Tag: SUVs

By on April 15, 2019

The Patrol has forever been Nissan’s answer to the Toyota Land Cruiser, as both brands compete for rough and tumble SUV customers. Today’s Rare Ride represents just how many creature comforts can be added to a go-anywhere truck.

Presenting the Nissan Safari from 1989.

(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 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 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…)

By on March 21, 2019

Image: Porsche AG

Let it never be said that car companies don’t offer people what they want, because, according to sales data, BMW and Mercedes-Benz haven’t sold zero X4s, X6s, GLE Coupes, and GLC Coupes.

There is a market for four-door SUVs with steeply raked rears. Just because you don’t want one and hate the erroneous application of the word “coupe” (this author belongs in both camps) doesn’t mean your neighbor feels the same way. What you see above is Porsche’s first member of this strange new cabal of vehicles. It’s the Cayenne.

The Cayenne Coupe. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2019

1992 Camry WagonFor the past couple of weeks, Wednesday’s QOTD posts have asked a simple question: What was the most overpriced non-luxury vehicle of a given period of time? The first inquiry dealt only with 2019 vehicles, and last week we covered the 2000s — where I picked on the overpriced, retro Ford Thunderbird. Many of you thought I was wrong (I wasn’t). Today, we’ll head back to the decade we all like to discuss — the one that’s popular right now with youths.

It is, of course, the 1990s. I’m already wearing my blazer and shoulder pads.

(Read More…)

By on March 18, 2019

Image: Fisker Inc

Everyone’s favourite Danish designer has put his plans for an electric performance sedan on hold, turning his attention instead to an affordable, mass-market electric SUV.

Half a century ago, the foremost automotive trend was ordinary family cars stuffed to the gills with huge, fuel-sucking V8s. Today, if you’re not planning a bland, long-range EV with a liftgate and a somewhat sensible price, you’re nobody. Henrik Fisker doesn’t want to be a nobody. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2019

2016 GMC Yukon SLT Premium Edition, Image: GM

We’ve already told you that, while traffic fatalities dropped in 2017, pedestrians deaths showed the opposite trend. Now, preliminary data from 2018 suggests pedestrians deaths rose to their highest point since 1990 last year, and one group claims high-riding crossovers and SUVs are a big part of the problem.

How big? According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs rose 50 percent in the past five years.  (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2019

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI - Image: VolkswagenIn last week’s QOTD, we asked you to share the vehicles that pleasantly surprised you after spending some time behind the wheel. Whether your expectations were high or low to start, it’s always nice to recall transportation that impressed.

Today we turn in the opposite direction, and talk about cars that left you feeling disappointed.

(Read More…)

By on February 26, 2019

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock_1

Fiat Chrysler’s Tuesday announcement will surely make it the darling among domestic automakers, especially in the eye of a certain American president.

To fund the creation of new and next-generation models, most of them Jeeps, FCA is committing $4.6 billion to numerous Michigan plants, $1.6 billion of which will flow to Detroit’s Mack Avenue Engine Complex (soon to become a vehicle assembly plant). Among the vehicles funded with this promise are the long-awaited Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Oh, and there’s another new Jeep on the way.

Another tidbit: FCA really likes the extra cash brought in by the old-generation Ram 1500 Classic. The model, seen above in Warlock trim, will soldier on. (Read More…)

By on February 23, 2019

Focusing primarily on the U.S. market sometimes leads to a skewed view of what the average global consumer demands in their driveway, but not always. Broader trends don’t respect geographical boundaries; interest in light trucks doesn’t stop at the border.

As American buyers increasingly demand more additions to their high-riding vehicle buffet, the same call can be heard in other markets. And, just as Americans took home more electric vehicles (thanks, Tesla) in 2018, the segment recorded significant growth in places you’ve never visited.

However, the world still loves the Ford F-150. No change there.

Let’s take a global peek at last year’s buying decisions. (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2019

Image: Ford

Ford’s 2020 Explorer dons a new platform and familiar skin when it goes on sale this summer, and buyers looking for peak performance from their midsize SUV had best dig deeper for funds.

Compared to the 2019 Explorer Sport, which carries beneath its hood a 365-horsepower Ecoboost motor, fans of the 2020 Explorer ST stand to shell out an extra eight grand and change for their extra power. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2019

Ahead of production of its all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, and Lincoln Aviator at the Chicago Assembly plant, Ford is greasing the wheels with a $1 billion cash injection, adding 500 jobs in the process.

The money, destined for both Chicago Assembly and a nearby stamping plant, will ensure three crucial products make it to showrooms and law enforcement fleets by summer. As Ford plays Santa Claus, another important product — one which went on sale just last month — is now under recall. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2019

Image: Suzuki UK

(The following is an open letter from contributor Seth Parks, who, like many of us, holds a special fondness for the rugged little Suzuki Jimny – a vehicle available almost everywhere … except North America. We’ve added photos for your viewing pleasure.)

Dear Mr. Takuya Sato,

As EVP of Suzuki Motor of America, you are responsible for driving revenue and profitability growth. One arrow in your quiver of growth strategies is undoubtedly new products. And you are certainly aware of one of the newest and most exciting products in the Suzuki portfolio, the all new fourth-generation Jimny. Like many others, I suggest you bring the Jimny to America (most Americans know it as the Samurai).

However, unlike many others, I understand the challenges and am writing to offer a solution, albeit one based on a grossly oversimplified analysis. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2019

On Monday, Matthew Guy asked all of you to nominate vehicles that were ahead of their time. Those rare occasions where vehicles anticipated the desires of consumers, even before said desires were fully formed. Today, we flip it around and talk about Hall and Oates lyrics vehicles which were out of touch or behind the times, even when new.

(Read More…)

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