Although concerns about the environment and rising gas prices allegedly killed them off, all new SUVs keep popping up with all the resiliency of a horror movie villain in the third act. So why do automakers keep introducing all new SUVs and crossovers to the marketplace? Well, quite frankly, it’s because people still can’t get enough of them.
The reasons for the continued success of the SUV are myriad. Most importantly, SUVs are highly stylized family cars that take the place of the everyday minivan, family sedan or station wagon. One of those three may make a whole lot more sense as a package and from a value perspective, but we all know there are some out there who won’t be caught dead in a minivan.
And for these people the SUV/crossover will continue to reign supreme. So, if you are the type of person who likes the image and SUV projects then check out these five new 2011 SUVs that were introduced in the fall of 2010. For SUV lovers 2011 is going to be an exciting year.
2011 Kia Sportage
The 2011 Sportage went from dud to stud in just one model year thanks to a refreshingly original new design and revitalized dynamics shared with the excellent (but not as pretty) 2011 Hyundai Tucson. Kia really has been going from strength to strength design wise and the Sportage is the perfect companion to the larger 7-passenger Sorento.
Prices for the 2011 Sportage start at only a little over $18,000 and that includes standard Bluetooth, USB/iPod integration, air conditioning and all the essentials. The only available engine is a 2.4 liter 176 horsepower 4 cylinder which returns an excellent 22 city/31 highway. Wow, with the 2011 Sportage you get SUV style and econobox fuel efficiency in a smartly engineered and practical package.
2011 Nissan Juke
Part cute ute, part Mini Cooper and part reptile-the 2011 Nissan Juke is an SUV that defies description. It is only an SUV because of its ride height and the layout of its cabin. Otherwise, it is something from another stylistic dimension. The same one that brought you the 2010 Nissan Cube!
2011 Porsche Cayenne
By introducing a hybrid version (which is way more powerful than the V8, ironically) Porsche is hoping to get some “green” street cred with its newly restyled 2011 Porsche Cayenne. Not only does the new Cayenne look svelte, it actually lost quite a bit of weight in a bid to improve performance and efficiency. Still, the Cayenne driving experience is always best from the driver’s seat because you don’t have to look at the exterior.
2011 Infiniti QX56
The launch of this ultra-luxurious, super-expensive, 27 passenger (I am exaggerating its 8) super monolithic SUV seems to fly in the face of what people are looking for in a vehicle nowadays. But I suppose there are still quite a few multi-millionaire Ranch owners in Texas who might find a use for this leather lined monster.
The 2011 Infiniti QX56 does have the new 5.6 liter V8 that launched in the stylishly sumptuous M-sedan. But really, if you want the V8 you should buy the sedan. Do you really have so many friends that you constantly need room for this many passengers? And if so, don’t they have their own cars?
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a testament to the “can-do” spirit at Chrysler even under the demonic tutelage of the Cerebrus Group which nearly starved the automaker completely for development dollars. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also marks the debut of the all new Chrysler Phoenix V6 engines developed with Hyundai.
But even though Chrysler sat pretty much idle for many years the engineers at Jeep were still able to pull together a terrific SUV that offers a mix of luxury and off-road ability you only see in Land Rovers. And, yes, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is still a bargain compared to a Land Rover.