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Cheapest New Mustang Vs Most Expensive: The Shelby GT500 Is Almost $80,000 More Than The Base Model

Sep 15, 2019

The Mustang lineup is one of the most expansive in the business. There are more than 10 different variants to choose from once the convertibles, performance packs, and drivetrain options are considered. With the reincarnation of the 2020 GT500, it only gets bigger. The GT500 has long been the daddy of the Mustang range, and the original took the humble “secretary’s car” and turned it into a bona fide legend. The new one has much the same mission, swapping out the modest 2.3-liter four-cylinder in the base EcoBoost for 6.2 liters of supercharged V-8 mania. There are a host of other changes too, and we wanted to take a look at just how different the least and most expensive Mustangs are for 2020.

Let’s kick things off with a little price comparison. The least expensive Mustang money can buy right now will cost $28,410. That’s not bad considering you get more than 300 hp and 31 miles to the gallon on the highway. But if you’re looking to stomp Hellcats and ZL1s on the weekends, the EcoBoost simply will not do. For that, you’ll need the 760-hp supercharged V-8 only available in the latest iteration of the GT500. The hot-rod Shelby starts at $73,995, but if you want the most loaded version of the iconic pony car, you’re going to have to play with the options list. After configuring every possible option, the GT500 comes in at a 911-rivaling $107,080. That’s a lot of coin for a Mustang, but then again, you do get a lot of car for the money.

The changes from EcoBoost to GT500 are extensive. Beyond the engine swap, the passive dampers in the base Mustang have been upgraded to Ford’s magnetorheological setup, the 10R80 10-speed automatic in the standard car is traded for a seven-speed dual-clutch unit by Tremec, the brakes have been uprated to 15.5-inch rotors with six-piston Brembo calipers up front and four-piston units in the rear, and the bodywork has been reshaped to both maximize cooling for that massive engine–and look a bit more sinister. By the way, all of this is standard.

Start stacking up options like the $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track Pack (which includes carbon-fiber wheels, a GT4-style carbon-fiber rear wing, side-mounted splitter wickers, and Recaro seats), the $10,000 hand-painted racing stripes (not kidding), and $3,000 Technology Package and you’ve got yourself the most expensive Mustang ever put on sale. Oh, and don’t forget to add Twister Orange, the most expensive paint option at $495. Compared to the hand-painted racing stripes, it’s a bargain. In total, the optional extras on the Shelby cost more than a base ‘Stang, which is a lot, so stay tuned to find out if all that extra cash is worth it.

The post Cheapest New Mustang Vs Most Expensive: The Shelby GT500 Is Almost $80,000 More Than The Base Model appeared first on MotorTrend.

Check Out the Awesome Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man 2019

Sep 15, 2019

Imagine you’re in a dusty city with a population of almost 80,000 people that covers a land mass pretty close to the size of downtown San Francisco. You know there are more than 600 unique and interesting vehicles worth seeking out but they are hard to find at any given moment.

That was the task we set ourselves as we hunted down some of the best Mutant Vehicles (formerly known as Art Cars) at this year’s Burning Man extravaganza on the Playa at Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada.

Mutant Vehicle owners are expected to share the experience with all Burners and to that end they give free rides to anyone who wants to take one, if space permits. Many of them have on-board bars and even dance floors while others can only accommodate one or two guests. Some of this year’s highlights include Henry Chang’s giant Flux Capacitor which is always a big favorite as well as David Cox’s fire-breathing dragon, named Torch, which is built on a Chevy Astro and a more simple two-story MV based on a Chevy Suburban. Check out some of the most impressive MVs at this year’s Burning Man in the gallery below!

The post Check Out the Awesome Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man 2019 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Land Rover Defender

Sep 15, 2019

Perhaps a designer’s greatest challenge is creating a worthy successor to a classic original. For many vehicles, progressive evolution over generations is to be expected. But when it comes to icons of style and performance, stakes are greatly increased. Such is the case with the 2020 Land Rover Defender.

Just unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Defender—chassis code L663—is the first redesign since 1983. Incremental changes came between then and the end of the 90 and 110 models’ production in 2016, but it still wore the boxy, upright, agricultural aesthetic adored since the 1948 Series I.

