The Lexus was brought to the studios of Pirate Radio FM104.7 for an analysis by George Gray and Matt Arguello:
Full time four wheel drive – Fire Agate Pearl paint – Sepia leather seating and mahogany trim – 7 passenger w/ 4 captains chairs – 109.8” wheelbase – 192.1” long – Weighs 5,130 lbs. and tows 6,500 lbs. – 18”, Gunmetal silver painted twelve-spoke aluminum alloy wheels – LED daytime running lights and 8” infotainment center – Backup camera, Lexus navigation, adaptive cruise control, tilt wheel, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and Bluetooth capability Moonroof and rear dual screen entertainment system – P265/60R18 Bridgestone Dueler mud and snow rated tires – XM/AM/FM Mark Levinson premium surround sound 11 speaker stereo – 4.6 liter, 301 horsepower 8 cylinder engine with six speed automatic transmission – zero to 60 in 7.8 seconds – $72,485.00list price –Built in Toyota, Aichi, Japan – 414 miles of range, 18 mpg highway/15 mpg city/16 mpg combined – 23 gallon tank
The DJ’s at Pirate Radio 104.7 FM, George “Elvis” Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello, took at look at the Seqouia in the studio parking lot:
Four wheel drive with limited slip differential – Magnetic gray metallic paint with black leather seating – 7 passenger – 122” wheelbase – 205” long Weighs 5,985 lbs. 20”, TRD Sport black painted twelve spoke aluminum alloy wheels LED daytime running lights and heated front and rear seats – Backup camera, navigation, blind spot monitor, cruise control, lane departure warning, and rear park assist/cross traffic alert, Bluetooth capability – Power sliding moon roof – XM/AM/FM Entune/JBL premium stereo – 6.1” touchscreen 5.7 liter 381 horsepower V-8 engine with six speed automatic – zero to 60 in 6.6 seconds – $59,745.00 list price Built in Princeton, Indiana – 449 miles of range, 17 mpg highway/13 mpg city/14 combined – 26.4 gallon tank
PIRATE RADIO REVIEW WITH GEORGE “Elvis” GRAY (on the right):
Four wheel drive – Barcelona Red metallic paint – Jet black SofTex trim with red stitching – 5 passenger – 191” long like a Ford Explorer – Heated front bucket seats – Weighs 4,750 lbs. – Slide-out cargo organizer behind back seat power rear glass backup camera, navigation, blind spot warning, and cruise control – XM/AM/FM Entune stereo – 8 speakers – 8” touchscreen – 4 liter V-6 engine with 270 horsepower – 46 Cubic ft. of cargo volume behind back seat – Five speed automatic transmission – 17” spoke alloy wheels 265/55HR17 Bridgestone all season radials – $42,690.00 list price Built in Tahara, Aichi, Japan – 460 miles of range, 18 mpg combined, 17 mpg city, and 20 mpg highway – 23 gallon tank
The Denali was driven to Pirate Radio for an analysis by the DJ’s, George Gray and Matt Arguello. Listen in:
Four wheel drive system – Graphite gray metallic paint – Jet black leather interior – 8” touchscreen and navigation – 5 passenger – 182.3” long like a Chevy Equinox/Subaru Forester – Heated front and rear bucket seats and heated steering wheel – Weighs 3,635 lbs. – Panoramic sunroof, forward collision warning and backup camera – Bose XM/AM/FM radio with CD player and 7 speakers – 2 liter turbo 4 cylinder with 252 horsepower (260 lb.ft. of torque) – Zero to 60 in 6.8 seconds – 9 Speed automatic transmission with pull tab controls – 19” Ultra-bright alloy wheels/235/50R19 all-season radials $44,370.00 list price – 23 MPG combined mpg, 21 city and 26 highway 13.2 gallon tank – Built in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Jeep’s Grand Cherokee was introduced as a premium mid-sized SUV in 1993, with its first introduction at the N. American International Auto Show at Cobo arena in Detroit. It is currently in its fourth generation configuration and has always featured unibody construction.
The car is on a hot streak, being named a Consumer Digest “best buy” for the seventh consecutive year. Since 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee annual sales have topped 200,000 on seven different occasions, including last year. And the 2017 4×4 Grand Cherokee such as I recently tested has been awarded a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
My Grand Cherokee test vehicle for June was a Velvet Red Pearl Limited 4×4 that carried an M.S.R.P. of $46,680.00. I’m partial to red equipment and with the 18″ double ten-spoke gray wheels the Jeep was quite attractive. A black leather interior was on hand including heat in front and rear seats, 506-watt XM stereo, 8.4″ touchscreen display, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, navigation system, blind spot detection, power-tilt steering column, and 9 speakers with a subwoofer.
