*I recently test-drove the GMC Acadia and felt like a million bucks. I also drove the Chevrolet Equinox and literally didn’t want to give the car back. I drove the Nissan Sentra and was pleasantly surprised. And, last but not least, I drove the Chrysler Jeep (Patriot Latitude 4×4) and had way too much fun.
THE CAR: CHRYSLER JEEP (Patriot Latitude 4×4)
This particular Jeep SUV has a black clear coat exterior, coupled with a dark slate gray interior. It also boasts premium cloth bucket seats.
If you want a 2013 Jeep, you have more than one to pick from. It’s a trifecta!!! There are three, count them, one, two, three from which to choose. There are actually three models from which to choose. They include the Patriot Sport, the Latitude and the Limited. All are available with front-wheel drive, the Jeep Freedom Drive I full-time active 4×4 system or the Freedom Drive II Off-Road package with active 4×4 system and low-range capability. BOOM!
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: 2.0L 4-cyl engine, 14 DOHC 16-valve dual VVT engine, manual transmission, 4-wheel drive, MP3 player, side/curtain airbags, stability control, traction control, Bluetooth (optional), DVD player (optional).
MSRP: $25, 670
FUEL ECONOMY: 21/26
THE DRIVE: Fabulous!
WHAT’S HOT: It’s a Jeep!
THE CAR: GMC ACADIA
The 2013 version, much like its predecessor has an interior that is accommodating and lends itself to a pleasing functionality.
The SUV offers a successful recipe that includes a great performance, high-end features, great cargo space and comfort.
Drive with peace of mind knowing that if a child or an animal or anything that could potentially cause an accident ends up behind the SUV, the rear vision camera will capture it all.
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: Powertrain – 3.6L direct-injected V-6 VVT, with six-speed automatic transmission. 288 horsepower, 270 lb.-ft torque, towing capacity – 5,200 lbs.; revised exterior design with signature LED lighting, available voice-activated intellilink and navigation, seats up to eight with three seating rows, available all-wheel drive, standard rearview camera system, industry-first center air bag, head-curtain side air bags for all seating rows, available side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert.
FUEL ECONOMY: 17/24
THE DRIVE: Smooth
WHAT’S HOT: The white diamond tricoat exterior mixed with a cocoa dune interior.
THE CAR: CHEVROLET EQUINOX
This SUV rides even better than it looks – and that’s saying something because it looks fantastic.
It’s so stylish, the Equinox makes you look like you have money – even if you don’t. This car is one of my favorites. It’s a joy to drive. It’s considered one of the top choices for compact crossovers.
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: Powertrain 3.6L V-6 VVT direct injection, with Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission; Horsepower 301 HP; available all wheel drive, available ice-blue ambient lighting and programmable power lift gate.
FUEL ECONOMY: 17/24
THE DRIVE: Level
WHAT’S HOT: color touch-screen radio with available navigation and the crystal red metallic tintcoat exterior and light titanium/dark black interior
THE CAR: NISSAN SENTRA
The electric blue Sentra turns heads for various reasons. First, the color is spectacular, even show-stopping. Second, it’s no slouch in the get up and go department. Although it’s a respectable small sedan, it does have spacious seating. The interior is polished and feels cozy.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Nissan Sentra, mainly because of its quaint sophistication and the way it handles. I like its style, I like the fuel economy and its savvy technology.
VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: The Sentra has the continuously variable transmission (CVT) – a gearless automatic. 1.8 liter, 4 cylinder engine, 130-horsepower, 3-mode drive selector with Eco, Normal and Sport modes; 128 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm, 6-speed manual transmission, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux audio system, electroluminescent gauges, basic cloth seats, a 4-way adjustable steering wheel, 16-inch covered steel wheels, six airbags and electronic stability and traction controls.
FUEL ECONOMY: 27/36
THE DRIVE: Satisfying
WHAT’S HOT: The price, the ride and the style.
Darlene Donloe is a writer living in Los Angeles. She also writes about entertainment and travel. She can be reached at [email protected].