Vehicle Reviews

December 1, 2007 | By Denis Snow
  Back in 2002 Jeep introduced their Liberty to the mid-size SUV market. Since then, the market has grown and now so has the Liberty. Originally Jeep’s marketing department targeted it to appeal to 60% women and 40% men buyers...


January 1, 2008 | By Steve Temple
  Even though we have an obvious bias toward off-road adventures, we actually weren't the first to note that the new Toyota Sequoia isn't intended primarily for trail use. Actually, Toyota's chief designer for the Sequoia, Motoharu Araya (who also worked on the Sienna and Tundra) made that point to us before we ever got behind the wheel and headed out for a brief drive in the dirt. "It's not meant to be a very serious off-roader, but it is still off-road capable...


September 1, 2008 | By Sue Mead
  Want your cake and want to eat it, too? Why not have it with green icing, then?! Chrysler has joined the ranks of a growing number of hybrid manufacturers, and in this case, its Dodge division has designed a work-horse hybrid, engineered for those of us that love a 4WD powertrain, might want to ferry eight friends to a get-away weekend in the woods, plus bring along a couple of jet skis or snowmobiles - and have the need to pay less to fuel both our work and our fun. On sale in August, the 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid will hit the streets and backcountry of America, with the same body design as its gas-powered counterpart, equipped with Chrysler's 5. 7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that partners with a hybrid electric motor system and Chrysler's MDS (multiple displacement system)...


January 1, 2009
The seats are generally more comfortable, front and rear, and rear legroom has been increased. To carry more cargo, it's possible to fold up the rear seats and slide in something as big as a 52-inch flat screen TV. The first Ford pickup was launched in 1948, the half-ton F-1...


July 1, 2007 | By Steve Temple
Good things come in threes, right? Maybe, but that depends on what you're talking about. If it's the Pointer Sisters, sure thing. As for three strikes - well, then you're out...


December 1, 2008 | By Bruce W. Smith
Towing capacity tops out at 6,100 pounds for the 261hp Crew Cab 4x4 model, which is more than enough to handle bass boats like this 20-foot Triton equipped with a 250hp Suzuki 4-stroke outboard.   We fit right in with the crowd of bass fishermen lined up at the gas station on the outskirts of Del Rio, Texas. Like everyone else gathered here we're topping off the fuel tank in the boat we have in tow - a beautiful single-console Triton TR-20X - before hitting the Lake Amistad launch ramp a couple miles down the road...


April 1, 2007 | By Bruce W. Smith
With all the hoopla over the major re-design of the new Sierra, and the off-road adventurer's seemingly endless love of full-size trucks, the "other" GMC pickup, the Canyon, sits relatively unnoticed in the deep shadows. This is a shame. The 2007 Canyon does a nice job of filling a niche not addressed by its full-size stablemate - the mid-size market...


May 1, 2007 | By Bruce W. Smith
IT SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY that we drove the very first unibody fourdoor SUV - the Jeep Cherokee. In reality that first off-road adventure happened nearly two decades ago. But back in 1984 it was really big news in the automotive and off-road worlds...


February 1, 2008 | By Steve Temple
The way things used to be, all we needed was to do one thing well. Now we're multi-taskers - juggling a bowling ball with a gas lamp and a chain saw, all while walking and chewing gum. The same is true of our off-road rigs...


October 1, 2007 | By Steve Temple
EVEN THOUGH off-roaders are primarily interested in how capable a vehicle is on the trail, that doesn"t mean we don"t care about appearances as well. For instance, when the Dodge first revised the Durango"s rounded shape a few years ago in favor of a more angular frontal design, our initial reactions were mixed. Okay, let"s be blunt - we just didn"t like it all that much...


December 1, 2006 | By Bruce W. Smith
THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF FULLSIZE SUVs to choose from when cargo space, passenger room, and towing ability are primary concerns. The choices of comfortable, sevenpassenger vehicles boil down to three vehicles - the redesigned "07 Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, or the all-new Ford Expedition EL. The latter is quite impressive as we found out after living with a loaded Eddie Bauer 4x4 model for a couple of weeks...


