2010 Future Trucks & SUVs

Pulling The Wraps Off of over 50 New, Refreshed, and Slight Changes!

Angus MacKenzie
Sep 1, 2009
For everyone in the auto business, 2008 is a year they'd love to forget. And right now, 2009 looks worse. New vehicle sales in the U.S. this year will likely be 35 to 40 percent lower than in 2007 as the recession continues to bite hard. The Detroit Three face an uncertain future, and European automakers are struggling. Even mighty Toyota is hurting-the company has posted its first operating loss in 71 years.
But the show must -- and will -- go on, if for no other reason than many automakers were locked and loaded to launch before the economy drove off a cliff last October. They'll be hoping things start to improve by 2010, the lead times in the industry mean automakers have to continue to work on designing, engineering, and developing new vehicles, no matter how tough times get.
So here are some of the coolest, most interesting, and most significant new Trucks & SUVs to anticipate this year.
2010 Acura MDX - Refresh
2010 Acura RDX - Refresh
2010 Acura ZDX - All-new
2010 Audi Q7 - Refresh
2010 BMW X3 - Refresh
2010 BMW X6 M & BMW X5 M - New package
2010 Cadillac SRX - Redesign
2010 Chevrolet Avalanche - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Colorado - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Equinox - Redesign
2010 Chevrolet Express - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet HHR - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Silverado - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD - Possible Refresh
2010 Chevrolet Suburban - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Tahoe - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid - Minor Updates
2010 Chevrolet Traverse - Minor Updates
2010 Dodge Ram 2500/3500/4500 - Redesign
2010 Ford Edge - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Expedition - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Escape Hybrid - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Escape - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Explorer - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Minor Updates
2010 Ford F-150 - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Flex - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 - New package
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor - New package
2010 Ford Ford Transit Connect - All-new
2010 Ford Ranger US Spec - Minor Updates
2010 Ford Ranger Max Euro Spec - Redesign - European Market only
2010 GMC Acadia - Minor Updates
2010 GMC Canyon - Minor Updates
2010 GMC Terrain - All-new
2010 GMC Savana - Minor Updates
2010 GMC Yukon - Minor Updates
2010 GMC Yukon Hybrid - Minor Updates
2010 Kia Sorento - Redesign
2010 Land Rover LR4 - Redesign
2010 Land Rover Range Rover - Redesign
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Redesign
2010 Lexus RX350 & RX450h - Redesign
2010 Lincoln MKT - All-new
2010 Lincoln Navigator - Minor Updates
2010 Mazda CX-7 - Refresh
2010 Mazda CX-9 - Refresh
2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK - All-new
2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid - New package
2010 MINI Crossman - All-new
2010 Mercury Mariner - Minor Updates
2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid - Minor Updates
2010 Toyota Tundra Work Truck Package - New package
2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum Package - New package
2010 Mahindra Trucks - All-new
2010 Volvo XC60 - All-new
2010 Acura ZDX
Photo 2/49   |   2010 Acura ZDX front View
The Acura ZDX prototype shares many design cues with the controversial TL sedan, though the execution is thankfully much less cartoonish. In fact, the production version, which will differ on in minor detail, will arguably be the best looking vehicle in the Acura range when it goes on sale this fall.
In the ZDX function is secondary to form. The C-pillars have been pulled dramatically inward to give the ZDX a pronounced shoulder over the rear wheel.The B-pillar has also been moved rearward compared with Acura's MDX SUV. (It's built on the same platform and shares its powertrain, all-wheel-drive layout, and high seating position with the MDX.) As a result, the rear door aperture is relatively narrow, and tall passengers will find the rear seat headroom a little tight. With rear vision likely to be somewhat restricted, its no surprise to learn the production ZDX will come standard with an all-new blind spot warning system and a multi-view rear camera that will offer wide angle and top-down views. It's a big vehicle. Overall length is 192.4 in. and overall width is 78.5 in. It rides on a 108.2-in. wheelbase and stands 61.8 in. tall. The rakish roofline is key to the ZDX's sports coupe pretensions. The rear door handles have been hidden to emphasize the coupelike profile. The roof features black-tinted glass panels, which continue right through the backlight and onto the vertical surface of the rear hatch, just like an old CRX. The through bumper exhaust outlets are a first for Honda.
