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Jason Fogelson

SUVs & Minivans

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2014 Lexus GX 460 Test Drive and Review

Friday April 18, 2014

I have always like the Lexus GX. For my purposes, it's the perfect size for an SUV, and it's still body-on-frame when just about everything else is unibody. It just makes more sense to me in a very old-fashioned way. With actual frame rails, I always feel like the vehicle is less likely to get tweaked or twisted when withstanding the rigors of off-road driving.

Of course, most GXs never see the edge of the pavement. But still, the SUV experience is about capability -- even if drivers never take advantage of it.

Read my 2014 Lexus GX 460 Test Drive and Review, then click on "comments" below an share your thoughts.

Photo Lexus

2015 GMC Yukon Photo Gallery

Monday March 31, 2014

I honestly didn't think that GM was ever going to remake their full-size SUVs, but I was pleasantly surprised when Aaron Gold, About.com's Cars Expert, and I were both invited to drive the new offerings. There aren't a lot of visual distinctions between the Chevy and GMC versions, but both are visibly improved over the outgoing vehicles -- which were not that bad to begin with.

Take a look at this 2015 GMC Yukon Photo Gallery and see what you think.

Photo Jason Fogelson

2015 GMC Yukon Test Drive and Review

Friday March 28, 2014

Aaron Gold, About.com's Cars Expert, graces our pages again, and we're glad to have him here. You see, General Motors chose to launch the new full-size SUVs from GMC and Chevrolet all at the same time on a unique event that saw journalists driving from Tahoe to Napa, meeting in the middle and switching vehicles. I can honestly say it was a first for me. I recruited Aaron to review the GMC products, while I took care of the Chevys. It worked out pretty well, and you get a wider range of opinion in the process.

Read Aaron's 2015 GMC Yukon Test Drive and Review, then click on "comments" below an share your thoughts.

Photo Jason Fogelson

2015 Chevrolet Suburban Photo Gallery

Monday March 10, 2014

You might not notice the changes in the Suburban right away. It'll take a little closer inspection.

At first glance, it looks like a nip and a tuck. But GM's expert surgeons have trimmed away more than a few wrinkles, they've totally remade the full-size body-on-frame SUV for 2015.

Take a look at this 2015 Chevrolet Suburban Photo Gallery and see what you think.

Photo Jason Fogelson

2015 Chevrolet Suburban Test Drive and Review

Friday March 7, 2014

I'm never ashamed to admit when one of my predictions is wrong, especially when the results are so surprising. Of course, I'm thinking about my prediction that we had seen the last new full-size, body-on-frame SUVs in our lifetime.

Why would I predict such a thing? Because the climate has shifted from big, heavy SUVs to smaller, more fuel efficient crossover vehicles, and I thought that we'd just ride out the tide with carryover vehicles until they were finally replaced -- sort of like what happened with full-size, body-on-frame sedans like the Lincoln Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Caprice. Even though there was a use for these vehicles, and continuing demand from law enforcement and livery uses, CAFE standards forced them out of production forever.

GM has proved my prediction wrong, and has just released all-new editions of its full-size SUVs. I got a chance to drive a few recently, and I've reviewed the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, the granddaddy of all SUVs.

Read my 2015 Chevrolet Suburban Test Drive and Review, then click on "comments" below an share your thoughts.

Photo Jason Fogelson

2014 Ram Promaster Photo Gallery

Friday February 28, 2014

I'm a big movie fan. I particularly like to watch for the cars, trucks and vans that show up in the foreground and background on film, so that I can try to figure out where and when the film was shot, regardless of where it is supposedly set. The commercial vans in particular would give things away. Films shot in the US inevitably feature Ford E-Series vans, Chevy or GMC vans or Ram Cargo Vans, while Canadian or European films had a much more interesting array of small vans, and interesting front-wheel drive big vans. Not any more. With the success of the Ford Transit Connect and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, a whole new shape of van is on the market.

Now Ram is getting into the act with its Euro-styled Promaster.

Take a look at this 2014 Ram Promaster Photo Gallery and see what you think.

Photo Aaron Gold

2014 Ram Promaster Test Drive and Review

Friday February 28, 2014

The infamous Aaron Gold, About.com's Cars Expert, returns to our pages today with a very interesting vehicle. Have you ever wondered why the shape and technology of cargo vans moved so slowly relative to the rest of the automotive landscape? Well, since 1963, there's been a protective tariff in place, dubbed the "Chicken Tax." It covers light duty trucks, poultry and some other products, and adds about 25% upon import. As a result, Ford, GM and Chrysler never had to face "real" competition in commercial vans. Without competition, innovation suffers, and so did the vans. Now, as the car business becomes global, manufacturers are finding ways around the Chicken Tax (which still remains in effect), and newly innovative vehicles are trickling in -- like the Promaster.

Read Aaron's 2014 Ram Promaster Test Drive and Review, then click on "comments" below an share your thoughts.

Photo Aaron Gold

2014 Nissan Armada Photo Gallery

Friday February 21, 2014

A few years ago, I thought that the Nissan Armada looked a little slab sided and I was not a big fan of the rear door handles.

Guess what? Nissan hasn't changed a thing for 2014, and I still think that the Armada is a little slab sided and I still hate those door handles.

Take a look at this 2014 Nissan Armada Photo Gallery and see what you think.

Photo Jason Fogelson

2014 Nissan Armada Test Drive and Review

Wednesday February 19, 2014

I make no bones about it -- I love big SUVs. Always have. Give me a body-on-frame SUV, and all is right with the world.

Unfortunately, they're getting harder and harder to find. One that has stood the test of time is the Nissan Armada. It started out as a variant on the Pathfinder, then took on a life of its own in 2006. Now it stands as the biggest SUV in the Nissan lineup for the USA, and it's a good one.

Read my 2014 Nissan Armada Test Drive and Review, then click on "comments" below and share your thoughts.

Photo Jason Fogelson

2015 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E Photo Gallery

Thursday February 6, 2014

One thing that has always been a trait in Volvo vehicles is a lot of buttons. The center stack on the new XC60 is no exception -- it's a sea of buttons and controls, and I fear that it compromises Volvo's mission somewhat, and that's to build the safest vehicles on the planet. Sure, the XC60 does great in crash tests, but I'd rather see a simpler interface that helps keep drivers' eyes on the road -- and helps them avoid collisions in the first place.

Take a look at this 2015 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E Photo Gallery and you'll see that XC60 is still as stylish and attractive as ever. And just as complicated.

Photo Volvo

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