2018 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: MicroCompact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain

Luxury SUVs

Well-heeled buyers have been flocking to luxury CUVs partly because of fashion and partly due to their versatility. There is little new for 2018 other than the third-generation BMW X3 and the second-generation of the Volvo XC60. 

Acura RDX  BMW X1  Cadillac  XT5  Nissan Murano 
Acura MDX  BMW X3  Jeep Grand Cherokee  Range Rover Evoque 
Audi Q5  Buick Envision  Lexus RX  Volvo XC40 
    Mercedes-Benz GLC  Volvo XC60 

2018 Acura RDX

 


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2018, which should be the last year for the current RDX. 
Performance
The RDX's eager, sweet-sounding 3.5L V6 delivers swift acceleration, impressive flexibility and relaxed cruising. The six-speed automatic transmission is very well matched to the V6, and delivers imperceptible upshifts and downshifts. The electric power steering is nicely weighted and geared, has little centre play and tracks straight on the highway, but it's numb. The suspension copes with minor road imperfections with a resilient firmness. 
The progressive, powerful brakes feel overly boosted initially but weighting feels ideal after some acclimatization. The high window line limits outward visibility for lane changes.
While the air-conditioner is powerful, it's temperature varied annoyingly according to loads placed on the engine by the driver. Very good audio system. The navigation system features an intuitive control set-up and functions very well. The RDX's Bluetooth system readily connects to an iPhone but would not hook up to cell phones using older technology.

Interior
The cabin is fronted by a dashboard featuring big, crisply-marked gauges. The centre touch screen replaces a multitude of buttons but does require some acclimatization before it becomes familiar. The large, comfortable front seats locate occupants well without confining them. The driver’s seat is multi-adjustable, but the low-mounted, fixed-height front passenger seat left some occupants feeling buried in a vehicle with a high dash cowl and high window line. The rear seat is comfortable for two and holds three in a pinch. Rear legroom is ample and the rear floor is flat.
The cabin features abundant padded surfaces, matte finishes, attractive leather seating, is carefully assembled. Despite a high cargo deck, cargo space is ample below the window line and the trunk is both wide and long. The 60/40 split rear seat can be folded by pulling release handles conveniently located near the wide-opening rear tailgate. Though the rear seats don’t lay flat, the RDX still has a substantial cargo hold when they are folded.

Comments
The RDX's 3.5L V6 is the only engine offered and power reaches all wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.   

Pricing

Upgrading to the Technology trim level, with a navigation system, upgraded audio system, blind spot and cross traffic warnings, heated rear seats, rain sensing wipers and power folding rear seats, is very good value. The Elite range topper balances price and content precisely. Very good value leasing.  

Reliability
Above average. The RDX uses proven mechanical units from other Honda products and service costs should be less than those for European-branded CUVs.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SW
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (279 HP)

Transmissions: 6A
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy: 12.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic, forward collision and lane departure warnings as well as active cruise control with collision mitigation braking. 
Additional airbags: None

Warranty: 4/80,000 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2013
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Acura MDX

 


 

 

What’s new
A revised infotainment system incorporating Android Auto is about all that is new for the current MDX in its last year on the market.

Performance
When setting out on a first run in the MDX, the driver's first impression is that they are driving a super luxurious tank. That initially feeling fades as the driver discovers that the MDX is a surprisingly tossable family bus. Stable handling is allied to a firmly compliant ride to deliver a ride-handling balance that is nicely judged for this type of vehicle. The strong, tuneful 3.5L V6 is well-matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly, maximizes acceleration and minimizes revs while cruising. The push-button gear selector works well once you are used to it but the MDX might not be a vehicle you would loan to anyone who is unused to the selector. The MDX's steering is nicely weighted, precise and holds its line very well on the highway.   
The AcuraLink touch-screen has few buttons but requires the driver to cycle through a variety of screens to complete simple tasks like changing the ventilation fan speed. Crisp gauge graphics. Elegant, upscale cabin accented with attractive open pore wood on the Elite model driven by the APA. The second-row seat can be moved for and aft to maximize legroom for that row or to allow for more legroom for third-row passengers. Third row passengers enjoy reasonable space and fairly easy access. Good cargo space.

