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Gentle Giants

Compact Utility Vehicles: More style. Less consumption



The Porsche Macan has 600 fewer pounds than its brother Cayenne, making it both fast and nimbe.

“Small SUV” is no longer an oxymoron. In fact, it’s a whole new auto segment—the compact utility vehicle, or CUV—and drivers are snapping them up. Sure, behemoths still roam the roads: the Escalade, Navigator, QX80, GL 550, and Volvo’s new XC90. But CUVs combine the versatility of their SUV siblings with the virtues of the car platforms on which most are based—great fuel economy and handling. Plus, parking’s a snap when you’re not docking a yacht.

We sampled some of the latest offerings:

Nissan recently introduced all-new versions of their compact Rogue and mid-size Murano. Along with attractive exteriors and stylish interiors, they’re roomier and ergonomically friendlier than earlier models. The Murano’s design and materials seemingly belong to a more upscale model. The best part, though, is how these two US-built Nissans drive: like comparably sized sedans, with smooth power delivery and good handling on all surfaces. Priced from $23,000 for the Rogue and $29,500 for the Murano.

Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln MKC TV commercials were hilariously bad. But the vehicle itself is nothing to laugh at. Based on the best-selling, and great driving, Ford Escape, this luxury CUV is as handsome as its spokesman. The interior, with its top-shelf fit and finish, is worthy of the Lincoln brand. Options abound, but the hands-free rear lift gate is a must-have. Hands full? Just swipe your foot under the rear bumper and—voilá. The Lincoln MKC starts at $33,100

With the compact Q3 and mid-size Q5, Audi has two hits on its hands. The quattro drivetrain and perfect interior layout are everything you expect in an Audi. Both drive like Audi cars, which is to say, darn near perfect. Crave a bit more “sport” in your CUV? The SQ5 is your answer. As with all Audi “S” models, its interior is designed for the spirited driver. A flat-bottom, thick-rimmed steering wheel, well-bolstered seats and paddle shifters (controlling Audi’s sweet DSG dual clutch automatic transmission) invite you to use all 354 hp of the supercharged V6 engine. Think of it as a high-performance German sports sedan with a supersize trunk. Prices start at $32,500 for the Q3, $39,300 for the Q5 and $52,700 for the SQ5.

In 2002, Porsche rocked the enthusiast world when it introduced the Cayenne SUV. Now they’ve done it again, with the new, smaller Macan CUV. Available in S and Turbo variants (actually, both engines are turbocharged), the Macan feels every bit a Porsche. The sculpted exterior improves on the Cayenne’s proportions. And with 600 fewer pounds to haul around, the Macan feels incredibly nimble. How nimble? I took the 400-hp Turbo to NY’s Monticello Motor Club to see how it would stack up against true sports cars. Let’s just say there were a few drivers on the track who were shocked to be passed by a CUV. Macan prices start at $52,600.

Land Rover is best known for its luxurious, full-size Range Rover SUVs, offering the ultimate go-anywhere capability. In 2011 they boldly introduced the smaller, aggressively styled Evoque CUV. The Evoque, available with two or four doors, is still among my favorites in the category—and is in my opinion the best looking. It’s fun on the road, yet retains the off-road prowess of its big brothers. Land Rover has now expanded the line with the surprisingly affordable and infinitely capable new Discovery Sport.

The “Disco” is less visually extroverted than the Evoque, but offers more room inside and equal off-road skills. Both smaller Land Rovers come with a strong, fuel-efficient 2.0 liter turbo engine, along with paddle shifters for, well, drivers like me. Opt for the ginormous panoramic roof and your passengers can spend evening drives star-gazing. Evoque from $41,100 and Discovery Sport from $37,000.

With more than 20 versions of what they call Sport Activity Vehicles, BMW is trying to fill every SUV niche. Some efforts are more successful than others. My two favorites: The X3 xDrive35i is the 3-series sedan of CUVs, with excellent handling, performance, comfort and a spacious interior. If you have a crazy streak, here’s your ride: the X5M. This M version of the mid-size X5 packs a ferocious 567-hp TwinPower Turbo V8, good for 0-60 in just 4 seconds. With monster brakes and sticky tires, you’ll have no excuse for getting little Johnny to the ballgame late. The X3 starts at $38,600, X5 from $53,900 and the X5M from $98,700.

