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Archive for the ‘crossover’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Ascent

Subaru is about to launch its all-new, three-row family crossover at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show on November 28. Official specs have been kept quiet, but we know it will be larger than Subaru’s ill-fated Tribeca with more interior room. We also know its name: the Ascent. It’s clear Subaru wants a piece of the full-size crossover pie. The Forester is currently the automaker’s largest vehicle, but it only seats five and has a maximum cargo volume of 68.5 cubic feet – a far cry from what typical three-row crossovers offer.

The Ascent will ride on an expanded version of Subaru’s Global Platform. The new Impreza and Crosstrek already ride on this platform, and the rest of Subaru’s lineup will eventually follow. It’s no wonder since Subaru spent a whopping $1 Billion to develop the modular architecture. The SGP is also designed to surpass all current crash test standards by enduring stuff like a 2.7-ton SUV ramming head-on into its hood at 55 mph. Yeah. Families like safe vehicles, so the added protection will be a great selling point for the Ascent. Obviously, Subaru will appreciate the sales, especially since the Tribeca only sold 80,000 examples over its entire, decade-long life. With failure an actual possibility, Subaru is determined to get the Ascent right. Let’s see what we can expect from this upcoming crossover.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior

  • Larger dimensions means more interior room
  • Tallish ground clearance
  • Sculpted bodylines

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 713486

Note: 2017 Subaru Ascent concept pictured here.

“We’re hoping the Ascent Concept’s handsome lines actually translate to the production version.”

Subaru has yet to release an overview image of the production-spec 2019 Ascent. All we’ve got is a single shot of the Ascent badge affixed to the crossover tailgate. That means we’ll have to reference the Ascent’s concept version, which debuted at the 2017 New York Auto Show back in April. Thankfully, Subaru will debut the real deal at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show on November 28.

The Ascent concept is a devilishly handsome SUV with tons of style baked into its large body. Subaru designers aren’t afraid of doing big things with concept vehicles, and that shows here. Just look at that swooping beltline over those arched fenders! Typical Subaru cues are seen, too, like the C-shaped LED daytime running lights, the six-sided grille, the A-pillar window, and the black molding along the body’s lower edges.

Sadly, Subaru’s designers are also too timid to are blocked by dull bean-counters from putting such aesthetically pleasing concepts directly into production. We’ve seen it time and time again where a sexy concept is neutered into a comparatively dull shell of its former self before arriving in showrooms. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen here, though we’re not holding our breath.

Interior

  • Seven-passenger seating
  • Three rows
  • More interior volume than the old Tribeca
  • Respectable in-dash technology

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 713487

Note: 2017 Subaru Ascent concept pictured here.

“Subaru will surely tone down the high-tech vibe seen on the Ascent Concept.”

While 90 percent of the Ascent concept’s exterior could easily make production, the interior is another story. Subaru will surely tone down the high-tech vibe seen here. Don’t misread us –we’d love to see the massive touchscreen with integrated knobs remain in the center stack. We’d hope Subaru will keep the fully digital gauge cluster, especially since that’s the popular thing these days. And we’d love to see the highly sculpted, multi-tiered dash and door panels in our driveway sometime soon.

So what’s definitely not making production? Well, don’t count on seeing the digital window and door lock controls. That swanky gearshift probably won’t make the cut, either. And sadly, the Range Rover Velar-like display seems a bit too cool for Subaru to actually produce. (Prove us wrong, Subi!)

What will remain in the showroom version of the 2019 Ascent is seating for seven people over three rows. That’s a given. Subaru needs a full-size family crossover. Right now, only five people can fit in Subi’s largest model, meaning growing families are forced out of the brand and onto the competition. That’s not good for Subaru’s bottom line and plans for world domination (what major automaker doesn’t have that plan?).

Drivetrain

  • Possible turbocharged 2.0- or 2.4-liter flat-four
  • CVT is very likely
  • AWD will be standard
  • Respectable fuel economy expected

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 712990

Note: 2017 Subaru Ascent concept pictured here.

“Expect the Symmetrical AWD system to be included as standard equipment.”

Details of the Ascent’s greasy bits are still unknown at this point. Some reports suggest Subaru will use its 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four found in the Impreza, while others say an all-new 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four with upwards of 300 horsepower will be had. Either way, don’t count on a flat-six like the Tribeca had or anything in an inline or V configuration. This is Subaru, after all.

Regardless of engine, it’s a sure bet a CVT will be bolted to its backside. The continuously variable transmission has gotten better over the years. Our recent test of the 2018 Crosstrek proved the CVT is nearly free of rubberbanding and offers a smooth though somewhat uninspired driving experience. A full-size family crossover isn’t built for blasting down some dirt rally course, so the calm driving experience should be a welcomed trait.

Naturally being a Subaru, the automaker’s Symmetrical AWD system will be included as standard equipment. That means all four wheels receive power all the time, though at a 60/40 torque split front to rear under normal road conditions. Under low-traction situations or when the X-Mode button is pressed, the system will divide power evenly between the front and rear differentials.

Expect fuel economy to be pretty competitive in the mid- and full-size crossover segment. That means we can expect around 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Of course, these type of details should be announced at the Ascent’s debut later this month.

Pricing

Official pricing will come later, but we’d bet Subaru will start the Ascent’s MSRP around the $30,000 mark. That’s $5,000 more than the Outback and nearly $7,000 more than the Forester. Selecting premium features and options will inflate the price on higher-trimmed models, perhaps making the Ascent’s sticker price hit $45,000 when fully loaded. That would be pretty reasonable when compared to the segment.

Competition

Honda Pilot


2016 Honda Pilot - image 616641

The Pilot might be a few years old, but it’s one of the best-selling three-row crossovers in the business. It combines outright utility with comfort and style. Sprinkle on Honda’s brand image of reliability and available AWD and you’ve got family-hauling homerun.

The Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 making 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. As mentioned, FWD is standard and AWD is optional. With all four wheels turning, the Pilot can lug a 5,000-pound trailer and regardless of the drivetrain, it will carry up to eight people – seven with the optional second-row captain’s chairs. Lower trims come with a six-speed automatic and upper trims (Touring and Elite) come with a fuel-saving nine-speed automatic.

Pricing varies wildly depending on trim and options. The base LX starts at $30,745 while the range-topping Elite starts at $47,220. Getting the Elite means everything that is normally optional is now standard. That means $47,220 is about the highest price you can pay, barring you go crazy with dealership add-ons.

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Pilot.

Volkswagen Atlas


2018 Volkswagen Atlas - image 693391

The Atlas should be pronounced “At last” since it’s taken Volkswagen so long to enter the three-row SUV game. Thankfully, the Atlas is well-baked with tons of well-conceived features, a roomy interior, seating for seven people, and a couple drivetrain options. The Atlas also rides on familiar bones; it’s the MQB platform that also underpins seemingly every modern VW and Audi product. Interior niceties include an available digital dash, VW’s latest infotainment system, and 97cubic-feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded.

Standard power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but it’s relegated to lower trims with FWD. Most Atlas models come with a 3.6-liter V-6 with 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels. VW’s 4Motion AWD system is optional.

Pricing starts at $30,500, but most will skip the 2.0-liter base S model. Other trims include the SE, SE with Technology, and SEL. Opting for the V-6 pushes the base price to $31,900. For 2018, VW is offering a V-6 Launch Edition. The S, SE, SE with 4Motion, SE with Technology, SE with Technology and 4Motion, SEL, SEL with 4Motion and SEL Premium with 4Motion are available. While a bit confusing at first, the trims do make sense. Expect to by $48,490 for the V-6 SEL Platinum with 4Motion before options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Conclusion


2019 Subaru Ascent - image 745297

It’s been a long time coming for Subaru’s new three-row crossover. The absolute disaster that was the Tribeca understandably left Subaru weary of the large crossover market, though the updates accompanying the Ascent should make folks pay attention this time around. More people room, improved looks, modern in-dash technology, and class-leading safety features should have the Ascent climbing towards the peak of full-size family crossovers. Only time will tell, however, and there are still plenty of unanswered questions. The wait won’t be long, thankfully, since November 28 should bring all the juicy details. Check back to TopSpeed for that.

  • Leave it
    • Might be underpowered compared to the competition
    • CVT will limit towing
    • Will it overcome the Tribeca’s failure?

References


Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 713494

Read our full review on the 2017 Subaru Ascent Concept.



Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac XT5 – Driven

2017 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac is diligently working on polishing its brand reputation after decades of forgettable cars. Over the last few years, General Motors’ luxury brand has gotten a good start with updates to the ATS and CTS, while launching the all-new and impressive CT6. But, sedans aren’t hot right now – it’s crossovers. Cadillac needed a high-end crossover with classy digs and tons of tech capable of competing with the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Jaguar F-Pace. That’s where the new XT5 comes in, debuting for the 2017 model year.

