This week in Frankfurt, Mazda brought the all-new CX-5 compact crossover that promises to be a worthy adversary for the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. The Japanese automaker mentioned that this model is the first of the many that will follow which will adopt the company’s KODO design philosophy and the SKYACTIV technologies.
The car measures 4,540 mm long, 1,840 mm wide and it is 1,670 mm tall, but although these dimensions fall in the compact category, the CX-5 still manages to offer 997 mm of rear legroom, which is the best in this class. They’ve did this by creating a wheelbase which measures 2,700 mm. It comes with 40/20/40 split independent rear seats so you get plenty of practicality.
Set to go on sale at first in Europe, customers will have the possibility to order it in either a 2WD or a 4WD configuration and it will be motivated by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or a 2.2-liter diesel. The first one develops 165 hp and has a peak torque of 154 lb.-ft (210 Nm), while the diesel will be offered with a two-stage turbocharger, the first one has 150 hp and 280 lb.-ft (380 Nm) while the more powerful will provide 175 hp and 309 lb.-ft (420 Nm).
The North American version will probably be launched towards the end of this year and it will reach Mazda’s dealerships in the beginning of 2012. Once it will get there, the CX-5 will feature a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine, followed by a diesel engine.
Source: Mazda via Carscoop
We seem to have a new member in the small crossover segment as Subaru revealed today its Impreza-based XV model which will go head-to-head with Nissan’s cool Qashqai. The dimensions of the XV are: 4,450 mm in length, 1,780 mm in width and 1,570 mm in height. Set to go on sale at first in Europe, the car will be available with a choice of three boxer power units.
The first one is a 1.6-liter gasoline that fires 114 hp and has a peak torque of 110 lb.-ft, and will be offered as standard with a 5-speed manual gearbox or an optional Lineartronic CVT. Fitted with the manual, the XV can do the 0-62 mph sprint in 13.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 111 mph (179 km/h) while doing 36.2 mpg (6.5 liters / 100 km).
The beefier 2.0-liter gasoline churns 150 hp and 144 lb.-ft (196 Nm) and can be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or the optional Lineartronic CVT. 10.5 seconds are necessary to hit 62 mph from 0 while the maximum speed it can reach is 116 mph (187 km/h). Fuel consumption is rated at 36.2 mpg (6.9 liters / 100 km).
If you prefer devil’s fuel, you will be able to order the Subaru XV with a 2.0-liter engine that produces 147 hp and 258 lb.-ft (350 Nm) of torque. This one is offered exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission and allows the crossover to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 9.3 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 123 mph (198 km/h). With this engine, the car is able to return 42 mpg (5.6 liters / 100 km).
Needless to say, all of the variants of the XV will be fitted with the company’s famous all-wheel drive system and all of them will feature a stop/start feature.
No word yet about the price list for this model or if it will ever reach North America.
Source: Subaru via Carscoop
2012 Cadillac SRX
Cadillac has decided that for the new model year of the SRX they should bring some updates in order to keep the crossover fresh. The most important modification would have to be the new V6 3.6-liter “LFX” engine that is going to be the only power unit available for the car. This new power plant is capable of producing 16% more hp than the outgoing V6 unit. In other words, it churns 308 hp (as opposed to only 265 hp) and has a peak torque of 265 lb.-ft (223 lb.-ft for the outgoing model).
2012 Cadillac SRX
This new LFX engine is also E85 ethanol-compatible and it will be mated to a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Clients will be able to get the SRX with either a FWD configuration or an AWD variant. With the latter system, the crossover benefits from an electronic limited slip rear differential.
2012 Cadillac SRX
All of the variants of the SRX will get as standard Bluetooth, with on-screen caller identification. Other features and content enhancements include: cruise control buttons located on the steering wheel, all-ebony interior trim, a new exterior paintwork: Xenon Blue Metallic, memory seat set, improved voice recognition and others as well.
2012 Cadillac SRX
Information regarding the fuel economy ratings as well as the price list for the 2012 Cadillac SRX will be revealed in the following days so stay tuned.
