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Three Things To Learn About The 2018 BMW X3

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If you’re a fan of the current BMW X3, you’ll be happy to know that the same snappy performance, elegant interior, and reasonable pricing are packaged in an all-new next-generation 2018 BMW X3.

Spotted testing once again, the new X3 is likely to arrive in showrooms starting next year as a 2018 model. Aside from what we enjoy with the current model, the German automaker added other elements to make this the perfect crossover SUV. What does anyone want in an SUV? Power, aerodynamics and cargo space. All of these you can find in this next-gen X3.

1. More Interior Space

Crossover SUVs have suffered tremendously for its failure to offer adequate interior and cargo space like it’s bigger brother, the SUV. It’s understandable why since the crossover wasn’t made to rival the SUV. It was just made to be bigger than the sedan, but significantly smaller than the SUV. The focus was on ground clearance than interior space. But thanks to a more efficient engineering and the use of lightweight materials, the 2018 X3 is equipped with a larger interior.

That is thanks largely to the adoption of the CLAR modular platform that was first seen in the 2016 7-Series. The SUV version will be debuting in the X3, and will likely appear in the new X5 and X7 as well.

2. Diesel and Plug-in Hybrid Options Available

For those of you waiting for a battery-powered electric X3, this isn’t the year for that, unfortunately. Under the hood of this new X3, you’ll find almost the same engine as that of the latest 3-Series. This means that the crossover is offering BMW’s new B58 modular 3.0-liter inline-6 and inline-4 units, including diesel and plug-in hybrid options. The battery-powered electric X3 will arrive towards the end of the decade.

3. Performance Variants are Coming

There will be an X3 M40i and X3 M, the latter was apparently spied in prototype form. Its engine will be coming from the M3/M4 line which produces 425 horsepower. These performance variants will have an aggressive body form that is also wider than the current X3.

2018 BMW X2 To Take On The Audi Q2

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Rumors that BMW is building an X2 crossover has been around since 2011. It was finally semi-confirmed when spy shots surfaced on the streets in 2015 and early 2016.

A concept car was also introduced during the 2016 Paris Auto Show, making it clear as the day that the German company wants to put the competition with Audi Q2 to the test.

Spy photos of the BMW X2 being tested near the BMW Development Center in Munich showed that it will be a sportier and coupe-like version of the X1. It will certainly not have the hunched roofline of the X4 and X6. It will heavily depend on the X1, albeit with a little more legroom.

The X1 and X2 will have similar front fascia with a big twin-kidney grille, as well as sleeker headlamps. It will be more aggressive in appearance compared to the X1, though the X2 will have a shorter tailgate and rear windscreen.

Inside, we expect to see a seven-speaker audio system, a multi-function, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and cruise control, as well as an 8.8-inch display, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a panoramic moonroof.

In terms of drivetrain, the X2 will take a page from the X1’s book. It will have gasoline and diesel options, both with three- or four-cylinder formats. They will also be offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive.

The base model in Europe has a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline unit that produces 134 horsepower. This is coupled with a six-speed automatic and power FWD versions only. There will also be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine while the sDrive20i and xDrive20i will have 189 horsepower and the xDrive25i, 228 horsepower.

Diesel-wise, the X2 is getting 1.5-liter three-cylinder that produces 114 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The base model will be able to crank out 148 horsepower and 243 pound-feet while the high-end variant gets 228 horsepower and a whopping 332 pound-feet of torque.

The X2 could be bought for $37,500 before options.

Audi Q2

A mash-up between the Q1 and A3, the Q2 looks more like a hatchback than a crossover. The only thing that allows it to be in the crossover segment is the aggressive lines, sporty roofline, spacious indoor capacity and the diverse powertrain lineup.

The base is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder that can generate 116 horsepower, while the 1.4-liter four-pot is available 150 horsepower. Higher end models will get the 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 190 horsepower.

When it comes to diesel engine, there’s the 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 116 horsepower and a 2.0-liter four-banger with either 150 or 190 horses.

The Audi Q2 is priced at $27,780.

Lexus UX Concept Is A Glimpse of a New Luxury Compact Crossover

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The Lexus UX Concept just made its world debut at the Paris Auto Show last week, and to say it made quite a bit of a splash is an understatement. Showcasing Lexus’ vision for a compact crossover in the future, the concept defines a new vision for the company’s design journey and driving experience.

