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Posts Tagged ‘compact crossover’

Mazda Sees Red with New CX-5

Putting some soul in motion.

by on Nov.16, 2016

Mazda U.S. design chief Julien Montousse shows off the new CX-5 crossover.

Forget performance. Ignore those fancy new infotainment systems. Virtually every study shows that design is still one of the top motivators when it comes to choosing a new car. And, in recent years, Mazda has worked hard to elevate automotive styling into an art.

The automaker takes things another step with the latest version of its mid-range CX-5 crossover now making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. While picking up on some of the obvious cues of the bigger CX-9, the new CUV takes Mazda’s Kodo, Soul of Motion design language another step forward – adding an eye-catching new paint job it has dubbed Soul Red Crystal.

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“We were searching for a pure emotional expression,” said Julien Montousse, the head of Mazda’s U.S. design operations, during a media preview ahead of the formal opening of the 2016 L.A. Auto Show.

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First Drive: 2017 Infiniti QX30

Shared tech creates new segment for Infiniti

by on Nov.10, 2016

With the debut of the 2017 QX30, Infiniti enters the booming compact crossover segment.

It’s what you don’t see that often determines what you get. Platform sharing has taken place for years, and it oftentimes makes good fiscal sense within a company like General Motors.  If you are fifity-ish or older, then you remember the 1970’s Chevy Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Regal, and Oldsmobile Cutlass, all sharing trim and mechanicals.

Today, Ford and Lincoln share parts among their sedans and SUVs, as does Lexus with Toyota, and most of the many Volkswagen Group brands. Why build something new when you can keep the bean counters happy by dipping into the corporate parts bin?

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But what is not always known is that manufacturers are more and more often sharing platforms and other technologies with major competitor.  There’s the Mazda Miata MX-5 and te new Fiat 124 Spider, for example. And now comes the Infiniti QX30, which shares running gear with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250.

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Now Badged Toyota, C-HR Crossover to Make Debut at LA Auto Show

Compact model to challenge the likes of Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke.

by on Nov.03, 2016

The little C-HR will be back in LA wearing a different badge than it bore at the 2015 show.

We got a first look at the little C-HR concept vehicle at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and it has bounced back and forth across the Atlantic a number of times. But the production version is finally set to make its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show two weeks from today.

Expect to see a few key changes from the original show car. Some of the radical angles and edges are likely to be softened a bit. And it’s not clear whether there will be a hybrid drivetrain available, unlike the original concept which was said to share the familiar Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive.

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But the most significant change – at least for the U.S. market, might take a sharp eye to spot. When the C-HR concept landed at the 2015 L.A. Auto Show, it was wearing a Scion badge. With that youth-oriented brand now tossed onto the automotive scrapheap, the little crossover now will be wearing the Toyota logo all over the world.

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Honda Pulls Wrap Off 5th-Generation CR-V

New CUV could replace Accord, Civic as brand’s best-seller.

by on Oct.13, 2016

The 2017 Honda CR-V is just slightly longer outside but a lot roomier inside.

It’s bigger, roomier, more powerful, though we’ll have to wait to see just how much more fuel-efficient the 2017 Honda CR-V will be than the outgoing crossover-utility vehicle.

Honda offered a sneak peek at the new crossover during a media briefing at Detroit’s Eastern Market and while there were plenty of things to focus on, one of the most significant was the return of the volume knob to the instrument panel, a concession that not all buyers are enamored of the new touchscreen technologies sweeping through the auto industry.

Insight!

That small detail is likely to enhance the appeal of what has already become one of Honda’s most popular products, the new 2017 CR-V set to roll out of three separate plants in the U.S. and Canada. It is, in fact, very likely set to become the best-selling model in the entire Honda U.S. line-up.

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Subaru Teases Next Crosstrek with XV Concept

SUV show car is longer, wider, lower.

by on Mar.01, 2016

The Subaru XV Concept will strongly influence the next Crosstrek model.

Subaru has long been known for building solid, go-anywhere vehicles, but not necessarily for giving them the sort of upscale feel that has become increasingly common on even today’s entry-level models.

That’s beginning to change, as the maker has demonstrated with recent additions and updates like the latest Legacy. Now, it’s getting ready to a bit more style and panache to its Crosstrek line – or so we anticipate from the Subaru XV Concept making it debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

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“In the area of functionality essential to a Subaru car, excellent aerodynamic performance is teamed with the ample road clearance and luggage space required of a crossover vehicle, achieving blend of function and style,” the Japanese maker says.

