Category: SUVs

By on January 21, 2017

Just as geese fly south in the winter, metal conducts electricity, and tides rise and fall at the will of the moon, a luxury-laden SUV that rivals yachts for sticker price is guaranteed by all of science to become a premium brand’s best-seller.

After seeing the stunning success of the once-unthinkable Bentley Bentayga, what other conclusion could the folks at Mercedes-Benz draw? Carving out a stratospheric utility vehicle niche well above a brand’s high water mark means money falling from the sky. Period.

Naturally, Stuttgart wants in on the action. Like any rational competitor, the company now plans to tart up an existing SUV, slap on a Mercedes-Maybach badge, and sit back to await the arrival of the money train. Read More >

By on January 17, 2017

Hyundai Tucson, Image: Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Company and its Kia affiliate are starting off the New Year with a promise to float barges full of cash to U.S. shores.

The automaker has announced a plan to funnel $3.1 billion into its American operations over the next five years, handily killing two birds with one stone. Not only would it (potentially) placate President-elect Donald Trump’s thirst for non-Mexican automotive investment, it would also fix a thorny problem facing Hyundai’s vehicle lineup. Read More >

By on January 12, 2017

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Roof, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Update: Added detail about next-generation Jeep Wrangler roof.

A vehicle is no Bronco unless owners can remove its roof in some way. Thankfully, it looks like the next-generation SUV won’t disappoint.

According to two well-placed sources, the next Bronco won’t feature a canvas top or fiberglass cap. Instead, it will look to the Wrangler’s little brother, the Jeep Renegade, for inspiration.

Read More >

By on January 12, 2017

Ford Bronco Concept, Image: Ford

Bronco.

While the name isn’t as intertwined in Ford history as much as Mustang or F-Series, the Bronco nameplate is something Ford can’t affix to just anything.

And according to rumors we’re hearing, we don’t need to worry about Ford refreshing an Everest for North American consumption and relying on a nostalgic nameplate to carry it off the lot.

Read More >

By on January 11, 2017

Ford Everest Front 3/4, Image: Ford

Update: TTAC has received information refuting the claims below. You can read the update here.

While Ford finally confirmed the return of the Ford Ranger and Bronco at the North American International Auto Show earlier this week, the automaker remains stingy with details on the reborn models.

Ford aficionados — and Bronco lovers especially — want to know if the resurrected nameplates will offer the same magic as their dear, departed forebears. Perhaps eager to quench the public’s thirst for information, a shadowy Ford employee posted juicy — and potentially disappointing — details during a Reddit AMA. Read More >

By on January 10, 2017

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-009

After claiming that the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs would use a variant of the next-generation Grand Cherokee’s unibody platform, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has changed its mind.

Speaking at the North American International Auto Show, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the top-end SUVs will instead adopt body-on frame architecture. The change tosses the vehicles’ lofty predicted price ceiling — $140,000, according to Jeep boss Mike Manley — in the trash heap. Read More >

By on January 9, 2017

Mark Stevenson's Former 1995 Ford Bronco, Image: © 2011 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

We knew it would happen, but now it’s official.

Ford, in two very short paragraphs bookended by more spilled corporate ink over mobility and futurethink, has given me a reason to save my nickels and dimes for 2020.

The Bronco, like the Terminator, will be back.

(Oh, and the Ranger is coming back too.)

Read More >

By on January 8, 2017

2017 Jeep Wrangler boasts LED headlamps.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced funding for the last piece of the Jeep production puzzle.

The automaker will spend $1 billion to retool its Toledo and Warren assembly plants in anticipation of three new models, capping off a spending spree that made this round of production plant musical chairs possible. Read More >

By on January 4, 2017

tesla-model-s-

2016 wasn’t just a disappointing year for celebrities.

After stating that it would place between 80,000 and 90,000 vehicles in the hands of adoring customers before year’s end, Tesla failed to clear the delivery bar it had set for itself. While production numbers crossed the threshold, 2016 deliveries fell short, numbering only 76,230.

Still, the electric automaker — which has set much loftier production goals for the near future — doesn’t seem too concerned. Read More >

By on December 30, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited red

Amid all the hand wringing and social media sobbing over the celebrities we’ve lost in 2016, no one thought to mention the Jeep Compass and Patriot — strong-selling, affordable yet archaic vehicles that were loathed by the automotive press.

Well, the decade-old twins are dead. Gone. Finito. Pushing up daisies. The Toledo Blade reports that the Patriot and Compass ceased production on December 23, paving the way for a much-improved second-generation global Compass.

While the new, larger Compass prepares for its launch, the next-generation of the Jeepiest of all Jeeps — the 2018 Wrangler — remains heavily shrouded. We’ve seen details leaked about its appearance and drivetrain, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles remains silent on a production timeline. Well, always count on a union representative to spill some beans. Read More >

By on December 29, 2016

Ford Police Interceptor Utility

North America’s romantic entanglement with the sport utility vehicle is not limited to retail consumers, as police fleets in the United States and Canada have been getting in on the action for a while now. Valuing durability and flexibility above all else, law enforcement’s gradual shift toward SUVs seems to have been inevitable.

Ford said that sales of its Explorer-based Interceptor Utility surpassed its Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan in 2014, claiming that the SUV had “officially” become North America’s most popular police vehicle. While that might not be entirely accurate until current fleets retire the horde of large sedans that proved so popular in the past, the utility trend is growing and departments have plenty of praise for them — especially departments rife with oversized officers.  Read More >

By on December 21, 2016

Dave Zuckowski, Hyundai

There’s room at the top at Hyundai Motor America after the sudden firing of CEO David Zuchowski, insider sources claim.

According to Automotive News, Zuchowski, who joined the company as sales chief in 2007 before taking the top job two years ago, didn’t achieve internal sales targets. As such, he’s reportedly out the door, replaced by an interim leader.

It might be hard finding someone to replicate Hyundai’s sizzling post-recession sales performance. Read More >

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