The L663 had a style to uphold, but more important, a purpose. The Defender is a near-perfect example of form following function. It needed to remain capable of tackling extreme trails and deep wilderness, while carrying gear or even providing refuge in dire situations.

With all that to bear, is the new Land Rover Defender refreshing or revolting?

Outside, it effectively blends contrasting descriptors: tough yet cute, boxy yet rounded, modern yet classic. Overall there’s a concept car vibe to it, like it’s a bit too far out there for production. But no, it’s ready for the real world.

Up front, semicircular LEDs mimic classic round bulbs, with smaller elements at their sides a tie-in to indicators seen on past Defenders. The boxy lenses pay homage to the fender-mounted enclosures seen previously, while coming in line with other Land Rover products’ complex LED light signatures. The grille, however, takes a new approach. It’s more faceted than ever before; prior models often wore little more than slats or mesh panels. The hood is more smoothly integrated with the fender tops, rather than protruding above. What carries over excellently, though, are the DEFENDER letters proudly marking the fascia’s top line.

In profile, the retro-modern theme continues. It’s practically devoid of sculpting, but the flat shoulder line stretching end to end is a key Defender cue. Fender flares are subtly boxed, similar to the 90 and 110. The functional air inlets have grown, however. One nice detail: the black bar spanning the lower width of the windshield, which flows across the A-pillars into the side mirrors. A more controversial detail: the square. In our Facts and Figures video from Frankfurt, Land Rover explains how that C-pillar panel is a structural, feature-adding element on the four-door 110. However, on the two-door 90, it’s solely aesthetic. Some will think it’s cool, some will hate how it blocks visibility, but in either case, it’s optional on the 90.

The rear end effectively progresses hallmark cues as well. It’s still a flat panel with a similar silhouette, particularly the hip bulge below the greenhouse. In previous generations taillights were hardly more than parts catalog tack-ons; in the L663 they’re more decorated, if only barely. Main lights are set into black vertical bars, with smaller indicators in the body aft of those. Of course, there’s a spare tire mounted on the side-hinged rear cargo door.

True revolution took place inside. Gone is the exposed machinery and spartan minimalism. While opulence was not the target, the L663’s interior now becomes thoroughly modern. It still looks purposeful, with plenty of grab handles and compartments to aid livability on- or off-road. A stubby selector replaces long-arm manual gear or range levers. Digital screens and dials abound, with USB ports and steering wheel-mounted controls to bring it into contemporaneity. Optional wood veneers or metal tints are available, as well as varied shades of upholsteries. It looks as ready to cross wispy dunes as it does urban jungles.

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Also great about the new 2020 Defender is the ability to personalize it. Besides two distinct body styles, Land Rover offers some 170 individual options covering all manners of style and performance so it’s suited for the driver’s personal adventures. Wheel options abound, ranging from 18-inch steelies to eye-catching 22s. Paint can be had in gloss or matte finish. Roof racks, mudflaps, and skid plates improve its versatility. Unusual—but super cool—options like a side ladder, exterior cargo pod, and front row center jump seat take that even further.

Improving an icon is a huge challenge, but Land Rover has succeeded with the new Defender. It’s far more stylish than before, but just as capable as ever. Surely, it’s a refreshing reinvention of a classic—deftly earning the letters on its hood, and a place in the storied lineup. Time to get it out there and get lost.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Land Rover Defender appeared first on MotorTrend.

Check Out the Awesome Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man 2019

Sep 15, 2019

Imagine you’re in a dusty city with a population of almost 80,000 people that covers a land mass pretty close to the size of downtown San Francisco. You know there are more than 600 unique and interesting vehicles worth seeking out but they are hard to find at any given moment.

That was the task we set ourselves as we hunted down some of the best Mutant Vehicles (formerly known as Art Cars) at this year’s Burning Man extravaganza on the Playa at Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada.

Mutant Vehicle owners are expected to share the experience with all Burners and to that end they give free rides to anyone who wants to take one, if space permits. Many of them have on-board bars and even dance floors while others can only accommodate one or two guests. Some of this year’s highlights include Henry Chang’s giant Flux Capacitor which is always a big favorite as well as David Cox’s fire-breathing dragon, named Torch, which is built on a Chevy Astro and a more simple two-story MV based on a Chevy Suburban. Check out some of the most impressive MVs at this year’s Burning Man in the gallery below!

