The Nissan Juke arrived with a funky look and a funky name. The Nissan Kicks changes all of that.
Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Brazilian-built Kicks replaces the Juke as Nissan’s entry-level crossover. It ditches the controversial design of its predecessor for a more retrained look that should appeal to a broader audience.
The Kicks is primarily geared at younger buyers, so technology is of utmost importance. It can be had with a seven-inch touch screen compatible with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, an around-view monitor, and an upgraded sound system designed by Bose for small cars.
Breathing under the small hood is a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque — respectable numbers for the subcompact crossover segment — sent to the front wheels by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is not available, at least at launch.
Nissan expects a combined fuel economy rating of 33 mpg in the United Sates.
The Kicks comes standard with Automatic Emergency Braking, along with seven air bags and a RearView Monitor. Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are optional.
Buyers can choose between three trim levels — Kicks S, Kicks SV and Kicks SR — when Nissan’s little crossover goes on sale in Spring 2018.
Jaguar F-Pace SUV Gets More Tech For 2019
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.
Kia Niro EV Debuts With 236 Mile Driving Range
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.
New Lincoln Aviator Arrives As Stunning Pug-in Hybrid SUV
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?