2022 Mercedes EQ B
Mercedes’ lineup of electric crossovers and SUVs continues to take shape with a fresh batch of spy photos of a model that looks a lot like the Mercedes GLB-Class. Except this isn’t the GLB; this is the GLB’s all-electric alter ego, the EQ B. The spy photos were taken in Sweden where the EQ B is undergoing winter testing. Mercedes hasn’t divulged the juicy details of the EQ B, but it is believed that, among other things, it will largely take the form of the GLB, albeit with a few minor tweaks to reflect is all-electric stature. No timetable has been given on when the Mercedes EQ B will launch, but we do know that the all-electric crossover will not hit the U.S. market until 2021.
Update 2/28/2020: The Mercedes EQB has started to take on its official electrified look in our latest batch of spy shots. Is a debut imminent? Find out what we know in our special “Spy Shots” section below!
2019 Peugeot 508 Allure 2.0 BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT8 Driven
It was 2010 when the rules changed after two Peugeot models were killed off: the 607, which was almost completely based on the 605 model from 1989, and the 407, which seemed like it was roaming between segments in an attempt to get into the wallets of two social strata. It wasn’t like Peugeot roamed around wearing blindfolds, though. This was more of an attempt at creating a global trend founded on personal identity; however, Peugeot couldn’t find its ground when it came to cars whose length was more than 4,5 meters (177 inches).
Mind you, Peugeot wasn’t the only one, as similar strategies were employed by Volvo, Renault, and even Ford. And then they were back with another attempt – one car that would be interesting to those in need of a spacious family car, but also those who were in search for a business saloon or the second best thing at least. As the wheelbase for the 607 was 2.800 mm (110.23 in), and 2.725 mm (107.28 in) for the 407, Peugeot found itself in uncharted territories in 2010 given that its 508 (albeit shorter than the 607), had a wheelbase of 2.817 mm.
So, the two generations of the 508 model found its way to more than 400,000 buyers in Europe alone. Despite steadily declining sales figures, Peugeot wasn’t ready to euthanize the model. Instead, the company decided to cut the administrative costs, and adequately entice its designers and engineers. They came up with a new product and Peugeot revealed it in March 2018 at the Geneva International Auto Show as the new 508.
2019 Mazda3 Skyactiv-D hatchback - Driven
Mazda has created one of the most beautiful shapes in the compact hatchback segment, its new Mazda3 hatch, a shape that lifts it above any competitor in terms of design. It has a pretty face, nice sides, and a unique rear end that lends it a lot of personality, but at the same time, it also needs to do all the boring, practical stuff well in order to be a serious class contender.
Its interior feels upmarket, and the driving experience is precise and relaxed, especially if the power plant under the hood is Mazda’s latest diesel engine, still available in the 3 and other models the Japanese manufacturer sells in Europe. This latest model doesn’t feel as sharp as its predecessor nor is it the best in class, but it’s far more relaxed and refined than the car it replaces, and it exudes an overall desirable and premium feeling.
The car it replaces was a great all-rounder, although it suffered from excessive tire roar inside at speed (and generally not the best soundproofing), plus its interior didn’t feel as nice as some rivals’, and it also lagged behind in terms of tech. Mazda has addressed all these concerns and more with its new 3, and the result is a much better all-rounder with an even prettier face than before, plus that rear end that will sure to draw a lot of gazes.
Audi is in the advanced stages of testing an all-electric version of its Q2 crossover, the smallest high riding vehicle it currently sells. The Q2 e-Tron (which is what it will most likely be called) will complete the Q2 lineup that also includes the SQ2 performance model, as well as an extended wheelbase Q2 destined for the Chinese market. The Q2 EV won’t differ much visually from other models in the range, but with a careful look, you will be able to spot that it is the battery powered model. The camouflaged prototype snagged by our spies has no exhaust pipe, for instance, and it’s bound to have additional small exterior giveaways as to what it is. It’s also been suggested that the Q2 e-Tron might use the lengthened platform of the Chinese-market model, but at the moment we really cannot make a definitive judgment on that based solely on this batch of spy shots. Furthermore, the Q2 e-Tron may only be sold in China, although there is a good chance it will reach Europe as well - this would represent the first sale of a long-wheelbase Chinese-market Audi model in Europe.
Update 4/2/2019:Our spy photographers caught the Audi Q2 doing some last minute, cold-weather testing. Check out the latest shots in our spy shots section below.
