Mon, 31 July 2017
Whether you’re looking for a big, bulking beast or a cool, compact crossover, there is no dearth of options to choose from. Smartphones, smart TVs – it seems everything is getting smarter and cars are no exception. With a plethora of infotainment and safety system options, the latest SUVs not only look great, they perform well and are packed with more technology than you can shake a selfie-stick at!
Go Big or Go Home
Lets kick off with the petrol-guzzling monsters – full and mid-sized models that command respect both on- and off-road.
Land Rover Discovery
No list would be complete without the Land Rover Discovery and, although it may have divided critics with its polarising looks, there is no doubting its capabilities. Now in its fifth generation, the seven-seater leans firmly towards the premium end of the market and that’s before you’ve even looked at the options list.
Available with a choice of engines, maximum power delivery is guaranteed and its off-road prowess has been praised, thanks in no small part to the dramatically reduced weight. There are several different modes in the Terrain Response system including auto-steering trailer assist, low-speed off-road cruise control, and low-traction launch, all of which add to its dynamic appeal.
The Cayenne is forging ahead with a sharper design, intelligent driver assistance systems and even more efficient drive components. And, thanks to the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system – including a navigation module, for enhanced infotainment – this model is simply the bee’s knees.
The precise lines make it evident that this is a sports car with character and stature. The sporty side contouring and wheels with attractive styling serve to emphasise the car’s dynamics. Unsurprisingly, this mode boasts a 3.6-litre V6 that provides ample power for even the most discerning drivers.
Whether put to everyday use or venturing off the beaten track, the GLS meets all your needs. A dynamic exterior combined with a revised, luxurious interior underscores the impressive character of the GLS.
As standard, the new GLS is equipped with Attention Assist. This feature can monitor the steering behaviour of the driver to recognise typical signs of drowsiness and give a visual and acoustic warning of impending microsleep, improving safety, especially on long journeys and at night.
Further, with nine forward gears the automatic transmission introduces a whole new dimension of efficiency, comfort and dynamism, its makers say.
Shifting gears slightly, the compact SUV segment has its own loyal following. People love the capability of off-road vehicles but often don’t want to deal with the cumbersome manoeuvrability of full-sized models.
The Volkswagen Tiguan features innovative technology, upgraded off-road capabilities and a new striking design, allowing drivers the freedom to navigate the urban jungle with confidence. Immediately exuding a powerful presence, the new model is noticeably streamlined, sharper and even more precise in design than its predecessor.
It is packed with cutting-edge technology with engines ranging from a 1.4-litre with an output of 150bhp, up to a 2-litre 220bhp. Further, six- and seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes (DSG) with 4MOTION are now offered for the first time
The vehicle’s safety features, convenience, infotainment options and overall drivability are without question. These include the 12.3-inch Active Info display – an interactive, fully digital main instrumental panel and a Head-Up Display, offered for the first time in a Volkswagen SUV.
The Nissan Kicks is a crossover with class in abundance. The model aims to enhance performance and manoeuvrability thanks to its tough exterior and its implementation of ‘Nissan Intelligent Mobility’ (NIM).
NIM uses smart technology that appeals to young drivers and aims to reduce stress through innovations such as the Around View Monitor (AVM) and the Moving Object Detection system. Using four cameras, placed at the front and rear of the car and in both door mirrors, AVM creates a 360-degree view of the car, which can be displayed on the central monitor and used as a parking aid.
Safety is undoubtedly a huge factor and is an area in which this model shines. Active Trace Control is an innovative way to prevent a sudden loss of grip while driving as it works by applying brakes to wheels individually making it more stable on the road. Similarly, Active Ride Control, helps stabilise the car if it hits any bumps or anything that will cause a ‘bounce’ effect on the suspension by applying the brakes for a split-second after the encounter.
Ford has a long history of SUV leadership and, when Edge was first introduced a decade ago, it proved a utility vehicle could meet the demanding needs of an everyday commuter.
This upscale crossover delivers premium levels of comfort, sophisticated driver assistance features and class-leading driving dynamics and, as an added bonus, it cuts an imposing figure.
Wheels pushed out to each corner give a wide, aggressive stance and help maximise interior space. The raised ground clearance enhances off-road capability, and delivers a seating position for a commanding view of the road.
For 2017, the Edge adds more technologies, featuring the latest generation of Ford’s communications and entertainment system, SYNC3, which has integrated the use of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free.
So, whatever your preference, there are plenty of models available to suit almost every taste and budget.