While many automakers put new tech in their sedan and coupes of the past, the fact that the SUV and truck segments of the market are so strong has led many automakers to change their thought process and begin to put new and interesting tech into the trucks and SUVs that we know and love. Why should the higher riding vehicles be left out of the conversation when it comes to new tech? They shouldn’t be left out at all and now that we’re deep into the 2017 model year, you can see some of the tech that’s being admired on these vehicles.
Bentley Bentayga Dynamic Ride – This feature is much more boring than the name suggests. This is the name given to the anti-roll bar that is situated on each side of the body of the SUV to help it avoid roll by bringing the left and right side wheel motions together. These roll bars help by transmitting some of the body roll to the inside wheels to help the SUV avoid rollover.
Buick Envision/GMC Acadia Torque Vectoring Rear Axle – This is an item that’s typically reserved for performance cars, but GM chose to add it to these SUVs and it has been a huge success. This system allows the torque to be increased for the outside wheel during a turn on the same axle where the power is reduced on the inside wheel. This helps create tighter cornering in the SUV.
Chrysler Pacifica Stow ‘n Go – The Stow ‘n Go arrangement has been something Chrysler has used since 2005 which makes it nothing new, but in the Pacifica does it differently by allowing the second row of seats to be folded into the storage area to allow for a completely flat cargo floor with the seats stored below rather than having the seats be taken out of the vehicle.
Ford F-150 Pro Trailer Backup Assist – This is one of the most impressive truck features ever built. When trailering in reverse, a new driver can get confused easily as to which direction the trailer will move when the steering wheel is turned. With this little knob the thought is taken out of the equation, all you have to do is turn the knob in the direction you want the trailer to go.
Ford F-150 Raptor/Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Internal Bypass Fox Shocks- This internal bypass feature of these Fox shocks makes for a smoother ride. Since both trucks are built to handle the outdoors and trails with ease, the need for a softer and smoother ride is evident. With these shocks in place the ride is smoother and the suspension can adjust more easily without bottoming out.
Honda Ridgeline Bed Setup – Honda used all of the available space behind the rear axle to create an under the bed storage system that can be used as a cooler for tailgate parties. They also added a speaker system to the bed of the truck so you can enjoy the music or sporting event while grilling next to the Ridgeline that’s filled in the bed cooler with your favorite beverage.
Honda Ridgeline Unibody – This is the only truck to successfully be a unibody design and the new one is made to feel like you’re driving an SUV rather than a pickup truck. This newly constructed unibody frame makes it easy for you to have the ride you want and the feel that you’ve been after on the Ridgeline that you want to drive.
Jeep Renegade, Cherokee and Compass Axle Disconnect AWD – Any AWD vehicle will be one that offers you less fuel mileage per gallon than a FWD vehicle. The added friction and load on the drivetrain cause this to happen. Because most drivers only use AWD a few days out of the year this is an impressive feature that allows these SUVs to be FWD models most of the time.
Mazda CX-9 Dynamic Pressure Turbo – This turbocharger is made to produce more power at lower rpm, helping to combat the typical turbo lag that’s felt with a turbocharged vehicle. This makes the CX-9 feel less like a turbocharged vehicle and more like one that’s ready to get going with the typical Mazda enthusiasm.
Volvo XC90 Vertical Touchscreen – Turning the typical touchscreen on end has resulted in a look that feels more like a smartphone and offers the ability to fit more in the same space as before. This touchscreen is also full of connectivity and functionality to make it one of the most impressive touchscreens on the market today.