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With May sales numbers rolling out today, there are some interesting stories developing around several automakers.
Hyundai has unveiled its all-new 2013 Sante Fe crossover today at the New York International Auto Show, packaging enhanced convenience features as well as new technologies that help to improve efficiency.
Longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, the new Sante Fe builds upon Hyundai’s form language, Fluidic Sculpture. What’s more, the third-generation Santa Fe presents its design rendition called ‘Storm Edge’, creating surface dynamics meant to evoke the strength of nature during the formation of a storm.
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe
Courtesy of Eastern European publication AutoForums.cz, we can now report that the upcoming MKZ has little changed from the concept car released at last January’s Detroit Auto Show.
The side-view mirrors got a little bigger, as did the headlights, though most of the styling stayed the same. An interior shot also reveals that much of the concept was accurate to the production model, with scant wood–stlye accents with mostly black and chrome trim throughout.
Smaller alloy wheels also seem to be a part of the production model, though the key feature we’re most curious about isn’t detailed in the shots.
That means we’ll still have to wait until April 4 to find out about the fully-retractable panoramic roof which has been confirmed for the sedan despite few specific details being available. We do know that it will feature 100 spf UV protection to keep occupants from getting sunburned, but we’re still not sure how much it will cost as what we’re assuming will be an option.
Check back during our live coverage for more details on the flagship vehicle of what will be a refreshed Lincoln lineup.
GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKZ leaked
Nonetheless, the Japanese automaker is soldiering on, most recently announcing today that it will debut the 2013 Crosstour concept at the upcoming New York Auto Show.
It’s been a sad tale — that of the frankencar Honda originally branded as an Accord, but the Crosstour hasn’t just stayed in the company’s lineup. Instead it’s enjoyed continued evolution in an insistant effort by the company to make the car sell, despite dissenting consumer feedback.
The most recent of those evolutions was an added four-cylinder engine, which was meant to make the not-crossover appealing to a wider audience. Unfortunately, the smaller engine gained inconsequential gas milage and dropped dismally in its power rating.
Worse yet, the car (seen above) is ugly. That’s why it’s not surprising to see Honda announcing new styling for the car. The real question is whether or not that will be enough for customers to revisit the idea of buying one.
GALLERY: 2012 Honda Crosstour
The above photo shows a disguised Murano cruising around. That raises questions because the most recent Murano model refresh happened in 2011, which means we’re far from the time an automaker would typically invest in a revamp.
The photographer said it sounded a lot like a four-cylinder, which would be a change for the Murano which is currently only offered with Nissan’s 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.
Upon examination, this theory seems to be right. There is only one tailpipe where the production Murano has two. Nissan already has two smaller options that offer a four-cylinder: the Rogue and Juke.
That said, it seems the automaker is playing with the idea of adding another gas-sipping family ferry to the line.
GALLERY: Nissan Murano spy photos
[Source: Truck Trend]
Pricing details are now available for the rethought 2012 Honda Crosstour featuring a more cost-minded four-cylinder engine.
The 2012 Crosstour will start at $27,655 and go all the way up to $36,540 for the four-wheel drive version with navigation. At the base price, you get a 192-horsepower engine that squeaks out an extra three miles-per-gallon in the city and two on the highway. The 271-horsepower V6, which is unchanged over previous models, is still available as well.
The company made the official announcement about their plans to launch a less expansive version of their crossover last December. They hoped it would help the Crosstour finally feel marketable in light of failed sales. Despite that failure, Honda still seems confident and determined to make the Crosstour work.
“The new four-cylinder Crosstour offers sleek design, unmatched passenger comfort and ingenious functionality now with four-cylinder pricing and fuel economy,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co. “With four-cylinder and V6 options and a long list of standard features, Crosstour should be on every CUV buyer’s shopping list.”
That might be how Honda feels, but the Crosstour has been consistantly criticized as the ugly duckling in the lineup. Consmers complain that it’s too much like a larger Accord, which makes sense because that’s how it was originally marketed.
Speaking of ugly ducklings, it’s probably important to point out that the top-of-the-line Nissan Juke sells for about $4000 less than the base Crosstour. It also gets better mileage than the two-wheel drive crosstour, with all-wheel drive. Sure, you sacrifice four horsepower, but who cares?
The only new selling point for Honda’s less potent 2012 Crosstour is a lower price, but we say that fails to deliver against the competition.
Gallery: 2012 Honda Crosstour
BMW is proving again that a smaller engine doesn’t need to mean less oomph after announcing that the 2013 X-Series will be switching to a 4-cylinder engine.
The company will start producing their new X-Series crossovers this April. The biggest change for American consumers will be the single horsepower boost the 2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i will get despite the downsized engine. BMW decided to swap out the old naturally-aspirated inline six-cylinder that made 240 horsepower for a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four that puts out 241 horsepower.
The more powerful 300 hp version, however, will get the same turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6. Both versions are probably a good thing because the push toward a smaller engine means the lower-end X3 will get a bit of a boost in gas mileage, putting it in line with the 2.0-liter turbocharged Audi Q5, while still achieving more horsepower.
[Source: Inside Line]
New details on the 2013 Ford Escape are available thanks to a consumer survey page posted on the company’s website.
While the pricing details aren’t concrete, it gives us more information than we had last December when we reported that the American giant planned to drop their hybrid powertrain in light of lackluster sales and new engines that came close to the same fuel economy without electric motors.
Now we know that there will be four trim levels: the S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Prices increase along with the length of the package name. According to the page, the base “S” might start at $21,970, though the prices and features may change based on customer feedback.
The features list is slim, but will probably include an AM/FM radio and single-disc CD player with MP3 compatibility and six speakers as well as Ford’s MyKey, Safety Canopy and driver knee and side airbags.
The top-of-the-line “Titanium” package upgrades you to HD radio and a 10-speaker Sony sound system. Also Sync with MyFord Touch and a partial leather interior.
The mid-range SE and SEL models differ, but it’s hard to believe that Ford will really restrict features between the different Escapes, especially given that this is a tentative list.