SUVs

The Best 4x4 SUV: Comparing 8 Top Selling Models


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It is quite understandable why many motorists prefer a 4x4 SUV or Sport Utility Vehicle over other vehicle types. Sport utility vehicles offer high ground clearance, powerful engines and 4-wheel drive. These vehicles can take on normal to rough terrain and even pull heavy loads. The following SUVs currently enjoy a good share of the American car market.

Ford Escape vs. Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4

With exterior design elements borrowed from the Expedition, the new Ford Escape exudes a very rugged appearance. The top-of-the-line 2010 Ford Escape Limited 4WD has a 171 HP 2.5-liter engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It features Trailer Sway Control which provides increased stability when the vehicle is used for towing.

The new, third generation Honda CR-V features a redesigned exterior that gives it a car-like appearance. The 2010 Honda CR-V 4WD EX-L features the intuitive Real-Time 4-Wheel Drive system. It works such that power is delivered only to the front wheels in normal driving situations, but is redistributed to all four wheels whenever needed.

Like the 2010 CR-V, the current Toyota RAV4 is a third generation model. With its 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 2010 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD offers the most power, at 269 HP, among these three top-selling, compact SUVs. It features Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) which prevents backward rolling on steep inclines; and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) which helps the driver maintain control while negotiating steep descents.

Honda Pilot vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Ford Explorer

The Honda Pilot mid-size SUV is now in its second generation and still has its strong, truck-like angular look. The 2011 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring has a 3.5-liter i-VTEC engine that can output 250 HP. It features a Variable Torque Management 4-Wheel Drive System that comes in handy when starting off in low-traction conditions.

The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 sports a hefty 6.1-liter Chrysler SRT HEMI V8 engine that can develop as much as 420 HP and is mated to a high-performance 5-speed automatic transmission. Its Quadra-Trac Active On Demand full-time 4WD system is supported by 4-Wheel Traction Control and an Electronic Stability Program.

Having been in the market for two decades, the new Ford Explorer mid-size SUV is a fourth generation model. The 2010 Ford Explorer Limited features power retractable running boards and PowerFold third row seats that can be remotely folded flat at the press of a button. Its 4-liter V6 engine has a maximum output of 210 HP. To prevent rollovers, especially during cornering, this 4-wheel drive SUV has AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control which automatically adjusts brake force and engine power to maintain control.

Chevrolet Tahoe vs. GMC Yukon

Both best sellers in the full size SUV segment, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon actually come from the same bloodline, as Chevrolet is a brand name under the GMC family.

The 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ is available with a 5.3-liter Vortec V8 engine which can produce as much as 320 HP. This Tahoe trim comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2010 GMC Yukon Denali is an all wheel drive (AWD), full size, luxury SUV. Its 6.2-liter V8 engine has a maximum output of 403 HP and, like the Tahoe, features 6-speed automatic transmission.

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