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Vehicle Reviews

2005 Honda CR-V

Several years ago, a friend loaned us a front-porch bench. It’s iron and wood, and heavy and awkward to carry. On a recent weekend, it was time to return the bench. Its owner, once a neighbor, now lives nearly 100 miles away. With remarkable ease, my wife reconfigured the back seat arrangement of the new looking and more spacious 2005 …

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2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

It looks like every Grand Cherokee before it – a little more square in some parts, angular in others, with odd-looking headlights – but it’s surprisingly different. Electronic front and rear differentials lock or unlock instantly, and a new independent front suspension feels equally at home off road and on. The interior is a bit more luxurious looking, the ride …

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2005 Suzuki XL-7

Traveling east from Sacramento on either Interstate 80 or 50, the capital of California extends into ever-expanding suburbs. Sierra Nevada foothill communities soon follow and then respectively the well-known gambling and recreation meccas of Reno, Nev., and Lake Tahoe, Calif. Busier freeways exist, but both Northern California thoroughfares have their share of hectic commuter traffic and every other conceivable transportation …

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2005 Lexus LX-470

Review Notes: Lexus LX 470 Personality Big off-road truck wrapped up in a thick veneer of luxury fittings Above Average: Off-road capability, reputation for reliability, safety features, interior appearance Needs Work In: Acceleration, gas mileage (as with all such vehicles), jumper seat practicality EPA gas mileage 13 city, 19 highway; hybrid version coming soon with better acceleration, mileage      …

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2004 Kia Sorrento

Review Notes: Kia Sorrento EX – Automatic V6 Personality Medium-sized luxury SUV Quirks Key fob, wind noise, odd power window lockout distract from general look of luxury Unusual features Designed to actually go off-road Above Average: Luxury appearance and feel for the price; world’s best warranty Needs Work In: Gas mileage, rear seat space, some details   Kia and Hyundai …

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2004 Lexus RX330 Review

Review Notes: Lexus RX330 with Luxury Package Personality Inside, luxurious wagon; outside, big SUV Quirks Door locking behavior, some control placement Unusual features It’s a Lexus Gas mileage 18 city, 24 highway (EPA) Above Average: Resale value, interior appearance, stereo, features Needs Work In: Gas mileage, minor ergonomic changes The Lexus RX330 combines a serious SUV exterior with a luxury-car …

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2003 Isuzu Axiom

Review Notes: 2003 Isuzu Axiom XS Quirks “Interesting” controls Gas mileage 16 city, 20 highway (EPA) Unusual features Can actually go off-road Above Average Off-road ability, interior appearance, warranty Needs Work In Ride, handling, gas mileage Bottom-scraper test Superior Car reviews written by David Zatz     Once, Isuzu sold a full line of cars and trucks in the United …

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2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Sport

Review Notes: Jeep Wrangler 4.0 liter, manual, 2000 Sport and 2003 Rubicon Personality Updated version of the “real Jeep” – a happy anachronism Quirks Too many to list Clearly Superior In Off-road capabilities, fun, ease of door removal Above Average In Cachet, resale value Needs Work In Stereo, gas mileage, add a dead pedal Scrape test Passed easily The Jeep …

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2003 Mazda Tribute (Ford Escape)

Review Notes: 2003 Mazda Tribute ES V6 Automatic Quirks Front wheel drive 4×4? Gas mileage 18 city, 23 highway (EPA) Unusual features Standard front wheel drive Available from Ford with blue oval on grille and “Escape” badging Above Average Safety, highway acceleration, 2WD handling and ride Needs Work In Refinement of some controls, 4×4 tire squeal Bottom-scraper test Superior   …

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2003 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4WD

Review Notes: 2002 Jeep Liberty Renegade Personality Sophisticated luxury SUV feel, tough off-road capability, budget interior Quirks No power memory; strange rear hatch Gas mileage 16 city, 20 highway EPA Unusual features Off-road performance, Jeep name Above Average Power, off-road capability, apparent quality and feel Needs Work In Gas mileage, weight, size Bottom-scraper test Superior   The Jeep Liberty spurred …

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