The Volkswagen Tiguan was left to go stagnant on the market for 10 years after its launch, with Volkswagen finally giving in to introduce the second-gen model for the 2017 model year. It was, in fact, significantly more attractive, more modern than ever, and even had all the right technology. Be that as it may, once successful Tiguan isn’t doing quite as well on the U.S. market as VW would really like. So, as part of the SOWO show in Georgia, Volkswagen has debuted four new concepts, one of which is the Tiguan R-Line Areo Concept. It’s the most aggressive, stylistic, and attractive Tiguan we’ve ever seen. And, it sits excessively low to the ground – something that intrigues the low-rider in us and makes the Tiguan look like an oddly overgrown Golf with a cool wrap.
2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
Like most luxury automakers out there, Mercedes-Benz is looking to expand its lineup with electrified models. It already offers a few hybrids and small EVs like the B-Class and the Smart ForTwo, but its lineup still lacks the bigger electric models it needs to compete in the more popular segments. This is why Mercedes-Benz created the EQ division, which will soon include bigger sedans and crossovers. The Germans have already unveiled a few concept cars, and at least one is scheduled to become a production model in 2018. It’s called the EQC and is being developed alongside a hydrogen-powered version of the GLC.
Tested on public roads for a few months know — we know this because Mercedes-Benz released a few photos of the crossover — the EQC seems to be ready for the assembly line. Although still covered in swirly camo, it appears to be fitted with all production parts, including a new-generation electric drivetrain. It was initially rumored that the crossover was set to debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, but the EQC didn’t show up. This leaves the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October as a likely event for the EV to break cover. Until that happens, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about the EQC.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz EQC.
I see a lot of the Subaru Crosstrek. After spending a week behind the wheel of one, I finally understand why they’re so numerous in my area despite the fact there’s no Subaru dealer nearby.
The Crosstrek proved itself equal parts practical, efficient, and rugged during my weeklong test drive. It’s fitting that Subaru does so much advertising targeted at dog owners. The Subaru Crosstrek was as lovable as a golden retriever, as ruggedly handsome as an Alaskan malamute, and as stoic as a Weimaraner in the face of difficult conditions.
Plug-in cars are the future, and the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 seeks to prove they can be both practical and fun to drive.
And we’re not talking fun to drive in the “let’s see how far I can go on a tank of fuel” sense. We’re talking in the traditional, pedal-to-the-metal sense.
In a lot of ways, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 succeeds in its mission. In one important way, however, I felt like it needed a little work.
2018 Ford Fiesta Active
After almost 10 years on the market, the sixth-generation Ford Fiesta was finally discontinued in 2017, making way for a brand-new model with a fresh and sportier design. The new Fiesta also brought new technology on the table, as well as revised engines and an ST model powered by a three-cylinder unit. Come 2018 and Ford added a new member to the Fiesta family, this time around in the form of a crossover-styled model called Active. The Fiesta Active joins the Ka+ Active, a similar version of the smaller Ka+ hatchback launched earlier in 2018.
Designed for a small niche that used to include the Volkswagen CrossPolo — a model that is no longer available — the Fiesta Active will share the market with the Hyundai i20 Active. Essentially a hatchback with increase ground clearance and crossover-style cladding, the Fiesta Active is aimed at customers who want the benefits of crossover but still need a compact car that’s easy to drive and park inside the city. A bit more rugged on the outside, the Fiesta Active shares its technology and drivetrains with the standard hatchback, although certain differences are noticeable in every department. But more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Fiesta Active.
2019 Cadillac XT4
A few years ago, Cadillac finally admitted that it’s way behind its competitors in the premium market and hired Johan de Nysschen, who devised a new strategy for America’s iconic luxury brand. The new plans includes a host of new models, of which the range-topping CT6 sedan and the XT5 crossover have already been launched. Come 2018 and Cadillac launched the XT4, an even smaller crossover that competes against the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Spotted testing on public roads since early 2017, the XT4 made its public debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.
