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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Should there be More Manual Crossovers?
It’s a fact: the manual transmission is on its deathbed. Long absent from most family vehicles, one the last bastions of the manual transmission are compact crossovers. These however are becoming harder and harder to find. Most mainstream manufacturers in America have abandoned offering a stick-shift in compact CUVs and only minor players in the segment, like Jeep, Mazda, Subaru and Volkswagen, still allow owners to row their own gears.
If the manual transmission is in critical condition in the USA, it is merely in serious condition in Canada. More vehicles in a greater number of trims are available with a manual transmission in Canada. Want any level Mazda6 with a stick north of the border? No problem. Want a Nissan Versa Note SL with a manual? It’s yours.
See Also: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Review
There are two other crossovers still offered in Canada with a manual transmission that are strictly automatic-only in the U.S: the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. Curious as to whether or not Americans are missing out, we headed to Hyundai Canada to sample a 2014 Tucson equipped with the six-speed manual. Here is our five-point guide to the stick-shift crossover.
AutoGuide‘s compact crossover video comparison garnered plenty of attention this week, as we pitted eight of the market’s most popular crossovers against one another. Which one came out on top? Watch the video below, along with our other most popular videos of the week.
Price, content, fuel economy and style: which compact crossover has it all?
It’s easy to understand why brands that don’t currently offer a compact crossover are bum-rushing the labs to build them.
Although it hasn’t been officially given the green light, there’s every indication that a hot rod version of the recently introduced ‘baby’ Range Rover could be on its way.
Evoque program director David Mitchell has been driving one of the little Rovers, equipped with a 300 horsepower version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine found in regular models and says that the vehicle’s chassis is more than up to the task of handling an additional 63 horsepower.
However, there remains the question of how to market such a high performance model, if and when it reaches production; one scenario is perhaps offering a ‘hot’ sub brand, a bit like Cadillac with it’s V-series.
“We’ll have to look at that when the time comes,” says Mitchell.
For more information on the Range Rover Evoque, please visit our Range Rover Evoque Forums at http://www.rrevoqueforum.com/
At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Mazda has revealed the production version of its new CX-5 compact crossover. Slated to go on sale in European and North America next year, it represents a new direction, in terms of styling and also engineering for the Hiroshima, Japan based automaker.
Boxier than Mazda’s current line of crossover utilities, the CX-5 features a rather prominent grille, one that faintly recalls the old 808 and RX-3 rotary sedan and coupe from the mid-1970s. Mazda dubs the CX-5′s design language as ‘KODO’ or ‘Soul in Motion,’ said to be inspired by the rapid pace and agility of animals like the Cheetah.
The CX-5 is the first Mazda to feature the company’s new generation ‘SKYACTIV’ engines, a 2.0-liter gas unit rated at 165 metric horsepower (PS) and (in Europe at least) a 2.2-liter diesel engines that sports a two-stage turbocharger, enabling 150 and 175 PS outputs. Rated at 280 lb-ft for the lower output version and 310 lb-ft for the more potent one, both engines can be teamed with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Front or all-wheel drive configurations are also available.
With the standard manual gearbox and front drive, Mazda says target fuel consumption for the CX-5; is 47.2 miles per gallon with the gas motor; some 68.1 mpg for the diesel, while both engines deliver some of the lowest emissions outputs in their class (139 g/km/119 g/km); in fact the diesel motor meets tough Euro 6 smog requirements without the need for direct exhaust injection. (Of note, these fuel economy numbers are for Europe). Stop/Start technology is also employed on Euro spec models to further aid emissions and fuel economy reduction.
With fairly generous passenger and cargo space, plus split folding second row seating with what Mazda describes as easy to use ‘Karakuri,’ technology; the CX-5 is also said to blend practicality with fun to drive characteristics, likely making it one of the sportier SUV offerings in the compact segment.
A North American version is planned for introduction sometime next year as a 2013 model, likely priced around the $20,000 mark, though as previous information has stated, don’t expect either the diesel or stop/start technology to make their way to our shores as soon.
Hit the jump to see our exclusive video of the 2012 Mazda CX-5
GALLERY: 2012 Mazda CX-5
Initially, Audi hadn’t planned to bring its baby crossover across the pond, but with market demand for luxury compact crossovers exploding, the German automaker is poised to reconsider that move.
The small luxury CUV segment grew 22.3 percent last year, causing several manufacturers to bring new vehicles to market, including BMW with its X1.
Another reason for Audi’s change of mind might be the sales performance generated by the Q5, which has become one of Audi’s hottest selling models – in the US. .alone it has recorded a 70 percent sales increase year over year.
But it’s also been a big player on the global stage too – traditionally, most auto manufacturers have struggled to have a single best selling car in multiple markets, though the Q5 appears to be defying that trend.
According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi’s global sales supremo “I don’t remember in my 25 years in the auto industry, one model that was successful in every country, but the Q5 was a huge hit around the world. We think the Q3 could write a similar success story.”
The possible North American introduction of the Q3 is part of Audi’s next phase of brand development, in which it hopes to sell around 200,000 units annually in the U.S. by 2018 as well as pushing into new segments, including higher price brackets and small cars. Audi of America CEO Johann De Nysschen says the brand is already drawing more affluent buyers than before thanks to the current A8; with additional movement in that direction expected in the foreseeable future.
He also hinted that the A1, Audi’s smallest vehicle, might eventually make it to the U.S., but that would have to wait until it’s redesigned once more, as the current A1 wasn’t conceived with North America in mind.
[Source: Ward's Auto World]