What the UX Concept showed is that Lexus is determined to separate itself from the rest. The models using this concept will have a bold, standalone and unique character coupled with a  powerful design and deconstructed interior styling.

During its introduction at the Paris Auto Show, experts raved about the concept’s sharp creases, trademark grilles, piercing headlights and flared side intakes. One can see bits of Lexus NX SUV in the concept, though the innovation was heavily exaggerated on the UX Concept. For one, it has massive wheels, ones we would not see on a production vehicle anytime soon. But this completes the muscular and sexy look of the concept.

There are some pretty interesting parts to the exterior design, but none as compelling as the wild taillight setup at the rear. The clearance between the lens on the rear hatch and the stationary units on the rear quarters is almost nonexistent that the taillight looks like one wide light.

What’s even more unique is the see-through A pillar that “blurs” the boundaries between the exterior and the interior.

Inside, there’s a “deconstructed” look as demonstrated by the sharp and angular forms that overlap each other to replace the conventional dashboard. These overlaps create shadows and contrasts, making it difficult for anyone to identify where they begin or end. The passenger seat was also not prioritized to emphasize that it is the driver that has control of the environment.

The seats, by the way, are inspired by the Lexus Kinetic Seat Concept, which also premiered in the show.

2017 Honda HR-V Is Coming To 2017 With New Color And Better Fuel Economy

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The sporty and functional Honda HR-V crossover vehicle is entering 2017 as the 2016 Green SUV of the Year, and with new color, better fuel economy, a seamless transmission system, and a host of new safety and infotainment technology.

Stylish and versatile, the Honda HR-V will start to go on sale tomorrow with a starting price of $19,365 for the LX 2WD with a 6-speed transmission according to reports. So far, Honda announced eight trims for the HR-V: the LX with 2WD w/ 6MT ($19,365), the LX with 2WD w/ CVT ($20,165), the LX with AWD w/ CVT ($21,465), the EX with 2WD w/ 6MT ($21,415), the EX with 2WD w/ CVT ($22,215), the EX with AWD w/ CVT ($23,515), the EX-L Navi with 2WD w/ CVT ($24,840), and EX-L Navi with AWD w/ CVT ($26,140).

The 2017 Honda HR-V is being powered by a refined and efficient 1.8-liter 4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC® engine with an output of 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. This same engine is paired with one of Honda’s two efficient and responsive transmissions: the continuously variable transmission (CVT), available on all models, or an engaging 6-speed manual transmission, available on LX and EX models with 2WD.

For its price, the HR-V is a standout in the crossover market. Along with a list of standard features and technologies— 7-inch alloy wheels, push-button electric parking brake with Automatic Brake Hold, rearview camera with guidelines, Pandora® radio and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®–it will also come in a new color, the Lunar Silver metallic. This will replace the Alabaster Silver.

It also has a host of safety tech that includes the four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ electronic stability control system, a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). A Honda LaneWatch® display is added in the EX and EX-L Navi trims.

Check Out the Spy Shots Of 2017 Volkswagen 3-Row SUV

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Two years ago, Volkswagen confirmed that it has plans to build a new three-row crossover SUV at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Now, merely months after the production started, spy shots of the prototype have come out.

According to a report, the new Volkswagen 3-Row SUV was first seen in early 2013 by the CrossBlue concept. No one knew if the concept would be carried over to the actual production design, but the spy shots now confirmed that the production version will resemble the 2013 concept. Of course, we couldn’t see it in its entirety so the finer elements are still a mystery.

This new SUV is Volkswagen’s challenge to the ever popular and family-oriented three-row SUVs such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Motor Company Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

It will be based on the stretched version of VW’s flexible MQB platform, enabling the SUV to be offered at a lower cost. That platform was the same one used in the smaller Golf and the North American-spec Passat currently being produced at the Chattanooga plant.

Those who seek for a plusher ride can wait for the new generation Touareg that’ll come out next year.

There is no information yet on what drivetrain would be used on the SUV, although it is expected to come out with a 4- and 6-cylinder option. The CrossBlue concept had a hybrid powertrain that pairs the 4-cylinder diesel engine with an electric motor.

