suv

First Impressions: 2018 BMW X2

2018 BMW X2 Can this all-new subcompact crossover carve out a niche in a crowded lineup? By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 The X2 is an all-new addition to BMW’s lineup for 2018. This subcompact crossover slots in above the established X1 and differentiates itself with coupe-like styling and a considerably higher entry price. We had the opportunity to test the new X2 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, at the annual Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally.  The X2 comes powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rated for 228 horsepower. Though we had only a short time to play with the X2, it proved a willing partner. The X2’s acceleration is smooth and peppy, and handling is absolutely fantastic on the curvy roads around the lake. The paddle shifters are an effective way to extract a little more fun out of the driving experience, and help make passing super smooth. Sport mode makes the steering and acceleration a little sharper. The interior is mostly a win. The front seats were extremely comfortable, as we’ve come to expect from BMW. We also really liked the interior layout; everything on the dashboard was easy to see and reach. The X2 isn’t perfect. It seems kind of redundant alongside the existing X1, which provides the same specs and more interior space (due to the higher roof) at a lower price. Since [...]

2018-07-11T18:49:22-04:00Jul 2018|Uncategorized|

First Impressions: 2019 Infiniti QX50

2019 Infiniti QX50 We got to drive the fully redesigned 2019 Infiniti QX50 at the 2018 Midwest Automotive Association annual Spring Rally.  By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | May 2018 This compact luxury SUV was on hiatus for 2018 but is back with a fresh and modern design. Infiniti gave us the opportunity to get acquainted with the new QX50 on the easygoing Wisconsin country roads that surround Road America, though we had only a short time to learn as much as we could. The redesigned QX50 has car-like handling and, from behind the wheel, feels quite a bit smaller than it actually is. The power isn’t particularly impressive, but it’s definitely not lacking, either. This vehicle features a groundbreaking variable compression engine, though shoppers only really need to know that it’s a turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 268 horsepower, paired to a fuel-efficient CVT. Acceleration is quick, responsive, smooth, and effortless; it just lacks the “ooomph” that we look for in an upscale vehicle. There’s no drama. The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are a nice touch and help add a little excitement to the driving experience. However, when we downshifted manually via paddle shifter, it took an unusually long time for the engine and transmission to match back up again. To be fair, excitement might not be Infiniti’s goal, here. There are two screens, a display for navigation and a touch [...]

2018-07-06T20:17:07-04:00Jul 2018|Car Reviews, Car Reviews, Car Reviews, Car Reviews|

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Returning some sparkle to the triple-diamond By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 The compact utility segment–with well-known entries like the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape–is the best-selling in the industry, having leap-frogged the sedan segments as the family car of record for Americans. Mitsubishi wants to use its new entry in the segment as a basis for its climb back to relevance with U.S. consumers. The brand has had a tough slog, with a 10-year decline from 2002 to 2012, which saw the brand lose 83% of its sales volume. Over the past five years the tri-diamond has been growing, with 2017's sales nearly 80% above that of 2012. Nearly all of that increase has been owed to the brand's two existing crossovers, the Outlander and Outlander Sport. But to really kick up the momentum, and to introduce its new sense of design flair, Mitsubishi has resurrected the Eclipse name for a utility vehicle that tries to offer a distinct sense of sportiness in a field of crossovers that's more focused on utility and efficiency. What is this vehicle? The Eclipse Cross actually occupies the space in between the compact and subcompact segments, though Mitsubishi is positioning the vehicle against the compacts of the world. Its wheelbase and width suggest a vehicle right in the thick of competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but its [...]

2018-06-15T00:50:28-04:00Jun 2018|Uncategorized|

2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 Nissan Kicks Nissan’s smallest SUV joins the car world’s biggest craze. By Nick Kurczewski, Car-ED.com | June 2018 Small SUVs are the next big thing in the car world, and automakers are rapidly adding more of them to their lineups. The 2018 Nissan Kicks joins in as the latest entry in this growing range of subcompact SUVs, which includes similarly brand-new models like the Ford EcoSport and Hyundai Kona. More established competition in this segment – which Nissan expects to more than double in sales volume over the next 3-4 years – includes the Kia Soul, Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V and Toyota CH-R. What is this vehicle? In terms of its size, the Kicks is right in the thick of its competition. The Nissan stretches 169.1 inches in total length, making it slightly larger than the Kia Soul (163 inches long), a bit smaller than the Toyota CH-R (171.7 inches), and the exact same length as the Honda HR-V (169.1 inches). Helping the 2018 Kicks stand out from the crowd is an aggressively low starting price of $18,965, including the $995 destination fee. A fully-loaded Kicks SR, such as the one we recently test drove in San Diego, California, still came with an affordable as-tested price of $22,025. Our test car included features such as a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android compatibility, blind spot monitors, surround-view camera, rear cross-traffic warning, leather-wrapped [...]

2018-06-12T22:58:38-04:00Jun 2018|Uncategorized|

2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited

2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited This brawny SUV is balanced by unexpected elegance. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | May 2018 What is this vehicle? The Toyota 4Runner is one of the few traditional, body-on-frame midsize SUVs that remains on the market. Early SUVs were little more than a pickup with a built-in cap, though today’s 4Runner is also comfortable and elegant. As automakers continue to move toward more efficient crossovers to serve the midsize SUV market (Toyota’s own Highlander is an excellent example), truck-based models such as the 4Runner are becoming a relic of sorts. The Toyota 4Runner is an extremely capable vehicle, but its main downfall is that it is actually more capable than most potential buyers actually need or will use. Who is this vehicle for? The 4Runner is really an SUV for people who want truck-like abilities with the added benefit of extra seating, and are willing to pay for it, both up front and as the years go by. If you need towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, or would actually use the 4Runner’s off-road-specific features and options, you’re on the right track. Why is this vehicle important to you, the buyer? Though the 4Runner should not be confused with the car-based crossovers that make up most of the midsize SUV class, it does serve a niche. True 4Runner customers are out there, and Toyota understands [...]

2018-05-17T12:47:33-04:00May 2018|Uncategorized|
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