The post Check Out the Awesome Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man 2019 appeared first on MotorTrend.

2020 Cadillac CT4 Debuts With Up to 309 HP

Sep 15, 2019

After revealing the somewhat potent CT4-V earlier this year, Cadillac is now showing off the more frugal base version. The 2020 Cadillac CT4 joins the lineup as the brand’s new entry-level sedan.

The CT4-V boasts a tempting 325 hp from its 2.7-liter turbo-four, but not all small sedan buyers will need, or want, that much power. The regular CT4 comes standard with an eight-speed automatic and a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Hey, at least that’s more hp than a base 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA or Audi A3. The Premium Luxury trim offers a detuned 2.7-liter with an estimated 309 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. Models with the 2.7-liter are paired to a 10-speed automatic.

The CT4 is available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and in Luxury, Sport, and Premium Luxury trims. Brembo performance front brakes are standard kit on the Sport model, as well as cosmetic upgrades such as dark exterior accents and a body-color rear spoiler. Premium Luxury CT4 models get their own unique exterior cues, including brightwork on the door handles.

Standard convenience features on the CT4 include an 8-inch touchscreen, dual-display driver information center, dual-zone auto climate control, split-folding rear seats, leatherette seats, audio system with active noise cancellation, and LED interior lighting. On the list of available goodies, you’ll find a head-up display, leather appointed seats, wireless charging, and a Bose premium surround sound system. Cadillac’s advanced Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system will be available on the CT4 during the 2020 calendar year.

If you’re interested in the 2020 Cadillac CT4, the order books open later this year. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Source: Cadillac

The post 2020 Cadillac CT4 Debuts With Up to 309 HP appeared first on MotorTrend.

The Mercedes Simplex Concept Is the Coolest Housewarming Gift You’ve Ever Seen

Sep 15, 2019

Mercedes just gave itself one heck of a housewarming gift. The Vision Mercedes Simplex is a modern take on the classic Mercedes 35 PS (or 35 HP) as well as an excuse to let designers stretch their muscles and have some fun. We got up close to the Simplex concept at Mercedes’ new design center in Nice, France. Here’s what you need to know.

Compare photos of the new Mercedes concept to the turn-of-the-20th-century car that inspired it in our photo gallery.


It’s Got That New Design Center Smell

When we visited earlier this month, the new European design center (officially dubbed an international design competence center) had been open for just four weeks. Mercedes plans to use the Nice complex for all kinds of design, from the ones we all instantly think of—exterior and interior—as well as a few focus areas some of us may not, like color, UX, and communication.

Our peek behind the Mercedes design curtain revealed a few fun pieces of art incorporating the Mercedes and Maybach badges, plus teams of excited staff experimenting with future-car design. We used VR to simulate walking around (and inside) two concepts and appreciated light projections on a dashboard of everything from directions to a calming nature scene. I’m not sold on this technology’s future value in practical applications, but as an advanced new form of mood lighting, it’s amazing. Keep in mind that this design center is a place of exploration, so it may take years before various projects directly or indirectly influence a future car’s design, if they ever do at all.


How the Mercedes Simplex’s Design Got Approved

Gorden Wagener, Mercedes’ chief design officer, tells us the Simplex concept was started in secret, but the executive team liked it once it saw the four-wheeled link to Mercedes’ heritage. And that’s the whole point of this concept, of course: to subtly reinforce Mercedes as a luxury brand that’s been around for well over 100 years, yet also indicate it’s looking to the future.


Mercedes Stars Are Everywhere

Play a game when you see the Simplex concept at an auto show or event: See how many Mercedes three-pointed stars you can count. From the leather-covered straps low on the body to the digital ones on the grille and on the tire treads themselves, they’re everywhere.

Mercedes isn’t the only luxury automaker to apply this design strategy; Lincoln uses emblems as part of its grille design and even incorporates them in the grippy black lining of some interior trim pieces.


Why Mercedes Is Connecting to a Nearly 120-Year-Old Car

The Mercedes 35 PS is a famous car that raced successfully in 1901 in the French Riviera on a route close to Mercedes’ new design center. As if that connection weren’t enough, the automaker took part of its name from the businessman for whom the car was built, a man who nicknamed his daughter Mercedes.


