Tag Archives: SUV

2010 Lexus RX 350 SUV

Lexus, never ones to leave a product stagnant for long, have revamped and added some new tech to the cabin of the 2010 Lexus RX 350.  Some of the highlights include being able to dial out via voice command and other improvements to the user interface.  The cabin also includes the luxury cabin essentials that Lexus has become known for, like high quality paneling.

2010 Lexus RX 350 Cabin

2010 Lexus RX 350 Cabin

Some industry experts are upset that Lexus has yet to revamp their navigation system.  For some there are just far too many buttons to push to get where you are going.  This is a segment that should quickly be addressed, considering the inexpensive after market options for vehicles.

Lastly, the power train for the Lexus RX 350 has yet to be upgraded to the latest technologies.  It relies on aging tech that is not the most efficient on the market place.  And, in today’s market efficiency and the greener claims you can make, the more vehicles you will undoubtedly sell.

But hey, if you are one that buys a vehicle based on it’s cabin interface system then you will not go wrong with the 2010 Lexus RX.  The cabin controls are handled through the mouse like device picture below.

Lexus RX 350 Mouse

Lexus RX 350 Mouse

2010 Subaru Forester

It’s time to start talking about Subaru, especially posting figures that sound like a 34% increase in sales for 2009.  One of the key models in the Subaru lineup responsible for such gains is the Forester.  Unlike other competing brands, the Subaru Forester sales have increased over 32% compared to figures in 2008.  But why?

The closest comparable competitors to the Subaru Forester would be the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota Rav4.  Looking at these comparables the Forester is the least expensive to offer all wheel drive, starting at just over $20,000.  Other experts believe the success of the Subaru Forester lies in the fact that it is just the right size, not overwhelming large, and not so small as to put it in another class.

Subaru hopes to continue to the success of the Forester in the 2010 model year.  Pricing has already been set and for a baseline automatic expect to pay around $22,000, compared with $23,000 and up for the other competing manufacturers.

Another driving force behind the success of the Subaru Forester is it’s ability to offer utility and still provide adequate gas mileage in this competitive and green conscious market.  The 2010 Forester checks in at 24mpg with the 2.5l Turbo Charged 4 cylinder engine.  Pretty impressive, especially considering the 2010 Forester produces over 220 horsepower.

2010 Subaru Forester

2010 Subaru Forester

Save on previous year model Subaru Foresters.
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Do Motorcycles Pollute More Than SUVs?

Green Motorcycles

Green Motorcycles

Recently there was a post in the The-Grayline.com automotive forum stating that motorcycles pollute more than trucks and SUVs.  The thread starter claims that the typical motorcycle will emit 10 times more pollutants compared to a passenver car, light truck, or SUV.  Personally, I find it hard to believe, but is there any truth to the inefficiency of motorcycles.

California has already taken steps to to make sure all motorcycles on the road are meeting or exceeding emission standards.  However, these standards are different than passenger vehicles and may reflect a lower requirement.  In February of 2009 California issued legislature to require maintenance and smog check checks every year for motorcycles.

An argument more fitting to the emissions of motorcycles is, don’t we have bigger fish to fry?  I mean, motorcycles are typically driven only a few months out of the year, compared to passenger cars that are driven year round.  So, focusing on such a small percentage of the actual problem shouldn’t we work on broader strokes?  Even more to the point, if it’s a single person getting from A-B isn’t it more efficient to drive a motorcycle than a 4 passenger vehicle?

SUV And Truck Comparisons

[ad#Google Adsense]Comparing an SUV with a Truck many will say is like comparing an apple to an orange. Is a SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) considered a truck? Or better yet is a truck a Sports Utility Vehicle?  To figure that out we need to define what a truck really is. Can the two be separated into two different categories? Like this: a truck has an open back bed and the SUV is a heavier sporty van.

Truck owners will say that a truck is a pickup in which you can carry 4’x8′ sheets plus. The SUV owner has this to say: a SUV is a passenger vehicle which can combine the towing capacity and strength of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan meshed with on or off road capability.

With today’s gas prices there are quite a few Trucks and SUVs for sale countrywide. The following are important facts to consider when looking for new or used trucks and SUVs.

Drive/Tranny: Most trucks come with either manual and automatic transmissions as well as two- and four-wheel drive—SUVs also have both transmission options however most SUV’s are 4x4s

Size: Trucks fall into the compact or full-size category, although there are a couple considered mid-size—SUVs come built on either truck or car chassis.

Safety: Most trucks offer such safety equipment as front air-bags and seat-belts for each passenger—SUVs come with the same.

Passenger Capacity: Trucks have 3 body styles. 1) Regular cab has 2 doors and seats 2-3 comfortably. 2) Extended cab mainly adds extra storage space behind the front seats. 3) Full sized Crew cab version can seat 3 additional passengers with 4 doors—SUVs offer full seating in the front for 2 and 3 in the real with 4 side doors.

Versatility of Interior Seating: Most trucks with crew cabs offer the ability to either fold the entire rear seat up or at least one half—most SUVs have fold down seats too or the rear seats can be taken out too.
Towing Ability: This all depends on the size of the truck and its engine—SUVs can also be used for towing, the weight varies with engine size.

Operating Costs: A compact truck is relatively fuel-efficient and fairly cheap to insure however as you add size and cylinders so will the cost of insurance as is the addition of four-wheel drive to any trucks—SUVs are higher to insure them trucks.

Fuel efficiency: This again depends on the engine and body size of the truck—SUVs can be slightly more gas-thirsty, especially if they’re towing.

When buying a used Truck or SUV the only consideration has to be given to the purpose of the vehicle. With other words the construction worker would probably get better use out of a pick-up truck and the SUV would deliver a slightly sportier experience.

Mercedes 5th SUV

Mercedes has been in the SUV business since 1997 and now 12 years later they are introducing the GLK350, the 5th Mercedes SUV/Crossover.  This all new SUV is a slightly tuned down version of the GL SUV and priced respectably at $35,000.  I’m surprised any Mercedes vehicle, let alone a large SUV, can drop below $40k, so color me impressed.

Green drivers will be pleased to hear that the large SUV is capable of 21 miles per gallon on the highway.  That figure becomes even more impressive when you consider that the GLK350 is pushing close to 270 horsepower.  It goes to show that Mercedes has a long running commitment to efficiency and engineering to produce that kind of power in an SUV out of 3.5 small liters and 6 cylinders.

My concern is that bringing an albeit well priced Mercedes SUV this late to the market may not be a smart move.  It’s happening all over the US, families are trading in a Mercedes in the drive way for a paid off house.  We’ll see how sales place the GLK350 in the SUV market and whether or not Mercedes plans on trimming back some of it’s oversized line ups.

Mercedes GLK350

Mercedes GLK350