Source: Cadillac via Carscoop
2011 Honda Element
Although SUVs are not my cup of tea, a compact crossover is somewhat more desirable in my opinion, but definitely not the Honda Element. Based on the CR-V platform, Honda rolled out in 2002 this hideous-looking car. It has to be one of the ugliest cars of the last decade.
2011 Honda Element
That boxy design is horrible and I wouldn’t be caught dead driving this car. I was really surprised to find out that in 2003 they managed to sell about 67,000 units in the United States, more than the company expected. I really don’t understand the reasons behind choosing this model when there are dozens of alternatives in the crossover segment.
2011 Honda Element
Last December, Honda decided to discontinue the car as they managed to sell only 14,000 units in 2010. I really don’t understand why they launched the car when the CR-V was pretty good at doing the exact same thing and it looks ten times better than the Element.
2011 Honda Element
I haven’t driven one, I bet it is as reliable as other Hondas but when buying a car, you don’t think only about how reliable it is, you also want it to look good, and the Element definitely isn’t a car worth admiring for its aesthetics.
2011 Nissan Juke
Lately, it seems that the Japanese automaker Nissan is trying to fill out all of the remaining segments in the automotive industry where they don’t have a player. The Nissan Juke is an interesting addition to their lineup – a sub $20,000 small crossover with plenty of horsepower and a tail ride height. With a curb weight of only sub-3,000 pounds, the Juke offers a pretty good package: FWD, 1.6-liter 4-cylidner turbocharged engine and 188 hp. If you choose the manual transmission, the car is even lighter.
One of the most interesting things about the car is without any doubt its rather unusual exterior look, putting the car in a class of its own. We have to admit that it has a couple of things borrowed from the beautiful 370Z, especially in the tail lamps area and also the roof line resembles to the Kia Soul, but other than that, it is pretty unique design-wise.
Up front, the Juke packs some very interesting headlights that I for one haven’t seen before, can’t say that they are nice or ugly – interesting? Yes. From the side, this small crossover has some seriously bulging fenders plus a very short wheelbase of only 99.6 inches. The entire car is only 162.4 inches long which is just about the same as the small Versa hatchback. Luckily, the car packs some serious attitude thanks to the standard 17-inch alloy rims. From a distance, the Nissan Juke looks like a three-door hatchback due to the rear door handles that are hidden in the C-pillar.
2011 Nissan Juke
In the back things get a little bit normal as it looks more like a traditional CUV / crossover thanks to the small roof spoiler, the sculpted tail lamps and the rounded hatch. Although I can’t say that I like the exterior design of the Juke very much, the interior however looks great. The level of the interior details is quite high in comparison to what we have seen before from the Japanese automaker. The driver will definitely like the sport steering wheel that has a nice quality texturing which is way better than the one on the Rouge. The generous-sized buttons are very easy to use, allowing the drive to access the audio settings, cruise control and the Bluetooth system with little to no effort.
2011 Nissan Juke
The door panels of the Juke are nicely decorated with high quality painted plastic bits color-matched to the special “motorcycle tank” center console. The large and rounded chrome handles are doing a nice job at brightening up the cabin. Speaking of, it offers plenty of room for four adults plus enough cargo space.
A very good thing about this small crossover is that regardless of the trim level you choose, you’ll get a very capable 4-cylidner power unit under the hood. It is a 1.6-liter unit that develops 188 hp and 177 pound-feet of torque. According to the EPA ratings, the Juke does 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the CVT transmission and front-wheel drive.
2011 Nissan Juke
The base model is the S trim which will set you back $18,960. What do you get for the money? You get power doors, locks, Bluetooth, iPod support and a 6-speaker sound system. With this price tag, the Juke is more affordable than the Rouge (priced at $20,810) and more expensive than the Sentra (priced at $15,520). The Juke is a bit more economical than those two models and way more fun to drive.
If you like the looks of the car, you will certainly love the Nissan Juke as it packs some pretty nice goodies at an affordable price.
2011 Fiat Freemont
The 2011 Fiat Freemont will be one of the first models to roll out from the Fiat-Chrysler partnership and it will be officially unveiled in March at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. Based on the Dodge Journey, the Freemont will be manufactured at Fiat’s plant in Toluca, Mexico where they also make the tiny 500 model.