The XT5 rides on GM’s new C1XX platform that’s shared with the GMC Acadia. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Buick Enclave ride on a lengthened version of the C1XX, as well. The new architecture gave Cadillac engineers a clean-sheet start over the outgoing SRX crossover and the ability to bake in better ride characteristics, handling, softened NVH levels, more interior room, and better fuel economy. The icing on the cake is then advanced part-time AWD system with a twin-clutch rear differential capable of active torque vectoring. Not only does it improve all-weather drivability, but it improves handling on dry roads, too. A new V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission complete the important under-hood parts. Tech-savvy customers will love the new CUE system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging. Luxury bits include amazingly comfortable seats, high-end leather, wood and metal accents, and a suede headliner.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 XT5 and can vouch for Caddy’s new crossover. It’s got plenty going for it, but it isn’t perfect. Keep reading to see why.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

Video

Exterior

  • All-new design but with familiar cues
  • LED headlights
  • 20-inch polished wheels
  • Towing Package
  • Power liftgate
  • Illuminated door handles

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745026
“The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with”

The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with. Naturally, brand cues were kept like the V-shaped grille, LED projection-beam headlights with the cascading LED daytime running lights, and the sharp creases on the hood. Those details can be found on the ATS, CTS, and CT6. Even the Escalade shares a few.

The XT5’s overall shape does suggest it’s a front-wheel-drive crossover, which is true. AWD is an option, but more than that, the transversely mounted engine and its surrounding supports dictate a short front clip. Unlike the sexy CT6 and its long, low-slung nose, the XT5 looks more upright and a bit less elegant. This is my biggest aesthetic complaint on the XT5 – its design just isn’t as graceful as it could be.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745028
“Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good.”

Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good. The roof has a very mild slope, which leaves plenty of headroom for rear passengers. That’s a departure from what the competition is doing; there’s a lot to be said for that. Out back, the LED taillights recall the same cascading design seen across the Cadillac lineup, as does the horizontal chrome pieces on the tailgate and bumper. Twin, chrome-tipped exhaust finishers and a removable metal hitch cover finish off the lower bumper in style. The cover also hides a seven-pin trailer wiring connector, too.

My Platinum-trimmed tester rolls on 20-inch, 12-spoke wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Between them, black plastic cladding protects the lower bodywork from rock chips and flying debris. Matched with the Stellar Black Metallic paint, the black plastic is hard to spot at a glance, but other colors contrast more quickly. Illuminated chrome door handles, chrome window trim, and chrome roof rails finish off the XT5’s outward appearance.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 112.5
Length (Inches) 189.5
Height (Inches) 66.0
Width (Inches) 75.0
Track front/rear (Inches) 64.4/64.4

Interior

  • CUE Infotainment system with 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • Customizable 4.2-inch Driver Information screen
  • Full leather seating
  • Suede headliners and trim panels
  • Wood and metal accents
  • 30 cubic feet of cargo behind 2nd row
  • 63 cubic feet of cargo with 40/20/40 2nd row folded
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745050
“Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5 – and that’s a great thing.”

Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5. Thankfully, that’s a great thing. The updated CUE, or Cadillac User Experience system, is much-improved with toggle switches controlling the HVAC system and what seems like an improved response from the touch-sensitive slider for the radio volume.

The driver enjoys a rich-feeling, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood and metal accents and a heated rim. A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts while dual analog gauges show speed and engine revs. The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the center stack runs familiar software. Here it’s called the Cadillac CUE, but it’s nearly identical to Chevy’s MyLink and GMC’s IntelliLink software. All three are incredibly intuitive to use. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM, and navigation.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745042
“A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts”

Both the driver and front passenger ride on very comfortable and thickly padded front seats. Both have three-way heat and ventilation to keep backsides happy. They do lack massaging – something that’s becoming more common in luxury vehicles these days. Rear seat comfort is excellent, too. The 40/20/40-split bench is nicely padded with reclining backrests, a folding center armrest, and properly raked seat bottoms. There’s ample legroom and headroom. Separate HVAC controls, air vents, USB ports, and a 110-volt household plug all reside on the center console for rear passengers to enjoy.

When it comes to hauling cargo, the XT5 offers 30 cubic feet of room behind the second row and an impressive 63 cubic feet of room with the second row folded flat. An aluminum cargo divider slides along the metal tracks in the floor, giving options as to how space is used.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745038
“I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.”

The overall experience inside the XT5’s cabin is memorable. The materials are high quality and feel well screwed together. There is very little road noise and zero wind noise. The suede-covered dash is a nice touch, though I did find the leather dash gives puts a gnarly reflection on the windshield during the midday sun. Everything else is very commendable. I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.7/38.4
Legroom
front/rear (Inches)
41.2/39.5
Shoulder front/rear (Inches) 58.3/56.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 56.0/54.7
EPA passenger volume (cu ft) 104.5
EPA trunk volume (cu ft) Behind 1st Row: 63
Behind 2nd Row: 30

Drivetrain

  • All-new 3.6-liter V-6
  • 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Part-time AWD system with twin-clutch rear differential
  • Active torque vectoring rear differential
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • 18 mpg city/ 26mpg highway/ 21mpg combined

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745062
“The engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS.”

Under the hood is an all-new 3.6-liter V-6. I know what you’re thinking – “all new? Doesn’t every Cadillac come with a 3.6-liter?” You’d be right; just about every Caddy besides the Escalade offers the familiar displacement V-6. However, this engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS. It shares almost no parts with the previous 3.6-liter. It’s now got direct fuel injection on top of the variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation seen on the previous engine. Power is up, too, at 310 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 271 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered, and it sends power to the front wheels most of the time. Now, the XT5 gets a fancy new part-time AWD system (no, that’s not a type-o) that will send power to the rear driveshaft upon the driver’s command. A button on the center console quickly turns the system on and off. When off, the system completely disengages the rear driveshaft from the transmission to save on fuel. When on, the AWD system works on any road condition and at any speed. The system’s computer quickly responds to traction issues and can send 100 percent of power to the rear tires.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745065
“The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.”

More than that, the AWD system’s rear differential unit uses a twin-clutch design to engage each axle half-shaft independently. This is what allows for active torque vectoring around corners. This means the outside rear wheel slightly pushes the vehicle around the turn. The system is also able to send 100 percent of power side to side, meaning either of the rear tires can send all of the engine’s power to the ground. In heavy Florida rains, the XT5 was completely sure-footed and never spun a tire, even with heavy throttle. The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.

Fuel economy is pretty respectable. The EPA estimates the XT5 AWD to get 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Premium fuel is required, though.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.6L V6 VVT DI (LGX)
Cylinder head material cast aluminum
Valvetrain DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing (VVT)
Ignition system coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 310 HP @ 6,700 RPM
Torque 271 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
Transmission AWF8F45 paddle-shift Eight-Speed Automatic (MRC)

Behind The Wheel


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745058
“The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect.”

The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect. It’s easy to get into; it’s easy to see out of, and it’s easy to drive. The steering feels appropriately weighted without being too heavy to requiring too many turns. Its on-center feel is tight without being twitchy. The throttle and brakes are easy to apply, with both having a smooth, predictable pedal travel.

The comfy front seats and power-adjustable steering column make it easy to get comfortable. Memory setting allows the driver to keep his settings. All-day comfort is very high, making the XT5 an excellent highway burner. Add in the large side mirrors and Head-Up display, and this Caddy just begs to rack up the miles.

Pricing


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745023

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 starts at $40,390. Four trim levels are available: the base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. The Luxury trim starts at $48,790; the Premium luxury starts at $55,790; and the Platinum starts at $63,890. The base trim only comes with FWD and the range-topping Platinum only comes in AWD. The middle two trims have the option of FWD or AWD.

My tester came with a few optional extras, too. The $2,340 Driver Assist Package adds adaptive cruise control, auto-tightening seat belts, automatic collision braking, front and rear automatic braking, and the Automatic Park Assist feature. There is also the $575 trailering equipment and the $350 compact spare tire that replaces the tire goo and air compressor. Add on the $995 destination fee, and the total comes to $67,155.