Honda officials won't confirm all details of the production version yet, but logic suggests this range-topping, sporty Acura will be available with the punchy 305-hp, 3.7L V-6 offered in the TL. The engine will be mated to an all-new six speed automatic transmission with a sequential sport-shift mode. All weather traction is courtesy of Honda's complex, heavy but effective Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.
2010 Audi Q7
Photo 3/49   |   2010 Audi Q7 front View
The refreashed up Q7, which features updated interior and exterior styling along with the latest version of Audi's fantastic MMI infotainment system. Expect it in U.S. showrooms by the end of the year. Most noticeable are the exterior changes, especially up front. Like the rest of the brand, the Q7 now sports a line of LEDs around the Xenon headlights that serve as daytime running lights. Below, the old turn signals have likewise been swapped out for a thin row of orange LEDs.
More prominent is the new grille, which Audi has updated with vertical chrome strips, an updated bumper gives the brake ducts a bit more style while the reduced size of the extra openings around the fog lights help the front end look a bit shorter and sleeker. The taillights have been upgraded to LED units and the indentation in the tailgate where the license plate mounts has been enlarged to accept any plate, Audi has also spruced up the exterior with two-tone mirrors, chrome door handles, 11 color options and 10 different 18- and 21-in. wheel designs.
Audi decided to give the interior a bit more pop as well. Extra chrome accents on the switch gear and new wood trim on the passengers side of the dash give the interior a bit more flash, while new leather on the front seats and ambient lighting in the doors help give the Q7 an even more comfortable image and gets the latest version of Audi's superb MMI infotainment system.
The Q7 will carry three engine options in the U.S. and up to six in other markets. U.S. buyers who prefer petroleum can choose from a 3.6L V-6 or a 4.2L V-8, the former putting out 240 hp and 265 lb-ft while achieving 19 mpg on average and the latter producing 350 hp and 325 lb-ft while achieving 18 mpg on average.
Photo 4/49   |   BMW X6 M with Bmw X5 M
With the intro of the BMW X5 M and X6 M at the New York auto show, BMW is giving in to competition from the Porsche Cayenne GTS and the Mercedes-Benz ML65 AMG. In more certain times, the X5/6 Ms would be surefire profit-makers. Instead of the M5's 500-horse, 5.0L V-10, the X5/6 M are powered by a new, 555-hp version of the 4.4L twin-turbo V-8, this one featuring a new exhaust manifold set in the engine's vee. The manifold has one turbo inlet for every two cylinders (normally, it's one inlet per turbo scroll) and swaps out cylinders to get a pulse every 90 degrees. The two Garrett twin-scroll turbos work both sides of the vee, not one per bank. The new M twin-turbo V-8's max engine speed is 6800 rpm (with turbos spooling to about 16,000 rpm at maximum turbo boost) and the engine produces a heady 502 pound-feet of torque from 1800 rpm on. BMW claims both vehicles will sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 sec.
The X5/6 M set another BMW precedent, as the first M models with an automatic transmission. The X5/6 M's "sport" mode speeds up shifting among the six gears, and the "M" mode speeds them up even further. Click on the X5/6 M's M mode and all-wheel-drive bias shifts heavily to the rear wheels, making them great drift competition candidates, BMW says. The rear bias is well past 20/80, although BMW says it's not pure rear drive. Both the X5 and X6 M go on sale late this year.
Photo 5/49   |   2010 Cadillac SRX front View
2010 CADILLAC SRX
So much for the rear drive, V-8-powered, not quite a three-row SUV Caddy. The SRX badge moves to a new FWD/AWD platform much closer to that of the reconstituted Chevy Equinox.
It's a strict two-row seater this time out, and power comes from naturally aspirated and turbocharged V-6s, the latter cranking out 300 horsepower. The emphasis is on design, an elegantly appointed cabin, and high creature feature content.
