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Found 244 results

  1. Buick is reportedly working on a crossover coupe to add to its lineup in the US. This vehicle would be in addition to, rather than replace, any vehicles in the current lineup. Most of Buick's recent lineup has been a rebadge of some other brand's designs, this new vehicle would be a departure from that with Buick leading the design process from the start. CarDesignNews was shown some sketches and models of future Buicks and what they saw would "turn everything you think about Buick on its ear". It is a bold design that will shock people both inside and outside the industry. The designs would feel familiar without using specific cues. Buick also took the time to insist that Buick would not become a China-only brand even though 4 out of every 5 Buicks are sold there. The bulk of the design work takes place in Warren, Michigan, while smaller design teams work in Shanghai, Melbourne, and near Seoul. As far as the name, Buick has trademarked Enspire for the U.S., so that has a strong possibility of coming to fruition. No timeline is set for the release of the new crossover, but the overhaul of the Buick look is well underway. View full article
  2. Buick is reportedly working on a crossover coupe to add to its lineup in the US. This vehicle would be in addition to, rather than replace, any vehicles in the current lineup. Most of Buick's recent lineup has been a rebadge of some other brand's designs, this new vehicle would be a departure from that with Buick leading the design process from the start. CarDesignNews was shown some sketches and models of future Buicks and what they saw would "turn everything you think about Buick on its ear". It is a bold design that will shock people both inside and outside the industry. The designs would feel familiar without using specific cues. Buick also took the time to insist that Buick would not become a China-only brand even though 4 out of every 5 Buicks are sold there. The bulk of the design work takes place in Warren, Michigan, while smaller design teams work in Shanghai, Melbourne, and near Seoul. As far as the name, Buick has trademarked Enspire for the U.S., so that has a strong possibility of coming to fruition. No timeline is set for the release of the new crossover, but the overhaul of the Buick look is well underway.
  3. Arguably, one of the most important reveals at the New York Auto Show is the Hyundai Venue. The Venue is Hyundai’s smallest crossover slotting in just below the Kona. With a price starting somewhere in the $17k - $18k range, it will also likely be the most prolific of the cars unveiled this week. The Venue’s main competition is the Nissan Kicks, Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade, and Ford EcoSport. Outside, the Venue sits perky and upright, it will be the shortest length crossover on the market when it goes on sale in the fall. In spite of its diminutive size, it manages to look more premium than it is. It’s about 5 inches shorter than the Hyundai Kona which sits just above it in Hyundai’s lineup. It has a deep set grill with a complex crosshatch pattern that gives an expensive look. The split light clusters add visual height to the front, making it look more truck-like. There are a contrasting color roof and mirror covers. I like the looks of the alloy wheels too. In back, a good size hatch opens to 19 cubic feet of cargo room that expands to 32 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Hyundai even put some work into making the tail lamps display a unique Z pattern. Inside, the Venue really shines. The upright dash is covered in a soft rubberized material. The seats have a denim-like look to them and they offer a good seating position for the driver. There are options on the upper trim to have the front and rear seats heated. Front legroom seemed a little tight, and I would need to move the seat back far enough that an adult probably couldn’t sit behind me. Rear seat legroom is tight, and I struggled slightly to get in and out. The rear seat is rather flat and park-bench-like. It is unlikely that if you are any taller than my 5’10” that you will be comfortable with the headroom. All of the controls are in easy reach. The primary HVAC controls are three large simple round dials. An 8-inch touch screen sits high on the center stack and only pops up about an inch over the dash. My experience with Hyundai’s infotainment systems has been mixed, but the car was off when I visited, so I didn’t get the chance to try it. Either way, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, so as long as you’re happy with those, it should just work. Hyundai is offering the Venue in just two trims, SE and SEL, and a single engine option, a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. This engine will produce an estimated 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. Like the Soul and Kicks, there is no all-wheel-drive option offered. Power is sent to the front wheels either via a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Hyundai is hoping to get an EPA combined rating of 33 mpg. Tiny crossovers have become the 1990's hatchback of the twenty-teens. The Venue, Kicks, Soul, Renegade, and others offer crossover versatility in a city-sized package. Unlike those old hatchbacks which could be penalty boxes, my overall impression is that the Venue isn’t a car you buy just because it is cheap, but because you actually like it. It is a handsome, perky little package that looks more premium than it really is and offers a host of standard and optional safety features that some lack in the segment. Given that the Venue is likely to take the title of the most affordable crossover and do it while looking this good puts Hyundai in a great position. Read our other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below: First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape View full article
  4. Arguably, one of the most important reveals at the New York Auto Show is the Hyundai Venue. The Venue is Hyundai’s smallest crossover slotting in just below the Kona. With a price starting somewhere in the $17k - $18k range, it will also likely be the most prolific of the cars unveiled this week. The Venue’s main competition is the Nissan Kicks, Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade, and Ford EcoSport. Outside, the Venue sits perky and upright, it will be the shortest length crossover on the market when it goes on sale in the fall. In spite of its diminutive size, it manages to look more premium than it is. It’s about 5 inches shorter than the Hyundai Kona which sits just above it in Hyundai’s lineup. It has a deep set grill with a complex crosshatch pattern that gives an expensive look. The split light clusters add visual height to the front, making it look more truck-like. There are a contrasting color roof and mirror covers. I like the looks of the alloy wheels too. In back, a good size hatch opens to 19 cubic feet of cargo room that expands to 32 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Hyundai even put some work into making the tail lamps display a unique Z pattern. Inside, the Venue really shines. The upright dash is covered in a soft rubberized material. The seats have a denim-like look to them and they offer a good seating position for the driver. There are options on the upper trim to have the front and rear seats heated. Front legroom seemed a little tight, and I would need to move the seat back far enough that an adult probably couldn’t sit behind me. Rear seat legroom is tight, and I struggled slightly to get in and out. The rear seat is rather flat and park-bench-like. It is unlikely that if you are any taller than my 5’10” that you will be comfortable with the headroom. All of the controls are in easy reach. The primary HVAC controls are three large simple round dials. An 8-inch touch screen sits high on the center stack and only pops up about an inch over the dash. My experience with Hyundai’s infotainment systems has been mixed, but the car was off when I visited, so I didn’t get the chance to try it. Either way, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, so as long as you’re happy with those, it should just work. Hyundai is offering the Venue in just two trims, SE and SEL, and a single engine option, a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. This engine will produce an estimated 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. Like the Soul and Kicks, there is no all-wheel-drive option offered. Power is sent to the front wheels either via a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Hyundai is hoping to get an EPA combined rating of 33 mpg. Tiny crossovers have become the 1990's hatchback of the twenty-teens. The Venue, Kicks, Soul, Renegade, and others offer crossover versatility in a city-sized package. Unlike those old hatchbacks which could be penalty boxes, my overall impression is that the Venue isn’t a car you buy just because it is cheap, but because you actually like it. It is a handsome, perky little package that looks more premium than it really is and offers a host of standard and optional safety features that some lack in the segment. Given that the Venue is likely to take the title of the most affordable crossover and do it while looking this good puts Hyundai in a great position. Read our other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below: First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape
  5. Ford revealed during a debut event for its European electrified models that the as-yet-unnamed Mustang inspired electrified crossover will have a range of 370 miles when it arrives in 2020, but those are using the WTLP cycle, and the EPA range rating could be lower. Ford has previously stated they were targeting a range of 300 miles, so a good guess for the EPA range would be somewhere between those two numbers. Ford has recently trademarked the name "Mach-E" and "Mustang Mach-E". Could this be a name for this new EV crossover? Time will tell. Earlier in 2019, Ford stated that all future vehicle will have an electrified version, something borne out by yesterdays unveiling of the 2020 Ford Escape with two hybrid variants. Ford also teased us with the Puma, a compact crossover set to slot between the Ecosport and Kuga, the Euro version of the Escape. The Puma uses a 48-volt batter and a belt-alternator-starter system mated to a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. No word yet if the Puma will make it to the U.S., but with pint-sized crossovers selling so well in the U.S., we'd not be surprised to see it here in the near future. (Click image to enlarge) View full article
  6. Ford revealed during a debut event for its European electrified models that the as-yet-unnamed Mustang inspired electrified crossover will have a range of 370 miles when it arrives in 2020, but those are using the WTLP cycle, and the EPA range rating could be lower. Ford has previously stated they were targeting a range of 300 miles, so a good guess for the EPA range would be somewhere between those two numbers. Ford has recently trademarked the name "Mach-E" and "Mustang Mach-E". Could this be a name for this new EV crossover? Time will tell. Earlier in 2019, Ford stated that all future vehicle will have an electrified version, something borne out by yesterdays unveiling of the 2020 Ford Escape with two hybrid variants. Ford also teased us with the Puma, a compact crossover set to slot between the Ecosport and Kuga, the Euro version of the Escape. The Puma uses a 48-volt batter and a belt-alternator-starter system mated to a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. No word yet if the Puma will make it to the U.S., but with pint-sized crossovers selling so well in the U.S., we'd not be surprised to see it here in the near future. (Click image to enlarge)
  7. DRIVEN: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer LT AWD 3.6 (MSRP around 40k) HIGHS: -Blazer name is back! -Unique, sporty CUV style, drawing inspiration from the Camaro. Be seen. Looks good in person, even in a bad color. -Nice new interior design, including ball blower vents down low. That will be a godsend in summer. I liked the gauges, displays, controls, and touchscreen. -Cargo area seemed more useful in size than I imagined. If I recall, the rear seats can slide forward and back to help out with that. -If you are averse to 4 cylinder engines, Chevy has you covered here. Most of the Blazers will be had with 3.6 v6. And with enough throttle foot, and after you let it wind up, and if the tranny actually kicks down, it scoots pretty well. -Fans of CUV's that are heavy and sit high will be like pigs in slop in the Blazer. LOWS: -There are probably a lot of people that won't be into the styling. -Drivetrain doesn't seem refined. Sorry, another one of these GM drivetrains with the common 3.6 that underwhelms. Slow transmission kickdown. Feels like driveline has a lot of slop. Lack of useful torque. Grainy sounding, revs slow, throttle response is a dud. -Interior space is not exactly a middle spot between the Equinox and Traverse. To some it will feel not much larger than an Equinox inside, which is either a compliment for the Equinox (wasn't intended to be) or a rip on the Blazer (maybe that's where I was going). Perhaps how high you sit on the queen perch exacerbates the truckiness of this thing, but it feels narrow in relation to it's size, and it's easier to knock elbows with your neighbor than it should be in this thing. -There is nothing about the ride and handling that stuck in my mind as impressive. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Now, maybe the RS is better, I don't know. -Irregardless of whether a vehicle being heavy is a good or bad thing, it's that the Blazer actually feels porky or even porkier than it is / isn't. -The elephant in the room on this thing is price. This lightly equipped LT was near 40 grand. In the same showroom is an almost equally equipped Traverse for an almost equal price. The versions that are in the high 40's and 50's, it's a real SMH to me. -An all around feel about the vehicle that it was just a cobbled together parts bin ride (which historically has been GM's PENCHANT). The Blazer is a vehicle that feels old by several years on the market, right when it's introduced. SUMMARY No compelling reason to pick this vehicle on the market other than if you are a GM fanboi/girl or you've gone sick on the styling of it. If it's the former, its another case of GM missing an opportunity to provide class competitive or better vehicle refinement and dynamics and missing the mark. If it's the latter, then the styling ends up being the sole purpose for the vehicle to exist in the market. If it doesn't have more than that, than it's hopes for being a long term success are pretty thin. I don't need to dive much more into this one. Reviving the Blazer name and throwing it on something that evokes the Camaro in styling is about all there is behind this effort. Nissan came out with the Murano in 2003? 2004? And Chevrolet finally has something to compete with it in 2019. The list of vehicles that are better options to this for your money, whether 2 or 3 row, are in the dozens. As far as Chevy, if you really want size, immediately bypass the Blazer and just go straight for the Traverse. For performance and refinement, it's entirely possibly that a well loaded Equinox with the 2.0 engine is a much more enjoyable vehicle for a majority of people. And don't forget the GMC options too. Other makes and models, Santa Fe, Atlas, Edge, Passport, all better. I might be here all day if I list all the better options. It doesn't make it bad to like the Blazer and I wouldn't criticize anyone for buying one. I just think GM mailed it in here, which they seem to be doing with increasing frequency here. All you get here is a name and some style. Bless ya if that's what you want. I may try the 2.5 FWD for contrast, but i think I can 99% safely say one of these will never be in my driveway. Continuing to lose more and more faith in GM and Chevy all the time.