The Competition

2018 Audi Q5


2017 Audi Q5 - image 690295

The Audi Q5 is completely new for 2018 and is lighter, more stylish, and more techie than before, while still holding onto its Germanic background and familiar yet modern Audi character. The Q5 has become nearly omnipresent these days, so it’s clear Audi is doing something right. The new model expands on that in all the right ways. The 2018 Q5 features Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit, a large infotainment screen with Audi’s latest MMI software, and a modern interior.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the Quattro AWD system. The Q5’s 4,100-pound curb weight is a couple hundred pounds less than the XT5, meaning the 2.0-liter perfectly peppy. The sprint to 60 mph comes in 5.8 seconds, which is quicker than the XT5’s 6.6-second run. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 23 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Those who want more power can opt for the SQ5 with its 354 horsepower turbocharged V-6.

Prices for the 2018 Q5 start at $41,500 and will grow beyond $57,000 with all the options added to the Prestige trim.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi Q5.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace


2017 Jaguar F-Pace - image 645923

In the same vein of sporty crossovers, Jaguar has its new F-Pace. It offers the same levels of luxury as its popular sedans, but in a higher-riding, more all-weather capable package. Naturally, the F-Pace comes in several flavors and with six trims to choose from. Niceties include Meridian sound systems, Jaguar’s infotainment system, and tons of optional features.

The standard engine is a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a high-output version with 296 horsepower. Diesel fans will love the 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 180 horses and 318 pound-feet of torque. Those wanting performance should go for the familiar 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 found in other Jaguar Land Rover products. Here it makes 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in the F-Pace S trim. All trims and engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.

Prices start at $42,065 for the 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Getting a diesel model requires $46,275 and the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 takes $59,775.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745030

The XT5 is great at being a plush, luxurious, living room on wheels, but its competition goes about things differently. The Audi, Mercedes, and Jag all have sportier personalities that might appeal to a younger buyer. The XT5 is more passive when it comes to carving corners and blasting up Interstate on-ramps. Its luxury-first approach might make the XT5 appear dull and unathletic by comparison.

But in my view, that’s what makes the XT5 good. It doesn’t try being something it’s not. The XT5 is different, and I’m betting plenty of people want comfort over performance. I’ve got to give credit to Cadillac for that. The XT5 directly appeals to the classic Cadillac spirit of premium luxury without being too geriatric. Any Millennial or Gen-Xer should be more than proud to be seen behind the wheel. So sure, he XT5 takes the old-school Caddy approach of luxury over sport, but executed the idea rather well and without alienating any generation of customer. That’s a big win for Cadillac.

Now I’m left looking forward to what other XT-branded crossovers Caddy has up its sleeve. Perhaps an XT3 or XT4 will take the sporty approach to better compete against the Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC63, while the XT6 or XT7 might give the Land Rover Range Rover and Bentley Bentayga a run for their money

  • Leave it
    • Front end looks overweight
    • Luxury-focused in a sports-focused segment
    • Gets expensive with options

References


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745027

The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743169

How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD System


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742588

Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon Kia recalls 340,000 Souls for a fix yet again!

Kia Motors America has recalled 342,381 Souls once again due to an unsuccessful steering issue fix that took place the first time. The first instance was in November 2015, making this the second recall in a span of two years. The recall is stated for the models manufactured between July 21, 2013 and September 30, 2015. These include the Soul and Soul EV’s.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the pinion plug is not safely secured. This means the pinion gear could separate from the steering gear assembly, resulting in a loss of steering control. Despite identifying and acknowledging the issue previously, they were not able to rectify the problem completely. As per the report,
“The driver will hear a clunking noise from the steering rack while turning the steering wheel.”

Kia issued a statement saying that they are not aware of any injuries caused by the issue. Depending on the car, Kia will either secure the pinion plug correctly or, if required, replace the whole steering assembly. Dealers will begin recalling the affected cars in mid-November.
While this is a voluntary recall, it may be noted that customers who have paid for the first repair will be reimbursed.

Author’s Take

A well-known brand like Kia cannot let such mistakes happen. This is something that shouldn’t have occurred in the first place. Since the recall is for the same problem, the customers won’t have a peace of mind even after the second fix. The risk associated with an issue like this is life-threatening. But, on the other hand, Kia must be appreciated for committing to customer safety and accepting their mistake publically. They are willing to even replace the steering assembly if need be. All that matters, in the end, is that the problem is rectified and there are no injuries as a result of this potentially dangerous problem.

References

Kia Soul


2015 Kia Soul Electric - Driven - image 636545

Read our full driven review on the 2015 Kia Soul Electric.


2015 Kia Soul EV - image 541001

Read our full review on the 2015 Kia Soul Electric.


2014 Kia Soul - image 539354

Read our full review on the 2015 Kia Soul.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 GMC Terrain’s E-Shifter Isn’t That Bad

When the 2018 GMC Terrain debuted at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the automotive press took a collective gasp at the push-button shifter design GMC tried selling as “intuitive.” I even wrote an op-ed titled “Really GMC? This Shifter Idea Is Lame!” Needless to say I wasn’t impressed. Well, this week has the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain in my driveway and I have to admit it – the E-shifter isn’t as terrible as I expected it to be.

The buttons are logically arranged in the familiar PRNDL order, so there is no guessing at gear locations. Park is by far the simplest to engage. Just push the large button. Reverse and Drive are selected by pulling the toggle switch with a curved finger. Neutral and Low (which should really be labeled M for manual) are activated by pushes, as well. In manual mode, the (-) and (+) buttons do the obvious to the nine-speed automatic transmission.

Keep reading for more on the 2018 GMC Terrain’s E-Shifter.

In Practice

“I’ve found the E-Shifter doesn’t require extra brainpower to operate, but does require my eyes”

I’ve found the E-Shifter doesn’t require extra brainpower to operate, but does require my eyes. That would change the more I get used to where the buttons are located. Admittedly, the E-Shifter also frees up significant room in the center console yet doesn’t resort to the old-school column shift lever.

Still, the E-Shifter has its faults. I’ve found that prematurely pressing park before I’m completely stopped (maybe 1 or 2 mph) will still activate Park. At least GMC saves its transmission by simultaneously slamming on the front brakes. A better solution would to completely lock out the button until the Terrain is completely stopped.


The 2018 GMC Terrain's E-Shifter Isn't That Bad - image 744352
“Trying to control the transmission manually via the tiny -/+ buttons is laughably dumb”

Worse yet, trying to control the transmission manually via the tiny -/+ buttons is laughably dumb. Don’t even think about being all Fast & Furious trying to hot-rod the transmission – though the nine-speed gearbox almost has enough gears to be in the movies. Lastly, I can’t imagine how grimy the crevices behind the Reverse and Drive buttons will be after 100,000 miles. Seems like it would be hard to clean, too.

Still, even with its flaws, the E-Shifter isn’t all that bad. That’s something I’m happy about since I really do like the rest of the 2018 Terrain. Stick around for more stories on focused topics on the GMC’s all-new crossover.

References

GMC Terrain


2018 GMC Terrain - image 700491

Read our full review on the 2018 GMC Terrain.



Read more GMC news.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus SUV

2020 Lotus SUV

The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus CEO Jean-Mark Gales has already revealed that the automaker is developing a compact crossover, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web recently provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a new rendering of the vehicle.

So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. “The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else. We’re working on it. The new board needs to pass it, but the future is very bright,” Giles told Autocar in October 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about Lotus’ future SUV.

Exterior

  • Patent images confirm Exige-inspired design
  • Sporty design
  • Coupe-style roof
  • Motorsport-inspired gas cap
  • Big rear diffuser

2020 Lotus SUV - image 743192
“The patent images confirm what we already knew: that its design will share many design cues with existing Lotus cars”

The patent images confirm what we knew from the day that the first rumor of a Lotus SUV surfaced the Interwebz: that its design will share many design cues with existing sports cars. Up front, we can see a pair of sleek, swept-back headlamps and a big center grille flanked by large outlets at each corner. These features remind of both the Elise and Exige, but the latter appears to have had a bigger role in inspiring the SUV’s design.

Naturally, being an SUV, this Lotus will have a taller front section and a more massive bumper. The engine hood also has a simpler design, devoid of the vents and bulges usually found on sports cars.


2020 Lotus SUV - image 743190
“Being an SUV, this Lotus will have a taller front section and a more massive front bumper”

The design changes radically onto the sides compared to other Lotus cars, which makes sense given that this is the company’s first crossover. But despite having a really tall beltline, four doors, and a long roof, it retains the sporty features that Lotus cars are known for. First up, notice how the beltline goes upward as it moves from the front fenders toward the rear fascia. It’s quite similar to the Exige, although the really wide C-pillar and the absence of a proper deck lid minimizes the effect. The side skirts are sporty too, with a deep crease on the lower areas of the doors. A particularly interesting feature is the gas cap mounted high on the C-pillar, a race-inspired detail that you don’t get to see on many crossovers.


