It is said that the best road trip vehicles are SUVs. It cleverly combines the passenger-carrying space with the towing capacity of a pickup truck. But how do you choose the best from the cream-of-the-crop?
After the traumatic 2006 sales fall, automakers are all aimed at putting their best foot forward to get the larger slice of the auto market. The Cadillac Escalade is now being challenged by the first full-size SUV of Mercedes. The latter is a seven-seat SUV with upscale auto features that include air suspension and adjustable ride height. The vehicle can be lowered automatically at speed for a more capable ride.
According to critics in the industry, the overhauled Cadillac Escalade, which was introduced just last year, has the nicest interior among the vehicles in the United States. The Cadillac Escalade uses all-aluminum 6.2 L Vortec V8 mated to Cadillac cold air intake. The vehicle also featured the new six-speed 6L80 automatic transmission and conventional five-link suspension to improve its performance and ride.
Mercedes Benz was quick to follow Cadillac with the plush, full-size GL-Class SUV which is priced at $53,000. Mercedes recorded 19,000 sales of the vehicle in 2006. The new Mercedes pride radiates improved performance than that of the R-Class. The GL and the Escalade are among the best SUVs of 2007. However, in the fourth season of this year, mighty rivals are expected to take the limelight.
One of the forthcoming catchy SUVs is the Spyker D12 dubbed as the world?s only exotic sport utility vehicle. The Dutch-built SUV is capable of generation 500-horsepower maximum output. Enthusiasts are now excited about the arrival of the one-of-a-kind vehicle.
The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler experience a three percent decrease in passenger-car sales while trucks and SUVs declined by eight percent. At General Motors, car sales declined seven percent, while truck and SUV sales declined by around nine or ten percent.
Among Detroit automakers, the Ford Motor Co. reported the most debilitating decrease in sales in the previous year. Ford?s car sales rose five percent while truck and SUVs decreased by fourteen percent. Ford has this to say: “higher gasoline prices and long-term demographic trends drove SUV sales lower, and a soft housing industry weighed on full-size truck sales.”
However, after just a couple of months, Ford?s sales are making a swift turnaround. The arrival of the new crossover SUVs like the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX gradually changes the company?s picture.
General Motors Corporation?s GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook are helping the company a bit. The automaker reported that the Acadia and Outlook “drove a 97 percent retail increase in the mid-crossover segment” in February, compared with that time the year before.
Chrysler Group?s new SUVs like the redesigned Jeep Wrangler have also yielded warm welcome. Experts say these new, car-like SUVs, plus steadier gas prices, could serve 2007 a better year for SUV manufacturers.
In Ford?s January statement, the automaker blamed the declining truck and SUV sales on gas prices, demographic trends and the housing industry. The company said: “Ford believes these factors will continue to weigh on these segments in 2007.”