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Archive for the ‘SUVs’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Ford Edge

New model gets an exterior update and new safety tech.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The 2019 Ford Edge looks to keep the automaker at the forefront of the sport-utility segment.

The Ford Motor Co. has long been at the forefront of transforming the United States into a nation of SUV drivers, going all the way back to the introduction of the Ford Explorer in 1990.

I suspect Ford is already preparing to party like it’s the 1990s by launching a 30th Anniversary version of Explorer in 2020. But it is also steadily upgrading the rest of its growing portfolio of SUVs and crossovers with the launch of the 2019 Ford Edge, which gets an impressive list of updates to driveline, suspension and safety equipment for the new model year.

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Sandwiched as it is between the popular Ford Escape and the Explorer, the two-row Edge sells reasonably well – roughly 140,000 units last year – and Ford is betting new features will make it standout more in a crowded corner of the new vehicle market. (more…)

Toyota Recalls 2.4 Million Priuses Worldwide; 807K in US

Second time for this repair.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The Toyota Prius has been recalled due to a problem with stalling.

Toyota is recalling 2.4 million Prius hybrids worldwide – including 807,000 in the U.S. – that could stall while driving.

The Japanese automaker said the action covers certain 2010 to 2014 Prius hybrids and certain 2012 to 2014 Prius V hybrids. The problem stems from the vehicle failing to move into “fail-safe driving mode” when the car’s hybrid system “faults.”

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While it issue happens rarely, “the vehicle could lose power and stall. While power steering and braking would remain operational, a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash.” (more…)

VinFast Amps Up Ambitions After Strong Debut in Paris

Look for it to target markets outside SE Asia. Europe could follow.

by on Oct.04, 2018

VinFast CEO Jim DeLuca, center left, unveils the company's two offerings with Miss Vietnam, left, and David Beckham, right.

The world’s newest automaker is rapidly ramping up its plans.

Little more than a month ago, during a visit to the new VinFast headquarters and manufacturing complex in Haiphong, an hour outside Hanoi, company officials told TheDetroitBureau.com they were set to focus on the fast-growing Vietnamese automotive market, though they hinted they might look beyond the country’s borders at some time in the future.

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That future has apparently come fast. Following a well-reviewed debut of its first two products at the Paris Motor Show earlier this week, VinFast CEO Jim DeLuca revealed in an exclusive interview that “within a year we’ll be able to announce markets outside Vietnam and outside ASEAN (a trade bloc of Southeast Asian nations), to be clear. We’ve got our sights set both domestically and beyond.” (more…)

First Look: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is More Luxurious – and More Capable

Mild hybrid system lets it hop out of trouble.

by on Oct.02, 2018

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE hits the stage at the Paris Motor Show. The fourth-generation of the midsize luxury ute is loaded with convenience tech.

There are few things worse than finding yourself dug into sand and unable to move, but the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE will offer a novel way of getting out of that mess, literally hopping up and down until its wheels gain traction.

What the German automaker describes as “Free-Driving Mode” is just one of the new and sometimes novel features that will debut on its next-generation midsize sport-ute. Able to seat up to seven adults with an optional third row, the remake of the popular midsize SUV is both more luxurious and more capable, based on what was shown when the 2020 Mercedes GLE made its debut at the Paris Motor Show this morning. At least some of the credit goes to the new 48-volt mild-hybrid technology built into the GLE 450 on display at the show.

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Originally known as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the midsize model helped touch off one of the most dramatic transformations in the luxury automotive market when it debuted in the 1998 model-year. There were plenty of skeptics who questioned the idea of a high-line SUV but, today, conventional sport-utility vehicles and crossovers dominate the market, with even Aston Martin, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce set to join the club. (more…)

NAFTA Gone! United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Takes Over

New deal supplants old one; changes may not help auto industry.

by on Oct.01, 2018

President Donald Trump says the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement means plenty of new jobs for U.S. workers.

This story has been updated with new information.

Talking and hand-wringing has shifted to hand shakes and back slapping as renegotiation of the long-standing trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico is finally complete — with significant changes for the auto industry.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the $1.2 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement and with it, comes many new jobs, according to its main driver, President Donald Trump. However, the auto industry is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

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“These measures will support many – hundreds of thousands – American jobs,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “It means far more American jobs, and these are high-quality jobs.”  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Nissan Altima

One very good reason why the sedan isn’t ready to die.

by on Sep.28, 2018

For 2019, the new Nissan Altima will be offered in a heavily equipped First Edition trim.

The sedan is dead. Long live the sedan. Or so goes what currently passes for conventional wisdom, backed by the decision to slash the number of four-door models, indeed, eliminate them entirely at Ford Motor Co.

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But I have seen the future and it is not an entirely SUV and CUV-driven world. If the complete makeover that is the 2019 Nissan Altima is any indication, there’s a clear place for sedans for the foreseeable future. And among the many new features that would seem to make the Altima a natural alternative for Snowbelt buyers who might really want a more conventional set of wheels: Altima marks the first time Nissan is offering all-wheel-drive in one of its sedans. That is, in fact, a relatively rare feature among mainstream four-doors, and not available on segment leaders Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

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First Drive: 2019 BMW X5

A crossover by any other name: a worthy successor to mark the X5's 20th anniversary.

by on Sep.27, 2018

BMW will offer three versions of the 2019 X5, including a plug-in hybrid to come later in the year.

Few new models have done more to redefine a brand – indeed, to help transform the auto business overall – like the BMW X5. But there were plenty of doubters when the Bavarian automaker first announced plans to add a sport-utility vehicle to its line-up back in the late 1990s.

Even BMW seemed to have some doubts, deciding to call the new line a “Sport-Activity Vehicle,” rather than an SUV. But those concerns were quickly forgotten, demand for the midsize ute taking off from almost the moment the first X5 rolled out of BMW’s then-new assembly plant in Spartanburg South Carolina in 1999. The first generation alone generated more than 600,000 sales and, with production of the third-gen X5 now winding down, that’s jumped to more than 2.1 million.

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These days, BMW offers a full range of Sport-Activity Vehicles, from the little X1 all the way up to the new X7 set to launch next year as a crossover alternative to the brand’s traditional flagship, the 7-Series. But much like the 5-Series sedan, the X5 remains a lynchpin of that line-up, meant to combine both the utility of a crossover and the performance of a classic BMW sedan.

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Mercedes Bringing Array of New Models to Paris Show

New B-Class will be accompanied by GLE ute, all-electric EQC and hot-hatch A35.

by on Sep.24, 2018

While a number of major automakers will skip Paris this year, Mercedes has four big announcements.

This is expected to be a relatively quiet year at the biennial Paris Motor Show, an array of manufacturers including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Infiniti, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo sitting it out.

But you likely wouldn’t notice if you wandered into the Mercedes-Benz exhibit. The German maker intends to take advantage of that industry shake-out by unveiling an array of its own new products including the completely redesigned B-Class the next-generation GLE, an all-new battery-electric EQC and the hot-hatch version of its smallest product line, the A35.

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We’ve gotten a first look at a few of these new models, notably the first truly long-range Mercedes, the EQC, but all will be making their public debuts in the City of Lights early next month. Here’s a bit more on all four of the major debuts the German marque will bring to Paris: (more…)

Porsche Dropping Diesels

First German automaker to abandon “oil-burners.”

by on Sep.24, 2018

Porsche is facing allegations it rigged some versions of the Cayenne to boost exhaust noise at the expense of higher emissions.

Porsche is set to become the first German automaker to completely abandon diesel engines, the sports carmaker has confirmed.

The move, confirmed by CEO Oliver Blume in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, comes in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal that has so far cost parent Volkswagen AG around $30 billion in fines, settlements and buybacks.

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“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” Blume told the German newspaper, explaining that the company wants to concentrate on “what we can do particularly well,” notably, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”

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Aston Martin Sketches Out its Future With Supercar Design Tease, IPO Plans

British marque hopes to repeat Ferrari’s success.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Aston has released a preliminary sketch of its third hypercar, the 003, which it hopes to have in production in 2021.

Aston Martin, the carmaker best known for its relationship with cinema spy 007, has laid out key details of its upcoming IPO while also releasing a preliminary sketch of the hypercar it’s calling 003 that it hopes will drive some of its future success.

Spun off by Ford Motor Co. in 2007, Aston struggled to avoid an eighth bankruptcy during the depths of the Great Recession, but its fortunes have skyrocketed over the last few years, a period coinciding with the arrival of CEO Andy Palmer and the subsequent commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital from its key investors.

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The IPO will go off next month on the London Stock Exchange, Palmer announced, declaring that it “will provide investors with a fitting opportunity to participate in our future success.”

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