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Crossovers

New Lincoln Aviator SUV Lands In Style With Hybrid Tech

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New 2020 Lincoln Aviator SUV

Ford’s luxury subsidiary brings back an old name with a bang.

At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Lincoln took the wraps off the all-new, completely reinvented Aviator, its foray into the large, three-row crossover segment after the discontinuation of its predecessor in 2005.

Unlike its previous Aviator, and like the latest Lincoln Navigator, the new Aviator is far more than just a rebadged Ford. Despite sharing a multi-layout platform with the upcoming new Ford Explorer, it is an entirely different animal on the outside and inside.

Lincoln’s design team looked to aeronautical history for inspiration while penning the new SUV, delivering a strong and stately appearance comparable to a Range Rover or any other vehicle of its caliber. Are happy with how it transitioned from the Aviator Concept?

Inside, the instruments and gauges draw inspiration from Bell and Ross, a watchmaking company best known for its devotion to aviation-inspired design, and polished, engine-turned aluminum accents replace wood trim, calling to mind the instrument panels of vintage aircraft.

Even the perforation on leather seats take cues from aircraft runway lights. The “glass cockpit” is dominated by a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display, while the big pilot and co-pilot seats are jam-packed with adjusters, massagers, heaters, and coolers.

Going against convention — the vast majority of mainstream crossovers fundamentally have a front-wheel drive architecture — the new Aviator is rear-wheel-drive, offering an all-wheel-drive setup as an option. Power will come from a twin-turbocharged V6 that produces a healthy 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque or, optionally, a hybrid powertrain rated at an estimated 450 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, both utilizing Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Lincoln placed a heavy emphasis on the technological aspect of the luxury car experience. As a highlight, Aviator premiers the company’s new “Phone as a Key” feature that lets you unlock and start the SUV with your smartphone.

The suspension also automatically lowers the Aviator to “greet” the driver, while a smart, camera- and sensor-based adaptive suspension can adjust to discomforting road imperfections to improve ride quality.

From the plug-in hybrid powertrain, to the striking exterior and to the stunning, tech-loaded interior, the new Lincoln Aviator looks like a serious contender in the large premium crossover segment. Do you like how it turned out?

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Crossovers

New, 2020 Lincoln Corsair Luxury SUV Is A Baby Aviator

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New, 2020 Lincoln Corsair SUV, luxury SUV

Lincoln has unveiled the all-new, 2020 Lincoln Corsair, the replacement for the MKC.

As the company’s contender in the crowded compact luxury crossover segment, the Corsair is a lot more stylish and sophisticated than the MKC, borrowing many styling cues from the new Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator. I fact, I would go as far as to call it a baby Aviator.

The Corsair has an attractive exterior, but it’s the interior that makes the biggest statement. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi across all trims and phone-as-key technology that allows owners to keep their key at home and use their smartphone instead, while an optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and wireless charging adds more functionality. Exotic leather colors and shapely wooden inserts lend greatly to its classy atmosphere.

The options list also includes 24-way adjustable seats with massage and ambient lighting, a massive panoramic glass roof, and 14-speaker Revel audio system

At launch, the new Corsair will give buyers two engine options. There is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that produces 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque and an optional, slightly more powerful 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 280 hp and 310 lb-ft. A plug-in hybrid model will join the lineup later on.

All Corsair models get Lincoln’s basic suite of safety features, which includes automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keep assist. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, reverse brake assist, and automatic park assist are optional.

Sales of the new, 2020 Lincoln Corsair begin in fall 2019. Did Lincoln do a good job?

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Crossovers

New 2020 Ford Escape Debuts With New Look, Hybrid Choices, More Tech

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New, 2020 Ford Escape SUV, red

Ford has completely “reinvented” it’s best-selling crossover.

The all-new, 2020 Ford Escape debuts with a sportier design, two new hybrid powertrain options and a long list of new tech features.

Compered to the previous model, the new Escape has a smoother, more car-like look that Ford says was inspired by high-profile sports cars. Highlights include a trapezoidal grille like the one on the Mustang, a slopping roofline and a lower front fascia that supposedly takes some styling cues from the Ford GT.

Overall, the new Ford Escape is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, offering more interior space as a result. In fact, Ford claims significantly improved rear legroom and up to 37.5 cubic feet (1,062 liters) of cargo space when the rear seats are up, an improvement of 3.5 cubic feet (28 liters). The second-row seats can slide front to back to maximize legroom or cargo space.

Considering that the new Escape is essentially a more utilitarian Ford Focus, it has nearly the same interior design and layout as Ford’s hatchback. The optional list of tech features now includes a head-up display and new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

Engineers worked hard to make it more aerodynamic. Thanks to the use of more high-strength, lightweight steel, it is also more than than 200 pounds lighter.

Buyers will be able to choose from two EcoBoost engines and two new hybrid powertrains. The base engine is a 1.5L EcoBoost that produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft. of torque, while more power can be had with a 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft. of torque. Both powerplants are paired with an eight-speed automatic that drives the front wheels as standard, although all-wheel drive is an option.

Those looking for efficiency above all else can opt for a hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder that runs on the Atkinson cycle and generates 198 hp (148 kW). A continuously variable transmission. drives the front-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive is available.

Ford will also offers a plugin hybrid version of the new Escape. It can be recharged in 3.5 hours using a 240-volt charger and is estimated to have best-in-class range of at least 30 miles (48 kilometers) on electric power.

Active Park Assist 2.0 and Evasive Steering Assist join the list of driver-assist technologies. Active Park Assist 2.0 system allows the Escape to automatically park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with little assistance from the driver, while Evasive Steering Assist helps avoid an imminent collision by detecting a slower-moving or stationary vehicle ahead and providing steering support to assist the driver.

The all-new, 2020 Ford Escape goes on sale in fall 2019, with the plug-in hybrid arriving in spring 2020. Are you happy with how it turned out?

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Crossovers

Buick May Stop Selling Cars To Focus Only On Crossovers

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Buick Avenir grille logo

The Tri-Shield brand is taking a page from Ford.

Buick’s decision to kill off the LaCrosse sedan and Cascada convertible in North America leaves the Regal as the only non-crossover in its lineup. Well, it looks like Regal too will be killed off.

Buick recently killed off the LaCrosse and Regal in Mexico, leaving it as a crossover-only brand. The chances of the same thing happening in the United States and Canada are high, not only because sedans aren’t selling as well as they used to, but also because the Regal is made by General Motor’s former European division Opel, which is now owned by French automaker PSA. So unless the brand decides to move the Regal to another GM platform, it likely won’t be another new Regal.

So what does that mean for the future of Buick in North America? Well, expect its lineup to be even more dominated by crossovers, with nearly all sales coming form the Encore, Enclave and Envision. The are reports that Buick will launch another five-passenger crossover possibly called the “Envista” and may revive the “Envoy” name that was last used by GMC for a new three-row crossover.

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