The Truth About Cars » bmw x1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:03:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » bmw x1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Hyundai Next To Enter The Small Crossover Party? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/hyundai-next-to-enter-the-small-crossover-party/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/hyundai-next-to-enter-the-small-crossover-party/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:45:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=495565 Hyundai_ix35_2.0_4WD_Premium_–_Frontansicht_(1),_29._Mai_2011,_Heiligenhaus

For all of Hyundai’s successes in Europe, it is conspicuously absent in perhaps the lone major growth segment on the continent; small crossovers. We’re not talking “small” in the sense of the Hyundai Tucson either. Think more along the lines of the Opel Mokka (our Buick Encore), the Ford EcoSport and the Dacia Duster. Even premium brands are getting into the fold, with the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA vying for market share.

It would only make sense that Hyundai would be whipping something up to compete in that space, and this was only confirmed by Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, who told Edmunds

“I think it is something that we have to look at,” Krafcik said. “We don’t have any plans. (But) it does seem like there is a lot of action in stuff below RAV4- and Tucson-sized vehicles. A new segment is emerging.”

Krafcik is certainly correct about the emergence of a segment that barely existed in the United States prior to the arrival of the Buick Encore. Sure, the Suzuki SX4 existed, but it was basically irrelevant in the broader context of the market. The Encore has had a relatively stable time on the market so far – inventories suddenly shot up this month to 72 days, but prior to that, they were firmly in the 30 day range. Sales have been in the 2,000-3,000 month ballpark, a respectable figure for a very niche vehicle.

Small cars have traditionally been less than popular in America, but when wrapped in crossover packaging, it may prove more palatable to Americans. In world markets, these cars have been astoundingly popular for different reasons. While small cars are the norm over there, Europeans tend to like the higher driving position without sacrificing the small size required for their tight urban spaces. In the BRIC countries, the SUV-aesthetics are considered a premium feature over regular small cars. Either way, it looks like we’ll be getting a few more of these products in the near future – Hyundai included.

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Editorial: Out Of Ideas: Audi Crosslane Is Another Steppenwolf, But That Probably Won’t Matter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/editorial-out-of-ideas-audi-crosslane-is-another-steppenwolf-but-that-probably-wont-matter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/editorial-out-of-ideas-audi-crosslane-is-another-steppenwolf-but-that-probably-wont-matter/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 16:07:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=462006
You’ve seen the Baldwin brothers. Canadians are very acquainted with the Sutter hockey dynasty. At their best, any of the nine Jackson siblings could almost pass for any of the other eight.

Whether it’s a blessing or a curse, I don’t know for sure. People I’ve never met – which is a large group of people – have an uncanny ability to identify me as a Cain. For all I know, my grandfather sold them a horse in the 60s. Perhaps my father taught them high school economics in the 70s. My uncle possibly sold them a Dodge Aries in the 80s. Maybe my brother ordered their parts at the Suzuki dealership in the 90s. Certain genes flow more fervently. Thus, I’m identifiable.

The Baldwins, Sutters, Jacksons, and a family you’ve never heard of in Atlantic Canada know how the Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept feels. Eleven years ago in Paris, Audi displayed the Steppenwolf. The Crosslane appears to be the same vehicle, details aside. It’s almost as though Audi designers went on vacation this summer. At the last second, Audi executives realized they had nothing new to show in Paris. One guy was brought back from a staycation in Rothenburg ob der Tauber with the temptation of time-and-a-half to rework the Steppenwolf. Eleven years later.

I didn’t attend art school. My formal car design education includes reading Tony Lewin’s How To Design Cars Like A Pro and, for a while, reading Robert Cumberford’s piece in Automobile and Stephen Bayley’s column in CarI do study car sales, however, and I know that the Steppenwolf’s descendants, the Q7 and Q5, have been major players for Audi. 33,906 Q models were sold in the U.S. last year.

Think back to the pre-Q era: the U.S. new vehicle market shrunk 24.8% from calendar year 2005 to calendar year 2011, yet Audi USA sales were 41.5% higher in 2011 than in 2005. That growth wasn’t powered by preexisting Audis, however. Excluding the Q5 and the Q7, Audi USA posted a 2011 increase of 0.7% compared with 2005. Models which were on sale in 2005 and still on sale in 2011 actually slid 16.8%. That’s something, of course, as the overall industry’s decline was much worse.

Nevertheless, the reason you see more new Audis on the road now than in 2005 is because there are more Audis to be sold. Audi’s best-seller, the A4, suffered a 28% decline between 2005 and 2011, a drop that’s worse than what the overall market endured. Audi sold 34,495 more vehicles in 2011 than in 2005. Audi’s core models didn’t make that happen. In order to fuel the volume expansion, Audi brought to market the A5, A7, R8, Q5, and Q7. Collectively, those five models found 56,706 buyers last year.

