Texans love their 4x4s. In fact, nearly one in every four passenger vehicles registered in Texas is equipped with four-wheel drive, according to the state's Department of Transportation. That doesn't just mean pickup trucks — sport utility vehicles, crossovers, even environmentally friendly yet off-road capable hybrids are part of that mix. Here are seven of the latest four-wheel drive vehicles, all unveiled at this year's Detroit International Auto Show.
The Tailgater's Delight
2017 Honda Ridgeline
Unlike many of the pickup trucks on this list, the all-new Ridgeline is more of a tailgater than a rock crawler, thanks to its dual-action rear tailgate; optional 400-watt power inverter; built-in, drainable, water-tight in-bed trunk; and 540-watt in-bed stereo system. That’s a powerful platform for your next party. Plus, the Ridgeline has a relatively impressive payload capacity of nearly 1,600 pounds — that’s a lot of party favors.
The Texan’s Choice
Nissan Titan Warrior
Chevy, Ford and Ram enthusiasts, please send your complaints to the Texas Auto Writers Association. It named the Nissan Titan the Lone Star State’s “Truck of the Year,” not us. The Warrior is an unapologetically aggressive variant of the standard Titan, and Nissan’s answer to Ford’s F-150 Raptor. The menacing off-roader is armed with a 5.0-liter V8 diesel, six-speed automatic transmission and a customized suspension, which includes upgraded control arms, a rear sway bar and internal bypass reservoir shocks. When all is said and done, the Warrior can conquer even the most inhospitable terrain with ease.
City Slicker’s Need Not Apply
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
Ford shocked the off-roading world when it unveiled the F-150 Raptor in 2010. The extreme truck was fun, fast and more than capable of handling just about anything on- or off-road. Now, the Blue Oval is taking the Raptor to the next level, amplifying its strengths and fixing its weaknesses, making it faster, stronger, lighter and more durable than ever before. It looks better too. Under the hood is a high-output, 3.5-liter V-6, twin-turbocharged, EcoBoost engine with more horsepower (estimated between 450 and 500 horses) and torque (estimated at more than 434 lb.-ft.) and greater efficiency than the 411-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 it replaces.
The Stylish Environmentalist
Audi h-Tron Quattro Concept
Audi's h-tron quattro gives credence to hydrogen-power. It can travel 372 miles on a single tank of H, has a top speed of 124 mph, can sprint to 62 mph in under 7 seconds and be refilled in just four minutes. Other green credentials include a heat pump for the HHVAC system and a solar roof that generates up to 320 watts of power, which translates to an extra 620 miles of driving each year. More important, it looks good.
- Chuck Tannert
The Family Guy
2017 GMC Acadia
The all-new 2017 GMC Acadia might not be much of a looker, but it is more than capable of transporting you to work, and your kids to school and soccer practice, in comfort and style. Though smaller and more car-like than the outgoing model, the new Acadia boasts more efficient powertrains — a 310 horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 or all new 2.5-liter inline-four — and three-row seating.
The Urban Adventurer
Volkswagen Tiguan GTE
The Tiguan GTE Active is the asphalt off-roader. Great for the concrete jungle, but a little farfetched as a true off-roader. Under normal conditions, motivation is provided by an 114-hp electric motor mounted in the rear axle. If more muscle or additional traction is needed, a front-mounted, 54-hp electric motor and 148-hp gas engine can provide assistance. Power is channeled to the wheels through a six-speed, dual clutch gearbox. The car is capable of rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive operation. Upgrades include C-shaped LED running lights and a big, aluminum skid plate.
At a glance, the Telluride looks almost identical to Volvo’s XC90 – boxy, upright, uncluttered, beautiful. It somehow looks less sporty, though. Based on a heavily modified Sorrento chassis (engineers stretched it by nearly a foot), the Telluride is equipped with a 400-horse hybrid powertrain (270 from a GDI V6, 130 from the electric motor) and “advanced” all-wheel drive system. It also has seating for seven and a host of advanced technologies, such as seat-mounted sensors that can read occupants’ vital health information; a fingerprint-activated push-button starter; and a system that uses LEDs to create "therapeutic" light to treat ailments like jetlag and fatigue.