crossover

crossover

  A crossover SUV or XUV is an automobile with a sport utility vehicle appearance but is built upon a more economical and fuel-efficient car-based platform.

The General looks like it’s back to badge engineering these days, as the Chevrolet Trax treks across the state at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Though it might only be a reworked Buick Encore, the Trax is aimed at a completely different audience — one that is noticeably younger.

The Trax may be a new vehicle for the U.S., but it’s been sold in Canada and other markets around the world since 2012. Thought it’s not new, the Trax gets some needed updates before entering the U.S. market. The interior receives the majority of the updating with an upright dashboard, optional center touch screen and infotainment system, a Chevy Sonic- like gauge cluster, and a steering wheel copped from the Cruze .

The Trax seems aimed at those shopping for Sonics or Cruzes, but want something more high-riding and SUVish. That combination of small dimensions, an upright posture, and a large cargo hold (with the seats down) has worked well for Buick so far.

Like the interior, the drivetrain is rather familiar. Power comes from the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. While it’s a direct bolt-in from the Cruze, the Trax does offer an all-wheel-drive option. That combined with the higher ground clearance, and the Trax seems well suited for trudging through those pesky Polar Vortexes.

Chevy’s newest crossover offers plenty of standard features across its trim levels. Available in LS, LT, and LTZ, the Trax comes standard with a backup camera, StabiliTrak with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, and 10 airbags.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Trax.

Most of you are probably already familiar with the Honda Fit , the five-door subcompact that’s available nationwide with a puny, 1.5-liter four-pot under the hood. What you might not be aware of is that the automaker also builds a crossover on the same underpinnings. It’s dubbed the Vezel and has been offered in Japan since last December.

No biggie, because you’ll get to see it in person in the fourth quarter of 2014, when Honda brings it to America under the HR-V name. The new vehicle will fit right below the popular CR-V and will be manufactured in Mexico before being shipped to U.S. showrooms.

Details are limited at the time of this writing, but the first official photos released at the New York Auto Show reveal that the HR-V has very little in common with the Fit as far as design goes, bearing a styling of its own that includes a few trademark cues seen on the larger CR-V.

Honda says the HR-V will be quite the spacious and practical vehicle, thanks to "a unique center tank layout" and the Magic Seat system it will be fitted with. If you’re not familiar with the latter, it allows for multiple seating configurations and a second row that can be folded completely for extra cargo space.

There’s no word on powertrains, but expect the HR-V to be motivated by the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit found in the Fit. The engine delivers 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, enabling the hatchback to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds.

Pricing is also a mystery, but our guess is the brand-new crossover’s sticker will sit anywhere between $18,000 and $19,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda HR-V.

The Citroen Wild Rubis Concept is finally getting its production due with the arrival of the DS 6WR at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show . Exclusive to the Chinese market, the DS 6WR’s arrival also marks Citroen’s entry into the burgeoining crossover segment of the biggest auto market in the world.

Full details of the DS 6WR are being reserved for its debut at Beijing, but Citroen is really promising a lot with the model, boasting on how it plans to "marry power and refinement" in one impressive design package.

What we can at least expect is a crossover that will ride on the same platform as the DS5 and DS 5LS, two models that, coincidentally, are already being manufactured in China .

The DS 6WR will also be carry the same production plans, thanks to the joint venture between Citroen’s parent company, PSA, and Chinese brand Changan.

Reported performance figures will include a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that will produce as much as 200 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque. Other engine options available will likely come with output numbers of 163 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, as well as a 1.8-liter engine that nets 139 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque

As far as price is concerned, the DS 6WR is tipped to retail at a base price of around $26,000 with the top-of-the-line model fetching close to $32,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the Citroen DS 6WR .

2013 was an exceptional year for Buick . GM ’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles, posting a 15-percent increase over the previous year and its best annual figures yet (the previous record goes back to 1984). It’s true that about 80 percent of deliveries reached the Chinese market — only 222,138 units were sold to North American customers — but Buick’s uptrend is a reality that even the most fiery naysayers can’t deny.

With only five nameplates on the table, the brand’s performance is even more impressive. The key ingredients to Buick’s successful recipe for 2013 were its crossovers, the Encore and the Enclave . The ever-growing compact SUV segment and China’s appetite for foreign luxury helped pave the way for both vehicles, but especially for the Encore.

The Opel Mokka-based crossover’s sales surpassed all prediction in its first full year on the market, with nearly 100,000 examples making their way into people’s driveways. Sure, it’s nowhere near the BMW X1 ’s 150,000+ figure, but the Encore is proof enough that Buick’s struggle has finally come to an end.

Having been shipped to showrooms beginning the first quarter of 2013, the subcompact SUV is as fresh as it gets. Naturally, Buick’s updates for 2014 aren’t abundant, but the Encore continues into a new year with a few new safety and convenience features.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Buick Encore.

For 2014, Mitsubishi gave the Outlander a full overhaul, and you couldn’t ask for a more comprehensive overhaul. The Outlander has lost all that made it unique in the crossover SUV realm and inherited a rather boring look. In fact, it looks totally out of place in Mitsubishi’s lineup, to be perfectly honest. The Outlander wasn’t all bad though, as the tester that I received had a lot of options added, which made for a nice week driving it around.

