Evolution. That's the name of the game. Change or go the way of the Aztek. Trucks are bigger and faster, yet more refined. SUVs are morphing into the futuristic vehicles we thought we'd already be driving. Even the humble van is being reinvented for the small business owner/recreation hound to zip around in style. Head spinning? Relax. We sort it out for you, including specs on all the new models. Turn the page to see how far SUVs have come.

STAR RATINGS:

Beats Walking *
For Your Neighbors **
Right On The Money ***
Fuel For Your Soul ****
Drive Before You Die *****

2011 Acura MDX
2011 Acura RDX
2011 Audi Q5
2011 Audi Q7
2011 BMW X3
2011 BMW X5
2011 Cadillac Escalade/ESV
2011 Chevrolet Suburban
2011 Chevrolet Tahoe
2011 Dodge Nitro
2011 Ford Escape
2011 Ford Expedition/EL
2011 GMC Yukon/XL
2011 Honda CR-V
2011 Honda Element
2011 Honda Pilot
2011 Infiniti QX56
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2011 Jeep Liberty
2011 Jeep Wrangler
2011 Land Rover LR2
2011 Land Rover LR4
2011 Land Rover Range Rover
2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
2011 Lexus GX 460
2011 Lexus LX 570
2011 Lexus RX 350/450h
2011 Lincoln Navigator/L
2011 Mazda Tribute
2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor
2011 Nissan Armada
2011 Nissan Armada
2011 Nissan Xterra
2011 Porsche Cayenne
2011 Subaru Forester
2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara
2011 Toyota 4Runner
2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2011 Toyota Land Cruiser
2011 Toyota RAV4
2011 Toyota Sequoia
2011 Volkswagen Tiguan
2011 Volkswagen Touareg
2011 Volvo XC90

Acura MDX

BASE PRICE: $43,440
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The MDX received a comprehensive revision in 2010 that included the addition of the brand's controversial front grille and a stealthy but substantial powertrain redesign. The paddle-shiftable 6-sp transmission makes the MDX fun to drive when paired with the standard 300-hp, 3.7L V-6 engine. Aside from these upgrades, no major changes.

COOL FACT: When the refreshed 2010 model made its debut, Acura called the 6A the most advanced transmission it had ever built.

SUM UP: Serious player in polarizing style.
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 Acura MDX Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Acura MDX!

2011 Acura MDX Photo Gallery: What's New For 2011
Click here to see photos for the 2011 Acura MDX and check out what's new for 2011!


2011 Acura MDX
Base Engine 3.7L/300-hp SOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.8 sec
Tow/Payload 5000/1300-1400 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/21 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Acura RDX

BASE PRICE RANGE: $33,480-$35,480
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Removing SH-AWD from the base model RDX takes roughly 200 lb off the curb weight and $2000 off the MSRP, while fuel economy increases 2 mpg in city and highway driving conditions. All models receive Acura's polarizing front grille and subtle tweaks to front and rear fascias and taillights, as well as auto headlights, revised brakes, and Bluetooth as standard.

COOL FACT: RDX's 240-hp, 2.3L is Acura's first turbocharged engine.

SUM UP: Not enough against fierce rivals.
RATING: ***

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2011 Acura RDX
Base Engine 2.3L/240-hp turbo DOHC I-4
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5A
0-60 MPH 6.3-6.5 sec*
Tow/Payload 1500/950 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17-19/22-24 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Audi Q5

BASE PRICE RANGE: $36,075-$43,375
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: A turbo four-cylinder is new for 2011, along with its 8A. V-6 models get the sporty S Line bodywork and 19-in. wheels standard, and top-trim V-6 models get adaptive headlights. HD Radio is added to the navigation system while the six-disc CD changer is gone. A 20-in. wheel option is also gone, but the Q5 picks up a new exterior color, Teak Brown.

COOL FACT: The Audi Q5 beat a Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GLK350, and Volvo XC60 T6 in a 2009 comparison test.

SUM UP: Leader of the pack.
RATING: ****1/2


2011 Audi Q5
Base Engine 2.0L/211-hp turbo DOHC I-4
Optional Engine 3.2L/270-hp DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 6A/8A
0-60 MPH 6.6-8.0 sec*
Tow/Payload 4400/1050 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 18-20/23-27 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Audi Q7

BASE PRICE RANGE: $46,575-$59,775
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Most work for 2011 comes under the hood with a new supercharged V-6 in two levels of performance and a new 8A transmission across the line. Top trims for gasoline and diesel models get adaptive headlights, ventilated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof standard. The 6-CD changer is gone, but HD Radio is now standard across the line.

COOL FACT: In other markets, Audi offers a Q7 powered by a 6.0L V-12 TDI engine.

SUM UP: Style to trump all comers.
RATING: ****1/2

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2011 Audi Q7
Base Engine 3.0L/272-hp s-charged DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 3.0L/225-hp t-diesel DOHC V-6; 3.0L/333-hp s-charged DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 8A
0-60 MPH 7.3-8.5 sec*
Tow/Payload 5500-6600/1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16-17/22-25 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

BMW X3

BASE PRICE RANGE: $38,000-$42,000*
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: BMW's revamped 2011 X3 enters a market thick with offerings conceived after the first-generation X3 bowed. New X3 is bigger -- rear seat passengers will benefit -- and comes with a 240-hp, 3.0L six or a 300-hp, 3.0L turbo six. All models will be AWD and use an 8A, making the crossover more efficient.

