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.

Posted on by Simona  

When the Kia Soul dropped onto the U.S. market in 2010 , hipsters everywhere saw Kia in a whole new light. This boxy compact car had all the tuning capabilities the Honda Civic had when it was a tuning phenomenon through the late 1990s and early 2000s, plus it had a catchy commercial with hip hop hamsters . All was well in the world of the Soul, and it’s about to get even more real with the preparation of the future-generation model.

Fresh off of its facelift in 2011 , the most sold model from Kia has just entered a new generation. The 2014 Kia Soul was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show and will be put on sale in the third quarter of this year.

For the new generation, the Soul has switched to a new chassis, received a new design language inspired by the Track’ster concept and features significant suspension upgrades.

Updated 02/19/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, got his hands on the top-of-the-line Kia Soul for a whole week. Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump to see what he thought.

The Honda Crosstour suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis. Is it a wagon or is it a crossover ? Honda classifies it as the latter, though, so that’s good enough for us.

In some ways, the Crosstour has the qualities of both car types yet it still behooves us to watch Honda peddle the vehicle when it already has a full lineup of models that customers to choose from.

But hey, give credit to the Japanese carmaker for venturing into the road less travelled. The Crosstour really is on a unique platform and to be fair to it, the vehicle does have some impressive qualities about it that should make for an intriguing purchase, even if you have to compromise on some things to make way for other things.

It’s confusing, we know, but then again, isn’t that the state of mind the Crosstour will leave you in?

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Honda Crosstour

The French automakers have a knack for creating some of the visually unique and interesting cars on the market. If you don’t believe that, take on look at the new KWID Concept from Renault . An exterior that looks like an angry, off-road hatchback is painted a hue of steel and covered in bright sunshine yellow accents. It has an interior that appears to be built by stretching massive rubber bands across the inside. It also comes with a remote controlled quad-copter.

Who the hell thinks of this stuff?

The quirky concept is design to shoot cupid’s arrow straight through the heart of the young and tech-savvy buyer. It is loaded with high tech wizardry, and even features a tablet computer built into the dash.

The KWID is aimed squarely at developing markets like India where new car buyers tend to be far younger than in other more developed car-buying nations.

Continue reading to find out more about this chunk of French madness.

Volvo Concept XC Coupe

Note: Volvo Concept XC Coupe pictured here.

As time grows short before the Geneva Auto Show , automakers keep announcing their plans for showcased vehicles. In this case, Volvo has only issued a press release about the third and final member of a trio of concept vehicles commissioned by Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s Senior Vice President of Design. Included in the trio are the Concept Coupe that bowed at the Frankfort Auto Show and the Concept XC Coupe which won hearts at Detroit .

The new concept vehicle is still surrounded in secrecy, as the Swedish automaker hasn’t released a single picture of it. We’re left only to guess at what the class the vehicle will fall into and what it might look like. The only real detail that Volvo revealed is that this new concept will feature the Drive-E Powertrain.

The two concepts already in the public eye share many similarities – even riding of a modified version of the same platform architecture. It is probably safe to assume the third concept coming to the Geneva Show will sport many of the same cues and features.

Looking at the Concept Coupe and the Concept XC Coupe, its clear the two share the same design ethos. Futuristic lighting elements adornments, the same concave grille design, and many of the same interior features are common between the two. Rest assured that once the last of Volvo’s concepts hits the Geneva stage on March 4th, TopSpeed will bring you all the details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volvo Concept XC Coupe.

Porsche Macan

Things are going really well for Porsche these days. At the opening ceremony for the new Porsche Macan plant in Leipzig today, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller said he expects the automaker to break the 200,000-unit sales mark, partly in thanks to exploding interest in its small crossover, the Macan.

New for 2015, the Macan is based on the Audi Q5 and is Porsche’s second go in the SUV class. Its wildly popular Cayenne has been a great seller for the company since its introduction back in 2003. "We’re transferring the genes of the Porsche brand into a new market segment," Mueller said. "Porsche will remain a manufacturer of very exclusive premium cars."

What we take away from that quote is that Porsche will pander to the vogue SUV and crossovers of today, but will never abandon the classic sports car on which their brand, reputation, and faithful following is based upon.

To that end, Mueller continued saying in regards to future Macan models, "GTS versions have a tradition at Porsche. We haven’t made a final decision yet regarding the Macan, but I’m sure it makes a lot of sense." Sorta sounds like the Macan GTS’ first public teaser to us.

Until we hear more official words, we’re left to speculate. One thing is sure, however, and that’s Porsche’s certainty its all-new Macan will be a hit. Mueller continued in his speech saying Porsche is ready to push production beyond the 50,000 units currently being planned if demand for the sporty crossover continues in its skyward direction.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Porsche Macan GTS.

The Sportage has been a solid crossover offering in a highly competitive segment in recent years, and for 2014, Kia is giving it a slight makeover in hopes to keep it competitive. Although the Sportage has been around longer than Kia might care to remember (1993-2010), the CUV got a very nice, ground-up redo for 2011 after Hyundai /Kia hired Peter Schreyer from Audi to be their Chief Design Officer in 2006.

