NEWS & FEATURES
Would you know if someone was lying to you? Most of us like to think we would but every once in awhile we have to admit to ourselves that someone has pulled the wool over our eyes.
Plans are underway for the first manned mission to Mars -- just five years from now. The privately financed fly-by in 2018 would take a man and a woman -- both Americans -- on a modified existing U.S. spacecraft to within 160 kilometers of the surface of the Red Planet, and return them safely to Earth.
Spanish is not only a language, it is the heart of a culture, religion and history, and a communication tool shared by nearly 500 million people in 21 countries.
cerasus.media launched Mahjong Mysteries – Ancient Athena on Nintendo’s eShop service. Accompany the famous adventurer David on his most mysterious mission yet - the one that will change everything!
AC/DC Now on iTunes
Columbia Records and Apple® announced that AC/DC’s entire catalog is now available digitally for the first time exclusively on the iTunes Store® worldwide (www.itunes.com). From their 1976 debut High Voltage to seminal classic Back In Black and 2008 smash hit Black Ice, every one of AC/DC’s 16 studio albums, along with four live albums and three compilation albums, are available for the first time ever on the iTunes Store.
If you have bought a new television lately, the chances are it is a lot smarter than your old one. Smart TVs, also known as connected or hybrid televisions, featuring integrated internet connectivity, currently account for around a third of TV sales in Europe. They are the end point in a huge and rapidly expanding value chain driven by the intensifying convergence of television and the internet.
|Mercedes-Benz GL and
Best 2007 Luxury SUVs, According to Consumer Reports
The new Mercedes-Benz GL- and R-Class luxury sport utility vehicles outpointed competitors from Volvo, Audi, and Cadillac in tests for the November issue of Consumer Reports.
The GL- and R-Class posted “Very Good” overall scores in tests against the Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, and new 2007 Cadillac Escalade. Though the Volvo, Audi, and Cadillac finished lower in the scoring, those three vehicles still posted “Very Good” scores.
Consumer Reports also tested all-wheel-drive versions of four previously tested sedans: The Volkswagen Passat 3.6 4Motion, BMW 325xi, Volvo XC70 and Subaru Outback 3.0R VDC. Of that group, the Passat received an “Excellent” overall road test score. The 325xi, Outback 3.0R and XC70 received Consumer Reports’ Recommended status. All in the group are less expensive and viable alternatives to some SUVs.
“Both the GL- and R-Class vehicles offer exceptional combinations of luxury, utility and performance—at a premium price,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center.
Full tests and ratings of the luxury SUV group appear in the November issue of Consumer Reports on sale now. The complete report is also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.
Consumer Reports did not recommend any of the SUVs tested in this group because they are either too new to have sufficient owner reliability data, or have below average predicted reliability. The magazine only recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s Annual Car Reliability Survey of its own subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.
The GL-Class, standard with three rows of seats, provides a very high level of luxury and utility—at a price. The Mercedes-Benz GL450 ($67,820 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price as tested), the most expensive of the group, is powered by a 335-hp, 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 15 mpg overall on premium fuel. Its seven-speed automatic transmission sometimes hesitates and bumps into gear when downshifting. The GL has a very quiet and roomy interior. With its off-road mode, the GL easily climbed CR’s rock hill despite not having a low range. Braking performance is very good.
The R-Class is almost in a class of its own. It is not quite an SUV, not quite a minivan. Riding very much like a luxury sedan, the Mercedes-Benz R500 ($62,055 MSRP as tested) is powered by a smooth and powerful 302-hp 5.0-liter V8 that gets 15 mpg overall on premium fuel. The interior is nicely finished and has the feel of a limousine in the rear. Brakes are very good overall.
Volvo’s XC90 has always provided a comfortable, flexible interior and extensive safety features, but the under-powered engines and below-par reliability have been big disappointments. The addition of a Yamaha-built V8 engine provides better performance, refinement, and slightly better fuel economy. The XC90 ($47,685 MSRP as tested) is equipped with a 311-hp, 4.4-liter V8 that has plenty of power. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic that shifts smoothly. The XC90’s brakes perform well.
The Q7, Audi’s first SUV, is a heavy vehicle that’s powerful and luxurious. However, it has more than its share of idiosyncrasies, especially the many complex electronic controls. The third-row seat is especially cramped. The Q7 ($57,920 MSRP as tested) is powered by a 350-hp, 4.2-liter V8 that delivers very good acceleration. Its six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive. Brakes are impressive.
The Cadillac Escalade is large, luxurious, comfortable, quiet and quick. But it gets poor fuel economy, feels clumsy in turns and has a tight third-row seat. The Escalade has higher-quality trim and more power than its Chevrolet Tahoe cousin. The base Escalade ($64,905 MSRP as tested) is equipped with a 403-hp, 6.2-liter V8 that is brawny and provides quick acceleration. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive. But the Escalade gets a disappointing 13 mpg overall on regular fuel. Braking is below par, with long stopping distances on both wet and dry surfaces.