Something Old, Something New

“Everything is a symbol of transformation from the original into the future,“ said Steffen Köhl of Mercedes design about the way the Simplex concept is updated from the original. There’s no windshield, as on the classic Mercedes, and just like that car, the new one has a small info screen. It can show a map or vehicle info.

Actually, the original car’s interior is much busier than this concept’s, which can, of course, take some liberties with practicalities production cars must wrestle with.


A Little Bit of Fun

Not many concept car unveilings end with the chief design officer and international journalists getting behind the wheel for photo ops. And granted, Mercedes primed us journalists for the moment after offering photos in a Simplex model (a car from the same era as the 35 PS earlier that day). Even so, if Mercedes were brave (or foolish) enough, this white, black, and rose gold concept could be a real draw for auto show goers who want photos of their kids behind the wheel.


What’s With the Split Paint Job?

The original 35 PS had a similar paint scheme, and the Mercedes Simplex concept’s azure blue seats are said to be inspired by the colors of the French Riviera.


What Else?

For a concept whose process only took about eight months, the Mercedes Simplex concept is a charming car. The exterior was designed in the automaker’s California design center, while Europe played a greater role in the simple yet effective interior.

The concept reestablishes Mercedes as the luxury brand with significantly more heritage than most of its competitors. That shouldn’t make newer luxury brands any less attractive, and if we’re honest, some luxury customers may not care about flashy concepts like the Simplex or the impractical yet stunning Genesis Essentia; they might focus more on how a C-Class or G70 makes them feel. Nevertheless, the Mercedes concept remains a fun footnote in the automaker’s design progression that, only earlier this month, starred the sleek Vision EQS concept.

The post The Mercedes Simplex Concept Is the Coolest Housewarming Gift You’ve Ever Seen appeared first on MotorTrend.

Markus Duesmann set to become next Audi CEO

Sep 15, 2019

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BMW's engine development and purchasing expert, Markus Duesmann, is set to become the CEO of Volkswagen's Audi premium brand, after BMW dropped its opposition to his early departure, a German newspaper reported on Saturday. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited a person with knowledge of the appointment as saying Duesmann will start as Audi chief on April 1.

Continue reading Markus Duesmann set to become next Audi CEO

Markus Duesmann set to become next Audi CEO originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 14 Sep 2019 18:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How VW is shifting its strategy from empire building to efficiency

Sep 14, 2019

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Volkswagen has abandoned its decades-old obsession with empire building and no-expense-spared engineering to free up resources for the development and mass production of electric cars, its CEO Herbert Diess told Reuters. A global clampdown on toxic exhaust fumes has triggered a new wave of consolidation in the auto industry as carmakers look for ways to slash development costs for low-emission and self-driving technologies. While rivals such as FiatChrysler and Renault explore a $3

Continue reading How VW is shifting its strategy from empire building to efficiency

How VW is shifting its strategy from empire building to efficiency originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 14 Sep 2019 09:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fernando Alonso and Dakar veteran Marc Coma team up in South Africa

Sep 14, 2019

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Alonso has yet to confirm he will enter the 2020 Dakar, regarded as the world's toughest motorsport challenge which is moving to the deserts of Saudi Arabia for the first time, but it looks increasingly likely. Coma, a winner in the motorcycle category, stood down as Dakar sporting director in 2018 and is acting as Alonso's co-driver.

Continue reading Fernando Alonso and Dakar veteran Marc Coma team up in South Africa

Fernando Alonso and Dakar veteran Marc Coma team up in South Africa originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 14 Sep 2019 07:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Best SUVs for Big Families

Sep 14, 2019

Let’s face it. There are a lot of people who buy big, honking vehicles and rarely fill the seats on a daily basis. But there are also consumers out there with big families who actually do need all 3 rows and some cargo space for all their gear.

One way to go is a wagon, and there are elegant solutions, including the Volvo V90, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Buick Regal TourX.

But who are we kidding? Most shoppers will bypass wagons and head straight for the SUV aisle. So we’ve compiled a list of some of the newer 3-row SUVs for large families worth consideration.


Kia Telluride

This is Kia’s first foray into the large SUV segment, and it’s an impressive entry. The 3-row Telluride has a strong SUV stance and stands out on the road with its square headlights.

The Koreans have surveilled the landscape well and added clever touches any family can appreciate. Materials are premium, fit and finish is top notch, all the amenities are included, and it’s a tremendous value starting at $32,735 with a $2,000 charge for all-wheel drive. You can get a well-equipped model for $46,000.