BOTTOM LINE: Think Wreath and Crest spin on the Lexus RX 350
Photo 6/49   |   2010 Cadillac SRX side View
Photo 7/49   |   2010 Cadillac SRX rear Three Quarters View
Photo 8/49   |   2010 Cadillac SRX rear

Photo 9/49   |   2010 Cadillac SRX rear Three Quarter
Photo 10/49   |   2010 Cadillac SRX side
Photo 11/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox side View
2010 CHEVROLET EQUINOX
"The utility of a crossover with the economy of a sedan." That's Chevy's boast about its 2010 Equinox. GM's new direct-injected 2.4-liter I-4 makes 182 horses and achieves an impressive 30 mpg EPA highway mpg. You can also step up to a new DI 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 255 horses and 25 highway mpg. Front drive is standard, with AWD optional on the V-6. It's an inch shorter, 1.1 inches wider, and 0.7 inch lower overall, so the package size is much the same but the proportions shift a skosh.
A stiffer body structure, acoustic laminated glass, and triple door seals contribute, so claims GM, to a quieter machine. Interior design and materials are a big move forward over the previous gen Equinox, and the feature content is higher too.
BOTTOM LINE: Does it have the stuff to steal away Japanese/Korean brand and hybrid intenders?
Photo 12/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox front View
Photo 13/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox rear Three Quarters View
Photo 14/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox side View
Photo 15/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox front Three Quarters View
Photo 16/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox trunk Space
Photo 17/49   |   2010 Chevrolet Equinox interior View
2010 Ford F 150 SVT Raptor
Photo 18/49   |   2010 Ford F150 Svt Raptor front View
The rap about "street trucks" like Dodge's Ram SRT-10, Chevy's Silverado SS and Ford's own F-150 SVT Lightning is that they handled and performed well...for trucks.
In designing a performance version of Ford's iconic pickup, Special Vehicle Teams chose a different direction for the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor. Widen the body of a Supercrew, redo front and rear suspensions, tweak the four-wheel-drive calibration and make it an off-road capable pre-runner.
The Raptor also gets a new truck engine, a 6.2L, two-valve (for better torque characteristics than multivalvers) overhead-cam V-8. Tuning isn't final, but SVT says the oversquare engine will be rated about 400 hp and about 400 lb-ft of torque. The engine was an on-again, off-again project known as the Hurricane V-8. Its official name is simply "6.2," and Ford will not use it in any other F-150s, so it's mainly a Super Duty truck engine that might also be used in whatever is left of the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator lines.
Video Find: First Look at the 2009 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor in Action
2010 Ford Harley-Davidson f-150
Photo 19/49   |   2010 Ford Harley Davidson F150 front
The 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, marks the 14th iteration of such a vehicle, and stays true to the Harley-branded F-150 tradition.
Exterior changes designed to Harleyize the F-150 include a new front fascia, six-bar billet grille, chrome "Harley-Davidson" badging, standard 22-in forged wheels, low-profile tires, Tuxedo Black paint and new "Lava," which Ford describes as a deep maroon with a three-color metal flake. Interior styling retains the signature Harley-Davidson look, seats are designed to resemble the biker jacket, with button snaps and map pockets on the seatbacks with zippers from Harley jackets. A limited-edition serial plate with a handmade badge resides on the console, denoting model number. The F-150's standard 5.4-liter V-8 under hood still produces 320 hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque, augmented only by a sport-tuned exhaust. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the package can accelerate to a top speed of 115 mph.
2010 Ford Ford Transit Connect
Photo 20/49   |   2010 Ford Transit Connect rear View
Ford has been building these commercial vans in Kocaeli, Turkey, and selling them primarily in Europe, Asia, and South America since 2003. In that time, it's sold over 600,000 Transit Connects in 58 countries. America is next, as Ford thinks it's found a new niche to exploit. Ford may be correct. As far as purpose-built commercial vehicles go, there's nothing like the Transit Connect currently on sale in the U.S. Built on a truck-tough version of the European Focus C-170 platform, the Transit Connect utilizes a transverse powertrain to drive the front wheels. The engine is smaller than anything you'd find in an American commercial cargo vehicle: a 2.0-liter Duratec four-cylinder that produces an estimated 136 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to a four-speed automatic. The upside of this relatively light-duty powertrain is good fuel economy. Ford expects the Transit Connect to hit 20 city and 24 highway mpg--high for the commercial-vehicle sector. Want even better fuel economy? Wait until next year, when the 100-mile-range battery-powered Transit Connect BEV finds its way into select dealerships.