Comments
The 3.5L, direct-injected 290 horsepower V6 features cylinder deactivation. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels. Active safety includes the available Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Blind Spot Information, and a Collision Mitigation Braking System. The optional Elite package adds Active Damper Sport Suspension, which employs magnetically-charged particles contained in the shock absorber fluid to firm up the suspension as needed. Acura introduced a hybrid version of the MDX last year. It is powered by a 3.5L-V6 and electric motor to produce 321 total combined horsepower. Properly equipped, the V6 MDX can tow 2268 kg (5000 lbs.).

Pricing
The Navigation trim upgrade is priced to reflect the proposed equipment but the Tech and Elite models are overpriced. Great value leasing. Good resale value.

Reliability: Not rated due to insufficient information. Predicted reliability is above average.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SW
Occupants: 2/3/2
Engines:
3.5L‑V6 (290 HP), 3.5L-V6 H (321 HP)

Transmissions: 9A
Drive Layout:  All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 12.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 9.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Blind Spot Information, and a Collision Mitigation Braking System.

Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Audi Q5

 

NEW

What’s new
No changes of note since the Q5 was introduced in the spring of 2017.    

Comments
A 252 horsepower 2L four will be the volume engine for the new Q5, but a turbocharged Q5 S (marketed as the SQ5) 3L V6 with 354 horsepower, should be on sale by the summer of 2017. A seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission is hooked up to the 2L four with a conventional eight-speed automatic expected for the V6. Audi's previous all-wheel all the time Quattro system has been replaced by a new system that is primarily front-wheel drive but with the ability to send torque to the rear wheels when needed. Audi continues to use the Quattro brand on this new system. 

The silhouette of the new Q5 is a virtual doppelganger of its predecessor, with only the brushed alloy accent ring around the grille and flabby accent line just below the windows to distinguish this new Q5 from the old one. Once a style leader, Audi is now giving off an aura of elegant self-parody. The chief positive attribute of the new Q5's body is that it is about 90 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. 

The new Q5's cabin sticks to long-established Audi design themes but unlike the disappointing exterior, the cabin is study in traditional elegance. Pleasing colour combinations, supple leather and chic wood and bright accents make for a welcoming cabin. The Q5 features comfortable seating and ample legroom front and rear. Cargo space is similar to that of the previous Q5. 

Pricing

The base Komfort trim is comprehensively equipped but the Progressiv trim upgrade, which includes niceties such as a large-format sunroof, navigation, a heated steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors and a foot-gesture operated tailgate, is very good value if you like its extra content. The top Technik trim level is priced to closely reflect the value of its extra features. The various option packages are acceptable value for 2018. Though it is built in Mexico, Audi doesn't seem to be passing any labour or freight savings along to Canadian buyers.  

Reliability
Not rated, New model. Reliability predicted to be acceptable for the first four years, with reliability faltering after that, like the A4 it is based on. Expect expensive servicing costs typical of Audis. Audi's service plan, good for scheduled services up to 70,000 km, is recommended. Short powertrain warranty.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (252 HP)*, 3L‑V6 T (354 HP estimated)

Transmissions: 7-Speed automated manual 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.4L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy:  8.6L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings and rear collision avoidance. 
Additional airbags: Rear side airbags optional

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no powertrain warranty past 4/80,000 km

Current Generation Debut: 2018
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 BMW X1

 


What’s new
In the spirit of niche-filling BMW excels at, a shallow-windowed spin-off of the X1, called the X2, debuts this year.
Comments
The current X1 moved from its previous premium rear-wheel drive architecture to the front-wheel drive platform shared with the European1-Series and MINI Clubman model. The sole engine available at this time is the 2L turbocharged four-cylinder that is available in virtually all of BMW's range. The 2L produces 228 horsepower and a stout 258 lb.ft. of torque. Power reaches all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The new X1 eschews the tall wagon esthetic of its predecessor for a more mainstream CUV look that adheres closely to BMW s current design vocabulary. The X1's cabin design is also very much in the 'School of BMW" house style. A pod tightly wrapped around small-format main gauges sits in front of the driver in a strongly horizontally-arrayed dashboard. A standalone infotainment screen sits proud of the dash above the dash centre stack. The centre stack contains straightforward climate controls and while those for the audio system look sleek, you need to engage the iDrive function to see what audio mode and or station/function you are on. Cabin materials, with some chic two tone combinations and very au courant open pore wood finishes, are more attractive than previously. Cabin space is quite reasonable for four adults now and rear passengers have much more space than in the Audi Q3 or the Mercedes GLA. The cargo hold is regularly shaped and deep below the window line.
Driven briefly by the APA, an early production X1 accelerated briskly and cruised quietly, but its engine exhibited what sounded like a death-rattle on the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts. The eight-speed automatic transmission harnesses the power of the 2L turbo for to its fullest. Ride, handling and braking are all very well sorted. However, overall, the X1 lacks the kind of polish and refinement expected from a vehicle in this segment and is disappointing unless the BMW logo is important to you. 