2019 Audi SQ5 TDI
Audi released the new 2019 Audi SQ5 TDI, and it will showcase the brute at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Yet, before I get into all the “what’s new” jazz, let me give you some perspective here, right in the introduction. The 2015 Ford Mustang GT comes with a V-8 with 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate to 60 in 4.4 seconds. The 2016 Chevy Camaro SS comes with a V-8 with 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate to 60 in 4.3 seconds. The 2018 Durango SRT comes with a V-8 with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Now, the new Audi SQ5 TDI isn’t as quick. It will accelerate to 60 mph in 5 seconds. So, around half a second slower, but not far off.
So, why the hell am I mentioning American muscle cars here? Well, unlike them, Audi doesn’t run on gasoline, it does not have a V-8, and its engine is around 25-percent smaller in terms of displacement compared to any of the cars listed here. Ladies and gentlemen, I know that comparing a compact SUV with muscle cars and a massive SUV like the Dodge Durango is, basically, blasphemy, but the Audi SQ5 is that insane, amazing, and incredible. In its newest iteration it is, by far, the most amazing diesel-powered performance SUV I know of. Yes, Alpina does have that mad
based XD3 with 388 horsepower, but I consider that to be an aftermarket offering despite the car being produced on the same production line as the regular X3.
2019 BMW X5 M50d - Driven
The all-new, 2019 BMW X5 isn’t so much a new high-riding model in the Bavarian automaker’s range, but more a case of a huge grille with a big SUV attached to it. It is a very proud looking car, the new X5, and BMW really wants you to notice it because it believes it’s great vehicle that should get your attention. You don’t put this big a grille on a car you are not 100 percent confident in and after spending some time with the new X5, in top M50d diesel trim no less, I found little to fault about it. And this comes from a guy who doesn’t really like or understand the need for SUVs (it is my belief that they are a bit pointless and are usually bought to do the same job as a wagon).
I admit that when I picked up the car I wanted to start picking at faults on the quest to reach my predetermined conclusion that you’re better off buying a 5-Series wagon. But you aren’t better off necessarily because the new X5 has a lot to offer - almost car-like handling, strong performance, one of the best six-cylinder engine soundtracks ever, and limo-like passenger room and comfort levels. Plus, BMW says the latest X5 is also the best X5 ever when it comes to going off-road, not that anybody will actually take it off-road, but it’s nice to know it can. I mean it’s an SUV after all, so it should be able to take you off the beaten path whenever you feel like it.
Not this M50d with steel springs, active sway bars, and massive rims, though, as it’s better suited for on-road driving. For the first time, however, BMW is offering models that are more off-road oriented with adjustable air suspension that can increase its ride height and rough ground capability considerably. But boy is that M50d power plant good, especially with the new exhaust resonator that comes online in sport mode - it is probably one of the loudest factory diesels ever made, and I absolutely love it because of this.
2018 BMW M550d xDrive - Driven
Europeans have enjoyed plenty of fast diesel cars over the last decade, and even in the wake of Dieselgate, manufacturers are still offering fast oil burners which don’t get much faster than the BMW M550d xDrive. The most unique thing about it is its power plant which uses no fewer than four turbochargers on its three-liter straight-six diesel to achieve some remarkable performance numbers.
Being a BMW, it drives with great precision too and even if it’s a bit on the heavy side, agility around bends is not an issue. It has plenty of tech on board to ensure fast driving is not only possible, but also enjoyable and surprisingly frisky - unlike other lesser-powered all-wheel drive diesel BMWs, the M550d’s tail will step out when you stab the throttle on corner exit.
It also stands out alongside lesser 5-Series models, thanks to the standard-fit M Performance aero pack, trunk lid spoiler and massive M brakes with blue calipers; the only other 5-Series which could attract more attention is the mighty M5.
Only available in Europe, the M550d is not the most powerful diesel in the world, but it is by far for its engine displacement. Being a diesel, it’s also considerably more efficient than a gasoline burning performance car with the same output and if you can refrain from driving it like a hooligan (which it kind of edges you to) its large fuel tank means you can cover quite a lot of ground without having to stop.
Photography by Andrei Nedelea
Reasons Why You Should Not Be Disappointed By Diesel Ford Ranger Raptor
One thing is for certain. The new Ford Ranger Raptor is cool, capable, and off-road ready right from the production line, and it’s definitely an interesting proposition even for big-truck-loving Americans.