2010 Ford Ranger Max
Photo 21/49   |   ford Ranger Max Concept Truck rear View
If you haven't seen it by now, Ford Thailand recently debuted its Ford Ranger Max concept created in collaboration with Ford Australia designers. According to chief designer Paul Gibson, his design team's main focus with the Max was to build a show truck that was "cool as hell".
The redesigned, wind-tunnel tested Ford Ranger pickup receives a complete revamping both inside and out, and safe to say, it looks pretty well done. Built in Thailand and shipped to Europe for sale, the Ranger can be had in three body styles with two diesel engines -- 2.5L Turbo (141-hp/ 243 lb-ft) or 3.0L (154-hp/280 lb-ft) -- mated to five-speed automatic or manual transmissions. It can also come in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations for those looking for off-road capability and touts a claimed towing capacity of 3000 kg (6614 lbs). Europeans will get all the new Ranger fun beginning this April.
Photo 22/49   |   ford Ranger front Three Quarter
Now, while it could be headed to market in Thailand, there was no word on if the truck-- or a version of it --will hit our shores anytime soon. With the current financial situation at hand, it's not likely. But given Ford's greenlight of the niche market 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, there may be a bit of hope for the midsize Ranger after 2010.
2010 Dodge Ram 2500/3500/4500
The 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty lineup continues its trend toward greater comfort and improved towing prowess -- punctuated by an expressive, big-rig design. Hoping to build upon the momentum generated by its well-received light-duty Ram late last year, Dodge has added a crew cab option to the HD lineup for the first time, and boasts of improved overall capability and interior upgrades. The HD models will be available in the fall.
2010 GMC Terrain
Photo 23/49   |   2010 GMC Terrain front
Whenever General Motors has too little cash to serve too many divisions, the result is too much badge engineering. The 2010 GMC Terrain doesn't suffer badge engineering like its predecessor, the Pontiac Torrent. Based on the second-gen Chevrolet Equinox on sale soon, the Terrain has distinct sheetmetal and a slightly upgraded interior featuring lots of red ambient lighting, including along the center-stack-control outline, the CD player opening, and in the door handle openings.
The Terrain will come with slightly more standard equipment than the new Equinox, and we'd expect base prices for the SLE and SLT trim levels, both available in front or all-wheel drive and I-4 or V-6 configurations, to run from the very low to the upper-mid $20s.
2010 Kia Sorento
Photo 24/49   |   2010 Kia Sorento front View
The biggest news is the seriously updated Sorento. Gone is the old-school body-on-frame construction, replaced with a monocoque structure, which Kia says will deliver seating for seven, better performance and handling, better fuel economy and enhanced safety. The new Sorento has grown nearly four inches in length while the wheelbase has stretched almost half an inch, all of which Kia says will create a good deal more space for passengers and cargo. The Sorento's height has dropped by nearly an inch while its width has grown nearly the same amount, which should make the vehicle a bit more stable on the road. Unfortunately, that lost inch in height has been taken from the Sorento's ground clearance, giving up some off-road prowess for on-road stability. In all, this is a much more pavement-friendly vehicle.
The U.S.-spec Sorento will offer either a 2.4L inline four-cylinder engine producing 174 hp and 188 lb-ft or a 3.5L V-6 producing 277 hp and 247 lb-ft. Korean and world markets will also see a 197-hp diesel four-cylinder and a 165-hp 2.7L four-cylinder that runs on liquefied petroleum gas. Power will hit the ground via a five- or six-speed manual gearbox or a revised six-speed automatic, any of which can be mated to either a FWD or AWD powertrain. Yes, dirt lovers, Kia has forsaken the current Sorento's true 4WD for a more road-friendly AWD unit that typically drives the front wheels, but can send up to 50% of the power to the rear. The good news is, it can still tow up to 5,500 lbs in the right configuration.
Photo 25/49   |   2010 Kia Sorento rear View
Photo 26/49   |   2010 Kia Sorento interior View
Photo 27/49   |   2010 Kia Sorento front View
2010 Land Rover LR4
Photo 28/49   |   2010 Land Rover LR4 rear Three Quarters View
The 2010 Land Rover LR4 is powered by Jaguar Land Rover's all-new 5.0L, direct-injection V-8 -- a significant increase in size from the outgoing LR3's current 4.4L engine. With the new engine comes more power: 375 brake horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque, up from 300 and 315, respectively. The new engine (also employed in the Jaguar XF) uses variable camshaft timing, which works independently on all four camshafts, improving engine response. It also boasts lower fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, and is ULEV2 compliant. It's backed by a revised ZF HP-28 six-speed automatic that should help improve fuel economy (not yet rated) and make quicker, more refined shifts.