Once the Sportage went under the Schreyer knife, the CUV’s popularity skyrocketed with its much more handsome appearance and resemblance to its other Kia cousins. That third generation is still ongoing, though for 2014, the Korean automaker has reshaped its front end ever so slightly and added a few bells and whistles to keep buyers interested.

Sales for the Sportage spiked in 2011 when the third generation came to market, beating the previous year’s 23,873 sales figures by over double at 47,463. Since then, sales have steadily slumped to only 32,965 units sold for 2013. A slightly altered look, swanky new interior features, and a revised engine seem to be what Kia’s hopes for a brighter sales forecast are riding on. The question is, will those new additions be enough?

Starting with the exterior, Kia has given the Sportage a more three dimensional design that seems to convey a higher level of refinement to the CUV. Backing up that perceived refinement is an updated infotainment system that relies heavily on voice commands that help keep the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Lastly, a revised base engine adds power the Sportage by bringing direct injection to the table.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Sportage.

The Chicago Auto Show has officially arrived and Kia is getting things started off with a few milestone announcements; starting with the all-new 2015 Soul EV.

The Soul EV represents the first ever all-electric , zero-emissions vehicle from the Korean company on U.S. soil. On top of its electric propulsion system, the Kia EV was recognized by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for integrating more than 20 bio-friendly materials in the construction.

Kia is promising up to 100 miles of “real world” range out of its lithium battery and says that interior space is barely impacted by the addition of the addition of the electron storage.

Kia hopes to have the new Soul EV in dealerships by this fall with California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland as the first markets. These regions were chosen for their relatively large EV infrastructures.

Has Kia finally created a stylish and practical EV that buyers are looking for?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Soul EV.

So, what happens when a Kia Soul and a Chevy HHR decide to have little babies? Well, you get this really, really weird concept that showed its awkward self at the Delhi Auto Expo . We’re not saying that the Adra Concept is ugly or anything... well, okay, maybe we are, but it at least falls under the 4 meter (157-inch) length required for a tax break in India, right? No sir, it does not. The Adra is actually 4.2 meters (165 inches), so you can nix that thought.

Honestly though, from the front end, the Adra Concept actually looks fairly decent, though that high roof is not my cup of tea. Its front fascia is pretty stylish and modern, the apron is sporty, and its sweptback headlights are really sharp. Around back, however, things quickly head south, as it is way too bland and that short rear overhang combined with the high roofline just looks strange.

What the Adra offers is a high seating position, so drivers get a good view of the road, more ground clearance and a pretty roomy cabin for its relatively petite footprint.

There’s no mention of what’s going on under the hood, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see it come with the same 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine found in the Chevy Beat — called the Spark in the U.S. — with about 60 horsepower.

We’re willing to bet (read: hope) that this model stays right at home in India, if it ever reaches production.

Click past the jump to read more on the Adra Concept

The venerable Highlander has been a strong seller for Toyota since its debut back in 2001, when it helped usher in the era of uni-body crossovers. Back then, the Highlander represented a solid alternative to the mundane four-door sedan with its higher ground clearance, upright view of the road and tidy dimensions. Five passengers and a decent amount of cargo could trudge though snow or down wooded paths with more confidence than in a Camry , thanks to the available all-wheel drive. The little CUV That Could embodied the premise of the whole crossover craze; combining the on-road manners of a car with SUV -like capabilities in a smart package.

The Highlander moved into its second generation in 2008, and received a mid-life refresh in 2010. Those changes helped it stay competitive, but the time has come for the next generation. Enter: the all-new 2014 Highlander.

Everything inside and out has a new look. Sharper, crisper lines make the CUV more manly and rugged, while its overall look still labels it as civilized. It rides on the same wheelbase but has grown some three inches, giving more rear passenger legroom.

An eight-passenger configuration is available on mid-level trims, and a powerful 3.5-liter V-6 can send power to all four wheels when the right option boxes are checked. Both the four-cylinder and hybrid models return for 2014, but with improved fuel economy.

I had the chance to drive the Highlander through the “snowpocalypse of 2014” along the icy streets of Charleston, South Carolina, as the town suffered its first snowfall in years.

Click past the jump for our 2014 Toyota Highlander review

Posted on by Simona  

Dodge will expand its Journey lineup with the addition of a new Crossroad version that it will unveil at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show . It comes just a few weeks after Dodge announced that 2013 model year was the Journey’s best sales year ever, and Dodge hopes that this new version of the model will enjoy the same success as the rest of the Journey lineup.

The new Journey Crossroad will be distinguished by a specially designed front and rear fascia, platinum chrome and black elements, plus a series of updates for the interior. The only problem is that the model comes with pretty much no upgrades under the hood, so the customers will have to choose between the usual four-cylinder and V-6 engines.

The new Dodge Journey Crossroad will be placed between the current SXT and Limited models in the Journey lineup and will be priced from $24,995. Sales will begin later this spring.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad.


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