Browsing Archive February, 2016

Scania Delivers 253 Trucks To Supermarket Chain

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Scania has completed the delivery of 253 trucks to the UK, ASDA Supermarket chain after once again being selected as the supermarket retailer’s preferred truck supplier. ASDA is the second-largest food retailer in the UK with 620 locations.

The trucks are for the company’s base, chilled and petroleum distribution fleets, with the base and chilled fleets vehicles entering service in December of last year and the petroleum vehicles following on last month.

The bulk of the order comprises Scania G-series sleeper cab models featuring Scania’s 410 horsepower Euro 6 SCR-only engine. All trucks will be maintained by the Scania UK network, which also provides a full service for most of ASDA’s trailer fleet.

“Scania won the business in the face of strong competition, with fuel performance and services being key factors underpinning our decision,” comments Peter Hey, ASDA’s Procurement Manager – National Fleet.

“We have also enjoyed a long relationship with Scania – 23 years and counting – and the service they provide around the country, coordinating and providing a wide range of services supporting our cost effectiveness and our operator licensing compliance, is incredibly important to our business. This gives us peace of mind so we can concentrate on our core business; delivering the goods and serving our customers well.”

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VW Trucks Chief Signals Expansion Strategy

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In the wake of the massive global emissions scandal Volkswagen has admitted it is exploring options for growth in its heavy-truck division that could include acquisitions and an initial public offering (IPO). VW global trucks boss Andreas Renschler said that the U.S. and China, are among key areas for possible expansion.

The USA is the only major market where VW heavy trucks have no significant presence, the strategy could see VW challenge global industry leaders Daimler and Volvo as well as smaller rivals in emerging markets.

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Renschler admitted that as trucks require quite different specifications in individual regions, any expansion in the U.S. would probably involve an acquisition. The VW trucks boss declined to comment on specific plans or targets.

“We’re keeping all options open on our way to becoming a global trucks leader,” Renschler said in the interview in Munich.

“We want to be industry leaders in terms of profitability, customer-oriented innovations and global presence, not necessarily in terms of sales volume.”

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Nissan reveals standard Titan

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Now that the all-new flagship XD model of Nissan’s reimagined Titan family of pickups is on dealer lots, Nissan is turning its attention to the upcoming “standard” (half-ton) version of Titan at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

“There’s a strong family resemblance between Titan XD and the standard Titan, with their shared rugged exterior style,” said Rich Miller, Director of Product Planning for Trucks, SUVs and Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. and Chief Product Specialist for Titan and Titan XD. “Titan will compete in the heart of the full-size pickup segment – the half-ton – while the Titan XD provides a unique solution for customers by bridging the cost and capability gap between traditional half-ton and full heavy-duty pickups. Together Titan and Titan XD will cover nearly 85 percent of the total full-size truck market.”

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Nissan Titan is built on a separate chassis from Titan XD, and is approximately 228.1 inches long (14.7 inches less than XD) and 79.5 inches wide (same as XD), with the cab size shared between the two vehicles. “The Titan and Titan XD do not share any common chassis components,” added Miller. “Even the lug nuts are different.”

Nissan Titan will be available in 4×2 or 4×4 drive configurations with three cabin configurations – Crew Cab, King Cab and Single cab – and three bed lengths – 5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet. Similar to Titan XD, Titan will be available in five trim levels – S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve.

The Nissan Titan will be powered by Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine capable of 390 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available.

The Nissan Titan will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi with the 5.6-liter V8 gasoline assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. The truck goes on sale in summer 2016.

 

 

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Dodge Ram 1500 Rebel by GeigerCars.de

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The new Dodge Ram 1500 Rebel lives up to its name as an antidote to the run-of-the-mill SUV establishment. Now available from US car specialists GeigerCars.de, the 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 Rebel announces its XXL presence in Europe.

The rugged appearance of the Rebel leaves you in no doubt that this 5.82 metre long crew cab pickup was born for hard use. This impression is reinforced after GeigerCars.de take the luxuriously appointed US heavyweight to the next level of tough with some choice in-house components.

First off, US car legend Karl Geiger and his team equip the Rebel with a set of aggressively treaded 35×12.5R20 off-road tyres mounted on 9.0×20-inch alloy wheels. Spacers increase the overall track width by 36 mm for enhanced stability, and an even more purposeful stance.