Underneath, updates were made to the suspension, including new knuckles, new shocks, and a stiffer anti-roll bar, and the LR4 also receives larger brakes (now 14.2-in. at the front as opposed to the LR3's 13.3) and an updated traction control system. Terrain Reponse now offers a sand launch control, and Hill Descent Control now uses Gradient Release Control, which reduces initial acceleration on extremely steep grades.
Styling has been refreshed, with smoother, more aerodynamic lines, a new two-bar grille and LED headlights with high-beam assist. There are now side vents and new wheel styles. The interior has been completely redesigned. There's a new center stack and the Terrain Response control now sits above the shifter. There are new seats for the first two rows, new leather colors, and the addition of ambient lighting. There's also a new five-inch TFT driver information screen, flanked by redesigned gauges. For those who felt the LR3's stack was too cluttered, the number of buttons was cut nearly in half. To make the LR4 easier to park, buyers can get a five-camera system -- also handy when towing and in off-road situations. With more than 1300 new parts in all, Jaguar Land Rover engineers did as much as possible without creating an all-new platform. Their efforts will no doubt make the LR4 a more capable, powerful, and fuel-efficient vehicle than the outgoing LR3. Expect it to go on sale in October.
2010 Land Rover Range Rover
As is the case with the rest of the 2010 class of new Land Rovers, the 2010 Land Rover Range Rover receives as its base model the 5.0-liter V-8 designed by Jaguar Land Rover (the first engine designed with both brands in mind). This engine uses torque-actuated variable camshaft timing on all four cams, cam profile switching, and a variable-length inlet manifold. The supercharged version has 510 bhp, the standard 375, which is only 25 horses shy of the outgoing Supercharged Range Rover. Estimates put 0-to-60 times at 7.2 for the normally aspirated Rover and a speedy 5.9 for the Supercharged. Both use a revised ZF six-speed automatic, revised for improved response to driver input and reprogrammed for better fuel efficiency. The supercharger is a sixth-generation Eaton twin-vortex Roots-type unit, which uses twin intercoolers. This entire setup is packaged within the engine's vee.
The manufacturer also made revisions to the vehicle's suspension, integrating Adaptive Dynamics. This system, which also works off-road, optimizes shock settings based on current terrain. It uses DampTronic shock valves, which are continuously adjustable, and wheel monitors that take measurements 500 times per second to provide the ideal ride ranging from comfortable and soft to a firmer, sportier ride. The sport/utility also has new, larger brakes -- front 15-inchers for the Supercharged, 14.2 for the standard Rover -- plus improved stability control and DSC. It now also comes with Roll Stability Control.
Styling has been redone inside and out, with subtle changes to the front end that make it look cleaner and also make it more aerodynamic. New for 2010 and not offered in any other SUV, the gauge cluster is now entirely made up of a TFT screen -- there are no actual gauges here. Between the virtual tachometer and speedometer is a customizable driver information center. When driving off-road, the speedometer shifts to the right (odds are you won't be driving over 100 mph off-road), and the space created with this move provides more space for detailed information while on the trail.
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Photo 29/49   |   2010 Range Rover Sport front Three Quarters View
This smaller Range Rover, based on the LR4 platform yet with the panache and features of the Range Rover, receives many of the upgrades and improvements of its big brother. It gets the new 5.0-liter engines (all 5.0-liter-equipped Land Rovers now have 15,000-mile service intervals) and revised transmission, improved suspension and steering, larger brakes, sand launch control, RSC, redesigned interior, Towing Assist, surround camera system, and a new center stack. It still uses real gauges with a five-inch TFT display for the driver, and high-beam assist. On the outside, two-bar side vents and side marker lights help differentiate the Sport from the larger Range Rover. Also, for now, the Sport (and Sport Supercharged) are the only Land Rover models to include a new option in the Terrain Response system -- Dynamic Program. This mode, like the others in the system, optimizes suspension and shift points for agility and ride quality. But there's no way an automaker creates something like this without offering it through the rest of the line -- we'd be shocked if it wasn't available on the Range Rover in the next couple of years.
