These diverse vehicles are ready for some serious fall adventures
By Casey Williams
As summer sets and the cool weather of fall peeks over the horizon, we’ll be looking for adventure whether that’s camping with our spouse, travelling to see friends, picking pumpkins with kids, or hauling bushels of apples. From a funky little crossover to a plug-in mini-van, these diverse autos can turn up the party.
Looking like a sportier Rogue, this stylish crossover flaunts Nissan’s V-motion grille and LED lighting. Piano black interior trim dresses it up. Check boxes for a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto climate control, and navigation. A 141 horsepower four-cylinder engine, with continuously variable transmission, achieves fuel economy of 7.3/8.8L/100 km city/hwy. Stay safe with a full suite of crash avoidance gear that includes radar-based pedestrian avoidance.
Base price: $19,998
Chevy Colorado ZR-2
Here’s a truck that can take you virtually anywhere. Fortified for severe off-roading, the ZR-2 is lifted so it can even clear boulders, and fortified with functional rocker panels to protect bodywork. Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve shocks sound like a military appliance, but they allow the truck to bound over rough trails. Get it with locking differentials and a choice of 308 horsepower 3.6 litre V6 or 10.7 L/100 km 2.8-litre diesel engines.
Base price: $44,215
Beetles are cute, but they’re little. Volkswagen goes big with the beefy and buff three-row Atlas crossover that can take up to seven members of your diverse family almost anywhere. Luxuriate in Fender audio, heated leather seats, and digital cockpit with reconfigurable instruments. A 235 horsepower turbo-four conserves fuel while the available 276 horsepower 3.6-litre V6 tows boats, RVs and other weekend toys. Load up and explore!
Base price: $35,690
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
There’s no better vehicle for long drives than a mini-van. They’re boring, but this one is an elegant hybrid. Plug in for 53 kilometres of fossil-free driving and up to 911-kilometre total range with the gas engine running. You can go far on your dollars given fuel economy of 2.6 L/100 km. Keeping everybody entertained is easy with Bluetooth and available seatback-mounted touchscreens to play videos and built-in games like checkers and tic-tac-toe.
Base price: $40,106 (with incentive)
CASEY WILLIAMS is a contributing writer for Gaywheels.com. He contributes to the New York-based LGBT magazine Metrosource and the Chicago Tribune. He and his husband live in Indianapolis, where Williams contributes videos and reviews to wfyi.org, the area’s PBS/NPR station.