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Posts Tagged ‘compact suv review’

Chevy Makes Big Bet on Smaller Equinox

Chevy formula means less is more.

by on Aug.25, 2017

Less weight, fewer cylinders, shorter body. It adds up to more from the '18 Chevy Equinox.

It seems like every time an automaker introduces a new version of an old car or truck they immediately begin by telling us just how much bigger it is than the outgoing model. That “midsize” Chevrolet Colorado? It’s nearly the same size as a full-size Silverado was a few generations back.

So, imagine our surprise when Chevy rolled out the new-for-2018 Equinox and began bragging how much smaller it is than the old crossover-utility vehicle: four inches shorter, 400 pounds lighter – and its biggest powertrain now has two fewer cylinders, as well.

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Now, not everything has been downsized. The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox manages to deliver the same interior space for both passengers and cargo as before and that focus on lightweighting is one reason that the new model delivers up to more than 40 miles per gallon, depending upon which of the three engine options you choose.

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First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan

Is bigger better?

by on Jul.31, 2017

Challenging the Front Range, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is longer, roomier than the original.

We’re off to a rocky start – as in the Rocky Mountains – as we head off for a day’s drive in the all-new 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. To get a sense of what the new ute can do, VW has dropped us off in Denver and suggested a long and winding route that takes us well into the majestic Colorado countryside.

Tiguan has been the anchor of an otherwise anemic line-up of SUVs from the German maker, a problem Volkswagen hopes to address in the coming year with a complete shake-up of its utility vehicle line-up. Its original offering, the big Touareg, is set to disappear, replaced by the more mainstream, American-made Atlas.

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Though smaller than Atlas, the Tiguan we’re driving will have to do the heavy lifting for the brand. It’s meant to replace a decidedly dated first-generation base model, one VW has hardly updated in more than a decade. The 2018 is more than just a refresh, however, getting an entirely new platform that allows it to grow larger – while also more lavishly equipped. In an unexpected move, however, VW has decided to keep the old model in production for the time being, targeting buyers on a budget, albeit with a new name.

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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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First Drive: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Quiet, roomy and affordable. Oh, and did we mention real knobs?

by on Jun.11, 2015

The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the most affordable 7-seaters on the market.

Mitsubishi, remember them? The once popular marque was an alternative to traditional Japanese brands like Toyota and Honda, and offered such intriguing products as the 300GT and the Evo. After a series of missteps that nearly drove it into bankruptcy, Mitsubishi is struggling to regain some momentum with a barely-there line-up that will increasingly be focused on utility vehicles.

We’ve seen some intriguing hints of what might be coming in the form of some recent, over-the-top concept vehicles like the GC-PHEV that was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show last February. Mitsubishi insiders promise that we’ll see these edgy prototypes translate into production form with the launch of the new Outlander Sport a few years from now.

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In the meantime, Mitsubishi is updating its other crossover model for 2016, and while the Outlander adopts a far less extreme design language, it is definitely not going to get lost in the crowd.

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First Look: 2016 BMW X1

Big things in a small package.

by on Jun.02, 2015

BMW claims the 2016 remake of the X1 will offer the roomiest interior in its segment.

Small outside, big inside. That’s been a major selling point for a new generation of compact Sport-Utility Vehicles, such as the BMW X1. And the German maker is promising to deliver even greater room, versatility — and performance — as it prepares to roll out the second-generation X1.

In keeping with broader trends in the luxury market, the new Sport Activity Vehicle, as BMW prefers to call it, will also yield more power even while cutting emissions and fuel consumption thanks to the latest EfficientDynamics technologies.

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The debut of the 2016 BMW X1 comes just six years after the launch of the original model and underscores the increasingly competitive nature of a segment that barely existed when the first one hit the street. Sales of the original have already been approaching the 700,000 mark.

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