Tag: crossovers

By on September 23, 2016

2016 Mazda CX-9

Over the last two months, Mazda, that great tiny bastion of four-cylinder engines and SkyActiv and adding lightness, has sold more crossovers than cars in the United States.

Yes, that Mazda. The Mazda that had to rebadge Fords to bring its first two SUVs to market. The Mazda that, only four years ago, produced two-thirds of its U.S. sales with passenger cars.

Unfortunately, the gains now produced by Mazda’s CX crossover division aren’t enough to counteract the plunging sales of Mazda’s three remaining cars. As a result, Mazda’s U.S. market share is down to just 1.7 percent through 2016’s first eight months.

The good news for Mazda? Company bosses saw this coming. As part of a long-term strategy, Mazda is sticking to its guns, unwilling to overreact to disappointing short-term results with short-term fixes. (Read More…)

By on September 14, 2016

Mitsubishi-GT-PHEV-Concept

Mitsubishi Motors has flicked the light switch on a new concept vehicle that hints at its next-generation large SUV.

Unveiled in advance of the Paris Motor Show, the Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept’s dimensions and design elements could find their way into the next Outlander, as the automaker seeks a larger stake in the utility vehicle market.

And yikes, what a face. But that isn’t the whole package. (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 8, 2016

Lexus_UX_Concept

Lexus has leaked a photograph of its UX Concept vehicle ahead of a planned September 29 unveiling at the Paris Motor Show.

The concept displays a new design direction for the luxury automaker — and an edgy one at that — but is there a chance that the concept heralds a wholly new model? (Read More…)

By on August 24, 2016

2017 Volkswagen Teramont

Volkswagen’s long-awaited three-row SUV has appeared on a Chinese website completely free of camouflage, months ahead of its expected appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Chattanooga-built SUV, which will likely take the Teramont name, draws inspiration from the 2013 CrossBlue concept and is a big part of Volkswagen’s planned American brand revival.  (Read More…)

By on August 10, 2016

Lada XRay

Times are still tough in Russia, and your average Moscovite or St. Petersburgian doesn’t want to risk buying a new car — unless it’s a vivid, modern new Lada.

Lada, the much-maligned butt of Western jokes for decades, has reaped the rewards of luring a British ex-Volvo designer into its fold. In a vehicle market that continues to contract like a dying star, Lada’s new models are a pinpoint of light. (Read More…)

By on August 9, 2016

Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV II

There’s a sea change underway in America — the once-unstoppable passenger car now has a minority market share compared to SUVs and crossovers, according to July sales figures.

Mitsubishi, the troubled but earnest automaker desperately looking to boost its U.S. comeback, has plans to take a bigger slice of the crossover pie. A third utility vehicle is on the way, and it just stepped out from behind the curtain. (Read More…)

By on August 9, 2016

Hyundai Tucson, Image: Hyundai

Here’s something to depress our older readers: There is an entire generation of drivers that has never known a world without Lexus. Note that I did not say “Lexus and Infiniti.” The majority of American drivers probably have no idea Infiniti exists.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. I was there at the start, working for a BMW dealer, and I can tell you that many people on the retail side of the business thought that Infiniti would prove to be just as successful as Lexus. Maybe more successful. All of the momentum seemed to be on Nissan’s side: They had the near-legendary Nissan Primera as Infiniti’s entry-level car, beloved of autowriters and cognoscenti everywhere. Toyota had a Camry with frameless windows. Infiniti had the mighty, dream-crushing Q45, which was as fast as a V12 Bimmer and styled from nose to tail in an original, tasteful, fake-wood-free fashion. Toyota had a store-brand copy of the S-Class.

It didn’t turn out that way, of course. We now live in a Lexus world. The brand is so strong that other brands, like Cadillac, obtain the bulk of their sales volume selling knockoff versions of the RX350. I don’t have access to hard numbers, but I would suspect that Lexus dealers are more profitable, per unit sold, than any other franchise south of, say, Porsche.

And where is Infiniti? Nowhere. Lost. Sinking. The reasons for the brand’s failure are too numerous to consider in a single article. But I’m going to discuss what I think might be the most important reason here, because it doesn’t just apply to Nissan’s boutique brand and it continues to affect everyone from Honda to Hyundai.

(Read More…)

By on August 5, 2016

ford edge vignale

Ford doesn’t just want European SUV buyers to flock to its Edge, it wants luxury buyers, too.

The automaker is busy rolling out a refined version of its midsize CUV on the Continent, but an even plusher version is on the way, Automotive News Europe reports. With no Lincolns to sell, Ford figures it can turn one of its own into an Audi-fighter. (Read More…)

By on July 28, 2016

2016 BMW X4 M40i

U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers grew 8 percent in the first-half of 2016, a gain of more than 240,000 units compared with the January-June period of 2015.

Producing a utility vehicle which transfers buyers from the passenger car sector to the SUV/crossover side of the ledger is almost as automatic as increasing ride height, installing body cladding, and inserting an X into the nomenclature.

Or is it? (Read More…)

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