The New York International Auto Show hosts more than a million visitors every year, and we are excited to report on the biggest news from day one. From a 120 MPGe Toyota to a 565-hp Nissan GT-R, an all-new pair of Subaru Imprezas, and a $72,000 Maserati SUV, NYIAS did not disappoint.
The midsize family sedan, once a ubiquitous sight on American highways and in suburban garages, is being replaced by the car-based crossover.
Today’s CUVs offer the same interior seating capacity as sedans, but offer additional cargo space that’s also more accessible. Plus, CUV drivers sit higher and have a better view of surrounding traffic, while available all-wheel drive can handle almost all road conditions.
Have we reached the point where CUVs have replaced sedans?
I’m a Porsche guy now, but I wasn’t always a fan of German-engineered sports cars.
In fact, I started my car-loving life as a devoted supporter of the late-1960s muscle cars, specifically the Ford Mustang.
I spent my early teenage years dreaming of one day owning a Mustang. I wanted a 1965 coupe with the 289 V8 under the hood. I wanted to restore it and love it and keep it forever.
Then I grew up and realized that real motoring perfection came from Stuttgart, not Dearborn. I attributed my muscle car fascination to adolescent hormones and grew into adulthood knowing that nothing drives or handles like a perfectly engineered 911.
That’s why saying this next sentence hurts a little:
I hoped this would happen.
Toyota’s announcement that it would discontinue the Scion brand rippled through the motoring world without a lot of fanfare. An occasional die-hard fan bemoaned the decision, but it was generally regarded as a logical choice that had to be made. Scion had simply lost its relevancy and its sales were caught in a downward spiral.
The upside is that Toyota said some Scion models would become Toyotas, which is probably the best thing that could have happened to the Scion FR-S.
Automatic braking is cool, but it doesn’t always work.
Maybe it will by 2022.
Twenty automakers have agreed to make automatic braking standard on the vast majority of vehicles within six years, an effort that is drawing wide praise for its potential to vastly reduce car accidents.
However, there are still a couple of possible problems on the horizon.
With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.
A couple of weeks ago we took a look at some of the cars driven by presidential candidates. Turns out, with the exception of one, they have a pretty low-key and practical taste in automobiles.
Things have changed a lot in the election process since then. Some candidates have dropped out, some have won surprising victories, and some have made it much further toward the nomination than anyone ever expected.
We’ve learned a lot about the personalities of the candidates based on their victory speeches, their interviews, and the overall brand they project to voters in the United States.
Today, let’s use that information to determine what the remaining candidates *should* be driving.
As a new-car reviewer, it’s my job to drive a new car pretty much every week. Sometimes it’s more than one a week. Over the course of a year, I can experience scores of different automotive navigation systems.
Some are good, some are horrible, and some are somewhere in between. Yet what I consistently find is that none are as easy to use as Google Maps on my iPhone. Until recently, the only advantage the factory-installed navigation systems had was the built-in screen.
But that’s all changing now. Some manufacturers are getting savvy and realizing that it’s better to offer infotainment systems that can work with your smartphone to provide navigation instead of selling you a more expensive navigation system.
A South Korean automaker, Ssangyong, says it wants to join Hyundai and Kia in the U.S. market within three years.
While interesting and exciting, news like this is always taken lightly because entering the U.S. market is, well, really hard.
It’s especially difficult for a company with a troubled past, uncertain future, and hard-to-pronounce name. Ssangyong has been owned by South Korean company Daewoo, Chinese company SAIC, and is currently controlled by India-based Mahindra.
Ssangyong does make a robust line of CUVs and SUVs, a segment that is enjoying tremendous popularity here in the U.S. thanks to low fuel prices. On the surface, a line of inexpensive CUVs seems like an easy sell here. The company has plenty of obstacles to overcome, though, if it wants to succeed.
Up until recently, a Cadillac SUV is something we didn’t know we needed.
Plenty of folks questioned the rationale for Cadillac SUVs in the early days of the Escalade. The arrival of the SRX didn’t do much to help the company’s case as it struggled to gain a foothold against the likes of the Lexus RX 350 and BMW X5.
Cadillac seems to have it going on now, though. The SRX has improved enough to become Cadillac’s best-selling model, but it is now being replaced with the XT5, a 5-passenger rig that boasts a sophisticated, comfortable, and contemporary interior made from top-notch materials.
The exterior is sleeker and less clunky than the outgoing SRX and features plenty of LED lighting, along with a design that may not turn heads, but will at least keep people from looking away.
What’s most interesting about the XT5, though, is what it foreshadows for the future of Cadillac.