  8. Hyundai announced the name of their new crossover, the Hyundai Venue, that will debut at the New York International Auto Show in three weeks. The Venue will slot below the Hyundai Kona in their lineup, bringing their total crossover count to 6. The Venue follows the new Hyundai Kona, a redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe, and the new three-row Hyundai Palisade . Hyundai's crossover sales rose by 24% in 2018 while car sales dropped 13%. The Venue will debut in New York at the Jacob Javits Center on April 17th. Related: View full article
  9. Hyundai announced the name of their new crossover, the Hyundai Venue, that will debut at the New York International Auto Show in three weeks. The Venue will slot below the Hyundai Kona in their lineup, bringing their total crossover count to 6. The Venue follows the new Hyundai Kona, a redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe, and the new three-row Hyundai Palisade . Hyundai's crossover sales rose by 24% in 2018 while car sales dropped 13%. The Venue will debut in New York at the Jacob Javits Center on April 17th. Related:
  10. Mercedes-Benz has annouced that the new Maybach SUV, built on the Mercedes-Benz GLS will be built exclusively in Alabama. With an expected price over $200,000, the new SUV will then be the most expensive vehicle to be built in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz plans to expand the Maybach brand to other models where it makes sense in the upper end of the Mercedes lineup. The Mercedes Maybach GLS will have a V8 with north of 560 horsepower and will likely debut in China later this year. The vehicle is aimed primarily at the chauffeur driven population in China and as such, the rear seats are set up in a lounge like fashion. The Alabama operation is also getting battery manufacturing operations, more than twice the size of the original assembly plant, due to build EQ vehicles starting in 2020. The factory, which is capable of producing more than 300,000 units a year, exports approximately two-thirds of its production. Related: View full article
  11. Mercedes-Benz has annouced that the new Maybach SUV, built on the Mercedes-Benz GLS will be built exclusively in Alabama. With an expected price over $200,000, the new SUV will then be the most expensive vehicle to be built in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz plans to expand the Maybach brand to other models where it makes sense in the upper end of the Mercedes lineup. The Mercedes Maybach GLS will have a V8 with north of 560 horsepower and will likely debut in China later this year. The vehicle is aimed primarily at the chauffeur driven population in China and as such, the rear seats are set up in a lounge like fashion. The Alabama operation is also getting battery manufacturing operations, more than twice the size of the original assembly plant, due to build EQ vehicles starting in 2020. The factory, which is capable of producing more than 300,000 units a year, exports approximately two-thirds of its production. Related:
  12. Previous Page Next Page At the 2019 Geneva Auto Show this afternoon, Mazda introduced the new CX-30 compact crossover to the world. The CX-30 is the second vehicle, after the Mazda 3, in Mazda's new-generation of vehicles. Mazda has aimed to make the CX30, "not too big and not too small", aiming to be the perfect size for most drivers. The Mazda CX-30 slots in just above the CX-3 in size, running about 4.7 inches longer and 1.1 inches wider. Ground clearance is higher at 6.8 inches. That's higher than the CX-3, but still below the CX-5. The CX-30 rides on the same platform as the Mazda 3. The European spec models will have a choice of three engines. A 2.0 liter Skyactiv-G engine has cylinder deactivation and can shut down two of the cylinders during light load situations. A 1.8 liter diesel Skyactiv-D carries over from the Mazda CX-3. Lastly, a Skyactive-X engine will offer a supercharged version of the 2.0 engine with Mazda's compression ignition technology that promises diesel-like fuel economy with the responsiveness of a gasoline engine. Power specs were not released. Both of the gasoline models will come with Mazda's M Hybrid 24-volt mild hybrid system. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be available. We assume the U.S. will not see the diesel engines. Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel drive system which features G-Vectoring technology is available. The interior is designed to be a peaceful, serene place. Mazda's quest against noise continues in this model and the interior will have a "high quality quietness". The interior has a premium look, again like the Mazda 3. The exterior is a subtly handsome interpretation of Mazda's Kodo design language, looking a bit more restrained than the CX-3 or CX-5. Mazda says that the U.S. will see this model, but no announcements on when it will be sold here have been made. Mazda Press Release on Page 2 2019 GENEVA AUTO SHOW PRESS INFORMATION – MAZDA CX-30 PROGRAM MANAGER’S MESSAGE MAZDA CX-30: BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS Mazda wants drivers – and their passengers – to truly enjoy the many ways in which owning a car can enrich your lifestyle. We designed the Mazda CX-30 to help customers make stimulating new discoveries within their daily routine and share them with the people they love. This new compact crossover is the second model in a new generation of Mazda cars that offer refined quality in every area. Our desire was to enable customers at various stages of life to choose a car that matches their sensibilities and thus invigorate their daily lives and help them develop stronger bonds with their loved ones. As people transition from one life stage to the next, what they need in a car changes as their family grows and their lifestyle evolves. Choosing a car that is the right fit for you can be a real challenge. That’s why we set out to develop a compact crossover that, while meeting a wide variety of needs, could broaden people’s horizons and help turn their run-of-the-mill daily routines into self-directed, creative lifestyles. In particular, we were determined to offer four things with the CX-30. It had to be a just-fit size for any kind of driver so you can take it wherever you want to go without hesitation. The design had to embody the joy of owning something that matches your sensibilities. The cabin had to be spacious enough to share good times with family and friends. And finally, vehicle performance had to be excellent, offering comfort and peace of mind so drivers and passengers can relax and enjoy the ride. To enhance maneuverability, we settled on a size that works on any road and in any parking lot and a turning circle that allows the car to turn on a dime, all while maintaining the looks and presence of a true crossover and an excellent field of view. Driving is stress-free even on congested city streets. Getting in and out is a breeze and, thanks to a generouscargo space and trunk opening, loading your bags is just as easy. The user-friendly CX-30 is the perfect size for multipurpose use, allowing you to throw your gear in the back, jump in and take off without a second thought. Embodying Mazda’s Kodo design theme, the exterior design captivates onlookers, while powerful and elegant styling means you will never tire of gazing at its curves. The highlight of the side view is the distinctive reflections that slide over the undulating body surface. Reflected in this way, even one’s everyday surroundings look beautiful, helping owners to feel creative and positive. Inside, we rigorously pursued the highest quality so that customers can spend time with their loved ones in comfort. The cabin has a premium feel and a design that seems to envelop occupants. It’s spacious enough to comfortably seat four adults, and we incorporated a number of measures designed to help passengers kick back and relax. The quiet cabin makes conversation a joy and the clarity and quality of the new audio system, with its optimized speaker layout, are reminiscent of a sound room. We hope you will enjoy spending time with your loved ones in this cozy space. The CX-30’s excellent driving attributes and advanced safety equipment offer peace of mind, allowing the driver and passengers to relax and enjoy the drive. The driving position, seats, visibility and outstanding operability, together with dynamicperformance that’s centered on the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and tuned to match human sensibilities, combine to offer a natural and confidence-inspiring driving feel and a sense of unityas if the car and driver are operating in synchronicity. Just in case, updated i-Activsense features are there to back up the driver at all times. The powertrain lineup consists of our latest Skyactiv-X, Skyactiv-G andSkyactiv-D engines, which enable responsive control of speed in any driving situation. Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X will come mated with M Hybrid, our compact and efficient mild hybrid system, for enhanced acceleration performance and real-world fuel economy. In addition, our all-wheel-drive system, which already achieved excellent dynamic and environmental performance, now works cooperatively with G-Vectoring Control to inspire confidence in any road conditions.The full package delivers peace of mind that allows everyone on board to relax and enjoy the ride and high-quality driving pleasure that keeps drivers endlessly engaged behind the wheel. We hope that the CX-30 will help customers discover new things in their surroundings, rediscover the delights of their daily commute and enjoy more in-car conversations. Nothing could please us more than knowing that the CX-30 has helped to make the lives of our customers, their families and their friends more wonderful. Naohito Saga Mazda CX-30 Program Manager MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF DESIGNER THE PROMISE: DAILY LIFE WITH A WORK OF ART Mazda CX-30 is more than an entirely new entrant in the rapidly growing compact crossover SUV category…it’s a bold new statement of what such cars should be. As the second model in Mazda’s new-generation product lineup to feature the further-matured Kodo — Soul of Motion design concept, a concept rooted in traditional Japanese esthetics, CX-30 was developed in pursuit of automotive styling as a work of art. To achieve the most alluring, sleek silhouette in this market segment, the designers and engineers worked together as a single team to realize an unprecedented vehicle that uncompromisingly satisfies the generally contradictory demands for roominess, ample cargo space, and truly beautiful proportions. I am confident that its flowing form and refined interior will strike the eye as a singularly beautiful work of art. Beyond that, my desire is for this beauty to stimulate our customers’ creative sensibilities, encouraging them to exercise more creativity in their own lives. Far from being art that is appreciated only on occasion, CX-30 promises to enrich the life of all who choose it by bringing a work of art to the everyday. Ryo Yanagisawa Mazda CX-30 Chief Designer SLEEK & BOLD: NEW STYLING CONCEPT REALIZED THROUGH THE MATURING KODO DESIGN LANGUAGE Since its introduction in 2010, Mazda’s Kodo — Soul of Motion design has been a driving force in enhancing the brand’s global value, and Mazda has now made this philosophy deeper and more sophisticated to raise car design to the level of fine art. The goal for this evolution of Kodo design is to express a new form of elegance inspired by and rooted in Japanese esthetics. The Mazda Vision Coupe concept model introduced in 2017 embodied this design language through finely honed, minimalist styling: its elegantly restrained body form generated a delicate play of light and reflections that change over time to create styling with a natural, dynamic feel. Sharing the same concept, CX-30 was developed to create an entirely new design for a compact crossover SUV. Based on the ‘Sleek & Bold’ design concept, its proportions combine the toughness of an SUV with a supple, flowing beauty that transcends the category. Body surfaces provide rich, unlimited impressions that change from moment to moment. And the highly refined cabin is marked by the fusion of a comfortably snug feel and an airy, spacious atmosphere, enabling all occupants to enjoy a feeling of connection as well as relaxing comfort. Every single aspect of the design enhances CX-30’s impressive personality, stimulating customers’ sensibilities each and every time they look at or touch the car. EXTERIOR DESIGN With ‘Sleek & Bold’ as its design concept, CX-30’s styling simultaneously realizes two contradictory elements: the flowing beauty of a coupe and the bold toughness of an SUV. The lower body features arresting black cladding to create the sleekly flowing proportions of a coupe. At the same time, the cladding provides an impression of stability and power worthy of an SUV. Styling is controlled by a new design language ‘Charge and Release.’ This language was derived from the brushwork used in Japanese calligraphy and developed to integrate the three key factors of the evolved Kodo design theme, namely Yohaku, the beauty of empty space; Soricurves with poise and balance; and Utsuroi, the play of light and shade. In particular, Soriis clearly embodied in the arc of the shoulder running from the front fender to the rear wheel, giving a sense of speed and vitality. Body surfaces beneath the shoulder line reflect the surroundings in an S shape that changes as the car moves, in a fascinating statement of Utsuroi. These expressions of body form finally come together in a single undulation at the rear where they diffuse. By eschewing character lines in favor of the movement of surfaces, CX-30 achieves styling with both the beauty of a work of art and a powerful sense of dynamism. Rear fenders stand proud from the inward-tapering rear cabin and the liftgate has a correspondingly narrowed arch shape. In combination, this creates an alluring and sensuously powerful rear end with a wide, dynamic stance like a sports car. Front styling conveys a refined, yet bold personality. Mazda’s signature wing takes on a sharper and deeper form that combines with the solid, sculpted contours of the front bumper to achieve a face strongly suggestive of forward motion. The size and pattern of the radiator grille’s triangular motif are tightly controlled to show rich variations according to the viewing angle and how light falls upon it. Headlamps and rear combination lamps are both elegantly sleek and supremely functional, featuring an LED arrangement that emphasizes the lamps’ elaborate cylindrical shape to point up their artistic beauty while delivering a distinctive mechanical impression. The LED turn signals have a new, distinctive light-up pattern that starts at full power and then gradually ramps down, giving a powerful impression of a pulsating, living creature. Nine body colors are offered, including Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, and Polymetal Gray developed for the new Mazda3. INTERIOR DESIGN Design of CX-30’s cabin is based on Mazda’s human-centered design philosophy and traditional Japanese architecture with its use of Maor empty space. The basic structure revolves around two areas with contrasting characteristics: a snug and condensed cockpit area for the driver, and a clean, airy open space around the front passenger. In accordance with the ‘Sleek & Bold’ overall design concept, CX-30’s interior achieves both flowing elegance and beauty, allied with the bold, do-everything attitude of an SUV. In addition, great attention was paid to every detail from choice of materials to improved fit and finish, to create a genuinely refined, top-quality interior space. The cockpit is symmetrical and firmly centered on the driver, with all three meters in the meter cluster and the center display correctly angled towards the driving position, giving the driver an enhanced sense of unity with the vehicle and even easier operation. A secondary, wing-shaped hood is fitted to the upper area of the dashboard. Running horizontally from the top of the meter hood to the end of the door trim on the passenger side, it generates an airy atmosphere that gives the cockpit an expansive feel, as well as adding to the front passenger’s feeling of relaxation, comfort and security. Stitching on the edge of the hood is one more expression of CX-30’s refined interior quality. The wide floor console groups the shift lever, cup holders and commander control forward in a ‘control area’ close to the driver for convenient operation, while the gently curved knee rests and arm rest behind create a warm, contrasting atmosphere. The shift panel has an evolved version