Call it the inevitable backlash, but as sport/utility vehicles have grown in size to rival aircraft carriers, some individuals have come to realize that bigger isn't always better. A smaller vehicle, capable of traversing marginal roads, holding a significant amount of cargo, and getting fuel mileage in double digits could fill needs better than the leviathans over-filling garages. So in the climate of a kinder, gentler SUV environment, we took the latest bunch, appearing as if they stayed in the dryer too long, into harsh, brutal surroundings to expose their faults quicker than you can say "diminutive."

A pair from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Honda CR-V (all new for '02) and the Toyota RAV4 (new in '01), brought the latest in innovation from a country known for unique ways of approaching old problems. The new-to-the-States Land Rover Freelander checked in as the European contingent from the company that virtually invented comfortable off-roading. And last up, the Ford Escape, a sport/utility in the classic American mold, looking like a 3/4-scale Explorer. The Asian offerings use inline-four-cylinder engines, while both the Freelander and Escape pack V-6s underhood, but all are fitted with all-wheel drive. We wanted to find out if the claims of inclement-weather prowess are valid.

We met up in the shadow of dinosaurs. No, not under the canopy at Mobil, but at a Cabazon, California, gift shop disguised to look like a brontosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex. Located next to Interstate 10, upwind to the windmills of Palm Springs, the beasts gazed down on our group--four vehicles, four different approaches to a goal. This was clear the moment we parked them next to each other under the stucco terrors.

Honda's CR-V takes a conservative tack, yet packs the vehicle with technological goodies. A remarkably low liftover in the cargo area had us wondering why other makers couldn't engineer as user-friendly an opening as this. Our Ford Escape had about 14K miles on it--looong life for a press vehicle. Similar to a smaller Explorer, the Escape felt like a mainstream Ford as well, the interior pure Dearborn. All-new, the '02 Toyota RAV4 surprised us with the most room behind the wheel, while editor Mark Williams noted that the body has a "very non-Toyota look, cool even." Okay, the Freelander has been on sale for a few years in Europe, but needed significant changes before being brought to the colonies. Now it was among its competition, all upright glassy sides, the surrounding hills seeming nothing like Solihull, U.K. It was time to see if these reduced-scale SUVs could play with the big boys.

On paper, the Anglo V-6 vehicles should have little trouble dusting the Japanese products in acceleration. The Freelander has 175 hp, the Escape enjoys 200, while the Toyota has 148 DOHC horses, and the CR-V's twin-cam four-cylinder engine is rated at 160 hp. But as we merged onto the highway, accelerators told another story. The Honda and Toyota had taken best times in the 0-60-mph category (both at 8.9 sec); the Escape and Freelander (9.0 and 10.5 sec) needed serious depressing of the fast pedal to keep up. But the speed limit was eventually reached, and our convoy headed toward the mountains above Palm Desert to inspect the next morning's sunrise-shoot location.

SUV-Lite: Which SUV Would you pick?

  • 2001 Ford Escape
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Land Rover Freelander
  • 2002 Toyota RAV4
See Results

Climbing in altitude and twisting like a snake, the road told us more of what each vehicle had under the skin. Turn-in, body lean, stability, and transmission gearing were just a few of the items under scrutiny. A vehicle's performance in the slalom gives a good idea what it will be like in handling the real world. It was no different here, with the flingable Toyota a ball to drive when the road started to veer. With a slalom speed of 61.2 mph, it was heads above the next SUV, the Freelander, with a speed of 60.3 mph. Close behind it was the Ford Escape at 59.0 mph, while the 58.1-mph data for the Honda CR-V left test-driver Chris Walton to remark: "When pushed hard, seems ready to oversteer on each cone." Strong words, but the feel on the road backed up Walton's observation.

