December 29, 2003
The names - sport-utility vehicle, minivan, PT Cruiser - were designed to duck the question: Are they cars or trucks? Manufacturers built them as "light trucks" to fit a government category originally meant to apply to farmers' pickups and plumbers' vans. But in most vehicles, the cargo tends more toward groceries and soccer balls. For more than 20 years, SUVs and minivans have faced looser safety and fuel-economy standards than passenger cars, even though they're used just like cars.
June 14, 2012 |
Price: Kia, $37,150; Mitsubishi, $33,605. Marketer's pitch: The Sorento says it's "A departure from the expected. " The Outlander is "Smart, sophisticated and stylish. " Reality: One wins on passenger room, the other on cargo space. This week, we'll look inside; next week, we'll take them on the road. Three rows: Coming off my review of the surprisingly third-row-less large luxury SUV Volkswagen Touareg, I thought I'd compare a pair of crossovers (SUVs on a less truck-like platform)
January 28, 2003 |
Not long ago, you could drive home in a Land Rover Discovery or Cadillac Escalade or special Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorer as supreme ruler of the neighborhood. Everyone would back off when that big hunk came riding up the hill. That was before July, when General Motors Corp. started selling the Hummer H2, a consumer version of a tanklike military vehicle, the humvee, that was designed to be dropped by parachute into war zones and airlifted out by helicopter. The H2 is huge, and not just in sales, which numbered nearly 20,000 in six months, with 95 percent of the $51,000 units pre-sold before they hit a dealer showroom.
March 5, 2000 |
I've reached the stage in life when I'm compelled to purchase a vehicle that reflects my financial success. I admit it: I'm a SUCOR (pronounced sucker), Superficial Urbanite, Conspicuous, Objectivist and Rich. SUCORs aren't above spending their money where folks can see it. Damn proud of it, in fact. Baby, I'm looking to buy a vehicle that will make heads turn as I drive down the street. Other symbols of richesse don't have the juice anymore. Trophy houses? Old hat. Rolex watches?
March 17, 2013 |
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT that will debut in showrooms in mid-April is a full-size SUV that weighs 21/2 tons and is capable of towing 31/2 tons. The idea that such a big beast of burden could acquire Corvette-like qualities might strike you as fodder for an automotive tale from the Brothers Grimm. You know, off-road frog turns into the prince of speed. But, in fact, the fun-loving mad scientists at Jeep have wrought something as Viperish as it is SUVish. "It feels and drives like a sports car, but it happens to be an SUV," says a smiling Dave Cottrell, the SRT's chief engineer.
May 11, 2001 |
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer made a point the other day of saying SUVs were not to blame for the latest burst in gasoline prices. "It's a comprehensive problem," he said. Many experts would agree, saying a range of issues, from different regional requirements on fuel additives to Americans' driving more, were involved. But, for better or worse, the sport-utility vehicle has come to represent the nation's attachment to cheap gas. Now, though, with prices at the pumps climbing steadily and experts predicting they could reach as high as $2 a gallon by this summer, some SUV owners are beginning to worry.
October 17, 2004 |
With $4-a-gallon gasoline and streets built for oxcarts, it's little wonder that Rome's historic center is one of the leading venues for the Smart Car, an egg-shaped two-seater that makes a Honda Civic look like a motor home. Yet sport-utility vehicles are becoming increasingly popular here. They can be seen muscling their way through traffic around the Coliseum and St. Peter's Square like Gullivers negotiating a swarm of Lilliputian Fiats and scooters. That may seem perfectly normal to Americans, to whom SUVs account for a quarter of all vehicle sales.
March 6, 1999
It's not hard to understand the appeal of those big sport-utility vehicles. They're comfortable - many of them as roomy and plush as the most expensive luxury sedan. They can carry everybody in the clan and their toys: bikes, skis, skates, and all the luggage that attends today's upwardly mobile American family. And they give the illusion of safety: big, high bumpers, acres of hood and fender out there. But it's just an illusion; safety statistics show that SUVs are more likely than sedans to roll over in a collision.
February 4, 2004 |
In this place that is both a fragile ecosystem and the Jersey Shore's answer to Daytona Beach, the debate continues: Should the plight of piping plovers roosting on the dunes take precedence over a desire to drive SUVs on the beach? Or can the 3,800 SUV owners who paid $150 for the right to four-wheel on the sand in Brigantine - one of only three New Jersey locations that permit beach driving - impinge on fishermen, surfers, kayakers, kite flyers, bird-watchers, swimmers, or beachgoers who simply want to sit and relax?
February 27, 2003
Mayor Street's being the city's top fitness fiend is a gym dandy idea. In a city that's one of the plumpest in the nation, someone ought to fill that role. But when the budget coffers are so bone thin, with a burgeoning deficit and hundreds of layoffs likely this year across city government, a health and fitness czar is fat the city needs to trim. Good health is unimportant - though weight loss doesn't usually qualify as a government responsibility. And Gwen Foster's $79,000 salary isn't that big a chunk of the $3.3 billion budget.