A new wave of scaled-down SUVs takes Continental inspiration and turns it on its head.
When it comes to automotiverole models, it’s hard not to want to craft your all-new ride in the style of those trendsetting Germans—dramatic looks, Autobahn power, and plenty of grip in the slippery stuff.
That impulse has yielded striking new designs in a trio of once-bland small and midsize SUVs, one of which (Jeep’s Cherokee) returns to the market after a long absence.
Only the names remain the same when it comes to the newest SUV models.
Besides old Glen Plake videos, nothing captures the ski-trip vibe of the mid- to late ’80s like that first generation of box-on-frame SUVs—slab-sided classics like the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Cherokee, followed in 1991 by the Ford Explorer. Just about everybody owned one—or wanted to. Back when nobody worried about gas mileage (or ride quality) they were must-haves for winter road trips.
With the 2010-2011 ski season fast approaching, we at SKI know that many of you are like us and aren’t lucky enough to own a ski-in ski-out spot. This means we’re driving, usually long distances, to get to the slopes. With that in mind, we decided to give you a quick review of the cars and SUV’s we think are the best equipped for the job. All models reviewed have some form of 4WD or AWD, and all perform exceptionally well in snow. Cars were scored on a 1-5 point scale.