Pricing
At just under $40,000, the base X1 is equipped well enough to dispense with any additional options. The Premium Essential package is good value and the Premium Enhanced package, which includes navigation, is acceptable value.  The Driver Assistance Package, is reasonably priced but you need to add the Driver Assistant Plus package to get radar cruise control with stop and go capability. The M Sportline option group seems to offer little for the money asked. Expensive metallic paint charge but the price to upgrade from vinyl to leather is only $950. Built in Germany, the cost factors for the X1 are less favourable than they are for the U.S. built X3. Good value leasing.  
Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. The turbo four and eight-speed automatic transmission are as of yet unproven. Some complaints of oil sludge forming in the variable valve timing mechanism on BMWs. Complimentary "scheduled" maintenance for the first four years or 80,000 km. The APA recommends oil changes every six months or 10,000 km even if the dealer charges you for them outside the complimentary service plan. Four year/80,000 warranty but no additional powertrain warranty after that.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L‑4 T (228 HP)  

Transmissions: 8A 

Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.5L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available object detection, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings and active cruise control
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000 , no additional powertrain warranty
Current Generation Debut: 2016
Country of Origin: Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 BMW X3

 

NEW

 

 

What's new
An all new X3 debuts for 2018. The new crossover is roughly the same size and explores similar styling themes as its predecessor.


Comments
Although it is has been seven years since the last X3 debuted, BMW has elected to maintain the status quo and the new X3 is essentially the same size as its predecessor. There is little new mechanically either as the 2L turbo four and 3L turbo inline six return, with 2L and 3L gaining seven and 55 horsepower respectively. The previous X3 was offered with diesel power but BMW has not released any information on a compression ignition engine for the new-generation X3. The sole transmission choice is an eight speed automatic.

Except for the fish-like 'gills' inset into the lower front fender panels, the new X3, like other recent BMWs, looks little different from its predecessor. BMWs static styling themes reflects a great self satisfaction within the company for its design vocabulary, but some pundits hope the propeller brand rehires former style Czar Chris Bangle to once again shake the firm out of its complacency. The cabin, with a pronounced horizontal emphasis, a standalone infotainment screen and small diameter instrumentation, is very BMW. There are some awkward accents, especially the shape of the bright alloy trim at the top of the dash centre stack. The quality of the cabin materials inside the new X3 look more upscale than the vehicle it replaced. The electronic joystick transmission selector is no less tedious in the new X3 as it was on the old one. Essentially the same size at its predecessor, the new X3 is a very roomy four seater and can accept a lot of gear inside its cargo bay. 

Pricing

Moving up from four-cylinder to six-cylinder power in an X3 costs $13,000. Metallic paint, leather upholstery, and LED headlamps, are all very expensive. The Ultimate, Premium package Essential, Premium package Enhanced and Executive Interior option groups are all extravagantly overpriced.  

Reliability
The electrical system can cause problems. Some complaints of oil sludge forming in the variable valve timing mechanism on other BMW engines. Complimentary "scheduled" maintenance for the first four years or 80,000 km. The APA recommends oil changes every six months or 10,000 km even if the dealer charges you for them outside the complimentary service plan. Short powertrain warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T  (248 HP)*, 3L-6 T (355 HP) 

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available lane departure and Collision warnings as well as blind spot detection

Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000 with no additional powertrain coverage
Current Generation Debut: 20181
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Buick Envision

 

What’s new
Nothing new for the 2018 Envision. 

