Battle of the Crossover SUV's: Honda v Mazda v Toyota
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We keep a couple seven-passenger crossover SUVs in our long-term test fleet and they're indispensable for carting around kids, terriers and lawn furniture. Of course, we still crack the obvious jokes. We'll tell you that these are minivans with hinged doors, SUVs trail-rated for the Starbucks drive-thru, tall wagons that think they're too good to be called tall wagons.
But there's nothing superficial or irrational about crossover SUVs like the 2009 Honda Pilot, 2008 Mazda CX-9 or 2008 Toyota Highlander. All three make good on the crossover promise of a vast interior, easy maneuverability and decent fuel economy. Maybe you're aghast that anyone would need three rows of seating, but maybe you've never tried to cram three toddlers in Britax car seats into a Honda Accord.
We have. You need that third row. But if that third row were in a minivan, you might find yourself filling a prescription for antidepressants. This leaves you to consider a crossover SUV of medium-to-large proportions.
Just about any current-day crossover will accomplish the basics, but the diversity of this vehicle genre might catch you off guard. Even though the 2009 Honda Pilot, 2008 Mazda CX-9 and 2008 Toyota Highlander seem to match one another airbag for airbag, their personalities are so different that you can't drive them without taking sides.
Volkswagen Tiguan v Honda CR-V v Toyota RAV4
CHECK OUT THE CUTE-UTE SMACKDOWN:
We get it already — fuel prices suck. And while we pity the poor sod who bought a new full-size SUV a few years ago and is now stuck with a fuel bill that has doubled and a vehicle whose residual value makes manure futures look appealing, everyone wants solutions. Sympathy won't heal a hemorrhaging wallet.
So what's a utility-lovin' small family to do? Downsize. Full-size SUVs provide unmatched capability but their thirst may make you reassess your needs. Think compact utility vehicle. Think crossover.
This doesn't mean you have to downsize your expectations, though. The three compact SUVs we've assembled here — the brand-new 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2008 Honda CR-V and 2008 Toyota RAV4 — are based on car platforms, a strategy that helps create an efficient utilization of interior space in a relatively lightweight, fuel-efficient package. Simply put, you can pack more stuff inside these compact SUVs than you might think.
And being car-based, these compact crossovers offer easier entry and exit and better driving maneuverability than truck-based ones, something you really appreciate when you're running errands around town. Of course, car-based SUVs lack the rough-road capability of their bigger brethren, and you can forget about serious towing. For everyday use, though, a compact ute just makes more sense.
We tested a 2008 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L with navigation, a 2008 Toyota RAV4 4x4 Limited and a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL 4Motion. Each one represents a different take on the cute-ute concept and carry distinct strengths and weaknesses but the three turned out to be surprisingly well-matched. Indeed, when the dust settled, we had a tie for 2nd place, and just 4.2 points separate them from the winner.
These are no penalty boxes either, as all three tested — the top trim level available — are equipped with all-wheel drive, stability control, leather and heated seats. Two of them have navigation systems with back-up cameras and satellite radio.
Civic v Corolla v Mazda 3 Consumer Comparison by Edmunds.com
As so many Hollywood blockbusters have proven, if something works once, why not try it again? Last year, we decided to try something completely different by inviting six regular consumers to do a comparison test of three popular midsize sedans — without the sponsorship of a specific manufacturer. They poked and prodded each car using the same criteria Edmunds editors use when evaluating a vehicle. The result was an enlightening experience for the consumers involved, the Edmunds.com editors and, judging by feedback, the readers at home.
For the sequel, we rounded up three economy sedans: the two best-selling models (Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic) and the one we consider to be the best (Mazda 3). We also invited a fourth dark-horse contender to the party, but the Mitsubishi Lancer that showed up featured a fancy stereo, a sunroof and a $3,000-higher price tag. It was disqualified before the test started for being too far out of the price range. As such, the remaining three contenders were priced within $479 of each other, giving our testers the chance to see how much equipment each brand provides for basically the same amount of dough. Each car was also right off the boat (or train), with miles in the low hundreds or less. In other words, nothing was given an undue advantage. Here's a rundown of the cars.
2007 Mazda CX-9 Road Test by Edmunds' Inside Line
Driving friends to the airport at the crack of dawn after a night of rain isn't exactly the ideal way to spend a Sunday morning, but if you must be the airport shuttle, you could do worse than to take the seven-seat 2007 Mazda CX-9.
Crossover-ish: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour vs. 2009 Toyota Venza
2010 Honda Accord Crosstour vs. 2009 Toyota Venza: http://www.insideline.com/toyota/venza/2009/comparison-test-2010-honda-accord-crosstour-vs-2009-toyota-venza.html
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King Of The Crossovers - Cadillac SRX Vs Lexus RX350
Cadillac's redesigned crossover SRX takes aim at the gold standard in the segment, the Lexus RX350.
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If you want a really nice SUV with plenty of interior space and fun toys and gadgets for the kids, you might want to check this car out...
On the outside the new Highlander looks modern, offering a nice design blend, between its main competitors: Honda Pilot and Saturn Outlook. It combines the same smo...
Toyota Rav4 vs. Ford Kuga vs. VW Tiguan
The Integrated Active Drive System on Toyota Rav4 delivers enhanced driving control, safer road holding and stability. Watch this comparison. You will got a good idea about those three SUV
Honda Pilot 2012 Test Drive & Car Review by RoadflyTV with Ross Rapoport
Ross Rapoport spends some quality time with the updated 2012 Honda Pilot. This large mid-sized SUV crossover competes head-to-head with the Toyota Highlander and the American offerings from GM like the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.
Host: Ross Rapoport
Vehicle: 2012 Honda Pilot
To see additional pictures and the window sticker for the 2012 Honda Pilot visit: http://roadflytv.com
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Extreme Traction-Control Test
As part of the 2008 PickupTrucks.com Half-Ton Shootout, PickupTrucks.com put six half-ton pickups from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Nissan and Toyota through an extreme traction-control test that simulated icy road conditions to find out which trucks had the best traction control. For more information, visit PickupTrucks.com.