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Archive for the ‘fullsize cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

The S-Class – previously known as the “Special” Class – is Merc’s full-sized coupe and sedan, a flagship luxury vehicle that promises the highest levels of refinement, the finest materials, and the most advanced technology offered by the German automaker. Following its reintroduction in 1972, there have been six generations of the S-Class, with the latest generation introduced for the 2014 model year. But now, the calendar is telling me the date is 2017, and all that luxury, technology, and opulence can be had with some green sensibilities as well. Merc’s latest entry in this segment is the S 560 e, the successor to the S 550 e, which once again seeks to find a balance of both long range and a local emission-free motoring, all with that characteristic Mercedes gloss. The S 560 e just broke cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it when it hits U.S. dealers in 2019, it’s expected to arrive with a twist-happy 3.0-liter V-6, 25 miles of all-electric range, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and plenty of Eco-focused features, plus all the traditional luxury bits, of course.

The S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid is the latest effort from Mercedes as it pushes for more extensive electrification across its entire lineup. Both all-electric vehicles and hybrids are slated to see a big boost in the Merc portfolio, so expect to see the same stuff previewed in the S-Class trickle down to the more accessible models.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

The S-Class – previously known as the “Special” Class – is Merc’s full-sized coupe and sedan, a flagship luxury vehicle that promises the highest levels of refinement, the finest materials, and the most advanced technology offered by the German automaker. Following its reintroduction in 1972, there have been six generations of the S-Class, with the latest generation introduced for the 2014 model year. But now, the calendar is telling me the date is 2017, and all that luxury, technology, and opulence can be had with some green sensibilities as well. Merc’s latest entry in this segment is the S 560 e, the successor to the S 550 e, which once again seeks to find a balance of both long range and a local emission-free motoring, all with that characteristic Mercedes gloss. The S 560 e just broke cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it when it hits U.S. dealers in 2019, it’s expected to arrive with a twist-happy 3.0-liter V-6, 25 miles of all-electric range, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and plenty of Eco-focused features, plus all the traditional luxury bits, of course.

The S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid is the latest effort from Mercedes as it pushes for more extensive electrification across its entire lineup. Both all-electric vehicles and hybrids are slated to see a big boost in the Merc portfolio, so expect to see the same stuff previewed in the S-Class trickle down to the more accessible models.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz S 560 e Plug-In Hybrid.

PostHeaderIcon Ram Shows Love For Tractors with Harvest Edition Trucks

Ram recently debuted a new line of special edition trucks at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois called the Harvest Edition. The package is available on the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 in Quad, Crew, and Mega Cab configurations with all powertrains but the base V-6. Headlining the Harvest Edition are two paint colors: Case IH Red and New Holland Blue. Other upgrades include a one-inch increase in ride height on 1500 models, on/off-road tires, and other farm-ready accessories.

So, what’s the deal with Case and New Holland? Well, both tractor brands are owned by CNH Global – a holding company that also includes Fiat Industrial S.p.A. Ever notice how all the equipment seen in Ram media photos are Case? There’s your answer. (Too bad John Deere isn’t in the mix – that awesome shade of green would look great on a Ram.) Aside from the corporate affiliations and cross-marketing, the Harvest Edition Rams provide a real-life benefit for customers. Not only are the 1500s lifted one inch and come with meaty tires, all models have a specific list of options that cater to daily operations on a farm.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Ram Shows Love For Tractors with Harvest Edition Trucks

Ram recently debuted a new line of special edition trucks at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois called the Harvest Edition. The package is available on the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 in Quad, Crew, and Mega Cab configurations with all powertrains but the base V-6. Headlining the Harvest Edition are two paint colors: Case IH Red and New Holland Blue. Other upgrades include a one-inch increase in ride height on 1500 models, on/off-road tires, and other farm-ready accessories.

