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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.

In New York, Mini has just finished introducing us to the 2015 Countryman . Not one to limit its attendance to just one major auto show, Mini decided to spread its new models out evenly by opting to introduce the equally refreshed 2015 Paceman in Beijing .

Ok, maybe ’refreshed’ isn’t the right word to describe the 2015 Paceman because, well, there aren’t too many changes to begin with. It does adopt some of the changes made to the Countryman, but that’s not saying a lot.

So, in essence, the 2015 Paceman’s biggest change is its a new model year.

But it’s not the Paceman’s fault, nor is it Minis, for that matter. The Paceman, after all, was only introduced a few years ago, so a major refresh probably still isn’t in the cards until next year. More importantly, with the company’s expansion plans in full effect, Mini’s new-found lineup versatility has given rise to more choices for its customers.

The Jeep Renegade is barely a few months old, but somehow, a special design concept has found itself halfway around the world at the Beijing Auto Show . This is the Renegade Zi You Xia, a new concept that Jeep created specifically to highlight the Renegade’s sophisticated side.

It’s quite appropriate that Jeep nicknamed this concept ZI You Xia, which means "rebel" when translated to English. Even more so with all the China -inspired details the baby Jeep received to cater to its host market.

For one, the Warm Chocolate Gray with a contrasting Dark Anodized Bronze colors of the Renegade Zi You Xia were inspired by the colors of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The latter, in particular, you can clearly see used on the grille throats, front fog lamp bezels, rear lower fascia, skidplate, taillight insert bezel and badging.

To serve as a third shade of the exterior, a Dark Charcoal paint color was used on the roof panel, grille surrounds and door mirror caps of the Renegade Zi You Xia, something Jeep describes as creating harmonious accents throughout the body to cultivate a more premium appearance for the otherwise clunky-looking crossover .

Given how new the Renegade actually is as a model, it’s hard to gauge just how well it’s going to be received in the Chinese market. We’ve gotta give credit to Jeep for preempting sales with this concept study of the Renegade. Chances are, a lot more Chinese customers will be drawn towards Jeep’s newest model now that they know what a Renegade can look like under the best of circumstances.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia


Audi is coming to the Beijing Motor Show later this month with what looks to be an all-new crossover concept that could serve as a preview of the future Q4 crossover, or it could be a preview of an expanded TT lineup. Rumors of this Audi crossover have been circulating for years, and if you take a good look at these photos, it does bear a striking similarity to the Allroad Shooting Brake Concept that we first saw in Detroit last January.

If there’s any legs to rumors that Audi is planning to turn the TT into its own sub-brand, then you can see why the company is releasing all these TT-inspired concepts recently. It’s probably testing the market to see what the reception is going to be for a new sub-brand bearing the "TT" name.

On the flip side, there’s also that matter of expanding an already-established family under Audi’s roof: the Q SUV s. At one point or another, the TT Offroad Concept was linked as a potential future glimpse at an Audi Q4 , the newest model to come out of the Q line, and one that would be slotted in just below the big boy Q5 and Q7 SUVs and just a hair above the Q3 .

What’s become apparently clear is that the Audi TT Offroad Concept will play a big role in dictating Audi’s future lineup. It’s not just because of the new technology it has that can be adopted on other models, but more so on how Audi decides to use the concept relative to the rest of its existing lineup.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TT Off-Road Concept.

Lincoln Motor Company has just announced its launch a full product lineup in China, including five new vehicles. One of those – a midsize luxury SUV – accompanies the news in this teaser video above. Though Lincoln hasn’t given away much info on the new vehicle, the video does reveal some interesting aspects.

From the few glimpses visible, the SUV appears to be a highly sculpted crossover with plenty of LED trickery and accent lighting. Most eye-catching are the massive turn signals that surround the headlight fixtures and continue to the side mirrors. A strong belt line runs just under the windows with a large rear haunch laying above the rear tire. If things stay true to the artist’s drawings seen here, the front will feature some fairly stunning sculpted lines with plenty of drama.

This SUV will join a lineup of four other cars including the MKZ, the MKC, a new full-size luxury sedan , and the refreshed Navigator – all of which will be built inside the United States. What’s more, Lincoln is taking an entirely new approach to selling cars, one based relationships and an inviting dealer environment.

Lincoln’s goal is a network of 60 dealers in 50 cities across China by 2016, with the first eight opening this fall. The dealers will run under the ideology of “The Lincoln Way,” a much more personal, relationship-biased approach to selling cars. “It completely shifts luxury automotive ownership from a sales and service transaction model to an experience model,” says Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president of global marketing.

The dealers will feature a more home-like atmosphere with a tea room and other amenities like the Personalization Studio where customers can customize and order their particular vehicle. The new dealership style will concentrate its focus on providing good relationships and quality treatment than having a large, uninviting room packed with products. It’ll be interesting to see how this business model works for China and if it could work within the U.S.

Updated 04/21/2014: Lincoln pulled the covers off its MKX Concept at the Beijing Auto Show and release these detailed images. Sadly, there isn’t much news about the interior or engine options at this time. Click past the jump to see the new shots and read the updated press release.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lincoln MKX Concept Crossover.

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.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

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.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Nissan has a lot riding on the success of the Murano . That’s not an easy position to be, seeing as the Murano is considered as the halo vehicle for the company’s range of crossovers and SUVs, but also has such a polarizing look. So it figures that Nissan is using the New York International Auto Show as the event to introduce to the auto world the new 2015 Murano.

Far more than just a debut of the vehicle, the Murano’s attendance in New York will also serve as a showcase for the automaker to introduce its new design language, one that will be used on future production vehicles. Big stakes involved here for Nissan, if people haven’t already noticed.

As far as the 2015 Murano is concerned, the SUV’s new look isn’t the only thing that’s worth paying attention to. Far from it, actually. A spacious premium interior is also being offered, as are a host of new safety and connective technology features.

As we anticipated, this new generation for the Murano moves it away from its unconventional look of today and gives it a more mainstream look.

Updated 04/14/2014: Nissan unveiled the official details on the 2015 Murano - with just a few days before the car’s official debut in New York.

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

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 .

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

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.


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