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Posts Tagged ‘compact cuv’

Kia Promises Best of Both Worlds with New Niro Hybrid Crossover

Ground-up design; one of three battery models debuting in Chicago.

by on Feb.11, 2016

The 2017 Kia Niro boasts a slick 0.29 coefficient of drag, helping deliver an estimated 50 mpg,

What would Toyota do if it were starting from scratch, designing the Prius today? Would the world’s best-selling hybrid still have a relatively conventional five-door layout? Or might it follow current fashion?

That was the question Kia’s product development team apparently had to answer when they began working up their own dedicated hybrid-electric model. And in their case, they opted for a slick subcompact crossover-utility vehicle dubbed the Kia Niro.

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First shown in concept form more than two years ago, the production Niro loses such fanciful touches as the scissor-style doors. But Kia didn’t take the easy out, simply stuffing a gas-electric driveline in an existing CUV model like the Sportage. Instead, the Korean carmaker opted for a ground-up development program designed, it claims, to strikes a balance between styling, utility, fuel-economy and that elusive fun-to-drive factor.

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Chevy Makes Trax With Updated CUV

New look, new safety and tech features.

by on Feb.10, 2016

Chevrolet U.S. Vice President Brian Sweeney introduces the 2017 Chevrolet Trax, which gets a number of tech and appearance updates, inside and out.

Barely a year after first introducing its little Trax SUV, Chevy is making some major upgrades, revising the compact crossover’s appearance, updating its infotainment system and adding an assortment of new safety features.

First shown in concept form at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the Trax originally wasn’t supposed to come to the U.S. market, but buoyed by the success of the similar Buick Encore, Chevy decided to give it a go with the 2015 model-year.

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The Trax quickly became one of the bowtie brand’s unexpected hits. The compact crossover quickly grabbed a 20% share of the fast-growing segment, and Chevy officials say they’re hoping to do even better with the updated version of the Trax coming for 2017.

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Study Forecasts Three More Years of Auto Sales Growth

But several factors could lead to a modest slide as the decade ends.

by on Feb.20, 2015

Honda hopes to ride booming demand for small crossovers with the launch of its new HR-V.

After one of the worst downturns in U.S. automotive history, the industry could be in the midst of one of the more long-lasting recoveries, according to a new study predicting sales will continue to grow through 2017.

Americans bought 16.4 million vehicles last year, a nearly 6% year-over-year increase, and well ahead of the predictions most analysts and planners made at the beginning of 2014. AutoPacific Inc. is forecasting demand will rise to 17.0 million this year, and hit a 17.24 million peak in three years before gradually settling back.

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“U.S. sales recovery has been steady since hitting the bottom of the decline in 2009,” says Ed Kim, the consulting firm’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. The upward surge will continue, albeit at a slower pace, he predicts, “fueled by continued increases in truck and SUV sales.”

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Chevrolet Making Trax with New Crossover

Maker’s latest entry hits new market sweetspot.

by on Oct.06, 2014

Trax blends small car agility with the utility of an SUV. It's Chevrolet's seventh small vehicle launch in less than four years.

With a new wave of trucks and full-size sport utility vehicles now its showrooms, Chevrolet is battling perceptions that its the flow from its product pipeline is slowing to a trickle.

As it’s doing with the midsized Colorado pick up truck, Chevy is pushing into a new segment with the introduction of a new compact utility vehicle the Chevrolet Trax, which is slated to reach Chevrolet showrooms early next year.

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GM has already introduced a version of the Trax in China and the crossover is scheduled to enter the booming compact utility vehicle market, which is rapidly overtaking midsized sedan segment as the largest in the U.S. Additionally, compact utility sales also produce larger profits for carmakers than compact and midsized cars, experts note. (more…)

Ford Aims to Edge Out the Competition with All-New 2015 Edge CUV

Crossover will target Europe for 1st time.

by on Jun.24, 2014

The new 2015 Ford Edge adopts the same C/D platform as the maker's Fusion sedan.

Ford hopes to maintain its Edge when it launches an all-new version of its midsize crossover later this year, the 2015 Ford Edge marking the nameplate’s debut in the European market.

The new crossover-utility vehicle, originally introduced for the 2007 model-year, the Edge quickly gained traction in the booming U.S. CUV market, and it has been a major factor in Ford’s rapid growth in China. Now, the maker hopes to repeat that success in Europe as it launches an all-new version of the Edge that it boasts is more refined, more powerful and more fuel efficient.

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The new Edge also serves as the latest example of retiring CEO Alan Mulally’s One Ford strategy, the 2015 crossover migrating to a new platform that it shares with a variety of other key Ford products including the midsize Fusion sedan, the 4-door European Mondeo and S-Max people-mover, as well as the latest version of the Lincoln MKZ.

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Lincoln Hopes to Undercut Competition with $34,000 MKC

Ford luxury brand makes foray into fast-growing compact CUV segment.

by on Dec.17, 2013

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is expected to become the lowest-priced model in its rapidly expanding segment.

Lincoln hopes to undercut its competition in the increasingly crowded compact luxury crossover segment – but whether a price tag starting below $34,000 will help it gain traction against offerings from makers like BMW, Acura and Audi remains to be seen.