COOL FACT: Performance Control system helps rotate the X3 by applying additional power to the outside wheel and applying inner rear brake.

SUM UP: Ready for round two.
RATING: (Not rated)

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2011 BMW X3 Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 BMW X3 crossover!


2011 BMW X3
Base Engine 3.0L/240-hp DOHC I-6
Optional Engine 3.0L/300-hp turbo DOHC I-6
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 8A
0-60 MPH 5.5-6.7 sec*
Tow/Payload 3500/1100 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 18-19/26-27 mpg*
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6*
*Estimated

BMW X5

BASE PRICE RANGE: $46,675-$86,375
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Two new powertrains and a minor exterior refresh are the main changes on the BMW X5 for the 2011 model year. A 400-hp twin-turbo V-8 tops the standard X5 lineup while the base model gets a single-turbo 3.0L I-6 good for 300 hp. Both of those engines are mated to an 8A and fuel efficiency is improved all around.

COOL FACT: The 0-60 MPH time of the 2011 six-cylinder X5 xDrive35i matches that of the 2010 eight-cylinder X5 xDrive48i.

SUM UP: Refreshed suv is faster, still expensive.
RATING: ****

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2011 BMW X5
Base Engine 3.0L/300-hp turbo DOHC I-6
Optional Engine 3.0L/265-hp twin t-diesel DOHC I-6; 4.4L/400-hp twin-turbo DOHC V-8; 4.4L/555-hp twin-turbo DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 6A/8A
0-60 MPH 4.5-6.9 sec*
Tow/Payload 6000/1100-1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-19/17-26 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Cadillac Escalade/ESV

BASE PRICE RANGE: $64,110-$89,090
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Mostly minor changes, with some of the largest updates coming to the navigation and entertainment system, which now offers USB, compact flash, and auxiliary input jacks. Two new paint colors are also offered, along with some minor updates to the OnStar hardware. Visually, the Escalade remains unchanged from its 2007 redesign.

COOL FACT: The Escalade Platinum has LED headlights, and two 7-in. DVD screens integrated into the backs of the front seats.

SUM UP: Still the ultimate status symbol.
RATING: ****

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2011 Cadillac Escalade/ESV
Base Engine 6.2L/403-hp OHV V-8
Optional Engine 6.0L OHV V-8 + elec motors/332-hp
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/AWD, 6A/CVT
0-60 MPH 6.4-8.1 sec
Tow/Payload 5600-8300/850-1600 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-20/18-23 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Chevrolet Suburban

BASE PRICE RANGE: $41,875-$57,120
BODY TYPE: Full-size SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Three new paint colors. The 1LS trim level gets standard rear audio system controls with two headphone jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, floor console with storage area, wood grain interior trim, luggage rack center rails, body-color outside door handles and mirror caps, and premium cloth front buckets with optional 40/20/40 bench.

LOOK FOR: Chevrolet to develop a body-on-frame replacement by mid-decade as a high-profit niche vehicle.

SUM UP: The big oil shock survivor.
RATING: ****

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2011 Chevrolet Suburban Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban full-size SUV!

2011 Chevrolet Suburban Photo Gallery: What's New For 2011
Click here to see photos for the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban full-size SUV and check out what's new for 2011!


2011 Chevrolet Suburban
Base Engine 5.3L/320-hp OHV V-8
Optional Engine 6.0L/352-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 7.8-8.8 sec
Tow/Payload 8000-9600/1500-2400 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 10-15/15-21 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Chevrolet Tahoe

BASE PRICE RANGE: $38,520-$54,490
BODY TYPE: Full-size SUV

WHAT'S NEW: On 1LS, audio system controls with two headphone jacks, Bluetooth, floor console with storage area, woodgrain interior trim, luggage rack center rails, body-color door handles and mirror caps, and premium cloth front bucket seats are standard. The 1LTZ 4WD adds standard chrome recovery hooks and a two-speed transfer case.

COOL FACT: The Tahoe Hybrid has a 33-percent improvement in city fuel economy.

SUM UP: More manageable Suburban alternative.
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Tech Specs
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2011 Chevrolet Tahoe
Base Engine 5.3L/320-hp OHV V-8
Optional Engine 6.0L OHV V-8 + elec motors/332-hp
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 8.0-9.0 sec*
Tow/Payload 6000-8500/1400-1800 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-20/21-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Dodge Nitro

BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,500-$29,000*
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Addition of front-row active head restraints, a standard six-speaker stereo, heated rearview mirrors, air filtration, and premium stain-resistant cloth upholstery. High-end models get new leather trim, auto-up front passenger window, and security alarm. A new interior color is now available as well as Light Sandstone Metallic exterior paint.

LOOK FOR: Dodge to add the new 3.6L V-6 to the Nitro in the 2012 model year.

SUM UP: Nothing explosive about it.
RATING: **

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2010 Dodge Nitro Photo Gallery
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2010 Dodge Nitro Technical Specifications
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2010 Dodge Nitro mid-size SUV!


