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.

2014 brought the first major redesign of the Kia Soul , but the South Korean automaker treaded carefully and didn’t meddle with the car’s styling too much. A wise decision, if you ask me. Not only because I like the Soul’s unique design, but it also didn’t make sense for Kia to change one of its best-selling models drastically. Sure, I don’t expect all of you to rave about its boxy styling, but the new Soul is quite rewarding when it comes to cargo and interior room, all backed by a comprehensive engine lineup. And it’s highly customizable too for a vehicle in its segment. Which brings me to the latest Soul-related news I want to share with you; the compact just received a couple of new models. These models carry the Mixx and Maxx names and come as high-specification versions of the familiar hatch.

The bad news is that Kia will only sell them in the United Kingdom, with no U.S. availability on the horizon. Still, this is further proof of what Kia is capable of nowadays and we can only hope the Soul range will soon grow in North America as well. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what the Brits have in their showrooms as of September 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Soul Mixx And Maxx.

The Infiniti QX60 is relatively new in the crowded crossover market. Technically, 2014 is the QX60’s first year in production, but its literal existence dates back to 2013 when Infiniti introduced the three-row crossover as the JX35. Thanks to the automaker’s nomenclature shake-up for the 2014 model year, the JX became the QX60 with no major changes happening to the vehicle itself. Infiniti has made things simpler with its new naming structure, keeping sedans named with the prefix Q and the SUVs named with the prefix QX.

I recently spent a week utilizing the 2014 Infiniti QX60 for its intended purpose. I hauled people, their stuff, and even attached a car seat for my toddler. The rear-seat DVD system kept passengers entertained, and the all-wheel-drive system helped the QX60 navigate a few torrential Florida downpours.

I spent the majority of the week’s driving on the highway with a smaller portion stuck in city traffic. The Infiniti felt at home in both situations, especially with its optional Intelligent Cruise Control system. Speaking of optional equipment, my QX60 tester came equipped with over $14,000 in extras. To say it was loaded would be an understatement.

Even without the extra goodies, the QX60 comes with a laundry list of features befitting a premium brand. But does that make this crossover a good buy?

Keep reading past the jump to find out.

Things are looking pretty serious for Audi’s future TT lineup. We’ve reported before about the possible expansion of the TT, making it into various vehicle configurations, but now word from Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s development chief, says a new TT body style is currently in development, though he stayed quiet regarding details. The news comes from the TT coupe’s recent launch in Marbella, Spain.

Audi has already released a concept of a TT iteration, the TT Offroad Concept . Back in April 2014 when the concept debuted, Hackenberg said it “provides an insight into how we might envisage a new model in the future TT family.”

This concept comes as Audi recognizes the growing market demand for higher-riding SUVs and crossover. In an interview with Automotive News market analyst Mark Fulthorpe of HIS Automotive said, “Many image- or fashion-conscious buyers are moving to the rapidly growing crossover sector as a means of expressing their taste.” This movement translates into Audi having to expand the TT lineup to include such vehicles in order to keep the TT Coupe and Roadster alive.

Perhaps the best example of this type of model expansion would be Mini Cooper . Its models all share the same basic structure as the conventional three-door hatchback. Mini now builds a five-door, wagon, coupe , convertible , roadster, and SUV versions of its original car.

Segmenting the market in this manner allows automakers to reach potential niche buyers while offsetting development and production costs. Audi would be smart to adopt the practice, at least for the upcoming 2015 TT and its potential family.

Note: Audi TT offroad concept pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Audi TT crossover.

Volvo is the king of the family-hauling luxury SUV . When the XC90 hit the scene, it began a slow domination of the three-row market. Soon after, the Swedish automaker moved into the smaller market with the XC60 and once again, Volvo had a relative hit for the brand. Now for the new 2015.5 model, the XC60 is updated, upgraded and supposedly better than ever, and I was going to drive the new, more fuel efficient T6 Drive-E model.

As someone who ordinarily hates family hauling crossovers, but loves nicely designed cars like those from Sweden, I was interested in giving this car a run for its money. One of my favorite small hatches of all time is the Volvo C30 , so would Volvo be able to make me like a crossover ?

It is great to look at, has lots of nice details and features, plus it has 300 horsepower under the hood. I took the keys for a week and a few hundred miles to see if it was worth buying. Would the fuel saving features ruin the fun? Would the generally boring driving dynamics of a family car make me hate driving it?

Read on to find out more about the new 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

The Volvo XC90 , first introduced in 2003, was a mega-hit, gaining MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year in 2003, and the North American Car of the Year award. Even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson has famously owned three of the previous-gen XC90’s and has praised them for being incredibly practical and pleasant to drive. Those are some big shoes to fill for this second-gen XC90, but it seems Volvo is up to the task.

The second generation XC90 will debut in 2015 and is said to be brimming with the latest and greatest automotive technology. To celebrate the year Volvo was founded, the first 1,927 buyers who order their crossover online will get what’s called the First Edition XC90. These few lucky buyers will get a fully loaded XC90, with many exclusive items that won’t be found on the standard model.

If you want one of these First Edition Swede’s you’re gonna have to hurry. Alain Visser, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales says, “Those who want to be among the first ones to own the best SUV in the world have to act fast. The huge interest in the all-new XC90 indicates that the First Edition will sell out quickly.” Whoever gets one of these First Edition models will get to own a very special version of quite possibly the best all around SUVs on the market.

Updated 09/05/2014: The new XC90 is already a smashing success, as all 1,927 XC90 First Edition units were sold in just 47 hours. The model was released Wednesday, September 1, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. CET and in no time it was gone, with an average of 7 cars sold every minute.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo XC90 First Edition

This is certainly not the first time we’re seeing the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class wandering the streets, but it is the camo-covered GLK’s first time captured cruising with its production-ready headlights and taillights, not to mention the uncovered grille for all to see.

Before now, the GLK had been sporting makeshift projector-beam headlights, and had its grille covered in swirly camo and wire mesh. Even its taillights looked to be of the JC Whitney variety.

Now with the production units in place, the GLK’s looks are coming together. Its new headlights appear to be HID units with a strip of LED lighting running along the bottom edge. In the close-up shot, a cutout for what will likely be a fog light sits just below the headlight, visible just forward of the front tire.

Out back, the taillights appear to be similar to those found on the upcoming C-Class Wagon. Horizontal bars help add width to the rather upright crossover and the detailing will add a level of posh.

We can expect to see the new GLK hit showrooms for the 2015 model year with a variety of powerplants and trim levels. Its starting price should remain in the $38,000 ballpark.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes GLK.

2013 was a great year for Buick . GM’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles worldwide, topping a sales record that dates back to 1984. Deliveries of the Encore and Enclave models were decisive for the company’s growth, which is why Buick is adding a third crossover to its lineup as we move into the 2015 model year. Dubbed Envision, the new hauler slots between the Encore and the Enclave , in an already packed segment.

Launched on the Chinese market at first, with a North American release likely to follow for the 2016 model year, the Buick Envision comes with a couple of segment-first features. Additionally, the new crossover marks a premier for the brand, being the first Buick-badged vehicle to sport an Off-Road driving mode.

As with most GM vehicles built and launched in China, the Envision is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder unit that comes with decent output figures and a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission. The crossover promises to deliver class-leading fuel economy of nearly 27 mpg combined. Read on for the full details.

Updated 09/01/2014: Buick unveiled a series of new images and details on the new Envision. Click past the jump for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about the Buick Envision

If you thought the GT-R -powered Nissan Juke and its 545 horsepower was a crazy idea, then you’re in for a big surprise. Nismo’s crazy limited-edition crossover is far from being the fastest Juke ever built and it’s quite slow compared to the monster a Russian company managed to create. How’s that possible, you may ask? Well, the folks over at Shpilli Villi Engineering squeezed no less than 800 ponies out of Godzilla’s twin-turbo, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine, while adding a shot of nitrous for an extra 200 horses. That’s right, this Juke has no less than 1,000 horsepower traveling through its drivetrain, albeit only for a few seconds.

So what do you do when you have at least 800 horses to spare besides winning a dozen drag races against the world’s most powerful supercars ? You take it to the Nurburgring track, of course, the place where all production cars go to have their engines and chassis refined. Not that this Juke needs further tweaks or any race-course time given its purpose, but at least the Juke R isn’t one of those massive SUVs BMW and Mercedes-Benz keeps bringing at the ’Ring.

Naturally, the overly powerful crossover isn’t the kind of vehicle you’d expect to set a new Nurburgring record, especially on a wet track, but owner and race car driver Vladimir Ulanov manages to put the Juke R through its paces and clock a few fast laps. Thankfully, the Russians captured it all on tape and you can watch the madness in the video above.

The Vitara, one of Suzuki’s most iconic vehicles, was launched in 1988 as a compact SUV . Dubbed Escudo in Japan and Sidekick in the United States, the small crossover came to North America for the 1989 model year. The Vitara name, mostly used in Europe and some South American and Asian market, was introduced in the United States starting 1999. That’s when the second-gen Vitara was born as a slightly larger, pricier and more powerful version of the first-gen model. A replacement was developed for 2005, but the current Grand Vitara has very little in common with the original concept. For 2015, however, the Vitara nameplate is making a surprising return to its roots, as it’s pinned as a compact SUV destined to compete against the Nissan Juke .

Set to break cover at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, the brand-new Vitara promises to have "a striking road presence," a "distinctive design," and numerous personalization options, the latter a feat Suzuki rarely offers. So is the Vitara signaling the Japanese are reinventing themselves? It’s a bit too early to draw a conclusion, but the compact SUV is definitely a new approach for a company such as Suzuki.

Click past the jump to read more about the Suzuki Vitara

SUVs and crossovers became increasingly popular beginning in the 1990s. Few automakers have yet to join this profitable segment, while most manufacturers that offer such vehicles are elbows deep into providing the sportiness and chutzpah more and more customers are demanding nowadays, while struggling to keep up with the stringent fuel-consumption and CO2-emission regulations. Granted, SUVs are now more than just plain, slow vehicles designed to haul people or tackle the roughest off-road trails.

Need a sports car that rides higher than usual and can carry four people comfortably? Porsche is ready to take your check and deliver a Cayenne . If legroom is what interests you most, but you also need more than 500 ponies and an off-road capable rig, then you’re better off with the Range Rover LWB . You’d rather trade British elegance and German sportiness for some American bling? No problem, you’re the reason why Cadillac is building the Escalade . There’s no doubt these are all great machines, but they all come with at least one drawback, they’re awfully expensive.

That’s not to say there aren’t any affordable SUVs that can offer seating for seven people out there. There’s a handful of seven-seaters you can buy for less than $50,000 that still offer plenty of posh features. We put together a list comprising the cheapest luxury seven-seater SUVs you can buy for the 2015 model year. Check it out below and let us know which one would you pick as a daily driver.

Click past the jump to find out more about the Top 5 Luxury 7-Seater SUVs priced under $50,000.


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