New SUVs for 2008

The crop of new and redesigned SUVs for the 2008 model year has a little bit of everything: large crossovers, hybrids, luxury models and even some real off-roaders. Ten of the most noteworthy models are highlighted here.

Hot SUVs for 2008
All SUVs are listed in alphabetical order and are from the 2008 model year.
$32,255 - $36,455
Full-Size SUV:
The Enclave is the latest large crossover from General Motors. It has room for up to eight people in three rows of seats and is available with front- or all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 275 horsepower and achieves an EPA-estimated 16/24 mpg city/highway in front-wheel-drive form. Enclave strong points include a comfortable ride and an upscale cabin that's available with leather seats. Standard safety features include three-row side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system.
$18,770 - $28,015
Compact SUV:
Both the conventional gas-powered Escape and gas/electric Escape Hybrid receive styling updates for 2008. The exterior of both SUVs is more rugged than before and features a large chrome grille. The overhauled cabin features a new dashboard design. Four-cylinder or V-6 power is available in the Escape, and the Escape Hybrid remains one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs available with an estimated 34/30 mpg for the front-wheel-drive version. When conditions are right, the hybrid can move solely on electric power.
$55,655 - $55,700
Full-Size SUV:
The H2's bricklike shape carries on for 2008, but the Hummer receives significant drivetrain and interior changes. The H2 gets a new 6.2-liter V-8 that produces 393 hp and drives a six-speed automatic transmission. Inside, passengers are treated to a more luxurious version of the H2's industrial-themed interior. As before, the H2 is available in SUV form or as a four-door pickup truck that features a short bed in place of a covered cargo area. More than just an offroad wannabe, the H2 is capable of traveling through two feet of water or crawling up a 16-inch vertical face.
Compact SUV:
A rolling display of technology, Infiniti's new five-seat EX35 luxury crossover can have gee-whiz features like an Around View Monitor that uses cameras positioned at different spots on the crossover to show you what's happening in the vicinity of the EX. There's also a new safety feature dubbed Lane Departure Prevention that can keep a drowsy or distracted driver from drifting across the center line into oncoming traffic. A high-grade interior and a 297-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 are also part of the package, and the EX is available with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
$20,330 - $26,125
Compact SUV:
Large sunroofs have become increasingly popular lately, and now the redesigned Jeep Liberty can have one — but it's not the traditional kind. The Liberty's Sky Slider roof is made of canvas, and it can retract to let the sun in over the front and rear seats. When closed, the roof is surprisingly quiet; if you didn't know otherwise you would think the SUV had a metal roof. The Liberty can also be equipped with offroad goodies like low-range four-wheel drive and Hill Descent Control. The standard engine is a 210-hp, 3.7-liter V-6.
$19,250 - $21,870
Compact SUV:
The all-new Rogue takes on established models in the small SUV segment, like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. Available with either front- or all-wheel drive, the five-seat Rogue is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that drives a continuously variable automatic transmission. Occupants are treated to a refined cabin that features upscale gauges that look like they're from a more expensive vehicle. In terms of safety features, the Rogue has standard side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system.
$20,825 - $28,825
Compact SUV:
Saturn's five-seat Vue receives a redesign for 2008 and is available in regular and gas/electric hybrid forms. The new Vue is much sleeker than its blocky predecessor, and the cabin's appearance has been ratcheted up a notch. The base Vue gets four-cylinder power, but two V-6 engines are available. The Green Line's GM Hybrid system isn't as advanced as the Escape Hybrid's, but it still manages to get an EPA-estimated 25/32 mpg (a more sophisticated 2-Mode Hybrid drivetrain will appear later). Safety features like active front head restraints, side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system are standard.
$29,995 - $33,595
Midsize SUV:
It didn't take long for Subaru to update the styling of its radical B9 Tribeca SUV. The 2008 Tribeca (the B9 portion of the name has been dropped) gets a new front end that features a more traditional grille in place of the polarizing snout of before. Available in five- or seven-passenger form, the Tribeca gets a larger horizontally opposed six-cylinder too; it makes 256 hp and teams with a five-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.
$27,300 - $39,950
Midsize SUV:
The redesigned Highlander is larger than before and comes with either five or seven seats. The Highlander features a second-row bench seat that can be converted into two captain's chairs by removing and storing the small middle seat. Regular Highlanders are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 270 hp. The Highlander Hybrid also has a V-6, and it gets 27/25 mpg. All-wheel drive is optional for the regular Highlander and standard for the hybrid.
Full-Size SUV:
The Land Cruiser is Toyota's most expensive SUV, and it's been redesigned for 2008. Big changes include a new 5.7-liter V-8 engine that replaces the previous model's 4.7-liter V-8 and gives the Land Cruiser a significant power bump, to 381 hp. Maximum towing capacity is 8,500 pounds. The Land Cruiser has serious offroad features, like low-range four-wheel drive, Hill-start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control, as well as amenities like leather seats and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel.
Posted on 10/31/07