After we posted the Top 10 vehicles that scream “USA” last year, we thought we’d do something a little different this year to mark the national holiday of Americans.
In order to appeal to more people and increase their market share in the world’s biggest economy, some automakers from Europe and Asia have decided to design, develop and build vehicles specifically tailored to meet the needs of U.S. customers.
The latest example, of course, is Kia’s new three-row SUV. Named after a city in Colorado that’s famous for its ski resorts, and built in Georgia, the Telluride is the most spacious vehicle ever created by the Korean brand and it was designed for American families first.
Standard equipment is super-generous (in typical Kia fashion) with many technologies and amenities that improve comfort and convenience, including an eight-way power driver’s seat, three-zone automatic climate control, easy access to the third row and a power liftgate. Under the hood is a potent 3.8-litre V6 delivering 291 horsepower and governed by a multi-terrain drive mode selector.
Subaru came back strong following a first failed attempt to create a three-row midsize crossover. Remember the Tribeca? The new Ascent is much better in every way. Built in Indiana, the big brother to the Forester and Outback stands out from the competition with standard all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels and the EyeSight suite of advanced driver-assist features. The turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder generates 260 horsepower and boasts a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. Who needs a V6?
The modern, minivan-like cabin impresses with a number of family-friendly features such as 19 cup holders, eight USB ports, several 12V power outlets and up to 2,056 litres of cargo capacity behind the front seats.
The late Touareg was too small and too expensive for many American families, so Volkswagen returned to the drawing board and created a three-row midsize SUV that better represents what they’re looking for. Think about it, the wheelbase is longer and the trunk is bigger than the current Chevrolet Tahoe’s!
The Atlas is manufactured in Tennessee and customers can opt for a 235-horsepower turbo four or a 276-horsepower V6, the latter capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds. The available AWD system features a drive mode selector.
What’s more American than a full-size pickup truck? In the shadow of Detroit’s Big Three, which are largely dominating the segment, Toyota has been trying hard to find a niche for 20 years with the Texas-built Tundra. During the development of the latest (second) generation, the Japanese manufacturer paid much more attention to the needs of American pickup owners.
Toyota's biggest truck now offers plenty of selection including two- or four-wheel drive, a V8 engine producing 310 or 381 horsepower, a bed length of 5.5, 6.5 or 8.1 feet as well as a Double Cab or CrewMax Cab. Let’s not forget the newly refreshed TRD Pro models that enhance off-road capabilities. On the flip side, towing capacity is a bit under par at 10,000 pounds.