Comments
Buick has not had a midsize crossover since the demise of the Rendezvous in 2007, and the new Envision plugs the giant hole in the Buick lineup between the small Encore and the massive Enclave. According to GM, the Envision was designed in Detroit but is built for global markets in Buick’s biggest market, China. Apart from its distinctive Buick grille, the Envision has a slightly Teutonic air about it. The interior is quite chic, with clear gauges, logical minor controls and attractive components; but the overly faux looking wood tone accents are not universally appreciated. Space for passengers is class-competitive but the luggage locker is a bit tighter than many competitors. Two four-cylinder engines, a normally-aspirated 2.5L, with a 252 horsepower 2L turbo, are available. Power reaches all wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. A full suite of active safety features is available. Driven briefly with the 2L turbo four, the Envision is quick and quiet and the vehicle exhibits a ride-handling balance that is more biased toward bump absorption; which some find too nautical for their taste. 
Pricing
The Preferred and Essence trim levels are powered by the base 2.5L engine, with the Premium I and Premium II variants having the 2L turbo under the hood. The Essence trim upgrade looks expensive for what you get for the money. Moving up to the Premium trim levels is good value. Very good value leasing. 

Reliability
Not rated, new model. Complex electronic components have not been completely reliable in other GM vehicles so a GM extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep the Envision beyond the four year/80,000 km bumper to bumper warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (252 HP), 2.5L-4 (197 HP)
Transmissions: 6A
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 11.8L/100km

Highway Fuel Economy: 9.1L/100km


Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffc and lane departure warnings. Active cruise control with collision mitigation braking
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for front occupants and read side airbags for outboard rear passengers
Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut: 2016
Country of Origin: China

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Cadillac XT5

 

What’s new
A camera that displays what is going on behind the car in the rear view mirror, is optional for 2018.

Comments
The XT5 replaces the Cadillac SRX went on sale in the fall of 2016. Fronted by a very Cadillac grille, the exterior was penned by a sure hand and is tastefully conservative. The interior follows the same design ethos and is fashioned from lavish and attractive materials. XT5 occupants are welcomed by comfortable seats and plenty of legroom, front and rear. The floor of the expansive cargo area lifts up to reveal a large, hidden storage area with partitions.
Power stems from a 310 horsepower version of GM s 3.6L V6 that has undergone a number of internal modifications. The revised engine incorporates a variable cylinder management system that can turn it into a V4 when lightly loaded, and a stop-start system that turns off the engine automatically in traffic. The new XT5 all-wheel drive system can move up to 100 percent of torque to either axle and also from one side to another, but it's essentially front-wheel-drive-biased and can lock out drive to the rear wheels to enhance fuel economy. A full complement of active safety features is available.
The XT5’s 3.6L V6 accelerates briskly but lacks the symphonic sound quality that the pre-direct injection version of this engine exhibited. Road noise is too intrusive for a luxury vehicle. The new eight-speed automatic transmission is well-mated to the engine and shifts very smoothly. However, its joystick like shifter is needlessly confusing. The XT5’s crisp handling is allied to a firmly resilient ride that will please most buyers. The nicely weighted and geared steering manages to transmit a scintilla of road surface sensation back to the driver.

Pricing
All-wheel drive is standard on all models except for the base, where it is a $3000 option. Compared with the base model, the Luxury trim upgrade is priced to reflect the value of its content. The Premium Luxury trim upgrade is significantly overpriced and the supplement demanded for the Platinum is around five time the value of its content. Good value leasing for 2018.

Reliability
Not rated, new model. The previous version of the 3.6L V6 suffered from defective timing chains that led to troubles for SRX owners. Complex electronic components have not been completely reliable in other GM vehicles so a GM extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep the SRX beyond the four year/80,000 km bumper to bumper warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
3.6L-V6 (310 HP)
Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy:  12.8L/ 100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 9.3L/ 100 km9.3L 100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffc and lane departure warnings. Active cruise control with low speed auto braking in forward and reverse driving and lane keep assist.
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut: 2017
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Lexus RX350, RX450h

 


What’s new
A new L model, with third-row seating and a longer cargo bed, is about all that is new for 2018.  