The Telluride has the largest passenger space in its class, making it one of the best SUVs for a big family. The second-row seats move quickly and easily out of the way to access the third row, and there’s lots of legroom. Second-row passengers should love the phone pocket in the storage pouch on the front seat backs, the USB ports on the sides of the front seats, diffused air from the roof-mounted air vents, and grab handles molded into the doors to better access the third row. The Telluride is technically an eight-seater, though the third-row middle seat is a tight fit.

Power comes from a 291-hp, 262-lb-ft 3.8-liter V-6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s a full flight of safety systems that help the vehicle accelerate, brake, stay in its lane, and perform an emergency stop.


Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai’s take on the 3-row SUV offers enviable passenger space. It shares a platform with the Kia Telluride, and both have the same 291-hp, 262-lb-ft 3.8-liter V-6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission, but they present differently.

The Palisade is more like a sleek minivan and has a more mature feel with its diamond-patterned quilted leather seats. It also has a 12.3-inch digital cluster, clever storage, and 16 cupholders, so it’s a great SUV for a large family.

The Hyundai has more standard features than the Kia, such as the self-leveling suspension and power-folding third row. The tailgate is height adjustable, has two different speeds, and can be opened by standing within 3 feet for 3 seconds.

The Rear Seat Quiet mode feature is standard on the Palisade and an option on the Telluride. It limits media audio to the front row, keeping the back rows quiet. You can also turn the rear speakers into a PA system to talk to the kids in the heated and cooled seats in the back rows.

The eight-passenger Palisade starts at $32,595, which is $140 less than the Telluride.


Ford Explorer

The driver will appreciate the 3-row Explorer’s move to a new rear-drive platform, which provides a livelier ride. If traction is a concern, don’t worry: All trim levels have available all-wheel drive.

The base engine of the 2020 Explorer is a 300-hp, 310-lb-ft 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4 with a 10-speed. Ford has added a hybrid, pairing the electric motors to the 318-hp, 322-lb-ft 3.3-liter V-6 and enabling it to tow 5,000 pounds, so this could be one of the best SUVs for large families with a boat or trailer.

There’s also a performance ST for the first time, powered by the 400-hp, 415-lb-ft twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. But it’s not just about power; there are numerous drive modes that give it full capability on any surface.

For all those kids, the seven-passenger Explorer has comfortable second-row seats that are easy to pull forward to get to the third row and a wider sill to climb into the vehicle. There’s also lots of headroom. It comes in third in cargo capacity after the Chevrolet Traverse and VW Atlas.

The Explorer starts at $37,770.


Toyota Highlander

The 3-row 2020 Toyota Highlander gets a complete makeover and moves to Toyota’s TNGA global architecture, which should give it better ride and handling.

Seating includes second-row captain’s chairs for a seven-passenger vehicle or a bench seat to carry eight. Second-row passengers get two USB ports, a 120-volt outlet, and climate controls. The new Highlander could be one of the best SUVs for a large family with lot of gear; cargo room behind the third row increases from 13.8 cubic feet to 16.1.

The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is gone, but the 295-hp, 263-lb-ft 3.5-liter V-6 carries over with the eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional; it still tows 5,000 pounds and should still get 21/27/23 city/highway/combined mpg with AWD. Dynamic Torque Vectoring—this is the second application after the RAV4—has been added to the upper trims.

The Highlander hybrid gets Toyota’s 2.5-liter Dynamic Force I-4 paired to an electric motor for a combined 240 hp. It runs on the Atkinson cycle and has an updated CVT. It can still tow 3,500 pounds.

Toyota Safety Sense is standard.

The new Highlander goes on sale in December with the hybrid following in early 2020.


Honda Pilot

A perennial favorite, Honda has given the seven-passenger Pilot some upgrades to keep it in the hunt with so much fresh new competition. To burnish its reputation for safety, the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control, has been made standard on all Pilots.

It has a 280-hp, 262-lb-ft 3.5-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic (nine-speed on higher trim levels), which has been reprogrammed and upgraded in response to customer complaints about harshness.

With a starting price of $32,645, the 3-row Pilot may not be the newest or the roomiest, but it’s still among the best SUVs for big families.