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After Slight Detour, Toyota C-HR Finally Makes its Debut

Planned for Scion brand, compact crossover finds a new home.

by on Mar.01, 2016

Toyota? Scion? With the upcoming demise of the Scion brand, the subcompact will carry the mother brand's badge.

Not many vehicles have seen so many detours even before being put into production, but at least the new C-HR concept has finally found a home.

The compact crossover has bounced and forth across the Atlantic several times since making its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. And it was finally expected to make its appearance in production trim at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. The one hitch: it was going to wear a Scion badge, but parent Toyota decided to pull the plug on its struggling youth brand.

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So, the crossover is back in Europe yet again. But this time, it’s badged the Toyota C-HR, and that’s what buyers on both sides of the big ditch will finally be seeing when it makes its way into showrooms later this year.

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Cadillac Planning CUV Blitz

Latest addition will target downsized imports like BMW X1.

by on Nov.19, 2015

The Cadillac XT5 at its LA debut, along with Caddy Pres. Johan de Nysschen and GM global product development director Mark Reuss.

With the official L.A. Auto Show debut of the Cadillac XT5, the Detroit luxury brand plans an unprecedented assault on the booming utility vehicle market, with three other crossover-based models under development.

That’s one more CUV than Caddy officials had previously confirmed, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned, the latest planned addition meant to target the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. It will enter one of the world’s fastest-growing vehicle segments, senior company officials said.

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“We keep expanding the plan,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of the Cadillac brand. The decision was made because such compact utility vehicles are experiencing “strong growth in China, and as more Millennials enter the luxury segment that will expand growth in the U.S., as well.

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Infiniti QX30 Targets Booming Compact Crossover Crowd

More rugged take on maker’s Q30; both share platforms with Mercedes models.

by on Nov.18, 2015

The Infiniti QX30 is getting a double debut in both LA and in Guangzhou, China.

Infiniti has been doing the fan dance in recent months, dropping one tantalizing hint after another about its new compact crossover. Now, it’s finally gone full Monte and revealed the production version of the new QX30.

The new crossover, a more rugged version of the Q30 line launched earlier this year, positions Infiniti in the heart of one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments – something underscored by the decision to simultaneously reveal the new Infiniti QX30 at the L.A. Auto Show and the Guangzhou motor show in China.

Cross Over!

“With our recent sales successes and record growth, the current product offensive will further strengthen Infiniti’s global market position,” said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti. “The active crossover, QX30, will broaden our offer to new customers around the world.”

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First Drive: 2016 Infiniti QX50

An SUV by any other name.

by on Sep.28, 2015

The new QX50 with designer Alfonso Albaisa during the crossover's debut earlier this year.

At times, the auto industry has at least one thing in common with baseball: you can’t tell the players apart without a scorecard. That’s especially true with Infiniti, the Japanese automaker sowing plenty of confusion when it decided to rename familiar products like the old G and JX lines.

It’s hard to tell whether that’s the reason why sales of the Infiniti EX stumbled to a virtual halt after it was renamed the QX50 for 2014. Perhaps it was simply the result of a once-popular product growing old in hotly competitive segment. Whatever the reason, the luxury arm of Nissan Motor Co. is hoping to kick-start the crossover’s momentum with a modest, but much-needed refresh for the 2016 model-year.

Product, Product, Product!

The basic shape will immediately be familiar. Like the bigger Infiniti FX, the EX was one of the first crossover-utility vehicles to stop trying to pretend it was a classic SUV, instead putting an emphasis on styling, features and on-road manners. That part hasn’t changed. During a trip to San Diego to try out the 2016 Infiniti Qx50, off-road capabilities didn’t even merit a footnote.

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Toyota C-HR Moves Closer to Production

Concept crossover features new, advanced hybrid system.

by on Sep.15, 2015

Toyota appears to be moving closer to entering the compact crossover segment with the latest C-HR.

Toyota is driving into Frankfurt with a new small crossover and a new design language.

A year after unveiling the original C-HR concept, the Japanese maker is back with an updated design that appears to be a step closer to production. The updated version of the Toyota C-HR also appears to help the Japanese maker pull together in a cohesive whole some of the design details it has been showing off in other recent offerings, including the new Camry and Corolla models.

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“This highly innovative design study for a stylish, lightweight and dynamic hybrid crossover is designed to stand out in an increasingly homogeneous marketplace,” Toyota declared in a release describing its plans for the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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