Tag: crossovers

By on April 17, 2019

Hyundai

Hyundai’s new Venue is not a large vehicle. At 158.9 inches in length, the sub-subcompact crossover is 5.1 inches shorter than the already petite Kona and 5.9 inches shorter than the Elantra GT. Despite its modest length, the upcoming 2020 Venue, pegged as a cheaper entry point to the Hyundai crossover lineup, doesn’t make many concessions in terms of interior room.

If you’re a hip, urban entrepreneur, Hyundai wants to get you into this front-drive-only Venue. C’mon, you had no intention of taking this thing off-road. (Read More…)

By on April 17, 2019

While Lincoln’s compact MKC crossover sold reliably following its mid-2014 introduction, the still-vulnerable brand couldn’t let it grow stale in a hotly competitive segment. Thanks to shrinking sedan sales, Lincoln took a sales hit in 2018 as it awaited salvation in the form of the midsize, rear-drive Aviator — a vehicle designed to add heavily to the profits generated by the top-flight Navigator.

In a market like this, utility vehicles need to pull more than just their own weight. With that in mind, after making the decision to kill off the confusing MK(?) naming strategy, Lincoln set about turning the MKC into a stronger, more compelling entry in the compact premium class.

Enter the Corsair. (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2019

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

“Ask the man who owns one,” Packard once implored readers from the glossy depths of various Depression-era magazines. While clearly not interested in courting the female buyer (I hope they’re dragged on Twitter for this insensitive tagline), Packard’s core message still holds up today.

No one loves poo-pooing other people’s buying decisions quite like auto journos, but each and every buyer has their own reasons for choosing the way they did. Shocking though it may be to some, buyers often walk (okay, drive) away quite pleased with their purchase — even with crossovers plucked from a homogenous pool of now limitless depth.

And, barring quality headaches down the road, their feelings might stay that way, too.

While I never held any deep dislike for Lexus’ compact NX, aside from the fact that its nose is undoubtedly the most prominent — and unprotected — in the industry, desire or even “interest” were never needles that budged off the baseline. What could change this perception? Driving one. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2019

General Motors’ best-selling Buick, the subcompact Encore, has a new face and body — and also a sibling. Both vehicles, each carrying the Encore name, saw the light of day Monday at Auto Shanghai, but only one will grace dealerships on this side of the Pacific. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2019

Image: Daimler AG

Not everyone’s attention is on New York City this week. Half a world away, Auto Shanghai presents another stage for automakers to show off their upcoming models.

For Mercedes-Benz, Shanghai serves as the venue for a new concept that appears almost ready to enter production: the Concept GLB. A quick perusal of MB’s naming strategy points to this vehicle slotting between the entry-level GLC crossover and the popular GLC. Looking at its measurements, it seems the GLB sits just a few microns below its larger sibling, with room for more passengers, to boot. (Read More…)

By on April 9, 2019

Image: Hyundai

Hyundai hopes the answer to that question, for a good number of young or otherwise cash-strapped buyers, is “yes.”

As it performs a slow leak of its upcoming small Venue crossover ahead of the New York Auto Show, the Korean automaker wants would-be buyers to know the subcompact Kona won’t be the cheapest Hyundai crossover for long. Nor the smallest.

But how small is too small for America? (Read More…)

By on April 9, 2019

Image: Toyota

Not content with releasing a high contrast, nearly blacked-out photo or rendering of its upcoming fourth-generation Highlander, Toyota decided to go all artsy-fartsy. In place of a single image, Toyota commissioned an artist to create a 3D art installation made up of 200 individual panels.

Buyers, however, will be more interested in the actual, physical vehicle, which makes its debut on April 17th at the New York Auto Show. A sales stud, Toyota’s three-row midsizer promises a new platform and slightly sexier flanks. (Read More…)

By on April 3, 2019

While Seat works on bringing Volkswagen Group’s most-affordable EVs to market, the company’s namesake has devised a concept vehicle aimed the swelling electrified crossover segment. Adhering to the I.D. sub-brand’s absolutely terrible naming scheme, the “Roomzz” is another semi-autonomous concept aimed at generating excitement at automotive trade shows — specifically, Auto Shanghai.

