped for space. This can be a drawback for many consumers given the fact that there are lots of SUVs available in the market at much lower price that are offering more space to the passengers.

There are many people too who feel that the SUV has been made too high for the owners by Mercedes. It might be a good idea to have better visibility but it is a little awkward for average height individuals to step in and out of this automobile.

Despite its limitations that have become more glaring because of the passage of time and development of advanced automobiles, G-class still sells in high numbers.

2017 Toyota Highlander Will Get Stop-Start Function

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2017 Toyota Highlander Limited Platinum edition. (Photo via Autoblog)

The stop-start technology is nothing new in the world of cars and SUVs. However, Toyota hasn’t introduced the feature yet in its North American vehicles. All that is about to change as the 2017 Toyota Highlander will come equipped with that system.

Simply put, the stop-start technology works by shutting off the engine of the vehicle when it is stationary. Brian Williams of Toyota explained that the integration of the function in their vehicles will allow the Highlander to have a fuel efficiency of one mile per gallon. It will also improve the EPA fuel economy of the SUV.

Even after turning off the engine, the stop-start functionally will still feed electric supply to the vehicle for at least two-minutes during a complete halt or when stopped under a traffic light. The engine is configured to be turned on by default every ignition cycle. Customers can choose to manually shut it off though with a push of a button. The auto stop-start operation is overridden too when the air conditioning unit of the auto is at a maximum or on a grade higher than eight degrees.

Williams revealed that more Toyota models will get the stop-start technology after the Highlander. However, he remained mum though about the specific models that will get it. The report claimed that the larger vehicles of the brand will most probably have it because those are the ones that could benefit more from it. The upcoming 2018 Toyota Sienna is a likely recipient of the system.

Williams estimated that around 85 percent of all 2017 Toyota Highlander SUVs will get the stop-start tech. He added eight percent of the Highlanders that will be sold to customers this year will be the LE trim while seven percent will come from the hybrid variants of the range.

Previewing The 2017 Volkswagen Touareg

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Volkswagen just announced a series of updates for the 2017 edition of the Touareg SUV. The big differences can be seen in the interior details since the V6-powered midsize SUV will unfortunately remain unchanged mechanically at least.

It is renamed the Wolfsburg Edition, and includes a variety of upgrades, according to a report. The mid-level Lux trim level includes these features for 2017: a new brushed aluminum trim inside, stainless steel for the door entry sills and pedals, black headliner, standard heated and ventilated front seats, choice of all-black interior or two-tone Vienna leather seating, and contrast stitching on floor mats, steering wheel and shifter.

A Wolfsburg Edition badge is, of course, also included in the update.

For the wheels, Volkswagen Touareg Wolfsburg Edition buyers can opt between the 20-inch “Tarragona” alloy wheels with a diamond-turned finish or the 20-inch “Mallory” wheels finished in all black. In terms of trim level, another one exists just below the Wolfsburg Edition—the Sport with Technology Package trim level.

For the 2017 model, the Sport with Technology Package trim level includes the following: adaptive cruise control, a lane change assist system, forward collision warning with automatic braking, park distance control, and a heated steering wheel.

If you want something more from the mid-size SUV, you can splurge on the Executive trim level, which, above all of the mentioned upgrades, adds 21-inch alloy wheels.

However, if you’re expecting some upgrades under the hood, you’ll be sorely disappointed as the 2017 Touareg will share the same powertrain as its predecessor. All Touaregs will remain powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

For now, Volkswagen has yet to release details and pricing for the 2017 Touareg, so you have to check back for that. No images have also been revealed, unfortunately, so we have to be contented with some classic renderings.

Rolls Royce’s SUV Is A Daily Car, Not A Monster Truck

rolls royce phantom prototype

There were rumors that Rolls Royce’s new 4×4 SUV was going to be a monster truck. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. BMW’s design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said that it would be “daunting” to build an SUV for RR.

He promised in an interview though that Rolls Royce’s new 4×4 will be “a truly special car,” and that it won’t be a monster truck.

This is certainly good news for everyone who thought that RR’s Project Cullinan would be going toward the direction of building an SUV monster truck. Project Cullinan can be previewed through the Phantom prototype seen in these photos.

The “not monster truck” design has already been approved, and it will assuredly be one drivers can use as an everyday car.

Hooydonk explained that there are a lot of considerations need to be made when building a new model for RR. When the brand started, it had huge wheels that covered a lot of ground clearance because they were used by the Maharajas to travel from Europe to the Far East.

Back then, car companies have yet to categorize cars into sedans, SUVs or trucks. They were just cars, Hooydonk said. Roads back then weren’t smooth, too, so Rolls was built on that premise.

The idea for the new 4×4 is not to interpret the old Maharaja car. Rather, it will be built on the idea that RR cars were used for daily activities across rough roads.

What Hooydonk plans for the 4×4 is to completely move it away from the predicament RR has—that they are too elegant and too sophisticated to be driven. For this “SUV,” Royce wants something that drivers will want to use, instead of to look at only.

To do this, Rolls decides to sit the model on an all-new aluminum space frame structure, which is currently undergoing road testing to ensure a perfectly capable driving experience.

The result? Hooydonk hopes it’s an all-terrain SUV that is fun to drive every day, but not a monster truck, that has a likely V12 engine and the “magic carpet ride.”

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