Under the hood of my tester was the base 2.4-liter four-pot that only produced 166 ponies and 162 pounds of twist. Why Mitsubishi didn’t send it with the optional V-6 is beyond me. The 224 horsepower and 215 pound-feet would have likely made for more fun and a quieter ride. Not that the V-6 isn’t underpowered in its own right.

The Outlander is really a love it or hate is type of vehicle. Traditionalists likely enjoy its normal styling, but generation X and Y likely think it is too boring to compete. Can its features overcome the sharp looks of the Toyota RAV4 and the larger third row in the Kia Sorento ?

Click past the jump to read the full Driven review to find out.

The midsize SUV market is one of the most competitive segments in the auto industry today and GMC has a strong contender with the 2014 Acadia . Combining a simple yet rugged look with a spacious interior and a powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, there’s no reason why the Acadia should be relegated as a second-tier SUV. It’s first rate all the way.

Good job by GMC for keeping itself from over-thinking the Acadia SUV . It’s even smarter of the company to resist the urge of trying to one-up the competition.

GMC kept things at an even keel and it worked wonders in giving the Acadia an impressive identity that’s become even more important with so many worthy competitors in its segment. Nothing’s worse than being identified as a "run-of-the-lot" model and to its credit, GMC steered clear of doing that to the Acadia with an impressive list of features buyers ought to be interested in.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 GMC Acadia.

The Nissan Juke is one of those cars that you either love or hate. There’s no in-between when talking about this baby. Fortunately for the Juke, it belongs in a market where the word "style" seems to have taken a vacation, so by default, it already has a leg up on the rest of its rivals. Looks aside, the Juke also has a nice engine to fall back on that is highlighted by 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, which makes it one of the highest in its segments.

There’s something about the Juke and the way its packaged that makes us wonder whether Nissan was trying to make amends to this particular segment after introducing the world to the Cube , a ratchety-looking lump of steel that a lot of people hope never to see again.

So give credit to Nissan for taking the leap with a more dramatic crossover that doesn’t lack in aesthetics.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Juke.

When Nissan introduced the Juke in 2011, its hip styling in a rather bland segment made it a near immediate hit. To this date, it is still the swan in a class filled to the brim with ugly ducklings. Add to that a base turbocharged engine that pumps out 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of twist that allows it to hit 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds, even with a cruddy CVT backing it up.

That was 2011 and now we are moving into the 2015 model year, so it is time for a mid-cycle refresh. And a refresh the Juke received, as Nissan unveiled the Euro-spec Juke at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Sure, a few of the engines won’t make their way to the U.S., but we did get a nice look at how Nissan added in its new design language and revised the only U.S.-bound engine: the 1.6 DIG-T.

Overall, the refresh is, well, refreshing. The Juke looks like a whole new car, despite sharing most of its sheet metal with the 2014 model. Unfortunately, the Juke’s interior is largely carried over, but the interior was never a complaint, except for cargo space, which was address with this refresh.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Juke.

Every year, Italdesign Giugiaro comes to the Geneva Motor Show ; and every year it brings something completely loony (in a good way) to the party.

This time around, the Italian design house might have outdone itself completely with the unveiling of the Clipper, a peculiar-looking MPV whose eccentricity can’t be measured at least until you see what its fully capable of.

For a company that given us the Parcour and the Brivido in past auto shows, the Clipper certainly fits into that edgy design and sharpness that its two predecessors had.

But arguably the most interesting parts about the Clipper are its similarities with the Volkswagen Tex Concept it designed for VW at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. That, or our eyes are just playing tricks on us.

In any case, this is the Clipper MPV, folks. Chances are, you won’t see another one quite like it in the near future.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper Concept

Fiat -Chrysler has unveiled its latest offspring at the Geneva Motor Show , the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade. The little Jeep represents the brand’s first foray into the small crossover market, but its global market reach will be anything but small. Fiat-Chrysler is will sell the Jeep in over 100 markets worldwide while targeting youthful, thrill-seeking customers.

That global reach hasn’t stopped the Jeep from showing its rugged roots though. Two four-wheel-drive systems, decent ground clearance, a removable top, a manual transmission option and loads of cargo room are all part of the Renegade’s tactical plan for world domination. And with its lineage tracing back to the Willys MB Jeep that helped win WWII, we’re not quick to discount the plan, despite the Renegade’s less than macho exterior appeal.

The Renegade will offer an unprecedented 16 powertrain combinations with 6 engine options in total, though the U.S. is only getting a small number of them, with both being familiar from other Fiat-Chrysler products. The 1.4-liter turbo I-4 from the Fiat 500L serves as the base engine, while the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 from the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 fills the top-tier slot. A six-speed manual transmission will come attached to the 1.4-liter while the 2.4-liter gets a nine-speed automatic unit. Front-wheel-drive will come standard with four-wheel-drive being an option.

With its attractive cuteness, clever interior packaging options, and impressive list of amenities, it’s easy to imagine the Renegade catching on worldwide. The question remains, however, is it worthy of the Jeep name and Trail Rated badge? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for all the info on the 2015 Jeep Renegade


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