But since there are current issues on VW’s use of diesel engine, then perhaps a gasoline-electric hybrid setup will be offered in the production version. Volkswagen’s 2017 3-Row SUV would most likely debut later this year or early next year.

VW also has other SUVs in the pipeline, including the new Tiguan and Touareg, as well as the production versions of the T-Roc and T-Cross Breeze concepts. There would also be coupe-like versions of the Tiguan and this new three-row SUV from VW.

2017 Mazda CX-4 To Be Unveiled At Beijing Motor Show

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Mazda introduced the Mazda Koeru concept during last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, promising to venture into the growing crossover SUV segment. This is the answer to that—the Mazda CX-4. It came sooner than expected, but who’s really complaining?

Most upcoming models come as prototype, but based on a source, the CX-4 was immediately spotted in production in Asia late 2015. By the beginning of 2016, Mazda has confirmed this and said it will be unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show this April.

The CX-4 will walk on that thin line between Mazda 3 and CX-5, so it will probably be the sportier, coupe version of the CX-3.

Mazda has already released a few teaser photos for the CX-4, and we can’t help but be charmed by it. The CX-4 will have the same features such as the KODO-styled front end, massive grille, and sculpted engine hood. Koeru’s grille frame extends into the headlamps—a feature not available on current Mazda units.

Koeru has a sporty profile, and we can see this on the CX-4 with its roof sitting slightly higher and its door handles having standard design.

Inside, the CX-4 interior is not as fancy as the current CX-5. But this doesn’t mean the CX-4 will have no premium features since it comes with aluminum inserts, leather, contrast stitching, and overall fit-and-finish.

Since the CX-4 is configured to become a coupe, it will feel less roomy than the CX-5.

No exact word yet on the vehicle’s powertrain, but it might actually not go too far off and remain inspired by the CX-5. That one has 2.0-liter SkyActiv unit rated at 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque in entry-level guise and a more powerful 2.5-liter SkyActiv with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.

Choices for transmission would make us pick between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

If it will cost as much as the CX-5, then you better prepare around $21,795.

Buick Encore Given a Facelift with Updated Interior and Tech

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Buick decided to gives its smallest crossover a facelift, some updated interior and new technologies four years after its debut. The new 2017 Buick Encore will strengthen the appeal of America’s most popular small SUV.

Although the changes are not drastic, such changes would ensure the Encore would be a top choice for years to come.

The new Encore has a refreshed front-end appearance and a new premium interior technology that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it perfect for just about anyone who’s ever owned a smartphone. The new technologies are supported by a next generation IntelliLink system that features an equally impressive 8-inch diagonal color touch screen.

Standard features included in the new Encore are push button start, keyless unlock via the exterior door handles, and the 8-inch color touch screen.

Outside, the Encore added a winged grille with Buick’s new tri-color insignia, new front headlamps and rear LED signature tail lamps. Uplevel models would come packed with Buick’s full LED headlamps that provide clear lighting for night driving.

It also has a new chrome exhaust outlet, body color heated outside mirrors, a new 18-inch wheel design and three new colors—Black Cherry Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic and White Frost Metallic.

In terms of interior designs, the 2017 Encore puts greater emphasis on selecting materials, as well as details like bright accents and contrast stitching.

It boasts an updated instrument panel as well with a 4.2-inch diagonal color driver information center, as well as a new center that complements the instrument panel for a friendlier user interface for its new technologies.

The core feature of the 2017 Encore is that it offers room for five persons. In addition, it has 48.4 cubic feet of storage space with the 60/40 split rear seat folded. Standard models come with 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain.

Buick Encore’s main rival is VW’s Tiguan, but the latter costs a bit more at $26,255. The updated Encore will have a starting price of $24,065.

2016 Mazda CX-9 Priced At $31,520

Mazda CX-9

After promising fuel economy, elegant interior and superior handling dynamics, Mazda has released its pricing and packaging information for the 2016 Mazda CX-9, the midsize three-row crossover SUV that the company has been boasting about.

According to a press release, the CX-9 will retail starting at $31,520.

Robert Davis, senior vice president of Mazda’s US operations, said the company has high expectations for the crossover SUV. As a flagship, the CX-9 will be the starting point of all innovative technologies Mazda will test on their upcoming vehicles.

