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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.
Remaining recognizably a Murano, Nissan’s style-conscious crossover just debuted at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
Whether you want a big one a small one a squat one or a tall one, automakers can provide just about any kind of crossover vehicle you desire. These days there’s really something for every person, purse and purpose.
With a 2.0-liter, 148-hp Boxer engine, though not the same as the company’s hotly anticipated BRZ coupe, and the underpinnings of an Impreza, the XV Crosstrek is set to arrive in the U.S. market this fall — just in time for soccer moms to make a trade in and attend their kid’s games in something new.
Despite running on the Impreza platform, the XV Crosstrek is built on a significantly modified chassis that the company says increases the car’s capability, presumably in Suby-suited conditions like winter driving.
As is common practice for the company, the car comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive and is paired with either a five-speed manual or optional CVT automatic. Manual drivers will probably appreciate that Subaru is also including hill start assistance with its manual trasmission models so the car won’t back-roll while sitting on an incline.
As we’ve previously reported, the company announced plans to run its WRX and more potent WRX STi on a different platform for the 2013 model year, allowing further separation between the family oriented Impreza and sport-spirited rally racers. While that’s good news for people interested in buying a new WRX, it also means people shouldn’t expect any of that testosterone in the altered Impreza platform which the XV Crosstrek is built on.
Still, it comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels which bridge the 8.7-inch ground clearance gap between the underbody and road, which is more than most crossovers and some SUVs.
Finally, the car comes in two trim lines: premium and limited. The latter offers a host of more luxurious features including an improved infotainment system. Other features in the premium package include power windows and door locks, which suggests that these features might not be standard on the entry-level model. That seems strange given how common those features are in today’s market.
Pricing has yet to be announced on the XV Crosstrek, but we’ll be reporting live from the New York Auto Show to bring you the latest coverage.
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.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Escape
It’s that time of year when lots of car companies are about to unveil new model’s at various auto shows around the world. Buick is no exception, and it will use the 2012 North American International Auto Show to unveil its latest creation, the Encore CUV.
Before the veil is fully lifted off this new model, Buick is using the same trick many other car companies have used, by releasing styling details one piece at a time. Well now they have shown us a lot more than before, by showing the entire greenhouse of the vehicle.
Their latest leak did not come courtesy of some spy shot or a car magazine that went to the printer a little early. No, this time it was Buick themselves who posted a half-revealing shot of the Encore on the Facebook page.
From what we can see, the vehicle looks quite attractive. No technical details are available at the moment, but since the official debut is on January 10th, you don’t have to wait too long to find out.
The Honda Crosstour struggled to take hold in North America since its 2010 release. It could be partially due to the original marketing as a version of the Accord, or maybe that people just don’t like it. One way or another, Honda refuses to give up with its CUV attempt.
The company announced today that the 2012 model year will include two four-cylinder versions of the crossover aimed at a less expensive market segment. We can only assume this was what American Honda president and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura was talking about at this year’s Tokyo Auto Show when he said the company was committed to making the Crosstour a successful vehicle.
The new cars will come with a 2.4-liter inline four cylinder, making 192 horsepower. That’s a significant drop from the 271-horsepower V6, but Honda hopes consumers will be wooed by better gas milage. The four-cylinder gets 21/29 mpg city/highway, which is only 3 mpg better in the city and 2 on the highway. Only sales will tell, but a 79 horsepower cut is pretty steep to squeeze a couple more miles out.
The Crosstour still comes with a 5-speed automatic seen on previous models, though the new models come with smaller 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Honda is also upping their list of standard features to include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a backup camera, automatic on/off headlights, Bluetooth and USB audio.
GALLERY: 2012 Honda Crosstour
The Honda Crosstour (pictured above) is seeing lackluster sales and disappointing American Honda president and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura.
Iwamura said in a roundtable event related to the Tokyo Auto Show with journalists that it was a bad idea to originally bill the car as the Accord Crosstour because it made the CUV less individual.
Sales are down almost 36 percent at 16,679 for the Crosstour compared to last year when it sold 25,927. Those numbers were still far from Honda’s originally expected 40,000 unit figure. We liked the 2010 Crosstour when we reviewed the 2010 model despite how ugly we found it— something Iwamura wouldn’t agree with.
He sounded surprised by the poor sales numbers, calling the Crosstour a car with “beautiful styling.” Regardless of how you feel about the Crosstour’s looks, Iwamura pledged to make the Crosstour a successful vehicle in the future so it probably wont disappear any time soon.
Gallery: 2012 Honda Crosstour
Q3 or not Q3? That is the question. Audi is weighing the merits of bringing its trendy entry level compact crossover Q3 to the U.S. market. Putting economic feasibility into the highest consideration, Audi has to guarantee the Q3′s success by determining the size of its demand and price sensibility. Audi North America CEO Johan de Nysschen stresses Q3′s MSRP must be low enough to entice buyers yet high enough to gain profits.
An unusual detail for an automaker to stall upon, Audi is currently executing a strategic front to gain a stronger market share in the upper luxury segments, notably for the A6, A7, and A8. Perhaps reluctance to throw the Q3 into the mix may in part be an entry model’s conflict to a premium image.
