Cargo-swallowing capability, and practicality with utility have made crossover and sport utility vehicles the fastest-growing segment around the globe. Making them even more appealing are the latest advancements to ride and drive comfort, handling, plus updates to safety, technology and infotainment.
The ever-growing list of CUVs and SUVs includes a few recently announced and newly unveiled offerings that go on sale in 2016. Let's take a look:
Ford is refreshing its 2017 Escape crossover with major upgrades. Ford's best-selling CUV/SUV enters its fourth generation with a complete makeover that includes a new look, two new engine choices, with start/stop technology for improved fuel economy, and interior upgrades, including a redesigned center console with improved SYNC 3 functionality. Safety upgrades to the 2017 Ford Escape include available lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control with braking assist, and self-parking aids.
Jaguar calls its new 2017 F-PACE a performance crossover for those who love driving. Designed and engineered to offer agility, responsiveness, and refinement the F-PACE is available with choice of a 340- or 380-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter gasoline V-6 engines mated to an eight-speed transmission. Later in the year, a new 180-hp four-cylinder diesel engine will also be added to the model lineup. The F-PACE has seating for five with an impressive 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
Kia takes the wraps off of its all-new 2017 Sportage, lauding its sporty styling with thoughtful design and functionality, innovative packaging boasting more passenger and cargo space, premium materials, and a turbocharged engine. The Kia's fourth-generation Sportage compact CUV features advanced driver assistance technologies, significant suspension and steering improvements, and available intelligent AWD.
The only full-fledged seven-seater in the European premium SUV segment, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS is facelifted to provide ample spaciousness while combining luxury with impressive levels of comfort, agile dynamics, and best-in-class safety.
Porsche brings to market a GTS version of its compact 2017 Macan SUV, promising more power, a re-engineered chassis, and reinforced brakes for a sporty driving experience in a luxurious and practical package. The new GTS performance model slots in between the Macan S and Macan Turbo, and is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 boasting 360 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque.
Described as the most luxurious vehicle Volvo has ever built, the 2017 XC90 Excellence flagship SUV has broad rear seats that can recline and offer massage and ventilation functions, as well as folding tables, a refrigerator with bottle and glass holders, a heating/cooling cupholder, and handmade crystal glasses from leading Swedish glass design company Orrefors.
Underhood, the XC90 Excellence is equipped with a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor in a plug-in hybrid setup, capable of producing 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque.
Some 2016 models to take note of include Mazda's all-new version of its CX-9, a three-row midsize crossover SUV. Using the latest SKYACTIV technology, the all-new CX-9 promises to be a high-end model among Mazda's zoom-zoom lineup.
Land Rover is adding diesel variants of its iconic and uber-capable Range Rover full-size luxury SUV models. New to the U.S. market, the 2016 Range Rover and 2016 Range Rover Sport diesel variants are powered by a Td6 diesel engine delivering better fuel economy of up to 32 mpg combined city/highway, reduced emissions and increased torque.
Mitsubishi launches an updated version of its value-driven Outlander Sport crossover featuring a new exterior design and updated equipment and high-quality materials. Leading the brand in overall sales and recent awards, Mitsubishi says updates for the 2016 Outlander will increase its popularity.
Jeep introduces two new-for-2016 special-edition models. The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night boasts a stealth-like premium blacked-out appearance, with a black roof and lightweight performance wheels. Available colors for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night include Velvet Red, Billet Silver and Granite Crystal.
Based on the Wrangler Sahara, the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry promises to deliver enthusiasts a unique Jeep SUV loaded with off-road capability to tackle the toughest winter months. In addition to upgraded performance, the Wrangler Backcountry is available in Hydro Blue, Black, Bright White, and Granite Crystal, and is also the only model in Wrangler's lineup to be offered in Xtreme Purple.
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