2011 Dodge Nitro
Base Engine 3.7L/210-hp SOHC V-6
Optional Engine 4.0L/260-hp SOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A/5A
0-60 MPH 7.4-8.5 sec*
Tow/Payload 2000-5000/950-1150 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-16/21-22 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
*Estimated

Ford Escape

BASE PRICE RANGE: $21,785-$34,850
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Not much has changed on the Escape for the 2011 model year. HD Radio is a new option. Active Park Assist, which can help steer the SUV into a parking spot, remains available, as does Sync with Traffic, Directions, and Information. Expect a redesigned Escape for the 2012 model year.

COOL FACT: The Escape offers seats that use soy-based foam instead of petroleum-based products with seat fabrics made from recycled materials.

SUM UP: Big suv looks, small size.
RATING: ***

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2011 Ford Escape Photo Gallery: What's New for 2011
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2011 Ford Escape Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Ford Escape compact SUV!

2011 Ford Escape Hybrid Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid compact SUV!


2011 Ford Escape
Base Engine 2.5L/171-hp DOHC I-4
Optional Engine 3.0L/240-hp DOHC V-6; 2.5L DOHC V-6 + elec motors, 177 hp
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5M/6A/CVT
0-60 MPH 7.6-9.6 sec
Tow/Payload 1000-3500/1000-1150 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 18-34/23-31 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Ford Expedition/EL

BASE PRICE RANGE: $37,585-$52,615
BODY TYPE: Full-size SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Sync has more functionality for the 2011 Expedition. Traffic, Directions, and Information features are now available. HD Radio and Sirius Travel Link come with the voice-activated navigation system. Last year, Trailer Sway Control became standard equipment. The programmable MyKey technology also arrived for 2010.

COOL FACT: A black Expedition in Limited trim with 20-in. chrome wheels is one slick-looking large SUV.

SUM UP: One of the better dinosaurs.
RATING: **1/2

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2011 Ford Expedition Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Ford Expedition full-size SUV!

2011 Ford Expedition Photo Gallery: What's New For 2011
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2011 Ford Expedition/EL
Base Engine 5.4L/310-hp SOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 8.1-8.7 sec
Tow/Payload 8700-9200/1550-1650 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-14/17-20 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

GMC Yukon/XL

BASE PRICE RANGE: $39,485-$62,310
BODY TYPE: Full-size SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The 2011 Yukon and extended-wheelbase XL are mostly carryovers from last year's model. Opt for the Denali trim and you'll get more expressive sheetmetal and interior appointments, and you can grab the Hybrid for extra mileage. All Yukons get OnStar version 9.0 and two new colors, Mocha Steel Metallic and Carbon Black Metallic, are available.

AVOID: The Escalade and try a loaded Yukon with the same engine at a much lower price.

SUM UP: Big, strong, and capable.
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 GMC YUKON, XL, and Denali Tech Specs
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 GMC Yukon, XL, and Denali SUV!


2011 GMC Yukon/XL
Base Engine 5.3L/320-hp OHV V-8
Optional Engine 6.0L/352-hp OHV V-8; 6.0L OHV V-8 + elec motors/332-hp; 6.2L/403-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.7-9.0 sec*
Tow/Payload 5700-9600/1400-1800 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 10-20/15-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Honda CR-V

BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,475-$30,675
BODY TYPE: Compact Crossover SUV

WHAT'S NEW: A significant refresh in 2010 included a freshened grille and bumpers, a 14-hp bump, and an increase in fuel efficiency. No major upgrades for 2011 models, except for a new, LX-based SE (Special Edition) trim level. Entry-level CR-Vs are equipped with cruise control, adjustable steering column, power windows/door locks, and tons of storage space.

COOL FACT: The CR-V was the best-selling SUV in the U.S. for calendar-year 2008.

SUM UP: Clever packaging, honest performance.
RATING: ****

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2011 Honda CR-V
Base Engine 2.4L/180-hp DOHC I-4
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5A
0-60 MPH 8.5-9.5 sec*
Tow/Payload 1500/1000-1150 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 21/27-28 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Honda Element

BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,500-$28,500*
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Element received a major upgrade in 2009 and a Dog Friendly equipment group for the EX grade in 2010. For 2011, there are no major changes. First introduced in 2003, the Element is now one of the longest-running models in Honda's lineup and is due for replacement.

COOL FACT: Dog Friendly Element includes an extendable ramp, a spill-resistant water bowl, and second-row seat covers with a dog-pattern design.

SUM UP: More flexible than other boxes.
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 Honda Element
Base Engine 2.4L/166-hp DOHC I-4
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5A
0-60 MPH 8.5-10.2 sec*
Tow/Payload 1500/900 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19-20/24-25 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Honda Pilot

BASE PRICE RANGE: $28,825-$41,175
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The second-generation Pilot made its debut in 2009 and remains unchanged for 2011 save for expanded availability of Honda's satellite-linked navigation on the EX-L model. All Pilots are powered by a 250-hp, 3.5L V-6 and offered with front- or all-wheel drive. Four grades of Pilot are available, from a base LX to fully loaded Touring.

BEST BUY: A moderately equipped Pilot EX can seat eight, like the Odyssey, but can also be had with all-wheel drive.

