Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Vehicles & Accessory Reviews

2014 Subaru Forester XT

86

2013

2014 Subaru Forester XT

Smart use of space and a fuel/power-efficient drivetrain upgrade turn the 2014 Subaru Forester XT into a nimble 5-passenger, off-road/interstate transporter.

2013 BMW X1 XDrive35i

83

2013

2013 BMW X1 XDrive35i

A luxury compact SUV stuffed with a turbo 6-cyl engine, AWD, and enough space to haul dogs, skis or a bike.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

73

2013

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Less an SUV and more of a burly wagon with seating for seven, the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder comes packed with inventive people and gear-moving highlights.

2013 Ford Escape, EcoBoost 4WD

81

2013

2013 Ford Escape, EcoBoost 4WD

The wholly new Escape packs a 4-cyl. turbo engine, a myriad of infotainment gadgets, and sporty handling into a small 4-door SUV.

Thule Sonic Alpine 633

87

2013

Thule Sonic Alpine 633

The Sonic Alpine is the best box we've seen for when aerodynamics matters most. Very easy to use, smartly designed, and  The Sonic Alpine’s 11-inch height precludes it from heavy use outside of toting skis and boards.

Yakima SkyBox Pro 18

83

2013

Yakima SkyBox Pro 18

Yakima paid attention to maximizing interior room with the Skybox Pro and a simple attachment mechanism that saves time and inside space. This model is about hauling cargo first, aerodynamics and total vehicle height second.

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

75

2013

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

A 5-seater, eco-minded, urban people mover or road trip wonder with EPA mileage numbers of 47 city/47 hwy

Rola Airfoil SK Roof Top Ski & Snowboard Carrier

86

2013

Rola Airfoil SK Roof Top Ski & Snowboard Carrier

If you’re part of a ski/snowboard-mad family and have a van, wagon or SUV with a long roofline, the fairly-priced Rola is worth a look. Its simple installation, insanely great price, and attention to design details make it a stand out.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Snow Tires

79

2012

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Snow Tires

With the Blizzak WS70s, you can skip the need for an AWD vehicle in snow and go with a more economical (and less expensive) front- or rear-wheel drive alternative.

SylvanSport Go Camper

89

2012

SylvanSport Go Camper

An $8,000 utility trailer with a 4-person camper/tent that unfolds from its roof. Is it worth it?

Küat NV Core Hitch Rack

82

2012

Küat NV Core Hitch Rack

The NV Core is Küat’s basic hitch rack that uses an easy tray system to secure two adult bikes.

2012 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Pro-4X

76

2012

2012 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Pro-4X

The 2012 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Pro-4X is a compact four-door pick-up spec’d with off-roading shocks and generous room for second-row passengers.

2012 Volvo XC70 T6 AWD

78

2012

2012 Volvo XC70 T6 AWD

A 300-hp AWD luxury sports wagon with truck-like ground clearance and refined European style.

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC

78

2012

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC

A 3.0-liter, V6-powered AWD crossover for escaping the city with more cargo capacity than meets the eye.

2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport

80

2012

2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport

A class leading value, four-door hatchback for the adventure set with eye-popping mpg for an AWD vehicle.

2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD

75

2012

2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD

Basic all-round 4WD transportation at a competitive value to the Jeeps of the world.

2012 Mazda CX-5

85

2012

2012 Mazda CX-5

The 2013 CX-5 is game-changing FWD SUV crossover that seats 5 and returns 30-plus mpg at a bargain price.

2012 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L

81

2012

2012 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L

A versatile AWD SUV with a 4-cyl, 185-hp engine, seating for 5, and room leftover for all their gear.

2012 Mazda5 Grand Touring

73

2012

2012 Mazda5 Grand Touring

A value-price minivan/wagon mashup with seating for six and decent fuel economy.

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion

93

2012

2012 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion

A practical AWD SUV that seats 5 adults and is powered by a 200-hp, 4-cyl. turbo-engine.

2012 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4

71

2012

2012 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4

A tough, no-nonsense, all-terrain SUV that doesn’t thrill but won’t leave you stuck.

2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X

82

2012

2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X

The 2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X is a tough four-door SUV that’s mounted on a pick-up truck’s platform and outfitted with burly wheels and shocks tuned for serious off-road exploration.

2012 Chevy Volt

87

2012

2012 Chevy Volt

An electric commuter car and urban gear wagon with a gas engine backup that extends its range up to 375-plus miles.

2012 Nissan Juke SL AWD

78

2012

2012 Nissan Juke SL AWD

The 2012 Nissan Juke SL is a value-priced, four-door, all-weather small SUV with a 1.6-liter turbo engine that’s wrapped in a love-it/hate-it body.

Ford Explorer LTD 4WD

72

2011

Ford Explorer LTD 4WD

The latest, premium edition Ford Explorer 4WD grew into a large, gadget-packed SUV with three rows of seats and a smooth car-like ride powered by a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a sophisticated 4WD drivetrain that tackles nearly any condition.

Audi A3 2.0 TDI

73

2011

Audi A3 2.0 TDI

The Audi A3 TDI 5-door hatchback bolts a fuel-sipping turbo-charged clean diesel engine with an EPA mileage spread of 30 mpg city/42 highway to a sports car’s suspension and transmission to create a new breed of car, the performance diesel.