2011 Audi Q5 First Impressions Review – Equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that packs a punch

Friday March 18th, 2011 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Price leader in its class
  • No decontenting in performance or luxe due to low price
  • Extremely stable in all conditions

Misses:

  • Paddle shift would be nice
  • Exterior a tad plain-Jane
  • Mirrors obscure side views

You might succumb to reverse sticker shock because the price of this Audi is so low. Opt for the new-for-2011 turbocharged, 4 cylinder, Q5, and your base price is just $35,200. The 2.0 liter power plant used across the VW/Audi model range in everything from the Golf to the A4 makes its debut in the Q5 this year. Yes, you do lose 69hp by choosing the 211hp turbo 4 instead of the 270hp V6. But that slight concession in power saves you thousands in base price at little cost in ultimate performance. There’s still plenty of pop for passing maneuvers, plenty of quiet for freeway cruising, excellent overall gas mileage (20 city/27highway), and lots of tow capacity (4,400 pounds). Trailer hitch pre-wiring is a nice standard feature.

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2011 Lincoln MKX First Impressions Review

Thursday March 10th, 2011 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Luxuriant and well put together
  • Heated front and rear seats and steering wheel
  • Panorama dual sunroof

Misses:

  • Distracting Disneyland dash
  • Useless up/downshift button on gear selector stick
  • Needs to lose some of its 4,251 pound curb weight

If you’re looking for a mid-size crossover SUV for less than $50,000, then you’ll want to consider Lincoln’s newly empowered MKX. Last year, the 4,251 pound Lincoln depended on a modest 3.5 liter V6 to produce 265hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. This year, Lincoln has upped displacement of the V6 by 200cc. The enlarged engine now makes 305hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, a 15 percent increase that improves performance and pulling power. The 2011 MKX steps out smartly when asked to accelerate, yet despite the bonus power, the new MKX gets better gas mileage than its predecessor (19/26MPG versus 17/23MPG).

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2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X Review

Monday March 7th, 2011 at 3:33 PM
Posted by: mash

By Mary Ellen Ash

Yays:

  • Excellent interior space – leg-room and storage
  • Standard All-Wheel Drive
  • Good MPG – 21 city, 27 hwy (25.5 mpg observed)
  • Integrated GPS, stereo, and Bluetooth
  • Extra large moonroof

Nays:

  • Minimalist center console
  • Cheap plastic interior and poor panel alignment
  • Uninspired vehicle design
  • Uncomfortable rear seating

Verdict: Not fancy or overly stylish, but it is rugged, reliable and versatile for many occasions

The Subaru Forester is one of Subaru’s best selling vehicles — a five-passenger mid-sized SUV that offers impressive interior and cargo space, good fuel economy,  and standard AWD  — making it a strong contender for active SUV shoppers and outdoor enthusiasts who are on a budget. Subaru is well known for building very practical cars, minimizing all the frills to give you an economical car that gets the job done. Period. As with its previous iterations, the current Subaru Forester is still a strong entry in the constantly growing mid-sized SUV segment and is comparable to its best-selling competitors from Honda and Toyota.

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2011 Porsche Cayenne S Tiptronic Review – The Ultimate Familying Machine?

Monday February 28th, 2011 at 12:22 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Porsche Cayenne S
By Danny Chang and Derek Mau

Pros

  • Awesome handling
  • Great power when you floor it
  • Futuristic interior
  • Sleek and sporty exterior

Cons

  • Exterior styling is a bit bland and lacks distinction
  • Smallish trunk
  • Hard to drive with your wife and baby in the back and your wife complaining you’re going too fast

I’ve test driven quite a few SUVs for CarReview.com over the past few years, including two high performance premium luxury models – the BMW X6 M and the Land Rover Ranger Rover Sport Supercharged. So, needless to say, when offered the chance to take the new 2011 Porsche Cayenne S out for a spin, I was super excited. I mean, who wouldn’t be when you get to drive the ultimate sport utility vehicle? The question on my mind was not whether this Cayenne S was going to be a true “sport” utility vehicle, but whether it would make a good family vehicle. Or, in Porsche marketing parlance, the Ultimate Familying Machine.

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Mercedes-Benz MFA Compact Coupe and SUVs to Hit the U.S. Starting in Summer 2013

Monday January 31st, 2011 at 3:11 PM
Posted by: aquadog

Mercedes-Benz AMG B-ClassDue to the American preference for smaller cars and to keep up with rivals BMW and Audi, Mercedes-Benz announced it will be releasing a new compact car family based on the new Mercedes Front-wheel-drive Architecture (MFA), that will hit the U.S. starting in summer 2013.

The new series will include coupe (“baby CLS”) and SUV versions and possibly a convertible or a shooting brake version geared towards a younger clientele. There will also be two hatchback versions (next generation A- and B-class models) offered in Europe; however, Mercedes has no plans of bringing them to the U.S. unless there is a demand. Read the rest of this entry »

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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 Review – Marching to a New Rhythm

Monday January 24th, 2011 at 3:11 PM
Posted by: Derek

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

By Derek Mau

Hits:

  • Smooth power delivery from 290 hp Pentastar 3.6L V6 engine
  • Quadra-Trac all-wheel drive system will never leave you stuck in the mud or snow
  • Leather-lined seats provide the support and comfort for all-day driving trips
  • Interior quality and design on par with some luxury-class vehicles
  • 2nd row passengers also get heated seats

Misses:

  • iPod interface and controls have poor ergonomics
  • Owners need to pony-up for the Trail Rated Quadra-Drive II system if they plan to do any rock-crawling

The recovering car market has welcomed the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee with a brass band. Chrysler reports November 2010 sales were up from those of November 2009 by 256 percent. Fresh optimism pervades Chrysler’s headquarters and technical centers in Auburn Hills, Mich., where dozens of new employees and engineering consultants have been quietly brought on since last fall to revamp the company’s product line, with help from its new Italian partner and parent Fiat. While Italian automaker Fiat now controls Chrysler, development of this Grand Cherokee began in 2006, when Chrysler was still tied up with Daimler-Benz (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz). Cue the music.

