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suvs

The 2016 Lexus RX 450h Review: In the space of a single year, the Lexus RX has gone from being one of the most innocuous, almost invisible SUVs to one of the most daring.
Check out its new nose. It looked so big, so aggressive and so over-the-top in photos that I was worried Lexus might have ruined the driving feel of this vehicle, long known for being soft, silent and inoffensive, with a body to match. Driving the new RX for the first time, though, I was relieved to find it still had the smoothness and ultra-quiet ride of its ancestors. Given the dramatic new styling, I half expected it to have a wailing engine and sports-car suspension, but no. Thank goodness.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2016 Lexus RX 450h

The 2016 Chevrolet Trax Review: A war is heating up over the next generation of economy cars. Just like mid-size, tough-looking crossover vehicles have replaced the four-door sedan as America’s family car of choice, the same thing appears to be happening to efficient compact cars. A whole new category of vehicles is cropping up called subcompact crossovers that offer good gas mileage along with the practicality and style of a tiny SUV. And if the car companies’ predictions are right, vehicles like this, the Chevrolet Trax, will soon be dominating the entry-level market.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2016 Chevrolet Trax

The 2015 Ford Expedition Review:  Big SUVs and V8 engines go together like peanut butter and jelly, but Ford is rocking the sport-utility world by eliminating the V8 from its full-size Expedition for 2015. Taking its place is a heck of a power plant: the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that delivers a whole lot more power while burning less fuel.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2015 Ford Expedition

The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban Review:  The Chevrolet Suburban turns 80 this year, making it the oldest nameplate in the automotive world, and I can’t think of a better way to mark its birthday than with an all-new design. I just spent a week driving the 2015 Suburban, and while there are plenty of upgrades and cool doodads to like on this fresh generation, I’m even more impressed with the fact that it stays true to its roots after eight decades.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2015 Chevy Suburban

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Review: General Motors has a lot riding on the Chevrolet Tahoe. Along with the Suburban, its longer-wheelbase sibling, it generates tremendous revenue for the corporation’s 103-year-old mainstream brand. Periodically, it gets updated to keep its position as the leading full-size SUV in the market. For 2015, it’s that time again.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2015 Chevy Tahoe

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee Review: The Jeep Cherokee name goes back to 1974, but it became a pioneer in the SUV market in 1984, when the second generation offered rugged Jeep characteristics in a more comfortable package. It was one of the main reasons that Chrysler bought Jeep back in 1987.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2014 Jeep Cherokee

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Review: As an answer to Ford's Explorer, the original Pathfinder, based on Nissan's successful pickup truck, moved people with sport and utility. Now, more than 25 years later, the fourth generation of 2013 jettisons its truck platform for a unibody and becomes a crossover, and the timing is right.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

The 2012 Nissan Xterra PRO-4X Review: Most families want a quiet, comfortable, spacious car for driving down the road, which is exactly why crossover vehicles have become so popular. A smaller number of people, though, prefer capability over practicality, and that's why the Nissan Xterra exists.

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 2012 Nissan Xterra PRO-4X


The 2012 GMC Acadia Denali Review: For the third week in a row, I'm driving a General Motors crossover that costs somewhere around $50,000.
Back in the olden days, say, 10 years ago, that would have meant I was driving the exact same vehicle three different times, only with different badges on the hood. GM was notorious at the time for "badge engineering," which was the thing lazy car companies did when they wanted to design one vehicle and sell it at several different dealerships.