However, it would be wrong to discount it entirely. While Volkswagen’s I.D. sub-brand hasn’t started selling cars, the scope of its hypothetical lineup rivals some established automotive brands. Now it’s adding a sizable e-crossover to the mix, which is something every automaker seems to want these days.  (Read More…)

By on April 3, 2019

Image: Ford

We subjected you to yet another mention of Ford’s upcoming electric crossover this morning, but there’s now a new tidbit of information to share about the green machine that’s due out in 2020, likely carrying the Mach-E (or Mach E) name.

While the automaker stated in the past that it wants a 300-mile range for the vehicle, Ford now suggest owners will be able to drive further than that. (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2019

Image: Ford

Debuting in North America for the 2013 model year, the third-generation Ford Escape is getting long in the tooth, forced to compete against newer compact crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. Toyota’s RAV4 is all-new this year, too. And Dodge, well… Dodge still sells the Journey Abe Lincoln drove from rural Illinois to D.C.

Looking to cement its status in this white-hot segment, Ford has a fourth-generation Escape due out later this year. We’ll have full details for you on April 2nd (the media sneak peek was last week), but here’s something to tide you over. (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2019

Image: Kia Motors

When your author hears the word “Masterpiece,” his mind conjures up images of a coveted line of K-frame Smith & Wesson revolvers, one of which still exists on the market. Kia’s not thinking about guns, though the themes of toughness, precision, and premium appeal carry over to the automotive world.

Masterpiece is the name applied to one of two Kia concept SUVs unveiled Thursday at the Seoul Motor Show, but it’s the second of the two vehicles that might be most relevant to North American buyers. (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2019

Protecting one’s individuality often means isolating yourself from the “in” crowd, sometimes at your own peril. Steering clear of fads. Giving short shrift to the dominant trends of the day. You author never went in for neon or Doc Martens back in Grade 5, despite all the cool kids wearing this incongruous attire combo. The jury’s still out on whether that was a good idea or not.

In the automotive sphere, buyers are making sure builders of SUVs and crossovers are well rewarded for their actions, scooping up boxy, high-riding family haulers like it’s going out of style. You’re not one of those people, are you? (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2019

2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk - Image: © Timothy Cain

Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat: unless otherwise stated, the “SUVs” mentioned in automotive studies refer to all utility vehicles, regardless of unibody or body-on-frame construction.

Utility sales surpassed passenger car sales in the U.S. in 2016 and never looked back. There’s an ever-growing number of them out there, and, with automakers now straddling segments (the Mazda CX-30, for example), expect the market swamping to continue apace. In a new Cox Automotive study that contrasts today’s market with 2008’s (while taking a peak at the future), the answer to the question “Has the SUV market peaked?” is most definitely “no.”

The market has legs, but the passage of time means it’s showing signs of saturation —  with a number of headwinds now buffeting automakers looking to clean up in this ultra competitive field. (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2019

Image: Lincoln

Eager to generate buzz ahead of the model’s New York Auto Show debut, Lincoln Motor Company has offered up the first official image of its upcoming Corsair — a compact crossover that kicks the brand’s former alphanumeric naming convention to the curb.

Compared to its MKC predecessor, the Corsair should attain higher levels of luxury (and margins), while throwing a new powertrain option into the mix. (Read More…)

By on March 25, 2019

Dealers got an early look at a prototype build of the upcoming Ford Bronco. Gathered in Palm Beach, FL at the behest of the automaker, dealers were asked to hand over their phones in order to avoid any leaks. Fortunately, their memories were sufficient in giving us a better idea as to what to expect come 2020.

While the event’s focus stayed on the Bronco and some of its more-interesting features, Ford also shared its plan to develop a family of off-road vehicles to complement the model. Introductory vehicles include the Bronco, its smaller counterpart, and a little unibody pickup to slot beneath the Ranger.  (Read More…)

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