Lincoln Aviator

Lincoln has brought back the Aviator nameplate, but the vehicle is no longer truck-based. It uses Ford’s new rear-wheel-drive architecture and has a more carlike ride, but it includes all-wheel drive and off-road modes.

It’s also powerful. The base engine is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that produces 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque; the Grand Touring plug-in hybrid is powered by the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6  mated to a 13.6-kW-hr battery and an electric motor to deliver an eye-opening 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Both engines work with a refined 10-speed automatic that makes smooth shifts with either powertrain.

Design-wise, it’s one of the best in the segment, both inside and out, with beautiful materials, an incredible Revel stereo, and an overall sense of pampering for passengers in all rows with 30-way adjustable seats with heat, ventilation, and massage.

The Aviator starts at $52,195.


Mercedes-Benz GLS

Mercedes redid the GLS with the goal of making it the S-Class of 3-row SUVs. The interior is beautifully furnished and finished, and it offers tons of tech. The row of vents across the dash is functional and aesthetic.

Moving the second row bench for access to the third row is painfully slow; consider captain’s chairs if you don’t need the extra seat.

This SUV has a beast of an engine and handles nicely, aided by its air suspension. The base engine is a smooth 362-hp, 369-lb-ft 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 and comes paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. If you want more power and some deep growl, go for the 483-hp, 516-lb-ft 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the GLS 580. With either engine, the GLS ranks among the best family SUVs.

The GLS is athletic on-road and is as capable as a mountain goat off-road. The seven-passenger GLS starts at $76,195.


VW Atlas

This is a big seven-seater with 96.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the second- and third-row seats stowed. That’s 2.1 cubic feet more than in a Chevrolet Tahoe, which is 5.6 inches longer. It has massive rear doors and a roomy second row with seats that fold and slide easily.

We had a long-termer with the 276-hp, 266-lb-ft 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic. The base engine is a 235-hp, 258-lb-ft 2.0-liter turbo-four with front-wheel drive only; you have to upgrade to the V-6 for AWD. The four-cylinder can feel underpowered when the 3-row Atlas is full.

The 2020 Atlas is expected to start about $32,000.


Subaru Ascent

The Ascent, Subaru’s first 3-row SUV, made it to the semi-finals of MotorTrend’s March Mayhem vehicle shootout.

It rides on Subaru’s new global platform, which gives it good ride and handling, and it’s the first vehicle to get Subaru’s new 260-hp, 277-lb-ft 2.4-liter direct-injected turbocharged flat-four engine with a CVT. All-wheel drive is standard, as is the EyeSight suite of active safety features.

All seats recline, and everyone gets a sun shade, a reading light, and ventilation in the ceiling. Grab handles are thoughtfully placed on the inside shoulders of the second-row seats to ease entry to the very back. Convenience features like these add the Ascent to the ranks of the best family SUVs.

The eight-passenger Ascent starts at $33,005.


Chevrolet Traverse

This seven-passenger SUV is longer and wider than most in the segment and has the most cargo room in the class with the third-row seats up or down. It has about a trunk’s worth more space than a Honda Pilot. The 3-row Traverse has a 120.9-inch wheelbase and is 204.3 inches long.

The base engine is a 300-hp four-cylinder with an optional 310-hp, 266-lb-ft 3.6-liter V-6. They are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional. The Traverse offers a nice, planted ride with little body roll. It’s easy to get at the LATCH points for child seats.

The Traverse made it to the quarter finals of MotorTrend’s family car shootout. It’s a bargain starting at $30,995.


Mazda CX-9

Most 3-row SUVs, especially in this price range (expected to start about $35,000), will never return a memorable drive like this. The CX-9 isn’t most SUVs, though. It drives better, looks prettier, and keeps more focus on the person behind the wheel.

The seven-passenger CX-9 offers a sportier ride but less interior room—the CX-9’s 71.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity trails key competitors by 10 to 15 cubic feet. Second- and third-row comfort is decent for this family SUV.


Big boys

We have concentrated on car-based SUVs. Those with extra-large families and needs can go to the big, body-on frame SUVs that can pull a house. We’re talking Cadillac Escalade—a good deal these days as we await the next generation. Or the GMC Yukon Denali XL with its 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 or the nine-passenger Chevy Suburban, all of which need an update.