Photo 30/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT side View
2010 LINCOLN MKT
Last year's MKT concept foretold the look and flavor of Lincoln's new three-row crossover. Don't let its Ford Flex-shared chassis and powertrain architecture put you off; there's not a visible panel common between them, and the Lincoln gets an even nicer interior.
The MKT's 3.7-liter, 267-horsepower V-6 should do the job just fine, putting power down through standard front drive or optional AWD. A 350-or-so-horse, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost variant will follow within a year.
BOTTOM LINE: Another new product that demonstrates Ford really is committed to Lincoln.
Photo 31/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT front Three Quarters View
Photo 32/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT front Three Quarters View
Photo 33/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT rear Three Quarters View

Photo 34/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT front View
Photo 35/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT front Three Quarters View
Photo 36/49   |   2010 Lincoln MKT front Three Quarters View
2010 Lexus RX350 & RX450h
Photo 37/49   |   2010 Lexus RX 350 front Three Quarters View
The new RX also welcomes Lexus's "L-finesse" design theme -- styling language introduced on the 2006 GS -- although you'd be hard-pressed to notice. While each exterior dimension is up about an inch and every body panel is unique from that of its predecessor, the 2010 RX appears conspicuously similar to the 2009 model. Maybe "L-no difference" is more apt. Regardless, the RX looks conservative in light of such bolder competitors as the Mercedes-Benz GLK and Volvo XC60, but it'll no doubt appease the RX faithful.
Photo 38/49   |   2010 Lexus RX 450h front Three Quarters View
Refreshing or Revolting: 2010 Lexus RX
2010 Mahindra Trucks
Photo 39/49   |   mahindra Pickup side View
Mahindra is looking to make a name for itself in the U.S. with its upcoming diesel pickup truck, and has recently filed claims for the TR20 and TR40 names with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mahindra's U.S. distributor, Global Vehicles USA, will be importing two- and four-door versions of the diesel pickup truck, which will be powered by a 2.2L I-4 diesel engine. Fuel economy is expected to be as high as 30 mpg while providing a hauling capability of 2600 lb.
2010 Mazda CX-9
Photo 40/49   |   2010 Mazda CX 9 front Three Quarter
The updated 2010 Mazda CX-9 is the latest Mazda to get a version of the automaker's new signature design cues, including most prominently the smiling wide lower grille (the CX-9 gets a strake through the middle) and updated fog and headlamp designs. Mazda also promises interior updates for the seven-passenger CX-9, along with slight tweaks to the ride, and additional options and safety features.
Mazda's refreshed 2010 Mazda CX-7, which is making its U.S. debut at New York, features new styling and a new 2.5L engine -- the same block that serves duty in the Mazda3 and Mazda6. No doubt designed as a more economical alternative to the usual 244-horsepower turbocharged 2.3L engine that's still an option in the CX-7's engine bay, the slightly larger, normally-aspirated 2.5L four-banger will produce 161 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque. Though pricing and fuel economy figures are not yet available, we're willing to bet the offering will trade a little power for improved gas mileage and a lower MSRP.
Photo 41/49   |   2010 Mazda CX 7 front Three Quarter
Beyond the new engine option, Mazda has revised the CX-7's styling both inside and out. Most noticeable is the new five-point front grille that is quickly becoming an integral part of Mazda's current design language and is also visible in the redesigns of the Mazda3, MX-5, and RX-8. Inside, the gauges get a refresh with three-dimensional dials and a Multi Information Display. The passenger's seat receives power adjustment, while a three-position driver's seat memory and Bluetooth compatibility are also new. Mazda says that overall, the 2010 CX-7 is refined greatly over the current version and that improvements extend all the way to the build quality. The body rigidity has reportedly also been improved, with it lower noise, vibration, and harshness levels are readily apparent -- even wind noise has been reduced, according to the automaker
2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid
Photo 42/49   |   2010 Mercedes Benz Ml450 Hybrid front View
Mercedes-Benz is ramping up its BlueTEC-laden 'responsibility' platform with its new 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid model that's said to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 60% compared to its own ML550. Key to its efficiency is a two-mode hybrid system powered by a 3.5L Atkinson-type V-6 and a pair of twin electric motors. The motors are charged thanks to a 288 volt high-capacity nickel metal hydride battery system. Depending on driving conditions and speed, the ML450's complex computer control unit utilizes "system matching" to determine which mode to use to best enhance fuel economy. The SUV has the ability to run solely on its electric power, combustion engine, or a combination of both.
