Rating 55/100 Background Hoping to broaden its customer base, Saab introduced its first-ever sport utility car a couple of years ago: the 9-7X. It’s new to the Saab lineup, but the car is familiar in some aspects. The 2007 Saab 9-7X shares its underpinnings with General Motors’ midsize SUVs, which means there are a host …

Rating 65/100 Background Some people will go to any lengths to avoid driving a minivan. Armed with this knowledge, manufacturers have been scrambling to produce large crossovers – vehicles that offer minivan spaciousness, SUV styling and a carlike ride. The latest addition to this segment is the 2007 Saturn Outlook, an all-new crossover sport-utility car …

Rating 80/100 Background Now in its fourth generation, the Toyota 4Runner is largely unchanged for 2007. It still has the expected rugged good looks and true off-road capability of a stout, no-nonsense sport-utility vehicle. While other SUVs in its class have evolved into softer, kinder, gentler versions of their originals, the 4Runner has retained much …

Rating 53/100 Background Sized between compact SUVs and larger truck-based midsizers such as the Chevy TrailBlazer, the 2007 Pontiac Torrent is aimed at consumers desiring an easy-to-drive car that’s also stylish and provides plenty of room for passengers and cargo. Essentially a twin to the Chevrolet Equinox, the Torrent shares that ute’s car-based platform, clean …

Rating 60/100 Background Upon its debut five years ago, the Saturn Vue attempted to separate itself from the compact SUV herd by way of unique powertrains and construction. In addition to a choice of four- and 6-cylinder engines, Saturn’s small ute also offered a choice of transmissions that included class-exclusive 5-speed automatic and continuously variable …

Rating 80/100 Background Sport-utility vehicles have evolved with as much efficiency as living, breathing organisms. The first sport-utility vehicles were most at home in the wild, cresting grassy knolls and scrambling down boulder-strewn trails. Eventually, though, many of these vehicles migrated to the city, purchased by buyers enamored with their size and brawn, and a …

Rating 63/100 Background In recent years, the Nissan Pathfinder has been on the horns of an identity crisis. Born in 1986, the sport-ute was originally conceived as a rugged outdoorsman. It was a two-door, body-on-frame hauler designed to tackle trails with the best of them, and its clarity of purpose won the Nissan its share …

Rating 72/100 Background The Nissan Xterra is a lot like that friend you had in high school who knew from age 5 exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. This car has never struggled to find its niche; from the start, its mission has always been clear. The Xterra is an SUV …

Rating 60/100 Background The bigger its scale, the better we Americans are at crafting the product. It’s no surprise that this country is the birthplace of super-size fries, Texas hair and, well, Texas. Given this logic, it makes perfect sense that the U.S. has long been the dominant force in the full-size SUV segment. This …

Rating 82/100 Background Too often Mitsubishis end up on the fringe of major car segments. Whether it’s due to oddball styling, modest engine output and/or unimpressive cabin decor, they’re relegated to alternative status when pitted against the mainstream players. And so it was with the first-generation Mitsubishi Outlander, which struggled to find a niche even …

Rating 67/100 Background Consumers like small SUVs because they offer more cargo space than similarly priced sedans, not to mention a taller drive height and all-weather capability. When compared to larger SUVs, fuel economy is often a strength as well. Even smaller brands like Mercury have realized the importance of having a compact sport-ute in …

Rating 73/100 Background Upon its introduction three years ago, the Mitsubishi Endeavor, a crossover (car-platform-based) SUV, gave the company a solid entry in the very competitive midsize sport-ute segment. With its exaggerated styling cues such as muscular wheel arches and a prominent nose, the Endeavor looked different enough from the status quo to preserve Mitsubishi’s …