SUM UP: A dynamic, but not stylish, benchmark.
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 Honda Pilot
Base Engine 3.5L/250-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5A
0-60 MPH 8.0-8.4 sec
Tow/Payload 3500-4500/1600-1650 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16-17/22-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Infiniti QX56

BASE PRICE RANGE: $57,650-$60,750
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The QX56 is all-new for 2011. Now based on the body-on-frame Nissan Patrol, the 5.6L V-8 produces 400 hp yet is more efficient than the engine it replaces. That's partly due to the new 7A transmission. The QX56's wheelbase is 2.1 in. shorter and length is extended 1.4 in. from the last-gen SUV.

COOL FACT: While 20-in. wheels are standard on the QX56, 22s are optional.

SUM UP: Legitimate Escalade fighter.
RATING: ***1/2

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The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV!


2011 Infiniti QX56
Base Engine 5.6L/400-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 7A
0-60 MPH 5.9-6.1 sec*
Tow/Payload 8500/1650-1700 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14/20 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/60,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Jeep Grand Cherokee

BASE PRICE RANGE: $30,995-$42,690
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The Grand Cherokee is new for 2011 and gives up its live rear axle for four-wheel independent suspension. Based on the Mercedes-Benz ML platform, the Jeep is 2.6 in. wider and has a 5.3-in.-longer wheelbase. The interior is more refined and a new Select-Terrain system tailors the hardware to the conditions.

COOL FACT: Jeep's Quadra-Lift can raise the air suspension 2.6 inches up from normal mode for rock-climbing, or lower it 1.5 inches to park.

SUM UP: Won't disappoint the faithful.
RATING: ****

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The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV!

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Photo Gallery: What's new for 2011
Click here to see photos for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and check out what's new for 2011!


2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Base Engine 3.6L/290-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 5.7L/360-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5A
0-60 MPH 6.9-8.6 sec*
Tow/Payload 5000-7400/1500-2050 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-16/19-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Jeep Liberty

BASE PRICE RANGE: $23,995-$28,995
BODY TYPE: Comapct SUV

WHAT'S NEW: No powertrain changes in the Liberty, and it's not clear that anything else will be altered this year. In 2010, an air filtration system, stain-repellent seat fabric, and a flat-folding front passenger seat became standard equipment. The Limited trim gets more standard features, and active head restraints on the front seats now come on all Libertys.

COOL FACT: The Liberty offers a Sky Slider canvas roof that can be opened with a one-touch switch.

SUM UP: Outdated and underpowered.
RATING: **

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2010 Jeep Liberty Technical Specifications
The source for official specifications, payload, towing capacity, and other information about the 2010 Jeep Liberty!

2010 Jeep Liberty Photo Gallery
Click here to see more photos of the 2010 Jeep Liberty compact SUV.


2011 Jeep Liberty
Base Engine 3.7L/210-hp SOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A
0-60 MPH 9.0-9.4 sec*
Tow/Payload 2000-5000/950-1150 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-16/21-22 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
*Estimated

Jeep Wrangler

BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,500-$33,500*
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: A revamped interior is new on the 2011 Wrangler. The instrument panel and center console have been redesigned with softer materials. A lockable glovebox is new, as is the steering wheel with vehicle function buttons. Interior noise has been reduced. There are five new colors and a body-color hardtop is now available on Sahara models.

COOL FACT: Hex-head bolts are used to mount an inlay onto the passenger grab-handle reading, "Jeep, Since 1941."

SUM UP: Better than ever.
RATING: *****

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2011 Jeep Wrangler
Base Engine 3.8L/202-hp OHV V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6M/4A
0-60 MPH 9.5-10.2 sec*
Tow/Payload 1000-3500/750-1150 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15/19-20 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 2
*Estimated

Land Rover LR2

BASE PRICE: $36,550
BODY TYPE: Compact/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The LR2 is refreshed for 2011, with a slightly restyled grille and larger side mirrors. New wheels are available, as are three additional colors. The instrument cluster is new, and the leather choices are now ebony, tan, and ivory. The 3.2L I-6 and 6A remain, but have been recalibrated with fuel efficiency in mind.

COOL FACT: Land Rover's LR2 has a maximum wading depth of 19.7 in.

SUM UP: Solid but uninspired.
RATING: ***

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2011 Land Rover LR2
Base Engine 3.2L/230-hp DOHC I-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 6A
0-60 MPH 8.8 sec
Tow/Payload 3500/1100 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/24 mpg*
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 7
*Estimated

Land Rover LR4

BASE PRICE RANGE: $48,500-$57,665
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Last year, the (renamed) LR4 received a thorough refresh. Everything is better, including the much-appreciated horsepower increase. Improvements include a revised suspension, enhanced Terrain Response system, and a gorgeous new cabin, but the big news lies under the hood: a new Jaguar-sourced, direct-injection, 5.0L V-8 making 375 hp -- a 25-percent increase over the outgoing 4.4L mill.

AVOID: Complaining about low fuel econ; this is one very capable off-roader.

SUM UP: Indiana Jones in a sheetmetal suit.
RATING: *****


2011 Land Rover LR4
Base Engine 5.0L/375-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.9 sec
Tow/Payload 7716/1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12/17 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Land Rover Range Rover

BASE PRICE RANGE: $79,685-$109,500*
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Changes in the Terrain Response system. Gradient Acceleration Control and Hill Start Assist are new and a 1200-watt, 19-speaker sound system is optional, as are reclining rear seats and laminated privacy glass. A limited run of 40th-anniversary Autobiography Black Limited Edition models will be available.