Coming down the mountain highlighted the brakes on each vehicle, all capable and fade-free in normal use. Each has ABS, and while all the mini-SUVs are fitted with front disc brakes, the Honda CR-V is the only one with discs in the rear. Each sport/utility stopped from 60 mph within a stone's throw of each other (Honda: 133 ft; Freelander: 126 ft; Toyota: 132 ft; Escape: 125 ft). Walton was impressed with the Freelander's pedal feel and no noticeable kickback or dead spot.

At the hotel, it was time to unpack, and the room, or lack of, in the cargo areas became evident. The Ford Escape allows for cramming in lots of stuff, while the Honda and Toyota make do with a bit less, but like the Escape, are well shaped. The Freelander surprised us with its shortage of storage behind the second-row seats. But the Land Rover has the highest-quality interior materials, the smooth leather seats turning the tall SUV into a Jaguar, at least as far as the nose knows. Seating positions were critiqued, and while everyone's anatomy is different, some vehicles beg to be lived in during a cross-country trip, while others are only good in the driveway or dealer's lot.

The Escape feels Ford familiar, for better or worse. Plush seats, dual driver grab handles, and white-face gauges got thumbs up. The oddly placed shifter got thumbs down, however, with most of us trying to get out of Park using the wiper stalk. The CR-V's seats are Honda comfortable, which means side bolsters that hold the driver, but don't crush him. The shift lever sprouting from the dash took about five minutes to get used to, then it was like, duh! It's a clever, well-executed design, similar to the emergency-brake handle. The center storage console needs about another 1/8-in. to accommodate CD cases, and the high-mounted audio controls are perfectly placed to increase safety. The Land Rover Freelander has an elevated seating position, which is great if you're 5 ft 5 in., but tall drivers need to put the top of their heads in the sunroof opening. Alas, there's no control for lowering the seat. The door opening is smallish, requiring care when getting in or leaving--or else the forehead takes a hit. Switchgear is strewn about the cabin with a typical British disregard for interior ergonomics, but the feel of the steering wheel shames anything else on this test. Toyota's RAV4, nonetheless, puts the others on the trailer in regards to proper driver position. Acres of legroom, perfectly placed steering wheel, easy-to-read gauges--Toyota has them down to a tee.


 Ford EscapeHonda CR-VLand Rover FreelanderToyota RAV4
Performance 5- 4+ 4+ 4
Interior space 5- 4+ 4 4
Livability 4 5 4 4+
Build quality 4- 5- 4+ 5-
Styling 4+ 4- 5- 4+
Off-pavement ability 4- 3 5- 3+
Comfort 4 4+ 4 4+
Ride/comfort 4- 4+ 4+ 4+
Value 4 5 4- 5-
Key: 1 = below average, 3 = average, 5 = superior

Dawn saw us heading into the bright heat of Borrego Springs. A detour down a dry wash gave us an opportunity to push these vehicles beyond the possible demands of most owners, except possibly the Freelander's. We were pleasantly surprised when all the SUVs plowed through the dust, silt, and sand. It was no surprise that the Land Rover acted as if it was bred for the task--it was. The Honda and the Toyota gave a good accounting for themselves, especially considering that they're car-based platforms. The Ford Escape exuded a capable, press-on-regardless feeling. Any of these rides would handle a winter trip to the nursery with aplomb.

One thing about testing vehicles in the desert: The air-conditioning gets a serious workout. Happily for us, all four SUVs brought our core temperatures back into sane range after hunting for souvenir scorpions. Washing each vehicle by hand before the sunset shoot let us closely examine curves and contours, panel fit, and paint finish and reinforced the idea that every one of these are built to a standard inconceivable just a few years ago. The styling of each is sufficiently different to make a single choice of desirability difficult. The Escape is bold, in an American fashion, while the Honda and Toyota are instantly identifiable as quality Asian products. The Freelander has traditional Land Rover cues, but breaks new ground for this very British firm.

