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Top 10 Cheapest SUVs
With the growing crossover segment, the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market is slowly dying. Still, it’s got life in it yet and no cute-ute can replace the pure utility of a go anywhere, do anything body-on-frame Sport Utility Vehicle.
If you’re in the market for one and the Cadillac Escalade is a bit out of your budget, AutoGuide has compiled a list of the top 10 cheapest SUVs available today. True, they’re not all strict SUVs. Nonetheless, these are all seriously capable machines.
Each week, we recap the most popular videos from AutoGuide‘s YouTube channel just in case all seven days passed you by and you missed out. This week, AutoGuide launched a trio of vehicle reviews that appeal to three different demographics. Check them out below.
Like Mariah Carey’s ancestry, modern crossover vehicles have unusual roots. The award-winning American singer’s family tree is more varied than the flora of a rainforest understory. Her unique blend of nationalities includes African, Venezuelan and Irish. That’s more ingredients than Belorussian variety sausage. Who’s hungry for some lean, finely textured opossum?
Welcome back to the all-you-can-eat Top-10 buffet! You know you want more, and AutoGuide’s happy to serve up another heaping helping of facts, neatly garnished with a sprig of fun. Grab a plate, load it up and tuck in to another generous portion of automotive infotainment.
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
Honda is recalling 310,773 Pilot SUVs from the 2009-2011 model years for faulty driver and passenger seat belts. There is a possible issue of the seat belt anchor detaching due to an unfinished seat belt anchor webbing during the sewing process. The first issue was reported back in May 2010 with the seat belt anchor detaching and another was made in July, which prompted an investigation for the recall.
Notifications to owners will be sent out next month and if necessary, dealers will replace the seat belts on the vehicles.
Ford is about to launch an EcoBoost powered Explorer SUV. The new EcoBoost engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with direct injection and a turbocharger and returns 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg highway.
The Ecoboost option will be limited to the front-wheel drive model only and have a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. The engine will produce 240-hp at 5,500 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and only requires 87-octane at the pumps. Ford said the Ecoboost Explorer will cost $995 more than the regular V6 model.
Ford is quite proud of this engine boasting that its technology bests the Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee by five mpg highway, the Chevy Traverse by four mpg and the Toyota Highlander by 3 mpg. The EcoBoost Explorer is currently being launched, so expect to see models in the showroom very soon. Given Ford’s success with the Ecoboost F-150, and the 2011 Explorer’s strong sales numbers, the Explorer Ecoboost should be a hit.
Volkswagen of America does not have plans to offer the Passat Wagon in North America. Despite reports of the Passat wagon undergoing testing in the U.S, the vehicle was never intended to be sold here.
Part of the problem is that wagons have lost substantial market share with the advent of crossovers. Volvo, which has always offered the traditional station wagon, no longer offers either the V70 or V50 in North America because of slumping sales. With VW’s focus on achieving big sales numbers, the automaker doesn’t see the wagon as a worthwhile endeavor. Volkswagen is instead working on a three-row crossover, priced like the Honda Pilot or Ford Explorer for around $30,000, as many former station wagon buyers have shifted to this segment. For anyone who still enjoys Volkswagen wagons, the Jetta SportWagen is still available.
[Source: Car and Driver]
“B-Spec Rally Fit” and “Desert Pilot” sound like the names of Steven Seagal characters, but they’re actually Honda’s attempt to tackle the 89th annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.
The Rally Fit is a modified version of the Fit that aims to keep things as stock as possible, while the Desert Pilot makes no pretentions about its purpose-built roots.
The Fit is designed for rallycross and stage rallying, and features a roll cage, new suspension, 205/50R15 BFGoodrich R1 tires, and camber adjusters. It debuted at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill last year and will feature parts available from Honda Performance Development available at dealers.
The Desert Pilot stems from Honda’s CR-R stock Honda Ridgeline entries in the Baja 1000, which won in its class twice. It features a tubular space-frame chassis built around a modified version of Honda’s 3.7-liter V6, churning 400 horsepower behind the drivers. Widened bodywork, four-wheel independent suspension with King shocks, and 35-inch BF Goodrich tires turn the Pilot into something a little cooler than your aunt’s Home Depot shuttle.
Both are expected to race at Pikes Peak on July 26th. After that, the Desert Pilot will race in Class 6 in a variety of off-road events, finishing with the Baja 1000. The B-Spec Fit will be raced in more rallycross events.
Click the jump to see what the Fit looks like.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that Honda‘s Odyssey is destined to be a brisk seller. As the undisputed king of the minivan segment, the Odyssey is still popular even with an onslaught of new competitors from Chrysler, Dodge, Kia and Toyota.
The rest of the lineup isn’t so hot. The Insight is being outsold by an 8-1 margin by its arch rival, the Toyota Prius, while the Crosstour’s projected 40,000 sales aren’t materializing, with the car selling closer to 20,000 units. The CR-Z also appears to have slowed after a promising start, although sports car sales are always dismal in the colder months.
Honda faces a predicament, since the rest of their lineup, like the Civic, Accord and CR-V are all fairly old, and due for replacement. But with only stagnant or unappealing products in the showroom, 2010 will be a dismal year for the big H. Hopefully the company can pull out of their nosedive, but their legendary maverick attitude (and accompanying arrogance that their way is the right way, market desires be damned) may see a number of lean years before their once faithful customers return.
The results are in and a host of new SUVs have made the cut. Joining the list for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Award recipients are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2011 Kia Sorento, and the 2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza.
It takes a sturdy vehicle to become an IIHS Top Safety Pick. To drive off with one, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in front- and side-impact tests, as well as head restraint design for rear crash protection, and roof strength. As well, it has to come standard with electronic stability control. Vehicles are rated on a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor.
Roof-strength is the most difficult test to pass, and the SUVs tested at this time demonstrated a roof strength-to-weight ratio of 4-to-1 or greater (meaning roofs held up under more than four times the vehicle’s weight before the top is compressed five inches). Some examples of outcomes for this test: the Toyota Highlander roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight, while the Toyota Venza’s roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.
Some SUVs that didn’t make the cut were the Ford Edge, Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano. The Edge earned an Acceptable roof-strength rating, while rest were rated Marginal.
The IIHS is an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Demand for Honda’s light trucks, like the CR-V, Pilot and Ridgeline, with the company posting a 33% sales increase for light trucks compared to 2009.
High demand and lower inventory levels mean that Honda has been able to stave off the barrage of incentives that rival Toyota has been promoting, due to a series of recent quality problems with their staple products like the Camry. Honda executive Vice President John Mendel warned dealers not to get overconfident despite a sharp rebound in sales last month.
“We’re saying don’t compare yourself to the last day you felt good, which was last year.,” Mendel said. “Try to compare yourself to where you were in April, May of 2007, 2006, and try to focus on that in terms of, if you’re coming back, where should you be.”
[Source: Automotive News]