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Next, GeigerCars.de reinforce the mud-plugging theme with their off-road suspension kit, which increases clearance between the wheel/tyre combinations and the bolted wide wheel arch flares by 100 mm, enabling the Rebel to tackle steep ascents, deep water and mud. Importantly, the height adjustment feature of the factory SER air suspension is unaffected by this conversion.

Rounding off the Geiger Rebel’s outlaw appearance is an LED auxiliary light bar on the roof, and a rollover bar mounted on the cargo bed aft of the passenger cab.

Powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with 401 hp, 548 Nm of torque and an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Dodge Ram 1500 Rebel is available from GeigerCars.de starting at 56,900 euros.

In addition to engine tuning conversions for the enthusiast, GeigerCars.de also offer an LPG Autogas system that helps to take the sting out of long-term running costs.

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Specifications, Dodge Ram 1500 Rebel

Engine: V8 petrol engine Displacement: 5,700 cc Power: 401 hp (295 kW) @ 5.600 rpm Torque: 548 Nm @ 4.000 rpm Transmission: 8-speed automatic

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Toyota confirms European production of C-HR concept

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Ahead of the presentation of the highly anticipated production version of the C-HR concept at the Geneva Motor Show in early March, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) shared today its production plans for the model in Europe. The vehicle will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Turkey (TMMT) in Sakarya, Turkey, in what marks the first time a hybrid-powered vehicle will be produced in the country. This will be TME’s third plant to produce hybrid vehicles in the Europe region, after Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK in Burnaston, Derbyshire (Auris Hybrid and Auris Touring Sport Hybrid) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (Yaris Hybrid).

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TME also announced that the hybrid engine for the crossover is to be produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK’s engine plant in Deeside, Wales.

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The production vehicle based on the C-HR concept will be revealed on March 1st at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be based on Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA). The vehicle will become the eighth model currently produced by Toyota in Europe for the European market, along with Avensis, Auris, Yaris, AYGO, Camry, Corolla and Verso. Local production-to-sales ratio is expected to rise beyond the 71% achieved in 2015, further anchoring Toyota’s operations in Europe, close to its customers.

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Peugeot unveils Traveller i-Lab in Geneva

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The Peugeot Traveller i-Lab VIP 3.0 Shuttle concept is being unveiled at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show and presents a vision of the future for innovative and holistic business customer transportation.

Connectivity, design and comfort for the driver and passengers alike are at the heart of the Peugeot Traveller‘s design philosophy, providing new, distinctive features that set the VIP shuttle apart from the brand’s SUV and car model range.

Connectivity inside the Peugeot Traveller i-Lab provides a unique and streamlined experience. For on-board guests, travelling becomes an inspiring journey, conducive for business, with four individual seats arranged opposite one another around a giant 32″ touch-screen tablet.

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The 32″ giant tablet is supported by an arch pivot to seamlessly move the screen within the cabin. Sliding and reclining, it can be used in two ways to get the job done either as an individual tablet, or a tablet split into four screens for just as many users. Developed in partnership with Samsung, the Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth®, charging docks, and virtual reality headset caters for all communication needs to complete the connected journey experience.

“The Peugeot Traveller i-Lab makes everything so easy and streamlined. The on-board technology is cutting edge transforming everyday life. The arch supporting the touch tablet embodies this versatility by fostering and encouraging exchanges between passengers while on the move.” Alessandro Riga, Peugeot Traveller i-Lab Interior Designer.

For the driver, the Peugeot Traveller i-Lab’s technological equipment guarantees the satisfaction of its passengers with journeys made in complete safety with automatic road sign recognition and driver inattention monitoring devices.

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The Peugeot Traveller i-Lab represents the brand’s vision of the future for a VIP shuttle. Through connectivity, uses are multiplied and transform everyday life.

The first step towards this future has been taken with the launch of the new generation of connected 3D navigation on the Peugeot Traveller i-Lab. The new generation of PEUGEOT connected 3D navigation informs the driver in real time and in a contextualised way to optimise journeys according to traffic conditions and the passenger’s agenda.