Putting only one of these SUVs in the garage is tougher than we first thought. They're all adept at light off-roading, the Land Rover being the exception; it's ready for a trip across the Serengeti. The Honda, with its numerous improvements, feels more carlike than many, let alone other SUVs. Toyota's RAV4 is flush with quality, and even though it was redesigned just last year, it's starting to age quickly. The Escape is ideal for those who want the convenience of an Explorer without its size or pricetag. In a lot of ways, it really comes down to personal preference.

Our pick? After much consideration and a particularly energetic debate, we leaned toward the Land Rover Freelander. Granted, it's like most Land Rover products, equipped with quirky interior ergonomics, but overall a well executed cute 'ute with gobs of look-at-me personality. We especially like the switchgear transmission and Hill Descent Control. Likewise, quality of materials, fit, finish, on- and off-road handling, and the intangible feeling of "it'll get me home, regardless," give the Freelander the nod. We have to say it was the successful melding of keeping true to Land Rover, while making it stand out from a crowd of vanilla look

Final Picks
Mark Williams: Freelander
Greg Whale: Freelander
Thomas Voehringer: RAV4
David Newhardt: Escape

Ford Escape
By D.N.

The Escape is built on an all-new platform shared with corporate-cousin Mazda. The unibody design is fitted with four-wheel independent suspension that helps give the Escape a carlike ride.

Seats, switchgear, and feel are pure Dearborn. White-face gauges are a nice touch, as are the generous leg- and headroom. While the Escape doesn't have the latest SUV fad of a third-row seat, its cargo area is large and well shaped, with the (reclining in XLT) rear seatbacks folding flat once the headrests are removed. Flip-up rear-hatch glass is a handy touch, as are dual grab handles for both driver and front passenger, while the cabin air filter helps freshen the interior.

Two engines are offered: base 2.0L DOHC Zetec I-4 generating 127 hp and the 3.0L/201-hp DOHC Duratec V-6 (which we tested). The V-6 is strong but a little buzzy at higher rpm, yet with the Class II Trailer Towing Package, the Escape can pull 3500 lb. On twisty roads, it exhibits some body lean and understeer, but mid-corner corrections are easy. The brakes have a linear feel and turned in the shortest stopping distance from 60 mph in our group (125 ft). Wind noise at speed is apparent at the mirrors and A-pillars, but the excellent sound system helped cover it. As we previously mentioned, the shifter handle gave our testers fits, with most trying to get out of park using the wiper stalk. But once in gear, the transmission works well, with the overdrive-defeat button on the end of the shift column being a useful feature.

Order the XLT option and four-wheel ABS is standard, as are foglamps and 15-in. aluminum wheels. Our test vehicle was loaded with the items most buyers want, yet the price was only $25,165. The Escape drips value, and buyers will be quick to realize this. If Ford can hold the price to this aggressive level, the assembly lines will be humming.

Honda CR-V
By Greg Whale

No more than 1.3 in. was added to any outside dimension on the new CR-V, yet it's 3.6 in. wider inside and cargo room is up by 10 percent. It resembles an animated character from the front, yet is more angular elsewhere for space efficiency, and it's more handsome than its predecessor.

Based on the newest Civic, the CR-V uses what amounts to a stroked RSX engine (see sidebar) for a substantial gain in torque. Even in top-line EX trim, it cut almost 2 sec off the earlier CR-V's 0-60 time, and it does so smoothly enough that one driver noted, "It thinks it's a V-6." Our all-wheel-drive CR-V had a four-speed auto well matched to the powerband and exhibited no hunting or busy-ness.

MacPherson strut front and double-wishbone rear suspension offered crisp turn-in, good ride/handling compromise, and stability under braking; the only rear discs of this quartet kept braking confident under heavy load. Ultimate grip is limited by the narrowest 15-in. tires, and the AWD system proved effective and quick to react. When pushed on a track, the CR-V tended to oversteer, yet in spirited street driving no fault is found in driving dynamics.