Comments
Driven in F Sport 3 guise, the direct-injected 3.5L V6 sends power to the wheels via a crisp-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Though it handles well, the ride is on the firm side and refinement, a Lexus hallmark, is lacking. The RX's dashboard is dominated by a large aftermarket-looking touch screen on top of the dashboard, a design thought up by the German brands a few years ago. The heavily bolstered front seats on the F-Sport 3 are confining and the space allocated to the driver feels narrow. The rear seat however, is comfortable, with excellent legroom. The L in the new L model does not refer to a longer wheelbase but the extra length between the rear wheels and the back of the car. Lexus has wedged in a third row seat but legroom is more theoretical than real and second-row occupants don't enjoy more legroom which would have been the case if the wheelbase was stretched. Buyers considering the F Sport trims should try them before they buy as the luxury ambiance and luxurious finish expected in a Lexus are notably absent.
The RX's exterior styling reflects the edgy design themes first seen on the compact Lexus NX. It may not be pretty, but is distinctive and doesn't seem to be hurting sales. 
RX buyers can pick either a conventional 3.5L V6 hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission, or a hybrid model that twins electric motors, a V6 engine and a CVT transmission.

Pricing
The conventional RX350 and Hybrid RX400h are offered in both regular and F Sport flavours at essentially the same price if similarly equipped. All trim upgrades are overpriced. The three-row  longer tail L model is priced $1950 higher than the regular RX. The hybrid powertrain is priced up to $7000 higher than a similarly equipped conventional model. Very good value leasing.
Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Predicted reliability is above average.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
3.5L-V6 (300 HP estimated), 3.5L-V6 H (300 HP combined estimated)

Transmissions: 8A (RX350), CVT (RX 450h)

Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 12.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available Blind spot, lane departure and forward collision warnings as well as active cruise control. 
Additional airbags: No info available.
Warranty: 4/80,000, 6,110,000, 8/160,000 (hybrid components only)
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin: Canada (RX350), Japan (RX450 h)

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

 


 

 

What’s new
The Grand Cherokee enters its eighth year on the market with a number of changes. An insane TrackHawk model, powered by a 707 horsepower supercharged 6.2L V8, is new. The iOS-Android cellphone infotainment interface is standard and Guardian, Travel Link and Traffic Plus from Sirius-XM, are optional. 4G Wi-Fi is now featured on the Grand Cherokee. A Sterling Edition, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Grand Cherokee, is optional on the Limited trim. The cabin of the base Laredo model has been freshened with a new upholstery pattern. The 3L VM Motori diesel is no longer available on the Grand Cherokee.  
Performance
The wide spread of gears afforded by the Grand Cherokee's eight-speed automatic transmission optimizes the power of the 3.6L V6 to deliver effortless performance along with refined, low rev. cruising. Unless you are towing extreme loads, there is no reason to consider the 5.7L V8.
Tested briefly in very cold weather, the 3L turbodiesel is quick and economical but was very noisy when started from cold and was disappointingly unrefined even when warm. Sales of the diesel were put on hold as of February 2017 due to emissions issues. 
While nicely weighted and geared, the Grand Cherokee's steering is a bit numb and you can sense the mass of components being controlled by the steering wheel. Equipped with the air suspension standard on premium model tested, the Grand Cherokee has an absorbent ride that absorbs even major bumps without fuss. That said, some APA drivers thought the Grand Cherokee's supple ride was at the expense of handling, which exhibits greater lean in corners and a less stable feel than they would like.
Braking is strong but the amount of brake travel required before anything happens is disconcerting. The brakes on the diesel were very slow to react and caused some APA drivers to think the brakes were not going to react to pedal inputs.
The cabin of the Grand Cherokee is sumptuous, especially on high-end models. Hand-stitching, matte-finished open-pore woods and elegant leather upholstery combine to create a comfortable driving environment. The Grand Cherokee has become a premium-priced vehicle and its interior is finished to satisfy the aspirations of its well-heeled buyers. Big, comfortable seats front and rear and good legroom for all passengers. Versatile cargo area. That said, the cabin is colour sensitive. The dark brown with warm wood tone colour scheme looks very welcoming but the black with black wood colour combination is oppressive. The gold-toned faux alloy cabin trim looked chic when combined with warm tone cabins but some thought the trim was visually discordant when used in cool tone cabins.

Comments
Four engines, a  3L V6 turbodiesel (sales suspended as of February 2017), a gasoline 3.6L V6 and two V8s, a 5.7L and a 6.4L (SRT), are offered in the Grand Cherokee. All engines send power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Three all-wheel drive systems are available. Quadra-Trac I is a permanently engaged single-speed all-wheel drive system. Quadra-Trac II adds a two-speed transfer case and can send power to all wheels or to either axle, depending on what is needed. Quadra-Drive II has a rear electronic limited slip differential and can send all available torque to one wheel if that is the wheel with traction. The Overland, Trailhawk and Summit models are underpinned by an air suspension system. The SRT8 is remarkably fast and agile for this type of vehicle. The (not recommended due to durability concerns) 3L V6 turbodiesel was a $5000 option on the Overland and Summit trims. The Signature Leather Wrapped package, which includes 'Laguna' leather upholstery. Properly equipped, towing capacities are 2812 kg (6200 lbs.) with the gasoline V6 and 3265 kg (7200 lbs.) with the 5.7L V8.

