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.
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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.
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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.
2018 Volvo XC40
Volvo has been busy revamping its entire lineup. It has recently introduced an all-new XC60, and all-new S90, and an all-new V90. The next model on the list is the XC40 compact SUV that will reside at the bottom of Volvo’s SUV lineup and provide an entry-level and affordable option for those that don’t need the extra space afforded by the larger XC60 and XC90. The XC40 has been on the cards for a while, with spy shots surfacing as early as 2015 and Volvo has finally unveiled its competitor for the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Volvo’s first ever premium compact SUV, the new XC40 is also the company’s first model to be built on the company’s all-new CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. Inspired by the bigger XC90 inside and out, the mini SUV features much of the advanced connectivity, entertainment, and safety technology Volvo’s latest vehicles. It is also powered by Volvo’s efficient Drive-E engines and is offered with front- or all-wheel drive. All told, it is indeed a more affordable proposition for drivers who need the higher ride of an SUV, but can do without the large exterior dimensions. Let’s see what it brings to the table in the review below
Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo XC40.
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
Around since the 2001 model year, the Acura MDX is a very hot commodity and has been a huge success, proving to be one of the best-selling three-row luxury crossovers of all time, and has historically sat below the Lexus RX as the best-selling luxury crossover. It’s been through two generational shifts with the third-gen model making its debut for the 2015 model year and was facelifted just a couple of years later, to bring about the new diamond pentagon grille, LED headlamps, LED taillights, and an updated AcuraWatch safety system that includes automatic collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, all as standard equipment. Its exterior style to cues from the Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX, the latter of which also inspired the drivetrain found in the hybrid model.
The MDX has had pretty steady sales since the third-gen model was introduced, with 2014 accounting for 65,603 units sold, 2015 accounting for 58,208 units, and 2016 accounting for 55,495 units. Those are U.S. numbers only, and this is a global model so you can imagine the global sales are significantly higher. As we move into 2018, Acura continues to set the pace as a leader in the segment by bringing about an updated infotainment system, some new exterior colors, and a new pricing point that is a bit higher than it was for 2017, but not by much and well worth it considering what you get from a luxury brand like Acura. Check out our full review below to learn all about the facelifted, third-gen MDX.
Update 9/19/2017: Acura has released pricing for the 2018 model year, and there are a couple of updates to talk about as well. Check out our review below to learn all about it.