What the CR-V may lack in sport, it handily makes up for in utility. There's decent seating for five, and the flat floor allows you to walk between the front seats to stay out of the rain, although we all wished the driver seat had more rear travel. The split rear seats slide almost 7 in., recline 45*, fold forward without removing headrests, and when stowed, two mountain bikes will stand in the cargo area. Where the spare would normally be found is a waterproof well for muddy camp stuff or wet beach towels, and the top to this compartment is the removable 30x33-in. picnic table.

There are storage areas (21 in all) everywhere, though those in the dash don't hold CDs. The shifter is mounted to the dash, not the column, so it takes some familiarizing and doesn't lend itself well to manual shifting, yet the parking-brake lever is well integrated. Automatics have a flip-up table between the front seats, the air-conditioning is effective and quiet, and it's easy to see the radio. Apart from some rear-tire/road-noise creeping in, it's an other wise quiet and comfortable cabin. EX standards include side airbags, six-disc in-dash CD, and a power moonroof switch by the mirrors where kids can't get to it.

If the new CR-V comes in priced anywhere near the old one, expect it to remain a good seller.

Land Rover Freelander
By Mark Williams

Looking to muscle some breathing space in a cramped compact SUV marketplace, Land Rover has finally brought the Freelander to U.S. shores--and it's bet the bank on its success. With a base price of $25,800, it becomes the least-expensive Land Rover sold by more than $8000. The maker hopes the new Freelander will double total volume sales in less than a year by offering something no other manufacturer has: a premium-quality compact SUV.

Although sold in Europe for several years, this next-generation Freelander is unique for Land Rover in many ways: It has a unibody chassis, four-wheel independent suspension, no low-range gear in the transfer case, and no V-8 underhood. With that said, it does offer some unparalleled technology in the compact segment. An all-new rack-and-pinion steering setup and full-time all-wheel-drive system make this demi-SUV one of the most predictable and sure-footed vehicles on- and off-pavement of the group. In fact, each of our test drivers commented on the impressive ride and handling characteristics--typically not something we've heard about on other Land Rover products, but critical for this segment. Although a four-cylinder and diesel model are sold overseas, the only engine available in the U.S. Freelander will be a 24-valve 2.5L V-6 that produces 175 hp at 6250 rpm. While not stellar, its relatively low (high numerically) 3.47:1 first-gear ratio and 3.66:1 axle gears seem to compensate for any power deficiency and provide good jump off the line. In addition, testers were all positive about the first-for-the-class five-speed Steptronic transmission that allows for both automatic and manual operation. Also one of our favorite features, the Hill Descent Control can automatically manage engine speed and braking down steep hills in forward or reverse.

Plenty of storage holes and compartments make the interior uniquely Land Rover (dual gloveboxes, retractable cupholders, overhead netting). Like wise, a moonroof and roll-down rear window add to its versatile personality, and the in-dash navigation system/ CD/stereo option offers a spectacular array of anti-theft, routing, and sound-system custom programming. Our only complaint came from our taller testers who found seat and headroom, although still offering good line-of-sight heights, a challenge. Fully optioned, our test unit came in at $31,575.

Toyota RAV4
By Thomas Voehringer

As a progenitor of the mini-ute niche, Toyota's RAV4 established itself early and has maintained a foothold at the top ever since.

Mechanically, the '02 shows only those changes made for last year. The stalwart 2.0L four-cylinder I-4 and five-speed manual trans performed smoothly throughout the rev range. With nearly 150 horses on tap, the RAV moved through the timing gates with a respectable 0-60 of 8.9 sec. Controllable handling is the RAV's strong suit. The full-time four-wheel drive and neutral steering feel during transitioning is confidence inspiring. The four-wheel ABS helps keep things from getting out of hand. Be it sweeping S curves or tight mountain switchbacks, the RAV feels ready.

Toyota appears comfortable with last year's revamping. Look for only minor cosmetic changes in '02, the contrasting gray bumpers and side molding becoming standard on base models.

