What better place to experience Toyota’s all-new RAV4 than in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California? Staging out of the Carmel Valley Ranch, Toyota gave journalists and analysts the chance to drive the all-new RAV4. As Toyota’s top-seller in 2017 with about 400,000 units sold, Toyota cannot afford to make a mistake that would damage its sales potential. The RAV4 started the XSUV (crossover SUV) category in 1996. The 2019 version is the fifth generation of RAV4.
TNGA-K Platform: From a product standpoint the all-new RAV4 is a significant upgrade to its predecessor. Riding on Toyota’s new TNGA-K (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, the RAV4 rides and handles very well. The body is tight and the ride is quiet – [...]
Driving the new Cadillac XT4 on the excellent country roads around Seattle and Bainbridge Island revealed a vehicle that is well conceived and well put-together.
Let’s Talk About the Styling: Cadillac designers and engineers have developed a vehicle with outstanding proportions using an all new platform. They have pushed the wheels out to the corners of the vehicle so the stance of the XT4 is great. Some small XSUVs seem too narrow and too tall. The XT4 looks wide enough to have a very purposeful appearance.
The styling cues are pretty distinctive. Cadillac is known for unique “light pipe” daylight running lights. The XT4 goes the typical light pipe one better. An eyebrow flowing towards the grille from the vertical light pipe gives XT4 a hard-to-miss look. Carried over into the vertical taillamps, XT4 takes advantage of new LED lighting technology. While XT4 looks modern, it does not rely on an extremely fast windshield to [...]
What could make spending a few days in the beautiful northeast Canadian Province of Newfoundland better? Spending it driving the new 2019 GMC Sierra. Spacious, comfortable and smooth-riding, the Sierra Denali was a joy to experience, as a driver and passenger.
Steady and Smooth
Exploring the countryside through curves, hills, small towns roads and highways, it was easy to forget I was riding in a truck. The “brace yourself” moments when you expect to jerk to the side, or feel the dreaded bed bounce never arrived. Redesigned from the ground up, the new Sierra Denali has Adaptive Ride Control, a Denali-exclusive, that adjusts damping for exceptional control and ride.
The 2018 Hyundai Accent looks good and doesn't look particularly downscale. Accent now has the signature Hyundai grille. Its profile is semi-fastback like the Sonata. The ride is good. Handling is better than many small cars. Ergonomics are excellent.
Having a new Jeep Renegade Trailhawk over the long July 4th weekend, I took it to Costco for the quarterly bird seed, cat food replenishment. At first I was wondering if the Renegade was up to the task. Does a small crossover SUV have the capacity to take the load?
There were fourteen bags of bird seed and two of cat food. Plus the package of 30 rolls of toilet paper. Would they fit? Plus, would they fit with the other stuff we bought? Removing the tonneau cover over the cargo area and folding the rear seats were required to fit in the load. There was room to spare. Probably could have doubled the number of bird seed and cat food bags.
The all new VW Tiguan gives Volkswagen a much needed competitor in the hot compact crossover SUV market. Competing with the likes of the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, Tiguan has to be outstanding to win in the consideration set including those vehicles. Is it good enough?
In Jeep's quest for 2 million Jeeps globally, the brand is adding the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Produced in four assembly plants globally, Jeep clearly has high expectations for the Compass. At the same time, there is a dance occurring among FCA's American assembly plants to maximize Jeep capacity and allow additional new Jeep products like the Wagoneer line and Wrangler pickup to be added.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a compelling all-electric crossover vehicle with a 238-mile range. That range pretty much eliminates range anxiety for a majority of its drivers. The powerful 200-horsepower, 266 lb-ft of torque powerpack delivers acceleration worthy of a turbocharged small car. The Bolt EV is the real deal.
Daimler’s Sprinter commercial van has been a pioneer in the North American market, introducing commercial customers here to the tall and slab-sided European-style van format all the way back in 2001. Today, this format’s U.S. sales surpass that of the traditional American-style van as the latest full-size commercial vans from Ford and FIAT Chrysler Automobiles have followed Sprinter’s lead.