Sizewise, it is a truck similar to the Colorado ZR. “Characterwise,” it is a dune-fighting fun machine designed for the most intense off-roading tasks. While we in the U.S. are still waiting for Ford to confirm that the Ranger Raptor will come, the rest of the world is basking in the greatness of the potent truck. The thing is that the Ranger Raptor for the rest of the world is actually powered by a small diesel engine - not something that’s very popular here, is it?
While I am among those who believe the Ranger Raptor in the U.S. will get a 2.3-liter EcoBoost, I have to tell you a number of reasons why you should not be disappointed even if we end up with the diesel Ranger Raptor.
2018 BMW M550d xDrive
The popular BMW 5 Series was redesigned for the 2017 model year, now sporting a fresh, but evolutionary design, a revamped interior, and a brand-new platform that’s lighter and stiffer. Loaded with state-of-the-art technology and several carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, the new 5 Series also gained a range of updated engines, including four- and six-cylinder units. For the 2018 model year, BMW also launched new M550d versions for both the sedan and Touring wagon models.
Unique in this segment, the M550d is the range-topping variant of the diesel lineup, and although it’s not a proper M5, it has the exact same role on the market. It’s also an already established nameplate, having been introduced in early 2012 alongside other similar versions. Essentially, the only model that doesn’t have a competitor from Mercedes-Benz and Audi yet, the M550d comes with a major drawback, being sold on the European market only. However, its performance is outstanding given the diesel drivetrain, and it’s your only option if you want the torque and fuel economy of an oil burner, but the acceleration and dynamics of a gasoline vehicle.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M550d xDrive.
2017 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Quattro
The Audi TT entered its third generation for 2016 and is built upon Volkswagen’s MQB platform. At Launch it was available with the choice of a 2.0-liter gasoline engine that delivered 230 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, or 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet in TTS form. There was also a 2.0-liter TDI with 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet but, unlike the TFSI unit that could be equipped with Quattro all-wheel- drive, the TDI was only available in front-wheel drive. In terms of design, the third-gen model changed very little and looked quite similar to the second-gen model it replaced. It did get the updated Audi grille design to go with a restyled side profile and mildly redesign fascias. On the inside, the biggest news was the addition of Audi’s virtual cockpit as standard equipment, but aside from a few nips and tucks, that was it.
This isn’t the first time that Audi has given the TDI an all-wheel drive configuration. Back in 2008, the second-gen model got its own 2.0 TDI Quattro variant, but it wasn’t quite as powerful as the new third-gen TDI Quattro model. But, it’s not all gravy when it comes to the TDI Quattro. See, those who remember and fell in love with the second-gen TDI Quattro will tell you that it came standard with a six-speed manual transmission for that row-your-own goodness that is oh so fun. This model, however, is only available with the six-speed dual clutch transmission. Sure, the dual-clutch unit has been found to offer better performance and fuel economy, and there are paddle shifters, but it’s just not the same. If you really want the six-speed manual, you can still get it in the front-wheel-drive TT TDI, but who really wants front-wheel drive when you can have Quattro?
Regardless of being stuck with the six-speed dual clutch, the third-gen TT TDI has finally gotten the Quattro drive system it deserves, so let’s dive on in and talk a little more about it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi TT 2.0 TDI Quattro.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350d By Chrometec
The Mercedes GLE Coupe may very well be the most appealing model Mercedes has in its lineup (at least in my eyes that is), but even that doesn’t exempt it from getting some aftermarket love. That’s precisely the case here as German tuner Chromatic, known for its tuning programs for Mercedes models, has presented its aftermarket take on the GLE Coupe 350d. The result, among other things, is an increased output of 300 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
In addition to the work Chrometec put into the GLE’s 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine, the tuner is also offering plenty of chrome and carbon options for the SUV’s exterior. Customers can opt to have certain panels of the GLE finished in either chrome or carbon to add to the appeal of the vehicle. A new rear spoiler is also available, as is a set of wheels from wheel specialist Concave.