As a Sport trim variant, the CX-9 will come with LED headlights and taillights, much like the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster. It will also have fabric seating, electronic parking brake, 18-inch wheels, rear backup camera, trailer stability assist, Mazda Connect infotainment with commander control, and a seven-inch display.

In the Sport package, potential buyers can choose to add power driver’s seat, heated front seats and heated door mirrors.

The Touring, on the other hand, has an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Homelink garage door openers, black- or sand-colored leather seating, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, power liftgate, power front seats, and an eight-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen display.

Buyers can also choose among other variants—Touring Premium Package, Grand Touring Model, and the Signature.

All of the models come packed with Mazda’s new turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine that generates 310 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm on either 87- or 93-octane gasoline. It also produces 250 horsepower on 93-octane gasoline (227 horsepower on 87-octane), and has the standard SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission either in front-wheel or i-ACTIV all-wheel drive.

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is expected to be on sale in the US this late spring with pricing starting at $31,520 for the CX-9 Sport, $35,970 for CX-9 Touring, $40,170 for CX-9 Grand Touring, and $44,015 for CX-9 Signature (AWD Standard).

A Look at the Mazda CX-4 Before The Beijing Auto Show

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Mazda is joining the coupe-like crossover bandwagon with the CX-4, and we couldn’t be any more excited. Glimpses of the new crossover from Mazda were seen recently, and it looks to be very promising.

The CX-4 will make its world debut next month at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, but a single teaser shot was released to make us think more about what this crossover is bringing to the table.

The CX-4 will come into sale later this year, so this will most likely be a 2017 model, sources have been saying. It was first hinted by the Koeru concept car at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, but no details have been released since then whether the project was pushing through or not.

There was a long discussion about where the CX-4 would stand back when it hasn’t been given that name. But now that Mazda has confirmed the name, it looks to be sitting in between Mazda’s CX-3 and CX-5, both high-profile vehicles. The company also said it would be sportier that other tall wagons.

Based on the single photo, the CX-4 will most likely resemble the CX-5. They will also share the same platform, as well as a slew of other features, including the same 8.8 wheelbase and engine offerings.

If we are to follow CX-5’s platform, then this would mean the CX-4 will either have the 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque or the more potent 2.5-liter four cylinder that has 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.

There were rumors that the CX-4 will only come in sale in China, but let’s hope these are mere unfounded rumors.

The 2016 Beijing Auto Show isn’t until April 25, so that’s a long wait for more information about the Mazda CX-4. Although judging from the single photo the company released, it looks to be worth the wait.

Source: Car and Driver

2017 Kia Sportage Debuts in Frankfurt

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Kia Motors dropped the new fourth generation Sportage compact crossover in Frankfurt, Germany. It was launched with a redesigned exterior, an updated interior, and cutting edge technology and driving options.

What the new Kia Sportage offers is efficiency, practicality and performance in a single package. As you know, compact crossovers tend to be a jack-of-all-trade kind of vehicles, and the Sportage is no different. For the 2017 edition, Kia promised to upgrade every factor imaginable from its third generation Sportage.

The Sportage was first introduced in the early 1990s and since then, it has become quite a legend in Kia as it defined its range of compact crossovers.

For the fourth generation, the Kia Sportage will resemble a “fighter jet,” thanks to Kia’s chief designer, Peter Schreyer, the same guy who helped create the Audi TT. Kia’s design studios in Germany, Korea and California all contributed to the overall external look of the new Sportage.

Inside, the Sportage has a more refined and sleek look. The dashboard interface, which also featured a seven-inch touchscreen, is more driver-friendly now with all the buttons and switches angled towards the seat. There are two color schemes available—dark and light gray two-tone, and black and canyon beige two-tone.

The Sportage’s top-of-the-line will most likely include a turbocharged 1.6-liter T-GDI direct injection gas unit, which can produce 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. Then, there’s also the option of a 1.7-liter CRDi diesel that can produce 113 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque.

The newest feature for the 2017 Sportage is the seven-speed double-clutch transmission, as well as a revamped suspension that promises a better drive and ride.

Kia has just announced the new prices for the 2017 Kia Sportage, which will go on sale later this spring. You can get your hands on this new compact crossover for a range of $22,990 to $34,000, depending on the trim version, according to TopSpeed, which is also the source of the images below.

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