Just when the Kona thought it had the small end of Hyundai’s SUV lineup all to itself in comes its just born little sibling; the all-new 2020 Venue.
This entry-level utility vehicle gives Hyundai a total of 7 from which to choose and the Venue will be the most affordable when it arrives at dealerships this fall. Hyundai says this one is “for those constantly on-the-go”, accommodating busy lifestyles in a fast-paced urban environment.
Knowing fuel economy is an important consideration for customers in this segment, the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is estimated to deliver up to 33mpg in combined driving mated to either Hyundai’s excellent CVT or even a 6-speed manual – both driving the front wheels. No all-wheel drive option here.
Providing interior volume not too dissimilar from the Kona, the cabin has been designed for “adequate space for the versatile urban commuter, making it an ideal alternative to a subcompact car, according to Hyundai.
And because it’s Hyundai you know they won’t skimp on “stuff” and indeed a suite of advanced safety features, connectivity and multimedia systems are offered.
While the compact and 3-row SUV segment has been growing by leaps and bounds, this 5-passenger midsize type has been getting squeezed out. But with our insatiable appetite for utility vehicles these too are on the comeback. This is the all-new Blazer.
Similar in length, wheelbase and ground clearance to the TrailBlazer before it, the new Blazer is marked by daring design and robust levels of technology. This one here is the sporty RS trim with a host of distinguishing traits and blacked-out features that lend it a Camaro-like persona. Not for the introverted, the Blazer RS is a visually stunning specimen with a futuristic patina and crazy 20” Dark Android wheels. So you see it and think it’s going to be all spicy and sonorous, but in reality it’s soothing and serene.
Bigger than the Equinox and smaller than the Traverse, the Blazer fleshes out Chevy’s SUV lineup with a boldly-styled yet quietly composed midsized comeback.
The Blazer’s design says racy but this SUV is more of a teddy bear, with the headline being quiet and soft. This RS trim is all about style and the V6 is very strong but the Blazer coddles its occupants with automatic everything and technology that doesn’t fight you.
2019 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS QUICK TAKES. The Eclipse Cross offers something truly different in the compact SUV sector. Its coupe styling is combined with Mitsubishi’s SUV functionality and driving experience to create a car which is stylish, rugged and fun to drive. Its global success is proof that the concept is resonating with customers around the world.
Mitsubishi Motors’ first foray into the Coupe SUV segment, the Eclipse Cross is winning customers over with its style: customer surveys show that ‘Design’ is listed as the main reason for purchase.
“The Eclipse Cross offers something truly different in the compact SUV sector,” said Yuichiro Hayashi, Chief Product Specialist. “Its coupe styling is combined with Mitsubishi’s SUV functionality and driving experience to create a car which is stylish, rugged and fun to drive. Its global success is proof that the concept is resonating with customers around the world.”
The model I’m running around in this week is the UX 200 Luxury with front-wheel drive and a handful of options leading to an MSRP of $41,560. As compared with the base UX, the Luxury adds a power rear hatch with kick sensor for hands-free operation, driver’s side memory settings, a blind spot monitor and much more to give its occupants a complete premium experience. Utilizing a new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers more power and better fuel efficiency than the Toyota powerplant, the UX is rated at 169 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque while using a trick CVT that’s engineered to behave more like a traditional automatic transmission with 10 simulated gears. In the urban environment for which it in intended, the driving experience is quite agreeable with enough grunt to move things along when needed, crisp steering and a chassis that profits from lightweight materials and a low center of gravity to imbue the UX with a dialed-in agility. The fully independent suspension delivers a welcome feeling of driver control while preserving a Lexus-level of comfort. It’s also quiet but not to the typically high Lexus standard…you’ll actually hear some road noise in here. It’s sized so neatly that maneuvering in traffic and finding suitable parking is a breeze…one of the best parts of owning a small car. And if the Cadmium Orange paint didn’t already awaken the senses this Glazed Caramel interior certainly will. It’s in here where this UX comes closest to earning its asking price – beautiful to the eye as well as the touch, with synthetic leather that is soft and feels like the real deal. It’s a driver focused cockpit with an optional heads-up display, cool graphics and a new twist on an old theme
So you’re considering an Edge; good timing. Ford has updated their 5-passenger midsize SUV for the 2019 model year to keep it a compelling choice.
Though most Ford shoppers opt for the smaller Escape or larger Explorer, the venerable Edge is still a big volume player for the brand. It has staying power, name recognition and has long since received positive reviews from me. Built upon Ford’s CD4 platform which also underpins products such as the Fusion and Lincoln Continental, this 2nd generation Edge debuted for the 2015 model year and moves into 2019 refreshed with a new look and host of new features.
So the 3.5-liter V6 is no longer, replaced across the board, with the exception of the sporty ST, with this 2.0-liter turbo making marginally more horsepower than before and working through a new 8-speed automatic producing relatively impressive fuel economy of 23mpg on regular unleaded.