November 1, 2008 | By Bruce W. Smith
 Maximum trailer towing capacity might not be a high as some competitors, but the 2009 Quad Cab Ram 1500 tows with ease when equipped with the proper towing equipment and the Hemi.   A five-link coil-sprung rear axle, 390-hp Hemi, weatherproof bed side storage, interior refinements akin to a luxury sedan, and retro-aerodynamic body styling, all sound wonderful on paper and look sweet in person. But what determines any new vehicle's true worth is when tires touch ground...


January 1, 2008 | By Steve Temple
  Not all vehicles for off-road adventures are purely for use in the dirt. In some cases, we need a "mother ship" that hauls all our stuff-food, tools, camping gear, and the like- to the trailhead, and keeps it secure from predators (both the animal and human type). Ford has come up with a factory-installed alternative for its best-selling F-150 pickup...


January 1, 2007 | By Steve Temple
WE’RE AT A FORK IN THE TRAIL WITH DIESEL TRUCKS. Due to changes in fuel and emissions standards, all three domestic manufacturers will be offering revised models in 2007 with bigger engines and more emissions equipment. This means the outgoing generation of Ford’s Super Duty (the ’06 and ’07 models are essentially identical) is the last of a breed...


May 1, 2008 | By Steve Temple
If you're disappointed that you missed getting your hands on the now-discontinued diesel-powered Jeep Liberty, there's an exciting alternative: the Grand Cherokee WK CRD diesel. Several other gasoline versions are available as well, including a high-performance Hemi, but first off, let's start with the oil burner, since that's a rarity in the SUV market. Note that the Italian-engineered 2...


January 1, 2008 | By Steve Temple
Legions of ATV enthusiasts will tell you, the best way to enjoy the backcountry is in close proximity. Most of our manufacturers' profiles follow a familiar path: a company starts out a couple decades ago as one or two enthusiasts coming up with an innovative solution to a 4x4 problem. They try out their gadget on an off-road trek, or maybe a race venue-the dustier the better...


January 1, 2011 | By Larry Walton
The all new 3. 5 liter, twin turbo, EcoBoost V-6 engine is at the heart of the power train lineup for 2011 F-150. We added some residual tread compound to fender liners during our testing at Texas Motor Speedway...


September 1, 2007 | By Bruce W. Smith
It’s been a long time in the works — back as far as 1987 when Toyota started asking off-roaders serious questions aimed at what they loved about their Fords, Dodges, Chevrolets and GMC pickups. But now, 20 years and a couple toe-dips in the pickup market later, Toyota Motor Sales USA has leapt off the high board and hit the full-size pickup pool with a huge Olympic class entry. THE NEW TUNDRA IS THE REAL DEAL AS I FOUND OUT WHEN I SLID BEHIND THE WHEEL AND TURNED THE KEY...


March 1, 2008 | By Bruce W. Smith
Its funny how we get caught up in the buzz stirred up by all the brand new pickups and SUVs that hit the market each year. In doing so we sometimes miss some pretty neat upgrades that appear on vehicles who's "new vehicle buzz" has worn off a bit. Case in point: the 2008 Nissan Titan...


August 1, 2007 | By Larry Walton
I GET A LOT OF SEAT TIME IN A FORD SUPER DUTY. My personal truck and daily driver is a modified four-wheel-drive F-250 with a 7. 3 liter Power Stroke...


August 1, 2008 | By Steve Temple
  When it comes to off-road rigs, we're not quick to embrace new trends. "If ain't broke, don't fix it" is our mantra, since durability and dependability are far more important than fads and fashion. Toyota's 4Runner is a prime example of our thinking along these lines...


April 1, 2007 | By Rick Russell
OVER 300 TOYOTA enthusiasts found their way into the Las Vegas Convention Center on the Saturday following the November 2006 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The center of attraction wasToyota's new FJ. If you had not encountered one of the FJ Trail Teams at a local off-roading event, this was your chance to get up close and personal...