Peugeot Imagines A Future In Which CUVs Don't Suck
Infiniti JX Introduces The Hofmeister Curve
European Wagons Go (Out)Back To Crossover Roots
Ask The Best And Brightest: Does This Car Have A Chance In The US Market?
Over the last 24 months, the Mercedes R-Class has motivated a mere 6,469 Americans to plunk down $50k+ for a Mercedes-badged non-minivan. Now that it’s received a much-needed facelift that removes most of the slug-inspired design cues, will it sell any better? From the ash heap of history, the Chrysler Pacifica has recorded a “no” vote. What say you?
What's Wrong With This Picture: Vue To Rebadge Edition
Review: 2011 Nissan Juke
Because car enthusiasts tend to be more interested in cars themselves than the industry that creates them, critics and commentators tend to praise engineers while vilifying accountants, marketers and the countless other professions required to bring a new car to production. The assumption seems to be that engineers develop great cars which are then cheapened, blandified and otherwise screwed up by everyone else. Obviously this is an oversimplified perspective, but in certain cases it’s downright undeniable. Rarely has it been more true than with the Nissan Juke.
Ask The Best And Brightest: Is Crossover A Dirty Word?
I recently attended a fancy-pants dinner held by Chrysler PR for some Houston-area bloggers. We were wined, dined and introduced to the 2011 Grand Cherokee. While free food and journalistic integrity are a tough combo to swallow, I found something entertaining and inherently blog worthy: the castrated 2011 Ford Explorer is in the new Grand Cherokee’s gunsight. Why? One of the SUV’s most famous nameplates is now a crossover, while another is still an SUV. But neither of them like being called names.
Chart Of The Day: Mid/Large Crossovers In July
Review: 2010 Infiniti EX35
Many cars look and drive much like any number of other cars. They’re simply not special in any way. You might as well toss a coin to choose among them. The EX35 is not one of these cars. Infiniti’s compact crossover is unlike anything else in the U.S. market. And you’re either going to love it or, more likely, hate it.
Review: Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design
Not so long ago Volvo attempted to poach some customers from BMW by offering high-performance R variants of the S60 sedan and V70 wagon. Then it decided these weren’t selling well enough to justify the expense of developing them. So now we’re offered “R-Design” variants instead. These involve larger wheels, a mildly stiffened suspension, and a slew of styling tweaks. Not part of the recipe: additional horsepower. Halfway through the 2010 model year the XC60 gained such a variant. All sizzle, or is there some steak here as well?
Review: 2010 Hyundai Tucson Take Two
Conventional SUVs are all but dead, yet interest in sedans has not been surging. Instead, car-based SUVs with some promise of respectable fuel economy are currently hot. So a redesigned, four-cylinder-only Hyundai Tucson could not arrive at a better time. But it’s a crowded field. Why buy this one?
2011 Mercedes R Class: You Can Facelift Ugly (Sort Of)
Review: 2011 Kia Sorento
Within my first mile in the original Kia Sorento I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is that a live rear axle I feel?” I stopped the vehicle, peered beneath it and, sure enough, there it was. The Sorento looked like a car-based crossover, but body-on-frame construction, a two-speed transfer case, and a live rear axle dwelled beneath the Mercedes-inspired sheetmetal. The upshot: superior off-road capability, but subpar fuel economy and ride quality. Well, the Sorento has been redesigned, and as with the Sportage before it the trucky bits have been tossed in favor of a Hyundai car-based foundation. Specifically, the 2011 Kia Sorento is now a Hyundai Santa Fe beneath the surface. Now that it’s much like all of the others, why buy the Kia?
Review: Ford Flex Ecoboost Take Two
A few years ago Ford decided that its survival depended on making bold moves. They decided to stop simply doing what they’d always done. Well, at least some of the time. One bold move: replace their minivan with the world’s largest Scion xB. Another: instead of offering a V8, twin-turbocharge and direct inject a V6. Then combine the two to offer a 355-horsepower family hauler that really hauls. Intriguing. But does the Ford Flex EcoBoost make sense?
Review: 2010 Hyundai Tucson
When Hyundai introduced its first Tucson in 2004, the term crossover still hadn’t crossed over from the world of marketing into the public imagination. At the time, the term SUV still carried enough equity to convince even the ute-lets built on compact car platforms to emphasize their rugged inspiration with upright, boxy styling and spartan utility. These car-based “cute-utes” were, according to the logic of the time, for consumers who wanted in on the SUVs alleged lifestyle enhancements without the profit-swelling sticker shock and ruinous fuel bills. Today, the crossover has properly crossed over, leaving behind the pretensions of the SUV-weaning generation to assume its own identity in the automotive market. For better or for worse, the new Hyundai exemplifies this new state of the crossover, and it makes the case for itself without reference to its previous status as a cheap substitute for an SUV.