As the saying goes, it's all in the details, and that's where the 2008 Mazda CX-9's sporty personality shines. Slide behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel and into the nicely bolstered bucket, and you're treated to one of the most comfortable, driver-focused seating positions available, not just in an SUV but in any vehicle.
Crisis? What crisis? Even though the price of gas has broken the $3-a-gallon barrier and economy is sputtering (i.e. the mortgage fiasco, Wall Street stress, the dollar's value dropping, and even auto loans are getting harder to find), American buyers still love a pickup truck.
It's Of the Year time at Motor Trend for 2008, and first up in our annual search for the best of the best is the 2008 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year award. We tested, poked, prodded, and otherwise evaluated each vehicle keeping in mind its superiority, significance and value where it plays in the overall marketplace.
The all-new 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid raise the bar once again in the mid-size SUV segment with a complete redesign that is improved, refined and expanded in nearly every metric of comparison.
The truck world moves a bit slower than the rest of the auto industry. That's because trucks are more about function than fashion, and if a truck works, there's not much point in messing with it. Which is why, typically, the life cycle of a truck is about double that of a car.
It used to be easy to figure out what was a sport/utility vehicle: Whether it was as bare-bones rugged as a Jeep or dripping with high-tech luxury like a Range Rover, an SUV boasted the all-wheel drive and the ground clearance needed to take you places roads didn't go. But as the largest group of contenders ever assembled for a Sport/Utility of the Year shootout - 22 in all - gathered for evaluation at the Emergency Vehicle Operations Center driver training facility in San Bernardino, California