So, what’s the deal with Case and New Holland? Well, both tractor brands are owned by CNH Global – a holding company that also includes Fiat Industrial S.p.A. Ever notice how all the equipment seen in Ram media photos are Case? There’s your answer. (Too bad John Deere isn’t in the mix – that awesome shade of green would look great on a Ram.) Aside from the corporate affiliations and cross-marketing, the Harvest Edition Rams provide a real-life benefit for customers. Not only are the 1500s lifted one inch and come with meaty tires, all models have a specific list of options that cater to daily operations on a farm.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser is about as iconic as vehicles come, so it’s a big deal when something changes. For 2018 in global markets, the Land Cruiser is getting a few appearance upgrades and a redesigned dashboard – both in an effort to keep this go-anywhere, three-row SUV flying off showroom floors. Toyota debuted its updated Land Cruiser at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of its on-sale date later this year.

The Land Cruiser’s reputation is rooted in reliability and its rugged dependability in off-road situations, often far from civilization. It makes sense, then, that Toyota boasts about the SUV being “easy to maintain and repair” right in its press materials. You won’t find that in a Land Rover’s press kit. While easy trail repairs isn’t the Land Cruiser’s best selling point in North America where customers view it as a status symbol, many of the 190 countries place an extreme value on making a round trip when leaving the house. Of course, the 2018 Land Cruiser is more than just reliable transportation. It offers plenty of luxury and creature comforts, too. Let’s check out what changes Toyota has made for 2018. Perhaps some of these will even make it to the U.S.-spec Land Cruiser, as well.

Continue reading for more about the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser.

PostHeaderIcon The Mercedes S-Class Family Grows with the Addition of the S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

When the W222, sixth-gen Mercedes S-Class came to the market in 2013, it sat in a niche that was completely void of any real competition. But, after just a few years that changed, with long-time rival BMW introducing the new 7 Series and GM’s luxury division, Cadillac, introducing the full-size CT6 to the market. The S-Class was already competitive enough to hold its own in the full-size luxury segment and was even praised for its superior ride quality, seemingly effortless acceleration, and all of that fancy tech that brought it one step closer to being a true-to-life spaceship on wheels. With the new E-Class coming before this mid-cycle update, Merc had a lot of new tech on its hands, and you certainly can’t have a lesser model sporting better features, so this was the icing on the cake and triggered Mercedes to revamp the S-Class in time for 2018. Now that we’re approaching the holiday season and the new year, Mercedes saw fit to introduce the newest member of the S-Class family: The S 560 e – a plug-in hybrid that promises to be a huge improvement over the outgoing model.

So, now that we’re looking at the facelifted S-Class hybrid, it’s important to note that it also comes with a new name. Previously known as the S550 Plug-in Hybrid, the 2018 model will now go by the nomenclature of S560 e Plug-in Hybrid. Highlights of the facelifted model include an increase in system output of more than 50 horsepower, increased all-electric range thanks to a revised battery, relocated electric components, and increased luggage room in the rear. An ECO assist feature will help you drive more efficiently, while pre-entry climate control will have the temperature just right before you even sit down inside the vehicle. I guess that’s pretty commendable and right in line with what you should expect for a car of this stature. With that said, let’s take a closer look at what kind of improvements the revised hybrid brings to the market. Something tells me, you might want to consider trading in that old plug-in for a new one, but we’ll see.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Australia Teases The Ranger Raptor – Big time!

Out of the blue dropped Ford’s confirmation of the 2019 Ranger Raptor – a highly capable off-roader based on the mid-size T6 Ranger pickup but with the soul of the widely loved F-150 Raptor. Without much hubbub, the Ranger Raptor’s webpage went live early September 7 as part of Ford Australia’s main website. Included is a short video that teases the truck’s capabilities and rugged underpinnings. Many details still remain unknown, but Ford did confirm the Ranger Raptor will come in 2018 within the Asia Pacific market, which includes Australia and New Zealand.

