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Archive for the ‘Trucks & SUVs’ Category

The World’s First Luxury Compact Pickup?

March 30th, 2015

Mercedes-Benz pickup truck

I had to read the date a couple of times when I saw the headline. Stories that seem even slightly unbelievable at this time of year often catch vulnerable folks off guard if they don’t keep a keen eye on the calendar.

On April First of each year, car websites love to see how far they can push the limits of reality as they come up with stories later revealed as April Fools’ jokes.

But the story I read was published prior to April 1. Here it is late March, and news is spreading that Mercedes-Benz will build a pickup.

What could this mean?

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Big Family? Here’s Your Newest Chariot!

March 20th, 2015

2015_nissan_nv_passenger

I used to know a family who went everywhere in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. You know the one. It’s long, tall, and looks dangerously top-heavy as it weaves through city streets.

This was a family who needed the space and weren’t ashamed to drive something out of the ordinary in order to be comfortable.

The traditional 5-passenger car or SUV just doesn’t cut it for large families. My family requires a 6-passenger rig, but if truth be told, sometimes I think an even larger vehicle would be nice, because there is little room for any of the stuff that comes with us.

Another family friend has a similar situation, and has announced her new dream car: a Nissan.

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Next to Go: Toyota Venza, Honda Crosstour, or Ford Edge?

March 18th, 2015

2013-toyota-venza

Yesterday came the surprising news that the Volkswagen Beetle could be axed in favor of something new.

Less surprising is the recent announcement that the Toyota Venza will go extinct within a couple of months.

The Venza, which I like to call a cross between a Camry and an AMC Eagle, was supposed to be a huge hit. It was supposed to drive off dealer lots in droves and be exactly what Americans wanted; a large 4-door, cavernous cross between a wagon and a sedan.

It turns out Americans would rather just have the sedan.

Could the Venza’s exit be a precursor of what to expect from Ford and Honda?

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Grilles: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

March 12th, 2015

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab 4x4-front-three-quarter-03

Let’s spend a little time talking about grilles.

The face of a car defines its personality. Cars have been made and broken, praised and ridiculed, based on the front end alone. Failures include the famous Ford Edsel and, more recently, the Acura Beak.

Successes include recent Audi faces and just about anything with a BMW logo on it.

Truck grilles haven’t received a lot of attention, but one new model is at risk of falling into the category the Edsel invented.

The new 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited needs to stand apart for two reasons, because the competition is fierce, and because it needs to distance itself from the Dodge brand.

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Ready for the Comeback of the Land Rover Defender?

March 11th, 2015

Land Rover's trio of Defender limited editions

We were just showering the Jeep Wrangler with some love and touting its prowess for being one of the best go-anywhere vehicles money can buy.

Well, reasonable money, anyway.

Yesterday came news that another legendary rig would invade the shores of the United States and give the Wrangler some serious opposition. Could this new challenger make the aging Jeep look like a Tonka toy lost in a sand dune?

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Volkswagen Tiguan: The Next Honda CR-V?

March 10th, 2015

 

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

Who’s buying the Volkswagen Tiguan? That’s the first question.

Second, who’s buying so many of them that Volkswagen needs to invest a billion dollars in upgrades to the plant that will make the next version?

The 2017 Tiguan will be built in a plant capable of cranking out 500 of the crossovers per day. Sales figures for the past year in North America tend to average about 2,000 vehicles per month.

That’s a bit of a disconnect, don’t you think?

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Get a Truck and Be a Hero!

March 9th, 2015

Chevy Silverado

“Remember, we’re taking the greenhouse,” my wife said.

My heart fell to my knees. It was bad enough that we had to take the 10 years of stuff that had accumulated in the garage. I didn’t even want to take the living-room furniture.

Moving a couch is hard. Moving a greenhouse must be impossible.

We started our move two weekends ago, which is when the first mention of moving the greenhouse occurred. I’ve been putting it off, because people are meant to move to and from houses, not to move actual houses. And the greenhouse is, let’s not mince words, a house.

It’s a monstrosity that borders on being a permanent structure. Imagine a regular house, replace the walls with plexiglass, and you have a pretty good idea of the task that loomed before me.

The solution involved my brother-in-law, a friend of his, and two capable pickup trucks that made the task almost, somewhat, enjoyable.

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Geneva Goes Bonkers and Delivers Fresh, Fast Metal

March 6th, 2015

koenigsegg regara

Being in Geneva right now would be a lot like being at the birth of the universe and witnessing the unveiling of the first stars.

It’d be completely exhilarating, awe-inspiring, and something you couldn’t wait to tell the people back home.

The Geneva Motor Show always has surprises. It’s the place automakers like to shock the industry and show the world what they are best at creating. This year had some expected surprises, if there is such a thing, but at least a couple of debuts left us wondering how soon they could reach production. Bentley and Aston Martin especially stole the show, but Lamborghini and Koenigsegg delivered cars unlike anything the world has ever seen.

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Jeep Wrangler: Great Vehicle, Bad Value, or Both?

March 4th, 2015

2015_jeep_wrangler

We here at The CarGurus Blog give a lot of love to the Jeep Wrangler. The classic off-roader has garnered a lot of mentions on these pages, with rarely anything negative being said.

Yes, we’ve wished for better fuel economy and better interior quality over the years, but the Wrangler is one of the vehicles you just don’t mess with. It has its shortcomings, like all cars, but they are all overlooked and accepted as quirks by the most fervent of fans.

One influential website, though, has committed an act of blasphemy and included the Wrangler on a list that no buyer wants to see a potential car on: The Worst Values on the Market.

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Will Toyota Finally Build a Diesel Tacoma?

February 27th, 2015
The 2016 Tacoma: Now in diesel?

The 2016 Tacoma: Now in diesel?

Trucks and diesels go together like salt and margaritas. The two just belong together, but in the United States there’s been a wedge in the relationship. What’s kept the high-torque long-lasting diesel engine from the majority of the truck market here?

Money, of course.

All the big bad-boy trucks here have diesel options. Ford, Chevy, and Ram all offer oil-burners made to handle the biggest of the big truck jobs.

But what about the casual truck guy who just wants to tow his boat to the lake under diesel power, but doesn’t want to buy a massive pickup for the job? That guy has some options now.

But not from Toyota.

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