Category: New Cars

By on September 15, 2016

2017 minivans Quest Sedona Caravan Pacifica Odyssey SiennaA long ways from the 1.1 million minivans sold in 2005, U.S. sales of sliding-door people carriers are on track to rise to a nine-year high of more than 600,000 units in calendar year 2016.

Through the first eight months of 2016, year-over-year minivan volume is up 19 percent in the United States, though an industry-wide slowdown stalled the minivan sector’s expansion in August.

More than a year after a plant shutdown in Windsor, Ontario, enabled retooling for a new generation of Chrysler MPV product — and severely cut into fleet sales — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles currently owns 45 percent of the American minivan market, up from 33 percent in the first eight months of 2015.

A portion of the credit for FCA’s resurgence belongs to the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, a direct Town & Country replacement that we’re testing this week. After forming only 25 percent of Chrysler brand sales at this stage of 2015, minivans are suddenly responsible for half of all volume at the fading Pentastar brand. Read More >

By on September 14, 2016

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

A Ford dealer has leaked power figures for the upcoming 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, showing what Blue Oval engineers can do with a 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6.

According to dealer product document posted on Ford Raptor Forum, the high-output version of Ford’s upgraded twin-turbo six will make 450 horsepower and a whopping 510 pounds-feet of torque. Read More >

By on September 14, 2016

2017 Mondeo ST-Line Front

As an automotive journalist, I’m bound by blood oath to promote the manual transmission and station wagon, preferably together. And I acknowledge that arguments made in support of three-pedals and D pillars are often more emotional than practical.

Not today.

There are no fewer than four sets of logical reasons Ford should reintroduce the midsize, mainstream wagon to American life (though probably with an automatic).

Read More >

By on September 14, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

In keeping with my current life stage, a bunch of my friends own minivans. Three of my four siblings have each owned multiple minivans. I own a minivan.

And this week, the test vehicle at GCBC Towers is this FCA Canada-supplied 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, with a not-at-all limited array of options. As-tested, U.S. market pricing for this Pacifica climbs just beyond the $50K marker to $50,270.

Honda Odysseys top out below $46,000; Toyota Siennas below $49,000. FCA, however, wants the new Pacifica — which adopts the name of a failed crossover that died eight years ago — to be perceived as the automaker’s premium player. Buyers who want a value-oriented FCA van continue to have the Dodge Grand Caravan as an option, at least for the time being.

But we wonder if it’s a tenable position in the long-term; if, when FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant finishes its Grand Caravan run, the Chrysler brand can maintain the automaker’s longstanding dominance in the minivan sector. Read More >

By on September 13, 2016

2017 Honda Civic HatchbackAs 2017 Honda Civic Hatchbacks roll off ships on the Atlantic coast of North America, we’ve learned that Honda expects to send 40 percent of the company’s Swindon, England, Civic assembly plant output to North America.

In an article discussing the launch of the European-market Civic Hatchback at the upcoming Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Automotive News Europe says 20 percent of Civic Hatchback production will remain in the United Kingdom. Another 40 percent will head to the rest of Europe. ANE also says the United States “will take 40 percent of the 120,000-unit annual production, the company predicts.”

Long live the crossover? Honda’s about to put another 48,000 hatchbacks on North American roads. Read More >

By on September 12, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Golfs, Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen is heavily considering adding an all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf hatchback to its North American lineup, TTAC learned during the media launch for the all-new Volkswagen Alltrack, itself an all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Dr. Hendrik Muth, vice-president of product marketing and strategy, explained the addition of 4Motion production to Volkswagen’s Puebla manufacturing facility in Mexico has opened up more possibilities, including the addition of all-wheel drive to the standard Golf hatchback.

Read More >

By on September 12, 2016

VLF Force 1

Short answer: it’s anyone’s guess.

Michigan-based specialty car company VLF Automotive, maker of heavily modified versions of (mostly) existing vehicles, plans to slap a unique bodystyle on a well-known mass-produced model, The Detroit Bureau reports.

The news comes as VLF readies a Corvette-powered, restyled Fisker Karma for sale, alongside a 700-horsepower Mustang and rebodied Dodge Viper. Read More >

By on September 10, 2016

2017 Nissan Sentra Turbo

Nissan is filling in all the unfilled niches today.

The automaker unveiled a turbocharged variant of the sensible and unexciting Sentra today at the Miami International Auto Show, promising a performance version of a sedan known mostly for its value and grocery capacity.

In doing so, Nissan implies that a hotter NISMO version is around the corner, while closing the casket lid on the IDx concept once and for all. Read More >

By on September 10, 2016

2017 Nissan Rogue SL

The crossover market isn’t just hot — it’s radiating the brilliant, scorching intensity of a million suns.

Naturally, any automaker with the means to do so would prefer to offer a lineup as diverse as possible, allowing even greater numbers of utility-hungry buyers to fall into its arms. Nissan looked around, saw some spare cash, then looked over at the Toyota RAV4, America’s best-selling compact crossover, with its regular and hybrid variants.

“Gotta get us a hybrid Rogue,” Nissan execs thought. Read More >

By on September 9, 2016

2017 Porsche Panamera 4 e-hybrid

With Porsche’s four-door sedan looking less and less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Paris Motor Show will see Porsche unveil the fourth model in the Panamera line: a plug-in E-Hybrid with all-wheel drive and an electric range of 31 miles (that’s 50 kilometres for the rest of us).

More than just a luxury sportscar with green overtones, Porsche’s new plug-in packs a grab-bag of technology that other Volkswagen Group brands will want to get their hands on.

Read More >

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