The video offers a clear look the Ranger Raptor’s front suspension system, especially the lower control arm. It’s a beefy slug of aluminum and looks very similar to the F-150 Raptor’s. The MacPherson struts are devoid of branding, however, though we’d bet Fox Racing is a shoe-in. Sadly, we can’t see the rear suspension. Rumors are running rampant of a multi-link system with coil springs and a Watts Link attached to a solid axle. Confirmation of the powertrain is also missing. Some say the Ranger Raptor will use the same High Output 3.5-liter EcoBoost found the in F-150 Raptor, while others say the Ranger’s 3.2-liter five-cylinder will be used. We’re leaning toward the standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost used in less radical F-150s. There it makes 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. We’re also betting strongly on the 10-speed automatic transmission being the only choice.
And what would a modern Raptor be without Baja Mode and the rest of the 4WD selectable setting? Ford could officially debut the Raptor at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show starting September 14, so stay tuned to TopSpeed for that.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor here.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Titan & Frontier Midnight Editions

Nissan is playing off the massive hype surrounding the total solar eclipse by introducing three new Midnight Edition trucks for 2018: the Titan, Titan XD, and Frontier. Not surprisingly, the trucks are blacked out from hood to hitch with black interiors and several popular add-on features included. Not only does this tie in perfectly with today’s celestial event, it complements Nissan’s huge success with the Midnight Edition treatment on its other vehicles, which are said to sell twice as quick as standard models.

Billy Hayes, Nissan’s division vice president for North America sales, said, “Following the tremendous response to the original Maxima SR Midnight Edition, we’ve created a complete portfolio of the popular blacked-out Midnight Edition look among our core Nissan sedan, crossover and SUV models. We expect the strong customer appeal to continue with the expansion of the Midnight Edition package to our Titan, Titan XD and Frontier pickups.” Nissan isn’t the only automaker doing well with special edition models boosting sales. Chevrolet is killing it with special editions like the Redline, Rally, High Desert, Custom Sport HD, RealTree, Special Ops, Alaskan, and Black Out editions. Oh, and Chevy also has its own Midnight Edition with a blacked-out appearance, too. Ram also plays the game, offering its Ram pickups with the Limited Tungsten, Subline Green, Copper, Night, Rebel Black, and Rebel Mojave Sand editions. Hayes followed up by saying, “A great custom look straight from the factory is what buyers really appreciate. We’re finding that buyers in the millennial age group especially are attracted to the Midnight Editions. Last year, Nissan was ranked as the number one brand for millennial purchases.”

Speaking of purchases, the Titan, Titan XD, and Frontier Midnight Editions will go on sale starting in the late fall of 2017. Pricing has yet to be announced. For the full details on the trucks, keep reading below.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Tahoe Custom

The venerable Chevy Tahoe used to be the go-to family hauler for middle-class folks. These days, though, prices of this body-on-frame, V-8-powered SUV have skyrocketed beyond what most families are willing to pay. And with the proliferation of crossovers like the Equinox and Traverse, it’s no wonder Chevy pushed the Tahoe up-market. Thankfully, Chevy is offering a solution: the Custom trim package.

Like on the Silverado pickup, the Custom trim takes a low-spec vehicle and adds exterior flash matched with the most important interior upgrades modern car buyers can’t seem to live without. For 2018, the Chevy Tahoe Custom starts at $44,995 – a full $3,515 less than the absolute base Tahoe LS. Chevy’s marketing director, Sandor Piszar, said, “The Tahoe Custom is a response to strong customer demand for Tahoe, as well as the full-size SUV segment moving upmarket. In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display. This created an unmet need in the marketplace for customers who want the cargo and towing capability of a full-size SUV to go camping, boating or off-roading but don’t necessarily want all of the option content offered on a Tahoe Premier.”

So what’s the difference between the Tahoe LS and the new Tahoe Custom? Let’s explore that below.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Ram 3500 Heavy Duty

The current Ram Heavy Duty has been around since 2010 with an update in 2013 and smaller updates scattered throughout the years. Not much changes for 2018, save for one aspect: the Ram 3500’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel is getting a healthy bump in torque for class-leading numbers. Turbo boost limits were raised, fuel flow was increased, and a retuning of the ECU adds 30 pound-feet of torque for a total of 930 pound-feet. This surpasses both General Motors and Ford’s maximum torque ratings of 910 and 925 pound-feet, respectively.

