Posts Tagged ‘CUVs’

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.

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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.

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“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.


Hyundai Offers Up Rendering of New Creta Subcompact CUV

One of several new utes to join Korean carmaker’s line-up.

by on Jun.11, 2015

This rendering shows what Hyundai's new Creta subcompact crossover might look like.

It wasn’t all that long ago when the idea of a subcompact crossover would draw a blank stare from most folks. These days, it’s one of the world’s fastest-growing product segments, with makers from around the world to field their own entries.

So, Hyundai wants to take a step below the current Tucson model with plans to add a new subcompact ute that, we learned only last week, will be dubbed the Creta. Now, the maker is offering up a first rendering of what that model will look like.

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The name, the Korean carmaker says, is “simple and easy to remember,” tough cretins might find it a little strange, especially considering the two current Hyundai utes are known as the Tucson and Santa Fe. (more…)

Dodge at Crossroad with New Journey Model

Special edition crossover gets rugged makeover.

by on Feb.05, 2014

Dodge is introducing its new Journey Crossroad edition during the Chicago Auto Show.

With sales of utility vehicles of all kinds of utility vehicles trending upwards, the Dodge Journey, one of the workman like crossovers in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles model lineup, is getting an update just in time for this year’s version of the Chicago Auto Show.

The new Journey Crossroad is getting new front and rear fascias, Platinum Chrome side sills and 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels. The interior also gets features, such as an 8.4-inch U-connect touchscreen, a new leather seat design and Liquid Graphite appliques.

A Sporting Choice!

“The Journey has always been Dodge’s Swiss Army knife in the CUV segment, and with the new Journey Crossroad, we are expanding that flexibility by now offering three different exterior appearances,” said Tim Kuniskis, president and CEO, Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. (more…)

First Look: 2011 Nissan Murano

Staying close to the Edge.

by on Aug.23, 2010

Some notable updates to the Nissan Murano surface for 2011.

Just two years after introducing its second-generation Murano, Nissan is weighing in with an update to the quirky crossover.

The original Murano was a breakthrough product for Nissan, underscoring the maker’s promise to stretch the boundaries of traditional automotive design – and, in particular, the traditionally rigid constraints of utility vehicles.

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The current model, however, fell a bit short of expectations, which likely explains why the Japanese maker is back with a new look so quickly for the 2012 Nissan Murano.


Ford Announces Pricing for Upgraded 2011 Ford Edge and Edge Sport

A challenging year ahead for the top-selling CUV.

by on Jul.14, 2010

Ford's 2011 Edge Sport gets a more distinctive look for the coming model-year.

Ford today announced complete pricing for its improved and upgraded 2011 Ford Edge.  For openers, the pricing of the base SE and SEL models is down $200 versus current 2010 pricing.

The SE front-wheel-drive version will start at $27,995. The SEL FWD
version will start at $30,995.  The Limited FWD, the single most popular model of the Edge, will start at $34,995

The completely revised Edge Sport FWD will start at $36,995. Pricing of the Limited includes following new equipment: Sony audio with HD radio, MyFord Touch, rear view camera, 10-way power driver’s seat in lieu of 6-way, capless easy fuel, MyKey, select shift and 285-horsepower 3.5L Ti-VCT engine, now 20 horsepower stronger, with EPA ratings of 19 mpg city, 27 highway.

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Pricing of the Sport includes an array of new features, such as a 22-inch wheels, Sony audio with HD radio, MyFord Touch, rear view camera, 10-way power heated drivers seat in lieu of 6-way, heated memory seats and mirrors, 6-way power passenger seat, the 304-horsepower 3.7L Ti-VCT engine borrowed from the Mustang, and select shift with paddle shifters.


Elaine Bannon: A Woman On The Leading Edge

Revealing secrets at Ford.

by on Jul.06, 2010

As chief engineer on the Ford Edge, Elaine Bannon is hoping for another hit.

Elaine Bannon has a secret she’d rather not keep.

Bannon is a glamorous 48-year-old mechanical engineer and MBA whose job it is to produce winners for Ford Motor Company, including the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT – in fact, all of Ford’s crossover utilities.

One of the industry’s best-kept secrets is that Edge is the best-selling vehicle in its market segment, and has been almost from the minute it was introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model.

As chief engineer for these four vehicles, Bannon brings to the job her vast experience in body engineering, body design, chassis engineering, heavy-duty commercial vehicles, plastics and manufacturing, among other things, in a 25-year career.

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Bannon has been in charge of the award-winning (J.D. Power IQS and APEAL awards) Edge program since its inception in 2005, and she says that, increasingly, Ford is leaving its senior managers in place because of their accumulated experience and relationships to the other senior team members.


First Look: Range Rover Evoque

Maker unveils, reveals name of its first-ever crossover.

by on Jul.01, 2010

A pair of firsts for Land Rover: the 2011 Evoque will be the brand's first crossover and its first front-drive-based vehicle.

Land Rover’s first crossover-utility vehicle, and the first product from the British maker to adopt a front-wheel-drive powertrain, has been formally unveiled on the grounds of London’s Kensington Palace, a part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the U.K. maker’s flagship Range Rover SUV.

The Range Rover Evoque is the eagerly-awaited and much-discussed production version of the Land Rover LRX show car first unveiled two years ago at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit.

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“This is the smallest, lightest, most fuel-efficient addition to the Land Rover line-up ever,” declared the maker’s Managing Director Phil Popham, who stressed Land Rover’s goal of “broadening our appeal” with the Evoque.


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.”

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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.


First Drive: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

At 32 mpg, bring on the $4-a-gallon gas.

by on Jun.11, 2009

The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox: finally, a credible crossover from General Motors.

The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox: finally, a credible crossover from General Motors.

Remember when SUVs ruled the road?  Actually, it wasn’t all that long ago that classic, truck-based sport-utes accounted for nearly 3 million sales annually, better than one in six of the vehicles we Americans bought each year.  And, notably, the vast majority of those were domestic Big Three products.

To cut into Detroit’s lead, foreign makers, the Japanese, in particular, started churning out millions of so-called “crossover-utility vehicles,” like the Toyota RAV-4 and Honda CR-V.  These days, those CUVs have surged past the classic sport-utes, leaving Detroit playing a desperate game of catch-up.

Chevy’s Equinox was one of the first Big Three entries into the crossover segment and it was, to be honest, a lackluster attempt, little more than an also-ran on the sales charts.  But an all-new version is back for 2010 and while we approached the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox with a fair share of skepticism, a day of driving the new crossover has us singing a very different tune.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comThere are a variety of reasons why the ’10 Equinox is worth putting on your shopping list.  It’s attractive, well-appointed, roomy and surprisingly refined. And then there’s the issue of fuel-economy. Oh, yes, that.  It’s surprising how quickly we Americans seem to forget about that little matter. Sales of traditional truck-based utes actually showed a bit of a resurgence after last year’s record run-up, but in recent weeks, with pump prices soaring back from barely $2 a gallon to something closer to $3, it’s once a factor to consider. And it gives good reason to consider the Equinox. (more…)