of Mazda’s ‘two-layer molding’ technology originally developed for the new Mazda3. Light striking the deep smoke-gray panel reveals a metallic pattern engraved in the base layer to accentuate CX-30’s atmosphere of fine detailing and advanced character. Two distinctive interior color schemes are offered to match owner lifestyles and preferences. The option with Dark Brown accents accords with chic, mature tastes; the Dark Blue-accented variation appeals to a modern, intellectual sensibility. The Dark Brown scheme is available in Black or Pure White genuine leather, and the perforations in the Black leather upholstery option reveal a brown interior liner to further enhance the refined atmosphere. The Dark Blue scheme features fabric or leatherette upholstery, both offered in Greige or Black. INNOVATIVELY DESIGNED PACKAGING DELIVERS RICHER, MORE ENJOYABLE LIFE EXPERIENCES. Based on the human-centered development philosophy, Mazda aimed to endow the CX-30 with enhanced versatility as a compact crossover SUV. The packaging achieves a cabin that accommodates all passengers in relaxed comfort even on the longest drives, while the luggage space offers enhanced practicality and generous capacity to satisfy virtually all lifestyle requirements. The driver’s environment is further evolved through the adoption of the most advanced knowledge and technologies during research and development of the driving position and Human-Machine Interface (HMI). In short, every element of the packaging is designed and engineered to support an even wider range of lifestyles and provide CX-30 customers with a rich and rewarding experience. EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR DIMENSIONS The CX-30 boasts a spacious cabin and a generous luggage compartment that combine with its excellent maneuverability in urban environments and ease of entrance and exit to make it versatile and easy to use. There is generous distance between the front seats, allowing for a spacious console layout and a generous center armrest. Rear-seats are also spacious and feature a wide center armrest and door armrests that enable a comfortable, relaxing seating posture. There is plenty of legroom for rear-seat passengers and a low floor and high ceiling make the rear seats comfortable even for taller passengers. A spacious cabin and generous distances between seats make it easy for people in the front to turn and face people in the rear. At the same time, rear occupants can easily see front occupants’ faces in profile. The result is an interior space that encourages communication between all occupants. Comparison of dimensions (European specification models) CX-30 CX-3 CX-5 Overall length 4,395mm 4,275mm 4,545mm Overall width 1,795mm 1,765mm 1,840mm Overall height at roof panel 1,540mm 1,540mm 1,690mm Wheelbase 2,655mm 2,570mm 2,700mm Front overhang 915mm 910mm 945mm Rear overhang 825mm 795mm 900mm Minimum ground clearance 175mm 160mm 210mm Note: All values for CX-30 are tentative. LUGGAGE SPACE A generous luggage compartment with a large opening is easy to use in any situation. Luggage capacity is a generous 430 liters*, enough to simultaneously accommodate a large, global-standard baby buggy and a carry-on bag. The liftgate opening is 1,020mm wide, while the height of the lip is a relatively low 731mm, making it easier to load and unload heavy or bulky cargo. *Includes sub-trunk; measured in-house by Mazda Note: All values are for European specification models and may vary by market. The luggage compartment offers a clean, refined appearance with a spacious feel, thanks to the adoption of non-woven fabric on the side trim and a simple wall structure. A power liftgate allows one-touch opening and closing. The gears and housing of its damper unit are made of resin, realizing quiet operation. ENTRY AND EXIT The model features plenty of ground clearance and a hip-point height that makes it easy to get into and out of the car. The shape of the seat cushions and B-pillars were optimized in light of how people move during entry and exit to enable even heavily built rear passengers to get in and out in a smooth fashion. DRIVING POSITION Telescopic steering offers 70mm of travel for precise control over the driving position. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is included as standard equipment to help prevent the occupant’s thighs floating above the cushion (seat angle too low) or placing undue pressure on the thighs (seat angle too high). As such, it offers firm support that keeps the pelvis in an upright position to maintain the ideal seating posture Mazda aims for. The position of the gear shift lever, commander control and cupholders on the floor console is optimized for operating stability, ease and comfort. HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE (HMI) The Active Driving Display, meters and center display were all redesigned to present information in a simple fashion, while the fonts used were unified to create a pleasing and consistent look. CX-30 adopts an 8.8-inch wide-screen center display. Offering simplified operation that requires only the use of the commander control, it also features a new intuitive guidance system that makes the commander control easier to operate. VISIBILITY AND FIELD OF VIEW The driver’s seating position is set high to provide a clear field of view and let the driver focus on the road ahead. Thickness and shape of the A-pillar were optimized to minimize its obstruction angle and associated blind spots. Every detail of the pillar shape was carefully thought out after research into what degree of neck and eye movement would not burden the driver. As a result, the design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, providing the driver with a continuous view of pedestrians or potential obstacles to the right or left while maintaining a natural driving posture. The C-pillar is small, providing good rearward visibility through the quarter window, offering easy confirmation of other vehicles or objects to the rear when changing lanes or entering a parking lot. The control system for windshield wiper operating speed was carefully engineered to both improve overall wiper performance and constantly adjust the operating angle of the wipers in fine increments, allowing cleaning right up to the A-pillar to greatly expand visibility near the A-pillar on the driver’s side. The wipers are housed beneath the hood to help provide a clear downward view out of the windshield. In addition, the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application and not interfere with visibility. These measures combine to give the driver a clearer view and to quickly maintain clear visibility in wet weather. AUDIO SYSTEM Mazda carried out comprehensive new studies into how sounds are transmitted through a car’s cabin. This led to locating the bass speakers in the corners where low frequency sound is better reproduced, resulting in a more clearly audible lower register. Midrange and high-frequency speakers were positioned on the left and right sail garnish and upper sections of the door trim where the sound is transmitted directly towards the occupant’s ears, unmuddied by reflected sounds. This more powerfully and naturally locates the sound’s origin, enhancing both depth and clarity. The standard audio system features a 3-way, 8-speaker configuration with 3L woofers mounted at the sides of the cowl, 2.5cm tweeters on the left and right sail garnishes and 8cm squawkers on the upper section of the front and rear door trim. The 12-speaker Bose® system includes an 8cm center speaker, a pair of rear satellite speakers and a subwoofer. The system is custom tuned to provide more powerful bass and the enhanced audio quality expected of the Bose® brand. EFFORTLESS JOYFUL DRIVING: MAZDA’S JINBA-ITTAI PERFORMANCE EVOLVED YET FURTHER TO DELIVER MORE FREEDOM AND MORE DRIVING PLEASURE ‘Ultimate Jinba-ittai’ — the feeling that the vehicle is an extension of the driver’s body, precisely controlled without conscious thought — is Mazda’s goal. And to achieve it, Mazda has introduced Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, a set of new-generation structural technologies. Adoption of these technologies, the latest fruits of Mazda’s further evolved human-centric development concept, allows CX-30 to open up a fresh dimension of driving pleasure. In addition, the latest Skyactiv engine lineup including the newly developed Skyactiv-X delivers exhilarating performance, while the precisely coordinated control of i-Activ AWD and G-Vectoring Control (GVC) provides a pleasant and confidence-inspiring driving experience, along with enhanced fuel economy and environmental friendliness. Furthermore, the cabin achieves high quality quietness through painstakingly developed NVH performance based on thoroughgoing studies of human sensory characteristics. CX-30 offers the driver the utmost freedom to control the car at will, and at the same time provides all occupants a pleasant and comfortable ride. POWERTRAIN The latest Skyactiv-G 2.0 gasoline engine delivers enhanced driving performance, fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness. It adopts a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down cylinders 1 and 4 in light-load situations such as constant-speed cruising. This contributes to greatly reduced pumping loss and lowered mechanical resistance. The Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel engine is retained in the powertrain lineup. It provides smooth yet robust performance combined with a fine balance of fuel economy, quietness andlow emissions. The new Skyactiv-X engine features Mazda’s innovative Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combustion to bring compression ignition to a gasoline engine. As a result, it features both the superior initial response and powerful torque of diesel engines, as well as the linear response to even sudden driver inputs and the smooth revving up to the higher rpms typical of a gasoline engine. The Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X engines are equipped with Mazda’s M Hybrid system for both greater gains in fuel economy, and higher levels of driving pleasure and real-world environmental friendliness. I-ACTIV AWD Thanks to a newly developed control system and new technologies to reduce friction, i-Activ AWD delivers a refined and stable ride in any situation and real-world fuel economy almost as good as a front-wheel drive vehicle. In advancing the dynamic performance of the CX-30, the team worked to always preserve grip in all four tires regardless of the road surface conditions. In addition to always being ready to handle rain, snow or other slippery conditions, it preserves extra amounts of solid grip at all times, which contributes to smooth accelerating, breaking or cornering on dry roads. The balance of grip between front and rear tires is constantly controlled to maintain smooth, stable AWD driving at all times. Furthermore, Mazda’s advanced i-Activ AWD works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control (GVC) to control the distribution of torque between front and rear wheels in accordance with the driver’s steering and acceleration inputs and the grip condition of all wheels in order to deliver a faithful response with that little bit of extra vehicle control to spare, regardless of the driving scene. To enhance real-world fuel economy, the new system adopts a rubber damper inside the power take-off unit, which greatly reduces fluctuations in input torque sent to the rear-wheel drive unit. A new design for the rear differential stores oil in the upper part and supplies just the necessary amount where and when required. In addition to the adoption of ball bearings and the use of low-viscosity oil, this design further reduces mechanical loss. A new setting applies slight difference in the deceleration ratio between the power take-off and rear differential. Not only does this maintain the same response in torque distribution, but it also increases the precision of the AWD-control unit, with a significant reduction in overall mechanical loss. G-VECTORING CONTROL PLUS (GVC PLUS) Aswith the all-new Mazda3, CX-30 adopts G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). In addition to the smooth and efficient vehicle behavior delivered by G-Vectoring Control (GVC), GVC Plus adds direct yaw moment control via the brakes, which contributes to enhanced stability of vehicle posture. When cornering, GVC Plus lightly applies brake force to the outer wheels as the steering wheel is returned to the center position. This provides a recovery moment that restores the vehicle to straight-line running and achieves greater stability. As a result, the car better handles emergency avoidance maneuvers and offers more confidence-inspiring control in various situations, including lane changes at high speed and driving on slippery surfaces such as snowy roads. NEW-GENERATION STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES: SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE The seats adopt a basic structure designed to maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine. The seat cushion and lower seatback support the thighs, lower pelvis and upper pelvis to keep the pelvis in an upright position. Meanwhile, the upper seatback supports the rib cage’s center of gravity. This design enables the driver to stabilize his or her head in a natural fashion by shifting the pelvis and spine to maintain balance without any conscious effort. The body further evolves Mazda’s straight framework and continuous ring structure concept. New front-to-back connections complement the existing vertical and lateral connections of the previous body to form multi-directional ring structures. This increases rigidity while reducing lag in the transmission of energy, which helps maximize the function of the dampers and tires. By concentrating energy input from the road surface in specifically chosen locations and adopting a damping structure that helps absorb it, vibration that causes noise is reduced without increasing vehicle weight. The suspension system (MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam setup at the rear) is based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of forces to the sprung mass over time. A new spherical shape adopted for the internal structure of the bushings combines with new suspension geometry to realize lag-free transmission and linear action. EXCELLENT NVH PERFORMANCE As a result of Mazda’s human research studies, development focused on three characteristics of sound that directly impact cabin occupants. These are volume, changes in pitch and tone over time, and the direction from which sounds originate. Suppressing noise generation and reducing its volume, while also controlling the fluctuations and directionality of sounds, are all aimed at going beyond a ‘quiet’ cabin environment to instead create a ‘high-quality quietness’ that is satisfying to all cabin occupants. To improve the basic insulation qualities key to reducing NVH, CX-30 adopts a “two-wall” structure with space between the body and the carpeting. Considering the carpet and the body panel as two separate walls, and then designing them to match the characteristics of the carpet fibers improves sound insulation without increasing weight. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible to significantly enhance sound insulation. Measures to deal with road noise focused on minimizing noise and vibration, and on controlling noise generated by changes in the road surface so it reaches occupants’ ears in a linear fashion. Sound-absorption added to the headliner and floor mats effectively suppresses high-frequency noise, while tires with optimized vertical yield and increased rigidity at possible entry points help prevent the transmission of unwanted vibrations to the cabin. Lag-free transmission of permissible sounds and vibrations helps create a reassuring and comfortable cabin environment. OUTSTANDING SAFETY PERFORMANCE BUILT ON THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO HELP REALIZE AN ACCIDENT-FREE AUTOMOTIVE SOCIETY The Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy guides all the company’s research and development efforts in safety performance, driving advances in every area from safety fundamentals, such as the driving position, through passive safety technologies to advanced i-Activsense features. CX-30 is equipped with numerous safety technologies born from these research endeavors. In the area of active safety, CX-30’s i-Activsense features now include a Driver Monitoring system that observes the driver’s condition, while further evolved technologies to help prevent accidents through advanced brake control enhance the omnidirectional sensing capability Mazda is pursuing. Passive safety development focused on studies of human characteristics and details of actual accidents, contributing to greatly enhanced collision safety and pedestrian protection performance. Now, CX-30 delivers a further evolved capacity to provide all occupants a safe, secure and enjoyable driving experience, helping to realize an accident-free automotive society. ACTIVE SAFETY: I-ACTIVSENSE CX-30 is available with Mazda’s Driver Monitoring system. The system uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver’s condition while driving by monitoring how wide the driver’s eyes are open at any given time, the number of times he or she blinks, and also the angle of the mouth and face in order to determine the level of drowsiness or fatigue. It also monitors the driver’s line of sight and eye movement to determine when the driver is being inattentive. If the system judges that the situation has become dangerous, it sounds an alert to make the driver aware and works in conjunction with the Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to shorten the time required for the brake warning to sound. Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) is available on CX-30. When pulling forward, the system uses newly adopted front side radars to detect other vehicles approaching from blind spots at the front right or left of the vehicle and alert the driver to their presence. This helps prevent a common cause of accidentswhen cars enter a T intersection with a partially obscured view. Also available on CX-30 is Mazda’s Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system. CTS contributes to lower driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal andsteering operations when stuck in traffic jams on the highway. It also supports a safer, more reassuring and more comfortable driving experience in conditions that demand constant operation of the assisted functions. Note: Some markets use a different naming. PASSIVE SAFETY The vehicle body includes more high-strength steel than ever before. As with the all-new Mazda3, 1,310 MPa-class steel is used in places and steel rated 980 MPa or higher now accounts for approximately 30 percent of the body. This combines with the addition of a new perimeter beam, newly designed B-pillars that deliver both high strength and light weight, and rear side frames that. deform in an accordion-style pattern to create a strong body that can withstand impact force and a frame structure that effectively absorbs energy. CX-30 introduces a knee airbag for the driver’s seat as standard equipment worldwide. By suppressing forward motion of the driver’s body in the event of a collision, this new airbag helps lessen injuries to the driver’s legs, chest and The hood adopts a new energy-absorbing inner structure designed to receive the impact of a pedestrian’s head in the initial moment of contact and then gradually dampen the force to more stably absorb the impact energy. The front bumper is designed to support the thigh and shins if contact is made with a pedestrian’s legswhile softening the blow to the knee area. This reduces the degree of injury to the knees and ligaments due to bending and twisting. EUROPEAN SPECIFICATION Body type Station wagon Seating capacity 5 persons Overall length x width x height 4,395mm x 1,795mm x 1,540mm Wheelbase 2,655mm Engines SKYACTIV-G 2.0 SKYACTIV-D 1.8 SKYACTIV-X Transmissions 6-speed automatic transmission 6-speed manual transmission Front suspension MacPherson strut Rear suspension Torsion beam Steering type Rack-and-pinion Brakes (front/rear) Vented discs/solid discs Tires 215/65R16 215/55R18 Previous Page Next Page View full article
  13. Previous Page Next Page At the 2019 Geneva Auto Show this afternoon, Mazda introduced the new CX-30 compact crossover to the world. The CX-30 is the second vehicle, after the Mazda 3, in Mazda's new-generation of vehicles. Mazda has aimed to make the CX30, "not too big and not too small", aiming to be the perfect size for most drivers. The Mazda CX-30 slots in just above the CX-3 in size, running about 4.7 inches longer and 1.1 inches wider. Ground clearance is higher at 6.8 inches. That's higher than the CX-3, but still below the CX-5. The CX-30 rides on the same platform as the Mazda 3. The European spec models will have a choice of three engines. A 2.0 liter Skyactiv-G engine has cylinder deactivation and can shut down two of the cylinders during light load situations. A 1.8 liter diesel Skyactiv-D carries over from the Mazda CX-3. Lastly, a Skyactive-X engine will offer a supercharged version of the 2.0 engine with Mazda's compression ignition technology that promises diesel-like fuel economy with the responsiveness of a gasoline engine. Power specs were not released. Both of the gasoline models will come with Mazda's M Hybrid 24-volt mild hybrid system. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be available. We assume the U.S. will not see the diesel engines. Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel drive system which features G-Vectoring technology is available. The interior is designed to be a peaceful, serene place. Mazda's quest against noise continues in this model and the interior will have a "high quality quietness". The interior has a premium look, again like the Mazda 3. The exterior is a subtly handsome interpretation of Mazda's Kodo design language, looking a bit more restrained than the CX-3 or CX-5. Mazda says that the U.S. will see this model, but no announcements on when it will be sold here have been made. Mazda Press Release on Page 2 2019 GENEVA AUTO SHOW PRESS INFORMATION – MAZDA CX-30 PROGRAM MANAGER’S MESSAGE MAZDA CX-30: BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS Mazda wants drivers – and their passengers – to truly enjoy the many ways in which owning a car can enrich your lifestyle. We designed the Mazda CX-30 to help customers make stimulating new discoveries within their daily routine and share them with the people they love. This new compact crossover is the second model in a new generation of Mazda cars that offer refined quality in every area. Our desire was to enable customers at various stages of life to choose a car that matches their sensibilities and thus invigorate their daily lives and help them develop stronger bonds with their loved ones. As people transition from one life stage to the next, what they need in a car changes as their family grows and their lifestyle evolves. Choosing a car that is the right fit for you can be a real challenge. That’s why we set out to develop a compact crossover that, while meeting a wide variety of needs, could broaden people’s horizons and help turn their run-of-the-mill daily routines into self-directed, creative lifestyles. In particular, we were determined to offer four things with the CX-30. It had to be a just-fit size for any kind of driver so you can take it wherever you want to go without hesitation. The design had to embody the joy of owning something that matches your sensibilities. The cabin had to be spacious enough to share good times with family and friends. And finally, vehicle performance had to be excellent, offering comfort and peace of mind so drivers and passengers can relax and enjoy the ride. To enhance maneuverability, we settled on a size that works on any road and in any parking lot and a turning circle that allows the car to turn on a dime, all while maintaining the looks and presence of a true crossover and an excellent field of view. Driving is stress-free even on congested city streets. Getting in and out is a breeze and, thanks to a generouscargo space and trunk opening, loading your bags is just as easy. The user-friendly CX-30 is the perfect size for multipurpose use, allowing you to throw your gear in the back, jump in and take off without a second thought. Embodying Mazda’s Kodo design theme, the exterior design captivates onlookers, while powerful and elegant styling means you will never tire of gazing at its curves. The highlight of the side view is the distinctive reflections that slide over the undulating body surface. Reflected in this way, even one’s everyday surroundings look beautiful, helping owners to feel creative and positive. Inside, we rigorously pursued the highest quality so that customers can spend time with their loved ones in comfort. The cabin has a premium feel and a design that seems to envelop occupants. It’s spacious enough to comfortably seat four adults, and we incorporated a number of measures designed to help passengers kick back and relax. The quiet cabin makes conversation a joy and the clarity and quality of the new audio system, with its optimized speaker layout, are reminiscent of a sound room. We hope you will enjoy spending time with your loved ones in this cozy space. The CX-30’s excellent driving attributes and advanced safety equipment offer peace of mind, allowing the driver and passengers to relax and enjoy the drive. The driving position, seats, visibility and outstanding operability, together with dynamicperformance that’s centered on the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and tuned to match human sensibilities, combine to offer a natural and confidence-inspiring driving feel and a sense of unityas if the car and driver are operating in synchronicity. Just in case, updated i-Activsense features are there to back up the driver at all times. The powertrain lineup consists of our latest Skyactiv-X, Skyactiv-G andSkyactiv-D engines, which enable responsive control of speed in any driving situation. Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X will come mated with M Hybrid, our compact and efficient mild hybrid system, for enhanced acceleration performance and real-world fuel economy. In addition, our all-wheel-drive system, which already achieved excellent dynamic and environmental performance, now works cooperatively with G-Vectoring Control to inspire confidence in any road conditions.The full package delivers peace of mind that allows everyone on board to relax and enjoy the ride and high-quality driving pleasure that keeps drivers endlessly engaged behind the wheel. We hope that the CX-30 will help customers discover new things in their surroundings, rediscover the delights of their daily commute and enjoy more in-car conversations. Nothing could please us more than knowing that the CX-30 has helped to make the lives of our customers, their families and their friends more wonderful. Naohito Saga Mazda CX-30 Program Manager MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF DESIGNER THE PROMISE: DAILY LIFE WITH A WORK OF ART Mazda CX-30 is more than an entirely new entrant in the rapidly growing compact crossover SUV category…it’s a bold new statement of what such cars should be. As the second model in Mazda’s new-generation product lineup to feature the further-matured Kodo — Soul of Motion design concept, a concept rooted in traditional Japanese esthetics, CX-30 was developed in pursuit of automotive styling as a work of art. To achieve the most alluring, sleek silhouette in this market segment, the designers and engineers worked together as a single team to realize an unprecedented vehicle that uncompromisingly satisfies the generally contradictory demands for roominess, ample cargo space, and truly beautiful proportions. I am confident that its flowing form and refined interior will strike the eye as a singularly beautiful work of art. Beyond that, my desire is for this beauty to stimulate our customers’ creative sensibilities, encouraging them to exercise more creativity in their own lives. Far from being art that is appreciated only on occasion, CX-30 promises to enrich the life of all who choose it by bringing a work of art to the everyday. Ryo Yanagisawa Mazda CX-30 Chief Designer SLEEK & BOLD: NEW STYLING CONCEPT REALIZED THROUGH THE MATURING KODO DESIGN LANGUAGE Since its introduction in 2010, Mazda’s Kodo — Soul of Motion design has been a driving force in enhancing the brand’s global value, and Mazda has now made this philosophy deeper and more sophisticated to raise car design to the level of fine art. The goal for this evolution of Kodo design is to express a new form of elegance inspired by and rooted in Japanese esthetics. The Mazda Vision Coupe concept model introduced in 2017 embodied this design language through finely honed, minimalist styling: its elegantly restrained body form generated a delicate play of light and reflections that change over time to create styling with a natural, dynamic feel. Sharing the same concept, CX-30 was developed to create an entirely new design for a compact crossover SUV. Based on the ‘Sleek & Bold’ design concept, its proportions combine the toughness of an SUV with a supple, flowing beauty that transcends the category. Body surfaces provide rich, unlimited impressions that change from moment to moment. And the highly refined cabin is marked by the fusion of a comfortably snug feel and an airy, spacious atmosphere, enabling all occupants to enjoy a feeling of connection as well as relaxing comfort. Every single aspect of the design enhances CX-30’s impressive personality, stimulating customers’ sensibilities each and every time they look at or touch the car. EXTERIOR DESIGN With ‘Sleek & Bold’ as its design concept, CX-30’s styling simultaneously realizes two contradictory elements: the flowing beauty of a coupe and the bold toughness of an SUV. The lower body features arresting black cladding to create the sleekly flowing proportions of a coupe. At the same time, the cladding provides an impression of stability and power worthy of an SUV. Styling is controlled by a new design language ‘Charge and Release.’ This language was derived from the brushwork used in Japanese calligraphy and developed to integrate the three key factors of the evolved Kodo design theme, namely Yohaku, the beauty of empty space; Soricurves with poise and balance; and Utsuroi, the play of light and shade. In particular, Soriis clearly embodied in the arc of the shoulder running from the front fender to the rear wheel, giving a sense of speed and vitality. Body surfaces beneath the shoulder line reflect the surroundings in an S shape that changes as the car moves, in a fascinating statement of Utsuroi. These expressions of body form finally come together in a single undulation at the rear where they diffuse. By eschewing character lines in favor of the movement of surfaces, CX-30 achieves styling with both the beauty of a work of art and a powerful sense of dynamism. Rear fenders stand proud from the inward-tapering rear cabin and the liftgate has a correspondingly narrowed arch shape. In combination, this creates an alluring and sensuously powerful rear end with a wide, dynamic stance like a sports car. Front styling conveys a refined, yet bold personality. Mazda’s signature wing takes on a sharper and deeper form that combines with the solid, sculpted contours of the front bumper to achieve a face strongly suggestive of forward motion. The size and pattern of the radiator grille’s triangular motif are tightly controlled to show rich variations according to the viewing angle and how light falls upon it. Headlamps and rear combination lamps are both elegantly sleek and supremely functional, featuring an LED arrangement that emphasizes the lamps’ elaborate cylindrical shape to point up their artistic beauty while delivering a distinctive mechanical impression. The LED turn signals have a new, distinctive light-up pattern that starts at full power and then gradually ramps down, giving a powerful impression of a pulsating, living creature. Nine body colors are offered, including Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, and Polymetal Gray developed for the new Mazda3. INTERIOR DESIGN Design of CX-30’s cabin is based on Mazda’s human-centered design philosophy and traditional Japanese architecture with its use of Maor empty space. The basic structure revolves around two areas with contrasting characteristics: a snug and condensed cockpit area for the driver, and a clean, airy open space around the front passenger. In accordance with the ‘Sleek & Bold’ overall design concept, CX-30’s interior achieves both flowing elegance and beauty, allied with the bold, do-everything attitude of an SUV. In addition, great attention was paid to every detail from choice of materials to improved fit and finish, to create a genuinely refined, top-quality interior space. The cockpit is symmetrical and firmly centered on the driver, with all three meters in the meter cluster and the center display correctly angled towards the driving position, giving the driver an enhanced sense of unity with the vehicle and even easier operation. A secondary, wing-shaped hood is fitted to the upper area of the dashboard. Running horizontally from the top of the meter hood to the end of the door trim on the passenger side, it generates an airy atmosphere that gives the cockpit an expansive feel, as well as adding to the front passenger’s feeling of relaxation, comfort and security. Stitching on the edge of the hood is one more expression of CX-30’s refined interior quality. The wide floor console groups the shift lever, cup holders and commander control forward in a ‘control area’ close to the driver for convenient operation, while the gently curved knee rests and arm rest behind create a warm, contrasting atmosphere. The shift panel has an evolved version of Mazda’s ‘two-layer molding’ technology originally developed for the new Mazda3. Light striking the deep smoke-gray panel reveals a metallic pattern engraved in the base layer to accentuate CX-30’s atmosphere of fine detailing and advanced character. Two distinctive interior color schemes are offered to match owner lifestyles and preferences. The option with Dark Brown accents accords with chic, mature tastes; the Dark Blue-accented variation appeals to a modern, intellectual sensibility. The Dark Brown scheme is available in Black or Pure White genuine leather, and the perforations in the Black leather upholstery option reveal a brown interior liner to further enhance the refined atmosphere. The Dark Blue scheme features fabric or leatherette upholstery, both offered in Greige or Black. INNOVATIVELY DESIGNED PACKAGING DELIVERS RICHER, MORE ENJOYABLE LIFE EXPERIENCES. Based on the human-centered development philosophy, Mazda aimed to endow the CX-30 with enhanced versatility as a compact crossover SUV. The packaging achieves a cabin that accommodates all passengers in relaxed comfort even on the longest drives, while the luggage space offers enhanced practicality and generous capacity to satisfy virtually all lifestyle requirements. The driver’s environment is further evolved through the adoption of the most advanced knowledge and technologies during research and development of the driving position and Human-Machine Interface (HMI). In short, every element of the packaging is designed and engineered to support an even wider range of lifestyles and provide CX-30 customers with a rich and rewarding experience. EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR DIMENSIONS The CX-30 boasts a spacious cabin and a generous luggage compartment that combine with its excellent maneuverability in urban environments and ease of entrance and exit to make it versatile and easy to use. There is generous distance between the front seats, allowing for a spacious console layout and a generous center armrest. Rear-seats are also spacious and feature a wide center armrest and door armrests that enable a comfortable, relaxing seating posture. There is plenty of legroom for rear-seat passengers and a low floor and high ceiling make the rear seats comfortable even for taller passengers. A spacious cabin and generous distances between seats make it easy for people in the front to turn and face people in the rear. At the same time, rear occupants can easily see front occupants’ faces in profile. The result is an interior space that encourages communication between all occupants. Comparison of dimensions (European specification models) CX-30 CX-3 CX-5 Overall length 4,395mm 4,275mm 4,545mm Overall width 1,795mm 1,765mm 1,840mm Overall height at roof panel 1,540mm 1,540mm 1,690mm Wheelbase 2,655mm 2,570mm 2,700mm Front overhang 915mm 910mm 945mm Rear overhang 825mm 795mm 900mm Minimum ground clearance 175mm 160mm 210mm Note: All values for CX-30 are tentative. LUGGAGE SPACE A generous luggage compartment with a large opening is easy to use in any situation. Luggage capacity is a generous 430 liters*, enough to simultaneously accommodate a large, global-standard baby buggy and a carry-on bag. The liftgate opening is 1,020mm wide, while the height of the lip is a relatively low 731mm, making it easier to load and unload heavy or bulky cargo. *Includes sub-trunk; measured in-house by Mazda Note: All values are for European specification models and may vary by market. The luggage compartment offers a clean, refined appearance with a spacious feel, thanks to the adoption of non-woven fabric on the side trim and a simple wall structure. A power liftgate allows one-touch opening and closing. The gears and housing of its damper unit are made of resin, realizing quiet operation. ENTRY AND EXIT The model features plenty of ground clearance and a hip-point height that makes it easy to get into and out of the car. The shape of the seat cushions and B-pillars were optimized in light of how people move during entry and exit to enable even heavily built rear passengers to get in and out in a smooth fashion. DRIVING POSITION Telescopic steering offers 70mm of travel for precise control over the driving position. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is included as standard equipment to help prevent the occupant’s thighs floating above the cushion (seat angle too low) or placing undue pressure on the thighs (seat angle too high). As such, it offers firm support that keeps the pelvis in an upright position to maintain the ideal seating posture Mazda aims for. The position of the gear shift lever, commander control and cupholders on the floor console is optimized for operating stability, ease and comfort. HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE (HMI) The Active Driving Display, meters and center display were all redesigned to present information in a simple fashion, while the fonts used were unified to create a pleasing and consistent look. CX-30 adopts an 8.8-inch wide-screen center display. Offering simplified operation that requires only the use of the commander control, it also features a new intuitive guidance system that makes the commander control easier to operate. VISIBILITY AND FIELD OF VIEW The driver’s seating position is set high to provide a clear field of view and let the driver focus on the road ahead. Thickness and shape of the A-pillar were optimized to minimize its obstruction angle and associated blind spots. Every detail of the pillar shape was carefully thought out after research into what degree of neck and eye movement would not burden the driver. As a result, the design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, providing the driver with a continuous view of pedestrians or potential obstacles to the right or left while maintaining a natural driving posture. The C-pillar is small, providing good rearward visibility through the quarter window, offering easy confirmation of other vehicles or objects to the rear when changing lanes or entering a parking lot. The control system for windshield wiper operating speed was carefully engineered to both improve overall wiper performance and constantly adjust the operating angle of the wipers in fine increments, allowing cleaning right up to the A-pillar to greatly expand visibility near the A-pillar on the driver’s side. The wipers are housed beneath the hood to help provide a clear downward view out of the windshield. In addition, the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application and not interfere with visibility. These measures combine to give the driver a clearer view and to quickly maintain clear visibility in wet weather. AUDIO SYSTEM Mazda carried out comprehensive new studies into how sounds are transmitted through a car’s cabin. This led to locating the bass speakers in the corners where low frequency sound is better reproduced, resulting in a more clearly audible lower register. Midrange and high-frequency speakers were positioned on the left and right sail garnish and upper sections of the door trim where the sound is transmitted directly towards the occupant’s ears, unmuddied by reflected sounds. This more powerfully and naturally locates the sound’s origin, enhancing both depth and clarity. The standard audio system features a 3-way, 8-speaker configuration with 3L woofers mounted at the sides of the cowl, 2.5cm tweeters on the left and right sail garnishes and 8cm squawkers on the upper section of the front and rear door trim. The 12-speaker Bose® system includes an 8cm center speaker, a pair of rear satellite speakers and a subwoofer. The system is custom tuned to provide more powerful bass and the enhanced audio quality expected of the Bose® brand. EFFORTLESS JOYFUL DRIVING: MAZDA’S JINBA-ITTAI PERFORMANCE EVOLVED YET FURTHER TO DELIVER MORE FREEDOM AND MORE DRIVING PLEASURE ‘Ultimate Jinba-ittai’ — the feeling that the vehicle is an extension of the driver’s body, precisely controlled without conscious thought — is Mazda’s goal. And to achieve it, Mazda has introduced Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, a set of new-generation structural technologies. Adoption of these technologies, the latest fruits of Mazda’s further evolved human-centric development concept, allows CX-30 to open up a fresh dimension of driving pleasure. In addition, the latest Skyactiv engine lineup including the newly developed Skyactiv-X delivers exhilarating performance, while the precisely coordinated control of i-Activ AWD and G-Vectoring Control (GVC) provides a pleasant and confidence-inspiring driving experience, along with enhanced fuel economy and environmental friendliness. Furthermore, the cabin achieves high quality quietness through painstakingly developed NVH performance based on thoroughgoing studies of human sensory characteristics. CX-30 offers the driver the utmost freedom to control the car at will, and at the same time provides all occupants a pleasant and comfortable ride. POWERTRAIN The latest Skyactiv-G 2.0 gasoline engine delivers enhanced driving performance, fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness. It adopts a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down cylinders 1 and 4 in light-load situations such as constant-speed cruising. This contributes to greatly reduced pumping loss and lowered mechanical resistance. The Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel engine is retained in the powertrain lineup. It provides smooth yet robust performance combined with a fine balance of fuel economy, quietness andlow emissions. The new Skyactiv-X engine features Mazda’s innovative Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) combustion to bring compression ignition to a gasoline engine. As a result, it features both the superior initial response and powerful torque of diesel engines, as well as the linear response to even sudden driver inputs and the smooth revving up to the higher rpms typical of a gasoline engine. The Skyactiv-G 2.0 and Skyactiv-X engines are equipped with Mazda’s M Hybrid system for both greater gains in fuel economy, and higher levels of driving pleasure and real-world environmental friendliness. I-ACTIV AWD Thanks to a newly developed control system and new technologies to reduce friction, i-Activ AWD delivers a refined and stable ride in any situation and real-world fuel economy almost as good as a front-wheel drive vehicle. In advancing the dynamic performance of the CX-30, the team worked to always preserve grip in all four tires regardless of the road surface conditions. In addition to always being ready to handle rain, snow or other slippery conditions, it preserves extra amounts of solid grip at all times, which contributes to smooth accelerating, breaking or cornering on dry roads. The balance of grip between front and rear tires is constantly controlled to maintain smooth, stable AWD driving at all times. Furthermore, Mazda’s advanced i-Activ AWD works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control (GVC) to control the distribution of torque between front and rear wheels in accordance with the driver’s steering and acceleration inputs and the grip condition of all wheels in order to deliver a faithful response with that little bit of extra vehicle control to spare, regardless of the driving scene. To enhance real-world fuel economy, the new system adopts a rubber damper inside the power take-off unit, which greatly reduces fluctuations in input torque sent to the rear-wheel drive unit. A new design for the rear differential stores oil in the upper part and supplies just the necessary amount where and when required. In addition to the adoption of ball bearings and the use of low-viscosity oil, this design further reduces mechanical loss. A new setting applies slight difference in the deceleration ratio between the power take-off and rear differential. Not only does this maintain the same response in torque distribution, but it also increases the precision of the AWD-control unit, with a significant reduction in overall mechanical loss. G-VECTORING CONTROL PLUS (GVC PLUS) Aswith the all-new Mazda3, CX-30 adopts G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). In addition to the smooth and efficient vehicle behavior delivered by G-Vectoring Control (GVC), GVC Plus adds direct yaw moment control via the brakes, which contributes to enhanced stability of vehicle posture. When cornering, GVC Plus lightly applies brake force to the outer wheels as the steering wheel is returned to the center position. This provides a recovery moment that restores the vehicle to straight-line running and achieves greater stability. As a result, the car better handles emergency avoidance maneuvers and offers more confidence-inspiring control in various situations, including lane changes at high speed and driving on slippery surfaces such as snowy roads. NEW-GENERATION STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES: SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE The seats adopt a basic structure designed to maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine. The seat cushion and lower seatback support the thighs, lower pelvis and upper pelvis to keep the pelvis in an upright position. Meanwhile, the upper seatback supports the rib cage’s center of gravity. This design enables the driver to stabilize his or her head in a natural fashion by shifting the pelvis and spine to maintain balance without any conscious effort. The body further evolves Mazda’s straight framework and continuous ring structure concept. New front-to-back connections complement the existing vertical and lateral connections of the previous body to form multi-directional ring structures. This increases rigidity while reducing lag in the transmission of energy, which helps maximize the function of the dampers and tires. By concentrating energy input from the road surface in specifically chosen locations and adopting a damping structure that helps absorb it, vibration that causes noise is reduced without increasing vehicle weight. The suspension system (MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam setup at the rear) is based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of forces to the sprung mass over time. A new spherical shape adopted for the internal structure of the bushings combines with new suspension geometry to realize lag-free transmission and linear action. EXCELLENT NVH PERFORMANCE As a result of Mazda’s human research studies, development focused on three characteristics of sound that directly impact cabin occupants. These are volume, changes in pitch and tone over time, and the direction from which sounds originate. Suppressing noise generation and reducing its volume, while also controlling the fluctuations and directionality of sounds, are all aimed at going beyond a ‘quiet’ cabin environment to instead create a ‘high-quality quietness’ that is satisfying to all cabin occupants. To improve the basic insulation qualities key to reducing NVH, CX-30 adopts a “two-wall” structure with space between the body and the carpeting. Considering the carpet and the body panel as two separate walls, and then designing them to match the characteristics of the carpet fibers improves sound insulation without increasing weight. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible to significantly enhance sound insulation. Measures to deal with road noise focused on minimizing noise and vibration, and on controlling noise generated by changes in the road surface so it reaches occupants’ ears in a linear fashion. Sound-absorption added to the headliner and floor mats effectively suppresses high-frequency noise, while tires with optimized vertical yield and increased rigidity at possible entry points help prevent the transmission of unwanted vibrations to the cabin. Lag-free transmission of permissible sounds and vibrations helps create a reassuring and comfortable cabin environment. OUTSTANDING SAFETY PERFORMANCE BUILT ON THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO HELP REALIZE AN ACCIDENT-FREE AUTOMOTIVE SOCIETY The Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy guides all the company’s research and development efforts in safety performance, driving advances in every area from safety fundamentals, such as the driving position, through passive safety technologies to advanced i-Activsense features. CX-30 is equipped with numerous safety technologies born from these research endeavors. In the area of active safety, CX-30’s i-Activsense features now include a Driver Monitoring system that observes the driver’s condition, while further evolved technologies to help prevent accidents through advanced brake control enhance the omnidirectional sensing capability Mazda is pursuing. Passive safety development focused on studies of human characteristics and details of actual accidents, contributing to greatly enhanced collision safety and pedestrian protection performance. Now, CX-30 delivers a further evolved capacity to provide all occupants a safe, secure and enjoyable driving experience, helping to realize an accident-free automotive society. ACTIVE SAFETY: I-ACTIVSENSE CX-30 is available with Mazda’s Driver Monitoring system. The system uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver’s condition while driving by monitoring how wide the driver’s eyes are open at any given time, the number of times he or she blinks, and also the angle of the mouth and face in order to determine the level of drowsiness or fatigue. It also monitors the driver’s line of sight and eye movement to determine when the driver is being inattentive. If the system judges that the situation has become dangerous, it sounds an alert to make the driver aware and works in conjunction with the Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to shorten the time required for the brake warning to sound. Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) is available on CX-30. When pulling forward, the system uses newly adopted front side radars to detect other vehicles approaching from blind spots at the front right or left of the vehicle and alert the driver to their presence. This helps prevent a common cause of accidentswhen cars enter a T intersection with a partially obscured view. Also available on CX-30 is Mazda’s Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system. CTS contributes to lower driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal andsteering operations when stuck in traffic jams on the highway. It also supports a safer, more reassuring and more comfortable driving experience in conditions that demand constant operation of the assisted functions. Note: Some markets use a different naming. PASSIVE SAFETY The vehicle body includes more high-strength steel than ever before. As with the all-new Mazda3, 1,310 MPa-class steel is used in places and steel rated 980 MPa or higher now accounts for approximately 30 percent of the body. This combines with the addition of a new perimeter beam, newly designed B-pillars that deliver both high strength and light weight, and rear side frames that. deform in an accordion-style pattern to create a strong body that can withstand impact force and a frame structure that effectively absorbs energy. CX-30 introduces a knee airbag for the driver’s seat as standard equipment worldwide. By suppressing forward motion of the driver’s body in the event of a collision, this new airbag helps lessen injuries to the driver’s legs, chest and The hood adopts a new energy-absorbing inner structure designed to receive the impact of a pedestrian’s head in the initial moment of contact and then gradually dampen the force to more stably absorb the impact energy. The front bumper is designed to support the thigh and shins if contact is made with a pedestrian’s legswhile softening the blow to the knee area. This reduces the degree of injury to the knees and ligaments due to bending and twisting. EUROPEAN SPECIFICATION Body type Station wagon Seating capacity 5 persons Overall length x width x height 4,395mm x 1,795mm x 1,540mm Wheelbase 2,655mm Engines SKYACTIV-G 2.0 SKYACTIV-D 1.8 SKYACTIV-X Transmissions 6-speed automatic transmission 6-speed manual transmission Front suspension MacPherson strut Rear suspension Torsion beam Steering type Rack-and-pinion Brakes (front/rear) Vented discs/solid discs Tires 215/65R16 215/55R18 Previous Page Next Page
  14. There has been a lot of talk about Cadillac working on a three-row crossover, but no substance to this. That changed this week as spy photos of the three-row crossover, possibly named the XT6 came out. The test mule is heavily camouflaged, but we can pull some details out. The front end looks somewhat similar to the recently launched XT4 with a large grille. Headlights appear to be off-the-shelf projector units - we're expecting different units on the production model. Around back, the tailgate design is similar to the XT5. As Car and Driver pointed out, the XT6's roofline shape is alike to the Chevrolet Traverse. Underpinning the XT6 is expected to be the long-wheelbase version of the C1XX architecture, which also underpins the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. No details on powertrains, but we're guessing the 3.6L V6 found in the Enclave and Traverse will be used for the Cadillac variant. This would be paired with an nine-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. Everyone seems to think that the XT6 will debut at the LA Auto Show in November, with sales to begin next spring. Source: Car and Driver, CarScoops View full article
  15. There has been a lot of talk about Cadillac working on a three-row crossover, but no substance to this. That changed this week as spy photos of the three-row crossover, possibly named the XT6 came out. The test mule is heavily camouflaged, but we can pull some details out. The front end looks somewhat similar to the recently launched XT4 with a large grille. Headlights appear to be off-the-shelf projector units - we're expecting different units on the production model. Around back, the tailgate design is similar to the XT5. As Car and Driver pointed out, the XT6's roofline shape is alike to the Chevrolet Traverse. Underpinning the XT6 is expected to be the long-wheelbase version of the C1XX architecture, which also underpins the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. No details on powertrains, but we're guessing the 3.6L V6 found in the Enclave and Traverse will be used for the Cadillac variant. This would be paired with an nine-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. Everyone seems to think that the XT6 will debut at the LA Auto Show in November, with sales to begin next spring. Source: Car and Driver, CarScoops
  16. A few weeks ago, I wrote a comparison test between the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. It was a close fight, but the Atlas ended up being the victor as it proved to be the better all-around three-row crossover. I find myself comparing these two brands once again, this time with their compact crossovers. Like their larger brethren, the two models take different approaches. The Mazda CX-5 goes for something that provides a premium feel and exciting drive, while the Volkswagen Tiguan uses space and comfort as its guide. Which one of these crossovers Which one of these crossovers is right for you? Exterior Mazda’s design team believed evolution would be the right approach for the second-generation CX-5’s design and we have to agree. Taking the first-generation model, designers added more curves to the body, widened the front grille, and angled the front LED headlights. In what is becoming a very crowded class, the CX-5 stands tall, especially when wearing the optional Soul Red paint. Like the Atlas, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s shape can be explained as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” Little details such as the three-bar grille, LED daytime-running lights, and slightly bulging fenders help give the Tiguan a touch of class. The optional Habanero Orange Metallic paint color on my test vehicle does show Volkswagen is willing to step outside of its comfort zone. In terms of dimensions, the Tiguan is six inches longer in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.6-inches longer than the CX-5. Interior The Tiguan’s interior follows Volkswagen’s ethos of keeping it functional in terms of the design. It features simple dash and design touches such as a silver finish for various trim pieces. Volkswagen does make up for the boring design with an excellent layout of controls. For example, the climate control system is slightly angled upward to not only make it easier to reach, but also make it less of a hassle to look down and see the current settings. Material quality is average for this type of vehicle with a mix of hard and soft plastics. The front seats in the Tiguan SE offer a power recline and manual adjustments for fore/aft and height. I really liked the seats in the Tiguan as they provided excellent comfort and firmness for any trip distance. But the Tiguan really surprises in the back seat with head and legroom similar to what you’ll find on a full-size SUV. Passengers sitting back here can also move the seats back and forth, and recline to make themselves more comfortable. The long length of the Tiguan allows for a third-row seat. The seat is standard on front-wheel drive models and optional for all-wheel drive variants. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is a minuscule amount of legroom. Another downside to the third-row is cargo space. The third-row causes a significant reduction in cargo space. With the third-row folded, it offers 4.6 cubic feet less than the two-row variant (33 vs. 37.6). Fold the second-row and the reduction becomes larger - 7.8 cubic feet. I would recommend skipping the third-row option if you opt for an AWD Tiguan. Like the exterior, the CX-5’s interior stands out. The dash shows Mazda’s effort on trying to make their interiors feel more like a luxury vehicle with sculpted contours, brushed aluminum, soft-touch plastics with a grain texture, and stitching on certain trim pieces. Compared to the Tiguan, the CX-5’s control layout is more spread out, making it somewhat difficult to find and reach certain controls. The Grand Touring tester featured power adjustments for both front seats. The seats will feel a bit too firm for some passengers, but I found them to be just right. It would have been awesome if Mazda provided ventilation for the front seats to bolster their premium ambitions. The CX-5’s back seat offers a decent amount of headroom for those under six-feet. Legroom is somewhat lacking when put against the competition. I found that my knees were almost touching the back side of the front seat. Cargo space is right in the middle with 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.6 when folded. Infotainment A seven-inch touchscreen featuring the Mazda Connect infotainment system and a rotary knob controller is standard on all CX-5s. Grand Touring models get navigation as standard, while the Touring gets it as an option. Mazda Connect is a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look somewhat old due to the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Also, trying to figure out which parts of the system are touch-enabled becomes quite tedious as there is no way to tell except through trial and error. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, but I’m hoping the 2019 model will get it. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen offers three different infotainment systems ranging from 6.5 to 8-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The current Volkswagen infotainment system is one of the best thanks in part to snappy performance and a simple interface. You can do various smartphone gestures such as swiping to move around the system. One disappointment is the lack of any sort of haptic feedback when touching any of the shortcut buttons sitting on either side of the screen. We would also recommend keeping a cloth in the Tiguan as the glass surface for the infotainment system becomes littered with fingerprints. Like in the Atlas I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Tiguan experienced an issue with Apple CarPlay. Applications such as Google Music or Spotify running in CarPlay would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to unfreeze the applications unless I restarted the vehicle. Resetting my iPhone solved this issue. Powertrain Under the CX-5’s hood is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet (up one from the 2017 model). Mazda has added cylinder deactivation for the 2018 model that allows the engine to run on just two cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen has dropped in a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive complete the package. With a higher torque figure and being available between 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, the Tiguan should leave the CX-5 in the dust. But at the stoplight drag race, the CX-5 bests the Tiguan thanks to a sharper throttle response and a steady stream of power. The Tiguan’s turbo-four gets hit with a double-whammy of turbo-lag and a somewhat confused eight-speed automatic transmission, making it feel anything but eager to get off the line. As speeds climb, the story changes. The Tiguan’s engine feels more willing to get moving whenever you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. The CX-5’s engine runs out of steam and you’ll need to really work it to get up to speed at a decent rate. Fuel Economy The EPA says the 2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD will return 24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan AWD returns 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. Both models returned high fuel economy averages; the CX-5 return 28.5 while the Tiguan got 27.3 mpg during my week-long test. Both models were driven on mix of 60 percent city and 40 percent highway. Ride & Handling When I reviewed the 2017 Mazda CX-5, I said that it carried on the mantle of being a fun-to-drive crossover set by the first-generation. Driving on some of the back roads around Detroit, the CX-5 felt very agile and showed little body roll. The steering provides sharp responses and excellent weighting. The sporting edge does mean a firm ride, allowing some road imperfections to come inside. Not much road or wind noise comes inside. Volkswagen took a different approach with the Tiguan’s ride and handling characteristics. On rough roads, the Tiguan provides a very cushioned ride on some of the roughest payment. This soft ride does hurt the Tiguan when cornering as there is slightly more body roll. But that doesn’t make the Tiguan a bad driving crossover. The chassis feels very willing when pushed and the steering provides a direct feel. Value The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE AWD begins at $30,230. This particular tester came to $31,575 with the optional Habanero Orange Metallic and fog lights. But the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes with more equipment such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and power adjustments for the driver for only $2,175 less than the Tiguan SE’s base price. You can add navigation, Bose audio system, and sunroof as part of $1,200 Preferred Equipment package. When it comes to the midlevel, it is no contest as the CX-5 walks away. The script flips however when you put the 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring under the microscope. The AWD version begins at $30,945 and with a few options such as the Soul Red paint and Premium package, the vehicle seen here comes to $34,685. But you can get into the Tiguan SEL AWD that adds adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and navigation for only $2,295 less than our as-tested CX-5. While the CX-5 does offer more of a premium interior, the larger interior and slightly better infotainment system give the Tiguan a slight edge. Verdict It feels weird to describe the verdict between the two compact crossovers as a decision to satisfy your desires or needs. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls into the former as it boasts a handsome look that very few models can match, luxurious interior, and handling characteristics that make you feel like you’re driving a sports car. As for the Tiguan, it falls in the latter camp by offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and a better infotainment system. I consider these two to be the best-in-class. But deciding which one is better will ultimately come down to deciding whether to give into your wants or needs. Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Mazda Model: CX-5 Trim: Grand Touring AWD Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan Base Price: $30,945 As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package - $1,395.00 Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00 Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00 Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00 Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00 Year: 2018 Make: Volkswagen Model: Tiguan Trim: SE 4Motion Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400 Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23 Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico Base Price: $30,230 As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Habanero Orange Metallic - $295.00 Front Fog Lights - $150.00 View full article
  17. A few weeks ago, I wrote a comparison test between the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. It was a close fight, but the Atlas ended up being the victor as it proved to be the better all-around three-row crossover. I find myself comparing these two brands once again, this time with their compact crossovers. Like their larger brethren, the two models take different approaches. The Mazda CX-5 goes for something that provides a premium feel and exciting drive, while the Volkswagen Tiguan uses space and comfort as its guide. Which one of these crossovers Which one of these crossovers is right for you? Exterior Mazda’s design team believed evolution would be the right approach for the second-generation CX-5’s design and we have to agree. Taking the first-generation model, designers added more curves to the body, widened the front grille, and angled the front LED headlights. In what is becoming a very crowded class, the CX-5 stands tall, especially when wearing the optional Soul Red paint. Like the Atlas, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s shape can be explained as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” Little details such as the three-bar grille, LED daytime-running lights, and slightly bulging fenders help give the Tiguan a touch of class. The optional Habanero Orange Metallic paint color on my test vehicle does show Volkswagen is willing to step outside of its comfort zone. In terms of dimensions, the Tiguan is six inches longer in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.6-inches longer than the CX-5. Interior The Tiguan’s interior follows Volkswagen’s ethos of keeping it functional in terms of the design. It features simple dash and design touches such as a silver finish for various trim pieces. Volkswagen does make up for the boring design with an excellent layout of controls. For example, the climate control system is slightly angled upward to not only make it easier to reach, but also make it less of a hassle to look down and see the current settings. Material quality is average for this type of vehicle with a mix of hard and soft plastics. The front seats in the Tiguan SE offer a power recline and manual adjustments for fore/aft and height. I really liked the seats in the Tiguan as they provided excellent comfort and firmness for any trip distance. But the Tiguan really surprises in the back seat with head and legroom similar to what you’ll find on a full-size SUV. Passengers sitting back here can also move the seats back and forth, and recline to make themselves more comfortable. The long length of the Tiguan allows for a third-row seat. The seat is standard on front-wheel drive models and optional for all-wheel drive variants. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is a minuscule amount of legroom. Another downside to the third-row is cargo space. The third-row causes a significant reduction in cargo space. With the third-row folded, it offers 4.6 cubic feet less than the two-row variant (33 vs. 37.6). Fold the second-row and the reduction becomes larger - 7.8 cubic feet. I would recommend skipping the third-row option if you opt for an AWD Tiguan. Like the exterior, the CX-5’s interior stands out. The dash shows Mazda’s effort on trying to make their interiors feel more like a luxury vehicle with sculpted contours, brushed aluminum, soft-touch plastics with a grain texture, and stitching on certain trim pieces. Compared to the Tiguan, the CX-5’s control layout is more spread out, making it somewhat difficult to find and reach certain controls. The Grand Touring tester featured power adjustments for both front seats. The seats will feel a bit too firm for some passengers, but I found them to be just right. It would have been awesome if Mazda provided ventilation for the front seats to bolster their premium ambitions. The CX-5’s back seat offers a decent amount of headroom for those under six-feet. Legroom is somewhat lacking when put against the competition. I found that my knees were almost touching the back side of the front seat. Cargo space is right in the middle with 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.6 when folded. Infotainment A seven-inch touchscreen featuring the Mazda Connect infotainment system and a rotary knob controller is standard on all CX-5s. Grand Touring models get navigation as standard, while the Touring gets it as an option. Mazda Connect is a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look somewhat old due to the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Also, trying to figure out which parts of the system are touch-enabled becomes quite tedious as there is no way to tell except through trial and error. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, but I’m hoping the 2019 model will get it. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen offers three different infotainment systems ranging from 6.5 to 8-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The current Volkswagen infotainment system is one of the best thanks in part to snappy performance and a simple interface. You can do various smartphone gestures such as swiping to move around the system. One disappointment is the lack of any sort of haptic feedback when touching any of the shortcut buttons sitting on either side of the screen. We would also recommend keeping a cloth in the Tiguan as the glass surface for the infotainment system becomes littered with fingerprints. Like in the Atlas I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Tiguan experienced an issue with Apple CarPlay. Applications such as Google Music or Spotify running in CarPlay would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to unfreeze the applications unless I restarted the vehicle. Resetting my iPhone solved this issue. Powertrain Under the CX-5’s hood is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet (up one from the 2017 model). Mazda has added cylinder deactivation for the 2018 model that allows the engine to run on just two cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen has dropped in a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive complete the package. With a higher torque figure and being available between 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, the Tiguan should leave the CX-5 in the dust. But at the stoplight drag race, the CX-5 bests the Tiguan thanks to a sharper throttle response and a steady stream of power. The Tiguan’s turbo-four gets hit with a double-whammy of turbo-lag and a somewhat confused eight-speed automatic transmission, making it feel anything but eager to get off the line. As speeds climb, the story changes. The Tiguan’s engine feels more willing to get moving whenever you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. The CX-5’s engine runs out of steam and you’ll need to really work it to get up to speed at a decent rate. Fuel Economy The EPA says the 2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD will return 24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan AWD returns 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. Both models returned high fuel economy averages; the CX-5 return 28.5 while the Tiguan got 27.3 mpg during my week-long test. Both models were driven on mix of 60 percent city and 40 percent highway. Ride & Handling When I reviewed the 2017 Mazda CX-5, I said that it carried on the mantle of being a fun-to-drive crossover set by the first-generation. Driving on some of the back roads around Detroit, the CX-5 felt very agile and showed little body roll. The steering provides sharp responses and excellent weighting. The sporting edge does mean a firm ride, allowing some road imperfections to come inside. Not much road or wind noise comes inside. Volkswagen took a different approach with the Tiguan’s ride and handling characteristics. On rough roads, the Tiguan provides a very cushioned ride on some of the roughest payment. This soft ride does hurt the Tiguan when cornering as there is slightly more body roll. But that doesn’t make the Tiguan a bad driving crossover. The chassis feels very willing when pushed and the steering provides a direct feel. Value The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE AWD begins at $30,230. This particular tester came to $31,575 with the optional Habanero Orange Metallic and fog lights. But the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes with more equipment such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and power adjustments for the driver for only $2,175 less than the Tiguan SE’s base price. You can add navigation, Bose audio system, and sunroof as part of $1,200 Preferred Equipment package. When it comes to the midlevel, it is no contest as the CX-5 walks away. The script flips however when you put the 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring under the microscope. The AWD version begins at $30,945 and with a few options such as the Soul Red paint and Premium package, the vehicle seen here comes to $34,685. But you can get into the Tiguan SEL AWD that adds adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and navigation for only $2,295 less than our as-tested CX-5. While the CX-5 does offer more of a premium interior, the larger interior and slightly better infotainment system give the Tiguan a slight edge. Verdict It feels weird to describe the verdict between the two compact crossovers as a decision to satisfy your desires or needs. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls into the former as it boasts a handsome look that very few models can match, luxurious interior, and handling characteristics that make you feel like you’re driving a sports car. As for the Tiguan, it falls in the latter camp by offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and a better infotainment system. I consider these two to be the best-in-class. But deciding which one is better will ultimately come down to deciding whether to give into your wants or needs. Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Mazda Model: CX-5 Trim: Grand Touring AWD Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan Base Price: $30,945 As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package - $1,395.00 Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00 Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00 Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00 Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00 Year: 2018 Make: Volkswagen Model: Tiguan Trim: SE 4Motion Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400 Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23 Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico Base Price: $30,230 As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Habanero Orange Metallic - $295.00 Front Fog Lights - $150.00
  18. The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task. Exterior There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is. Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle. Interior The Atlas’ interior very much follows the ideals of the exterior, which are uncomplicated and utilitarian. While it does fall flat when compared to the CX-9’s luxury design, Volkswagen nails the ergonomics. Most of the controls are within easy reach of driver and passenger. One touch that I really like is the climate control slightly angled upward. Not only does this make it easier to reach, but you can quickly glance down to see the current settings. There is only a small amount of soft-touch material used throughout the Atlas’ interior, the rest being made up of hard plastics. While that is slightly disappointing as other crossovers are adding more soft-touch materials, Volkswagen knows that kids are quite rough to vehicles. If there is one benefit to Volkswagen’s plain styling on the outside, it is the massive interior. I haven’t been in such a spacious three-row crossover since the last GM Lambda I drove. Beginning with the third-row, I found that my 5’9” frame actually fit with only my knees just touching the rear of the second-row. Moving the second row slightly forward allows for a little more legroom. Getting in and out of the third-row is very easy as the second-row tilts and moves forward, providing a wide space. This particular tester came with a second-row bench seat. A set of captain chairs are available as an option on SE and above. Sitting back here felt like I was in a limousine with abundant head and legroom. The seats slide and recline which allows passengers to find that right position. The only downside to both rear rows is there isn’t enough padding for long trips. For the front seat, the driver gets a ten-way power seat while the passenger makes do with only a power recline and manual adjustments. No complaints about comfort as the Atlas’ front seats had the right amount of padding and firmness for any trip length. The cargo area is quite huge. With all seats up, the Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of space. This increases to 55.5 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and 96.8 cubic feet with both rows folded. Only the new Chevrolet Traverse beats the Atlas with measurements of 23, 58.1, and 98.2 cubic feet. As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system. The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids. Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9. Infotainment All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both. For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system. Powertrain Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6. Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power. NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging. The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for. Fuel Economy Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference. Ride & Handling The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin. The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin. Value It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money. Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you. Verdict Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank. Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9. Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Mazda Model: CX-9 Trim: Grand Touring AWD Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium) Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23 Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan Base Price: $42,470 As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Soul Red Metallic - $595.00 Cargo Mat - $100.00 Year: 2018 Make: Volkswagen Model: Atlas Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24 Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN Base Price: $35,690 As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A
  19. The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task. Exterior There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is. Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle. Interior The Atlas’ interior very much follows the ideals of the exterior, which are uncomplicated and utilitarian. While it does fall flat when compared to the CX-9’s luxury design, Volkswagen nails the ergonomics. Most of the controls are within easy reach of driver and passenger. One touch that I really like is the climate control slightly angled upward. Not only does this make it easier to reach, but you can quickly glance down to see the current settings. There is only a small amount of soft-touch material used throughout the Atlas’ interior, the rest being made up of hard plastics. While that is slightly disappointing as other crossovers are adding more soft-touch materials, Volkswagen knows that kids are quite rough to vehicles. If there is one benefit to Volkswagen’s plain styling on the outside, it is the massive interior. I haven’t been in such a spacious three-row crossover since the last GM Lambda I drove. Beginning with the third-row, I found that my 5’9” frame actually fit with only my knees just touching the rear of the second-row. Moving the second row slightly forward allows for a little more legroom. Getting in and out of the third-row is very easy as the second-row tilts and moves forward, providing a wide space. This particular tester came with a second-row bench seat. A set of captain chairs are available as an option on SE and above. Sitting back here felt like I was in a limousine with abundant head and legroom. The seats slide and recline which allows passengers to find that right position. The only downside to both rear rows is there isn’t enough padding for long trips. For the front seat, the driver gets a ten-way power seat while the passenger makes do with only a power recline and manual adjustments. No complaints about comfort as the Atlas’ front seats had the right amount of padding and firmness for any trip length. The cargo area is quite huge. With all seats up, the Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of space. This increases to 55.5 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and 96.8 cubic feet with both rows folded. Only the new Chevrolet Traverse beats the Atlas with measurements of 23, 58.1, and 98.2 cubic feet. As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system. The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids. Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9. Infotainment All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both. For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system. Powertrain Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6. Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power. NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging. The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for. Fuel Economy Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference. Ride & Handling The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin. The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin. Value It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money. Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you. Verdict Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank. Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9. Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Mazda Model: CX-9 Trim: Grand Touring AWD Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium) Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23 Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan Base Price: $42,470 As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Soul Red Metallic - $595.00 Cargo Mat - $100.00 Year: 2018 Make: Volkswagen Model: Atlas Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24 Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN Base Price: $35,690 As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A View full article
  20. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar View full article
  21. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar
  22. I need to get something out of the way before diving into the review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Originally the C-HR was to join Scion’s lineup, but the C-HR would become a Toyota as the Scion brand would shut its doors in late 2016. With this change of brands, does this leave the C-HR with an identity crisis? The C-HR is short for ‘Coupe High Roof’ and the design makes that very clear. Proportions are very similar to a coupe with a long front and stubby back. Other coupe details to be aware of are a set of wider fenders, a sloping roofline, and a rear spoiler. It makes for a very polarizing design that many will agree catches your eye for better or worse Toyota’s designers must have been infatuated with diamonds as you’ll notice this shape throughout the C-HR. Key examples include the pattern on the cloth seats and arrangement of buttons on the steering wheel. The center stack is slightly angled towards the driver to emphasize a sporty nature. Material quality is about average with a mix of soft-touch plastics on the dash, and hard plastics for the door panels and center console. The C-HR’s ergonomics are excellent as controls are laid out logically and easy to use. I found the front seats are lacking in lower-body support. I’m 5’9” and after driving the C-HR for an hour, I found my thighs and legs started to ache. This comes down to a short bottom cushion. Shorter drivers will likely not run into this issue. ‘Claustrophobic’ is the word to describe the C-HR’s back seat as the small rear windows make it feel small. Not helping is the limited amount of legroom as I found my knees touching the backside of the front seat. CH-R’s cargo space is in the middle of the class when the rear seats are up at 19 cubic feet. To give some perspective, the Mazda CX-3 is the smallest at 12.4 cubic feet, while the Honda HR-V has the largest at 24.3. Fold the rear seats and the C-HR is at the bottom of the class with 36.4 cubic feet. The Mazda CX-3 has 9.1 cubic feet more space when its rear seats are folded. All C-HRs come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with the basics; AM/FM, Bluetooth, and inputs for USB and aux cords. While I found the system to be intuitive to use with a simple menu structure and decent performance, I did find myself wishing Toyota had included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the option of a larger system with navigation. Powering the C-HR is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is nowhere to be found despite the C-HR offering it in markets outside the U.S. Driving in town, the C-HR feels lively thanks to a responsive throttle. But above these speeds, the C-HR reveals a major weakness; put your foot down and the engine takes its sweet time to get up to speed - taking over 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. This makes certain tasks such as passing a slower vehicle treacherous. Under hard acceleration, the CVT is quite loud. Toyota does offer other engines for the C-HR elsewhere, including a hybrid. Reading through various test drives, the hybrid is slightly quicker; recording a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. Fuel economy figures for the 2018 C-HR are 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the week landed at 28.1 mpg. Like most new and redesigned Toyota models, the C-HR rides on the modular TGNA platform. I have praised this platform on both the Prius and Prius Prime as it makes them feel playful on a winding road. This extends to the C-HR. Despite a higher ride height, body motions are kept in check when cornering. Steering feels precise and has ample weight when turning. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it will not beat up passengers. A fair amount of tire and wind noise comes inside when driving on the expressway. The Toyota C-HR is quite expensive for a subcompact crossovers. The base XLE begins at $22,500. My XLE Premium tester begins at $24,350 and with some added accessories, the final price was $25,633. That’s without leather seats, navigation, or a sunroof. Toyota is quick to point out that the C-HR does come equipped with a number of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as standard. That only helps the base XLE when it comes to arguing value. The XLE Premium has a tougher time since you can get into a well equipped Hyundai Kona Limited FWD with a sunroof, leather seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and 18-inch alloy wheels for only $53 more. You do miss out on the active safety features since as you can only get those on the top-line Ultimate, but the Kona presents a better value than the C-HR when you compare features bit by bit. The Toyota C-HR left me very frustrated as the week came to a close. The crossover has some charm with sharp driving dynamics and a very willing chassis. But it is clear that the C-HR feels more like a Scion than a Toyota as it was built to be cost-effective as it doesn’t offer any options. What you see is what you get. The problem is that competitors offer more equipment for similar money. The C-HR also trails competitors in terms of cargo capacity and performance. I do believe there is a crossover that can stand out from the growing field of subcompact models, but Toyota needs to think of the C-HR as one of their own models, not as a Scion. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the C-HR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: C-HR Trim: XLE Premium Engine: 2.0L DOHC, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder with Valvematic Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 144 @ 6,100 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/31/29 Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs Location of Manufacture: Arifiye, Sakarya, Turkey Base Price: $24,350 As Tested Price: $25,633 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floormats and Cargo Mat - $194.00 Mudguards - $129.00
  23. I need to get something out of the way before diving into the review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Originally the C-HR was to join Scion’s lineup, but the C-HR would become a Toyota as the Scion brand would shut its doors in late 2016. With this change of brands, does this leave the C-HR with an identity crisis? The C-HR is short for ‘Coupe High Roof’ and the design makes that very clear. Proportions are very similar to a coupe with a long front and stubby back. Other coupe details to be aware of are a set of wider fenders, a sloping roofline, and a rear spoiler. It makes for a very polarizing design that many will agree catches your eye for better or worse Toyota’s designers must have been infatuated with diamonds as you’ll notice this shape throughout the C-HR. Key examples include the pattern on the cloth seats and arrangement of buttons on the steering wheel. The center stack is slightly angled towards the driver to emphasize a sporty nature. Material quality is about average with a mix of soft-touch plastics on the dash, and hard plastics for the door panels and center console. The C-HR’s ergonomics are excellent as controls are laid out logically and easy to use. I found the front seats are lacking in lower-body support. I’m 5’9” and after driving the C-HR for an hour, I found my thighs and legs started to ache. This comes down to a short bottom cushion. Shorter drivers will likely not run into this issue. ‘Claustrophobic’ is the word to describe the C-HR’s back seat as the small rear windows make it feel small. Not helping is the limited amount of legroom as I found my knees touching the backside of the front seat. CH-R’s cargo space is in the middle of the class when the rear seats are up at 19 cubic feet. To give some perspective, the Mazda CX-3 is the smallest at 12.4 cubic feet, while the Honda HR-V has the largest at 24.3. Fold the rear seats and the C-HR is at the bottom of the class with 36.4 cubic feet. The Mazda CX-3 has 9.1 cubic feet more space when its rear seats are folded. All C-HRs come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with the basics; AM/FM, Bluetooth, and inputs for USB and aux cords. While I found the system to be intuitive to use with a simple menu structure and decent performance, I did find myself wishing Toyota had included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the option of a larger system with navigation. Powering the C-HR is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is nowhere to be found despite the C-HR offering it in markets outside the U.S. Driving in town, the C-HR feels lively thanks to a responsive throttle. But above these speeds, the C-HR reveals a major weakness; put your foot down and the engine takes its sweet time to get up to speed - taking over 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. This makes certain tasks such as passing a slower vehicle treacherous. Under hard acceleration, the CVT is quite loud. Toyota does offer other engines for the C-HR elsewhere, including a hybrid. Reading through various test drives, the hybrid is slightly quicker; recording a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. Fuel economy figures for the 2018 C-HR are 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the week landed at 28.1 mpg. Like most new and redesigned Toyota models, the C-HR rides on the modular TGNA platform. I have praised this platform on both the Prius and Prius Prime as it makes them feel playful on a winding road. This extends to the C-HR. Despite a higher ride height, body motions are kept in check when cornering. Steering feels precise and has ample weight when turning. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it will not beat up passengers. A fair amount of tire and wind noise comes inside when driving on the expressway. The Toyota C-HR is quite expensive for a subcompact crossovers. The base XLE begins at $22,500. My XLE Premium tester begins at $24,350 and with some added accessories, the final price was $25,633. That’s without leather seats, navigation, or a sunroof. Toyota is quick to point out that the C-HR does come equipped with a number of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as standard. That only helps the base XLE when it comes to arguing value. The XLE Premium has a tougher time since you can get into a well equipped Hyundai Kona Limited FWD with a sunroof, leather seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and 18-inch alloy wheels for only $53 more. You do miss out on the active safety features since as you can only get those on the top-line Ultimate, but the Kona presents a better value than the C-HR when you compare features bit by bit. The Toyota C-HR left me very frustrated as the week came to a close. The crossover has some charm with sharp driving dynamics and a very willing chassis. But it is clear that the C-HR feels more like a Scion than a Toyota as it was built to be cost-effective as it doesn’t offer any options. What you see is what you get. The problem is that competitors offer more equipment for similar money. The C-HR also trails competitors in terms of cargo capacity and performance. I do believe there is a crossover that can stand out from the growing field of subcompact models, but Toyota needs to think of the C-HR as one of their own models, not as a Scion. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the C-HR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: C-HR Trim: XLE Premium Engine: 2.0L DOHC, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder with Valvematic Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 144 @ 6,100 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/31/29 Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs Location of Manufacture: Arifiye, Sakarya, Turkey Base Price: $24,350 As Tested Price: $25,633 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floormats and Cargo Mat - $194.00 Mudguards - $129.00 View full article
  24. Jeep has introduced a new three-row SUV for the Chinese market called the Grand Commander. There is a lot of design inspiration from the Yuntu concept shown at the Shanghai Motor Show last year. The Grand Commander has squared-off corners, large glass area, and front-end styling similar to the Grand Cherokee. In terms of dimensions, the Grand Commander is about two inches longer in overall length than the Grand Cherokee. But it is two-inches narrower than the Grand Cherokee. Only one engine will be available, a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is sent through a nine-speed automatic to either the front wheels or four-wheel drive system. Underpinning the model is FCA's Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) platform. The Grand Commander is expected to go on sale sometime later this year. Before anyone asks, this is not the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer that is expected sometime in 2020 or so. Source: Motor Authority View full article
  25. Jeep has introduced a new three-row SUV for the Chinese market called the Grand Commander. There is a lot of design inspiration from the Yuntu concept shown at the Shanghai Motor Show last year. The Grand Commander has squared-off corners, large glass area, and front-end styling similar to the Grand Cherokee. In terms of dimensions, the Grand Commander is about two inches longer in overall length than the Grand Cherokee. But it is two-inches narrower than the Grand Cherokee. Only one engine will be available, a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is sent through a nine-speed automatic to either the front wheels or four-wheel drive system. Underpinning the model is FCA's Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) platform. The Grand Commander is expected to go on sale sometime later this year. Before anyone asks, this is not the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer that is expected sometime in 2020 or so. Source: Motor Authority

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