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2011 Audi Q5 2.0T Review – The Benchmark Among 5-passenger Crossovers

Monday January 17th, 2011 at 4:11 PM
Posted by: the911guy

By Dan Tsuchiya

Pros

  • Attractive styling that appeals to both genders
  • Direct injection turbocharged engine with power that comes on very early
  • Handling feels closer to a European sport sedan and AWD to boot
  • Ultra-luxurious cabin with intuitive controls

Cons

  • Exterior side mirrors are really big
  • Luxury isn’t cheap
  • Can get thirsty if you have heavy feet
  • Some interior squeaks

Many years ago there was a mini-sport utility vehicle called the Jeep – versatile, rugged, and largely uncomfortable. The Jeep’s popularity spawned multiple knock-offs from every carmaker — from the ill-fated Suzuki Samurai to the successful RAV4. All three continents have been trying to get it right for the past 30 years and it wasn’t until automakers tried converting cars into sport utility vehicles that the modern compact SUV was born.

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2011 Infiniti QX56 Review – Bigger is Better!

Friday December 10th, 2010 at 1:1212 PM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Pros:

  • Amazingly nimble handling with surprising lack of body lean
  • Huge interior and more rear legroom than flying business class on Jet Blue
  • Powerful engine with excellent acceleration
  • Beautiful interior with incredibly comfortable seats
  • The traction of all-mode 4-wheel drive
  • A twin-turbo V8 that has more than enough muscle to haul your Airstream trailer and gets respectable MPG

Cons:

  • Controversial exterior styling
  • Ultra-wide chassis almost requires a “wide load” sign on the rear bumper
  • Cargo room behind third row is disappointingly small

The 2011 Infiniti QX56 is obscenely huge—across many dimensions. The 4WD version we tested tips the scales at 5,850 pounds or three tons with me on board. It’s also got a mammoth 5.6 liter engine that burps out 400 horsepower and 413 lb-feet of torque. Harnessing this engine is a seven-speed transmission which helps it to eek out an surprisingly efficient 14/20 mpg rating. The rig also roles on dubs; 275/50 series tires wrap 22 inch rims – yes, 22 inchers! In fact, at 208 inches long and nearly 80 inches wide, this behemoth is actually longer and wider than the Cadillac Escalade and positively dwarfs our 2006 Toyota Highlander. Infiniti keeps the jiggle to a minimum, though, by using hydraulic shocks to compensate for its mass providing surprisingly svelte handling.

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2010 Honda Pilot First Impressions Review

Thursday November 18th, 2010 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

By Gary Chan

Pros:

  • Quiet cabin
  • Velvety smooth engine
  • Lots of storage space for trips
  • Kick-ass A/C system

Cons:

  • Mediocre fuel economy (The ’11 Chevy Suburban has an EPA rating of 15/21 with a 5.3-liter V-8!)
  • Center stack from the Space Shuttle
  • Shift handle is too high
  • With 2nd and 3rd-row in use, rear storage is limited

In the Pilot Seat
My how the Honda Pilot has grown over the years! From its humbler, smaller beginnings to its current 8-person hauler, besides size, it’s grown in sophistication. As a driver that regularly takes long weekend trips with friends and family, functional space and features are very important to me. Loaded with tons of features, would this Pilot “be ready for almost anything” as the Honda website advertises? Would it be ready to swallow the camping and racing gear for two or three-people going to a triathlon as well as a Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

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CarReview's Best SUV and Crossover Choices of 2010

Monday October 18th, 2010 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: ggaillard

best_suv_crossover_2010_300x230Five Standout SUVs/Crossovers – CarReview’s Recommendations for 2010

By Greg Gaillard and the CarReview editorial team

In the 1990s when the practical minivan began to seem passé, consumers turned their heads and wallets to the fledgling Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market for some excitement to suit their new active lifestyles. The watchful eye of corporate marketing caught the emerging trend and aggressively promoted the ready-for-anything aura of the new Ford Explorer and instantly identifiable Jeep Cherokee. It worked.

Over the next 20 years manufacturers have refined the SUV from an inefficient 4 door truck glazed with rugged styling into some of the more sophisticated vehicles on the market. The crossover refinements have spawned a dizzying array of choices all called SUV or some variation if SUV (Think BMW’s sports activity vehicle designation for its X-series). While today’s models are much better than their forbearers, picking the best SUV/crossover is not as easy as it once was.

CarReview believes the current market has some great SUVs that do something better than the rest. To select the top 5, contributors used criteria that align with the original vision for the segment.

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Posted in Audi, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Ford, GMC, Honda, Volvo |Tags:, , , , , , , || 3 Comments »


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