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 2012 GMC Acadia Denali

 

The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ Review: The Chevy Equinox was a knockout when it was introduced two years ago. It was a good-looking, five-seat crossover vehicle with all the best attributes of the "new GM" cars that have been launched in the past couple of years. It had a dramatically nicer, quieter cabin and better driving feel than GM vehicles of old.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

The 2011 Nissan Murano Review: They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's the case, the Nissan Murano ought to be blushing from all the compliments it's getting. When it was introduced in 2003, the Murano looked freakish. It was curvy and sleek at a time when SUVs were more likely to be boxy. It was also a sales hit because of its car-like ride and suave interior, both of which were a rarity in '03.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2011 Nissan Murano 

The 2011 Ford Explorer Review: The Ford Explorer arrived with the 1990s and became America’s favorite family transporter. Based on the popular Ford F150 pickup truck, it was rugged and roomy and wore sleek and attractive styling. A huge hit, and it defined the segment.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2011 Ford Explorer 

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review: For the past few years, the Chrysler Corporation has made a lot of cars that looked great on the outside, but disappointed on the inside. As it entered its later years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was the same way. It had rugged good looks on the outside, but inside it was putting on pretensions of luxury. It won people over for its off-road ability more than its cabin construction.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Infiniti FX35 Review: In its second year after a major redesign, the FX35 model offers you lots and lots of, well, everything. This tall wagon / crossover piles on the luxury, safety, and high tech features, while treating you to true comfort and upscale aesthetics.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2010 Infiniti FX35

Jeep Patriot Review: Depending on your point of view, this is either one of the best Jeeps ever produced, or one of the worst. If you're a Jeep purist who thinks it's impossible to improve on the Wrangler, that off-road beast that feels like it could drive right over your house, then you probably think the Patriot is watering down your perfect brand. It's soft-spoken and polite when everyone knows Jeeps are supposed to be fueled by adrenaline and human blood.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2010 Jeep Patriot

SUV Review: This isnít the best of times for sport utility vehicles like the LR2. Despite a drop in fuel prices to a five-year low over the last few months, peopleís minds are still focused on economy, if theyíre car shopping at all, so buying an SUV today takes impeccable credit and perhaps an act of faith.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2009 Land Rover LR2

SUV Review: Diesel engines have a well deserved reputation of being noisy and smelly. We normally think of them clattering under the enormous hoods of industrial haulers. Or we may have friends who use diesel pickups for heavy-duty hauling. Remember the Diesel Rabbit? Slow. Recall Oldsmobileís failed experiment with Diesels in the 1980ís? Sigh.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2009 Mercedes ML320

SUV Review: There's nothing particularly unusual about how the new 2009 Kia Borrego looks. It's a big, traditional SUV with a truck-style frame. The Kia Borrego can be summed up simply: It's a really good SUV at a really bad time.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2009 Kia Borrego

SUV REVIEW: On one hand, Land Rovers are legendary off-road performers. On the other, they are luxurious cruisers for the well-to-do. As the newest and smallest Land Rover, the LR2 attempts to blend the best qualities of a fine sedan with the rugged off-road ability of an SUV.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2008 Land Rover LR2

SUV REVIEW: Mazda's seven-passenger SUV, the CX-9, got rave reviews and racked up more awards than any other SUV last year. It was named the North American Truck of the Year, Motor Trend's SUV of the Year, Kelly Blue Book's Best New Family Vehicle, Cars.com's Family Car of the Year, and probably a thousand other "of the years" that I can't remember.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2008 Mazda CX-9

SUV REVIEW: The Jeep Liberty sits in the middle of a rapidly growing lineup of SUVs from the company that has made them for a very long time. Now all new for 2008, the new Jeep Liberty assumes more of the chunky, squared-off look of the Jeep Wrangler.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2008 Jeep Liberty

SUV Review:  While it shares a platform with the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, the Buick Enclave looks more seductive than both its siblings.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2008 Buick Enclave

SUV Review: At the large end of the SUV market is the Nissan Armada, a competitor to the likes of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. I tested an Armada a couple of years ago and was impressed with it then. So how has it held up over the years? Relatively well I would say.

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AutoWire 2008 Nissan Armada

SUV Review: Nissanís Pathfinder debuted in the mid-1980s as a real, truck-based sport utility vehicle. Like its numerous competitors, it has grown and expanded its offerings over the years. Now, for 2008, Nissan has introduced the first V8-powered Pathfinder.

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AutoWire 2008 Nissan Pathfinder

San Francisco: Kia is one of those car companies that is under appreciated. Whenever someone thinks Kia, they envision inexpensive cars for the income limited or cost conscious. Too bad, because Kia builds some darn fine vehicles.