2020 Lotus SUV - image 743189
“The roof splits into some sort of flying buttress toward the back, yet another unique design element”

The roof splits into some sort of flying buttress toward the back, yet another unique design element. Too bad it’s only visible if you look at the vehicle from above. Around back, we can see more Lotus sports car-inspired features, starting with the large, round taillights and the big diffuser in the bumper. The latter sports three vertical fins in the middle and wide exhaust pipes at the corners.

All told, even though it’s a brand-new vehicle layout for the British brand, the crossover remains recognizable among other Lotus sports car. At least based on these patent images.

Rendering Comparison


2020 Lotus SUV - image 629759

2020 Lotus SUV - image 743125

Our renderings are a few years apart, which explains the big design differences between them. The first rendering we made was created from a clean sheet, with no hints as to what Lotus may go for in terms of styling. Thinking into the future, we went for an evolution of the current design with slimmer headlamps and a more massive grille that went all the way to the ground. For the sides, we adopted a more conventional crossover styling with simple body panels and windows. As it turns out, we weren’t exactly close to Lotus’ vision for its first SUV. But needless to say, the real thing looks much more appealing.

Interior

  • Sporty features
  • Lightweight design
  • Seating for five people
  • Biggest Lotus trunk ever
  • Cramped space for rear-seat passengers

2017 Lotus Evora GT430 - image 724309

Note: 2017 Lotus Evora GT430 pictured here.

“It's safe to assume that the cabin will focus on the driver and front passenger”

The patent images don’t include information about the interior, but it’s safe to assume that the cabin will focus on the driver and front passenger. It may be an SUV, but Lotus probably wants to keep some of the motorsport-inspired layout seen in its sports cars. Of course, there will be a focus on comfort too, as in this will be the company’s most comfortable interior yet, but don’t expect it to be as fancy as a Bentley Bentayga. Sports seats will likely be included in the standard package, but Lotus should also offer race-inspired unit optionally.

The crossover’s main feat will be the ability to provide seating for up to five people. A never-before-seen feature in a Lotus, it will make the SUV appealing to drivers looking for a compromise between performance and utility or even people in need of a daily driver that’s also suitable for a long vacation. On the other hand, given the size of the vehicle, rear space might be a bit cramped for tall passengers. The coupe-style roof doesn’t seem to leave room for too much headroom, while legroom won’t be as vast as in the front. The trunk doesn’t seem to be huge either, but it will be a massive upgrade compared to any other Lotus out there. A couple of suitcases and a big list of groceries shouldn’t be an issue for this crossover.

Drivetrain

  • Same Toyota-sourced engines?
  • At least two performance trims
  • Best power-to-weight ratio on the market?
  • Diesel and hybrid likely

2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 - image 743193

Note: Lotus Evora 410 engine pictured here.

“This is the area that will make or break the Lotus crossover, so expect Lotus to go all-out in developing the drivetrain and chassis”

This is the area that will make or break the Lotus crossover, so expect Lotus to go all-out in developing the drivetrain and chassis. Powering the crossover, Lotus could still use one or both of the Toyota-sourced powerplants used in other Lotus cars, like the 1.6-liter four-cylinder or the 3.5-liter V-6, both available with or without superchargers. Sticking with the tried-and-true design of its current model lineup, rather than giving the crossover a high-powered engine, Lotus will focus on a high power-to-weight ratio by making this one of the lightest crossovers in its segment, weighing about 440 pounds (200 kg) less than its rivals.

“After its initial Chinese debut, a diesel engine could also be included for the European market”

The SUV could arrive in several trims, starting with a base model rated at a little more than 100 horsepower and a more performance-oriented version with at least 200 horses.

After its initial Chinese debut, a diesel engine could also be included for the European market, but the big performance advantage could be an optional hybrid-based four-wheel drive that uses the engine to power the front wheels and motors to drive the rear. At this point, every scenario is possible since Lotus is looking to expand in every direction it can in order to get back in the game.

Prices


2020 Lotus SUV - image 743191

It’s obviously too early to estimate pricing for the upcoming SUV, but I would be smart for Lotus to price this vehicle very close to the competition. The British firm will likely develop the crossover as a competitor for the Porsche Macan, which retails from around €56,300 in most European markest and from £45,915 in the United Kingdom. Not much is know about the company’s production output for the SUV, but it’s safe to assume that Lotus won’t be able to compete with Porsche in this department, at least not in the first couple of years. A lower production run usually means higher prices too, so be prepared to pay at least €60,000 and £50,000 before options. Should it come to the U.S., the Lotus SUV could retail from around $52,000.

Competition

Porsche Macan


2020 Lotus SUV - image 533189

The Porsche Macan isn’t the only option on the compact crossover market, but it’s arguably the best suited to go against the upcoming Lotus SUV in terms of looks and performance. Essentially a shrunken Cayenne, the Macan borrows many styling cues from the iconic 911, which makes it one of the sportiest looking options in this niche. Drivetrain-wise, it comes in many forms, starting with a base model that uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The Macan S uses a 3.0-liter V-6 that delivers 340 horses and 339 pound-feet, while the Macan GTS gets its juice from the same engine, but rated at 360 horsepower and 369 pound-feet. The latter is probably the best option against the Lotus, as the extra oomph is backed by a new aerodynamic package and several weight-saving measures. Finally, there’s the Macan Turbo, which uses a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers an amazing 400 horsepower and 406 pound-feet. Opt for the Performance Package and the output increases to 440 horses and 443 pound-feet. A diesel version is also offered in certain markets, with either 211 or 258 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of twist. U.S. pricing starts from $47,800 and goes up to $77,200 for the Turbo version.

Read our full story on the 2017 Porsche Macan.

Audi RS Q3


2020 Lotus SUV - image 576596

While BMW has yet to offer an M version of the X1, Audi is selling an RS variant of the Q3 since 2015. While the Q3 is not the sportiest SUV you can buy, the RS package adds a few interesting features, such as aluminum-look trim in the front bumper, which also has bigger vents, a roof spoiler, and a diffuser-like element with a larger exhaust pipe. The interior is wrapped almost entirely in black, which may be a tad too boring for some, but the RS bundle also brings sports seats either Alcantara/leather or Nappa leather, a bespoke instrument cluster, and new pedals. Power comes from a turbocharged, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that sends 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque to the wheels. Audi also offers a Performance model, which comes with 367 horses and 343 pound-feet of twist on tap.

Read our full review of the 2017 Audi RS Q3.

Conclusion


2020 Lotus SUV - image 743125

Crossovers and SUVs might be a soul-crushing proposition to the enthusiasts of any high-performance brand, but they are crucial to improving sales in global markets that crave space and utility. Just ask BMW and Porsche. Now with Bentley, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce getting in on the SUV/CUV market, this is a perfect opportunity for Lotus to step in with small CUV that exhibits the same lightweight characteristics and excellent handling capabilities of its past and present offerings. It’s also a great opportunity for the British firm to return to profitability after many difficult years.

  • Leave it
    • Might not be available in the U.S.
    • Likely to stir up controversy among Lotus purists

References

Lotus Evora


2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 - image 667209

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410.



Read more Lotus news.

PostHeaderIcon The Mini Cooper Countryman Has The Heart of a Supercar

Did you know the all-new 2017 Mini Cooper Countryman shares its turbocharged engine with a supercar? Indeed it does. Perhaps even more surprising, the Countryman only has 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Wait, what? Yep, the Countryman shares it internal combustion engine with the BMW i8 – the hybrid halo coupe hailing from Munich.

The engine in question is BMW’s B38 1.5-liter turbocharged inline three-cylinder. The all-aluminum mill uses direct fuel injection and variable valve timing mixed with an 11:1 compression ratio and a single-scroll turbocharger to make its power. Two interesting side notes: the turbo is the first ever to use an aluminum housing and BMW still brands the 1.5-liter with the TwinPower name despite it not having a twin-scroll turbocharger.

Despite the technological wizardry, the Mini Countryman still weighs around 3,500 pounds, meaning it isn’t a hot performance machine. The sprint to 60 mph takes roughly 9.5 seconds and top speed caps at 120 mph. Needless to say, the Countryman isn’t a BMW i8.

Speaking of which, the BMW i8 hooks its 1.5-liter three-cylinder to a 7.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors. Combined, the gasoline-electric hybrid system zaps out 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. While technically not supercar numbers either, the i8 is capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and reaching a top speed governed at 155 mph – far more impressive than the Countryman.

Still, it’s interesting to see how BMW has used the same engine two very different ways in two very different vehicles. So, what do you think? Does the shared engine boost your view of the Mini Cooper Countryman or degrade your view of the BMW i8? Let us know in the comments below.