The tall cabin makes entry and exit a fearless endeavor, even for our 6-ft-plus testers. Forward and side visibility are excellent with rear vision hampered by the Toyota's tapered styling and spare-tire location. The two-tone cloth seats and swoopy interior are stylish and functional, providing ample room for extended freeway runs. White-face gauges with a dark surround make them easy to read. A seating position lower than its peers' adds to the RAV's sporty attitude. The shifter stalk is relatively tall, perhaps to prevent driver interference with the console storage/armrest. Stereo and climate controls are placed high on the center control pod for easy driver access.

Behind the driver, things get a bit tight. Rear-seat legroom for larger adults continues to be a point of contention in the RAV. On a real-world grocery-getting excursion, a family of four can quickly fill up the 29.2 cu ft of storage behind the second row of seats. You can more than double the available cubic capacity by removing the second-row seating--a real utility feature. Out back, the neat swing-away rear-access door and low loading platform are great for the parking lot but could pose an obstruction at curbside. The rear door supports the exposed spare tire yet is well balanced and easy to open.

Despite the RAV4 being the grand father of the mini-ute niche, it still represents a formidable combination of good looks, sport, and utility at a reasonable price.

Mini All-Wheel-Drive Systems
By mark Williams

Each of our four little 'utes is without an extra low-range gear, traditionally used for heavier towing or rougher 4x4 driving. The advantages of all-wheel drive usually manifest themselves in difficult weather conditions or loose gravelly roads, clearly more in line with our intended use. Here's a brief description of how each all-weather system works, along with our impressions.

Ford Escape Called Control Trac II, Ford's system biases drive to the front wheels on dry pavement and sends power to the rear wheels when a difference in driveshaft speed is sensed in the transfer-case's viscous coupling (a closed, liquid-filled box full of speed-differentiating friction plates). Feel is subtle, practically invisible, but slow to react.

Honda CR-V Creatively called Real Time Four-Wheel Drive, the Honda system doesn't use a center transfer case, but rather a series of pumps and friction plates that activate when they sense slip at the front wheels. The system is housed in the front transaxle, adds only 15 lb, and is not as invisible as the other systems, especially when driven energetically.

Land Rover Freelander Without a dedicated name, Land Rover's system is full-time all-wheel drive and uses traction control, combined with clever technology like Hill Descent Control and Steptronic shifting, to allow for significant driver control in many different situations. A separate transfer case uses a viscous coupling that generally keeps a 50/50 split of power. Versatile and transparent.

Toyota RAV4 Also called Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive, Toyota's system uses a separate transfer case with a viscous coupling to send power to the rear wheels when excessive amounts of shear are detected between the front and rear driveshafts. In high-traction situations, the RAV4 is front drive only. Probably the standard for the class.

Engines
By Greg Whale

The Escape is the only one in this quartet available with two engine choices. Our loaded tester came with the 3.0L V-6 (automatic only, like the Freelander). A conventional 24-valve DOHC all-aluminum V-6, it generates 200 hp and torque, with just 1250 rpm between peaks. Service access is adequate (you can see the oil filter from the top, which can't be said for the others); the power-steering pump is in the vee at the front of the engine, and the water pump is driven off the back (driver) side of the forward cylinder bank. The transaxle vent is up high next to the transmission dipstick, for good water fording, and the tow rating is 3500 lb (the package is standard on '02 V-6 XLT 4x4 Escapes). The Escape is also geared tall like many American trucks, and with the engine turning 2800 rpm--where the others tend to cruise at 60-65 mph--the Escape is pushing 85. Needless to say, the four-speed auto will be in and out of O/D and converter lock-up into a head wind or grade.