This veritable arms race between the Big Three has been ongoing for several decades, but the Torque Wars have really heated up in the last decade. Diesels are popular and the biggest numbers win – both in power figures and towing capability. Ram isn’t short on either. The 2018 Ram 3500 also boasts a new fifth-wheel hitch assembly from Ram Engineering that offers 30,000 pounds of towing. Ram says its the hitch is strongest hitch in the industry. Customer can add the hitch for $1,395, either with a built-to-order truck or as a dealer add-on. The Ram’s gooseneck hitch rating remains unchanged at 31,210 pounds, while its receiver hitch can pull 20,000 pounds. Compare that to Ram 3500’s numbers from 2011. It could only pull 15,540 pounds with a gooseneck and 12,000 pounds at the receiver. Yep – the truck’s towing capabilities have nearly doubled in eight years. But towing and torque aren’t everything, so let’s have a deep look at the 2018 Ram Heavy Duty.

Continue reading for the full review.

PostHeaderIcon Holy Torque! The 2018 Ram 3500 Now Makes 930 Pound-Feet!

The Cummins-powered Ram 3500 will make a whopping 930 pound-feet of torque for the 2018 model year. That puts Ram in the lead of the unofficial Torque Wars raging between the Big Three. Ford and its Power Stroke turbodiesel previously held the lead with 925 pound-feet of torque and the GM twins aren’t far behind with the new-for-2017 Duramax and its 910 pound-feet. Ram also announced its new fifth-wheel hitch designed and built in-house. The beefy hitch, combined with the Cummins’ extra grunt, pushes the 3500’s max fifth-wheel tow rating to 30,000 pounds – another segment-leading figure. Ram’s gooseneck and conventional tow ratings remain unchanged at 31,210 and 20,000 pounds, respectively.

Ram says its engineers worked along side Cummins to enable the torque increase. Minimal changes were actually needed, and consist of a higher-flow fuel delivery system and giving the variable geometry turbo a higher boost limit. A retuning of the ECU is also highly likely. What Ram (or Ford or GM) doesn’t mention: any vehicle with a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more requires the driver have a commercial driver’s license to legally operate on any public road. Hope you’re ready for a written skills evaluation, driving test, and drug testing, depending on your state’s laws.

The 2018 Ram Heavy Duty will begin arriving at dealerships this month. Customers can buy the new fifth-wheel hitch as a dealer add-on for $1,395. But beyond the extra power and new hitch, the Ram Heavy Duty doesn’t change for 2018. Ram is expected to debut the next-generation HD in 2020, which follows the new Ram 1500 in 2019. Stay tuned for our full review of the 2018 Ram Heavy Duty coming soon.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-250 Super Duty Proves Even New Trucks Break

Our friends over at TFLTruck experienced an unlikely event while testing towing and payload performance of a 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty. It seems the plastic cooling fan disintegrated into several pieces, sending high-speed projectiles into the radiator and slicing off the main serpentine belt. And all this before arriving at TFLTruck’s famed “Ike Gauntlet” towing test up the steep, seven-percent grade near the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 outside Denver, Colorado.

The Super Duty in question is a bare-bones regular cab in XL trim with RWD and the 6.2-liter gasoline V-8. In other words – a common work truck. What’s more, the 6.2-liter is a carry-over engine from the previous generation Super Duty. Only a new air intake and camshaft profile were added for 2017, helping bump power output to 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. F-250 models with the 6.2-liter also have the new TorqShift-G six-speed automatic transmission, though the transmission certainly had nothing to do with the cooling fan blowing up.

Granted, the F-250’s V-8 was working hard. The truck was hauling a 2,500-pound water tote in its eight-foot bed while towing an 11,900-pound trailer loaded with a 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab. Combined with the 2017 truck’s curb weight, the GCWR sat around 19,500 pounds – right at the limit for this F-250. The cooling system was undoubtedly under stress. Still, the truck wasn’t overloaded; TFLTruck is known for being thorough and fair with evaluations. The heavy weight doesn’t excuse what happened. It will be interesting to see what Ford tells TFLTruck and how the issue is resolved. Luckily, we’ll get that update in Part 2 of this video review.

