A new tech barge in old SUV clothing, the Dodge Durango Hybrid features an impressive array of cabin tech and one of the most advanced power trains in a production vehicle. This truck is big, with seating for seven, plus cargo space, all riding high in classic SUV fashion. But environmentalists could learn to love it as it turns in fuel economy equivalent to a V-6 sedan. We take a close look at this behemoth, maximizing our city mileage and testing out the cabin tech.
The 2009 Acura RL is an evolved version of the generation of Acura's flagship that first entered the market in 2005. The main changes to the car's exterior styling are bolder chrome flashes across the revised fascia and rear decklid, as well as the usual nips, tucks, and lens reshaping. Under the hood, a larger V-6 delivers the oomph the previous RL lacked.
Inside, things are mostly familiar, with some nice trim upgrades and a subtler palette than in our previous test cars. The much-lauded voice-control system has expanded its vocabulary to 700 commands, joining a few other … Read more
Riding around in a bright red Dodge Challenger SRT8 is not the best way to go unnoticed. With its wide and low design and deep HEMI V-8 growl, all eyes were on us as we cruised the streets of San Francisco. But the kind of attention attracted in the Challenger was unlike most high-powered sports cars in which we've found ourselves behind the wheel. Everywhere we went, people--almost exclusively male--were giving us the thumbs up, approving nods, fist pumps, and, on one occasion, a full-on round of applause. Yeah, that last one surprised even us.
The attention didn't … Read more
The external aesthetic of the 2009 Honda CR-V mixes the Honda Civic's space-age design with the face and bulk of a bulldog. Although you may never catch us calling the CR-V attractive, its looks aren't offensive. More importantly, spend some time behind the wheel and you'll see that the CR-V manages to combine the sporty ride and handling of a small sedan with the utility of a small SUV while making few, if any, compromises.
In its EX-L with Nav trim level, the CR-V has an extra trick up its sleeve in the form of a DVD-based … Read more
Earlier this year, we tested a Mazda's CX-9. So when we heard that we were getting a CX-7 Grand Touring in the CNET garage, we braced for more of the same, only smaller. The tiny Mazda crossover didn't disappoint; the CX-7 has a lot in common with the CX-9, particularly in its cabin tech.
However, like a scrappy little brother, the CX-7 works hard to differentiate itself from its larger sibling. On the road, the CX-7 feels faster and more connected to the road, though this comes at the expense of a little ride harshness. Everything we liked … Read more
Terrain crawling tech lets the 2009 Range Rover Sport HSE maintain its rugged reputation, but an upscale price means luxury elements, such as real wood trim and a refrigerator in the console. Offroad enthusiasts may think the lack of a fold-down windshield keeps the Range Rover Sport in the soft-road class, but this tank enhances its locking differentials with an air suspension that moves it into high-clearance mode. Terrain programs fine-tune the Range Rover's handling for the slippery and jagged.
The basics of cabin tech are here, including navigation and cell phone integration, but integration is poor. The navigation … Read more
We got our hands on the Lincoln MKS, a new model featuring the best cabin tech available. The navigation system doesn't just tell you how to get places; it also tells you how to find the cheapest gas, when movies are playing, and the weather conditions for cities all over the U.S. The MKS' Sync system offers the best voice command and device integration available, letting you hook up iPods and other MP3 players and ask for music by artist and album name. Music is played through a THX sound system, the best value in high-end car audio. … Read more
The first clue that the 2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS isn't like other SUVs is the shifter, which works the six gears in a manual transmission. Another clue comes when you get it in the twisties, and feel its utter lack of roll in hard cornering. The Cayenne GTS offers the most sports car-like handling of any SUV, even surpassing the BMW X5 in this regard. We've heard comments around the office that the Porsche badge shouldn't be this high off the ground, but purism aside, our friendly neighborhood Porsche rep tells us that the Cayenne sells, giving … Read more
Ever since we saw the Mitsubishi Prototype-X at the 2007 Detroit auto show, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been at the top of our wish list. Well, near the top, right under the Nissan GT-R. Our desires for the car weren't diminished when we got our first chance to drive the MR version of the new Mitsubishi Evolution earlier this year, running it around the track at Laguna Seca. The car is a performance- and cabin-tech dream, with a look that's pure animal.
The front of the car is mostly grille, a big air intake to keep … Read more
We reviewed the BMW M3 Coupe with a manual transmission and the full load of cabin tech back in April, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to test out another one, this time the 2008 BMW M3 Convertible with the new double-clutch transmission. Although our convertible M3 lacked the cabin tech options, not even having the programmable M button on the steering wheel, it still proved a remarkable car to drive with all the performance capabilities of the loaded version. And we didn't think it possible to improve on the M3's performance, but the double-clutch transmission … Read more