Pricing

Over the last decade, the Grand Cherokee has morphed from a mainstream CUV to a premium priced product. The base Laredo version of the Grand Cherokee is nicely equipped and the best value of the lineup. Upgrading from the Laredo to the Limited costs just under $8300, about twice the value of its additional equipment. The price to move up from the Limited to the Overland is overpriced but its real value is acceptable if you really desire its extra luxuries. The Summit range topper balances price and value quite precisely. The Trailhawk dedicated off-road package is priced to reflect the value of its extra equipment and delivers a lot of off-road prowess by just checking a box. The 5.7L V8 is a $2400 option on trim levels where it is not standard. Opting for the gasoline V6 instead of the 5.7L V8 nets buyers a $2150 credit on the Overland or Summit trims. The SRT model, powered by a large 6.4L V8, is expensive and the insanely powerful $109,995 supercharged TrackHawk, can only be measured against CUVs like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo when value is discussed.   

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data on the current model, but few complaints have been received since its launch. Unproven diesel engine. Complaints of a "hydraulic lock" condition  and outright failures on the diesel, which is not recommended.  Unproven air suspension on the Overland and Summit models.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
3.6L-V6 (295 HP)*, 5.7L-V8 (360 HP), 6.2L-V6 S (707 HP), 6.4L-V8 (475 HP)

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.71L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Blind spot monitors and rear cross traffic warning. Adaptive cruise control with stop and forward collision warning with mitigation braking.

Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag 

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 (no powertrain warranty beyond 3/60,000 on the SRT),

Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC

 

What’s new
The V6 turbo, marketed as the GLC 43, was introduced during the 2017 model year.; A new 350e hybrid model, with a 2L gas four with an electric motor producing a combined horsepower of 315, has been announced but was not on sale as of October 2017. A rearview camera is standard on the GLC for 2018 and there have been various package tweaks as well. Air suspension is standard equipment on the GLC 43 V6 model.

Performance
The GLC is a significant improvement over the GLK it replaced. The 2L turbo four is energetic and impressively refined; it's hooked up to a slick-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission. The ride-handling compromise is very well judged. Road and wind noise are higher than some buyers in this segment will find acceptable. The cabin is much roomier than the GLK, especially for those in the back seat. Some drivers will find the front seat cushions to be too narrow, surprising as there is ample room in the cabin to make them wider. The cabin is both elegant and carefully constructed. Good cargo space. 

Comments
The GLC debuted with a 2L four-cylinder turbo marketed as the GLC C300 4Matic. A four-cylinder turbodiesel was expected but was likely ditched in the wake of the VW diesel fiasco. The second engine for the GLC is a 362 horsepower turbocharged V6. Power reaches all wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission on the GLC300 and GLC 43 but the new hybrid employs a seven-speed automatic. Like BMW with the X4 spin-off of the X3, Mercedes released a DUV (diminished utility vehicle) version of the GLC, marketed as the GLC coupe. Air suspension, far from trouble free in the Mercedes ML, is standard on the GLC 43, which should therefore be avoided.

Pricing
The Mercedes GLC is offered in only one trim level with a multitude of option packages and single options. On the volume GLC300 version, the Premium, Exclusive and Night packages are overpriced. The Premium Plus and Sport packages are priced to reflect the value of their contents. The Intelligent drive package is good value. The prices for leather seating and metallic paint are excessive. The DUV Coupe version of the GLC 300 is priced $4400 more than the regular GLC but the price bump reduces to $1600 for the GLC 43 variant. Opting for the turbo V6 on can cost around $15,000 more than a GLC powered by a 2L four. No pricing for the hybrid was available in October 2017. Good value leasing. 


