Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘crossover vehicles’

Hyundai Set to Launch 1st Pickup, Flood of New SUVs

Official Santa Cruz announcement to come by April.

by on Jan.29, 2016

Hyundai won raves for the Santa Cruz concept, a car-based pickup unveiled in early 2015.

In a market increasingly dominated by pickups and utility vehicles, Hyundai is “out of whack,” with a car-dominated model mix, but that’s about to change, says the company’s top U.S. executive.

Sometime before April, the Korean carmaker is formally planning to announce it will build the well-received Santa Cruz pickup that debuted in concept form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. But it will be just one in a flurry of new crossover-based models for both the mainstream Hyundai and new Genesis luxury brands, officials have confirmed.

“We’re out of whack, a fish swimming upstream,” in the current environment, said Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski, noting that while truck models currently account for 58% of the U.S. vehicle market, they make up barely 27% of Hyundai’s American volume.

Keep on Truckin'!

And without getting more in line with market trends, Hyundai is beginning to see its steady growth begin to sputter, officials acknowledged during a media preview of the new Elantra sedan in San Diego.


GM Set to Add Array of New Utility Vehicles

Chevrolet to get new midsize CUV.

by on Dec.29, 2015

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

This year’s slide in fuel prices has led to a big surge in sales of utility vehicles, whether conventional sport-utes or the newer, car-based crossovers. And General Motors plans to take advantage of that shift away from conventional sedans and coupes by adding an assortment of new utes to its line-up.

They range from downsized models, such as the soon-to-debut Buick Envision, to the big Cadillac XT5. And GM’s four U.S. brands plan to fill in as much white space as possible with either all-new utility vehicles or variants such as the GMC Acadia Denali.

Subscribe Now!

“We keep expanding the plan.” Johan de Nysschen, the president of the Cadillac brand, told following the official unveiling of the new XT5 at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month.


Mazda Brings New CX-3 City SUV to LA Auto Show

Japanese entry playing against an increasingly crowded field.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Mazda's new CX-3 will be about five inches shorter than the maker's current CX-5 model.

Mazda is the latest player to enter the fast-emerging and increasingly crowded market for so-called city SUVs with the launch of its new CX-3 crossover.

It’s one of the globe’s fastest-growing segments, and it’s also gaining traction in the U.S. market where these pint-sized multi-purpose vehicles barely even existed five years ago.

Think of the CX-3 as “”a vehicle to suit the customer’s creative lifestyle in any scene, from inner-city driving to enjoying the great outdoors,” Mazda noted as it took the covers off the new crossover during a Los Angeles Auto Show preview Tuesday night.

Stay in the Loop!

Sharing its basic underpinnings with the earlier Mazda2 hatchback, the 2015 CX-3 is the fifth new Mazda model to adopt the maker’s SkyActiv technology and its Kodo “Soul of Motion” design language. That translates into heavily sculpted body panels and a bold, 5-pointed front grille with integrated headlamps.


Honda Reveals New 2015 CR-V

New cute-ute hits showrooms in October.

by on Sep.22, 2014

Honda will have more to say -- and show -- about the new CR-V next week.

Honda is giving us a first look at its 2015 CR-V – but not much more – hinting it will have plenty of details to reveal later this month.

But some significant details have already leaked out about this mid-cycle update of one of the U.S. market’s best-selling products, the 2015 Honda CR-V set to go on sale at the beginning of October. Beyond the cosmetic changes, the new CUV is expected to get a new 2.4-liter engine that, when paired with a new automatic gearbox, should deliver a solid bump in fuel economy.

Product News!

Honda clearly needs to keep the little crossover on the top of its game considering the hefty competition in the compact CUV segment, with buyers offered alternatives as diverse as the Toyota RAV-4, the Nissan Rogue, the Mazda CX-5, and other options from the U.S. and South Korea.


What is It? Many New Car Designs Defy Categorization

Is it a coupe, a crossover or a hatchback? Maybe a little bit of them all.

by on Sep.20, 2013

Infiniti's Q30 doesn't readily invite categorization, says its designer, Alfonso Albaisa.

As the Infiniti Q30 concept car rolled onto the stage during the Frankfurt Motor Show media preview last week, design chief Alfonso Albaisa noticed puzzled expressions throughout the audience. “It defies characterization,” Albaisa said, suggesting that the Q30 might best be thought of as “not a coupe, not a hatch and not a crossover but a fusion of the three body styles.”

During the two days of Frankfurt press previews, Infiniti wasn’t the only automaker to roll out a design that didn’t fall into any easy or traditional category. There was also the Opel Monza which might alternatively be described, depending upon your viewing angle, as a wagon, sedan, coupe or even a sports car. For lack of a better definition, designer Mark Adams said he’s settled on the British-style “Sporting Brake.”

Your Global Auto News Source!

“What is that?” was a phrase one heard quite frequently during the Frankfurt Motor Show media preview.

And the biennial German auto show wasn’t unique.  It’s becoming more and more difficult to define many of the vehicles – both products and concepts – showing up at other recent automotive events.


Honda, Lincoln to Unveil Downsized Crossovers at Detroit Auto Show

Compact CUVs among the market’s fastest-growing niches.

by on Dec.11, 2012

Honda's Urban SUV Concept will reappear after a new assembly plant opens in Mexico.

