Written by Cara Metaxas, CNN
What distinguishes a true SUV? Who determines what quality actually exists in a car these days? Where do we draw the line?
At the 2018 International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Germany, we reviewed four mid-size SUVs. They were the Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Jeep Grand Cherokee R/T and Kia Telluride. And that’s not all: the cars were compared side-by-side and even tested side-by-side on a proposed long drive across Europe.
But which was best? The review below summarizes our thoughts.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, with 4.0-liter supercharged engine.
The Guardian says: “Leather bucket seats come standard. The signature Quadra-Lift air suspension can be switched into Sport or Sport+ mode. A new 12.3-inch digital dashboard is larger than ever, with a horizontal waterfall motif. A pair of solid exhaust tailpipes sit above the eight-inch heads-up display, which displays the speedometer in an attractive manner. The 8.4-inch touchscreen shows navigation and offers an analogue stopwatch. LED lights on the bumpers and side windows make for a neat visual element; an optional Garmin satellite navigation system is particularly eye-catching, lit up in white light and configured to display colour-coded speed limits. All this, plus a 390-horsepower, 4.0-liter supercharged V8 engine, and you’ve got a Jeep product that has been reinvented.” (CNN)
The Kia Telluride, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen.
The Guardian says: “The Kia Telluride appears to be built around a new brand philosophy, which is to get more mileage out of each body-on-frame car. Buyers can choose from Kia’s new DriveWise suite of driver assistance technologies, such as autonomous braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. It also has the self-dimming rearview mirror to be affiliated with on-board smart door locks. Yes, Kia has even got in on the ‘just buying a car’ market.
The major downside to the Kia Telluride is that, despite its stylish design, it seems out of place in a climate where compact SUVs are already such a hit. If it were any cheaper, the driver would probably feel right at home.” (CNN)
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, with its 70-inch wheelbase.
The Guardian says: “The Jeep Wrangler is a true-blue American icon that’s loved by many. One half of the classic two-wheel drive truck/SUV configuration, it has become synonymous with the Jeep brand since the ’60s, when it became the top-selling mid-size truck in the US.
While the Wrangler Unlimited still offers an unbeatable driving experience, it can no longer top the Jeep passenger/commercial utility sales pile. Another jaw-dropping piece of engineering from Jeep, and one of the most versatile and practical full-size vehicles you’ll find on the road, still awaits.” (CNN)
The Jeep Grand Cherokee R/T, with its 390-horsepower supercharged V8 engine.
The Guardian says: “The no frills, high-touch offering in the Jeep lineup also benefits from its large base, its location at the crossroads of Europe and the US and the sightline afforded by a double power top roof. It is still more durable than most other models, more spacious, and still offers the selection of alternative modes for traction control (EVOC) and heated seats.
The overwhelming one is design: A supercharged, supercharged V8 engine? Did we say “supercharged”? The interior is simply stunning, with a mix of traditional touches in the masculine-macho interior and elements such as the toggle switch for the application of an ORVMs track to the centre console. It’s a timeless looking vehicle, with an absolute drool-worthy rear bench seat. If you want to let that eight-inch touchscreen be your wingman, then the V8 may be an option for you. This ‘Street and Racing’ version gives the Jag the edge of luxury,” the Guardian says. (CNN)