The car is 489 cm long, 188 cm wide and 172 cm high. With a wheelbase of 289 cm, the 2011 Fiat Freemont is being advertised as a genuine crossover which will offer plenty of space inside the cabin to complement its distinctive exterior design. Speaking of, it has an aggressive front end and an appealing bumper. In the back, it doesn’t look that much like older brother, the Journey, as it has a redesigned bumper and LED taillights.
The biggest advantage of the crossover will be in the cabin as the customers will get a great package. First of all, there will be plenty of room thanks to the standard seven seats and the easy to access third row. These seats can be easily folded down, disappearing below the car’s floor and making a regular load platform if you need it. The second row of the Fiat can be equipped with the innovative child booster system.
The cabin benefits from an updated design that complements the very nice soft touch materials that include a brand-new instrument panel, a wrap-around dashboard with chrome inserts and an infotainment system that features a generous color touchscreen. Other inside goodies include the triple-zone automatic climate control system, fog lights, touchscreen radio with controls on the steering wheel, tire pressure monitoring system, advanced trip computer, cruise control and keyless entry system. The highest trim level of this crossover will also pack rear parking sensors, automatic headlight activation, fold-down door mirrors, roof bars, darkened rear windows and Bluetooth support.
2011 Fiat Freemont
When it will be launched, the 2011 Fiat Freemont will be available with many engine options, including two variants of the 2.0-liter MutliJet turbo diesels that output either 140 or 170 hp. Later on, Fiat will introduce a more powerful V6 3.6-liter engine that produces 276 hp. At first, the crossover will only be available with a front-wheel drive system and later on the Italian automaker will introduce the four-wheel drive system.
Up until this moment, Fiat hasn’t revealed any information about the price tag of the 2011 Freemont, but looking at the $20,845 (SE model) – $27,995 (R/T 7-Passenger model) price range of the Dodge Journey, it should be somewhere around those figures.
When it will be launched it will have to face up some serious competition coming from the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Ford Edge, the Nissan Murano and the Mazda CX-7. From all of these cars, the first one would have to be the most important competitor for the upcoming Freemont. The Santa Fe offers engine options that start with the 2.4-liter DOHC Theta II 4-cylinder that outputs 175 hp and end with the more powerful 3.5-liter DOHC Lambda II V6 that outputs 276 hp. The Freemont will most likely have the most spacious cabin in its class, we’ll have to wait and see a production model before we jump ahead to any conclusions.
2011 Toyota Highlander
The last decade was probably the best in Toyota’s history but last year was a total disaster for the company because of the embarrassing recalls and hundreds of lawsuits. Things start to look better for the company but Toyota is still facing an aging product lineup which needs to be updated as soon as possible. Although the Corolla and the Camry are still a hit in sales, updated versions are long overdue. The first one did receive a very mild update for the 2011 version but the competition is breathing down its neck. The same situation is available for Toyota’s SUV and truck portfolio where the Tundra, RAV4, FJ Cruiser and the Tacoma are quite outdated models.
The Highlander has always been a successful model from Toyota and the question is will it remain to be successful in the future with this new version. Last year, Toyota managed to sell 92,000 units of the Highlander, making it the third most successful CUV, behind the Chevrolet Traverse (107,000 units) and the Honda Pilot (102,000 units). To keep these numbers or even improve them, the Japanese automaker offers the new version as standard with three-row seating and bolder projector-style headlamps.
The limited-spec models start at $36,575 for the front-wheel drive configuration and $37,375 for the all-wheel drive models. All the trim levels pack USB, Bluetooth, satellite radio and power liftgate. The Limited models also feature as standard a no-charge power moonroof and heated front seats. For $4,630, clients can get the infotainment package that includes a 9-inch navigation screen, premium JBL sound system and rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Tri-zone climate control, 10-way power driver’s seat and 19-inch wheels are standard on the Limited models.
Although these features are a nice addition to the Highlander, the visual upgrades can really make the difference. On that note, the car now features a lower air dam, along with cool fog lamps, an updated stamped hood and convex headlamps covers, similar to the ones that you saw on the 2010 4Runner, but this time they look better. In the back, nothing has really changed, except for the headlamps which have been slightly reworked.