References

BMW i8


2017 BMW i8 – Driven - image 732595

Read our full driven review on the BMW i8.

Mini Countryman


2017 Mini Countryman - image 692990

Read our full review on the Mini Countryman.

PostHeaderIcon Buying and Owning a Car Is Now Hassle-Free Thanks to Volvo

The brand-new Volvo XC40 broke cover yesterday and got me all excited. As I mentioned in the past, I’m not a big fan of SUVs. I’d rather have a wagon. I may have to do with my European ancestry, but I also need to point that I’ve never felt really comfortable behind the steering wheel of a crossover until now. Anyway, the XC40 is small enough for me to enjoy (I think), but I also dig its exterior, which is based on the XC90, but not as boxy as its bigger brother. But there’s another reason why the XC40 just skyrocketed at the top of my “cool vehicles” list – the new “Care by Volvo” program.

It includes a range of services and subscriptions that will make the ownership experience as hassle-free as having a mobile phone. In short, your purchase will come with a pre-negotiated monthly fee, the possibility of driving away in your new cars without having to worry about service fees and third-party insurance, as well as an array of digital concierge services. The only downside at this point is that “Care by Volvo” is only available in eight countries, but other markets will be included later on. So how does it work? Find out below.

Continue reading for the full story.

How Does it Work?


Buying and Owning a Car Is Now Hassle-Free Thanks to Volvo - image 733425
“Buying the car is much simpler, as you only have to pay a flat fee and drive away”

In simple terms, the “Care by Volvo” subscription service works like a new kind of leasing, but with different, simplified terms. Buying the car is much simpler, as you only have to pay a flat fee and drive away, leaving Volvo to handle everything from insurance and taxes to maintenance and service fees. You can also upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months, as well as borrow other Volvos when you need them. Are you going on a family trip and the XC40 is a tad small for all the stuff? All you do is go to Volvo and request an XC90. It’s that simple!

“You can also upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months, as well as borrow other Volvos when you need them”

The program also offers a range of digital concierge services, including fueling, cleaning, service pick-up, and e-commerce delivery to the car. Pretty much the kind of service you get from luxury automakers like Bentley and Rolls-Royce. There’s also an app that lets you share your Volvo with friends and family. This is done via a new car-sharing system with a “digital key” that can be passed onto the people you trust. Granted, this feature isn’t exactly new. Volkswagen has already showcased something similar, but it’s not yet available in production cars as of this writing.


Buying and Owning a Car Is Now Hassle-Free Thanks to Volvo - image 733428

Unfortunately, “Care by Volvo” won’t be available globally at first, with only customers from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Poland, and the United States to get it initially. But Volvo promises that markets will follow later on.

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733069

Read our full review on the Volvo XC40.


2018 Volvo XC60 - image 708268

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo XC40 Proves D-Pillars Are Getting Thicker

Volvo has just pulled the covers off its all-new, 2018 XC40 crossover, and boy, Volvo clearly knows how to design a compact crossover with style and class. But one design feature strikes my eye as oddly satisfying – the massively thick D-pillars. Positioned over the rear wheels, the wide sheet metal connects the roof to the body, but is far beefier (visually, at least) than it needs to be in order to maintain the roof’s structural integrity. Clearly, it’s a stylistic piece.

In my view, the thick D-pillar helps give visual weight to the XC40’s rear, helping offset the perceived weight under that long, flat hood. Admittedly, I’m liking the XC40’s rear pillar best when split between the white body and black roof. But that doesn’t discount what’s got to be a hampered rear view. It’s a great thing the XC40 comes standard with Blind Spot Monitoring or else lane changes would be a nightmare. Of course, Volvo isn’t the only automaker putting form over function with its pillar thickness. I’ve compiled a list of SUVs and crossovers that feature incredibly thick D-pillars.

Continue reading for more.

D-Pillars Gone Mad!

Lexus RX


2016 Lexus RX - image 624725

Wow, just look at that thing – that D-pillar is so thick it nearly engulfs the C-pillar into a single piece. There is a tiny window between the rear doors and the tailgate, meaning the RX has a large blind spot should the driver try looking over his right shoulder. Yet, Lexus designers attempt to make the window larger from the outside with a piece of piano black plastic and chrome trim to give the RX a floating roof design. In practice, it’s sort of a neat look and is something not seen before the last decade.

Read our full review on the Lexus RX.

2017 Jeep Compass


2017 Jeep Compass - image 696044

Jeep’s newest two-row crossover, the 2017 Compass, uses a thick D-pillar, as well. Like the Lexus RX, the Jeep Compass utilizes black and chrome trim work to accent the sheet metal covering the back quarters of the greenhouse. While this blends the roof into the lower body rather well, the result is a large hunk of non-transparent material that obstructs good rearward visibility. Aside from the inherent visibility downfall, the thick D-pillar certainly marks a vehicle as being a part of the modern age. It’s doubtful this style will remain vogue within a few decades, though.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Compass.

Nissan Murano

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Nissan is a big purveyor of fat D-pillars. Many of its vehicles share this trendy design style, including the Maxima sedan and this, the Murano. Competing in the mid-size, two-row crossover category, the Murano is a surprisingly loveable machine that far exceeded my expectations when I spent a week behind the wheel. Aesthetically, the Murano’s curvy fenders and falling roofline are juxtaposed to the handful of sharp angles strategically placed around the exterior design. Of course, the Murano’s designers gave it the thick D-pillar treatment, discreetly hiding a window within the streak of black that runs from the rear windows and wraps around the tailgate. Like the others, chrome trim is used to separate the body’s bright paint form the dark accent splitting the roof from the body.

Read our full review on the Nissan Murano.

GMC Terrain


2016 GMC Terrain - image 624353

Here’s a bit of back-story: the 2018 Volvo XC40’s D-pillar design seemed so straingly familiar the instant I saw it. Then it hit me – it looks very similar to that of the 2018 GMC Terrain. While not a dead match, the pairing served as the inspiration to explore this D-pillar topic.

Comparisons aside, the new Terrain looks mostly appealing, especially in GMC’s range-topping Denali form. Yet, regardless of the trim level, the Terrain features that kinked beltline and sloping roof. Like the Nissan Murano, the GMC Terrain comes with a tiny window above the rear tires. They serve no function other than to let in a marginal amount of light and hold embedded antennas for the AM/FM radio. That’s those squiggly black lines seen from the inside on the driver-side window.

Read our full review on the GMC Terrain.

2006-2016 Jeep Compass


2014 Jeep Compass - image 520821

Yet another Jeep Compass makes the list, but this time it’s the first-generation version and its mid-cycle refresh that came in 2011. Both first-gen body styles used the thick D-pillar styling. In fact, placed side-by-side, the 2018 Volvo XC40 seems like its D-pillar design most closely resembles this almost unlovable series of Jeeps. The first-gen Compass even used the oddly placed C-pillar door handle for the rear doors – a consequence of the flared haunches over the rear tires. The overall aesthetic of these Compass models, especially from the rear three-quarter view, is that of squared-off angles that are just curved enough to seem droopy and just straight enough to seem uninspired. Perhaps it’s clear I consider the 2006-2010 Jeep Compass to be one of the most hideous crossovers to have ever rolled down America’s streets – and the D-pillar is only a small part of its problem.

Read our full review on the 2006-2016 Jeep Compass

Conclusion

So, here’s the deal: It seems the thick D-pillar trend is here to stay, at least for a little while. Sure, the whole “floating roof” style is a welcomed break from the three-box design of most traditional SUVs, but its intrusiveness to outward visibility and interior cargo storage volume are its biggest detractors. Perhaps we’ll look back someday and gawk at the style like its tall fins on a wide-body Cadillac of the 1950s. Maybe it’ll be so widespread throughout the industry that thick D-pillars become an accepted part of natural vehicle design, much like the twin-grille design has become on modern vehicles’ faces. Only time will tell. At least we can pinpoint an interesting element of design and its spread over various models and brands.

So, what do you think? Do you like the big D-pillar and floating roof stylings? Do you think it will stick around or become the modern-day equivalent to fins on a 1950s land yacht? What about any vehicles I missed? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733087

Read our full review on the Volvo XC40.


