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.

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

Custom supercars have become quite the fad these days with a lot of companies taking the route of tailor-made personalization services to build bespoke creations.

Aston Martin has one of these bespoke divisions, and it’s built some pretty interesting vehicles since its inception. Remember the CC100 Speedster Concept from last year? Yeah, that was just one example.

This year, the British marque brought a pair of new custom vehicles courtesy of Q by Aston Martin, and one of them is this sparkling V12 Vantage S that looks especially saucy with that white body and orange garnishing.

With the increasing popularity of bespoke sports cars , companies like Aston Martin are using events like Geneva to give the people a taste of what it’s capable of. Judging by the works Q by Aston Martin has delivered since it was created a few years ago, there’s a good chance that more and more of these unique Astons will be show their faces in future auto shows.

Just like this Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.

Click past the jump to read more about the Q by Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.

Acura has had a run of disappointments in recent years, particularly when I happened to receive the Acura TL in place of an RLX that had some "issues" preventing me from getting a fair shot at it. And it was little more than a Honda Honda wrapped up in an Acura costume. In fact, my tester Accord had more features than it, but I digress. I am here to talk about the 2014 Acura MDX.

For 2014, Acura scrapped the old MDX body and slapped on some brand-new sheet metal with all sorts of sharp angles and gorgeous lines. No longer does it look like a Honda Pilot wearing a different mask. It honestly looks like something that belongs in the same class as the BMW X5 and Mercedes GL-Class — at least in the press images it does.

So you can imagine that I was pretty antsy to get my hands on it, and that was multiplied by my crappy experience with the TL. So, what did I think of the TL once I got my chance behind the wheel?

Click past the jump to read my full Driven Review and find out.

Nissan’s plan to relaunch its Datsun sub-brand is moving along nicely with the introduction of the redo-Go Concept, a crossover-riding hatchback that could make its way into the emerging Indian market sooner than later.

Although Datsun has no immediate plans of turning the redi-Go Concept into a full-fledged production car, the mere development of the ride does point to a positive trend moving forward for the recently re-launched Nissan sub-brand.

We remember what Datsun was when it was around years ago, and while it’s got a long way to go to recapture its old magic, this new concept vehicle is a good way to start off its reemergence. If anything, the redi-Go looks like a crossover hatch that’s ready for production right now.

That is if Datsun is prepared to take that leap after just getting back into the game. It might hold off on it for a little while, but rest assured, a lot of people in the industry will be keen to see how it’s return to the game moves from here.

Click past the jump to know more about Datsun redi-GO Concept


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