The new Lexus NX is smaller than the best-selling RX but is arguably the better vehicle—and with its aggressive styling is definitely better-looking. It’s available in 200t, 200t F Sport (performance) and 300h (hybrid) versions. The F Sport is the best looking, especially in lighter colors, with a mean, blacked-out front grill that complements the sharp creases and squinty headlights. Inside, you’ll find all the luxury and features that have made Lexus so successful against the Euro competition. Power delivery is smooth, and the driving experience is more engaging than the softer RX. NX prices start at $34,500. 

Jeep is best known for the go-anywhere Wrangler. The Cherokee is a new take on a revered Jeep model. Its bold, attractive exterior is wrapped around a great chassis. The little Renegade is bulldog cute, yet can go places most bigger CUVs can’t. The Cherokee starts at $23,100 while the Renegade has a base of only $18,000. 

Buick’s Encore CUV is like a tall hatchback. It’s small, fun to drive, fits four comfortably and features a gorgeous interior with available 4G WiFi. The best part? It starts at just $24,000. 

If you need more space, consider Infiniti’s curvaceous QX60. The beautiful interior is well-equipped with seating for seven and the smooth ride of a luxury sedan. With a lower ride height than most large SUVs, getting in and out is a snap. Starting at $42,400.

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September 2018

The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Giant Pumpkin Growers Club will host the 6th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm in Ballard Park,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

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Immerse yourself in Spinning a Yarn, a dynamic movement experience created in collaboration between exhibiting artist Analia Segal and artist and performer David Thomson. Performing in a sculpted...

Cost: $25; $20 members

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 8pm Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity MEMBER PRE-SALE BEGINS TUESDAY, JUNE 5 @ 10AM Members please call the box office for tickets 203.438.5795 PUBLIC...

Cost: $65

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

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Somers Women's Club, a not-for-profit community service organization, will hold its major fundraiser on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Reis Park on Route 139 in Somers. There will be a huge sale...

Cost: 0

Where:
Reis Park
182 Primrose St
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Somers Women's Club
Contact Name: Jodi Hu
Website »

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

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Don’t miss this chance to see one of the last living Blues legends when he returns to The Playhouse stage! 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Buddy Guy’s incredible career...

Cost: $125

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

This presentation, led by Martin House member Bryan Stern, will help small business owners understand key tax law changes that may affect their 2018 business tax returns so that they can plan ahead...

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

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Wednesdays, September 26 – November 7, 2018  (no class on Halloween) 6:30-8:30pm Adam Broderick Whole New You Series Partially underwritten by Reliance Merchant Services This...

Cost: 425

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Cohen and Wolf,  P.C. Movie Series In one of moviedom’s most influential roles, James Dean is Jim, the new kid in town whose loneliness, frustration and anger mirrored those of...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

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In her new book, HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech Not Censorship, Nadine Strossen argues that expanding free speech, not limiting it, is the solution for changing the hearts and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center
Telephone: 203-438-2282
Contact Name: Lesley Lambton
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh & Gwilym Simcock Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine & Jazz Series Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for an Italian wine tasting by Pera Wines and an...

Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

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On Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring German beer from Paulaner USA, Oktoberfest at the Bruce...

Cost: $30 for Bruce Museum members, $40 non-members

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Opening Act: Rock Academy Band Friday, September 28, 2018 – Gala & Show Only tickets available Gala at 5:30pm (includes open bar, dinner, silent auction) Live Auction &...

Cost: Gala Tickets: $250 Orchestra Seating & Gala Show Only Tickets: $125 Mezzanine &

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Aldrich Undercover, a “secret” art exhibition and sale, returns for one night only to the Museum’s Leir Gallery after a six-year hiatus. Hundreds of original artworks will be on...

Cost: $150 - $500

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 8pm Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity Partially underwritten by Lisa & Michael Shinall This September, Beth Hart returns to the United States for...

Cost: $65

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Ridgefield Playhouse
Website »

More information

Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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