2014 Volvo S60 Polestar - image 482912

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo XC40

Volvo has been busy revamping its entire lineup. It has recently introduced an all-new XC60, and all-new S90, and an all-new V90. The next model on the list is the XC40 compact SUV that will reside at the bottom of Volvo’s SUV lineup and provide an entry-level and affordable option for those that don’t need the extra space afforded by the larger XC60 and XC90. The XC40 has been on the cards for a while, with spy shots surfacing as early as 2015 and Volvo has finally unveiled its competitor for the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Volvo’s first ever premium compact SUV, the new XC40 is also the company’s first model to be built on the company’s all-new CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. Inspired by the bigger XC90 inside and out, the mini SUV features much of the advanced connectivity, entertainment, and safety technology Volvo’s latest vehicles. It is also powered by Volvo’s efficient Drive-E engines and is offered with front- or all-wheel drive. All told, it is indeed a more affordable proposition for drivers who need the higher ride of an SUV, but can do without the large exterior dimensions. Let’s see what it brings to the table in the review below

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo XC40.

Exterior

“The XC40 boasts the company's latest design language, which debuted on the XC90 SUV some years ago”

Not surprisingly, the XC40 boasts the company’s latest design language, which debuted on the XC90 SUV some years ago. The crossover’s front fascia looks a bit like a shrunken version of the XC90, mostly due to the headlamps with “Thor’s hammer” LED lights and the large grille in the middle. However, the bumper was reshaped so the XC40 gets its own unique look.

The two vehicles are further set apart on the sides. Obviously smaller, the XC40 also features less rugged looking side skirts and is a bit more stylish thanks to the big dent in the door sections. While the roof still sports that Volvo-specific, utilitarian look, the quarter windows become smaller toward the D-pillars, which give the XC40 a somewhat sportier appearance.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733062

“Volvo designed a cleaner looking tailgate and moved the license plate recess into the bumper”

Around back, the XC40 employs the same taillight design with the upper arm climbing up the pillars toward the roof spoiler. That’s a nice touch and does a good job at integrating the XC40 in the company’s current SUV line. But similarities with the bigger XC90 end here. For this crossover, Volvo designed a cleaner looking tailgate and moved the license plate recess into the bumper. The bumper itself is almost featureless, with only the thin lip at the bottom and the red light strips disturbing the black apron.

Overall, the XC40 is quite appealing to look at. And while it’s not as muscular as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, it’s not as boring as the Audi Q3 either. I think it’s right, featuring the optimum amount of organic lines and angular shapes.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733080
“Overall, the XC40 is quite appealing to look at”

Moving over to equipment, the base Momentum trim comes with LED headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels in white and black. Options include white roof and mirror caps, as well as larger wheels, up to 21 inches in size. Opt for the R-Design model and you get gloss black front grille and lower bumper sections, black roof and door mirrors, dual integrated exhaust pipes, and 18-inch diamond-cut wheels. Move higher in the lineup and the Inscription trim adds chrome exterior highlights for a more luxurious look.

Finally, there’s a higher spec Pro package that adds active bending headlamps with adaptive shadow technology that blocks out part of beam to avoid dazzling vehicles in front across the board. The R-Design Pro gets 20-inch alloy wheels, while Inscription Pro gets a bespoke set of 19-inch wheels.

Interior


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733045
“The 12.3-inch, digital instrument cluster is standard”

Having seen Volvo’s latest interior designs, I was expecting the XC40 to get a pretty spectacular layout for this niche. And the Swedish carmaker didn’t disappoint. Once again, it’s based on the larger XC90, but everything is obviously smaller and there are a few unique touches.

While the dashboard isn’t as massive as the XC90’s, the center console is pretty wide and the center stack houses a big, tablet-like screen that measures nine inches. The slim, vertical A/C vents are a nice touch and go well with the center display and the trim on the passenger side dash. The 12.3-inch, digital instrument cluster is standard.

“Upgrade to the R-Design model and you get leather and nubuck upholstery”

The base Momentum model doesn’t get fancy materials — the standard upholstery is textile and vinyl — but there’s a lot of standard equipment to talk about. The infotainment system comes with voice-activated control, sat-nav, and real-time traffic information, and you also get three USB sockets and the Volvo On Call smartphone app with emergency assistance. The latter automatically alerts emergency services if your car is involved in an accident, and uses the car’s inbuilt GPS to direct them to your precise location.

Upgrade to the R-Design model and you get leather and nubuck upholstery, front seat cushions, perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, and aluminum dashboard inlays. The Inscription trim feature full leather upholstery and adds a power-operated tailgate, front parking sensors, powered driver’s seat, and driftwood inlays. Select the automatic transmission and you also get the Orrefors crystal gear lever seen in the XC90.

“An optional Xenium package is available across the range”

Add the Pro package to the base trim and the XC40 gets a power driver seat, heated front seats, heated windscreen. The Incription Pro model receives a powered passenger seat.

An optional Xenium package is available across the range and brings a powered tilt and slide panoramic glass sunroof, a 360-degree surround view parking camera system, and Park Assist Pilot, which includes automatic parallel and 90- degree parking.

Other options include wireless mobile phone charging, Smartphone Integration -– which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay -– and a Harman Kardon sound system that combines 13 speakers, advanced sound-processing software, and an output of 1,200 watts.

Drivetrain

“The gasoline lineup will include the T3, T4, and the T5 four-cylinder engines”

It’s no longer a mystery that Volvo is replacing every single engine with its new line of 2.0-liter, four-cylinder powerplants. Introduced in the XC90 and spread to the S90 and V90, among other offerings, the four-bangers have found their way into the XC40 as well.

Globally, the gasoline lineup will include the T3, which rated at 156 horsepower, the T4 that’s good for 190 horses, and the T5, rated at a healthy 247 horsepower. The base engine is available exclusively with front-wheel drive, while the T4 and T5 feature an AWD system and an automatic gearbox.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733073
“Other powertrains will be offered later in the XC40's lifecycle”

Two diesel are also offered. The D3 is rated at 150 horsepower, while the D4 cranks out 190 horses. The entry-level oil burner is available with either front- or all-while drive, while the D4 is an AWD model only. Of course, the latter is also fitted with the automatic transmission as standard.

Volvo says that other powertrains will be offered later in the XC40’s lifecycle. Fingers crossed that the powerful T8 hybrid is also on the list.

Full specs aren’t yet available, but the Swedish company did say that the R-Design model features a sports suspension. In the U.S., the XC40 will debut with the T5 and AWD system only, but a T4 model with front-wheel drive will be added in the summer of 2018.

Prices


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733064

Pricing for the XC40 will start from $33,200, for which you will get the Momentum trim with the T4 drivetrain. Opt for the T5 with all-wheel drive and the sticker jumps to $35,200.

In the United Kingdom, the gasoline range begins from £27,905 for the T3 model with FWD and manual and goes up to £40,355 for the T5 AWD First Edition with the automatic gearbox. The diesel range starts from £28,965 for the D3 FWD with the manual transmission, but the range-topping, D4 AWD First Edition with the automatic will set you back £39,305 before options.

But by far the most interesting detail about purchasing a new XC40 is Volvo’s new “Care by Volvo” program. Described as an all-inclusive, negotiation-free option that will be offered alongside traditional purchase and lease choices, “Care by Volvo” is a new kind of leasing with a national, flat-rate monthly fee, combined with the opportunity to upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months. The program includes almost everything needed to own and operate a car such as maintenance, insurance, wear and tear items, and protection services. According to Volvo, it makes owning a car as easy as buying a mobile phone.

Safety


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733033

Volvos have always been at the forefront of their respective segments in terms of safety, and the XC40 is no exception from this rule. On top of the usual suite of airbags for front and rear passengers, it’s also equipped with City Safety, an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals, and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which warns if you move out of your lane and provides steering assistance if you do.

The XC40 can also be equipped with Pilot Assist, Volvo’s semi-autonomous drive feature. The system assists with the steering at speeds of up to 80 mph and takes care of the acceleration and braking to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired speed or distance from any vehicle in front.

Competition

BMW X1


2016 BMW X1 - image 632474

2016 BMW X1 - image 632473

Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the X1 is one of the most popular crossovers in this niche. And that’s not surprising, as the German mini SUV combines the sporty looks of the X family with the modern looks of BMW cars and a range of powerful, yet fuel efficient drivetrains. While the European market gets a wide selection of 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines working on either gasoline or diesel, U.S. consumers are restricted to only the range-topping model. Specifically, the North American X1 comes with a twin-turbo four-banger rated at 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque under the hood, which provides a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Pricing starts from $33,900.

Read our full review of the BMW X1.

