Dependable and comfortable Monday thru Friday…Ready and Willing on the Weekend…These vehicles may be your match!
By Beverly & Steve Smirnis
Jeep’s Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV ever for its supreme delivery on every front—off-road capability, class-leading towing and luxurious interior design. The 2016 model Grand Cherokee will vault this luxury midsize SUV to the top of its class in fuel economy as well. You can opt for the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 powertrain on Limited, Overland Summit and SRT models and get up to 30 mpg and a highway driving range of 730 miles with no compromises on its 240 hp and 420 ft-lb torque. The award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 power platform will also improve its MPG rating by adding Engine Stop-Start technology, a cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation system, an advanced two-step variable valve lift system, and variable-valve timing, while simultaneously improving its output to 295 hp. The 5.7-liter V-8, with 475 hp and 470-lb-ft of torque will set the bar as well, employing electric power steering, decreased tire rolling resistance and weight reductions thanks to new aluminum elements.
While fuel economy is not exactly its forte, Land Rover’s LR4 comes at a price that undercuts many of the large luxury SUVs, and is one vehicle that can turn as many heads in the valet line as it can on the back roads. Considered a midsize luxury SUV, the LR4 is offered in a single well-equipped trim level. Five seats are standard and a third row is option. Under the hood is a 5.0-liter V8 cranking out 375 hp and 375-lb-ft of torque via a 6 speed automatic transmission with full-time 4WD. Off the pavement, LR4’sTerrain Response system offers the choice of mud, rocks, snow, or sand modes and automatically dials in the optimal suspension and powertrain settings for each. On or off the road, LR4’s suspension is well-tuned in terms of ride quality.
In the fiercely competitive small crossover SUV category. the Subaru Forester has continually proven to hold its own with sure-footed standard all-wheel drive, above class cargo room and seating comfort, a top five-star rating for overall protection in crash tests, superior-rated automatic emergency braking system, and just enough creature comforts for those who value the “functional simplicity” of the Subaru brand. Continuously variable transmission (CVT)- equipped 2.5i models are rated at 27 mpg combined—excellent for an AWD crossover. The 2.0XT’s standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder churns out 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the strongest engines in this class while still delivering 25 mpg combined. The 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT models have an additional driver-selectable mode that optimizes various functions to improve traction on slippery surfaces. Generous ground clearance and hill descent control on the higher level trims also come in handy for the occasional trip offroad.