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Foton’s Ultra-Fast EV Charging Station Goes Live

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Equipped with Microvast’s ultra-fast charging battery, a Foton electric bus stops by a charging point after a few loops of operation. Trained staff plug in the charger and within 10-15 minutes the electric bus’s battery is refilled to maximum operating capacity and ready to go again. This now happens everyday in many bus terminals across metropolitan Beijing with the deployment of this cutting edge charging technology. Among all the ultra-fast charging stations, the newly opened charging station in Xiaoying Public Transit Bus Terminal is the largest.

Located in Chaoyang district, Beijing, built by China State Grid, this new charging complex covers an area of 26,500 m2 with its structures covering 1,575m2. Designed to satisfy the growing charging demand especially from the increase of ultra-fast charging electric buses departing from this terminal, this complex provides the infrastructure to charge 30 buses at the same time.

Originally a natural gas hybrid bus fleet, Beijing transit route 13 with Foton buses, like ten plus other major city bus routes departed from Xiaoying Terminal, now completely converted to ultra-fast charging full electric bus fleet. They join hundreds of other E-buses in Beijing already deployed using the same battery technology from Microvast.

After conversion to ultra-fast charging technology, the Route 13 fleet has improved operating efficiency while reducing Beijing’s GHG emissions. Each new bus takes only 10-15 minutes to complete recharging the battery. Charging each bus takes place 2-3 times per day, during driver breaks, with several route loops between each charge.

Compared to earlier battery swapping system adopted by Beijing to experiment on improving Slow-charge Battery E-bus’s operating efficiency and reduce down-time, the ultra-fast charging “battery + charger” system needs neither the investment and large storage space footprint for extra batteries, nor high cost complex with automated robotic battery pack swapping infrastructure, bringing obvious advantages to customers and utility companies with more rapid ROI.

With future facility and charging point expansions already planned out for 2016-2020, to accommodate more routes converting to fast charge EV, Xiaoying Terminal Charge station will play a greater role in the development of clean energy public transit system for Beijing in the near future.

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Ranger drives Ford sales in January

Photo 1- Ranger WildTrak

Photo 1- Ranger WildTrak

Ford today announced January retail sales of 792 units in Malaysia driven by the Ranger pickup truck, which contributed sales of 687 units.

“Our momentum continues as demand for the Ranger grows across the country,” said David Westerman, managing director, Malaysia and Asia Pacific Emerging Markets, Ford Motor Company. “Malaysian consumers continue to respond to the way the new Ranger combines class-leading toughness and capability with a level of refinement normally reserved for premium passenger cars.”

The Ranger is equipped with a range of active and passive safety features that include up to six airbags and driver assistance technologies like Lane Keeping Aid and Adaptive Cruise Control. Ford’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and ISOFIX child safety mounts also come standard, making Ranger the only pickup truck in Malaysia to offer these two important safety features across all variants.

The new Ranger’s safety leadership was recently recognized by the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP), which awarded a maximum 5-star safety rating, with the highest Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) score of any pickup truck tested.

Ford also said that it expects sales to be given a boost over the next few months, as the company plans the Malaysia launch of several new vehicles, including the iconic Mustang, new Focus, all-new Everest SUV, and new S-MaX MPV.

 

 

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Tata launches new Signa range of commercial vehicles

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Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer today launched its new Signa range of Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicles, at the SIAM Auto Expo 2016. Offered in various configurations, the Signa range of commercial vehicles is engineered & built to offer Medium & Heavy commercial vehicle buyers, a newly designed cabin, with proven Tata Motors aggregates, for a world-class trucking experience. On display at the Auto Expo 2016, Tata Motors showcased three variants from the SIGNA range – the SIGNA 4923.S tractor, the SIGNA 3118.T multi-axle truck and the Signa 2518.K tipper.

With its smartly designed cabin space, improved ergonomics and NVH levels, the Signa range of cabins are built to offer a superior in-cab experience, enabling drivers to operate fatigue free over long hauls, which in turn offers significant improvement in productivity. With an inbuilt telematics system, by Tata Fleetman, the new Signa range empowers fleet operator with a more connected experience, to better manage their transport business through optimum driver, vehicle and fuel management.

Tata Motors also unveiled the Ultra 1518, an all-new production ready variant from Tata Motors Ultra range of Intermediate & Light commercial vehicles. With a fully-built extended Sleeper cabin, the Ultra 1518 is designed to enhance operational efficiencies for a commercial vehicle operator, with faster turnaround. Equipped with three seats and a sleeper bed, the Tata Ultra 1518 will ensure fatigue free commercial vehicle operations, thereby multiplying productivity, with the vehicle constantly on the move, ensuring quicker returns on investment.