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AutoWire 2007 Kia Sorento

San Francisco: Hummer didn't tone down the styling on its smallest vehicle, the H3. Owning up to its militarized look, it's still a rolling billboard that screams, "I want to melt the ice caps." But thank goodness to at least the interior in the H3, as it is by far, the best in any Hummer product. And at $30,000, it's also the cheapest.

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AutoWire 2007 Hummer H3

San Francisco: The MDX, Acuraís first SUV, debuted in 2000 as a 2001 model. For 2007, it is reborn. Other than the trademark caliper logo inside the pentagonal grille, not much was carried over from the í06.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2007 Acura MDX

San Francisco: Chrysler has felt left out of the full-size and large SUV market. Despite fielding the Dodge Durango, there was no luxurious large SUV in the fold. Now there is. Taking the Durangoís form but giving it a Chrysler style, the Aspen is designed to take the feeling of the wildly successful 300 sedans and pump it up to SUV status.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2007 Chrysler Aspen

San Francisco: It's an open secret that most people who buy SUVs never take them off-roading. Oh, sure, they might find comfort in the fact that their four-wheel-drive American MegaCrusher is capable of scaling the Andes in six seconds flat, but in reality the furthest they go off pavement is in the grass parking lot outside their kid's Little League baseball field.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2007 Nissan Xterra

San Francisco: With the popularity of large luxury SUVís on the wane, it is the smaller, but still substantial midsize crossover vehicles like the Cadillac SRX that are becoming the new choice for many family buyers. Offering much of the utility of an SUV, these tall station wagons are based on car platforms so they ride more comfortably and handle more like sedans.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2007 Cadillac SRX

San Francisco: There are few things more depressing in the automotive world than driving a new Isuzu. Oh, I suppose wrecking your Ferrari might top it, or perhaps having to trade in your beloved sports car for a minivan - or even having to carpool with Richard Simmons. Those things would make you want to swallow the business end of a shotgun.

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AutoWire 2007 Isuzu Ascender

San Francisco: Back at the end of the last century, Nissan introduced a special offroad ride. The first generation Xterra was truckish, strong, and independent, not an SUV for soccer moms or family vacations, but a real transportation module for active lifestyles. You want leather seats? Better look elsewhere!

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AutoWire 2006 Nissan Xterra

This Week's MiniVan Articles:

San Francisco: The Nissan Pathfinder looks like a truck, and guess what? It is one. Unlike crossover vehicles that use a car-like frame to improve comfort on pavement, the Pathfinder has a truck-like ladder frame designed for off-road performance. It's becoming rare to find a truck that's truly a truck.

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AutoWire 2006 Nissan Pathfinder

San Francisco: Unless youíve been living under a rock or hiding in a Pakistani cave, you know by now that gasoline will never again cost less than $2 a gallon and that hybrids are selling like hotcakes, for a niche market. You also know that the worst vehicles for fuel economy are big, heavy SUVs and ultra-high-performance sports cars. Enter the 2007 GMC Yukon.

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AutoWire 2007 GMC Yukon

San Francisco: Pulling out all the stops on redesigning its fleet of cars and trucks, Chevrolet is making it clear that it will not lose any more ground (nee, market share) to any and all of its rivals by bringing more new product to life this year. We got a chance to spend a week with the all-new 2007 Tahoe and what a ride it is.

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AutoWire 2007 Chevy Tahoe

San Francisco: With gas prices passing the $3 mark in America and heading upwards, interest in gas-guzzling behemoth SUVs is waning precipitously. What better time for Subaru to introduce an alternative to the old-fashioned SUV?

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AutoWire 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

San Francisco:  Until now, it's been easy to compare the Mercury Mountaineer to its near-identical twin, the Ford Explorer. Mercury's new 2006 Mountaineer, though, would make a better comparison with the bigger Lincoln Navigator.