Mercedes-Benz GLA


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA - image 700316

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA - image 700320

The GLA is the youngest nameplate in this comparison, having been launch in 2013. Essentially a perched-up A-Class, the GLA is came as Merc’s answer to the all popular X1. Much like the Bimmer, the GLA is available with a wider range of power plants in Europe, where the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline engine are joined by 1.5-liter and 2.1-liter diesels. However, only the GLA 250 is offered in the U.S. (outside the AMG-prepped model, that is!), sporting a 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist. Both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions are available. Pricing starts from $33,400.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Audi Q3


2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688433

2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688431

The Audi Q3 is one of the company’s newest nameplates and arrives in a few flavors in the U.S., with the key competitor to the XC40 being the base model. In this trim, the Q3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 200 horses and 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine delivers power to the front wheels as standard, and gets the small SUV to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Upgrading to Quattro all-wheel-drive pushes the sprint time closer to eight seconds. Audi typically runs about the same pricing scheme as Volvo, which may be to the XC40’s advantage given the extra standard features. The Q3 retails from $32,900 in its base trim, while the Premium Plus model goes for $35,800.

Read our full review of the Audi Q3.

Conclusion

The compact luxury SUV realm just keeps on growing, but the addition of the XC40 seems more like hitting a key niche as opposed to making sure it keeps up with its competitors. With the XC90 the XC60 in place, a perched hatchback like the XC40 was the logical next step. And with the success of the XC90 still recent, now is the time for Volvo to strike in this segment. If sales of the XC90 are any indication, the new XC40 won’t steal many customers from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi anytime soon, but its exterior design, interior styling, and rich technology package provide a fresh proposition in a market that doesn’t offer any surprises. Now, if only Volvo would commit to creating a Polestar version to take on the RS Q3 and the GLA45 AMG.

  • Leave it
    • No Polestar model caught testing yet
    • Does the world need more lifted all-wheel-drive hatchbacks?

References

Volvo XC60


2018 Volvo XC60 - image 708301

Read our full review on the Volvo XC60.

Volvo XC90


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 565977

Read our full review on the Volvo XC90.

Update History

Updated 02/22/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming XC40 out for a new testing session, this time during cold winter conditions somewhere in Sweeden.

Updated 10/22/2015: Our spy photographers caught the first mule of the future XC40 out for a testing session. The XC40 will be among the first cars to be built on the company’s new CMA platform and comes to attack smaller SUVs from Audi and BMW.

Updated 10/14/2015: In a recent interview with Automotive News, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson confirmed that the company’s new compact SUV will be unveiled sometime in 2018. The model will be developed on the company’s new compact modular architecture (CMA) that will also be used for the next generation V40 and V40 Cross Country starting 2019.

Updated 02/23/2015: British magazine AutoCar had the chance to talk with Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson and learned a series of new details on the upcoming
XC40. Continue reading to find out when will you be able to drive the new crossover.

Spy Shots

May 23, 2017 – Volvo XC40 Caught in the Wild Yet Again

February 22, 2017 – Volvo XC40 Caught Testing Once Again

October 22, 2015 – first Volvo XC40 mule caught testing

PostHeaderIcon Chevy Rumored To Revive Blazer name on 2019 Crossover

Our friends over at Truck Trend say Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size, two-row crossover to compete against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano for the 2019 model year. What will Chevy call it? Industry rumors say Blazer. Adding fuel to the (dumpster) fire are spy photos of such a vehicle trolling around public roads while covered in heavy camouflage. Naturally, the news comes as a huge disappointment – not because Chevy is developing a new crossover, but because it will carry the iconic Blazer name.

The resurrection of bygone vehicle names is in heavy swing these days. Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup to the U.S. and dusting off the Bronco name for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s almost common knowledge Ford’s upcoming Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger pickup platform and use a ladder frame and a solid rear axle. It’s expected to offer an excellent compromise between on-road civility and off-road capability while honoring its nameplate that traces its roots to the 1960s when Ford needed an SUV to compete with the Jeep CJ. Yet here we are, with Chevy about to slap the equally iconic Blazer name onto an assumably forgettable family hauler that couldn’t wheel its way over a parking stop. Why, Chevy? Of course, we should take these rumors with a huge grain of salt. No sources were listed and not even the vehicle in the spy photos show any discernable Chevy characteristics. Still, it’s hard not to criticize GM for not directly competing against the Bronco with a Colorado-based SUV wearing a Blazer badge. Chevy already has such an SUV in markets around the world. It’s even called the Trailblazer.
Why not fight Ford at its own game? After all, SUV and pickup sales are booming thanks to cheap fuel and a growing economy.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Chevy Rumored To Revive Blazer name on 2019 Crossover

Our friends over at Truck Trend say Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size, two-row crossover to compete against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano for the 2019 model year. What will Chevy call it? Industry rumors say Blazer. Adding fuel to the (dumpster) fire are spy photos of such a vehicle trolling around public roads while covered in heavy camouflage. Naturally, the news comes as a huge disappointment – not because Chevy is developing a new crossover, but because it will carry the iconic Blazer name.

The resurrection of bygone vehicle names is in heavy swing these days. Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup to the U.S. and dusting off the Bronco name for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s almost common knowledge Ford’s upcoming Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger pickup platform and use a ladder frame and a solid rear axle. It’s expected to offer an excellent compromise between on-road civility and off-road capability while honoring its nameplate that traces its roots to the 1960s when Ford needed an SUV to compete with the Jeep CJ. Yet here we are, with Chevy about to slap the equally iconic Blazer name onto an assumably forgettable family hauler that couldn’t wheel its way over a parking stop. Why, Chevy? Of course, we should take these rumors with a huge grain of salt. No sources were listed and not even the vehicle in the spy photos show any discernable Chevy characteristics. Still, it’s hard not to criticize GM for not directly competing against the Bronco with a Colorado-based SUV wearing a Blazer badge. Chevy already has such an SUV in markets around the world. It’s even called the Trailblazer.
Why not fight Ford at its own game? After all, SUV and pickup sales are booming thanks to cheap fuel and a growing economy.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Acura MDX

Around since the 2001 model year, the Acura MDX is a very hot commodity and has been a huge success, proving to be one of the best-selling three-row luxury crossovers of all time, and has historically sat below the Lexus RX as the best-selling luxury crossover. It’s been through two generational shifts with the third-gen model making its debut for the 2015 model year and was facelifted just a couple of years later, to bring about the new diamond pentagon grille, LED headlamps, LED taillights, and an updated AcuraWatch safety system that includes automatic collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, all as standard equipment. Its exterior style to cues from the Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX, the latter of which also inspired the drivetrain found in the hybrid model.

The MDX has had pretty steady sales since the third-gen model was introduced, with 2014 accounting for 65,603 units sold, 2015 accounting for 58,208 units, and 2016 accounting for 55,495 units. Those are U.S. numbers only, and this is a global model so you can imagine the global sales are significantly higher. As we move into 2018, Acura continues to set the pace as a leader in the segment by bringing about an updated infotainment system, some new exterior colors, and a new pricing point that is a bit higher than it was for 2017, but not by much and well worth it considering what you get from a luxury brand like Acura. Check out our full review below to learn all about the facelifted, third-gen MDX.

Update 9/19/2017: Acura has released pricing for the 2018 model year, and there are a couple of updates to talk about as well. Check out our review below to learn all about it.

PostHeaderIcon Seat Arona Brings New Digital Display In Frankfurt

Major auto shows usually stand out for debuting incredible supercars, thrilling luxury models, and futuristic concept vehicles. That’s because gearheads are more attracted by outstanding automobiles and the hype around them rather than mundane vehicles for the masses. But, as soon as the hype goes away, we of return to those affordable, every-day cars, simply because most of us drive such vehicles and cannot afford fancy supercars. Seat is among the companies that are looking to succeed by selling affordable vehicles, and it brought four new products to the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, including its brand-new Digital Cockpit.

Set to make its debut in 2018, the new Digital Cockpit is the firm’s latest instrument cluster and brings forward a more modern and versatile design. The Digital Cockpit will make its market debut in the Arona crossover and Leon Cupra R, both showcased in Frankfurt, but it will also be offered in the Ibiza and Ateca later on. Alongside the Arona, Leon Cupra R, and the Digital Cockpit, Seat also unveiled Amazon Alexa, a new voice-activated digital service. But before we look at the new cars, let’s check out this new Digital Cockpit that should make driving a Seat a more exciting experience.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Tries to Impress with the CROZZ II – Because One Ugly SUV Wasn’t Enough

Most big automakers are pushing EVs like they are going out of style (were they ever even in style? Hmmm) and VW is one of those brands, promising as many as 30 new electric vehicles by 2025 and the production of one million I.D. vehicles a year by then as well. As such, we’ve seen a number of electric concepts, one of which was the I.D. CROZZ that was unveiled in Shanghai in 2017. As the doors to the Frankfurt Auto Show open, everyone will be greeted with a near identical concept called the CROZZ II, which is said to me a more-production-ready version of the original concept, and the basis for the car that will be hitting dealers as early as 2020, according to Volkswagen.
So what did VW change about the CROZZ to make it more production ready? Well, VW claims it has refined the headlights and even revamped the front and rear sections of the vehicle. But, if you really look at it, nothing has changed aesthetically aside from an increase in length, making the front end a bit longer. The front bumper is a little more defined, the LEDs in the headlights are a shade larger, and the VW emblem is cleaner to look at. Even the lower portion of the fascia is pretty much unchanged aside from the little fins on the skid plate and the body-colored horizontal louver that sits a quarter-inch higher than on the first CROZZ.