If you think the CR-V engine looks like an Acura RSX unit, you're close. Bore is up by 1 mm, but stroke is up by 13 mm, bumping cubic capacity to 2.4L. Horsepower is 160, up 14 from the previous CR-V, and torque is up a significant 22 percent to 162 lb-ft. Honda's i-VTEC variable valve timing and lift bring maximum torque by 3600, and the four-speed auto knows how to take advantage of it, matching the 460-lb-lighter RAV4 in acceleration. To ensure the engine remains reliable and unobtrusive, it's fitted with chain-driven cams, aluminum crank girdle, a balance-shaft integral with the oil-pump drive, and two liquid-filled engine mounts. Watching the idle momentarily drop to 500 when the air-conditioning is switched on may tell you this is a four, but excessive buzzing won't. Service access is aided by having the exhaust at the back of the engine and a high steering rack, should you lose a hose. The CR-V revs to 6500 and runs on regular unleaded, though the fuel tank and alternator locations show it's not designed for serious trail use.

The Freelander is the first Land Rover in which the engine sits sideways. This one is an all-aluminum, slightly undersquare 2.5L V-6 that sounds very German when twisted up--and was smoothest of this group. The Land Rover tradition of using smaller engines and shorter gears continues (rpm at 60 close to the four-cylinders), and the five-speed Steptronic has a gear advantage over Ford and Honda autos. However, unlike most other Land Rovers, this one can run on regular unleaded, despite its 10.5:1 compression ratio. Four cams, four valves per cylinder, and variable intake plumbing provide a decent spread between peak torque and horsepower, and though it redlined at 6500, it pulled to 7000 when shifted manually. Serviceability is good after removing one large cover, but don't open the hood after it's been running unless you're wearing gloves. Lots of cooling capacity gives the Freelander a 910-lb towing advantage over the Escape and 3000-lb over the CR-V and RAV4.

The Toyota's RAV4's 2.0L is the smallest engine (in the smallest SUV) here, but boasts the highest specific output. The torque curve suggests this powerplant is best when matched with the five-speed manual (tested). It pulls to just shy of its 6400-rpm redline and cruises right around 3000; indeed, the only chink in its performance armor was the soft engine mounts that made a fast shift at full throttle more work than usual. The perfectly square (3.4-in. bore and stroke) inline-four uses aluminum for block and head, a 16-valve twin-cam valvetrain with intelligent variable timing, and isn't quite large enough to need a balance shaft. The exhaust exits front with a catalyst covering the leading side of the engine, right next to the clutch slave cylinder. There's good access to the starter, alternator and steering rack, and the airbox sits directly on top of the engine.


