With the addition of a couple of new trims to the 2019 Mazda CX-5 crossover lineup, it’s now clear: Mazda plans to compete directly with premium vehicles like the Acura RDX and Infiniti QX50.
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Sure, there are some exotic vehicles on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, including the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder. However, there are plenty of models coming to the U.S. that made their debut overseas and could impact your buying choices in the near future.
It seems hard to believe, but the 2017 version will be the fourth generation of the Kia Sportage. The European version was introduced in Frankfurt, but there’s little reason to believe the U.S. version will look substantially different on the exterior.
Is a Lincoln as good as a Lexus?
Can an Acura take down an Audi?
Will an Infiniti be as good as a BMW?
There are two groups of cars in the luxury world: the ones that command respect and the ones that desperately want it. Automotive News breaks these down a little more formally, calling them the “Tier 1” group and the “Tier 2” group.
Tier 1 includes BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. Tier 2 includes Lincoln, Acura, Cadillac, and Audi.
If I were making the rules, I’d put Audi up in Tier 1, because it has decidedly outsold the others in Tier 2 and has, in my humble opinion, eclipsed the quality level of BMW.
The Tier 1 group continues to establish its dominance, while the Tier 2 group struggles to maintain relevance. Are cars from Tier 2 worth considering?
For a long time I thought Mitsubishi would be the next car brand to die in the U.S., but now I’m not so sure, because another brand here is showing signs of slowly bleeding out.
Last month, Mitsubishi sales were actually up 29 percent compared with this month last year, while Infiniti sales dropped nearly 23 percent.
Infiniti, the luxury arm of Nissan, suffers from a bit of an identity crisis as it tries to compete with Audi, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and, yes, even Porsche.
The problem is that all of those companies do at least one thing very well, be it luxury, performance, panache or all three. Can you name what Infiniti does well?
A CNN Money article caught my attention yesterday because it makes the point that Infiniti wants to be like Audi.
Well, of course it does. That’s like saying a high school basketball player wants to grow up to be like Lebron.
The difference here is the high school kid can’t hire Lebron’s coach. Nissan, Infiniti’s parent company, wants so badly to emulate Audi that it has hired the guy who ran Audi in the U.S. for the last 19 years. Doesn’t get much more blatant than that!
Yes, Audi has seen remarkable growth and success, particularly in the last decade, while Infiniti has struggled to carve a niche for itself the way its arch-nemesis, Lexus, has. But is trying to become a Japanese version of Audi the best way to sell cars?
I’m not so sure.