The Grand Cherokee is a mid-sized SUV and seats five with cargo room in the rear of 36.3 cubic feet. If the second row seating is folded flat that number increases to 68.3 cubic feet. The Jeep wheelbase is 114.8″, length is 189.8″, and the weight is 4,677 lbs. The ride, interior noise suppression, handling and guidance on the highway are all on target and visibility is good, as well.
When driving my test Jeep with Ruth, my wife, I often requested that she handle the gear shift when getting underway. At first I am sure she thought I was nuts, but what I wanted her to experience was the deluxe “feel” associated with the transmission control. It seems that the Jeep is definitely a “high touch”, and a “high utility” luxury SUV.
I mentioned the wheels, and can add that tires mounted on them were Michelin Premier LTX 265/60R18 all-season radials. Of course the Jeep is a 4×4 with Quadra-Trac active on-demand system and electronic limited-slip differential. Select-Track options while driving include Track, Sport, Auto, Snow and Tow modes. Additionally, the Jeep had a trailer tow group of options with receiver hitch, wiring harness, etc.
Power for the Grand Cherokee Limited is supplied by a 3.6 liter (220 c.i.d.) Pentastar 24-valve V-6 with 295 horsepower, 260 lb. ft. or torque, and stop-start technology. It is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission with, as Jeep describes it, a “Classic style” shifter. Economy ratings are 25 mpg-highway, 18 mpg-city, and 21 mpg-combined, and my observance was at 21.4 mpg during my time with the Jeep.
It’s evident to me why the venerable Grand Cherokee has had such staying power for almost a quarter-century.
A review of the Armada was conducted at Pirate Radio 104.7 by George Gray and Matt Arguello:
Hermosa Blue metallic
Almond leather buckets – heated – 7 passenger – Technology Package with Navigation system with 7” touchscreen plus rear entertainment system – blind spot monitor, land keep assist – Radar cruise control – Power moonroof – LED headlights, daytime running lights, fog lights – Bose 13 speaker centerpoint surround sound stereo – Backup camera and navigation – 390 horsepower 5.6 liter V-8 (394) – 7 Speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive – $61,585.00 – 5,963 lbs. – 18 MPG on the highway, 13 MPG city – 26 gallon tank
The Toyota 4Runner, brought out 32 years ago as basically a compact pickup/topper, is now in its fifth generation configuration and has morphed into a brawny mid-sized SUV. This last week I was assigned to a 2016 4×4 TRD Pro V6 4Runner that arrived at my place sporting Quicksand (tan) paint with a black leatherette interior.
Toyota, U.S.A. was formed in our country on October 31st, 1957, and globally the company ranks 10th in the world in revenue. Total global sales of their vehicles has tripled to 10.15 million since the 4Runner introduction in 1984, and the vehicle maintains its body-on-frame construction and will for the foreseeable future. Such construction results in a quieter, heavier machine – traits that were evident to me during the week-long test.
The 4Runner M.S.R.P. totaled $42,800.00, including freight, and the only option was a sliding rear cargo deck ($350.00). The TRD Pro V6 4Runner was equipped with power windows/mirrors/windows/locks as well as keyless entry. SofTex-trimmed seats existed throughout the five-passenger car and the front buckets were heated. Of course the 40/20/40 back seat folds down, availing the two remaining occupants of the car almost 90 cubic feet of cargo space (47.2 cubic feet with the second row seating erect). The rear tailgate needs handling by human hands, but the rear glass opens by electric motor. Hence, the rear window wiper is concealed above the glass in the deflector. I liked the arrangements at the rear of the 4Runner.
The stereo in the Toyota was a 8-speaker system, USB and Ipod connections were on hand, and a backup camera was installed. The only gadgets that were missing were lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitor. Ruth and I found the buckets to be supportive on our trip to Denver and the ride (coil springs at every corner) and guidance were suitable.
Horsepower of the 4Runner is rated at 270, and is supplied by a 4 liter V-6 with 278 lb.-ft. of torque. The four-wheel drive vehicle has a five speed automatic transmission and performance was pleasing. My fuel mileage ended up just over 21 miles-per-gallon, and EPA ratings were 17 city and 21 highway – 18 overall. The fuel tank holds 23 gallons.
My family thought the 4Runner looked large, and as mentioned earlier the size has been increased over time. Styling involves a bold design, and it grew on me as the week went by, presenting somewhat of a military look. I also liked the way the lighting bulged from the corners. Wheels were black alloys fitted with P265/70R17 all-season radials.
Personally, the week with the 4Runner resulted in a pleasant surprise, and I see no reason why an SUV shopper would avoid the Toyota dealer and the 4Runners located on their lot.