2011 Toyota Highlander
Moving inside the vehicle, besides the aforementioned standard features, the car’s cabin is largely carryover. The good part is that the front seats are still reasonably bolstered and quite comfortable. The ergonomics and controls are still well thought-out and the leather-wrapped steering wheel is still quite nice to grip. The down side is that the soft-touch materials are quite rare in the cabin and the center armrest of the Highlander it is not the plus cowhide you will find in other similar-priced crossovers (the Ford Flex Limited comes to our mind).
Both the second and third row accommodations of the 2011 Highlander are a little bit impressive. If you decide to fold both of them completely, you will obtain 95 cubic feet of cargo space which is a solid 30 more in comparison to the Dodge Journey which is a similar-sized crossover and much more in comparison with the above mentioned Flex model from Ford. The engineers over at Toyota came up with an interesting removable middle seat that can be stored into the storage bin located below the center armrest. If you decide to use the third row, you will have only 10 cubic feet to storage some of your personal belongings. 10 cubic feet means that you will have enough space to store four small bags of groceries which should be enough, but if you decide to go on a trip, the car’s passengers will have to get used to having luggage at their feet. The Honda Pilot offers 18 cubic feet while the similarly-priced Chevrolet Traverse offers 24 cubic feet of storage, but the car is significantly larger than the Highlander.
Tech-wise, the rear entertainment system is quite cool and the optional yet expensive JBL sound system will rock the cabin. As far as the navigation system is concerned, it is quite impressive visually speaking, but it can be a little bit tricky to go through the menus as you must apply a firm pressure on the screen in order to get a response.
2011 Toyota Highlander
The 2011 Toyota Highlander is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 power unit that is able to output 270 hp @ 6,200 rpm and 248 pound-feet of torque @ 4,700 rpm. The engine is linked to a 5-speed automatic transmission and if you want the 6-speed automatic, you need downgrade to the 2.7-liter engine. Although the standard transmission is not something revolutionary, it will do the job quite nicely as the gear shifts are very smooth. In addition, the suspension and the chassis will do a very good job, offering proper handling that will soak up most of the bumps we come across to in our roads. For those of you that want a more athletic driving feel, choose the Sport model.
The 4WD model is pretty good but if you want something better, get the full-time AWD version which although will cost you a little bit more, it is worth every extra penny. The Limited 4WD model will do 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, according to EPA ratings. If this isn’t enough for you, there is always the Hybrid version that will do 28 mpg combined, at a starting price of $37,490.
The biggest disadvantages of the car can be found inside the cabin where things haven’t changed that much in comparison to the previous generation. The car is not truly capable of offering enough space for seven passengers and the disappearing second row seat is simply too small to be somewhat comfortable on longer trips. The similar thing can be said about the third row and if both are in use, the available cargo space is not that generous as you might have expected from a vehicle of this size. Despite its flaws, the Highlander still is a very interesting crossover with plenty to offer.
2011 Dodge Nitro
The Dodge Nitro is back for the 2011 model with the new Heat 4.0 lifestyle package that joins the already launched Detonator, Shock and Heat models which were introduced in 2010. The Heat 4.0 is offered with a 5-speed automatic gearbox and an updated 8-speaker sound system. The car is fitted with the new all-aluminum V6 power unit that is capable of producing 260 hp (194 kW) and 265 lb.-ft (359 Nm) of torque.
The Heat model is offered with 20-inch aluminum rims, performance suspension, sunscreen glass and body color grille with bright billets. The car is equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that outputs 210 hp and 235 lb.-ft of torque. The Detonator is 23 hp more powerful and offers 12% more torque in comparison with the Nitro and shares its powertrain with the Heat 4.0. The car rolls on 20-inch polished aluminum rims, Parksense Rear Park assist system, remote start and nine premium speakers with subwoofer.
The Nitro Shock comes with new polished 20-inch aluminum premium-painted wheels, sunroof, heated leather seats, along with the powerful 4.0-liter overhead cam V6 engine linked to the 5-speed automatic gearbox. The car is equipped with the same Parksense rear park assist system, remote start and the modern nine speakers with subwoofer sound system.