Together, the powertrain develops a healthy 335-hp and 381 lb-ft of torque and distributes its power to the 4MATIC all-wheel drive setup via an electric continuously variable transmission. The gearbox comes complete with three planetary gear sets and four clutches and allows for the near seamless transition between hybrid, electric, and gasoline drive modes. Mercedes-Benz officials claim their newest hybrid can get 21 mpg while perusing the city and 24 mpg while cruising on the highway. It can travel up to 520 miles on a single tank of fuel too. For comparison's sake, the new ML's combined 22 mpg fuel economy is 47% lower than the V-8 powered ML550.
In true Mercedes-Benz fashion, the ML450 Hybrid is replete with luxurious accommodations. Identical leather trimmings, COMAND infotainment, and other appointments found in the ML-Class range can be had in the hybrid version. Active and passive safety measures are also standard. As the new powertrain needs no extra room, all cargo and passenger space is maintained. No word on pricing, but don't expect it to come cheaper than the ML320 BlueTEC's current $48,600 price tag.
Photo 43/49   |   2010 Mercedes Benz GLK front View
2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK
Initially, all GLKs will be powered by a DOHC, 3.5-liter V-6 making 268 horsepower; Mercedes's superb seven-speed automatic is also standard. Down the line, the maker will also offer the GLK with diesel power, likely the turbocharged 2.1-liter "BlueEfficiency" four (offered in Europe as the GLK220 CDI) or perhaps even the diesel-electric mild hybrid shown at this year's Geneva Motor Show. With the 3.5-liter gas six, Mercedes claims an impressive 0-to-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Fuel economy is projected at 23 mpg on the highway.
Inside, the GLK offers ample shoulder room and good overall visibility. Standard equipment on U.S. models will include dual-zone climate control, navigation, COMAND multi-media control, crisp leatherette, and Bluetooth. Options include leather, a rear-view backup camera, and a Panorama sunroof. While the Euro-spec GLK you see here features aluminum interior trim, U.S. models will sport Sienna pine wood accents.
Expect the GLK350 to sticker for about $38,000 when it reaches dealers early next year. Compared with the X3, the Benz brings more power and torque, an additional cog in the transmission, superior interior room, and, based on our drive in Spain, a more solid and "SUV-like" character. A full-on comparo test -- including other rivals like the Land Rover LR2, Volvo XC60, and Audi Q5 -- awaits later this year.
Photo 44/49   |   mini Crossover Concept front View
MINI CROSSMAN
These photos illustrate the Mini Crossover Concept first revealed at the Paris auto show last fall. We're pleased to tell you that this baby has life, and is on its way to production.
Expect a Clubman-like package with an increased ride height and either standard or optional all wheel drive. It won't be as "shiny" as the show car, likely trading some of the gloss for sturdier materials and perhaps a cargo area trimmed for outdoorsy duty.
No word on powertrains at this point, but its reasonable to expect the first Mini crossover will be offered with the Clubman's naturally aspirated and turbocharged powerplants. The production version will likely debut at the Frankfurt auto show this fall, going on sale some time in mid to late calendar 2010. The name is still TBD, but we vote for Crossman or Traveler.
BOTTOM LINE: How could this not succeed?
Photo 45/49   |   mini Crossover Concept rear View
Photo 46/49   |   mini Crossover Concept rear View

2010 Toyota Tundra Work Truck Package
Photo 47/49   |   2010 Toyota Work Truck Package front View
The Tundra Work Truck Package will be a stripped down V-6 or V-8 Tundra with almost no options and an MSRP $550 to $650 lower than the MSRP of a similar non-commercial model. With the optional 381-hp 5.7L i-Force V-8, the bare-bones truck will be able to tow a respectable 10,800 lbs.
