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Buick Encore Given a Facelift with Updated Interior and Tech

buick encore (7)

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

mazda cx-4 (1)

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

kia sportage (1)

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.

Hyundai i20 Active Has a Nice Mix of Features

Hyundai i20 Active (7)

The Hyundai i20 Active is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get crossover. You cannot expect it to be packed with a powerful engine when it’s clearly made for practicality, although the Korean company packed it with enough innovative technology to impress even the most discerning buyer.

The i20 Active has a little 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbo engine, and it is a front-wheel drive. Power is distributed through a five-speed gearbox. There is no 4×4 here, unfortunately. It’s not even an option, truth be told.

However, the Hyundai i20 Active does enjoy an additional 20mm of ride height over the i20’s five doors. The driver’s seat has a little bit of hike, too, for better visibility, and the exterior’s panels have more rugged alternatives.

If you’re into hiking and other outdoor adventures, you can make use of the included skid plates on the front and rear, as well as the roof rails on top. Make sure to double check, however, the i20 Active’s capacity to climb mountains and drive through rough roads. Remember, this is not 4×4 drive.

But that’s not to say you won’t enjoy driving the i20 Active. It’s actually pretty good, and the suspension is the stiffest of the i20 family. It was designed as such to counter the body roll that might be triggered by the extra height, as well as to please the younger market.

Hyundai has fitted the auto a development shift while going around Nürburgring. It results to a better grip and nicely weighted steering, just like the Ford Fiesta and the Mini. Overall, the car is very easy to drive, and has a nice flexibility to it.

We cannot say it’s better than its rivals, unfortunately, as the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Fiat 500X have many personalization options, as well as aesthetics and dynamics features.

Suzuki Vitara, Fiat Panda 4xt and Dacia Duster also offers something the i20 Active doesn’t—a 4×4 option.

But at £15,225, the Hyundai i20 Active will give all these rivals a run for their money. There’s definitely competition if we look at the affordability and practicality of the current options in the market. Also, the five-year warranty could be an attraction that some cannot resist.

Source: TopGear

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