2011 Dodge Nitro
All of the 2011 Dodge Nitro models are fitted as standard with 20-inch wheels and have monochromatic interiors. The new colors available for the car include: Two Coat Pearl, Toxic Orange, Blackberry Pearl Coat and Bright White Clear Coat. The Shock and the Detonator models have hood/fender racing stripes and 20-inch rims.
The 2010 Dodge Nitro model does 16 mpg on the city and 22 mpg on the highway so the 2011 models should be slightly better in other to compete with other rivals from this segment. With the standard power unit, the Nitro needs 9.5 seconds to do the 0-60 mph sprint. Some of the most important pros of the car are the price tag, stylish looks and the decent towing capacity. In addition, the car offers very comfortable seats, lots of headroom and for the legs.
On the other side, there are other feature-packed crossover SUVs available on the market today, making the Nitro a tough sell in our opinion. The biggest downside of the Nitro is the limited power available and customers will most likely choose other lighter, responsive cars that pack more power under the hood.
The manufacturer suggested retail price starts at $22,245 for the base model and goes up to $28,995 for the top of the line model. Invoice is $21,652 – $27,975.
2011 Ford Flex Titanium
Two years ago Ford launched the Flex model and many people said that this car is a dream come true for drivers that want all the technology available in the world implemented on their vehicle. In addition, the car had a very luxurious interior and turned heads everywhere it went. With the new model, things remain just about the same, which is a very good thing and more important, Ford decided to add (as an optional feature) the now very popular V6 EcoBoost engine, capable of developing 355 hp, making the Flex truly a unique crossover, capable of blending power, technology and elegance in a fascinating way, but at a steep price tag.
If you live outside of Europe you are most likely not accustomed to the Titanium trim level offered by Ford. The cars that end up with the Titanium name have all the available features money can buy, raising the price of the car accordingly. The same recipe was applied to the 2011 Ford Flex Titanium which had to be differentiated from the rest of the Flex models available. This was done by adding the Tuxedo Black Metallic roof in comparison to the other Flex models that feature only body-color or white lids. The roof is accented by the alloy metallic and black chrome accents, giving the Flex a special look. Other features that are only available on the Titanium include the massive 20-inch alloy rims that are covered by 255/45R20 tires, the gunmetal gray front grille and the sinister smoked head- and taillight fixtures.
Inside the Flex Titanium, Ford offers an inviting and warm cabin that delivers a luxurious driving atmosphere. The second-row chairs offer all the comfort in the world, enough space for normal-statured passengers. The down side of the Titanium trim is that it does not have the exciting MyFord Touch which is available on the more affordable Edge Limited model. Most likely the Flex will receive this feature once Ford rolls out the mid-cycle refresh on the entire Flex range. The Limited trim offers Vista roof, SYNC and the navigation system while the Titanium adds the charcoal leather seats with 3 rows of Alcantara inserts. The great look and touch of these seats is probably the best reason to spend extra $2,500 above and beyond the Limited trim level. The top of the line model also benefits from a perforated leather steering wheel, unique door inserts as well as metallic accents on the center stack.
2011 Ford Flex Titanium
As standard, the Flex Titanium is equipped with a V6 3.5-liter twin-turbo engine that produces 355 hp. For those that choose the optional EcoBoost engine, the Flex comes with all-wheel drive which is highly recommended taking into consideration the substantial torque reserves (350 pound-feet @ 1,500 rpm). If this engine is selected, the Flex Titanium has a starting price of $45,185 in comparison to $40,340 with the standard power unit. It comes as no surprise the low fuel economy (16 mpg city / 21 mpg highway); taking into consideration the fact that it has all-wheel drive and it is a very large vehicle.
Most likely, the 2011 Ford Flex Titanium will find its own niche of people that are looking for a crossover with tons of exclusive options and a great engine.
Last week, the Mini Countryman WRC rally-spec prototype was officially revealed to the public, albeit fitted with the swirly camouflage, on the private test track of rally team Prodrive.
Now, a new video depicting the Countryman WRC in action has been revealed.