The Tata Signa 4923.S, is a tractor offering from Tata Motors new Signa range of commercial vehicles. With a Gross Combination Weight (GCW) of 49000 Kgs, when coupled with suitable trailers, the Tata Signa 4923.S proven and reliable Cummins ISBe 5.9 Common Rail engine, delivers power of 230 PS and a torque of 850Nm, with best-in-class Fuel Efficiency and is based on proven powertrain and aggregates, like the G1150 Gearbox and RA109SRT rear axle. Empowering customers with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership, the Tata Signa 4923.S is also offered with multiple fully-built load body options, making the vehicle a preferred choice for transporters for various applications.

The Tata Signa 3118.T on the other hand, is an MAV truck from Tata Motors new Signa range of commercial vehicles, with both steerable and Lift Axle options. With a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 31 ton, the Signa 3118.T is powered by a world-class Tata Cummins B5.9 L- 6 cylinder engine, with an optimum combination of 180 PS and flat torque of 675 Nm at lowest rpm range, delivering best-in-class fuel efficiency and highest engine life. Coupled with a strong and sturdy chassis and vehicle aggregates, the Signa 3118.T is most suitable for all applications, also providing customers with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

And then, we have the Tata SIGNA 2518.K, which is a Construction and Mining offering from Tata Motors new SIGNA range of commercial vehicles. With a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 25 ton, the Tata SIGNA 2518.K is powered by a world-class Tata Cummins B5.9 L- 6 cylinder engine, with an optimum combination of 180 PS and flat torque of 675 Nm at lowest RPM range, delivering best-in-class fuel efficiency and highest engine life. With a reliable and proven power train, the new Tata SIGNA 2518.K offers its customers better productivity and lowest cost of operations, for a construction vehicle. Multiple options of aggregates combinations and load bodies making the Tata SIGNA 2518.K a versatile workhorse for various applications.

After the world-class range of Prima trucks, Tata Motors introduced another global standard of trucks in the Intermediate & Light commercial vehicle segment – the Tata ULTRA range. Designed to be stylish and futuristic, with smart utility features, the Tata ULTRA was engineered keeping in mind, changing customer needs and technology and based on an extensive feedback from customers and drivers, to better understand their expectations of an ILCV truck. Launched in 2014, the ULTRA range was introduced to fast track a consumer’s business growth and deliver a reliable, safe and comfortable trucking experience.

Being showcased at the Auto Expo 2016, the Tata ULTRA 1518 is based on a combination of world-class performance parameters, with enhanced levels of durability and reliability of the ULTRA platform, enabling Tata Motors to set new benchmarks in the Intermediate commercial vehicles space. A combination of driver comfort, high load carrying-capacity and safety, along with best life-cycle cost, makes this new offering from Tata Motors, versatile for various applications.

With a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 15.7 ton and a payload of 9.7 tons, the ULTRA 1518 boasts a new 5 liter, 4 cylinder engine, with a power range of 180- 210 PS and a torque range of 590-805 NM, offering best-in-class fuel efficiency.

The ULTRA 1518 is comfortable. Furnished with a spacious cabin, equipped with a gear knob in the dash board and a fully trimmed power steering, seating three, along with a bed, ensures a safe and comfortable working design for the driver. Additionally the Tata ULTRA’s 1518 adjustable and collapsible steering column and braking system, that’s full air type with ABS, adds to the safety of the vehicle. The vehicles parabolic suspension system further adds to the comfort and sturdiness.

Designed to be fitted with HVAC and telematics, will further make the Tata ULTRA 1518 – Sleeper, a fundamentally more reliable asset, offering efficient solutions for optimum business profitability.

 

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Which Compact SUV Should You Buy This Year?

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For those desiring a SUV, the reasons for purchasing seem to include a high driving position to prevent road bullying, being able to look further ahead in thick traffic, traversing monsoon floods in the city and having big tires to climb over Klang Valley curbs and potholes when needed. One must understand that the SUV started its life as a car with off road technology. With runaway sales success, almost every car manufacturer has a SUV in their stable using a car platform with 4 wheel drive (4WD) technology built underneath.

