Tag: crossovers

By on November 15, 2021

Mazda

The Los Angeles Auto Show is this week — yes, it’s actually happening, as of this writing, and this author is boarding a flight for Cali tomorrow — and one of the vehicles that had been teased in advance of the show was the Mazda CX-50.

(Read More…)

By on November 9, 2021

Mazda has announced that the 2023 CX-50 will debut on November 15th, foreshadowing its production launch in January of 2022 at the Alabama plant it shares with Toyota. That means odds are good that the model will share more than a few components with the Toyota Corolla Cross. But Mazda has been adamant that CX-50 is a unique vehicle riding on its very own platform.

Unique is a relative term, however, when the upcoming model represents another “lifestyle vehicle” designed to convince consumers that a jack-of-all-trades crossover is ready and willing to drag them up the side of a mountain. Officially, Mazda is claiming this one caters to adults with particularly active lifestyles and has surrounded it with nature-themed marketing materials. That presumably has something to do with the CX-50 boasting “enhanced all-wheel-drive capabilities.” (Read More…)

By on August 19, 2021

Having distinguished itself from the rest of the Hyundai Motor Group, Genesis has been furnishing desirable luxury vehicles that are a little easier on your pocketbook than what’s on offer from Germany. But it’s still inextricably linked to its corporate family, which recently introduced the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 to make sure everyone knows they’re not snubbing electrification. Not wanting to be left out, Genesis has revealed something riding on the E-GMP platform as well.

Unfortunately, it’s kind of hideous. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2021

We seem to be living in an era where appearance frequently trumps substance. Enter the Hyundai Santa Fe XRT, South Korea’s attempt to convince shoppers that modifying a vehicle to look the part is just as good as making it genuinely capable.

The XRT is the newest trim for the Santa Fe crossover and introduces some aesthetic ruggedization as a way to entice customers that fantasize about weekend blasts at the dunes but have no intention of ever going. It’s an appearance package for an otherwise capable daily driver that can already be customized to suit your needs and price range. But perhaps you’re still curious and want to know everything XRT has to offer — just in case it happens to slot into your lifestyle.

Though I would doubt it. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2021

2019 Subaru AscentTim asked the other day if I might work up an opinion piece on the current state of Subaru. “Sure,” I said, and immediately felt salty. In mind were many criticisms on how the smallish automaker is doing things currently. After that initial salty reaction, I got to thinking about Subaru’s current offerings and recent trajectory more critically. And I realized they’re doing most everything just as they should.

(Read More…)

By on July 16, 2021

Late last year I put forth some thoughts about the future direction of Infiniti, largely about how the company was on a downward trajectory. Looking forward, the brand needs a major change in direction – not much has changed since December when I wrote that piece.

But one might then logically ask “Where did the company first lose its way?” I’m going to answer that question right now. Let’s take a little trip to the Before Times, in 1990.

(Read More…)

By on June 28, 2021

Despite issuing some of the most realistic messaging pertaining to electric vehicles you’re likely to encounter within the automotive industry, Honda has started to come around to making bold commitments that it’ll probably have to revise. In April, the company stated that it wanted EVs and fuel-cell vehicles to make up 40 percent of all new-vehicle sales by 2030 — with the figure climbing to 100 percent by 2040.

Right now, its alternative energy products include the Honda Clarity and marvelously executed Honda E (neither of which are likely to be available in your area). But more vehicles are coming and the brand recently announced the starting point for the business’ battery-electric offensive targeting North America. The whole shebang is supposed to kick off in 2024 when the all-electric “Prologue” goes on sale.  (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2021

Today’s review is brought to you by water: Water! It’s moist. The other day when I handed over the keys to the Golf Sportwagen, my dealer’s service department loaned me this base model 2021 Tiguan S 4Motion. There’s no glass on the roof so it’s almost certain not to leak water, but what about its other characteristics?

(Read More…)

By on May 26, 2021

The Chevrolet Blazer will be dumping its base engine for the 2022 model year. The naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter motor always felt as though it would have been more at home in a vintage Plymouth Acclaim or original S-10 Blazer, however. Removing the 193-horsepower unit from the modern crossover, which can be optioned to weigh in excess of two tons, probably isn’t going to make anyone’s eyes well up.

In exchange, the manufacturer has seen fit to expand the color palette.

(Read More…)

By on May 26, 2021

2022 Volkswagen Taos

Standing outside a building that typically hosts weddings in downtown Chelsea, Michigan, a fellow auto journalist and I chatted through our masks about how it’s getting harder and harder to write about crossovers, because so many of them are just in that happy middle – not particularly great, and certainly not bad.

Add the 2022 Volkswagen Taos to that list.

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2021

bronco

If you have Bronco on the brain, you may find yourself buying one from a store that stands separate from your local Ford dealer.

(Read More…)

By on April 9, 2021

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

The reemergence of the Trailblazer name in the Chevrolet lineup seemed like a cynical nostalgia ploy at first.

Trailblazer a cute ‘ute? That’s almost as bad as using Blazer nameplate on a five-seat crossover with little, if anything, in the way of off-road chops.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2021

 

Remember recess kickball? Invariably, a pair of jocks and/or popular kids would square off, choosing, in turn, their sides for the battle over the red rubber ball. The draft lines would dwindle to a few undesirables – the uncoordinated, small kids certain to be a drag on the lineup but required to be there via a teacher-enforced fairness doctrine.

Mitsubishi, I’m sad to say, has been that little kid at the end of the bench for many years. Their offerings haven’t been the first choice in any of the limited segments in which they compete. Rather, they’ve become the default choice of those who’ve defaulted before, owing to their reliance on subprime buyers.

Maybe not for long, however. With an entirely new platform shared with one of the bestsellers in the class, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has a new look and a compelling list of features that could move this three-row crossover into the starting lineup.

(Read More…)

By on March 31, 2021

Buick is on my brain.

Not only does an Envision test vehicle sit some 20-odd stories beneath my feet in my parking garage, but the brand has been running its usual ad blitz during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (and presumably, the women’s, too). The tourney is one of my favorite sports events of the year, so I’ve been tuning in.

This means I’m seeing many Buick ads. This means the brand that this here site once put on Death Watch — and earned me at least one angry phone call from Buick PR — is still soldiering on.

(Read More…)

By on March 23, 2021

2020 Jeep Cherokee LimitedBefore I became an automotive journalist, I wanted to write about sports. And one of the first things I learned from more-experienced sportswriters while I was in journalism school is that writing about a .500 team sucks unless there are colorful personalities on the roster.

This is because it’s generally more interesting to write about really good or really bad teams. I am sure there are exceptions, but generally speaking, mediocre teams were more challenging to cover.

In a decade-plus of writing about cars, I’ve discovered this applies to vehicles, as well.

(Read More…)

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