The Lincoln MKC is the second of four all-new models the Ford Motor Co. luxury brand has announced – with still more products under development – as part of its attempted revival. It follows the debut of the MKZ luxury sedan. But the 2015 MKC provides a significant opportunity for Lincoln to position itself in what many industry observers expect to become one of the market’s fastest-growing segments over the rest of the decade.

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“As the newest entrant in small premium utility, which is the fastest-growing luxury segment, we have to offer our clients a fresh and compelling proposition,” said Matt VanDyke, director of Global Lincoln. “The Lincoln MKC offers the lowest base entry price in the segment as well as a host of first-to-segment features.”

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Lincoln Unveiling MKC Crossover in NYC

Maker gets a jump on auto show season.

by on Nov.13, 2013

Lincoln enters one of the market's fastest-growing segments with the 2015 MKC compact crossover.

Two of the year’s most important auto shows are coming up next week in Los Angeles and Tokyo – but Lincoln is getting a jump on them both with a special preview of its own in New York City later today.

There’s good reason for it to be anxious.  Ford Motor Co. is struggling to rebuild its luxury division and doesn’t want to get lost in the auto show shuffle – especially when it comes to debuting the new 2015 Lincoln MKC which will be entering one of the high-line market’s fastest-growing product segments.

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Annual sales of compact luxury crossovers have grown by 200% since 2009, according to industry figures – demand rising 25% so far this year.

The production version of the MKC may strike a note of déjà vu for showgoers who got a first look at a concept version that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show last January. The production model will be toned down a bit, particularly when it comes to the over-the-top interior of the earlier show car, but it is nonetheless an aggressive design meant to press forward with the new Lincoln look first brought to market for 2013 in the form of the redesigned MKZ sedan.

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Compact Luxury Cars Could be the Next Big Thing

Mercedes, BMW, Audi and other high-line brands move mainstream.

by on Oct.02, 2013

The new 2014 CLA 250 takes Mercedes-Benz into a segment where competitors include Ford's upscale Fusion Titanium editions.

While the all-new 2014 S-Class sedan might serve as the “flagship” of the Mercedes-Benz line-up, the German luxury maker’s big news this coming year is actually its smallest offering, the new CLA.

At first glance, it’s easy to confuse the coupe-like sedan with the older Mercedes CLS model, something that was far from coincidental, company officials concede.  But there’s no confusing the numbers on the Munroney window sticker, the compact CLA starting at just $29,990 – compared with the $73,025 base price of the bigger four-door.

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With the launch of the CLA, Mercedes is going after a new generation of luxury buyers that it hopes will become long-term brand loyalists. But the German maker isn’t alone.  Virtually every manufacturer in the luxury car segment, from BMW to Volvo, is rushing to market downsized and lower-priced luxury models, whether sedan, coupe or crossover.  And that could be particularly bad news for mainstream manufacturers like Ford Motor Co. who have themselves been pushing upwards into the luxury segment.

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Spy Shots: 2015 Lincoln MKC

Luxury version of Ford Escape moves closer to production.

by on Sep.30, 2013

A prototype Lincoln MKC caught while testing. All photos courtesy Jim Dunne /CAR SPY.

In its bid to once again be taken seriously in the luxury market, Ford Motor Co. has outlined a plan to launch four critical new models by mid-decade – with a number of other offerings to follow.

The first of those, the MKZ sedan, got off to a rocky start but is finally gaining traction – just as the spotlight shifts to the next key product in the Lincoln strategy.  We got a first look at the marque’s planned compact crossover during the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Now, TheDetroitBureau.com’s veteran spy, Jim Dunne, has captured images of the small CUV undergoing testing around Detroit.

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Due to reach market for the 2015 model-year – which means an introduction in mid-2014 – the Lincoln MKC will be based upon the same basic platform as the latest-generation Ford Escape.  And, as you might recall, Escape migrated from a traditional body-on-frame to a crossover platform when it was relaunched for the 2013 model-year.

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Lincoln Launches into Compact Luxury CUV Segment with New MKC

Detroit maker hopes to get ahead of the curve in rapidly growing segment.

by on Jan.13, 2013

A concept for now, but expect to see the Lincoln MKC compact luxury crossover return in production form.

Once one of the leaders of the U.S. luxury market, Lincoln has been little more than an afterthought in recent years — but the Ford brand is hoping to regain its former glory with an aggressive product program and, with this week’s introduction of the new MKC, it is looking to get ahead of the curve, rather than lag behind.

While the compact crossover making its debut at the North American International Auto Show is officially described as a concept fans of the Lincoln MKC prototype won’t have to wait long to see a production version enter the line-up, one of four new models the maker has promised to introduce by 2014 – with an array of additional offerings to follow in the years beyond.

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The Lincoln MKC targets one of the market’s fastest-growing segments. Sales of compact crossovers have grown 200% over the past five years in the U.S. market, and 60% in just 2012, noted Matt VanDyke, Lincoln’s new marketing chief.  And where they account for about 11% of the overall American market they’ve surged to 25% of the luxury segment.

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