George Gray, DJ at Pirate Radio 104.7, recently was able to join me in an analysis of the Toyota Land Cruiser outside the studios at KELS FM:
LAND CRUISER SPECIFICATIONS
Blue Onyx Pearl paint – 8 passenger – Power heated and a/c bucket seats – 9” touchscreen – Full time 4WD – LED running lights – XM radio and premium 14 speaker stereo plus rear DVD player with dual 11” screens – Keyless entry – power windows and locks – pushbutton start – 5.7 liter V-8 with 381 horsepower – 8 Speed automatic transmission – Backup camera and navigation – $84,820.00 list price – 18 MPG Highway – 5,815 lb. curb weight – 16.1 cubic foot cargo space behind third row seats
An elegant 2016 Lexus GX-460 Luxury edition was dropped off at my house last week, and I quickly jumped in to take it to the airport to pick up my family. Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota, and has been producing the GX series of SUV’s since 2002. This one was painted Silver Lining metallic, a gorgeous finish. Inside, it featured gray leather deluxe upholstery with comfortable buckets and seating for seven. The family, consisting of the three girls just back from Disney World, oohed and ahhhd at the Lexus interior.
This GX is a big SUV, weighing 5,179 lbs. and extending out to 189.2 inches in overall length. It’s 73.8” tall and 74.2” in width. I mentioned the seven passenger capability, which requires a small double leather seat that folds down into the floor in the far back. When these seats are up, there is a modest amount of luggage space, but when collapsed along with the middle row of seating, you can obtain 64.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The back door swings out towards the curb and a hinged rear glass is incorporated into it. All packaged up and out on the road, this vehicle rides great, and wind noise, guidance, and handling are all commensurate with a Lexus of this caliber.
My GX test car had a base M.S.R.P. of $61,515.00. The entertainment system added $1,970.00, driver support package added $4,340.00, and the freight added $940.00, bringing total list price to $68,765.00. Stereo equipment was Mark Levinson (including navigation system) with 7.1 Dolby surround sound and 17 speakers. The GX had the blind spot monitor that I’ve grown so fond of, allowing Ruth and I to get on Highway 85 at Brighton and sale into Greeley from the south.
The 4.6 liter V-8 provided 301 horsepower (329 lb. ft. of torque) and was mated to a six speed automatic transmission with sport shift mode. Acceleration is on target, with a zero to sixty timing that is reportedly a respectable 7.8 seconds. Fuel economy ratings are 15/20 city-highway (17 combined), and I observed a little over 18 for the week spent with the GX. It has full-time four-wheel drive with crawl control for four wheeling. This car is a body-on-frame SUV with 8.1” of ground clearance, so can do more than just drive through snow.
Styling of the GX-460 has been changed since the second generation model was introduced in 2009, and personally I think they kept the styling pretty much in line with the prior series, with perhaps a little more aggressive attitude. My GX had the roof rails, nice lighted steps on the side, ample chrome, and 18”, six-spoke Liquid Graphite alloy wheels. The tires were Bridgestone Dueler H/T 840’s, P265/60R18 in size, with mud and snow capabilities.
Sleek, unibody “crossover” SUVs are currently the rage, and the GX460 is somewhat of a throwback. But if the shopper wants to luxuriate with off-road and towing capabilities, the GX-460 Lexus provides an excellent option to consider.
On a cool November morning, I dropped by Pirate Radio (104.7 FM – Greeley) to show the DJ’s a Cadillac Escalade painted Dark Granite metallic and featuring a Kona brown/black leather interior. I take a vehicle to “The Pirate” every Friday morning, and this week I was fortunate enough to arrive in a beauty.
Both Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello and George “Elvis” Gray seemed to like the Caddy, and George found favor with the driving environment and dashboard appointments. Matt fell in love with the power retractable assist steps ($1,695.00), and is currently in the market for some to put on his GMC pickup. The Escalade had a lot of other optional equipment on it, which I will go over later, and the base price was $84,070.00.
Cadillac sells around 30,000 of these Escalades each year, and have offered the full-size SUV since 1999. The one I tested came from Automotive Media Solutions in Denver, and total sticker price was $89,360.00. Equipment on hand other than the steps included the Kona brown interior setup ($2,000.00), and ultra-bright 22″ alloy wheels ($600.00). Freight to deliver the Escalade to Denver (from the plant in Arlington, TX) is $995.00.
As a Premium edition of the Escalade, the loaner had pretty much every imaginable option, including rear seat entertainment, 16-speaker Bose stereo, power everything, and 6.2 liter V-8 power plant. An eight-speed automatic is installed, and of course the vehicle is a four-wheel drive design. It was very enjoyable to test, got rave reviews at Pirate radio, and would be certain to please the luxury SUV buyer.