Toyota techs up the 2008 Toyota 4Runner with an available Urban Runner Package, an experiment in integrating a portable navigation device into the car's dashboard. The navigation device is a TomTom, branded as a TomTom Toyota, and it does much more than simple navigation, potentially catapulting the 4Runner into the ranks of the most technically advanced cars. But the inclusion of the Urban Runner Package affects the 4Runner's electronics and cosmetic details, without changing the SUV's off-road capabilities. The ride height is unchanged, and our four-wheel-drive version included a locking center differential and a hill descent program. … Read more
The 2008 Suzuki XL7 Limited is about as much crossover SUV as you can get for the money. Its ride quality and cabin materials might not be on a par with those of other models in the segment, but the XL7 Limited does pack an impressive payload of features--including one safety-tech system that we've not seen anywhere else.
Here's one that's sure to chap the hides of eco-warriors everywhere: An engineering lecturer from a university in the U.K. has converted a full-size Hummer H3 into a remote controlled toy.
So those folks who get bent out of shape when they see people commuting alone in ginormous SUVs will really love the idea of a Hummer that can pollute without anyone in the car. Now that's progress.
James Brighton from Britain's Cranfield University converted the new right-hand drive version of the H3 in about a month's time. No doubt it's certainly an … Read more
I had a chance recently to test drive two of the cars whose creators are bent on changing the way we view transportation, a converted all electric Scion eBox by Silicon Valley startup AC Propulsion, and a Saturn Vue Greenline hybrid. Both were highly enjoyable. The first, with a $70,000 price tag and a $10,000 deposit, is clearly an EV targeted at Conspicuous Sustainability consumers. I guess then, that the Saturn Vue Greenline … Read more
Let's say you want to impress your golfing buddies but are afraid of accidentally doing bodily harm to them with a mini-Hummer. There's another way to state your machismo, with the "Berline Cadillac Escalade Golf Cart."
It's actually a little cheaper than the Hummer too--if $13,995 can be called cheap at any juncture, that is, for a golf cart. That buys you "a hand-laid fiberglass body, marine-grade vinyl seats, custom paint and chrome mirrors," according to Uncrate, though a custom hard top will cost more.
The Escalade cart is electric despite its … Read more
General Motors is banking on the increasing demand for fuel-efficient cars by launching hybrid versions of two of its full-size SUVs: the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe. And although the cars aren't slated to go on sale until this fall, GM is already busy building buzz.
The new models, available in both two- and four-wheel drive, use a "two-mode" powertrain designed jointly by GM with BMW and Daimler-Chrysler. This Hybrid Operating System (HOS) allows the car to operate either on electricity or gasoline, depending on the power needs of the car.
Think you're safer in an SUV? Think again.
Cars topping the Forbes "Top 20 Most Dangerous Vehicles" list include a crossover-SUV and two pickup trucks.
While Forbes gets too much into the methodology on how its list is compiled, it makes the good point that frequently crashed cars are not necessarily the most dangerous. (They could simply be the most popular among young and inexperienced drivers.)
And boring does not automatically mean safe. The No. 1 car on the Forbes list, the 2007 Buick Rendezvous crossover SUV touted by Tiger Woods in commercials, got only a three-star … Read more
Mazda says it's come up with a car technology that's the closest thing to having eyes in the back of your head. The "Back Up Camera with Auto-Dimming Mirror Display" promises to do precisely what the prosaic name indicates: Its rear-view mirror has an LCD screen that appears only when the car is in reverse, otherwise concealed by a special coating (called "transflective," whatever that means).
The idea is to eliminate blind spots with a built-in camera that sends a live feed to the 2.4-inch screen embedded in the mirror, which will be … Read more
ZAP is giving four-wheeling enthusiasts a proverbial peek under the hood. The electric car maker just released some conceptual drawings of its ZAP-X Crossover SUV.
The ZAP-X Crossover SUV will feature all-wheel drive, with in-hub electric motors, a design that aims to deliver 644 horsepower and a top speed of 155 mph. But most electrical vehicle buyers have one thing in mind: "How far can I go, before I need to juice up?" The ZAP-X Crossover aims to reach a 350-mile range before it needs another 10-minute charge.