Reliability
Not rated, too little data is available on it. The previous model was rated average for the first three or four years. An extended warranty recommended if you plan to keep a GLC beyond the four year/80,000 km warranty. No powertrain warranty beyond the basic four year/80,000 km warranty. Avoid the GLC 43 V6 due to its standard ait suspension. The Mercedes prepaid service plan, which covers the first three scheduled services for $999, is strongly recommended.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (241 HP), 2L-4 H (292 HP), 3L-V6 T (362 HP)

Transmissions: 7A (hybrid),  9A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  11.1L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy:  8.6L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Available Blind spot and cross traffic alerts, collision prevention and pedestrian detection alerts and lane keep and driver attention assist
Additonal airbags:: driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty

Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin: Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Nissan Murano

 


 

 

What’s new
Autonomous emergency braking is standard on all models. Adaptive cruise control and heated rear seats are standard on the Murano SL and Platinum trims. A foot gesture activated power tailgate is available on the SV, SL and Platinum models. Android auto is now available.


Comments
Nissan's Murano is a radical departure from the quasi-retro cars they had been releasing a number of years ago. The inside is more conventional and follows styling themes explored in several recent large Nissan products. Big, clear gauges and straightforward minor controls will be easy enough for owners use. The chief "out there" aspects are styling details like the light interior hues, including light-colour faux wood accents. Interior fit and finish are very good. The seats are very comfortable front and rear, and legroom is competitive.
The Murano is powered by Nissan's ubiquitous 3.5L V6 that is mated to a CVT automatic. Front-wheel-drive is standard with an on-demand all-wheel-drive optional. Nissan has added a lot of optional new safety technologies to the new model. Towing capacity of 680 kg (1500 lbs.) is low for a V6-powered vehicle of this type.

Pricing
The base S trim, only offered with front-wheel drive, is nicely equipped and surprisingly affordable for what is an entry-level luxury crossover. The $6500 price jump from the S to the SV represents roughly $3800 for extra content and $2700 for all-wheel drive. Good value SL trim upgrade. The Platinum range-topper is a good deal if you desire its additional features. The Midnight Edition black appearance package is priced to reflect the value of its upgrade.  

Reliability
Average reliability predicted based on the previous model. Some complaints about expensive CVT failures on heavy and fast Nissans, especially if used for towing.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
3.5L-V6 (260 HP)

Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, All-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Optional Blind Spot Detection with Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, and Intelligent Cruise Control

Additional airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Range Rover Evoque

 

 

 

 

What’s new
Range Rover swap the previous Ford supplied 2L turbo four for its own Ingenium 2L turbo four. New Landmark special edition. The Evoque's in-car WiFi is now 4G. 

Performance
The Ford-supplied 2L turbo four sends its power to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Strong performance is hampered by some turbo lag not evident in the Fords that use the same engine. Though smooth in gentle driving, the transmission becomes confused and shifts roughly in spirited driving. Hyper-aggressive "sport" mode does little to improve performance. Lightly-weighted steering has a vague on-centre feel. Firm ride. Strong brakes despite slightly soft pedal feel. Large, crisp gauges reside in a dashboard with a strong horizontal emphasis. The dash centre stack sweeps back at a jaunty angle until it becomes a console. A simple touch screen, rotary gear selector and electronic handbrake reduce control clutter. The cabin is a study in restrained elegance that displays excellent fit and finish. Comfortable seats up front, with plenty of room in front but rear legroom is a bit tight for a vehicle this big and the low-mounted rear seat cushion further compromises the comfort of rear seat riders. Long but shallow cargo bay.

Comments
The Evoque trades on the cachet of the Range Rover brand and moved it downmarket in price and helps Range Rover comply with severe U.S. fuel-economy regulations with a more fuel-efficient model. The Evoque is a very elegant machine that melds Range Rover styling cues with an aura of sportiness.

Pricing

The HSE and HSE Dynamic trim upgrades are overpriced.; The Landmark special edition and the Autobiography model are good value. Offered only on the HSE Dynamic trim, the convertible is priced $4800 more than the equivalent hatchback. The 286 horsepower version of the 2L turbo four costs $3300 more than the 237 horsepower version. Rapid depreciation. 


Reliability
Not rated. Insufficient data on this model. Average reliability predicted during the warranty period. Short powertrain warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  2CB. 4SW
Occupants: 2/3, 2/2

Engines:
2L-4 T (240 HP)

Transmissions: 9A 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.0L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist.