Cadillac’s smallest crossover to date, the XT4 rides on a new platform and uses a brand-new, small-displacement engine. While the larger XT5 is a replacement for the dated SRX and aims at the midsize luxury crossover market, the XT4 is actually a brand-new entry. And it’s not surprising that Cadillac wants a piece of the compact market, as this is where a lot of car makers are making huge profits. Having missed out on sales for so many years, Caddy is finally trying to catch up. The question is, will the XT4 be good enough to give the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 a run for their money? Let’s find out in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac XT4.
2019 Acura RDX
Now that Acura has effectively moved on by the design slump it was once in; the brand has begun to blur the line between luxury and performance. The new RDX is a prime example of that, taking cues from the 2017 Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX. As the latest addition to Acura’s revamped model portfolio, the RDX takes on a striking new look, has more than enough power to take on the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, and is luxurious enough to make you wonder why you’re not paying more for a vehicle of this caliber. That’s where that blurred line comes in, and that’s why you need to keep reading to learn more about the model that will make BMW and Audi fanboys reconsider what brand they represent.
2018 Jeep B-Ute
Introduced in 2014, the Jeep Renegade was received with some skepticism, mostly for being based on a Fiat platform and for being built outside the United States. But the company’s smallest SUV yet became a popular choice in its first three years on the market, with nearly 250,000 units sold in the U.S. and more than 470,000 examples delivered worldwide. The Renegade is close to receiving its mid-cycle update in 2018, but until that happens, Jeep gave the mini SUV a makeover for the Moab Easter Safari. It’s called the B-Ute and is equipped for the ultimate off-road adventure.
Fitted with a series of Jeep Performance Parts, the B-Ute would slot above the Trailhawk model in the lineup if it were to become a production model. It has more rugged features, bespoke interior parts, and enhanced off-roading capability thanks to a lift kit and larger wheels and tires. The name itself is a bit weird, as it combines the letter "B" with the term used for utility vehicles in Australian. Read together, and it would seem like Jeep wanted to call this SUV "beauty." And it’s certainly not! But hey, it was built to tackle rough terrain and not win beauty contests, so it doesn’t really matter.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep B-Ute.
2018 Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo Concept
Back in 2015, Porsche unveiled the Mission E concept, an all-electric super sedan that featured drivetrain technology developed for the 919 Hybrid race car. It didn’t take long for Porsche to confirm a production model and the test cars spotted on public roads began to fuel everyone’s dreams of a premium competitor for the Tesla Model S. While the Mission E is still under development, Porsche wants to expand its all-electric lineup with a different model. It’s based on the Mission E design- and drivetrain-wise, but it’s aimed at the booming crossover market. It’s called the Mission E Cross Turismo and previews a production model that will surely become the Porsche Cayenne of the electric market.
Unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Mission E Cross Turismo is a sporty crossover that combines elements seen on the Mission E sedan, the Cayenne, and the Panamera Sport Turismo. Yes, it’s a shooting brake that rides as high as a crossover, and it previews a competitor for the Tesla Model X. Porsche has already confirmed that a production model is underway, with the release date set sometime in 2019. It’s still one year away, but at least it’ll be here sooner than the Mission E, which took at least three years to become reality. And, by the looks of things, the Cross Turismo concept looks ready to go into production for the most part.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo Concept.
2019 BMW X4
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – people love their SUVs. It seems like every year, the segment gets bigger and more diverse, with a seemingly never-ending parade of tall-riding, off-road-styled, utility-oriented models filling every niche possible. One of the fresher entries in this space is the BMW X4, which hit the scene as recently as 2014 as the Bavarian’s take on compact/mid-size crossover luxury in a sporty, coupe-like package. Making its initial debut at the New York International Auto Show, the first-gen X4 has performed quite well for the brand in terms of sales, moving some 200,000 units since its introduction, nearly 10 percent of which went to the U.S. market. Now, just four years after its release, the X4 is gaining a second generation. Framed as a sporty, yet practical, yet off-road capable evolution of the Bavarian’s upscale SAC (BMW doesn’t like to call it an SUV, instead preferring the “Sports Activity Coupe” nomenclature), the 2019 BMW X4 offers consumers a surprising number of “sporty” updates, including a wider track, new suspension settings, more aggressive proportions, a lower center of gravity, and a more aerodynamic exterior.
The model line once again includes two equipment levels, starting with the xDrive30i, which replaces the outgoing xDrive28i, and ending with the more aggressive M40i, a carryover from the previous model year. Overall, the updates seem to double down on what the X4 does best, and will surely tempt buyers looking for something that can “do it all.” Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW X4.
2018 Lexus RX350 - Driven
The Lexus RX has been around since 1998 and basically invented the luxury crossover segment. It’s even appropriate to credit the RX with the boom in popularity for all crossover niches. But things have changed, of course, and the competition is fierce. Lexus brought its latest RX iteration to life for 2015, complete with the aggressive styling seen elsewhere in Lexus’ lineup.
Now as 2018 rolls on, the Lexus RX gets a new three-row version called the RX L. it’s available in the RX350 and RX450 configurations, meaning you can haul seven people with a standard V-6 or one connected to a hybrid system. If that’s not enough choice, Lexus will also let you have the F Sport package – and that’s all before getting into the optional features available within the cabin. Needleless to say, the RX offers customers plenty of choices.
But we’re testing the old standard – the RX350 in FWD without the appearance package or hybrid powertrain. This is the type of RX you’d find at any Lexus dealership without having to special order something. Let’s have a look.
Continue reading for more information.
2019 Jeep Renegade
The cute-ute Jeep Renegade is getting its first mid-cycle refresh. Spy photographers spotted a camouflaged Renegade winter testing in Europe along side the euro-spec Wrangler JL and some Alfa Romeo products. The changes are confined to the Renegade’s front and rear fascias, along with tweaks to the dashboard.
Changes to the drivetrain will likely be limited to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and updated Active Drive 4WD system, both courtesy of the updated 2019 Cherokee. Jeep could even include its new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, though at 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, is a big jump over the for the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder and its 180 horses and 175 pound-feet. The power would certainly be welcomed, though.
Jeep is expected to debut the updated Renegade sometime in 2018 ahead of the 2019 model year.
Continue reading for more on the refreshed Jeep Renegade.
2019 Ford Edge
The Ford Edge has been around since 2007 and its current generation debuted in 2015. But the second-generation Edge was getting a little, well, dull, so Ford has given the mid-size crossover a sharpening. This mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year brings revamped aesthetics, few minor changes to the interior, and a slew of active safety equipment. In fact, Ford is claiming the 2019 Edge comes with more standard driver assist features than any of its competition.
So what makes the Edge so technologically adept? Well, the standard safety features list is long. It includes Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support; Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection; Blind Spot Information with Cross-Traffic Alert; Lane-Keeping Alert; Lane-keeping Assist; Auto High Beams; and Hill-Start Assist. Basically, the 2019 Edge comes with all the latest (almost autonomous) driver aids without having to order an expensive option package. Here’s how the 2019 Ford Edge shapes up.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Ford Edge.
2019 Ford Edge ST
Performance versions of SUVs and crossovers are just dumb. To put outlandish power in a top-heavy vehicle originally designed to haul people and cargo across foreboding terrain is simply asinine. In the last year, we’ve seen Chevrolet launch the Tahoe RST, Jeep launch the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and Dodge debut the Durango SRT. Now Ford is getting into the game. Just a single day after teasing a new ST-badged model, Ford has debuted the Edge ST – yes, you read that right.
It’s a 2019 Edge crossover with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 making 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and turning all four wheels. It rides on an ST-tuned suspension and offers optional performance braking package. How crazy is that?
But really, how crazy is that? In reality, it’s not. Think back to the late 1960s when muscle cars developed from ordinary sedans and coupes. Automakers like Ford (and all the various divisions under General Motors and Chrysler) stuffed increasingly powerful V-8s into cars that, just a few years prior, wouldn’t be out of place in your grandmother’s driveway. It seems the same is becoming true for SUVs. These mommy-mobiles are turning into the 21st century’s version of the Ford Torino, Dodge Dart, and Chevy Impala. And who doesn’t love a vehicle that can pull double duty doing family errands and tearing up the autocross course? Maybe performance SUVs aren’t so dumb after all.
Let’s see how the 2019 Ford Edge ST stacks up.
2020 Nissan IMx
Having launched the Leaf back in 2010, Nissan is one of the pioneers of the all-electric industry. While not as efficient as the recently launched Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the Leaf remains the best-selling EV ever build as of early 2018. However, Nissan has yet to expand its all-electric lineup beyond this hatchback, and it is now falling behind the competition. This could change by the end of 2018, with Nissan likely to debut a battery-powered crossover based on the IMx concept.
Introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the IMx is described as "an all-electric crossover concept vehicle offering fully autonomous operation and a driving range of more than 600 km." Nissan also says that the vehicle provides "a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society." The IMx also previews the company’s new design language, so it could change quite a few things for the Japanese automaker. If put into production, it could go against the Tesla Model X, currently the quickest, most efficient, and most popular electric crossover out there.
While Nissan didn’t officially confirm a production version of the IMx, an all-electric crossover is the next logical step now that the second-generation Leaf is on its way to dealerships. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan IMx.
Infiniti makes a lot of fun cars and SUVs. But the QX30 may be the best offering in the range on a fun-per-dollar basis — particularly the 2018 QX30 Sport.
Sharing a lot in common with the Mercedes-Benz GLA Class, the smallest Infiniti crossover is eager to clip apexes on your favorite twisty road. Yet it remains practical enough for a small family to use as a daily driver, and cheap enough to make it attractive to people who might not be luxury-brand regulars.
2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy
As is tradition, the world of motor sport is looking to kick off 2018 with the infamous Dakar Rally, one of the most brutal, unforgiving, car-breaking, will-sapping events ever conceived. The Dakar heads into its 40th running this year, and its tenth stint in South America after the move across the Atlantic in 2009, and once again, competitors will do battle over a variety of terrain, from sand, to tarmac, to boulder fields, to 13,000-foot mountain passes. With so much tough terrain and such insane distances to cover, simply completing the Dakar is considered a major accomplishment. However, X-raid and Mini aren’t looking to just reach the finish line - they wanna win. Thus far, the collaborative effort has yielded four consecutive victories between 2012 and 2015, with the most recent outing in 2017 snagging sixth overall thanks to the efforts of Argentinian driver Orlando Terranova. Now, X-raid and Mini are gearing up for a fresh approach that includes the brand-new RWD Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. Created to take advantage of certain regulations to bolster 2WD competition, the Buggy will race alongside the more traditional Countryman-based 4WD Mini John Cooper Works Rally for a two-pronged approach to tackling the Dakar.
Fittingly, both vehicles were presented in Paris prior to their competition debut. The Buggy is a particularly exciting new venture for the Germany-based X-raid, which for the past 15 years has focused primarily on 4WD competition vehicles. However, with an experienced roster of drivers ready to take the controls, plus the proven Mini Rally to bolster the ranks, the team is feeling good about its chances. Read on for details on what makes these machines tick.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Rally.
2019 Jeep Cherokee
Jeep has brought a mild facelift and some powertrain improvements to the Cherokee for 2019. Jeep divulged all the details at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit alongside Fiat Chrysler’s other big reveal, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500.
This marks the first change to the current Cherokee since its introduction in 2014. Despite strong sales averaging around 200,000 per year in the U.S. alone, many complained about the Cherokee’s ugly mug. Jeep obviously listened as the front and rear mark the only external changes, along with five new wheel options. The interior also sees minor changes with Satin Chrome and Piano Black accents, a slightly larger cargo area, and the new fourth-generation Uconnect software that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on both the 7.0- and 8.4-inch touchscreens.
Jeep didn’t forget about the powertrain, either. An all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is available, while an updated nine-speed automatic transmission is said to have better refinement thanks to new software. The 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 and 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 return.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse – Driven
The Chevrolet Traverse made a big splash into the three-row crossover pond when it debuted for 2009. It offered more interior room than Chevy’s own Tahoe, and at a much more family-friendly price. The same is true for Chevy’s all-new, second-generation Traverse, which debuts for the 2018 model year. It rides on a new chassis, comes with updated powertrains, and classier styling. Inside is Chevy’s latest tech-filled cabin with plenty of creature comforts spread over three rows and seven seats – or eight seats with the standard second-row bench.