COOL FACT: The HSE Lux Package adds heated and cooled rear seats with winged headrests, four-way lumbar support.

SUM UP: Luxury tank second to none.
RATING: ****1/2

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2011 Land Rover Range Rover
Base Engine 5.0L/375-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine 5.0L/510-hp s-charged DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 5.9-7.2 sec*
Tow/Payload 7716/1150-1350 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12/18 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 9
*Estimated

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

BASE PRICE RANGE: $60,495-$75,395
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Like its siblings, the Sport got the 375-hp, twin-cam, 5.0L V-8 in the HSE for 2010, and the pressurized, 510-hp version in the Sport Supercharged. Both mate to a revised 6A. The blown Sport also gets an exclusive Dynamic Performance setting in its Terrain Response system.

COOL FACT: Range Rover Sport's high-beam headlights can automatically switch on when outside light levels dip below a certain point.

SUM UP: Sporty and off-road ready.
RATING: ****

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2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Base Engine 5.0L/375-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine 5.0L/510-hp s-charged DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 5.9-7.2 sec*
Tow/Payload 7716/1150-1350 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12/18 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Lexus GX 460

BASE PRICE: $53,220
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Uses a new engine that's more powerful and offers better fuel economy. That change happened for 2010, as did a restyle inside and out. Since then, Lexus has made changes to the stability control system in a voluntary recall. For 2011, there's wood trim in base models with black leather and a compass in the rearview mirror.

COOL FACT: The last-gen GX was 440 lb lighter yet needed 17 ft more space in a 60-0-mph braking test.

SUM UP: Leather-lined rock crawler.
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 Lexus GX 460
Base Engine 4.6L/301-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.9 sec
Tow/Payload 6500/1250-1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15/20 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 10
*Estimated

Lexus LX 570

BASE PRICE: $78,630
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Mostly carryover, there are some minor changes for 2011, like a new black interior with leather trim. A heated steering wheel option has been added to the Luxury Package, which includes a semi-aniline leather interior with Bubinga wood trim and a cool box for drinks. The LX receives a brake override system, too.

COOL FACT: Active Height Control lowers the LX 570 1.0 in. front and about 0.5 in. rear at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics.

SUM UP: Cruiser for well-heeled ranchers.
RATING: ***1/2


2011 Lexus LX 570
Base Engine 5.7L/383-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.5 sec
Tow/Payload 7000/1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12/18 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 10

Lexus RX 350/450h

BASE PRICE RANGE: $38,850-$45,700
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: With all of the changes that came in 2010 -- when the latest generation for this sport/utility launched -- there are very few new features to report for 2011. The RX 350 now has a new brake override system. Both models receive new exterior colors; a 12-volt power port is moved to a more convenient location; and the 450h's Sport Package has been dropped.

COOL FACT: In 2009, the RX accounted for 43 percent of total Lexus sales.

SUM UP: Comfortable and reliable, but bland.
RATING: ***

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2011 Lexus RX 350/450h
Base Engine 3.5L/275-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 + f or f/r elec motors/295 hp
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 6A/CVT
0-60 MPH 6.4-6.9 sec
Tow/Payload 3500/1250-1400 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 18-32/24-28 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 10
*Estimated

Lincoln Navigator/L

BASE PRICE RANGE: $58,080-$63,145
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Voice-controlled nav becomes standard on the 2011 Navigator, along with HD Radio, Sync, and Sirius Travel Link. Maintenance for the first 12 months or 15,000 miles is complimentary. Navigator mates a 6A to the 5.4L V-8 producing 310 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque.

COOL FACT: With the MyKey system, parents can prevent their kids from driving faster than 80 mph, deactivating traction control, and turning the stereo beyond 44 percent of the maximum volume.

SUM UP: Badly needs engine, interior upgrades.
RATING: **1/2

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2011 Lincoln Navigator/L
Base Engine 5.4L/310-hp SOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 7.8-8.4 sec
Tow/Payload 8500-9000/1550-1600 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14/20 mpg (SWB RWD)
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Mazda Tribute

BASE PRICE RANGE: $21,185-$34,500*
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: An ambient temperature gauge, garage door opener, and two new colors (Steel Blue, Ingot Silver) in 2010. GT and HEV models receive an electrochromatic rearview mirror with backup camera display. The HEV also gets a one-touch open and close moonroof. Either a 2.5L I-4 or 3.0L V-6 are the main engine choices; a hybrid is in limited production.

COOL FACT: If driven carefully, the Tribute hybrid (sold only in California) can run to 25 mph on electric-only power.

SUM UP: Shines brightest in hybrid form.
RATING: **1/2


2011 Mazda Tribute
Base Engine 2.5L/171-hp DOHC I-4
Optional Engine 3.0L/240-hp DOHC V-6; 2.5L I-4 + elec motors/177-hp
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 5M/6A/CVT
0-60 MPH 6.5-8.6 sec*
Tow/Payload 1000-3500/1000-1500 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 18-34/23-31 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

BASE PRICE RANGE: $106,625-$125,325
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: "New" isn't a word that applies to the G-Class, and not much changes this year. For 2011, the G550 gets a new 18-inch, five-spoke wheel design with split spokes. All 2010 changes also carry over: new 19-inch wheels for the G55 AMG, interior chrome accents, new power front seats, leather dash, and restyled spare wheel cover.