New 21-inch wheels bring it a little closer to production, I suppose, but they are still nothing like what we’ll probably see on the production version. The concept is still void of side view mirrors and typical door handles, and features the same side view cameras that split between the door and the front fenders. The side profile is virtually unchanged aside from the extension of some body lines and some horizontal cuts in the side skirts. The rear as a built-in fin that’s a little more obtrusive than on the first concept. The roofline, C-pillars and even the taillights are the same. The rear fascia got the same treatment as the front, so that horizontal louver is now body colored and just a tad bit higher. But, what about the inside and under the skin? Perhaps VW did something new there, so let’s check that out…

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500X Urbana Edition

The Fiat 500 is, without a doubt, the Italian automaker’s most famous and popular model. Drawing from the legendary and hugely successful model of the same name produced between 1957 and 1975, the modern 500 is a small, quirky little runabout designed for faultless urban transportation duty. The diminutive dimensions assist in tight parking spots, while a fun-loving attitude and nippy suspension set-up make it a blast behind the wheel. Don’t forget a stylish exterior as well. In 2014, Fiat reimagined the 500 as an ultra-compact crossover, and thus, the high-riding 500X was created. Given the popularity of compacts crossovers like the 500X, it makes sense that Fiat is giving it a new aesthetics package. It’s called the Urbana Edition, and it adds unique trim and colors to help it stand out from non-Urbana’d editions.

Based on the Trekking trim level, which Fiat has declared as the most popular trim level for the 500X, the Urbana Edition keeps all the same bits and pieces buyers have come to expect, including a functional interior with lots of space for hauling things, and the option for AWD as well. Mechanically, the Urbana Edition goes unchanged, and still gets the same 2.4-liter gas-burning engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque through a nine-speed automatic transmission (lower trim levels get a 1.4-liter engine with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque). If you’re looking for a unique take on this Italian compact crossover, then continue reading for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500X Urbana Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Picanto X-Line

The Kia Picanto came to be in 2003 when it was launched on a shortened platform of the Hyundai Getz. Redesigned in 2011, it grew in size and shared underpinnings with the then-new Hyundai i10. Another update followed in 2015, but 2017 brought the significantly modified third-generation model. About half a year has passed since the new Picanto arrived and Kia just introduced a new model, the X-Line.

A range-topping model alongside the performance-oriented GT-Line, the X-Line is a crossover-inspired model in the vein of the larger Volkswagen Cross Polo and Cross Golf, and the Hyundai i20 Active. Modifications include a slightly higher ride height, black cladding on the wheel arches, and a few extra features compared to the standard model. The X-Line also introduces the new turbocharged 1.0-liter engine that will also motivate the GT-Line version.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Picanto X-Line.

PostHeaderIcon Honda CR-V Hybrid Prototype

As the SUV and crossover body style continues to grip European markets with a surge in popularity, automakers are rushing to fill any and all gaps left in their tall-bodied lineup. Honda is no different, and without a green alternative in its compact crossover offerings, competitors like Kia and Toyota are scooping up sales left right. Basically, it boils down to missed opportunities for the H badge, but now, that’s about to change as Honda previews its upcoming hybrid CR-V. It’s called the CR-V Hybrid Prototype, and quite frankly, that “Prototype” in the name is probably completely unnecessary – this thing looks almost totally production ready. Not only is this the first time Honda has brought hybrid tech to a European-market SUV, but it’s also rumored the model could come stateside some time in the future. Either way, expect sharper styling, a 2.0-liter gas engine, and two electric motors.

The prototype will get its big public reveal later this month at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, following in the footsteps of an earlier, China-bound hybrid CR-V revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show in April. So then – what does the prototype bring to the table, and what can we expect when the finalized production variant makes its appearance? Read on for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda CR-V Hybrid Prototype.

PostHeaderIcon Labor Day Is Almost Here, Bring On The Deals

With the summer coming to a close and autumn closing in, Labor Day is just about here, giving us all an opportunity to kick back and relax, fire up the BBQ one last time, and bid farewell to the warm weather. Not only that, but Labor Day is also traditionally a great time to find a good deal on a new car. Deliveries of the new stock are just over the horizon, which means the older models must go, and dealers are ramping up the incentives to make room on the lot. Whether you’re looking for an SUV, sedan, or truck, this weekend looks like a great time to save some money. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some of the best deals out there right now to help you find what you need at a price you want.

If you’re looking for a little more information and a few tips when it comes to buying a new car, check out our quick Labor Day buying guide here, where we list some of the pros and cons of taking the plunge this time of the year. So then, without further ado, read on for the deals of 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about 2017 Labor Day car deals.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Macan GT3 RS

“GT3 RS” is a unique series letters that carries a whole lotta weight when it comes to the Stuttgart faithful. This is the label used for Porsche’s homologation efforts, harkening back to 911’s of old where speed potential and track readiness were maximized for the ultimate in mean-machine German street offerings. Less weight through extensive use of composite materials and plastic windows, bigger, purposeful aerodynamic enhancements, wider, grippier tires, and of course, an extra splash of power are all expected when those five little letters are in play. Whether it’s prowling the highways or attacking the Karussell at the Nurburgring, the GT3 RS is not to be trifled with. Which makes it a strange thing to see when it’s plastered on a tall-bodied SUV, no? How could such a thing exist without diluting the nameplate for future hardcore models?

That’s a difficult question to answer, but Porsche certainly isn’t afraid to ask it. After all, this is the same company that brought us the Cayenne, considered to be one of the first in a wave of performance SUVs to hit the U.S. in the past decade and a half. What’s more, the competition has caught scent as well. Consider such outrageous creations as the Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes-AMG GLE63, and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. In company like this, why not make a hell-bent, track-ready, monster Macan?

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Macan GT3 RS.

PostHeaderIcon BMW X4

The BMW X4 is another one of those vehicles that mix a car’s body with an SUV chassis, and for some reason, people love them. Evidence for this can be found in the sheer fact that after just three years on the market, BMW has already been caught testing the second-generation X4 – a model that will continue borrowing most of its DNA from the X3 SUV. Well, with the exception of that sloping roofline, of course. As far as what the X4 will offer in terms of chassis enhancements or powertrain options all remains a mystery, but rumor has it that it will use the CLAR platform and that the chassis and engine offerings will mirror those of the X3 once BMW decides to pull the sheet and spill the beans. So, you can expect to see a range of gasoline and diesel engines, depending on the market. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version to help complete the lineup.

For now, that’s about all we know about the upcoming X4, but a few spy shots should offer us a nice little preview and give us a basis for speculation. The next-gen X4 is expected to make its debut toward the end of 2017 with the Frankfurt Auto Show being the most likely venue. So, let’s quit wasting time talking about it and take a closer look at these spy shots.

Update 8/28/2017: The BMW X4 is just about ready to make its debut, and never has that been more evident than this morning when our inbox was filled with new spy shots of an uncamouflaged X4 making its maiden voyage to an undisclosed location. As a special note, it isn’t wearing a front plate or front plate mount, so what we see here could be the first models slated for the U.S., or at the very least the models will be shown off on the big debut day. There’s a lot to make out, and it’s our first real good look at the upcoming X4, so check out our spy shot section below to learn all about it!

Continue reading to learn more about the next BMW X4.

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End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 14:32:37 PST
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2015 Ford F-150 2015 FORD F150 XLT SPORT CREW ECOBOOST REAR CAM 17K MI #C26765 Texas Direct Auto
$32,675.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:28:40 PST
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1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,100.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups Deluxe 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup truck, Patina Deluxe Cab Original Survivor
$10,300.00 (28 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 9:19:33 PST
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1991 Ford Mustang GT 1991 Mustang 5.0 GT
$8,500.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:11:46 PST
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 2K #522266 Texas Direct
$6,000.00 (5 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 12:14:27 PST
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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ Z07 S/C 7-SPD NAV HUD 5K MI #601154 Texas Direct
$73,230.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:00:00 PST
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2004 Chevrolet Other Pickups 2004 Chevy Colorado truck 5 speed manual transmission
$1,900.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 13:58:19 PST
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2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT 2015 ford mustang gt premium BY OWNER
$27,900.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 11:45:00 PST
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