To get an in-depth feel of how Chevy’s redesigned Traverse handled a family road trip, I embarked on a 1,500-mile road trip with my wife, daughter, and sister-in-law all piled aboard. The trip took us from sunny Central Florida to the chilly hills of East Tennessee for Thanksgiving. Our chariot was a Premier trim, second only to the High Country trim in the 2018 Traverse’s lineup. That means it came with just about every wish-list item, including heated and vented front seats, heated second-row bucket seats, the MyLink infotainment system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, USB ports galore, and Sirius XM radio for uninterrupted music over the day-long, 12-hour drive north. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth allowed for other choices for the front-seat DJ.
Continue reading for more on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse family road trip.
2018 GMC Terrain – Driven
Crossovers are all the rage these days, and that trend doesn’t look to be subsiding anytime soon. Automakers have to be on their A-game in this category – especially in the two-row mid-size category. It seems everybody and their grandma is trading their sedans for these high-riding wagons. As such, GMC has completely revamped its contender in the class, the Terrain. In fact, it’s all new for 2018, sharing no parts with the first generation model.
I recently spent a week living with this new second-generation family hauler. From shuttling the kiddo to and from school and bringing home the groceries to taking the wife on a hot date – the 2018 Terrain proved willing and able. My SLT tester slots above the SL and SLE trims, so it comes with plenty of standard features. It also slots under the swanky Denali trim, so it’s not completely loaded out. It seems the SLT trim makes a great middle ground, especially considering its $32,315 starting price. Naturally, GMC didn’t loan me an options-free model, so I had the opportunity to try the Terrain’s more upscale features. Here’s how it went.
Continue reading for more on the 2018 GMC Terrain.
2019 Subaru Ascent
Subaru is back in the three-row crossover game after a notable absence since the ill-fated Tribeca died a slow, agonizing death in 2014 from poor customer reception and slow sales over its nine-year life. Naturally, Subaru has done everything it knows in order to avoid repeating past mistakes. The all-new 2019 Ascent is larger, sleeker, more tech-savvy, loaded with active safety features, and powered by an all-new 260-horsepower, 2.4-liter Boxer engine with Symmetrical AWD.
The Ascent comes at just the right time as crossovers are utterly exploding in popularity. Growing families who eschew the minivan stigma are gravitating to three-row crossovers while empty nesters find the extra seating handy for grandkids. Four trim levels are offered – the base, Premium, Limited, and Touring – with pricing starting at $31,995. We’ve got all the details below, so keep reading for more.
Update 02/15/2018: Subaru has announced pricing for the 2019 Ascent. Check out the pricing category below for all the details.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Subaru Ascent.
2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven
Cadillac is diligently working on polishing its brand reputation after decades of forgettable cars. Over the last few years, General Motors’ luxury brand has gotten a good start with updates to the ATS and CTS, while launching the all-new and impressive CT6. But, sedans aren’t hot right now – it’s crossovers. Cadillac needed a high-end crossover with classy digs and tons of tech capable of competing with the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Jaguar F-Pace. That’s where the new XT5 comes in, debuting for the 2017 model year.
The XT5 rides on GM’s new C1XX platform that’s shared with the GMC Acadia. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Buick Enclave ride on a lengthened version of the C1XX, as well. The new architecture gave Cadillac engineers a clean-sheet start over the outgoing SRX crossover and the ability to bake in better ride characteristics, handling, softened NVH levels, more interior room, and better fuel economy. The icing on the cake is then advanced part-time AWD system with a twin-clutch rear differential capable of active torque vectoring. Not only does it improve all-weather drivability, but it improves handling on dry roads, too. A new V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission complete the important under-hood parts. Tech-savvy customers will love the new CUE system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging. Luxury bits include amazingly comfortable seats, high-end leather, wood and metal accents, and a suede headliner.
I recently spent a week with the 2017 XT5 and can vouch for Caddy’s new crossover. It’s got plenty going for it, but it isn’t perfect. Keep reading to see why.
Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.
2020 Lotus SUV
The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus CEO Jean-Mark Gales has already revealed that the automaker is developing a compact crossover, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web recently provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a new rendering of the vehicle.
So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. "The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else. We’re working on it. The new board needs to pass it, but the future is very bright," Giles told Autocar in October 2017.
Continue reading to learn more about Lotus’ future SUV.