COOL FACT: The G-Class can climb grades up to 36 degrees and is stable on lateral inclines up to 24 degrees.

SUM UP: Classic luxury off-roader.
RATING: ***1/2


2011 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Base Engine 5.5L/382-hp SOHC V-8
Optional Engine 5.4L/500-hp s-charged SOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 5A/7A
0-60 MPH 5.4-6.0 sec
Tow/Payload 3500/1500 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 11/15 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
*Estimated

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

BASE PRICE RANGE: $61,825-$85,325
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: There are only minor changes for 2011. The 382-hp GL550 gains a restyled front bumper. All models get a rearview mirror with integrated compass, what the company refers to as saddle-style second- and third-row head restraints, and the option of blind-spot assist. Another new option is the next generation of telematics, called mbrace, which includes safety and convenience features.

COOL FACT: The GL350 BlueTEC diesel has a 600-mile cruising range.

SUM UP: Excellent 7-passenger LUX SUV.
RATING: ****


2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Base Engine 3.0L/210-hp t-diesel SOHC V-6
Optional Engine 4.6L/335-hp DOHC V-8; 5.5L/382-hp DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 7A
0-60 MPH 6.4-8.1 sec*
Tow/Payload 7500/1400-1600 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-17/17-23 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 9
*Estimated

Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

BASE PRICE RANGE: $36,375-$38,375
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: For the second year of the Mercedes-Benz GLK350, changes inside include a new premium leather steering wheel and a new headlight control switch. A knee airbag, pelvic airbags, and a rearview camera are available, along with an AMG sport package, with AMG bumpers, 20-in. wheels, LED daytime running lights, and aluminum roof rails.

BEST BUY: A GLK350 with the AMG Styling Package to make the most of this boulevard cruiser.

SUM UP: Rugged looks but doesn't like dirt.
RATING: ***

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2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Base Engine 3.5L/268-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/AWD, 7A
0-60 MPH 6.5-6.6 sec
Tow/Payload 3500/1450 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/21-22 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 9
*Estimated

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

BASE PRICE RANGE: $47,365-$93,465
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The hybrid uses a 275-hp, 3.5L V-6 and two electric motors, with fuel economy of 21/24 mpg city/highway. The M-Class has a new paint color, Diamond White Metallic, and available new LED daytime running lights. Side mirrors were redesigned; the rearview mirror includes a compass; and blind-spot assist and a rearview camera are available.

BEST BUY: The diesel for the 600-mile cruising range, 7200-lb towing capacity, and unsurpassed highway fuel economy.

SUM UP: Solid SUV ready for a restyle.
RATING: ***


2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Base Engine 3.5L/268-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 3.0L/210-hp t-diesel DOHC V-6; 3.5L DOHC V-6 + elec motors/335-hp; 5.5L/382-hp DOHC V-8; 6.2L/503-hp DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 7A/8A
0-60 MPH 4.5-8.1 sec
Tow/Payload 4600-7200/1600-1650 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 11-21/15-25 mpg*
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 9
*Estimated

Mitsubishi Endeavor

BASE PRICE RANGE: $29,079-$34,379
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: A Navigation and Sunroof package now offers DVD-based touchscreen nav, backup camera, power sunroof, and cargo cover. The Endeavor wears a restyled tailgate and grille, and the base LS model now offers color-keyed door handles and side mirrors, while the top-level SE comes standard with 18-in. alloy wheels.

LOOK FOR: Mitsubishi to completely redesign or replace the Endeavor within a couple model years.

SUM UP: Aged offering in need of replacement.
RATING: **

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2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor
Base Engine 3.8L/225-hp SOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 4A
0-60 MPH 8.3-8.8 sec*
Tow/Payload 3500/1150-1250 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15/19-21 mpg
Basic warranty 5 yrs/60,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Nissan Armada

BASE PRICE RANGE: $38,860-$53,840
BODY TYPE: Full-size SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The Armada's lineup has been shuffled. New SV and SL replace the previous SE and Titanium, respectively, while the top-line Platinum continues unchanged. New exterior (Espresso Black) and interior (Almond) hues are added to the color palettes. All 2WD models now come with a 2.94 rear axle ratio, helping increase towing capacity to 8200 lb.

BEST BUY: A midlevel SL adds some extra equipment before weighing down the Armada with an Infiniti-like price.

SUM UP: Capable, but not best in class.
RATING: **1/2

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2011 Nissan Armada
Base Engine 5.6L/317-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5A
0-60 MPH 6.8-8.0 sec*
Tow/Payload 6500-9000/1300-1750 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12/18 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Nissan Pathfinder

BASE PRICE RANGE: $28,640-$43,400
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Pathfinder's 25th anniversary brings minor trim changes and a Silver Edition model. The special edition bundles options like 17-in. machine-finished alloy wheels, chrome trim, Bose sound system, heated front seats, leather seats, and more on a V-6 mated to a 5A. Espresso Black is a new color for 2011, and the SV model replaces the SE.