 2001 Ford Escape2002 Honda CR-V 2002 Land Rover Freelander2002 Toyota RAV4
GENERAL
Location of final assembly Claycomo, Miss. Japan; England Solihull, England Toyota City, Japan
Body style 4-door, 5-pass 4-door, 5-pass 4-door, 5-pass 4-door, 5-pass
EPA size class Special purpose Special purpose Special purpose Special purpose
Drivetrain layout Front engine, AWD Front engine, AWD Front engine, AWD Front engine, AWD
AirbagsFront driver, pass, front side (optional) Front driver, pass Driver, pass Driver, pass
POWERTRAIN
Engine type V-6 I-4 V-6 I-4
Bore x stroke, in 3.50x3.13 3.43x3.90 3.15x3.27 3.39x3.39
Displacement, ci/l 180/3.0 146.5/2.4 152/2.5 121.9/2.0
Compression ratio 10.0:1 9.6:1 10.5:1 9.8:1
Valve gear DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valve/cyl
Fuel induction Electronic fuel injection Programmed fuel injection Sequential fuel injection Electronic fuel injection
SAE horsepower, hp @ rpm 201 @ 5900 160 @ 6000 175 @ 6250 148 @ 6000
SAE torque, lb-ft @ rpm 196 @ 4700 162 @ 3600 177 @ 4000 142 @ 4000
Transmission 4-speed automatic 4-speed automatic 5-speed automatic 5-speed manual
1st 2.89:1 2.68:1 3.47:1 3.83:1
2nd 1.57:1 1.54:1 1.95:1 2.05:1
3rd 1.00:1 0.97:1 1.25:1 1.33:1
4th 0.70:1 0.64:1 0.85:1 1.03:1
5th N/A N/A 0.69:1 0.82:1
Reverse 2.31:1 2.00:1 2.71:1 3.58:1
Axle ratio 3.77:1 4.44:1 3.66:1 4.24:1
Final drive ratio 2.63:1 2.83:1 2.53:1 3.48:1
Recommended fuel Regular unleaded Regular unleaded Regular unleaded Regular unleaded
DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES
Wheelbase, in 103.1 103.1 101.0 98.0
Length, in 173.0 178.6 175.0 165.1
Width, in 70.1 70.2 71.1 68.3
Height, in 69.1 66.2 69.2 65.3
Track, f/r, in 61.2/61.0 60.4/60.6 60.4/60.8 59.3/58.9
Headroom, f/r, in 40.4/39.2 38.9/39.1 38.4/38.9 41.3/38.4
Legroom f/r, in 41.6/36.4 41.3/39.4 41.8/36.8 42.4/32.6
Shoulder room, f/r, in 56.3/55.9 56.9/56.5 55.9/53.1 46.3/53.7
Back row, seat up 33.0 33.5 19.3 29.2
Back row, seat down 64.8 72.0 46.6 68.3 (seats removed)
Total volume, cu ft 133.1 139.5 118.7 128.9
Ground clearance, in 8.0 8.1 7.2 6.7
Approach/departure angle, deg 28.5/22.0 29/24 30.5/33.9 28/29
Load lift height, in 25.4 21.3 25.1 22.2
Base curb weight, lb 3330 3347 3585 2943
Payload capacity, lb 950 900 1097 800
GVWR, lb 4300 4320 4541 3990
GCWR, lb 8020 5900 9000 5200
Towing capacity, lb 3500 1500 4410 1500
Fuel capacity, gal 16.0 15.3 15.6 14.7
CHASSIS
Suspension, f/r MacPherson struts, lower control arm, anti-roll bar/ double lateral link, semi-trailing armMacPherson strut, anti-roll bar/double wishbone, anti-roll barMacPherson strut, lower arms, anti-roll bar/MacPherson strut, trapezoidal linksMacPherson strut, control arms, anti-roll bar/double-wishbone, trailing arms, anti-roll bar
Steering type Rack and pinion Power rack and pinion Power rack and pinion Power rack and pinion
Ratio 16.8:1 16.3:1 19.5:1 16.0:1
Turns, lock to lock 2.9 3.3 3.2 2.9
Turning circle, ft 36.7 34.1 38.1 35.4
Brakes, f/r10.9-in disc/ 9.0-in drum 11.1x0.9-in ventilated disc/ 11.1x0.4-in solid disc 10.9-in ventilated disc/ 10.0-in drum 10.7-in ventilated disc/ 9.0-in drum
Wheels, in 16x7.0 aluminum 15x6.0 aluminum 17x7.0 aluminum 16x7.0 aluminum
Tires 235/70Rx15 Firestone Wilderness HT 205/70R15 95S Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 225/55R17 Pirelli Scorpion S/T 235/60 R16 Bridgestone Dueler H/T
Load rating C C C C
PERFORMANCE Acceleration, sec
0-30 3.0 3.29 3.3 3.3
0-40 4.4 4.98 5.2 4.9
0-50 6.4 7.11 7.4 7.0
0-60 9.0 8.93 10.5 8.9
0-70 11.8 13.59 14.3 13.6
0-80 15.2 19.35 19.3 17.9
Standing quarter-mile, sec/mph 16.7 @ 83.1 16.97 @ 79.36 17.6 @ 77.8 16.9 @ 81.4
Braking 60-0, ft 125 133 126 132
Lateral acceleration, g 0.74 0.70 N/A 0.71
Speed through 600-ft slalom, mph 59.0 58.11 60.3 61.2
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy 18/24 22/26 16/24 22/27
PRICE
Base price $20,820 $19,000 (est) $24,975 $17,615
Price as tested $25,165 $23,000 (est) $31,575 $23,400

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