So, what do you think? Does this add fuel to the age-old battle between Ford, GM, and Ram? Let us know in the comments below.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz X-Class VS Nissan Navara

Well, Mercedes-Benz has officially debuted its first metric-ton (mid-size) pickup truck, the X-Class. But the truck isn’t a ground-up creation from Mercedes – rather the X-Class is based on the current Nissan Navara NP300. Mercedes has been forthright with its partnership with Nissan, saying it’s leveraging Nissan’s experience in the segment. But Thankfully, the X-Class isn’t a Navara with a Mercedes star slapped on – or so Mercedes says. In fact, the two trucks are rather closely related, though there are major differences between them. Let’s dive in and see what’s up.

Nissan has been building trucks since 1933, but it was the 1980s that brought iconic Hardbody the U.S. In 1997, Nissan changed the name to Frontier, while everywhere else in the world, the Navara name was used. The latest version debuted for the 2015 model year, marking the Navara’s third generation. As a traditional truck, it rides on a fully boxed ladder frame while power is sent to the solid rear axle or all four wheels via a part-time 4WD system. However, Nissan chose a five-link, coil-spring setup for the rear suspension, giving the pickup a smoother ride with a slight trade-off in payload and towing capacity versus its competition. American truck enthusiasts will spot same thinking within the Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups’ rear ends. Not surprisingly, this setup translates well to a pickup billed as “premium,” so naturally, the X-Class borrows the design. But you won’t find a Nissan engine under the X-Class’ hood – and that’s just the beginning of the changes. Keep reading for more.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-22 F-150 Raptor

Ford Performance created a one-off F-150 Raptor styled after the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet for a charity auction benefiting kids’ interest and participation in flying. Called the Gathering of Eagles, the annual event is hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association. This year, the auction raised $300,000 thanks to Ford’s donation of the “F-22 Raptor.” The truck obviously takes its name and styling cues from America’s premier fighter, going so far as to incorporate the jet’s silhouette into its grille and side mirrors. But that just scratches the surface of what Ford did to this 2018 F-150 Raptor Crew Cab.

The Raptor boasts a Whipple intercooler and other performance upgrades on its high-output, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, giving it an impressive 545 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque – a healthy improvement over its stock 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of twist. The bodywork received carbon fiber fender flairs, custom LED lighting, power-deploying running boards, an aggressive wheel and tire package, and that silver-over-black paint job. These, combined with other upgrades, helped the truck garner a $300,000 winning bid, beating out last year’s winning bid of $295,000 for a P-51D Mustang-themed 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 called Ole Yeller. Making the winning bid more special – it was from Gary Ackerman of Gaudin Ford in Las Vegas. Ackerman serves as Honorary Commander and Ambassador for the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Audi RS9 Coupe

While it currently competes with BMW and Mercedes-Benz for supremacy on the premium market, Audi was nowhere near as fancy as a brand some three decades ago. But the Ingolstadt-based firm evolved quite dramatically in the 1990s and 2000s, and it’s now selling a handful of highly appreciated premium vehicles, including the A4, A6, A8, and Q7. However, while Audi joined several new niches in recent years, it still doesn’t have a competitor for the relatively new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. But this will change soon, as Audi is already working on the A9, a two-door version of the new A8 and its largest, most luxurious coupe yet. Alongisde the A9, Audi is also rumored to have an RS9 model in the works. The latter will compete against the Mercedes-AMG S63 and the recently confirmed BMW M8.

There’s no official word as to when the A9 will arrive, but it will be heavily based on the Prologue Concept that Audi launched back in 2014. The show car has already inspired the design of the new A8, but its coupe configuration might make it into production with very few changes. As with all RS-badged models, the RS9 will be a beefed-up version of the A9, with revised aerodynamics, bespoke features inside, and a more powerful engine under the hood. The RS9 will enable Audi to compete in the still fresh performance, luxury coupe market that will soon include both Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Ingolstadt’s most important rivals. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi RS9.