Honda plans to unveil the Urban SUV Concept at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, a crossover that will be based on the Japanese maker’s subcompact Fit model.The North American International Auto Show, as it’s formally known, will be awash with downsized crossover-utility vehicles – including the long-rumored Lincoln MKC which will share some of its basic underpinnings with the small Ford Escape, albeit trimmed out for the luxury market.

Small cars, in general, are rapidly gaining ground as fuel prices nudge ever upward. According to Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, B- and C- segment models have jumped from 13% of the overall U.S. market to 20% since 2005. And the trend is expected to continue at an even faster pace.


Your Global Auto News Source!

Nowhere is that expected to be more apparent than in the compact and subcompact crossover niches. Manufacturers are rapidly adding ever-smaller crossovers such as the Buick Encore and BMW X1, both in mainstream and upscale market segments.

Honda is offering little detail other than to describe the Urban SUV as “a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior.”


Honda Tries Again with Updated Crosstour

Honda hopes sales will double for more ute-like CUV.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Honda tries again with the 2013 update of its slow-selling Crosstour model.

Honda hopes to pump some new life into one of its most troubled product lines with a modest but much-needed update for 2013.

No longer linked to the maker’s mainstay Accord, Honda officials are hoping to see sales double for the 2013 Crosstour.  Of course, that starts off a low base.  While the maker presented an assortment of upbeat owner testimonials during the opening of its New York Auto Show preview, the previously named Accord Crosstour simply didn’t connect with the general public.

News You Can Use!

As with the new RLX flagship introduced in New York by its up-market Acura brand (Click Here), Honda is calling the Crosstour on its stand a “concept,” though as with the Acura model, the Honda Crosstour show car “is very close to the product we’ll be bringing out this fall,” said Sage Marie.  The executive was a product planner on the program but recently shifted assignments and is now head of Honda public relations.


First Look: Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv

Maker claims new technology will outdo hybrid mileage, performance.

by on Nov.16, 2011

Mazda will introduce a wide range of Skyactiv technologies on the new CX5 crossover.

With the launch of the new 2013 Mazda CX-5, the Japanese automaker is “planting a stake in the ground” that will very likely determine the future of the zoom-zoom brand.

The third crossover in Mazda’s line-up will introduce the full range of technology that the maker collectively calls Skyactiv.  Mazda, which has a history of taking a different path on powertrains with technology like the Wankel rotary engine, is putting itself even further out of the mainstream with the Skyactiv system.

Your Auto Show Source!

The technology – which ranges from significantly modified gas and diesel engines to a distinctly different approach to body and chassis development – promises to deliver fuel economy that’s as good as more complicated gas-electric hybrid systems, declared Takashi Yamanouchi, the maker’s president and CEO, but also much better performance.

Mazda’s strategy, he said during the keynote speech at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show, is to “improve the efficiency of core technologies and then offer them as standard equipment.”


First Look: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

Muscle, luxury and plenty of space.

by on Nov.14, 2011

Mercedes delivers a big bump in power with the launch of the 2012 ML63 AMG.

Mercedes-Benz is seldom shy about adding some muscle to its more mainstream offerings, and the AMG badge on the back of the third-generation ML line suggests that this sport-utility vehicle isn’t meant for crawling all over boulder-strewn trails.

Then again, neither are any of the other members of the ML line-up, which is more likely to win over soccer moms and commuter dads than rugged outdoorsmen.  In the case of the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, the pitch is to those who want a reasonable degree of functionality and flexibility but still hope to find something with the soul of a sports car.

Upgrade Your Insight!

There’s no question that the fast-beating heart of the 2012 ML63 can impress, the updated 5.5-liter biturbo V8 making518 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque – up 15 hp and 44 lb-ft, respectively, over the old model.  For those who need to press things to the limit, you’ll also find the AMG Performance Package bumps that up to 550 hp and 560 lb-ft.  Power is channeled through the Mercedes Speedshift Plus-7 automatic gearbox.


First Look: 2011 Kia Sorento

Buy American?

by on Dec.02, 2009

The first car to roll out of the Korean carmaker's new U.S. assembly plant, the 2011 Kia Sorento.

The first car to roll out of the Korean carmaker's new U.S. assembly plant, the 2011 Kia Sorento.

The “Made in America” tag continues to become more confusing, now that Kia has become the latest Asian brand to set up a “transplant” assembly plant.  The factory, in West Point, Georgia, launched production of the all-new 2011 Kia Sorento just two weeks ago.

The stylish Korean-engineered crossover could build on the brand’s already significant momentum; Kia sales have been defying gravity during the current economic downturn, posting a 7.8% increase since the beginning of the year.

The crossover market is critical for automakers hoping to take advantage of shifting consumer tastes, said Kia’s vice president of sales, Tom Loveless.  “We see customers rightsizing, rather than downsizing.”

Global News...Free Subscription!

Global News...Free Subscription!

The stylish five-door is based on the Kia KND4 concept vehicle which was unveiled at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show.  It’s both longer and lower than the outgoing Sienna, and is aimed at buyers who want room for 5 full-size adults, with occasional seating for 7, noted Kia’s marketing director, Michael Sprague.

The unibody-based CUV features a new McPherson strut front suspension and a mult-link rear.