2016 has just come and many Malaysians are ready to spend on a new vehicle……primarily a new compact SUV, but there are so many options in the market today and we are here to offer some advice. From the following paragraphs below, many of you reading will end up saying to yourself, ‘hmm this advice seems reasonable, but I think I will buy what I like and that is that’. Then a year later or so regret will settle in when disappointing after sales, electronic gremlins and questionable build quality creeps into the ownership experience and you email me asking for help to ‘sort out’ the dealer. Well………all I can say, my help will continue where possible and when you need it, but with certain brands it is impossible to ‘push’ them to sort problems out as they just fail to understand good after sales and customer care.

So….the compact SUV advice. The current market favourite, the Honda HR-V needs no introduction and needs no 2 cents of mine as it continues to outsell every segment rival. There are some rivals that you should consider if you do not want to wait in line (estimated waiting period is between 4-5 months at the time if writing this article) for a 1.8-liter HR-V which is priced from RM99,800.00 to RM118,800.00.

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Why not look at the Renault Captur. This turbocharged 1.2-liter compact SUV is fully imported and comes in funky colours and interior trim. It’s fun, lively and inspiring. Priced at RM118,000.00 this fully imported French product may only have a 120bhp engine but it never feels breathless or needy when pushed on the highway.

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City driving is easy and its company dimensions gives easy tight city driving and parking.

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Toyota and Nissan sadly does not have a product on offer in this segment for Malaysia and so the next offering is the just arrived SKYACTIV powered Mazda CX-3 2-liter. Fully imported from Japan and with very high equipment in the cabin and under the shiny stylish exterior, the CX-3 sells for RM131,158.30.  Yes, you might think why is this price very close to the Mazda CX-5 SUV which is larger and sells for just RM125,000.00? Reason is simple, the CX-5 is locally assembled which means lower import taxes and the CX-5 comes with less equipment like the heads-up display on the CX-3.

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Another Japanese favourite is the Subaru XV. Already a hot seller the past 2 years, now comes a mid-life face-lift with added equipment and sharper looks. It is locally assembled and with symmetrical all-wheel drive and the infamous 2-liter boxer engine it sells for RM122,800.00. A firm favourite with outdoor lovers and fun seekers, the ‘go anywhere’ attitude of the XV has many buyers wanting one and since its locally assembled its pricing seems rather tempting.

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Last but not forgotten is the Ford EcoSport. A product of Ford Brazil with an Ecoboost 1.5-liter engine inside which gives the compact yet surprisingly spacious SUV sensible performance. Priced at RM92,859.11 and RM103,862.27 it comes equipped with good safety features and class best in car connectivity.

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So, the options have been presented and now comes the decision making time. For the city dweller that just wants common sense motoring and good resale values in 5 years’ time, the Honda HR-V is the firm favourite.  For a single person looking for a stylish funky city vehicle, the Captur or the Mazda CX-3 takes our attention. The family man with outdoor hobbies that include the children and the wife on occasion, the Subaru XV cannot be missed. For women who want a simple practical high riding vehicle that sips little fuel in the city and is easy to park in tight shopping areas with plenty of space for hypermarket shopping, the Ford Ecosport come to mind.

Now we have not mentioned a few other options in the segment the reasons are simple, they are starting to look aged/or been in the market too long and or they have questionable after sales and maintenance costs. The Mitsubishi ASX, a once popular offering has been in the market too long already and a replacement is due soon. However a recent facelift with added equipment like a full length sunroof, 4×4 on demand, leather seats, daytime running lights, paddle gear-shifters and a lower asking price of RM104,791.00 has seen recent brick sales. The RM118,000.00 two wheel drive Kia Sportage which still looks rather fresh despite its age and technology has seen its asking price drop quite a bit, but this again is an old model and a replacement is around the corner. Then there is the RM153,888.00 Peugeot 3008 which has disappointing after sales and high depreciation however hefty discounts are being offered to clear stocks on this compact SUV.

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The final decision is of course yours and it is best decided after test driving all the above in a single day to keep all the test drive feelings fresh in your mind when you sit down for dinner at the end of the test drive day and make that final decision that you will need to live with all the months of monthly instalment payments.

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Happy SUV shopping and contact me at usedcarreview@gmail.com if you have any questions or need more help in finding the right vehicle for your budget and your family.

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