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AutoWire 2006 Mercury Mountaineer

San Francisco: While its basic, boxy shape is unchanged, the front end of Ford's all-new Explorer is slightly more aggressive. It's an example of how the Explorer is evolving into a more refined, less truck-like vehicle over time. Ford's top-selling SUV gets a major makeover for 2006 and now the Explorer is better than ever. 

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AutoWire 2006 Ford Explorer 4x4

San Francisco:  The Grand Cherokee has fulfilled its role as a rugged, yet luxurious, family wagon for nearly a decade and a half. Now in its third generation, it adds power to its list of accomplishments. The Grand Cherokee now comes with Chryslerís popular Hemi V8 engine.

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AutoWire 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee

San Francisco:  In the ever-increasing world of high-priced ad campaigns and catchy catch phrases, Pontiac did it again with it's latest barrage of ads by proclaiming their new SUV as the first ever Pontiac Torrent, following the first ever G6...Call me when it's safe to watch TV again.

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AutoWire 2006 Pontiac Torrent

San Francisco:  How many of those SUV drivers really go off road? Is it five percent? Three? The Nissan Murano is meant for people who would like to carry some cargo now and then but want a car, not a truck, for their daily driver.

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AutoWire 2006 Nissan Murano

San Francisco:  Toyota is the current leader in automotive hybrid technology and to keep that lead they just introduced another vehicle in their hybrid lineup, the 2006 Highlander Hybrid SUV. This SUV comes in 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive models and gets 32-MPG city and 27-MPG highway for a combined EPA rating of 30 MPG.

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AutoWire 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV

San Francisco:  If youíve been craving the macho power of a Hummer but are waiting until Hummers become drivable in normal traffic and more affordable, youíre in luck. The new H3 is here, delivering much of the Hummer go-anywhere talents and brick-house styling in a much more accessible package.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2006 Hummer H3

San Francisco:  I've always liked driving Acuraís. There's something about the way they mix precision, comfort and value that makes them a perfect compromise - a step above ordinary cars, but not so expensive and outlandish as to make you feel guilty.

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AutoWire 2005 Acura MDX

San Francisco:  The GMC Envoy Denali is the latest addition to the wide-ranging Envoy lineup. It offers more luxurious features and a quieter cabin to give it the Cadillac treatment with a GMC badge. Good interior materials and construction make the Envoy feel upscale, especially in the Denali models.

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AutoWire 2005 GMC Envoy

San Francisco:  As Honda introduces, for 2006, a great big pickup truck, itís probably a good time to take a fresh look at another remarkable truck in the companyís arsenal, the 2005 Honda Pilot SUV.

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AutoWire 2005 Honda Pilot

San Francisco:  Back in 1995, I tested drove my first Kia, the Sportage mini-SUV. While cute, Kia was still a work in progress. Fast forward to the all-new 2005 Kia Sportage and you can see how far the Korean automotive industry has come in a few short years.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2005 Kia Sportage

San Francisco:  A couple of years ago when Volvo introduced the XC90 I asked a Volvo executive what was the point? Volvo has always been known as a "winter" car. With the XC90, was Volvo introducing a winter, winter car? The answer of course was marketing. SUVs were hot and getting hotter.  All Volvo had were sedans and station wagons, so the easiest thing to do was change a car into an SUV.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2005 Volvo XC90

San Francisco: The archetypical Jeep may be the rock crawling, go-anywhere Wrangler, based on the vehicle that helped win World War II. But today, the top of the Jeep heap is the Grand Cherokee. Designed to fit in at the country club or on backcountry off-road venues, the Grand Cherokee offers comfort and amenities that Beetle Bailey can only dream about.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

San Francisco: No, we didn't place the wrong picture here. When you've got a sagging brand like Mercury, what do you do? If you're an executive with Ford Motor Company, you take the hot-selling Ford Escape, change a couple of things around, and rechristen it the Mercury Mariner. The new Mariner looks, drives, feels and even smells an awful lot like the Escape, yet - aw, heck - that's the whole story.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2005 Mercury Mariner

 

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San Francisco: I recently spent a week in what may be the best Jeep, definitely the best Jeep Liberty that Californians cannot buy, at least new. The 2005 Jeep Liberty Common Rail Diesel (CRD) does not meet California’s strict oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emission standards. Too bad, this is one heck of a nice Jeep.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2005 Jeep Liberty

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San Francisco: Thanks to its near-perfect mix of price, handling and style, the Ford Escape has been a hit since it was introduced in 2001. No matter. It’s already time for a new one, Ford says. The 2005 Escape has a new look and feel to match its intense competition from both domestic and foreign companies.

