Cars Coming Soon->Ford Kuga, Dodge Avenger and Lots More Hyundai Luxury

2009 Ford Kuga

The Ford Kuga is a hot little SUV sold in Europe. It’s sleek shape makes the U.S. Escape look like a clunking hulk of scrap steel.

A source within Ford Motor Company has reportedly revealed that a near-production crossover concept, set to replace the Escape and Kuga, will head to the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

That’s good news for those who complain that Europe seems to get all the cool cars. Based on the 2012 Focus’ platform, the new Escape/Kuga is expected to go into production in the second half of 2012 and be sold as a 2013 model in the United States. We’re not sure if Ford will keep both the Escape and Kuga names in the vehicles’ markets, but the automaker’s “One Ford” global product strategy would call for a single name for vehicles sold in different regions, like the Fiesta and Focus.

In other news, Chrysler has gotten loads of attention for its Sebring-replacing 200. The car and it’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 hold a lot of promise. The Sebring/200’s sister, the Dodge Avenger, hasn’t gotten much time in the spotlight yet, but the question is, should she?

With 283 horsepower and respectable fuel economy, the same V6 turns the 2011 Avenger into a vehicle that at least isn’t an embarrassment for Dodge. While the 200 benefits from new sheetmetal to distance itself from the Sebring, the Avenger is left with the same body lines, which makes me wonder if there’s even room at Chrysler for both. My short take on the Avenger: With the V6 she’s worth a look, but with the four-cylinder, not so much.

And then there was Hyundai: When the Equus was announced I theorized that the car was a first step in creating an upmarket new brand, like Honda’s Acura and Toyota’s Lexus. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the automaker is actively considering whether it should break its premium models apart from the rest of its lineup. The WSJ outlines three possibilities:

  1. An entirely separate dealer network could be created to sell Genesis-branded vehicles.
  2. The automaker’s current dealers could add a section to their dealerships designed to cater specifically to upmarket clients.
  3. Hyundai could stick with what it’s doing now – training at least one salesperson on the Genesis line – and leave the dealerships alone.

I think Hyundai is ready for option 1, and I’d like to see it go after the heavy hitters in the luxury game.

Which of the three options above do you think Hyundai should take?

-tgriffith

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