The Tundra Work Truck Package will be available on a variety of models, including the Regular and four-door Double Cabs, standard and long beds and 2WD or 4WD. Work Truck Packages will be easy to spot with black plastic replacing the chrome on the bumpers and grille surround. Inside, though, is where you'll really be able to tell that this is a work truck. Here's what you don't get: power mirrors, map lights, courtesy lights, glove box light, ignition key ring light, cruise control and keyless entry. What you will get are vinyl bench seats and rubber floors for easy cleaning and black plastic trim instead of the standard silver. You also lose your voltage and oil pressure gauges in favor of warning lights. It's not all bad news, though. If you can't live without certain features like your Cruise Control and Keyless Entry, you can get them back in other, more glamorous Work Truck packages.
2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum Package
Photo 48/49   |   2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum Pkg front View
The Tundra Platinum Package was designed to provide a more refined and luxurious ride. The Platinum Package will be available on 2010 Tundra CrewMax Limited models, and will be powered by a 5.7L V-8 with Flex Fuel capabilities. On the exterior, chrome bumpers, the new Limited grade billet-style grille, unique 20-in. alloy wheels and tires, daytime running lights, doorsill protectors with a Platinum logo, and Platinum badging differentiate the Platinum Package from other Tundras. The Platinum Package will have paint choices of Black, Silver, Slate, and Salsa Red.
Adding to the comfort and convenience of the Platinum Package will be a power memory function on the driver's seat, outside power mirrors and puddle lights, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power tilt and slide moonroof, and a navigation system. Other new amenities include perforated leather seats with ventilation, wood-trimmed shift knob and door-switch plates, automatic up/down driver and front-passenger windows, chrome-accented HVAC vents and controls, and headrests with embroidered Platinum logos. The Platinum Package will carry an MSRP of $5140.
2010 Volvo XC60
Photo 49/49   |   2009 Volvo Xc60 drivers Side View
Given the current state of the economy and the driving public's renewed interest in high-mileage cars, it may seem like an inauspicious time to launch a vehicle associated with the words "premium" and "SUV." Volvo apparently doesn't think so, as it has an all-new small, upmarket sport/ute hitting dealerships in the coming spring.
Volvo's XC60 is a late entry to an increasingly crowded SUV niche already occupied by the Acura RDX, BMW X3, Infiniti EX35, and newcomers Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK. Does it have the right mix of style and substance to be a segment player? The eyeballs say yes.
"Historically, Volvo's interpretation of DNA signified 'Do Not Abandon' the design traditions," says Steve Mattin, Volvo Cars design director. "We have now expanded its significance to redefine DNA as taking a Dramatic New Approach."
Dramatic it is. Volvo says the XC60 is its first production vehicle to demonstrate this new design approach and, at first glance, you might think these Swedes have been smoking more than just salmon up in Gothenberg. For the XC60 is truly organically inspired: possibly the curviest Volvo ever, certainly more voluptuous than the former looker of the line, the C30. In fact, the XC60's curvaceous curb appeal may do Volvo more harm than good, as it instantly dates the current lineup, making some seem as stodgy and slabsided as your aunt's 240D.
While base architecture comes from the S80 sedan and is shared with LR2, the sheetmetal that covers this shortened chassis is all new. The XC60 starts wide, with standard 18-in. "Mantus" wheels and remains broad until just under the beltline, which gives it a powerful SUV stance. Set in atop this strong foundation is a greenhouse said to resemble a sport coupe in that way it peaks over the front two occupants before flowing back to the tail. What keeps this from looking simply like a tall wagon stretched below the door handles is a beltline that slopes slightly upward front to back. This gives the XC60 a subtly aggressive posture, like an animal ready to pounce.
The most handsome touches are reserved for the front and rear treatments. The XC60's face is set off by stylish projector-beam headlights, vertical DRL slashes, and a trapezoidal grille surrounding a bold take on the traditional Volvo logo. Volvo's signature curved brake lights flank a rear hatch that recalls the C30.
At 182.2 in. long, the XC60 is 8.3 in. shorter than the XC70, but right in the wheelhouse of other two-row, five-passenger premium SUVs. With an impressive 9.1 in. of ground clearance, the XC60 is ready for more cross-country wheelin' than are most crossovers. This kind of clearance not only puts the XC60 ahead of everyone in its class, but ahead of many larger body-on-frame SUVs, including the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Ford Expedition.

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