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AutoWire 2005 Ford Escape Limited

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San Francisco:  Starting this year, environmentalists will be a little more timid when they gripe about SUVs. That's because sport utility vehicles - long criticized for their gluttonous appetite for gas and dirty emissions - are turning green. Several manufacturers are planning more efficient models for the coming years, and the first to the market is Ford's 2005 Escape Hybrid.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid

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San Francisco: With the boxy look of a traditional Land Rover, the Discovery combines immense off-road capability with a surprising level of comfort. It can drive almost anywhere, yet it still feels smooth, quiet, and refined around town.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Land Rover Discovery

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San Francisco:  The Nissan Murano's bulbous shape gives it the practicality of an SUV with the feel of a sports sedan. It's a luxurious and refined SUV that doesn't even hint at having off-road ambitions.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Nissan Murano

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San Francisco: Suzuki's XL-7 doesn't just look like a tough, off-road SUV, it's the real thing. Unlike its car-based competitors, it rides on a truck-style frame that makes it durable enough for extreme off-road driving.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Suzuki XL-7

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San Francisco: The Jeep Wrangler is one of the worlds best 4 wheel drive vehicles that you can buy today. No one has ever questioned the Wranglers ability to cross the Rubicon trail or go off road virtually anywhere in the world. It’s the rather hash ride that most people complain about. Well that problem has been solved. Meet the new for 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

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San Francisco: Dodge’s all-new Durango impresses with its size and power, but its bloated styling could use some work. Thankfully, it has the power to match its big-rig front end with an available 5.7-liter Hemi engine.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Dodge Durango SLT

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San Francisco: Mary Poppins would have no need for a car - after all, why drive when you have a flying umbrella - but chances are she'd be awfully tempted by the Honda Pilot. Like Ms. Poppins, Honda's latest attempt at satisfying America's voracious appetite for SUVs is among the best mannered, civilized, kid friendly vehicles on the road.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Honda Pilot

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San Francisco: If I say to you, "Volkswagen," I’m guessing you picture the little Beetle in your mind. It’s as likely as if I ask you to imagine a pink elephant. Decades after the old rear-engine, air-cooled econo-bugs disappeared from American showrooms, the company successfully introduced the front-engine, water-cooled New Beetle, and we accepted it. The memories are that strong.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 VW Touareg

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San Francisco: Ever since Volvo introduced the first three-point seatbelts in1959, this Swedish automaker has been an industry leader when it comes to safety. Therefore, when Volvo developed its first SUV, the XC90, safety was high on the priority list. However, Volvo showed that very safe vehicles don't have to be dull and boring.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Volvo XC90

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San Francisco: If you want to see an automotive superstar, forget about spotting a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Just look in your neighbor's driveway. Chances are you'll see a Ford Explorer parked there, the suburban equivalent of Tiger Woods - trendy, stylish, athletic, and wildly popular. Americans love this Ford truck enough to make it the world's best-selling SUV for more than a decade.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Ford Explorer

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San Francisco: When you're an automotive critic, your job is to find the best and worst in new cars. Sounds easy, right? Take it from me - some vehicles are harder to criticize than others. Just look at the Mazda Tribute, a cloned version of the Ford Escape.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Mazda Tribute

 

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San Francisco: Like Buick's sedans, the Rendezvous exudes a sense of classic American style without looking blatantly retro. Yards of chrome trim and a handsome body give it a unique look, while the grille is unmistakably Buick.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Buick Rendezvous