COOL FACT: The Hatch Tent accessory unfolds to become a 10x10-ft tent that connects to the Pathfinder or stands on its own.

SUM UP: Stylish anti-crossover endures.
RATING: ***

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2011 Nissan Pathfinder
Base Engine 4.0L/266-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 5.6L/310-hp DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5A
0-60 MPH 6.4-7.3 sec
Tow/Payload 6000-7000/1050-1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-15/18-22 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Nissan Xterra

BASE PRICE RANGE: $24,650-$30,900
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: For 2011, the Xterra's high-end SE model is no longer available, but that trim's leather seats continue in the form of the PRO-4X Leather Package. A 6M can now be paired with an S 4x4 model, and the Off-Road trim has become the PRO-4X trim. Body side moldings are new to the S model, and there are two new colors: Lava Red and Metallic Green.

COOL FACT: Both the original and current-generation Xterra earned Motor Trend's Sport/Utility of the Year award.

SUM UP: Great off-road, good all around.
RATING: ****1/2

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2011 Nissan Xterra
Base Engine 4.0L/261-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6M/5A
0-60 MPH 7.4-7.7 sec
Tow/Payload 5000/950-1050 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-16/20-21 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Porsche Cayenne

BASE PRICE RANGE: $47,675-$105,775
BODY TYPE: Midsize/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Pretty much everything: The 2011 Cayenne is lower in height, about 400 lb lighter, structurally stiffer, more fuel-efficient, boasts a revamped cabin (looking very much like the Panamera's), and sports a new, optional 8A. Green-friendly features include Automatic Start Stop (shuts off the engine when the vehicle stops) and the new S Hybrid model.

COOL FACT: The 500-hp Cayenne Turbo rockets from 0-60 MPH in just 4.4 seconds.

SUM UP: Make demands. It'll answer them.
RATING: *****

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2011 Porsche Cayenne
Base Engine 3.6L/300-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 3.0L s-charged DOHC V-6+elec motors/380 hp; 4.8L/400-hp DOHC V-8; 4.8L/500-hp twin-turbo DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 6M/8A
0-60 MPH 4.4-7.4 sec
Tow/Payload 5952-7716/1500-1700 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-22/22-24 mpg*
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Subaru Forester

BASE PRICE RANGE: $21,500-$29,500*
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Halfway through its lifecycle, the 2011 Forester gets an updated version of the 2.5L boxer four-cylinder engine. Power remains the same, but torque and fuel economy receive slight boosts for non-turbo models. A new 2.5X Touring trim features HID headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, silver roof rails, and side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

BEST BUY: Any 2.5XT turbo model to add pep to your daily commute.

SUM UP: Quality SUV, but room to improve.
RATING: ****

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2011 Subaru Forester
Base Engine 2.5L/170-hp SOHC flat-4
Optional Engine 2.5L/224-hp turbo DOHC flat-4
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 5M/4A
0-60 MPH 6.6-9.9 sec*
Tow/Payload 2400/1200 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19-21/24-27 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Suzuki Grand Vitara

BASE PRICE RANGE: $19,994-$25,644
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The V-6 engine is gone from the Grand Vitara lineup for the 2011 model year. That leaves the 2.4L I-4 mated to a 5M or 4A as the only engine option. Also, the SUV's standard navigation system has been improved this year. A full spare-tire cover is included on all Grand Vitaras and 18-in. alloy wheels become standard on Limited models.

COOL FACT: Grand Vitara's available four-mode 4WD system has a neutral setting to permit flat towing behind an RV without adding mileage.

SUM UP: Needs a revamp.
RATING: ***


2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara
Base Engine 2.4L/166-hp DOHC I-4
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5M/4A
0-60 MPH 9.8-10.5 sec*
Tow/Payload 3000/1000-1150 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19/23-26 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Toyota 4Runner

BASE PRICE RANGE: $30,335-$40,495
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The four-cylinder 4Runner has been dropped for 2011 leaving the 4.0L V-6 making 270 hp as the only engine. Otherwise, there are only minor changes for 2011: The SUV receives a new brake override system. In addition, Trail and two-row Limited models receive a sliding cargo tray/cargo organizer as a standalone option.

AVOID: Hoping Toyota will drop the company's 4.6L V-8 in the 4Runner, as it may never happen.

SUM UP: Cool, capable off-roader.
RATING: ****

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2011 Toyota 4Runner
Base Engine 4.0L/270-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5A
0-60 MPH 7.6-7.8 sec
Tow/Payload 5000/1550-1700 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17/22-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 8
*Estimated

Toyota FJ Cruiser

BASE PRICE RANGE: $25,000-$26,500*
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: This year's cool special edition features Army Green paint (body and roof) with matching seat inserts, black trim and grille, Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, active traction control, and new 10-speaker audio. A new Off-Road Package, replacing the All-Terrain Package, includes many of the mechanical features of the special edition.

BEST BUY: The special edition with Army Green paint to make the most of the FJ Cruiser's retro looks.

