2018 Volkswagen Atlas

The SUV that will fill the gap between the Tiguan and the Touareg.

As far as SUVs and crossovers go, every manufacturer seems to have an offering that fits exactly what you need in an overgrown people hauler. Some manufacturers have three, while others like Chevy have five, but there’s one mainstream automaker that hasn’t brought their A-game to the SUV market yet, and that automaker is Volkswagen. The brand has its fair share of hatchbacks, but it only has two SUVs – the compact Volkswagen Tiguan and the much larger Volkswagen Touareg. The Volkswagen Atlas was originally expected to slot between the two, however, VW pulled on over on us and actually made the Atlas larger than the Touareg. Finally unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier, the Atlas comes correct with lots of DNA from the CrossBlue Concept, The choice of a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, lots of safety features, and seating for seven full-sized Americans.

Up until now, we were unsure if this new SUV would be called the Atlas, as VW has also trademarked the name “Teramont” – one that would go along with VW’s “T” naming structure. Now, we’re thinking it’s likely that the Teramont name will be used in other markets, or could – potentially – be reserved for a model that will slot between the Tiguan. Until then, we’ve got a lot to talk about, as the Atlas has a lot of stiff competition. Models like the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, and Ford Expedition all pose some pretty stiff competition. Needless to say, the Atlas really has its work cut out for it over the next few years.

So, can the Atlas stand up against long-standing models that are well established in the full-sized SUV market and help VW overcome the corporate disaster that was Dieselgate? Well, let’s dive on in and find out what it has to offer.

Update 4/4/2017: Volkswagen has announced pricing for the new Atlas, slotting it between the Tiguan and Touareg. Check out the prices section below to learn all about it.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek

The jacked-up Impreza is ready to roll into dealers

When crossovers and SUVs got their second wind on the market, automakers jumped on the opportunity to open the gates and flood each and every segment of the market with as many models as possible. But, some automakers have taken an interesting approach where they take a car body and throw it on a jacked-up chassis and suspension – a quick way to create new models without spending heaps of cash on research and design. The new Subaru XV is one of these models and, like the 2016 Subaru XV Concept, it sports the body of the 2017 Subaru Impreza five-door with a raised suspension; just enough to make it appealing to the masses who, predominantly, love these high-riding people-haulers a lot more than they probably should. The big news, however, is that the new XV is built upon Subie’s revamped Global platform that brings extra rigidity and strength to the table. There’s also a revamped suspension system, revised interior, and 80-percent of the parts used in that 2.0-liter Boxer engine have been revamped to deliver more power and better fuel economy in an overall lighter package.

As was the case with the first XV model that hit the market in 2013, the XV is essentially an Impreza with jacked up suspension, but this time around, Subaru has gone the distance to make the XV safer, stronger, more powerful, and nicer inside and out. When it comes to strength and safety, we’re not exactly talking small numbers either – the new XV, according to Subaru, offers an increase in torsional rigidity of 70 percent and a decrease in body roll of 50 percent compared to the outgoing model. But, before we get too far into that, let’s a stroll down the page talk more about the “all-new” Subaru XV.

Updated 04/03/2017: Subaru announced that the 2018 Crosstrek will be making its North American debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe – Driven

In deep segment, Korea has its act together
Posted on by Lyndon Johnson  

Midsize crossovers are plentiful. They’re among the most popular vehicles on our roads today. As such, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe has its work cut out for it. After all, this is the segment of such titans as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander.

Those who pay attention to the vehicles around them on the road every day probably see a lot of midsize crossovers. It’s a super-popular class. Right-sized and relatively budget-friendly, these are the station wagons of our day.

With so much competition, it would be easy to get lost in the crowd. Ask Mazda’s CX-9 – the slowest-selling in this class in the 2016 calendar year, not counting the oddball, high-priced Volkswagen Touareg. With that in mind, Korean automaker Hyundai has its act together, and sales bear this out: The company moved 131,257 Santa Fes in 2016, an 11.1-percent increase over the year prior.

Continue reading for the full story.

Watch the 2018 Volvo XC60 get Demolished for Safety’s Sake

Crash testing reveals weakness – thankfully the XC90 doesn’t have any

Ah the crash test – it involves slamming a brand new car into an object to determine how well it holds up during an accident. There’s the small frontal overlap test, the moderate overlap test, the side impact test, and rollover test, among others. Well, the all-new 2018 Volvo XC60 just underwent the full barrage, getting slammed seven ways to Sunday. And it turns out (not surprisingly, really) that Volvo built an exceptionally safe crossover.