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San Francisco: Back in the days before car and truck ads were everywhere, rock icons seldom gave permission for their work to be featured in an advertisement. Sometime in the last decade or so, all that changed. Look no further than rock icon stalwart Bob Seger and his now infamous "Like a Rock" slogan that Chevrolet has been using to tout its pickup trucks for some time now.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Chevy Tahoe

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San Francisco: Mitsubishi has joined the ranks of crossover vehicles that combine the best features of a car and an SUV with the 2004 Endeavor, already in dealer’s showrooms. The Mitsubishi SUV lineup now includes the compact Outlander, the Endeavor, the Montero Sport, and the top-of-the-line Montero.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor

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San Francisco: How's this for a novel idea: an SUV that acts like an SUV. In this crazy world where automakers try to woo sport-utility buyers with terms like "car-like ride" and "nimble handling," it's nice to see Nissan is still making a truly rugged SUV - not one that just looks the part.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Nissan Xterra

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SAN FRANCISCO:  Unlike virtually all other automakers, Isuzu markets only SUVs and minivans in the North American market – the Rodeo, Axion and new for 2003, the Ascender. The Ascender replaces the long running Trooper.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Isuzu Ascender

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SAN FRANCISCO:  Hot on the heels of the revamped CR-V small sport utility vehicle comes Honda's new Pilot. Designed in Ohio and California to meet the needs of Americans, this new midsize SUV chases the Ford Explorer in a way the Isuzu-sourced Passport never could.

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'99 Volkswagen Passat Sport Sedan 2003 Honda Pilot

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SAN FRANCISCO: The women's magazines my wife enjoys frequently run articles that teach canny shoppers how to get the Saks Fifth Avenue look on a K-Mart budget. The $300 purse is replicated for $39.95, the $5,000 dress for $199. It is much the same for the attractive new Kia Sorento midsize sport utility vehicle.

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AutoWire 2003 Kia Sorento

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SAN FRANCISCO: For many years, Mercury has made its livelihood by selling traditional American full-size sedans. A few years ago, Mercury introduced the Mountaineer sport-utility vehicle to expand its lineup and to attract some younger buyers. Mercury's sport utility vehicle arrived with good lineage, being based closely on the enormously popular Ford Explorer.

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AutoWire 2002 Mercury Mountaineer

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SAN FRANCISCO:  The Nissan Pathfinder is a serious SUV, not a pretender like some of its competitors in the near-luxury SUV market segment. Watch the nightly news long enough, and you’re bound to see white Pathfinders with UN painted of their roofs. Four-wheel-drive models are really meant to be driven off road over very rough terrain. While the 2002 Pathfinder got a revised front facia and grille, it still has a less "Tonka" truck look compared to the 2002 Nissan Frontier and Nissan Xterra.

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AutoWire 2002 Nissan Pathfinder

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2002 Subaru Forester SUV

SAN FRANCISCO:  Riding high on its Outback line, Subaru took a chance two years ago and introduced its own ground-up SUV, the Forester. Since its introduction, Forester sales have remained high and its popularity growing. We had a chance to spend a week in one and we’re here to tell you that you don’t need a mainstream SUV to get all the SUV advantages.

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AutoWire 2002 Subaru Forester SUV

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2002 Chevy Trail Blazer

SAN FRANCISCO: As the SUV war heats up, with at least 20 new models waiting to be introduced over the next year, automakers are trying to outdo each other with each new launch by making their respective vehicles bigger, better, stronger and safer than the other guys’ products.

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AutoWire 2002 Chevrolet Trail Blazer

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2002 Ford Explorer

SAN FRANCISCO:  The new-for-2002 Ford Explorer has finally been launched to the general public, and might we say, it is well worth the wait.

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AutoWire 2002 Ford Explorer

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2002 Olds Bravada

SAN FRANCISCO:  No matter who it is, whether teacher, professor, parent or boss, they always say the most important thing is the first impression. A good first impression can get you in the door. A bad first impression might ruin a relationship for its duration. Our first impression of the redesigned for 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada was mixed to say the least.

