Sport Utility Vehicles

Mitsubishi Outlander, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Mitsubishi Outlander, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review 1The 2005 Mitsubishi Outlander is the least expensive of the Japanese manufacturer’s three sports utility vehicles. It’s compact, nicely designed and offers more standard features than many SUVs nearly twice the price. But the Outlander faces a tough challenge.

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Honda Pilot, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Honda Pilot, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review 2Like its popular brethren, the CR-V, Odyssey and new Element, the Pilot completes Honda’s best-buy SUV and van line. And like any of those offerings or anything else in Honda’s arsenal, it’s hard to find serious fault with the Pilot.

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Ford Escape (Hybrid), 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review

ford-escape-1The 2005 Ford Escape is the fourth addition to manufacturer’s SUV line, the first hybrid in the class and it makes an impressive debut. The Escape is economically and environmentally smart, and for those still unimpressed by SUVs, the vehicle could easily change their thinking. The 4-door, all-wheel drive 5-passenger rig has a 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine assisted by an electric motor.

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Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review 3With the addition of the 5.3-liter, 325-horsepower V8 extended cab (EXT), eight Chevrolet Trailblazer models are on the road in 2005. And as the largest and most powerful Blazer available, the new EXT has plenty to offer.

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Honda CR-V, 2005: The Weekly Driver Car Review

HondaCRV1Several years ago, a friend loaned my wife and me a front-porch bench. It’s made of iron and wood and it’s heavy and awkward to carry. On a recent weekend, it was time to return the bench. Its owner, once a neighbor, now lives nearly 100 miles away. With remarkable ease, my wife reconfigured the back seat arrangement of the new-look, more spacious 2005 Honda CR-V, and the cargo area opened flat and cavernous.

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Volkswagen Touareg, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Volkswagen Touareg, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review 4It’s named after a nomadic, hearty Saharan tribe with the unusual-sounding name, TOUR-egg.  Literally translated, the word means “free folk.” So what better way to test drive the Touareg is the first SUV offered by Volkswagen — than during an open-road, 400-mile round-trip journey to the famed Monterey Peninsula?

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Cadillac SRX, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

2004srxThe naming of new cars must be a curious process. Animals are popular choices for various makes and models, and those selections often make sense But in recent years it seems manufacturers have one only criteria — the more obscure the name, the better. Volkswagen has its Touareg and Phaeton. Toyota has the Prius. Pontiac has the Vibe. Oldsmobile has the Alero.

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Pontiac Vibe, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Pontiac Vibe, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review 5An 18-wheel vehicle will always win, and every truck driver knows that. But there I was on a freeway entrance ramp, with a slight advantage on a huge transport vehicle and momentarily battling with a truck driver who just didn’t want a 171-inch long Pontiac Vibe showing him up.

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Saturn Vue, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

2004SaturnvueThe recent retro design trends of several manufacturers don’t pertain to Saturn. It’s only been around since mid-1990. But with its 2004 Vue, the compact sports utility vehicle, stylish retro interior accouterments help uniquely position the model in the increasingly crowded category

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Buick Rainier, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Buick Rainier, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review 6I pulled into an angled side street parking spot and two gardeners began to stare at my vehicle with puzzled looks. Did I park over the line? Did I not see a fire hydrant? Did I miss some other restricted parking designation? “Hey guys, anything wrong?” I asked. “No, nothing,” one replied. “I just haven’t seen that car before. That’s Tiger Woods car, isn’t it? It’s really a great-looking S.U.V.”

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Acura MDX, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Acura MDX, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review 7It’s hard to imagine all sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are purchased for the same reason. With the 2004 Acura MDX, for example, it’s hard to imagine anything but luxury. In fact, isn’t its classification as a luxury SUV an oxymoron?

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Mitsubish Endeavor, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review

Mitsubish Endeavor, 2004: The Weekly Driver Car Review 8With the popularity of sports utility vehicles ever increasing, Mitsubishi now has nearly every use for SUVs covered — off-road jaunts to around-town sportiness, family transportation to large commercial loads. The Endeavor joins Mitsubishi’s offerings in 2003 as a mid-sized V6 with a 3.8-liter engine built on the pending 2004 Galant’s chassis.

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