SUM UP: Good looks backed by ability.
RATING: ****

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2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Base Engine 4.0L/260-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6M/5A
0-60 MPH 7.3-7.6 sec*
Tow/Payload 5000/1250-1300 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-17/19-22 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Toyota Land Cruiser

BASE PRICE: $68,180
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The Land Cruiser is a low-volume luxury model, a combination that almost guarantees it doesn't receive changes all that often. That's the case here. The Land Cruiser was all-new for the 2008 model year, when it was restyled and given a 381-hp, 5.7L engine. The only change for 2011 is that the Land Cruiser gets Toyota's brake override system.

COOL FACT: On the market since September 1958, the Land Cruiser is the oldest Toyota nameplate in the U.S.

SUM UP: Rugged off-road luxury.
RATING: ****1/2


2011 Toyota Land Cruiser
Base Engine 5.7L/381-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.5 sec
Tow/Payload 8500/1600 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13/18 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 10
*Estimated

Toyota RAV4

BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,735-$29,045
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: In 2009, the 2.4L inline-four was replaced with a more powerful 2.5L four with better fuel economy. For 2011, the RAV4 gains a brake override system. Also, there is a new Base Plus Extra Value Package, with moonroof, steering wheel audio controls, roof rails, and 17-in. wheels. There are also some minor changes to other packages.

COOL FACT: Toyota is working with Tesla to produce a fleet of electric RAV4s in 2012.

SUM UP: Big compact or small midsize?
RATING: ***1/2

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2011 Toyota RAV4
Base Engine 2.5L/179-hp DOHC I-4
Optional Engine 3.5L/269-hp DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 4A/5A
0-60 MPH 6.3-8.4 sec*
Tow/Payload 1500-3500/950-1350 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19-22/26-28 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Toyota Sequoia

BASE PRICE RANGE: $40,555-$60,930
BODY TYPE: Full-size/Luxury SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Last year, Toyota added the company's new 4.6L, 310-hp V-8 to the Sequoia, which has better fuel economy than the 4.7L it replaced, and more power. For 2011, a brake override system was added, there is a new woodgrain on the Platinum grade, and Dark Gray replaces Slate while Nautical Blue and Spruce were dropped.

COOL FACT: The Sequoia's third-row seats recline and, Toyota says, are big enough to fit three people, not two and a half.

SUM UP: Superfast guilty pleasure.
RATING: ***1/2


2011 Toyota Sequoia
Base Engine 4.6L/310-hp DOHC V-8
Optional Engine 5.7L/381-hp DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.2-8.9 sec*
Tow/Payload 7000-10,000/1250-1350 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-14/18-19 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 8
*Estimated

Volkswagen Tiguan

BASE PRICE RANGE: $24,305-$35,595
BODY TYPE: Compact SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Minor changes are in store for the Tiguan in 2011. There are new 16- and 17-in. wheel designs and the color Night Blue replaces Sapphire Blue. Entry-level models get voice-controlled Bluetooth and a new entry-level sound system with a single-disc CD player. MDI with an iPod cable is now standard equipment on SE and SEL.

COOL FACT: Volkswagen reduced build combinations from 120 in the 2010 model year to just 11 in 2011.

SUM UP: If a Q5's too pricey...
RATING: ****


2011 Volkswagen Tiguan
Base Engine 2.0L/200-hp turbo DOHC I-4
Optional Engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 6M/6A
0-60 MPH 7.5-8.2 sec
Tow/Payload 2200/1300-1350 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 19-20/25-26 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated

Volkswagen Touareg

BASE PRICE RANGE: $41,000-$55,000*
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: The Touareg enters its second generation in 2011 with a new hybrid model and an 8A. The SUV also is lighter and much more efficient. A V-6, V-6-based hybrid, and V-6 diesel will be available in the U.S. Lower than before, the new Touareg is wider and longer than its predecessor. Styling changes from the previous SUV are relatively minor.

COOL FACT: The new Touareg is about 450 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.

SUM UP: Lighter lux SUV has potential.
RATING: ****

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2011 Volkswagen Touareg
Base Engine 3.6L/276-hp DOHC V-6
Optional Engine 3.0L/236-hp t-diesel DOHC V-6; 3.0L s-charged V-6 + elec-motor/375 hp
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 8A
0-60 MPH 6.5-7.8 sec*
Tow/Payload 7700/1200-1500 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16-25/22-28 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6*
*Estimated

Volvo XC90

BASE PRICE RANGE: $39,050-$48,850
BODY TYPE: Midsize SUV

WHAT'S NEW: Although it was dropped for the S80, the 4.4L V-8 is still available in the 2011 XC90. The base six-cylinder XC90 receives Bluetooth phone connectivity and Sirius Satellite Radio as standard equipment, while all models are now available with a new rearview camera. The base 3.2L I-6 gets a 5-hp boost to 240 hp.

COOL FACT: While the Volvo S80 sedan may have dropped the 4.4L V-8, the engine is still available in the XC90 SUV.

SUM UP: Seven seats justify its place in lineup.
RATING: ***


2011 Volvo XC90
Base Engine 3.2L/240-hp DOHC I-6
Optional Engine 4.4L/311-hp DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/AWD, 6A
0-60 MPH 6.7-8.9 sec*
Tow/Payload 3970-4960/1150-1250 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-16/21-22 mpg
Basic warranty 5 yrs/60,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
*Estimated