The footage showcases the Mini crossover taking on the tough gravel roads of Portugal in a very speedy manner. Don’t forget, though, that this is just a prototype, and the final version will be revealed in spring of 2011. Until then, check out the video after the jump.
Toyota and Tesla are partnering up to launch a special RAV4 electric crossover around 2012, but this doesn’t mean other companies aren’t also planning similar things.
According to a new Reuters report, Hyundai and Kia have some big plans in terms of electric vehicles for the next few years. According to it, the companies want to produce 2,500 EVs by 2012. While Hyundai will no doubt build some of its early concepts, Kia will do much of the grunt work.
Reuters says that the South Korean company will launch an electric crossover by 2013. It will first be offered to government agencies as part of a test fleet, but Kia is confident it will launch it on the global market soon after that.
No exact details are known, not even what type of batteries it will use, the newer, more expensive lithium ion or the older, but less efficient nickel-metal hydride.
Still, expect more electric vehicles to appear from both companies, as they are partners with the South Korean government in a new strategy to have 20% of the nation’s passenger vehicles be electric by 2020.
Chrysler has decided to shine the upgrade light on another one of the Jeep models, after introducing the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the refreshed 2011 Wrangler.
Now, the 2011 Jeep Patriot can finally boast a lot of much-needed upgrades. You will find slight styling tweaks, more interior features and a few new customization options.
First off, the front fascia has been restyled, sitting much lower than before. The grille is now color matched to the exterior, while the fog lights have been repositioned. 17-inch wheels can be fitted to the new Patriot, while its exterior can be had in more color choices.
On the inside, the entry-level crossover has received a lot of upgrades, in order to finally make it more attractive. The door panels have received soft touch materials, the seats are wrapped in a new type of fabric, backlighting has been added to the doors while the steering wheel now has audio, cruise and Bluetooth controls.
Under the sheet metal, Jeep says it has revised the suspension and steering systems, while the 4×4 models have received an extra inch of ground clearance.
Overall, the 2011 Jeep Patriot was in serious need of upgrading, and Chrysler did a pretty good job.
It seems that Subaru wants to further expand its presence in the crossover market, and might launch a more powerful version of its popular Forester entry-level model.
According to a report coming from Australia, of all places, the Japanese company might deliver a power boost to the Forester in order to appeal those who want improved performance, and to one-up rivals like the Toyota RAV4 or the Mazda CX-7.
This model will be destined for the global market, unlike the special 322 HP Forester STI that has been selling in Japan for the last five years. More details will be known in the following weeks, but a more powerful entry-level crossover sounds pretty good.
After the launch of the refreshed 2011 Nissan Murano, the Japanese company decided that the crossover needed something a bit more strange added to the lineup.
As such, it has now confirmed that the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible will be added to the crossover range.
The new model is billed as the world’s first four-seat, all-wheel drive convertible crossover. It will have two doors, with a folding cloth top, judging from initial rumors.
No other details are known as of yet, but we will get to see the open-top convertible at the upcoming 2010 LA Auto Show, taking place at the end of the year in California.
Even if it was leaked a few hours ago, the 2011 Citroen DS4 has now been officially revealed by the French company, ahead of its debut later this year at the Paris Motor Show.
As we revealed earlier today, the DS4 is a five-door crossover, but with a coupe design, as the rear door handles are hidden in the C pillar. It borrows styling cues from the new 2011 Citroen C4, but also the first iteration in the new DS line, the DS3 compact hatchback.
The exterior boasts the impressive design highlighted above, as well as new technologies like LED daytime running lights. Wheels of up to 19 inches in size can be fitted, while chrome touches are present on the outside of the car.
As you might have figured out by now, the DS4 will battle it out with other premium crossovers, and offer a variety of luxury options. These include various leather choices, a panoramic roof, as well as chrome inserts. The crossover is a 2+2, so just four people can sit inside.
Thee petrol and two diesel engines will be made available. The gasoline ones will consist of a 120 HP 1.6-liter VTi, a 155 HP 1.6 THP and a 200 HP 1.6 THP. Two diesels will also be available, with e-HDi technology, capable of 110 and 160 HP, respectively.
Check out the new Citroen DS4 in the photo gallery below.
Photo Gallery: 2011 Citroen DS4