Tag - crossover

Driven: 2015 Chevy Trax

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When I drove the Buick Encore in 2013, it was a bit of a unique offering on American soil, owing to its subcompact roots; specifically, those of the Chevy Sonic. Besides the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke, even up until last year there were few alternatives for those seeking a pipsqueak crossover. The B-segment crossover field is set to grow significantly in 2015, however, with manufacturers like Honda, Mazda, Jeep and Fiat each set to introduce their own variation on the theme. Chevy can also be counted among the fray, although much of their work on the Trax seen here had already been done with the Encore.

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Driven: 2015 BMW X4

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In struggling to describe the X4 to the unfamiliar, I was often reminded of the fact that BMW’s full model lineup has now stretched to a staggering 97 unique drivetrain and body configurations. Obviously, the name of this automaker’s game is diversification. With a car for every buyer and therefore a butt for every well-contoured seat, the Bavarians stand somewhat alone in the marketplace at the moment – though other manufacturers are hustling to catch up. What’s most surprising isn’t the sheer level of choice at your local BMW lot – it’s the fact that the company still manages to make each one of them a decent steer.

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Driven: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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When Toyota’s Camry-Wagon-turned-crossover known as the Highlander debuted in 2001, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about its existence. This is, after all, essentially the vehicle that assured the demise of the wagon variant of the Camry around the world, though in the US that body style had been dormant since 1997 anyway. Keen as we car guys are on the station wagon, it’s clear by now that the crossover is here to stay. The Highlander has changed a lot in the intervening years, too – though this 2014 redesign might be the most radical departure yet from that oddball Camry with two rear windshield wipers.

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Driven: 2014 Lexus RX450h

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You could be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit late in the Lexus RX’s model life cycle for us to review it; after all, these pages are usually devoted to freshly restyled or all-new metal. But in fact, though this platform’s basic bones stretch back to the 2010 model year, the RX received a heavy refresh for 2013 that brought it right up to date against others in the entry-level luxury crossover segment. We’ve covered the normal RX350 before on these pages, but never the full-zoot RX450h hybrid version. What makes this CUV a perennial class sales leader? Read on for a look. Read More

Driven: 2014 Ford Escape SE EcoBoost

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The Escape is a compact crossover class stalwart, fighting tooth and nail with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 for the sales crown, month in and month out. As a symbol of the new global Ford it carries itself well, although the last Escape was decidedly archaic when compared to the current model introduced in 2012 and even it sold well. The Tiguan I drove a few weeks back is an also-ran in its sales segment despite being a great car, selling just a tenth of what the big names do. Is the Escape ten times better, or is it simply name recognition at play? We borrowed one for a week to find out.

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