Taken piece by piece, Chrometec’s program isn’t going to excite anybody. But put them all together and the narrative turns to a unique kit for the GLE that certain owners can get behind.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
2017 Bentley Bentayga Diesel
Introduced in late 2015, the Bentayga is Bentley’s first-ever SUV. It’s also the most expensive and luxurious, factory-built SUV in the world as of 2016, as well as the quickest to 60 mph and the fastest in terms of top speed thanks to its brand-new, 600-horsepower W-12 engine. The people hauler is also equipped with Bentley’s latest convenience features and the finest leather and wood trim available on the market and the company’s most customizable vehicle to date. All told, until Rolls-Royce launches its SUV later this decade, the Bentayga is the fanciest option you have if you’re in the market for a luxury SUV. In 2016, Bentley enlarged the Bentayga family by adding a diesel drivetrain, making the SUV its first-even vehicle to use an oil burner.
It’s no secret that Bentley plans to turn the Bentayga into a full-size lineup of vehicles, with both a gasoline V-8 and a hybrid version being in the making. However, the big news for 2017 is the arrival of the Bentayga Diesel, the company’s first vehicle to use a different type of fuel other than gasoline. The reasoning behind it is that Bentley wants to provide a more fuel-efficient alternative to the W-12 Bentayga, as well as reduce its overall carbon footprint in anticipation of upcoming, more stringent regulations for automakers in both the European Union and the United States. Much like any recent Bentley automobile, the Bentayga Diesel borrowed its drivetrain from other Volkswagen Group products. In this case, the engine came from the performance-oriented Audi SQ7. On the other hand, the Bentayga Diesel retained all the fancy features available in the W-12 model, including its incredibly expensive options. Find out more about it in our detailed review of the SUV.
Updated 09/21/2016: Bentley dropped the official details on the Bentayga Diesel.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Bentayga Diesel.
2017 SsangYong Tivoli XLV
Launched in 2015, the SsangYong Tivoli is a mini SUV built to compete with the likes of the Nissan Juke and Kia Soul. Based on the popular Korando as far as design is concerned, the Tivoli is SsangYong’s first new model under Mahindra & Mahindra ownership and it is named after the Italian town of Tivoli, which can be read as "I love it" in reverse. Under development for three years, the crossover was introduced in South Korea in early 2015 with a choice of small-displacement, gasoline and diesel engines. Built in its home country, the Tivoli is exported in several markets in Asia and Europe.
In 2016, SsangYong has expanded the Tivoli family by offering a longer version of the mini SUV. Called the Tivoli XLV, it features a longer body, a roomier interior, and the enhanced practicality that enables it to compete against larger crossovers. Previewed by the XLV Air concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the production model is set to go on sale in Europe and the United Kingdom this summer. SsangYong hopes to sell more than 100,000 Tivoli crossovers by the end of 2016.
“Tivoli has been praised universally for meeting a number of customer requirements, not least its ability to carry five adults in comfort and with one of the largest boot capacities, while many other cars in the sector are regarded as being a ‘down-size’ too far," said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor U.K. “Now SsangYong has gone a step further by launching an extended car to provide even more carrying capacity and practicality. This was shown as the XLV Air concept at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt last year, and from the extremely favorable feedback received, took the decision to put the car into production."
Continue reading to learn more about the SsangYong Tivoli XLV.
2017 Renault Grand Scenic
Back in March, Renault pulled the sheet off of the all new Renault Scenic based on the R-Space concept. Now, just a couple months later, Renault is pulling the sheet off of its bigger brother – the Grand Scenic.
The Grand Scenic is nine inches longer, almost one inch wider, and just over a half-inch taller than it’s smaller sibling. It comes standard with 20-inch wheels, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-color heads-up display, parking assistance, and a host of engines that include five diesel options and two gasoline options.
Furthermore, it offers seating for five or seven people, two-tone livery from the second equipment level up, and an all-new color – Vision Brown – that is exclusive to the Grand Scenic. Compared to the outgoing model, the new Grand Scenic has a completely redesigned front end, more fluidic body lines, and a reworked rear end. The end result: Renault just made the compact MPV segment a little sexier.
Needless to say, the new Grand Scenic is a huge departure from the outgoing model. The body flows smoother from front to rear, there’s plenty of interior room, and the standard features are surprising – even on the entry-level model. Even from a quick glance, you can see that the body was designed to have a look of depth from the side and that the roof doesn’t slope downward as aggressively as it did on the outgoing model. All told, it’s one of the better “redesigns” that we’ve seen in a while.
The new Grand Scenic will go on sale before the end of the year, with the full U.K. model lineup, specifications and pricing announced closer to the official launch. So, with that said, let’s take a closer look at Renault’s new Grand Scenic and all the fine details hidden within.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Renault Grand Scenic.