Would importing the Q3 to North America be a mistake? BMW has found plenty of Canadian success with the X1. We don’t need a Crosslane-inspired Q2, but then again, we don’t need 333-horsepower S5 Cabriolets, either. Audi wants to sell more cars. If greater market share in the 3-Series/C-Class segment can’t be won, conquering or creating a new crossover niche isn’t the worst idea coming out of a product planner’s brainstorming session.

Sadly, if the Crosslane Coupe Concept does become a production Q2, it will look just like every other Audi. Unfortunately, Audi’s successful design team, the one which brought us the wildly unique first-generation TT and then totally distinguished the R8 from the Gallardo, is looking back eleven years rather than coming up with new ideas. I grew up in Audis. My father exchanged his four times when the odometer rang up 100,000 kilometres. Yet while I’ll urge luxury car buyers to consider an Audi when they’d otherwise make the default E-Class or RX350 choice, I’m personally losing interest

Audi is most certainly not the only automaker designing cars this way. You’re not the only one routinely asking yourself, “Which BMW is that?”, or, “Is that really a new Aston Martin model?” The Crosslane’s lack of originality just happen to make it the latest egregious example of a disappointing trend.

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BMW/NedCar Now In Talks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/bmwnedcar-now-in-talks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/bmwnedcar-now-in-talks/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:50:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450584

Reuters is reporting that BMW is discussing a possible arrangement with the soon-to-be dormant NedCar plant that once built the Volvo S40 and various Mitsubishi cars.

A BMW spokesman is quoted by Reuters as saying “We’re in talks with NedCar over a third-party manufacturing contract”, though no further details were revealed. Reports in April suggested that the BMW X5, X1 and Mini Countryman were candidates for production at NedCar. The reports also seem to corroborate the idea of a third-party manufacturing contract, with VDL, a Dutch company, taking over the plant, and the government paying the salaries of workers.

VDL’s takeover is contingent on both the government paying for worker salaries, as well as a major OEM like BMW using the plant under contract. If the conditions aren’t met, then NedCar may join the long list of auto plants that are shuttered for good.

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BMW X1 xDrive35i: 0-60 In 5.3 Seconds http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/bmw-x1-xdrive35i-0-60-in-5-3-seconds/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/bmw-x1-xdrive35i-0-60-in-5-3-seconds/#comments Fri, 04 May 2012 21:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442899

Although Canucks have been enjoying the BMW X1 xDrive28i for over a year now, the launch of the X1 in the United States will see both the four-cylinder model, and a 3.0L twin-turbo I6 version, dubbed the xDrive35i. And it’s fast.

The xDrive35i will dash to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The sDrive28i (RWD only) will do it in 6.2, while the xDrive28i takes additional tenth of a second. Fuel economy is 24 city/33 highway for the RWD model, 22/30 for the AWD version, and 18/27 for the xDrive35i. No manual will be offered, just BMW’s 8-speed automatic transmission. Looks like BMW’s baby crossover isn’t so lame after all.

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BMW May Takeover Nedcar Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/bmw-may-takeover-nedcar-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/bmw-may-takeover-nedcar-plant/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:51:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442120

Could BMW be acquiring the soon-to-be-shuttered Nedcar plant, which formerly built the Volvo S40 and Mitsubishi Colt? Dutch website Nu.nl seems to think so.

Nu is reporting that Nedcar executives have given tours of the plant to their BMW counterparts, in advance of takeover talks. BMW is especially interested in building the BMW X5, BMW X1 and Mini Countryman at the plant, using the same lines that built the Colt and Mitsubishi Outlander.

BMW is having trouble keeping up with demand for both cars, especially the hot-selling X1, set to make its American debut this summer. Nedcar is capable of a maximum output of 200,000 cars per year, but only produced 23,000 in 2011. Apparently the arrangement would involve BMW renting space from Dutch industrial group VDL, rather than an outright purchase. VDL, based in Eindhoven, would take over the plant assuming BMW uses it for production, and the Dutch government would then have to pay the salaries of 1,500 workers who would be jobless in between Mitsubishi’s 2013 departure and the resumption of production at Nedcar.

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BMW X1 Finally Coming To United States In “Summer 2012″ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/bmw-x1-finally-coming-to-united-states-in-summer-2012/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/bmw-x1-finally-coming-to-united-states-in-summer-2012/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:20:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=436432

The BMW X1′s launch in the United States was “postponed indefinitely” due to high demand in Europe, but now, BMW has inadvertently confirmed a launch date for the United States.

BMW’s New York Auto Show press release states that the car “…will be available in U.S. showrooms in summer 2012.” No specs have been announced, but in Canada, the X1 is available with the 240 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder and 8-speed automatic like the F30 BMW 328i. And yes, a review is in the works, for all you Americans wondering about BMW’s baby crossover.

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