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First Look: 2017 Buick Encore

Utes expected to make up ¾ of Buick sales.

by on Mar.22, 2016

The 2017 Buick Encore makes its NY debut.

Buick is set to give a new face and more to the best-selling model in it line-up. And if the 2017 Buick Encore only does as well as the current model, General Motors’ “premium” brand is betting that crossovers will soon account for as much as three-quarters of its U.S. sales.

First launched in 2013, the Encore is not only the number one model in the Buick line-up but the leader in its market segment, a key reason why the brand has so much riding on the debut of the 2017 update at the New York International Auto Show this week.

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“The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing.


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.


Kia Reveals New Sportage

“The new face of Kia.”

by on Aug.28, 2015

New headlights and a modified "tiger nose" grille distinguish the gen-four Kia Sportage.

Kia is giving us a more detailed look at the next-generation Sportage, following up on the early renderings it released a couple weeks ago.

Set to make its formal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the 2016 Kia Sportage will pick up on some of the cues we first saw in the form of the Niro Concept two years ago. The overall look offers a strong hint of where Kia’s global design chief Peter Schreyer will be taking the look of the brand in the years to come.

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The biggest changes to the design of the fourth-generation Sportage can be seen in its face, notes Kia, “with the car’s headlamps no longer integrated with the grille for the new model, instead sweeping back along the outer edges of the more sharply-detailed (hood) and bolder wheel arches.”


Kia Gives First Peek at New 2016 Sportage

Official debut set for September 15 in Frankfurt.

by on Aug.18, 2015

Kia offers a tease of the new 2016 Sportage.

It must be the start of auto show season, as manufacturers begin releasing teaser images of new products to come. That includes Kia, which has offered up some renderings of the fourth-generation Sportage SUV it plans to introduce at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

The new Kia Sportage design includes an interior that the maker has dubbed its “most refined high-quality cabin yet.”

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Overall, the new Sportage appears to adopt a more refined and sophisticated take on the “tiger nose” styling theme first penned by Peter Schreyer, now head of design for both Kia and its sibling Korean carmaker Hyundai.


Honda HR-V Making U.S. Debut at L.A. Auto Show

Slotting below CR-V as new entry-level crossover.

by on Oct.20, 2014

Honda's new compact CUV, the HR-V, was shown during the Paris Motor Show recently and will hit U.S. shores later this year.

We were offered a sneak peek at the Honda HR-V earlier this year, and got a first look at it in Paris, a few weeks back. But if it strikes your fancy and you live in the U.S., you’ll have to wait another month for a look at the actual sheet metal. The good news is that Honda is providing a teaser image of the compact crossover that will become the new entry point into its growing CUV line-up.

Original hinted at with the 2013 Urban SUV Concept, Honda plans to put the new HR-V on sale shortly after its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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The new crossover utility vehicle will be positioned below the CR-V both in price and overall size, but if the Fit is any indication, the new crossover may deliver nearly as much cargo and passenger space. (more…)

Lexus Reveals New NX Compact Crossover

Maker tones down styling from radical LF-NX concept.

by on Apr.11, 2014

Lexus transforms concept to production as it prepares to roll out its new NX compact crossover.

More than a week before its official debut at the Beijing Motor Show, Lexus is offering up a look at the new NX, its entry into the fast-growing and increasingly more competitive compact luxury crossover segment.

The production model, shown here, significantly tones down the radical styling of the earlier Lexus LF-NX concept vehicle first seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn. The 2015 Lexus NX will be, nonetheless, boast one of the more aggressive designs in the Japanese maker’s line-up, reflecting the demand by parent Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda’s demand for more “passion” in the brand.

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While a number of details will have to wait for the Beijing Motor Show preview on April 20th, Lexus confirmed that the 2015 NX will be offered with three different powertrain options: (more…)

First Look: Hyundai Curb Concept

Small crossover could make sense as a production vehicle if fuel prices continue to rise.

by on Jan.10, 2011

The Hyundai Curb Concept isn't production ready, but with a few detail changes, it could see production in the future.

Hyundai must be serious about improving the fuel economy of its fleet. How else to describe the wave of small cars that are on the horizon for the Korean automaker? There’s the Veloster hatchback, which was introduced at the 2011 Detroit auto show, and Hyundai has confirmed a five-door Accent for the U.S. market. And now, there’s the Curb Concept, which, like the Veloster, was unveiled in Detroit.

The Curb isn’t a production-ready car — it sports future tech that isn’t quite ready for prime time. But it’s not a pie-in-the-sky concept, either. It’s not hard to envision this small crossover making it into production with toned-down styling and more-conventional technology.

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Speaking of styling, the Curb is an exercise in the company’s “fluidic sculpture” theme, and the end result is a slightly boxy theme with plenty of softened and rounded edges. It’s probably a little too out there for mainstream tastes, but with some adjustments, it would be a good vehicle for fighting the Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, and Scion xB.

One of the more interesting design features is the windshield — the glass wraps around the A-pillar. This design element is a nod to motorcycle helmets, but it also should improve forward visibility.