By on February 9, 2017

2018 toyota rav4 adventure

No longer worried about being eaten by wolves, humans have developed a desire to carefully reintroduce a little excitement into their lives now and again. Sometimes, just the illusion of excitement is sufficient.

The compact crossover crowd isn’t exactly a pulse-quickening segment, so the 2018 Toyota RAV4’s Adventure trim, exposed Thursday at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, didn’t need to do backflips to stand out. The Adventure is essentially an appearance package with some tow prepping performed at the factory. However, Toyota’s current hit-or-miss styling seems to have made its mark on the RAV4, and is further improved by trim-specific upgrades both inside and out. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2017

Jaguar logo

Jaguar is giving the F-Pace a baby brother and, unfortunately, it is going to continue the company’s terrible SUV-naming trend and dub it the E-Pace — a moniker it probably should have reserved for the all-electric I-Pace concept. Sized as a compact crossover, its existence meshes with Jaguar’s current modus operandi and brand manager Steven de Ploey’s promise to expect “a family of SUVs.”

Destined to be a direct competitor for the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, the E-Pace is Britain’s attempt to get a piece of the freshly-baked pie that is the compact crossover segment.  (Read More…)

By on January 18, 2017

Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works

Mini’s largest model is about to get the most powerful engine currently available to the brand from its parent company, BMW. The company will offer up its 2018 Countryman as the latest John Cooper Works model, adorned with polarizing paint jobs and a powerful 2.0-liter turbo.

While the idea of a performance crossover might seem like an oxymoron, as well as being a bit impractical — especially considering Mini already makes a quicker and more nimble JCW Cooper with the same engine — there’s a precedent of the concept working(Read More…)

By on October 27, 2016

CX-5 Mazda Teaser

Everyone assumed that the next incarnation of the Mazda CX-5 wouldn’t make an appearance until next year, so it was a bit of a surprise to see Mazda showing off carefully lit photos of its next-generation compact crossover today.

It’s definitely not an unwelcome surprise, as this 2017 model has one hell of a good-looking profile.

(Read More…)

By on October 17, 2016

2017 Honda CR-V

The coming out party for Honda’s new CR-V has been distinctly lacking in fanfare. The compact crossover debutante hasn’t skipped the ball entirely, but she is certainly being a bit of a wallflower.

Honda’s low-key intro is intentional, as making a big to-do about the model would be a minor disaster at this juncture. It’s a lesson other automakers would be wise to heed. (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2016

By The Car Spy (Alfa Romeo 8c Spider) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will introduce its all-new Alfa Romeo SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show to a crowd of interested enthusiasts and wary prospective buyers.

It’s called the Stelvio and while the model isn’t necessarily the cause of the wariness, Fiat’s handling of the brand is. With plenty of options in the premium compact SUV segment and no shortage of sales turmoil and delays within FCA’s Italian ranks, will buyers take a chance on Alfa? (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2016

2015 Mini Countryman green

Mini continues to inflate the size of its vehicles, and the redesigned Countryman is expected to be the biggest yet.

The company’s global head, Sebastian Mackensen, tells Automotive News Europe that the new vehicle will grow in the same way as the second-generation Clubman. He also claims the next Countryman will be more SUV-like, and for a very specific reason. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2016

2015 Jeep Renegade red

There’s a problem with subcompacts. All sorts of subcompacts.

Subcompact hamburgers. Subcompact basketball players. Subcompact beds. And especially subcompact crossovers.

After years of examining subcompact cars before purchasing a compact, you know the drill. With a subcompact, you save a little bit of money, realize negligible benefits at the fuel pump, and suffer sharp reductions in useable space, not to mention typical losses of power and refinement.

The burgeoning subcompact crossover market is no different. Sure, the base price of a typical all-wheel-drive subcompact crossover is roughly 15-percent lower than the base price of its all-wheel-drive compact sibling, but a handful of subcompacts are just as thirsty as their big brethren and some see catastrophic reductions in cargo capacity.

As a result, and as a general rule, TTAC is no fan of the subcompact crossover genre.

The value simply isn’t there — and we have some math to prove it. (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2016

Volvo V40 T5 R-design Studio

Volvo is determined to make a splash in the U.S. small car market when the next-generation 40-series cars arrive, and it’s already laying the groundwork.

The Swedish automaker filed a trademark application for the V40 name on August 31, paving the way for a five-door hatch that will ride atop the company’s new compact modular architecture (CMA). (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2016

Volvo Concept 40.1 profile

Two concepts just revealed by Volvo shows where the brand’s 40 Series vehicles are headed.

The imaginatively-named Concept 40.1 and 40.2 were the centerpieces at today’s launch of Volvo’s global small car strategy. The growth-primed automaker plans to hit the premium small car market with a series of vehicles built around its Compact Modular Architecture.

Is there a Swede in your future?

(Read More…)

By on June 3, 2015

Ssangyong_Tivoli

Mahindra & Mahindra’s Ssangyong is looking to enter the U.S. market, with a planned rival to the Jeep Wrangler leading the charge.

(Read More…)

By on June 2, 2015

gmc-granite-concept-01

While General Motors dealt with trademarking issues over the Chevrolet Bolt, the automaker filed a new application last month for the GMC Granite nameplate.

(Read More…)

By on May 19, 2015

2015 BMW i3 Range Extender BMW logo

X is giving it to us again: BMW has green-lit production of the X2 crossover, slotted between the upcoming second-gen X1 and current X3.

(Read More…)

By on April 30, 2015

2016_HR_V_115

The 2016 Honda HR-V is set to hit showrooms May 15 with a beginning base price of $19,115.

(Read More…)

By on February 23, 2015

Bill Colwell Ford Dealership

Happy days are back again for automakers selling to the United States, with auto sales projected to rise through 2017 before dipping slightly through 2020.

(Read More…)

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