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Volvo XC40 Compact SUV Takes Aim At German Rivals

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New, 2018 Volvo XC40, small SUV

The wraps have been taken off the new Volvo XC40, a compact crossover that expands Volvo’s SUV lineup. It’s the first model of the Swedish car maker’s new 40 Series line of compact models, which will also include an S40 sedan and V40 wagon.

As Volvo’s first entry in the popular compact crossover segment, the new XC40 features a youthful, if not funky, design that draws heavily from its larger siblings (the mid-size XC60 and full-size XC90, both of which have been sales successes). The company hopes to attract a younger demographic by offering 17 combinations of body colors and contrasting hues for the roof.

The interior is also heavily inspired by those of the XC60 and XC90, featuring the same general layout and technologies. Available themes range from light khaki to bold red, with accent lighting and an optional panoramic sunroof adding to the premium experience.

Let us know what you think about the XC40’s overall design in the comments below.

Volvo aims to one-up competing vehicles from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz with a long list of standard equipment that includes wireless cellphone charging and a nine-inch touchscreen. Also standard is the company’s City Safety package, which provides detection and emergency autobraking; a 360-degree camera to help with parking; Pilot Assist, Run-off Road protection, Cross Traffic alert with brake support.

Depending on the region, the XC40 launches with a selection of three versions of Volvo’s 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder engine — a T3 that produces 156 horsepower, a T4 with 190 horsepower, and / or a T5 Drive-E powertrain rated at 247 horsepower. Hybrid and pure electric powertrains could be offered in the future.

Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.

Prices in the United States initially begin at $35 200 for the 247-hp AWD T5 XC40 but will drop to $33 200 once a FWD T4 model is added to the lineup. UK Pricing starts at £27,905 (~ $37,746) for the T3 Momentum FWD grade and goes up to £39,305 (~ $53,166) for the D4 AWD First Edition.

What do you think about the new Volvo XC40? Does it have “success” written all over it? Will consider buying one? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Crossovers

Jaguar F-Pace SUV Gets More Tech For 2019

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2019 Jaguar F-Pace SUV Driving

Now Jaguar’s best-selling vehicle, the Jaguar F-Pace has received some improvements for its 2019 model year to make it even more appealing to buyers around the world.

The biggest news, of course, is the introduction of the performance-tuned F-Pace SVR, which with its 542 horsepower and 501 lb-ft. of torque supercharged V8, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.1 sec (100 km/h in 4.3 sec) on route to a top speed of 176 mph (283 km/h). It’s the British automaker’s super SUV.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR aside, the 2019 F-Pace now comes standard with a 10-inch touchscreen, a Rear Camera, Front and Rear Parking sensor, Driver Condition Monitor, Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist.

The Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering has the ability to keep the F-Pace centered in its lane and a Stop & Go feature gives the driver the ability to follow a vehicle to a stop and resume from a stop when the driver prompts the system by tapping the accelerator pedal.

Inside, buyers are treated to a new slimline sports seat option with 14-way adjustment, adjustable bolsters and slimmer seatbacks.

All gas powered F-Pace models are now equipped with particulate filters that make them even cleaner, and some versions now have a larger gas tank.

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Crossovers

Kia Niro EV Debuts With 236 Mile Driving Range

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New Kia Niro EV SUV

Having shown the concept version at the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show, Kia has unveiled the fully-electric Niro SUV.

The Kia Niro EV has a driving range of 236 miles (380 km) when equipped with the available 64 kWh battery and 149 mile (240 km) with the smaller 39.2 kWh option. The similar Hyundai Kona can travel further per charge, but it’s slightly smaller.

Styling is more closely aligned to the Niro Hybrid and PHEV models than it is to the sleek concept and is distinguished by a unique grille, daytime running lights shaped like an arrowhead, and modified side sills. A a redesigned bumper highlights the rear.

As with other Kia models, the Niro EV comes with an impressive list of standard features, including 7-inch wheels, frontal collision avoidance assistance, lane departure assistance, smart cruise control, and rear collision warning.

Kia Motors senior vice-president Ki-Sang Lee, stated:

“Kia Motors’ position in the [electric car] market will further solidify. Kia doesn’t believe that there is any ‘silver bullet’ that can satisfy the demand for low-emission technology within the car industry. so we foresee a wide range of eco-friendly powertrains co-existing for an extended period of time.”

The Korean automaker claims there are over 5,000 orders for the Niro EV in Korea, where it will be sold in the second half of 2018.

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Concept Car

New Lincoln Aviator Arrives As Stunning Pug-in Hybrid SUV

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New Lincoln Aviator SUV, plugin hybrid

With the new Lincoln Navigator now the benchmark in the full-size premium SUV segment, Lincoln hopes to do the same for medium luxury SUVs with a new Aviator. The previously discontinued SUV returns from the grave as a stunning plug-in hybrid.

The Lincoln Aviator Concept was a show-stopper at the 2028 New York Auto Show, impressing journalists and the public alike with its bold yet classy exterior styling and exquisite interior. To my eye, it is better executed than the latest Navigator.

Fortunately, Lincoln says the production version will look almost identical to the concept, with the biggest difference likely being toned-down mirrors and a few other small changes. Needless to say, it will have problem standing out from the crowd.

Lincoln Design Director David Woodhouse, stated:

“In Aviator, the lines of the vehicle are streamlined. You have the stature and presence of the grille at the front, then the body and tail taper off – creating a distinct aerofoil analogy.”

The simple yet elegant interior is airy thanks to relatively thin pillars. It will be available with multiple power outlets and the firm’s latest and greatest technologies, including Perfect Position seats that have a message function and can be adjusted in a multitude of ways; Co-Pilot360; wireless phone charging; standard Wi-Fi; and a pillar-mounted keypad. Truly keyless operation via smartphone allows owners to lock and unlock, open the trunk, start and drive the vehicle using an app on their phone.

What lies under the sheetmetal is just as impressive as the stunning exterior and interior. Like the Dodge Durango, the Aviator is built on a rear-wheel-drive platform that should make it more capable than traditional front-wheel drive crossovers. It will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs an electric drive system and a twin-turbo gasoline engine, possibly Ford’s 2.7- or 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.

Possibly the car that will make Lincoln relevant again, the new Lincoln Aviator is expected to arrive sometime in 2019. Have Lincoln’s designers done a good job? Did they do enough?

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