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AutoWire 2002 Olds Bravada

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2002 GMC Envoy

SAN FRANCISCO: After years of looking at the rear end of Ford’s Explorer in the midsize SUV sales race, GM seems primed to move ahead (or at least alongside) with the introduction of its new trio of trail tamers. The 2002 GMC Envoy, the Chevy Trailblazer and the Oldsmobile Bravada.

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AutoWire 2002 GMC Envoy

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2002 Isuzu Axiom

SAN FRANCISCO: The new 2002 Isuzu Axiom is one of the growing breed of "crossover" vehicles that combine the versatility of a sport utility vehicle with the styling and luxury of a sedan, or really a station wagon. Since it received rave reviews as the ZXS concept vehicle at the 1999 Tokyo Auto Show, Isuzu rushed the Axiom into production with few changes from the concept version.

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AutoWire 2002 Isuzu Axiom

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2001 Ford Explorer Sport 4x4

SAN FRANCISCO:  This week, we test drive Fords popular two-door Explorer Sport, one of the nicer looking sport utility vehicles on the road today.

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AutoWire 2001 Ford Explorer Sport 4x4

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2001 GMC Yukon SUV

SAN FRANCISCO:  Many people like the go-anywhere, go-anytime capability available with four-wheel-drive. However, some don't like to turn knobs or pull levers to get in and out of 4WD. The answer could be the SmartTrak Road Management System that is standard equipment on Oldsmobile's sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Bravada. Unlike all-wheel-drive (AWD) where the vehicle is always in 4WD that is offered by other manufacturers, SmartTrak normally operates in an "all-wheel-drive standby" mode.

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AutoWire 2001 GMC Yukon SUV

 

2000 Oldsmobile Bravada SUV

SAN FRANCISCO:  Many people like the go-anywhere, go-anytime capability available with four-wheel-drive. However, some don't like to turn knobs or pull levers to get in and out of 4WD. The answer could be the SmartTrak Road Management System that is standard equipment on Oldsmobile's sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Bravada. Unlike all-wheel-drive (AWD) where the vehicle is always in 4WD that is offered by other manufacturers, SmartTrak normally operates in an "all-wheel-drive standby" mode.

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AutoWire 2000 Oldsmobile Bravada SUV

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2000 Isuzu Trooper

SAN FRANCISCO:  The sport utility vehicle boom has produced trucklike cars and carlike trucks. The Isuzu Trooper, neither a pickup-based people mover nor a tall, all-wheel-drive station wagon, has offered genuine off road ability and a roomy, comfortable on road experience for fifteen years. The Trooper, Isuzu's flagship, resembles a Range Rover, with a tall, square roofline, upright windshield, and flat surfaces. The 2000 model receives a revised, two-slot grille, new taillights, and new paint colors and two-tone treatments.

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AutoWire 2000 Isuzu Trooper SUV

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2000 Dodge Durango

SAN FRANCISCO:  For decades, dating back to the original "muscle car" era of the 1960s and early 1970s, Dodge has been Chrysler’s, now DaimlerChrysler’s, performance division. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Dodge’s entry in the mid-sized sport utility vehicle arena is available with lots of muscle. Based on the Dodge Dakota pickup, the slightly smaller brother to the very macho Dodge Ram truck series, the Durango has the muscular good looks to go along with all the muscular V8 engines under the hood.

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AutoWire 2000 Dodge Durango

 

2000 Nissan Xterra

SAN FRANCISCO:  Nissan thinks sport utilities have gotten too soft and too darn expensive, so they have introduced the new Xterra, named after the XTERRA Championship off-road triathlon event. The 2000 Xterra offers rugged, functional, off-road access and hauling with no frills and no apologies.

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AutoWire 2000 Nissan Xterra

 

'99 Jeep Grand Cherokee

San Francisco:  Jeep's Grand Cherokee, a major player in the midsize, upscale sport utility derby, gets a new suit of clothes this year, which, without sharing a single body panel with the past model still conveys the same rugged image.

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AutoWire'99 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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