Several 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.
It’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?
The 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.
An 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.
The 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
I 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.”
It’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?
With 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.
Considering the conservative, best-selling Accord, Honda stretched its manufacturing boundaries with the Element. Since its debut in 2003, the vehicle has frequently been described with … Read more