When Lexus debuted the RX in the late 1990s, it was one of the original creators of the crossover market that has taken over auto industry in the past two decades. Today, it feels like there’s a new crossover announced every month, but it was a risk back in the day.


The move paid off, as the RX has been a top seller for Lexus for many years, leading sales charts in its class on a regular basis.

But something was holding it back from further success. Unlike some competitors, it only offered a two-row version (housing 5 passengers), and didn’t have a 3-row option for people wanting some extra room for the little ones in back. That has changed with the arrival of the RX 350L option, which boosts capacity to 7 passengers.

How does the three-row edition of the RX measure up to other luxury 7-seaters? Read on for a full report.

 

Published in SUV/TRUCK REVIEWS

Mercedes-Benz’s redesigned GLC SUV will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2019.

With its distinctive appearance, new operating system, innovative driver assistance systems and a new, enhanced engine, the GLC offers the best from the world of Mercedes-Benz. The exterior design captivates with its wide and sporty visual appearance. 

Muscularly sculpted surfaces and distinctive details such as the chrome elements, which now run from the front to the rear end, the redesigned headlamps and the heavily contoured radiator grille ensure a strong off-road character.

The interior combines luxury and user-friendliness in an uncompromising way with a larger display. In addition, the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system impresses with intuitive and versatile operating options such as touch and the optimized Voice Control system. 

The driver assistance systems were considerably expanded and complemented, and the GLC will also be equipped with a new 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with more output and greater efficiency.

Published in TECHNOLOGY

The reality is that most SUVs and crossovers are used for shopping mall trips and soccer practices.

But Jeeps are different. They still have a loyal crowd who gets a bit more adventurous and goes places most of us won’t go. With that in mind, their Trailhawk offerings are offered to please this off-the-beaten-path crowd.

I recently spent some time in a Jeep Compass Trailhawk, and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

No surprises on the grille: Your standard Jeep design can be found up front with the seven stripes.
In terms of an overall look, it’s a pretty straightforward small crossover design, with a clearly all-business/rugged look to it. The two-tone paint scheme on the hood did spice the look up a bit.


Inside seats on the Compass Trailhawk were comfy, but this isn’t a vehicle that’s trying to be luxurious (leather-wrapped steering wheel being a lone exception to that rule). The front row was comfy, but overall the inside is a bit cramped, especially in the back seat.

There is a well-designed layout of all the interior controls and a great setup on the center touchscreen. Steering wheel controls are also straightforward, and you get the option to add a power liftgate, as well as a dual-pane sunroof.


Published in SUV/TRUCK REVIEWS

The first image that pops into most people’s minds when hearing the word Subaru likely involves wagons or rally cars. But Subaru has recently rejoined the rest of the automotive world by offering its own brand new three-row SUV: The Subaru Ascent.


Subaru exited the three-row SUV category a half-decade ago when the Tribeca was retired, but the Ascent is a much better offering than their previous go-around.

I recently spent some time in the 2019 Ascent, which has the daunting task of battling a bevy of longtime competitors in the segment — including the Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and more.

Read on for a full assessment on how the Ascent succeeds in its attempt to climb that hill.

Published in SUV/TRUCK REVIEWS
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