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 …

Rating 77/100 Background In the late 1990s, Mercedes-Benz was one of the first automakers to recognize America’s desire for a luxury-themed SUV. The original ML, while truckish in nature and plagued by early quality problems, was a solid sales success. Last year, Mercedes introduced the second-generation M-Class, and in almost all aspects it’s a better …

Rating 80/100 Background Although it’s one of the more practical midsize SUVs on the market, the Mercury Mountaineer has always lived in the shadow of its more popular twin, Ford’s Explorer. It has all the main virtues of its sibling — a roomy, functional interior well-stocked with storage areas, a fold-flat third-row seat that allows …

Rating 75/100 Background Since its inception about a decade ago, the large luxury SUV segment has been dominated by vehicles from American and Japanese automakers. This year, however, Mercedes-Benz is joining the world of the big and the bold with its all-new GL-Class, whose arrival ushers in a new level of luxury and performance.Mercedes once …

Rating 77/100 Background Most people still associate Mazda with sporty cars like the MX-5 Miata and RX-7. True, the company still focuses much of its attention on making its products enjoyable to drive. But this year many people might be surprised to learn that the automaker has released not one, but two all-new crossover SUVs. …

Rating 82/100 Background For whatever reason, a certain sector of the population is attracted to vehicles that defy logic, practicality and/or modern aesthetics. Shaped like a 5,500-pound Mosler bank vault and designed during the waning hours of the disco era, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of those vehicles. Like its classmate the Hummer, the G-Class …

Rating 78/100 Background Anyone who’s a fan of large luxury SUVs has the Lincoln Navigator to thank. The Navigator was the first full-size luxury SUV, and although that early version was little more than an F-150 with a wagonlike body and some luxury bits thrown in, the Navigator and the segment it helped to pioneer …

Rating 63/100 Background Up until now, Mazda has had just one SUV in its lineup, the compact Tribute, which is essentially a corporate twin of the Ford Escape. Now, with the introduction of the 2007 CX-7, Mazda has a car to compete in the midsize crossover SUV segment. This has proven to be a very …

Rating 58/100 Background No doubt encouraged by the sales success of such vehicles as the Nissan Murano, Lincoln is bringing its first crossover, the MKX, to market for the 2007 model year. Those familiar with Lincolns past will most likely “get” that the MKX designation actually stands for Mark X. But this time around the …

Rating 73/100 Background With two compact SUVs already in its lineup, one may wonder why Jeep bothered to create the 2007 Patriot. Well, it seems that the company’s managers wanted to make the most of the new platform also being used for the Jeep Compass and the Dodge Caliber. To aid in differentiation, the Patriot …

Rating 75/100 Background Few vehicles in America have as much history or as dedicated a following as the Jeep Wrangler. This compact SUV and its earlier CJ predecessors have been providing Americans with rugged off-road ability and iconic style for more than 60 years. Whether it’s South Dakota’s badlands, San Diego’s Pacific Beach or mud …

Rating 68/100 Background First introduced to the U.S. in the early ’90s, the Kia Sportage is one of the company’s best-known models. Originally a truck-based body-on-frame SUV with smallish dimensions, the Sportage received a redesign two years ago that brought it fully up to date with a car-based structure and Kia’s typical emphasis on value. …