Moreover, BMW has delayed bringing its X1 crossover to the U.S. market as well. An Audi Q3 competitor, the X1 may be reconsidered for the United States after its midlife facelift.
Other Audi models coming into the United States include the A3 sedan for 2014. A ploy to attract owners of the older, smaller B5 generation of the A4, the intelligently packaged A3 is a very attractive model as the A4 sedan grows in size after every redesign.
GALLERY: Audi Q3
Those who have been waiting to park the stylish new Range Rover Evoque on their driveway would be pleased to know that they won’t have to wait too long now. The vehicle will go on sale in just a few months time, but Land Rover has just announced US-pricing for this model, which starts at $43,995 (not including destination charges). That’s for the four door model with the coupe priced from $44,995.
This is easily the cheapest Range Rover model offered by its maker, and thanks to its 2.0-liter, turbo-charged, four cylinder motor, it will be cheap to run also. EPA figures suggest it will do 19-mpg in the city, and 28-mpg on the highway, which are very impressive numbers. Part of the reason it is so efficient is because thanks to weight-saving materials used in its construction, it only weighs 3680-lbs.
Expect these to ornament posh neighborhoods driveway very soon, no wonder they hired ‘Posh Spice’ Victoria Beckham as one of their brand ambassadors.
GALLERY: Range Rover Evoque
In it’s first month on sale, Nissan sold 2103 Jukes, significantly more than the Honda Eelement or Volkswagen Tiguan, while closing in on the Mazda CX-7 and Kia Sportage.
We were worried that customers wouldn’t be able to get past the Juke’s styling, but that hardly seems to be an issue. Within Nissan, the Juke outsold every Infiniti product save for the G37 lineup, as well as the Nissan Xterra, Pathfinder, Titan, Armada, Cube and 370Z. Not bad for such a polarizing car, and we’re delighted that the Juke is finding homes amongst American buyers.
[Source: Good Car Bad Car]
The 2011 Kia Sportage is set to go for $18,295 ($18,990 with destination), while coming equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power windows, doorlocks and mirrors, auxillary inputs and Bluetooth connectivity.
Powered by a 2.4L, 176 horsepower 4-cylinder, the Sportage is also set to get the 270 horsepower 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo motor from the Hyundai corporate stable.
More luxurious LX models will feature LED turn signal indicators, keyless entry and privacy glass. The top of the line model gets 18-inch rims and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Six airbags, four-wheel ABS and electronic stability control are also standard.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Hyundai introduced a futuristic crossover concept model, the ix-Metro, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Drawing inspiration from NASA, science fiction and pine cones (yes, pine cones), the Hyundai ix-Metro was the result of an internal design competition.
Design features such as faceted surfaces and triangulating lines along the bonnet, side and rear panels are a departure from other recent Hyundai models, both production and concept. Hyundai says the high beltline provides a protective feeling while the 20-inch wheels and flanged wheel arches give the ix-Metro a muscular stance.
Interior designer Sandy Hartono compares the interior to a pine cone with seats, cargo area and other surfaces separated by light-filled gaps, creating an appearance that seems both organic and futuristic.
The ix-Metro uses a hybridized drivetrain, producing 123 hp out of a 1,000cc three-cylinder engine . This was accomplished through the use of continuously variable valve-timing, turbocharging and direct injection. Additional torque assistance is provided by the starter motor-alternator with power stored in an electric, double-layered ultracapacitor, and a 12V battery.
Gallery: Hyundai ix-Metro
Along with an electric version of the company’s tiny i10, Hyundai will also unveil an innovative hybrid CUV concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show in just over a weeks time.
As a part of Hyundai’s Blue drive initiative, the ix-Metro is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. Designed for Europe, this model is particularly interesting as it is a sub-compact crossover. It also gets a state-of-the-art six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
As for the electric i10, it will get a 65hp (49 kW) electric motor with a range of 100 miles.
In addition to these Blue Drive vehicles, Hyundai will also have on hand the Elantra LPI Hybrid and the Blue Will Plug-In Hybrid Electric concept vehicle.
Production vehicle debuts include the 2010 Tucson and the updated 2010 Santa Fe.
GALLERY: Hyundai ix-Metro Concept
Official release after the jump:
Honda has officially revealed the 2010 Accord Crosstour Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV), which will go on sale this Fall, competing head-to-head with vehicles like the Toyota Venza.
“Our concept is to broaden the appeal of the Accord line-up by leveraging traditional Accord strengths of fun-to-drive performance and handling while also adapting to dramatic shifts in the light truck marketplace,” said Erik Berkman, VP of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Accord Crosstour accomplishes that by offering a modern interpretation of a CUV while integrating the refinement and efficiency of a premium sedan.”
“We know SUV buyers like the commanding view of the road that comes with a high eye-point and like the comforts of living with an SUV. This vehicle meets the needs of buyers looking for those attributes yet at the same time want an image that is different from a conventional SUV.”
Honda has yet to release specifications on the model but the Crosstour will be positioned as the highest level Accord and will likely cost a $2,000 premium over sedan models. Honda promises sporty Accord-like driving dynamics along with all the advantages of a crossover, like an excellent view of the road, AWD and plenty of cargo room.
GALLERY: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour