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Top 3 Things About the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Its High-Performance AMG Version

Kompaktes Multitalent für den Einstieg in die Mercedes-AMG Welt Der neue Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC Compact all-rounder as an entry to the Mercedes-AMG world The new Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC

After teasing us with its camouflaged prototypes and partially photographed portions of the crossover, Mercedes-Benz finally unveils the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, and its high-performance variant, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35.

The GLA range will be rolled out in US dealerships by the summer of 2020. European buyers will get their orders delivered to them as early as spring next year though. There’s no official information yet regarding the pricing of the compact SUV but it is estimated to start at the £35,000 mark.

1. Appearance

Mercedes-Benz GLA 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA 2019

The exterior of the new GLA is not that different from its outgoing model. However, checking it closer will show that it now has a smoother body similar to the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class. It also adopts a new front radiator grille, narrower lights, and redesigned bumpers.

The dimensions of the auto have been updated too. Compared to its predecessor, the new GLA is now 0.6 shorter although it gains 1.1 inches in its wheelbase, 1.2 inches in width and 4.1 inches in height. The new configuration provides extra legroom for the rear seat passengers of the vehicle.

2. Tech and Comfort

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Most of the goodies found in the new A-Class are simply carried over to the new GLA such as the circular air vents, steering wheel, controls, standard twin 7-inch displays that can be upgraded to 10.25 inches, and the MBUX multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The AMG GLA 35 version adds the MB-Tex/Dinamica microfiber-covered seats in black with red stitching as well as a carbon-fiber look on the dashboard and side panels. The AMG unit also adds four optional leather upholsteries to choose from.

The car wash function of the Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV trickles down to the GLA too. Basically, this function folds the side mirrors and closes all the windows, including the sunroof, upon activation during car washing. Then the integrated rain sensors of the wipers are deactivated so that they will not automatically engage. In addition, it switches the climate control to air-recirculation mode during the process.

3. Power

Mercedes-Benz GLA, Getriebe, 7G-DCT Mercedes-Benz GLA, transmission, 7G-DCT

The range starts with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 carrying a 1.33-liter engine producing 161 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque managed by a seven-speed automatic transmission. This one is only offered in Europe.

The US gets the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-four engine capable of 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The power of the auto is distributed via an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The unit boasts a 0-60 mph acceleration at 8.6 seconds and an electronically-limited max speed of 130 mph.

The Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is fitted with a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four engine. It has 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The numbers take the vehicle from 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds while its top speed is electronically-capped at 155 mph.

Mercedes is expected to introduce more power trims for the GLA, including a plug-in hybrid model powered by electricity and petrol. Furthermore, it is set to receive the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 and 45 S models with 382 hp and 354 lb-ft torque plus 416 hp and 369 lb-ft torque, respectively.

5 Important Things You Need to Know About the New Honda Jazz

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The production of the fourth-generation Honda Jazz (or Honda Fit in the US) is underway. Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the popular hatchback is sporting a lot of changes in and out plus it is debuting a crossover version.

The key specifications of the 2020 Honda Jazz are still under wraps but here are the things we have uncovered about it so far:

1. Hybrid Powertrain

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In compliance with the electrification reforms in Europe’s transportation sector, the Jazz is adopting Honda’s e:HEV two-motor hybrid system as a standard feature. It is rumored that the company is also going in the same direction for its new Accord model.

Currently, the Jazz is equipped with either a 1.3-liter engine with 100 hp and a 1.5-liter power unit with 128 hp. The latter is the only engine type available in the US market. It is not clear yet whether the Japanese automaker will keep the two engines within the new hybrid Jazz.

2. New Version

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Recognizing the strong demand for crossovers, Honda is offering a new variant of the Jazz called the Crosstar. Quoting Honda, the Jazz Crosstar is “designed to appeal to those seeking a more crossover-style design.”

Aside from the higher ground clearance compared with the standard Jazz, the Crosstar will be sporting a different front grille styling, roof rails, and for some reason, a water-resistant upholstery in its interior.

3. Better Driving Experience

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Honda improves the road visibility for its driver by making the A-pillar of the Jazz thinner. Basically, this has been cut in half to reduce the blind spot of the driver.

4. More User-Friendly

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The interior of the new Jazz looks clean. The alignment of the buttons, knobs, and air vents appear organized. There’s also the simplified design of its multi-function steering wheel. It is interesting to note too that the infotainment system of the vehicle is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, it has a new tablet-style LCD touchscreen on the central console.

5. Arrival

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The new Honda Jazz is expected to come out in the European market by mid-2020. The pricing of the unit is yet to be announced.

New Hyundai Kona Hybrid Priced At £22,495 In The UK

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The Hyundai Kona Hybrid crossover will be priced at £22,495 in the UK. It will be on sale this September this year.

The hybrid crossover is mating the brand’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder GDi petrol engine with an electric motor. It’s rated at 66mpg with an emissions rating of 99g/km of CO2.

This petrol-hybrid powertrain has a combined output of 139 horsepower and 265Nm of torque. It sends power through a front-wheel-drive system through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. It can go from 0 to 62 mph in just 11.2 seconds and it has a top speed of 99 mph.

All Kona Hybrid models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That starts with the SE models.

The more premium models, which are priced at £24,295, have wireless smartphone charging, automatic windscreen wipers, and front fog lamps, a larger 10.25-inch touch screen, and 18-inch wheels.

Meanwhile, Premium SE models will also feature LED headlamps, LED rear lamps, heated and ventilated front seats and a head-up display. These models sell for £27,195.

Also standard to the Kona Hybrid is the SmartSense technology that includes front collision warning, lane-keeping assist, a driver fatigue warning, high beam assist, and avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection ability. There’s an optional safety kit that has a blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning.

Other options include Intelligent Speed Limit Warning and Lane Following Assist systems. The speed-limit warning uses the car’s front camera to monitor the changes in speed and notify the driver while the lane-following assist keeps the car in the center of the lane when it’s on automatic cruise control.

There are seven paint options available such as the Blue Lagoon launch color. Inside, the Kona Hybrid has gloss black accents on the door handles and the steering wheel. There are white accents on the air vents and gear level, as well as a gray headlining.

The All-New Kia XCeed Is The Ceed’s Better-Looking Crossover Brother

kia xceed (1)

The Ceed family has just added another one on its lineup. Called the XCeed, it’s a slightly more off-road capable and taller version of the Ceed hatchback. This is the fourth model to arrive in the Ceed family after the regular hatchback, the Ceed Sportswagon, and the ProCeed shooting brake model.

The all-new Kia XCeed is more than just a raised version of the compact hatchback. Although it looks related to the Ceed family, Kia’s engineers and designers have made sure that the XCeed will stand out from the rest of the lineup.

There are 12 available paint finishes for the XCeed. Out of that number, 11 are shared with the other Ceed models, but the Quantum Yellow (the same color used in the official photos) is unique to the XCeed.

If there’s one thing that the XCeed shares with the rest of the Ceed family, it’s the wheelbase. At 2,650 millimeters (104.3 inches), it is longer compared to the hatchback. It is worth noting that the front overhang is 25 millimeters longer and the rear overhang is 60 millimeters longer. It’s an inch wider than the hatch and has 1.6 inches more ground clearance.

Inside the cabin, the XCeed’s interior is completely similar to the rest of the Ceed family. That’s not a bad thing, of course, since the Ceed already has a pretty good interior. The clean design and layout give way to highlight the floating infotainment screen.

Standard to the XCeed is the eight-inch screen that can be enlarged to a 10.25-inch at an extra cost. There’s a new feature which will become the brand’s first fully-digital gauge cluster. It displays a 12.3-inch screen with a display resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels.

The hood houses three direct-injection T-GDi engines: a one-liter engine that makes 118 horsepower and 172 Nm of torque, a 1.4-liter with 138 horsepower and 242 Nm, and a 1.6-liter that makes 201 horsepower and 265 Nm of torque.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB Is The Crossover We Never Knew We Needed Til Now

Mit bis zu sieben Sitzplätzen: Der neue Mercedes-Benz GLB: für Familie & Freunde With up to seven seats: The new Mercedes-Benz GLB: for family & friends

Think of the G-Class in miniature size. That’s how the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB looks like. It’s a three-row, seven-seater crossover that slides between the 2019 GLA and the 2019 GLC. Using the German company’s new platform that’s also in the A-Class and B-Class, the GLB’s boxy design is the latest in the brand’s compact car range.

Spacious Family Car

Mit bis zu sieben Sitzplätzen: Der neue Mercedes-Benz GLB: für Familie & FreundeWith up to seven seats: The new Mercedes-Benz GLB: for family & friends

The main advantages of the GLB are its cabin and compartment. It’s the first in this segment to be offered in a seven-seat capacity, with the two seats in the third row compatible for people up to 1.68 meters in height.

The GLB has a wheelbase of 2,829 millimeters, which is 10 millimeters more than the B-Class. The headroom in the first row is 1,035 millimeters—the best in the segment—while the legroom in the rear in a five-seater configuration is 967 millimeters.

The load compartment is 560 liters for the seven-seater setup and 1,755 liters for the five-seater setup. The second row can be longitudinally adjusted while the standard inclination for the backrests is adjustable in several stages. The load compartment can then be maximized by up to 179 liters and put to versatile use.

Second Best Powertrain

Mit bis zu sieben Sitzplätzen: Der neue Mercedes-Benz GLB: für Familie & Freunde With up to seven seats: The new Mercedes-Benz GLB: for family & friends

The GLB has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In the US market, the only competitor to best that specification in the segment is the BMW X2, which has seven horsepower more and same amount of torque output. To reach 60 mph from a standstill, the GLB and the X2 need only 6.9 seconds. The top speed is rated at 130 mph.

In Europe, there are two diesel options to choose from: the GLB200d and the GLB220d. Both are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder oil burner but the GLB200d comes with 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet on tap and hits 62 mph in nine seconds while the GLB220d benefits from 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Nears Release

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The German company Volkswagen revealed at last year’s New York auto show that it plans to release a two-row version of its Atlas crossover. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport concept will supposedly come into production this year and it seems that Volkswagen kept its promise.

When the Teramont X was released to the overseas market a couple of months ago, many thought this was the Cross Sport crossover that the German automaker promised. However, recent spy shots of another VW crossover showed how the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport will be different from the Teramont X.

The spy photos showed the Cross Sport’s prototype wrapped in camouflage but this clearly is a diversion. The crossover is ready for production and its on the final stages of testing. The overall shape is similar to the Teramont X. It has that boxy, old-school profile. The rear hatch, however, leans far forward, similar to many luxury coupes. It also has a very thick D-pillar.

The Cross Sport’s front fascia is similar to the concept, unlike the regular Atlas and the Teramont X. It can be said that it rallies close to the VW Jetta with the grille dipping below the headlight line. The grille opening in the middle of the front bumper is also positioned much lower than the outboard ones.

Moving to the back, the Cross Sport is fitted with taillights that have redesigned LED bars like the ones found in the VW Golf.

We can expect the Atlas Cross Sport to enter production in the next few months. It should be ready in dealerships before the year’s end as this will be a 2020 model. The competition is tough, though, as it should be ready to compete with the likes of the Nissan Murano, the Honda Passport, and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The Chevrolet Blazer and the Ford Edge are competitors, too.

3 Things We’re Expecting From The 2020 Hyundai Venue

hyundai venue (1)

Hyundai is set to unveil its newest entry-level SUV at the 2019 New York Auto Show next week. Called the Hyundai Venue, this crossover will slot below the Kona and will compete against the Kia Soul and the Nissan Kicks.

Hyundai released some sketches and teasers before the big reveal. The South Korean company described the Venue as a “great fit” for people with busy lifestyles as it combined “playful and practical features.”

Here are the things we found out about the Hyundai Venue based on its sketches:

Exterior

hyundai venue (2)

If you can remember the Carlino concept, that’s how the Venue’s rear end looks like. It has a boxy rear end with small taillights and a simple bumper rear. Though there were no spy shots of the profile, we can expect a boxy figure for the Venue based on the design of its rear end. This separates it from the coupe-like Kona.

The front end shares some styling directions with other Hyundai SUVs. It has split-headlamps like the Kona and the larger Palisade with big lights at the corners of the bumper and slimmer lights on the upper section of the grille.

Interior

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The cabin looks clean, simple, and elegant. Many of the elements—lower center stack layout, the A/C vents, and the steering wheel—were taken from the Kona. The upper section of the dashboard looks to be a new design specifically for the Venue. The small infotainment display, however, is smacked in the middle of the A/C vents, which some pundits might not particularly like.

Drivetrain

The Venue is using the same underpinnings as the Kona. This makes it safe to assume that it’ll have the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that can make 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Also part of the lineup would be the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder—the same engines used by the Kia Soul.

2020 Renault Captur With Plug-In Hybrid Spied Testing In The Cold

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The new 2020 Renault Captur crossover’s plug-in hybrid variant has been spotted winter testing. Scheduled to be sold starting 2020, it looks like Renault is on schedule to produce probably one of its best-selling vehicles.

Based on the latest spy shots, the latest Captur will adopt an evolutionary design though it brought the same shape, profile, and the brand’s signature grille to this camouflaged prototype. The new photos, however, revealed that the Captur crossover will have the new Clio-inspired front end.

Inside, the Renault Captur will carry the brand’s latest dashboard layout with a portrait-style touchscreen infotainment unit at the center. We expect to see more cabin space, too, both for the passengers and cargo since Renault is planning on making the Alliance B platform longer and wider. That should unlock more shoulder and leg room.

Since it was launched in 2013, the first-generation Captur was Renault’s third best-selling vehicle globally with 232,733 units making rounds in the world today. This next-generation Captur crossover has then a gigantic task to face: continue its role as a sales success for Renault when it goes on sale early next decade.

This will also be Renault’s first plug-in hybrid model that uses the technology outlined by former Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn during the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

For the new Captur’s plug-in hybrid engine, Renault is developing a system that will make use of Nissan’s 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric drive system. The electric motor will have a dual role, providing the petrol engine with additional torque and power and offering up to 30 miles on electric charge alone.

There are no technical specifications available yet for this plug-in hybrid system but Renault confirmed that the electric drive setup will carry a 9.8kWh battery. This same technology will be used in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for future cars.

3 Things That Separate The 2019 Lexus UX From Other Crossovers

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Lexus finally introduced its first compact crossover in the form of the 2019 Lexus UX. This is the first Lexus model to feature the brand’s new GA-C platform and it looks like a slightly blown-up LC500.

Exterior

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The front end of the new Lexus UX looks a lot like the LC500—from the aggressively curved hood to the spindle grille to the headlights with a slightly different LED strip. It has an overall sporty design with a unique rear end that gives a sort of optical illusion to the casual looker. The rear overhang on the rear hatch is highlighted by an F Sport-styled side wings while the rear fascia gets an F Sport insert.

Interior

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The cabin is a blend of German, Japanese, and American culture. It has its own identity and refreshingly sits apart from the rest of the cars in the segment. Up front, the infotainment display has a large, cellphone-like look to it with an integrated digital display and an embedded appearance. Imagine Audi’s infotainment display a few years back and you’ll get what we mean.

The seats, both of the driver and the passengers, are perforated and supportive. There’s high-quality stitching throughout the seats with some contrast on the steering wheel. There’s a thick leather pallet on the middle tier of the dashboard which also has some white contrast stitching.

Performance

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Lexus is fitting the UX with an all-new 2.0-liter gasoline engine. It offers high-speed combustion, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and oil pump, and intelligent variable valve timing. It comes also with the brand’s first Direct Shift CVT. The engine will deliver 168 horsepower but no torque figures have been released yet. Does this one need a high torque figure? It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to tow anything with the Lexus UX.

2019 Nissan Murano Gets Slight Price Bump, Starts At $32,315

nissan murano

The refreshed 2019 Nissan Murano gets a slight price increase of $270 from the previous model. It now starts at $32,315, which makes it more expensive than the $30,990 base model of the Ford Edge.

The two models have been refreshed for the 2019 model year with an upgraded exterior and interior design. There are also other exciting new features. Standard to the Murano is an 8.0-inch display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. All models come with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 260 horsepower. An all-wheel-drive setup can be had for an additional $1,600 in any trim level.

The SV trim level brings more features that are engineered to provide comfort and luxury to the owner. It has a remote engine start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and 10-way driver and four-way passenger power seats. Prices for the SV trim level start at $35,485, up by $140.

The SL trim adds 20-inch wheels, navigation, leather-appointed seats, adaptive cruise control, heated front, and rear seats, and other cool features. To get the SL trim, you need $40,275, which is an increase of $530 than the 2018 model.

At the top of the lineup is the Platinum trim. Standard to this trim level is a power panoramic moonroof and new diamond-quilted leather-appointed seats. It’s priced at $44,575, up by $1,100 than the model from the previous year. This trim also features a new suite of technologies that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking. These are also available on the SL trim if you choose to have the Technology package.

The 2019 Nissan Murano is expected to open its sales book today, December 20.

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