PostHeaderIcon Next-Generation Ram 1500 Debuting At The 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has confirmed the next-generation Ram 1500 is on-schedule for its debut and production in January 2018. The unveiling festivities will take place at the Detroit Auto Show between January 14 and 16, while production begins that same month at the Ram’s new Sterling Heights assembly plant. And despite its early production, the new Ram will be a 2019 model. The next-generation Ram 2500 and 3500 are expected to debut the following year with similar design and engineering updates.

The 2019 Ram – codenamed DT – is expected to be lighter thanks to an expanded use of aluminum, though its cargo bed will remain steel for durability. Spy shots of a longer Crew Cab version suggest a Mega Cab option for the 1500, as well, setting the Ram apart in its highly competitive segment. A rumored split-tailgate design is also a possibility. Ram’s prior patent drawings detail a tailgate that acts like the Honda Ridgeline’s, but with a vertical split in the middle allowing for added versatility. A new rear bench seat with “Stow-n-Go”-like folding abilities might offer a completely flat load floor, too, as reported by Allpar. Drivetrain options will include a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with direct fuel injection and horsepower levels hovering between 310 and 320. An all-new turbocharged inline six-cylinder is expected for 2020, which might replace the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Rumors of an improved (and EPA-certified) EcoDiesel V-6 with a higher tow rating and a turbocharged four-cylinder have also been rumbling around the Internet. None of this has been confirmed, of course, as Ram has a tight hold on its upcoming pickup. Thankfully, the nitty-gritty details are coming in January.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Traverse

The venerable and humble Chevrolet Traverse is borrowing upscale design cues from its Tahoe and Suburban big brothers. The change happens for the 2018 model year as the Traverse moves into its second generation with little more than an engine option and the name carrying over. This unibody, three-row crossover is new from the lug nuts up. It rides on an elongated C1XX platform shared with the Cadillac XT5 and new-for-2017 GMC Acadia. Chevy expects the Traverse to lead the segment in interior volume and third-row legroom, making it a decent alternative to a minivan. It might still be a crossover, but its humility has gone missing.

The Traverse has been around since 2009 and has been Chevy’s version of the Lambda-based GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.
With GM’s movement away from the aging Lambda platform, these vehicles migrated (save yet for the Enclave) to the new CX11 chassis. The 2017 Acadia was first out of the gate, but the Traverse now follows. However, the two are not badge-engineered twin anymore. The Traverse has a longer wheelbase that brings more interior volume and a more stately side profile appearance.

The 2018 Traverse now has two available engines – a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the reworked 3.6-liter V-6. Both come mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The Traverse retains its transverse engine mounting and standard front-wheel drive configuration. GM’s new part-time AWD system is optional.

Inside, the Traverse can hold eight people in a 2+3+3 configuration. A seven-seater configuration can be had thanks to optional second-row captain’s chairs. New folding mechanisms in the second row allow for easier folding and third-row entry. With both rows stored flat, the Traverse can swallow 98.5 cubic feet of cargo – nearly four cubic-feet more than the Chevy Tahoe.

Update 07/27/2017: Chevy has announced pricing for the 2018 Traverse. The base L trim starts at $30,875, while the range-topping High Country starts at $52,995. Full details are in the Pricing section below.

Of course, there is more to the 2018 Traverse, so keep reading for the full run-down.

PostHeaderIcon Rendering VS Reality: Mercedes’ X-Class Pickup

Mercedes is debuting its X-Class pickup truck tomorrow (July 18), and we couldn’t be more excited. And while this marks Mercedes’ first foray into building pickups, the X-Class is expected to lead in luxury and refinement, while still offering competitive capabilities inherent to a mid-size pickup. Rumors of this pickup date back more than a year, with speculation and spy shots providing hints at Mercedes’ plans. We compiled that information into a rendering back in 2016, aided by current design themes seen throughout the Mercedes lineup. Now with the X-Class teaser video online, we’re comparing how our rendering measures up with reality.

At first blush, the X-Class is already familiar thanks to use of Mercedes design themes and elements. The front end especially looks like the GLE-Class SUV, and that’s exactly where we borrowed inspiration for our rendering. However, the X-Class’ bones don’t hail from Germany, but rather Japan. Remember, Mercedes has partnered with Renault-Nissan to co-develop its pickup with the Navara NP300. The trucks will share the same body-on-frame construction and basic suspension components, but that’s about it. Mercedes has said its X-Class will be groomed to impress its discerning customers, with a more refined ride, Mercedes powertrains, and wholly Mercedes designs inside and out. So, let’s get a closer look at our rendering verses the X-Class in Mercedes’ teaser video.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Dodge Durango SRT

The Dodge Durango started life as a midsize, body-on-frame SUV in 1998 and became a full-size SUV for its second generation, which ran from 2004 to 2009. That second-gen model saw declining sales year after year, going from 137,148 sales for the 2004 model year down to just 3,521 for the 2009 model year. The Durango then fell out of production for 2010 (only 572 examples were sold that year), and by the time the 2011 model year came around, Dodge had redesigned the Durango into a full-sized unibody that was sportier than ever with a more upscale interior. Engine options for the current generation have been limited to a 3.6-liter Pentastar and Dodge’s 5.7-liter Hemi, but that is about to change now that Dodge is introducing the Dodge Durango SRT, which includes an even sportier exterior and interior package to go with a 6.4-liter Hemi (392 cubic-inches,) something that makes the Durango the fastest SUV in its class with an output of 475 ponies and 470 pound-feet of torque – that’s one mean machine.

If it seems to you like the Durango was ready to see its fourth-generation before it got yet another trim level, then I would have to say I agree. The current generation has been on the market since 2011 and was updated for the 2014 model year. But, FCA is trying to hold off on pushing out so many new-gen models and is instead focusing on coming up with new ways to bring interest to the models that are actually due for an update. The most obvious car this is happening to is the Dodge Challenger with its new SRT Demon, but the Durango is another one of those models that will soldier on for another year or two. But, at least you can now get it with that 6.4-liter Hemi wrapped in a very sexy package with room for six. With that said, let’s check this baby out and see what all it’s working with!

Updated 07/06/2017: Dodge has finally announced pricing for the Durango SRT. It starts out at $62,995 before options, taxes, and delivery. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn more about it, how it compares to other time levels, and the competition.

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Durango SRT.

PostHeaderIcon Audi A8

While the Audi A8 has always seemed to wear an understated tuxedo with its sleek looks and undeniable style, the third-generation model has been in circulation for the last seven years. It’s one of the last few models to still sport Audi’s tall, square grille and it’s time for a serious revamp. So, it was no surprise when we started seeing prototypes hitting the streets and the Nürburgring, and now – after a quick peak at the Spider-Man: Homecoming premiere, Audi has laid it all out on the table. As is the usual case with Audi, overall design changes are somewhat minimal, but it does get the new, wide grille, a pair of sexy headlight units, and repositioned body lines that make it even more appealing than ever before. Inside, there’s a completely redesigned dashboard with new technology, updated user interface controls, and it finally gets Audi’s new piloted driving system which allows remote parking and semi-autonomous driving in highway traffic. To go along with this, the A8 gets a revises suspension system that includes all-wheel steering and active suspension. Topping off the new generation is a pair of reengineered, turbocharged V-6 engines that will eventually be joined by a pair of V-8 powerplants and a 6.0-liter W-12 for the range-topping model.

So, with all that in mind, one can’t help but wonder how the new A8 will stand up against the new Mercedes S-Class and the new BMW 7 Series. It’s obviously going to be a tough call as to which is better, but Audi is coming to the party prepared to throw down. So, let’s dive on in and take a better look at the new Audi A8 – there are lots of details to cover.

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