Porsche Macan: The Tiger-Roaring SUV

Porsche Macan

Some say this is the best driving 4×4 in the market currently. To be fair this isn’t a wild assertion to come up with. Sharing a platform with Audi Q5, the Porsche Macan has some of the tech and parts that make its sister brand a force to be reckoned with. However, make no doubt about it, the Macan has been revised to meet Porsche’s very high standards and establishes its own very unique identity. Just below the Cayenne in size the Macan offers a more compact package.

What’s in a Name?

Before it came to be known as the Macan, it was known as the Cajun, which was a portmanteau for Cayenne Junior. Later, in Februrary 2012, Porsche changed its name to Macan, which is the Bahasa Indonesia word for “tiger.” Read More

Nissan X-Trail: Gained Some Weight

Nissan X-Trail

From a compact SUV to a mid-sized SUV, so are the faces of the Nissan X-Trail. Since its third generation the X-Trail gained some weight and hence it became a mid-sized SUV. Though of its larger design it’s still a step below the Pathfinder and Xterra, and a step up to the Juke and Qashqai. The X-Trail has never been offered in the American market, while its first generation was offered in Canada until it was replaced by Rogue. As for the Mexican market the X-Trail is sold right beside the Rogue. Read More

GMC Yukon: Same Car Different Names

GMC Yukon

GM is the biggest auto group in America, it owns marques like Chevrolet and Cadillac. Of particular interest is how it uses these marques. Chevrolet seems to be its entry-level marque, while Cadillac is its ultimate expression of luxury. Coming to SUVs the Chevrolet Tahoe is its entry level trim, while the GMC Yukon happens to be its mid-trim, while the Cadillac Escalade is its upmarket offering. Comparing the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, they are virtually the same car with different pricing regimes. Read More

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Kia Sportage: A Good Asian All-Rounder

Kia Sportage

Most of the Asian automakers are known for making cheap and bland cars. Though they do have some luxury marques that they use to sell their premium models, still their core business is selling nondescript cars. To confirm this, take a look at Toyota, then take another look at Nissan. You’ll see that as much as they do have luxury spinoffs Lexus and Ifiniti respectively, their business architecture is high volume and low margins. Kia does sport some of these characteristics, though it doesn’t have a luxury brand. However, to change this perception the Kia Sportage is a great all-round SUV that has quality and a lot of verve. It’s positioned to compete with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and the Ford Kuga. Read More

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Volvo XC70: The Swedish Outback

Volvo Xc70

Volvo has been making a comeback of sorts in recent years especially with its much acclaimed SUV line. There was a time a Volvo wasn’t considered as a true luxury brand and was deemed as a fringe player in this segment. However, after the Chinese takeover, the Swedes have been on a comeback trail, and have established themselves as a true luxury car brand. Having the XC90 SUV as a flagship, the new Volvos feature a revolutionary new design that has them competing with the traditional old guard of German brands. Thus, meet the Volvo XC70 which looks like a Subaru Outback drives like an Outback, however feels very different from an Outback. Its similarities to the Outback aside, the XC70 draws its inspiration from the V70 sedans. Read More

Hyundai Elantra: The Sensible Compact Sedan

Hyundai Elantra

Having become the fifth largest car automaker in the world Hyundai looks to be setting its eyes on the top spot. Hyundai have done this by building mostly affordable and reliable cars. Keeping an eye on the luxury market Hyundai have spawned off the Genesis brand. Genesis represents the Asian automaker’s ambitions. Ambitions aside, the Asian automaker’s bread and butter comes from cars like the Hyundai Elantra. To be honest, the Elantra isn’t Hyundai’s finest work but it is one of its most sensible. Read More

Audi Q5: Old is Gold

Audi Q5

With the recent SUV crazed car buying consumers, it was only logical for automakers to have a larger catalogue of the crossovers they offered. Another company that has taken to this trend is Audi, who have a very large catalogue of SUVs all badged with a Q. One of its most recent entrant to this line is the Audi Q5, which is meant to compete with the likes of the Evoque and the Macan. Aging rather gracefully, the Q5 is expected to receive another facelift around the end of this year.

The History

Unveiled in the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro concept went on to have the underpinnings of the first and current generation of the Q5. This gave way to the production version of the Q5, which was launched at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show, and later in the 2008 LA Auto Show. Continuing to 2012, the Q5 received a facelift, which gave it a redesigned rear and front, with a new set of engines for improved power and efficiency. After the facelift, Audi debuted the S-version of the Q5 later in 2013, and it was known as the SQ5. Read More

Nissan Murano: Meet the Floating Roof

Nissan Murano

The Nissan Murano is a mid-sized SUV that is marketed somewhere between the Xterra and the Pathfinder. However, note that it is oddly enough more expensive than the Pathfinder. It was also the first crossover that Nissan entered into the American and Canadian market. The Murano wasn’t available as a crossover strictly, as it had a convertible counterpart known as the CrossCabriolet, which was launched back in the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show. This variant lasted until production from 2011-2014. Simply, as I suspect I am not the only one who thinks convertible SUVs aren’t a good. Read More

Ford F-150: The Bestselling Car in America

Ford F-150

During the recent recession, automakers in America were facing some serious challenges. Bleak was their present circumstance and bleaker still was their impending future. There was only one thing to do and that was to ask the government to intervene. Ford was the exception to the rule as it braved through the economic turmoil and made it through. It wouldn’t have done this without the Ford F-150. This has been the bestselling car in America from 1981 and the bestselling pickup since 1977. Now, that is an incredible record. The F-150 light-duty truck is the most popular of the F-Series, which also includes, the Super Duty (F250 to F-550), and the medium-duty trucks Super Duty F-650 and F-750. Read More

Ford Mondeo: The World Car

Ford Mondeo

Meet the Ford Mondeo, a car meant for the world. Competing for its segment with the likes of the Accord and the Mazda 6, the Mondeo has curved a reputation for itself. It’s one of the cars that saved Ford in Europe

What’s in a Name?

Mondeo seems to draw its name from the French word monde which means world or fashionable world. The Mondeo is known as the Ford Fusion in the North American market.

The History

Development of the Mondeo started all the way back in 1986 and cost Ford an incredible $6 billion to design it. This is one of the biggest new car programs ever in the auto industry. The Mondeo was designed to be as a world car. It was codenamed as the CDW27. Another factor in its astronomical costs was that the Mondeo was a completely new design from its predecessor the Sierra. By the time it launched in 1992, Ford Europe was going through a tough time. At the time it had acquired a reputation of building its cars through accountants rather than engineers. The models at the time had poor handling and a less than impressive ride-quality. Thus, the Mondeo was do or die for Ford in Europe. Read More