cheap monster beats headphones 2014 Autoweek New Truck Buyer’s Guide
Meet the Class of 2014: Fully 50 percent of us drive a variation of what the EPA classifies a truck, sport utility vehicle or crossover every day. We drive them for work, for play, for hauling a load or for hauling a crowd. We tote our children off to college in them, stuff them with provisions from the local big box store, ferry the soccer team out for ice cream and bring home that new big screen TV in time for the Super Bowl. WE show as much enthusiasm for them as we do our cars. Oh, and lest you bellow over the very definition of “truck,” remember that our list is based on EPA classification so take it up with Uncle Sam.
Acura MDX:If you’re in an Acura dealership, chances are you’re looking at one of these. Photo credit: Acura
HIGHLIGHTS: The Acura MDX is redesigned for the 2014 model year with fresh sheetmetal and a revamped interior. Exterior changes include a longer wheelbase and length, a narrower body and lowered height. In styling terms, the MDX carries on Acura’s design theme with features such as the corporate blade grille and jewel headlamps. The interior is revised, as well, with a less busy center stack and more user friendly interface. A Honda smooth 3.5 liter V6 engine powers the MDX, producing 290 hp, mated to a six speed automatic. For the first time, you can have an MDX with front wheel drive, while all wheel drive is optional.
BASE PRICE: $43,885
OUR OPINION: More manageable dimensions make this always solid luxury crossover option even better. Packing a 3.0 liter supercharged V6, the SQ5 delivers 354 hp and 347 lb ft of torque with a top speed of 155 mph. Ride height has been lowered more than an inch with the entire package riding on 20 inch wheels. You’ll notice S line trim around the exterior featuring sportier wheels, grille and exhaust tips. The interior receives the S line treatment as well.
OUR OPINION: Audi brings an entry to the high performance SUV market, stepping into a niche market given its size. Styling falls in line with what we’ve seen from the 3 series with such styling touches as the headlights bleeding into the twin kidney grille. Overall shape and proportions are the same, so it’s instantly recognizable as an X5. Engine choices include a turbocharged 4.4 liter V8 producing 445 hp in the xDrive 50i, a turbo charged diesel 3.0 liter inline six with 255 hp (xDrive 35d) and BMW’s 300 hp turbocharged 3.0 liter inline gasoline six (xDrive 35i and sDrive 35i). Inside you’ll find a more luxurious interior with different rear seat choices (40/20/20 or 70/30 bench options).
BASE PRICE: $53,725
OUR OPINION: Remains one of the more enthusiast focused SUVs available. Engine choices include a 5.3 liter V8 producing 355 hp, a new 4.3 liter EcoTec3 V6 delivering 285 hp and a 6.2 liter V8. All engines are mated to a carryover six speed automatic. The interior features five USB ports and a MyLink infotainment system so you can keep tabs on the office when you’re on the road. The truck is quiet and refined, thanks to a stiffer frame and the use of more high strength steel. Cab options include regular, double and crew configurations.
BASE PRICE: $24,585
OUR OPINION: With a great ride, adequate powertrain options, quiet cabin and competitive pricing, this truck just made deciding which pickup to buy a whole lot harder. Outside changes include optional LED daytime running lights, revised grille and Dodge’s new tail lamps, along with other subtle changes. The Durango also receives an eight speed transmission standard across all trim levels while the V6 (295 hp) and V8 (360 hp) stay on board. The interior gets Chrysler’s 8.4 inch navigation system, along with a new infotainment center.
BASE PRICE: $30,790
OUR OPINION: Often overlooked, but a solid full size SUV competitor. It’s a taller, more versatile five door, though styling is 500 esque. You’ll find signature design cues and smaller details such as the headlights and taillights. The inside is spacious and features options such as navigation, Beats by Dre audio system and a backup camera/sensors. The 500 Abarth’s 1.4 liter turbo four powers the L, producing 160 hp and 184 lb ft of torque. You can get either a six speed manual transmission or a six speed dual clutch automatic.