Additonal airbags:  No info available 

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no additional powertrain warranty

Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin: England

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Volvo XC40

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
The XC40 is an all-new compact luxury crossover from Volvo

Comment
The XC40 is Volvo's fourth vehicle since its renaissance under Geely ownership. It is built on a new Compact Modular Architecture. Initially, the XC40 will be sold as a T5, with a 248 horsepower version of Volvo's 2L turbo four; a T4 with around 185 horsepower is rumoured to be coming.

After an elegant XC90, a sublime S90-V90, and an attractive enough XC60, Volvo may have hit a wall with the blocky XC40 that shares no visual elements with the rest of the line apart from a rectangular grille. Volvo has re-purposed its attractive TFT (transistor film technology) dash gauges, large info screen and minor controls from the current lineup inside the new crossover. The front seats, long a Volvo hallmark, are very comfortable and there is plenty of legroom and headroom is abundant. Volvo appears to have lost interest when it got to the back seat. Rear legroom is acceptable, but the seat cushion is small, thinly padded, mounted low to the floor, and strangely, doesn't fill the total width available. A wide array of active safety equipment is available on the XC40, including Volvo's new semi-Autonomous Pilot Assist driving feature. 


Pricing
The XC40 may be small but it certainly isn't cheap. It starts out expensive and trim upgrades are expensive. Reasonably priced Vision option group and name brand audio upgrade; with the Convenience and Momentum Plus packages being good value. 

Reliability
Not rated, new model. Electrical glitches are to be expected. The four-cylinder turbo is unproven. An extended warranty from Volvo is recommended if you plan to keep the vehicle longer than the warranty period. Short powertrain warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (Drive E T5: 248 HP) 

Transmissions: 8A 

Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: n.a.
Highway Fuel Economy: n.a.
Active Safety Features: Active cruise control. Object and pedestrian detection. Blind spot, lane departure and rear cross traffic warnings are available.

Additional airbags: None 

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain coverage
Current Generation Debut:  2019
Country of Origin: Belgium

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Volvo XC60

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
All-new second-generation XC60

Comment
All-new second-generation Volvo XC60 went on sale in late 2017. The new XC60 is the third vehicle in Volvo’s renaissance; it's the first vehicle of the next-generation 60 series, which will expand to include a new sedan and station wagon as well.

The new model is built on a 91 mm longer wheelbase, about 46 mm longer and a substantial 109 mm wider than its predecessor.

Volvo’s Drive-E fours, the T5 (2L turbocharged ), T6 (2L turbocharged and supercharged) and, new-for-2018 T8 (plug-in hybrid), will be available.

A new safety feature, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, uses the steering assist and the blind spot information system, to help reduce the possibility of lane-change-related collisions.

The new XC 60 looks tidy, nicely detailed and carefully finished, but lacks the taut visual purity of recent Volvo s like the XC90, S90 and V90.

The cabin is a study in the sumptuous minimalism that Volvo is so adept at, with elegant wood, tasteful bright accents and supple leather. The large format seats are very supportive; while room upfront is good, rear legroom is more adequate than generous. Volvo announced a third-row seat option when the vehicle was launched but it has not been made available.Cargo space is ample.

Driven in T6 form, the XC60 was quick and flexible but lacked the kind of refinement expected from a premium-priced product. Steering, braking, ride and handling are all very well sorted. 


Pricing
The Momentum trim level is very well equipped. Moving up from the T5 to the T6 engine costs $6350 on the Momentum trim. Migrating from the T6 Momentum to the T6 Inscription is overpriced. The R-Design trim, which includes the T6 engine, is reasonably priced if you like its look. The Climate group is pricey but the Vision package is good value. The T8 model, which is a plug-in hybrid, is priced $14,000 more than the T6 Inscription, but big rebates are offered by Ontario and Quebec to reduce the price bump. 
Reliability
Not rated, new model. Electrical glitches are to be expected. The four-cylinder turbo, the 2L supercharged and turbocharged four (marketed as a T6) and plug-in hybrid T8 are complex and unproven. An extended warranty from Volvo is recommended if you plan to keep the vehicle longer than the warranty period. Short powertrain warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (Drive E T5: 240 HP), 2L-4 T-S (Drive- E: 302 HP), 

Transmissions: 8A 

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8.5L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Active cruise control. Object and pedestrian detection. Blind spot, lane departure and rear cross traffic warnings are available.

Additional airbags: None 

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain coverage
Current Generation Debut:  2010
Country of Origin: Belgium

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: