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Is the New Jeep Cherokee a Good Family Car?

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

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The brand new Jeep Cherokee has stirred up quite a debate after revealing its striking new look. While some are claiming that its lack of off-road style will lose customers, will its new racy style gain fans from elsewhere?

Origins

The Cherokee made its debut at the New York International Auto Show to a rather surprised audience. The design has been overhauled so much that without looking at the badge, it’s hard to tell it’s even a Jeep.

Jeep has caused controversy here as many loyal fans may turn elsewhere for their off-road vehicles after a major diversion from its traditional utilitarian roots – but it could open up a whole new market for Jeep too. SUVs are becoming more popular with families than ever before, thanks to their spacious nature and questions over whether the Grand Cherokee could become a popular family car have already surfaced. Jeep certainly seems to hope this will be the case and although the manufacturer knows that its rural fans may be deterred, it needs to play catch-up in the suburban SUV market.

SUV Popularity

The last ten years has seen SUVs soar in popularity as family cars, with more and more people choosing them as a car that can be used every day; from trips into town to off-roading. Globalisation could also be another reason behind Jeep’s decision to veer from the norm – vehicles now need to sell in over a hundred countries around the world not just to the off-road loving American.

So, is the new Cherokee turning into a family car? Well, it seems that way. Although Chrysler may argue to loyalists that this new style Jeep is as good as any model from its past, they are claiming that it has been designed for people wanting to fill it with shopping bags rather than climb mountains.

That may be true as they have improved fuel economy by 45% compared to its predecessor — that is a huge difference for any manufacturer. The standard engine puts out 184bhp and is thought to achieve 31mpg combined — a vast improvement.

The exterior styling will also make it a firm favourite with professional families as it looks racy and edgy, much like many other crossover or softroaders on the market. There is also a new Active Drive I, which provides a suitable driving style for people that rarely drive off road.

There is an Active Drive II as well, for serious off-roading, but with the inclusion of a separate feature for driving on the tarmac, Jeep is obviously considering your everyday motorway driver as well.

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Buick

2020 Buick Enclave Brings New Sport Touring Package

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2020 Buick Enclave SUV, driving

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Buick’s big SUV also gets a new infotainment system and optional surround-view camera system.

The Buick Enclave has received a few updates for its 2020 model year, most notable of which is a new Sport Touring package that gives it a sportier appearance.

Available on the Essence trim level, the ST package adds a unique body-color grille and 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with contrasting Satin Graphite pockets.

The 2020 Enclave also benefits from Buick’s next-gen infotainment system that’s standard on all models, complete with an 8-inch touchscreen. It can also be equipped with a new HD Rear Vision Camera, an HD Surround Vision systems, and a new, four-way power lumbar seat adjuster with a driver and front passenger massage feature that comes standard on Premium and Avenir editions.

The 2020 model year introduces three new exterior colors: Champagne Gold Metallic, Rich Garnet Metallic (Avenir only) and Dark Moon Blue Metallic.

Sales of the 2020 Buick Enclave begin in late summer 2019, with prices starting at $41,195 (including freight).

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Crossovers

Kia Seltos Is A New Small SUV For The World

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New 2020 Kia Seltos Small SUV

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It’s a global vehicle, but will it be sold in North America?

Kia Motors used an event in Delhi India to unveil the Kia Seltos, a new compact SUV that will be sold in several markets around the world.

Positioned at the bottom of the company’s expanding crossover and SUV line-up, the new Seltos goes after “youthful, tech-savvy buyers” with a sharp design inside and out, and the tech and practicality millennials expect in vehicle of its size.

The exterior features a tall, upright front end characterized by a wide rendition of Kia’s trademark tiger nose grille flanked by LED headlights and 3D indicators, while horizontal lines on both ends help make the crossover look bigger than it actually is. It looks like a Kia.

Inside, the Seltos can be equipped with a 10.25-inch screen for the infotainment system, a head-up display, and ambient lighting that pulses to the beat of the music. A split-screen function let’s users customize the infotainment screen and view up to three menus at the same time.

Power can be provided by a 1.6-liter turbodiesel rated at 136 horsepower, a naturally-aspirated, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 149 horsepower, or a 177-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo four, while the gearbox options consist of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a six-speed automatic, and a seven-speed dual-clutch.

Manufactured in both India and South Korea, the new, 2020 Kia Seltos goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2019. It’s not clear if it will be sold in the United States and Canada.

TRIVIA: The name Seltos comes from Greek mythology, particularly Hercules’ son Celtos. To make it appear sportier, Kia simply replaced the ‘C’ with an ‘S’.

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Crossovers

Toyota, Subaru Team Up To Develop All-Electric SUV

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Toyota Subaru Electric Vehicle

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Then makers of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ are shifting some of their resources from sports cars to electric vehicles.

Toyota and Subaru are expanding their existing partnership to include the development of a new electric platform for midsize and large passenger vehicles. The platform will initially be used for a C-segment SUV that will be sold under each company’s own brand.

Subaru will provide its expertise in all-wheel drive technologies, while Toyota will bring its electrified vehicles know-how. By combing their respective strengths, they will be better be able to tackle market challenges surrounding electric vehicles, including development costs and battery supplies.

“The platform will be developed in a way that will make it broadly applicable to multiple vehicle types, including C-segment-class and D-segment-class sedans and SUVs, as well as to efficient development of derivative vehicle models,” the Japanese automakers stated in a press release.

Subaru and Toyota have collaborated on vehicle development since 2005, with their efforts resulting in the Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ sports cars and the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

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