Ford has the massive Expedition and Expedition Max with a twin-turbo V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive.

The newest, most attractive offering in this space right now is the Lincoln Navigator, with a wheelbase 3.4 inches longer than the Aviator; the stretched Navigator L has a massive 131.6-inch wheelbase.

Best SUVs for Big Families

Kia Telluride$32,735
Hyundai Palisade$32,595
Ford Explorer$37,770
Toyota Highlander*$31,830
Honda Pilot – $32,645
Lincoln Aviator$52,195
Mercedes-Benz GLS – $76,195
Volkswagen Atlas*$32,000
Subaru Ascent – $33,005
Chevrolet Traverse – $30,995
Mazda CX-9*$35,000
*estimate

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Did you catch MotorTrend on Jeopardy?

Sep 14, 2019

Did you catch MotorTrend on Jeopardy! this week? Kicking off its 36th season, the popular game show featured MotorTrend Car of the Year as a whole category. It highlighted a variety of past winners of our annual Car of the Year award. See if you can guess them as they appeared on the show:

For $1000: This sporty pre-Mustang Ford
For $600: This Chevy sports car, about 30 years overdue
For $800: This Chrysler tall sedan
For $200: This pioneering Toyota model
For $400: This maker’s Giulia was the Alfa dog

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If you guessed 1958 Thunderbird, 1984 Corvette, 2001 PT Cruiser, 2004 Prius, and 2018 Alfa Romeo, you are correct.

If you’re curious about all of our past Car of the Year award winners, click here for a full rundown.

Video courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

The post Did you catch MotorTrend on Jeopardy? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Top 10 Fastest Accelerating SUVs 0-60 mph Ever Tested by MotorTrend

Sep 14, 2019

The laws of physics, it seems, are becoming obsolete. How else could heavyweight SUVs throw down such staggering performance? It wasn’t so long ago that SUVs were boxes on wheels meant to maximize space for hauling people or cargo. Today, a new breed of quick (acceleration) and fast (top speed) SUVs is on the rise, a breed that emphasizes the “S” in the acronym. The fastest production SUVs can beat many sports cars, sometimes through corners and often on the dragstrip. To that end, here are the top 10 quickest SUVs from 0 to 60 mph ever tested by MotorTrend.


Jaguar F-Pace SVR: 3.7 Seconds

Jaguar’s midsize crossover looks sleek in any spec, but the range-topping SVR adds proper quickness to the dapper style. No stranger to supercharged V-8 engines, Jaguar fits a potent blown 5.0-liter under the SVR’s vented hood. With 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque, the F-Pace SVR launches from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. That’s especially impressive considering the SUV’s all-season Pirelli tires, which we found to hinder handling and braking. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the F-Pace SVR become even quicker if shod with proper summer tires. Regardless, it’s quick, fast, sporty, noisy, and super fun.


Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack: 3.7 Seconds

When we first tested the Porsche Macan Turbo, its 400 hp and 406 lb-ft got it from 0–60 mph in 4.2 seconds. That’s good and quick, but it pales against what we got from one fitted with the optional Performance package, which wrings another 40 hp and 36 lb-ft from the 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6. It shaved a full half-second off the sprint for a 0–60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. Best of all, we found that with Porsche’s easy-to-use launch control, each run is nearly identical. Worst of all, that slice of speed comes at a dear price: The Performance package adds $10,500 to the already pricey—and fast—Macan Turbo. Worth it?


BMW X6 M: 3.7 Seconds

Even after a decade on the market and entering its third generation, the BMW X6 makes us ask: Why? Why take a capable and spacious X5 and chop the roof down? Style is the presumed answer, but that’s entirely subjective. Speed, however, can be measured and compared. In that regard a 3.7-second 0–60 mph run gives the X6 M a reason to exist. This hefty hunchback rockets off the line with 567 twin-turbocharged horsepower and combines performance and aesthetics in a way other automakers are keen to mimic. And if you still think an SUV should have as much utility as it does sport, the BMW X5 M is equally quick in the 0–60 mph sprint.


Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio: 3.3 Seconds

Just look at the Alfa Romeo Stelvio—it’s gorgeous. Swooping curves and elegant proportions make it a real looker, but if you spot a four-leaf clover on the quarter panel, you should clear the way. This innocuous-seeming sprout indicates it’s the racy Quadrifoglio version, which launches from 0–60 mph in 3.3 seconds. It does that with the smallest engine of any SUV on this list; its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 505 horsepower. Not to mention, it’s a sublime handler. Style, speed, and emotion are hallmarks of Italian cars. Now, Alfa Romeo applies those to an SUV.


Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: 3.3 Seconds

Jeep Grand Cherokee, meet Hellcat engine. Bolting that ridiculous 707-hp supercharged V-8 into an SUV seemed like destiny, and it came to fruition in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. What it sacrifices in off-road capability it gains in supreme speed, shrieking to 60 mph in a scant 3.3 seconds. Thanks to all-wheel drive, it’s actually the quickest of all the Hellcat-engined vehicles (except for the dragstrip-demolishing Dodge Demon), which struggle to put that prodigious power to the ground through the rear tires only. A catty SUV you can put your dogs in—imagine that.


Porsche Cayenne Turbo: 3.2 Seconds

Porsche wasn’t the first European manufacturer to build an SUV, but it was the one that brought performance into the equation. At this point the Cayenne Turbo is an institution, and it becomes quicker, sharper, and more capable with each generation, as is the Porsche way. These days the über-fast SUV hits 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, just as quick as a 997 911 Turbo. Note that this is merely the standard Cayenne Turbo with 541 hp and 567 lb-ft, not the Turbo S E-Hybrid with 670 hp and 663 lb-ft on tap—there may be acceleration to gain from electrification. The Cayenne was an originator, and it continues to push the fast-SUV segment forward.


Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S: 3.2 Seconds

Perhaps inspired by the X6, Mercedes-Benz took its popular GLC and coupe-ified it into a sloping four-door fastback. Then AMG got a hold of it, and the GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe was unleashed on the world. We measured a 3.2-second 0–60 mph acceleration run, making it quite a bit quicker than even Mercedes-AMG’s V-12 flagship coupe models. Here’s an SUV, outsprinting some of the finest sport-luxury cars in the world—nothing makes sense anymore.


Tesla Model X P90D: 3.2 Seconds

Remember when electric cars were seen as goofy appliances only tree huggers drove? How things have changed. Tesla sparked a paradigm shift in electric performance, and its Model X zaps almost everything in the SUV realm. Equipped with optional Ludicrous mode, this falcon-doored, American-made family hauler can “Space X” to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. That it does it with only a quiet whirr from its dual motors adds to the surreal nature of the experience. Mainstream automakers are hard at work to build Model X competitors, but so far none has been anywhere near as quick.


Bentley Bentayga Speed: 3.1 Seconds

The name says it all. The Bentayga Speed is the world’s fastest production SUV, with a claimed 190-mph top speed. And it’s plenty quick getting there, too. We measured a 3.1-second 0–60 mph time, scarcely believable considering its tonnage. A 626-hp 6.0-liter W-12 can’t be wrong, though, and provides all that thrust amid opulence becoming of the flying B badge. Back off the throttle, and it’s as much of a luxury car you could ever ask for—step back on it to drop anyone on your tail.


Lamborghini Urus: 3.0 Seconds

With the Urus, Lamborghini transcended the performance SUV plane and established something new. It’s a genuine exotic SUV, with all the panache and power that makes it worthy of the raging bull on its hood. Its Porsche Motorsports-tuned 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 is likely underrated at 641 hp and 627 lb-ft, but whatever the true power output, it lets the Urus charge to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds dead—making it the fastest-accelerating SUV we’ve ever tested.

Top 10 Fastest Accelerating SUVs 0-60 MPH Ever Tested by MotorTrend

  1. Jaguar F-Pace SVR: 3.7 Seconds
  2. Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack: 3.7 Seconds
  3. BMW X6 M: 3.7 Seconds
  4. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio: 3.3 Seconds
  5. Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: 3.3 Seconds
  6. Porsche Cayenne Turbo: 3.2 Seconds
  7. Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S: 3.2 Seconds
  8. Tesla Model X P90D: 3.2 Seconds
  9. Bentley Bentayga Speed: 3.1 Seconds
  10. Lamborghini Urus: 3.0 Seconds

The post Top 10 Fastest Accelerating SUVs 0-60 mph Ever Tested by MotorTrend appeared first on MotorTrend.

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