The videos below show the testing methods, as well as the mechanical carnage involved. The high-speed, slow motion film captures details not otherwise seen by the naked eye. The shots are almost beautiful in nature, though hauntingly eerie when considering those dummies represent real people like you and your family. That realization makes knowing the XC60’s good performance that much sweeter.

You won’t hear IIHS, NHTSA, or NCAP scores for these tests, however. These were actually done in-house by Volvo at its Stockholm-based Safety Center long before the XC60’s debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

For those who don’t know, Volvo is on a mission to have zero fatalities or serious injuries in its new vehicles by 2020. It’s a lofty goal, but one that’s far less self-serving than most long-term goals automakers make.

Anyway, for those wanting to see the XC60 in action, click past the jump for the videos.

Continue reading for more information.

This year’s Geneva Motor Show may be packed with loads of flashy supercars and special-edition models, but the event is also about daily drivers focused on practicality and affordability. One of them is the Renault Captur, Europe’s best-selling B-segment crossover in 2016, which has received some light mid-cycle tweaks.

Identical to the outgoing model for the most part, the Captur retains its two-tone body color option and gets two new hues. In all, customers now have access to 36 color combinations. New features include full LED headlamps (optional), a fixed glass roof for models with the two-tone paint, and new 16- and 17-inch wheels. The Captur also gained a few features from the bigger Kadjar model, including a chrome strip on the front grille and new skid plates for both bumpers.

Inside, the crossover features more upmarket materials for the steering wheel and a revised gear lever. Renault also crafted new seats with enhanced lateral support on some trims, while a new Signature S Nav trim adds heated Nappa leather seats, full-grain Nappa leather steering wheel, leather door panels, aluminum pedals, and chrome trim.

There’s no word of any drivetrain modifications, so it’s safe to assume that the Captur carries over with the previous engines. Options include the 0.9-liter three-cylinder with 90 horsepower and 100 pound-feet, the 1.2-liter four-cylinder with 116 horses and 140 pound-feet, and the 1.5-liter diesel with 90 horsepower and 162 pound-feet.

Continue reading for the full story.

2018 DS 7 Crossback

DS’ newest SUV is ready to take on the competition

Citroën has been around since 1919, but its premium sub-brand, DS Automobiles has only been around since its announcement back in 2009 – making the brand just shy of a decade old. Since then, the brand has released a few concepts and no fewer than six individual models that include the DS 3, DS 6, two iterations of the DS 4, and two iterations of the DS 5. Now with the upcoming Geneva Auto Show, the DS brand is set to release a new SUV, aptly called the DS7.

It will fight against models like the Lexus NX, Audi Q2, and even the BMW X1 – a tall order, but not exactly unfathomable given the looks, luxury, and comfort offered by the brand’s newest SUV… uhem… Crossback. Designed with comfort and performance in mind, the DS 7 features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that delivers some 300 ponies through all four wheels when needed. Features like DS Night Vision, DS Active Scan Suspension, DS Connected Pilot, and a pair of 12-inch screens inside are present – all of which poses a strong proposition for the competition.

There are even rumors that this newest model could, in fact, bring the Citroën brand – or at least some derivative of it – back to the U.S. for the first time in nearly three decades. Of course, word has it that its initial reentry will be trough a company called TravelCar which would help the brand introduce its newest models to the U.S. market as rental or ride-share vehicles. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves and get too excited, that’s still some time away, and the DS7 is still headed to Geneva Motor Show. So, let’s take a better look at DS’ newest SUV and talk more about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the DS 7 Crossback.

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special

A special edition version for Fiat’s high-riding 500 variant

There once was a time when a high-riding Fiat 500 would’ve amounted to some form of ridicule. The 500, after all, has been around for 60 years and at no point did it venture past being a small compact car. But time has a way of flipping long-standing narratives in the auto industry, and no more is that more evident than the launch of the Fiat 500X back in 2015. Essentially a small crossover version of the 500, the 500X checks off some boxes that the traditional 500 can’t. It’s bigger, more spacious, and provides a fresh alternative to the established compact city car. Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the 500X will be well-represented at the event with a special edition model called the 500X S-Design Special.

Mind you, this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for the biggest variant of the Fiat 500. We’ve seen it get an Opening Edition in the past and it’s also been a staple in SEMA for the past few years. But the S-Design Special is different, not only because it’s Geneva-bound, but because it’s also arguably the most dressed-up version of the Fiat 500X that we’ve seen so far.

