Tag Archives: Sport utility vehicle

2003 GMC Envoy SLT Review

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GMC (General Trucks and Coach Division)¬† was created in early 1900s. It became a separate division of General Motors that was committed to building commercial trucks. Over time, GMC’s lineup stayed in the commercial market, but gradually moved towards rebadging engineering. Rebadging is where auto manufacturers take the same car and rebadge it as something else. For example, the GMC Sierra is a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Silverado. GMC traditionally has always been the less mainstream version of Chevrolet SUVs and trucks. Its Yukon and Jimmy were rebadged versions of the Tahoe and Blazer, yet cost more. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, America experienced a SUV boom. The SUV completely over took the traditional wagon to be the new family car of choice. Americans swayed by the high driving position and image flocked to SUVs. All the automakers scrambled to produce a family friendly SUV in order to get a slice of this emerging market. The GMC Envoy was GM’s end result. Replacing the Jimmy, the Envoy was a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, as well as the Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, Isuzu Ascender, and Saab 9-4X. The GMC Envoy was replaced by the Arcadia in 2009.

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2008 Infiniti QX56 Review

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Definition of infinity: a point in space or time that is or seems infinitely distant. In other words, Infiniti as a company goes beyond its limits. Conceived in 1989 by Nissan as a luxury division, Infiniti challenged the European luxury cars (Lexus and Acura were conceived at around the same time as Infiniti), but ultimately failed due to its lack of prestige and unusual styling which were unmistakeably Japanese. It was not until 2003 that Infiniti became competitive with the arrival of the G35. The G35 sedan and coupe garnered acclaim for its combination of driving excellence, sharp styling, comfort, and affordability. The G35 won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award when it debuted in 2003. As time passed, Infiniti cars became better. This QX56 is one of Infiniti’s competitive products. Originally, it was a rebadged version of the Nissan Pathfinder dubbed QX4, but it morphed into a clone of the Nissan Armada as the company’s status elevated.

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2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser (Trails Team Special Edition) Review

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Toyota as a company is not known for adventurous vehicles. Practical transportation, yes. Adventurous? No. While the earlier Land Cruisers and 4Runners were considered adventurous, the latest iterations of these SUVs have morphed into conservative vehicles. The FJ Cruiser fills in the void. Rivaling the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra, the FJ Cruiser debuted in 2006 with priorities on looks and off road ability. The FJ Cruiser is meant to be a retro model inspired by the original Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers while retaining Toyota’s reliability. The Trails Team Special Edition version you see here is one of 2,500 produced in 2012. This particular version receives many TRD (Toyota Racing Development) upgrades such as upgraded tires, cosmetic changes, body colored interior, and others. Continue reading

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Double Pilots

If you are looking for an inexpensive and dependable used family SUV, look no further. The first generation Honda Pilot is a great choice. It combines amazing practicality, comfort, decent fuel economy, affordability, and roominess all in a decent size. There is room for eight passengers, and this Pilot will prove to be reliable. These 2004 Honda Pilots that you see here have high mileage (see picture), but are still running strong. Throw in Honda’s excellent resale values and you have a sound buy. For the 2004 Sage Bush EXL model that you see here, it is worth around 10,000 dollars according to Kelley Blue Book in fair condition. And that is with numerous scratches and dents, not to mention it has over 150,000 miles. So if you are looking for a used family SUV, don’t miss out on the Pilot! A good alternative is the first generation Toyota Highlander.

Christmas is around the corner, and ironically these two Pilots are both red and green (it may look blue due to the lighting but it is actually a shade of green), which are Christmas colors. Merry Christmas!

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2012 Ford Focus SE Review

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Disclaimer: The Focus I drove was a Ford Focus SEL Hatchback, not this exact car. Driving experience may vary.

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Introduced in Europe in 1998, and North America in 1999, the original Focus surprised the world with its’ combination of avant garde styling (hatchback version), unbeatable dynamics, practicality, and affordability. Replacing the Escort, the Focus represented a new era for Ford, in terms of design and handling. It was given a rear independent suspension¬† which was very expensive and rare for a car of this cost and class, but it gave the Focus unsurpassed dynamic excellence that left its rivals struggling to catch up. Ten years later, the U.S specific Focus has morphed into an outdated and boring compact sedan. Meanwhile in Europe, the Focus was thriving. See, Ford in Europe has a much better reputation as a car manufacturer because they produced substantially better cars such as the Mondeo instead of the Fusion, Kuga instead of the Escape, and so on. They produced a different Focus while we got the same Focus from 1999, albeit “restyled” in 2008. In America during 2005-2011, Ford’s lineup was hampered by its fuel-thirsty SUVs and uncompetitive cars. During the recession of 2008, Ford realized it needed a solution to save its company. They started a globalization strategy, which meant we would get the same cars as Europe did. They started bringing the subcompact Fiesta over here, which quickly became a hot-seller, and the latest Focus that you see here. The Focus has been selling well, abiding to the same principles that made the original Focus such a worldwide success. Continue reading

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