Okay, so it’s not exactly dripping with exclusive features, but it does have a lot of unique qualities unto itself. It has a new paint finish and a slew of unique exterior and interior details that help shape the exclusivity attached to this model. It also has tinted windows, which apparently is significant enough to warrant a mention in the Italian automaker’s press release.

Altogether, these features help create the identity of the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition. For what it’s worth, we’re all going to see how appealing the special edition 500X is in the eyes of customers since Fiat plans to open orders for the model in June 2017, a few months after it debuts in Geneva.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition

2017 Jeep Compass By Mopar

Jeep launches lineup of Mopar accessories for the Compass

Jeep has a long history with vehicle customization and personalization going back to the first CJ Jeeps produced after WWII. These days, instead of plows, seeders, and hay rakes, Jeep customers are looking for aftermarket equipment designed for improved off-road capabilities, everyday usability, and curb-size appearance. Mopar has been there for much of Jeep’s history but is now enjoying a renaissance in popularity thanks to a wide selection of dealer add-on parts. These accessories are able to be wrapped inside vehicle financing and are covered under warranty.

Mopar’s latest batch of parts fits Jeep’s newest product – the 2017 Jeep Compass. This two-row crossover slots between the Renegade and Cherokee, both in size and price. Its sleek, modern looks are arguably more attractive than the Cherokee, while still harking back to Jeep’s glory days.

To showcase Mopar’s new line of more than 90 Compass accessories, Jeep created this one-off demo model with a bevy of upgrades. Pietro Gorlier, the head of Mopar, said this regarding the new lineup of parts:

“Owners can put their unique stamp on the all-new Jeep Compass right at launch with a full line of authentic Jeep accessories. Mopar celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2017, and we continue to deliver products that remain true to the DNA of each brand and the personality of each vehicle. With a full line of accessories available at launch, we’re ready to do that for 2017 Jeep Compass owners.”

The wide selection of Mopar parts and accessories give Jeep owners many direction possibilities. From simple window shades and floor mats to larger wheels and rock rails, the Mopar catalog gives plenty of choices.

Mopar’s list of highlighted products is below.

Continue reading for more information.

Posted on by Justin Cupler +  

Volvo is working hard to revamp its entire lineup, and that began with the introduction of the 2016 XC90. Along with the debut of this SUV came plans to create a fuller line of SUVs that will include the XC90, XC60 and the XC40. We’ve seen the XC40 out testing in a jacked-up version of the V40 wagon, which is not available in the U.S. as of February, 2015. Now new reports from Autocar are pointing toward the raised wagon arriving by 2019.

With the new XC40, the upcoming XC60 and the 2016 XC90, Volvo will finally have an SUV lineup that can compete with the likes of Mercedes, Audi and BMW in all of the key niches. The only issue is whether or not there are really that many people who are interested in buying a Volvo for this SUV expansion to really be worth it.

Updated 02/22/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming XC40 out for a new testing session, this time during cold winter conditions somewhere in Sweeden.

Continue reading to check out my preview of the 2020 Volvo XC40.

Source: AutoCar

Excuse us for getting a little too pumped up about a car commercial two weeks after the Super Bowl. We’re making an exception here because this ad by Toyota for its new C-HR crossover is that good.

The commercial takes a page from Japan’s rich culture of developing the most iconic video games in history. Toyota, presumably with the help of Capcom, released this commercial of the C-HR for the Japanese market. That’s the not the news here, though. Rather, it’s the treatment of the ad, which puts the C-HR inside the world of Street Fighter II, arguably the biggest and most popular fighting game in history.

The ad starts off with the CH-R lining up to battle Ryu, the Hadouken-throwing protagonist of the video game franchise. But instead of fighting each other, Ryu instead hops inside the CH-R before going on a tour of sorts to the home stages of the game’s other characters. In the process, it gets a car wash from E. Honda in Japan, performs a drift with Blanka in Brazil, and does a wheelie with Zangief in Russia, all before ending up in Thailand to face the game’s final boss, M. Bison.

With Ryu behind the wheel of the CH-R, the crossover somehow defends itself from M. Bison’s attacks by popping up its hood before shooting off some hadoukens from its headlights to finish off the big baddie. Who knew the CH-R came with that option?

It’s an incredible ad that touches on the two things at the core of Japanese culture: cars and video games. It sets up as one of the most memorable we’ve seen this year. And for what it’s worth, that final scene of all the Street Fighter II characters celebrating the CH-R’s win with Ryu polishing it off with a shoryuken uppercut is as fitting a conclusion to a commercial as you can get.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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