The iconic Mercedes G-Class, known for its unique look and off-road capability for nearly four decades, is about to get its biggest makeover in a long time, including an updated interior.
That this is a contemporary interpretation of a legend is also evident, for example, from the car's clear, geometric lines: climbing aboard the G-Class reveals styling elements from the exterior transposed into the interior. The shape of the round headlamps, for instance, which is reflected in the air vents on either side. Or the design of the iconic indicators, found again in the shape of the loudspeakers.
Hallmarks of the G-Class include the grab handle in front of the front passenger and the chrome-highlighted switches for the differential locks, positioned in clear view. Both have been meticulously optimized and retained as characteristic features.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reported overall sales of 154,919 units in November 2017, which represents a 4 percent decrease from November 2016. Retail sales actually grew by 2 percent, but fleet sales were down, which led to the overall decrease.
Among the FCA vehicles with a strong November showing were:
-- Chrysler Pacifica minivan, with sales up 51 percent
-- Jeep Compass, with sales up 34 percent
-- Jeep Grand Cherokee, with its best sales numbers for November since 2003
-- Sales increases were also found on: Chrysler 300, Fiat 500L, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Durango and Ram ProMaster City
Mercedes-Benz this week unveiled the 2019 version of its CLS model, which will come to market late in the 2018 calendar year. It was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Updates include reduced lines, a grille contour that widens towards the base and a forward-slanting front section, plus wide, low-set headlights and two-section taillamps.
The vehicle features a new inline six-cylinder engine and is the first vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz lineup with 48-volt technology with ISG, which they claim offers increased efficiency and comfort. The all-new four-door coupe will also seat five passengers for the first time.
The good numbers keep on coming for Audi of America.
In November, a month where many automakers were flat or even down, Audi reports their numbers rise 12 percent to a total of 19,195 deliveries. For the year, Audi sales are up 6.7 percent, with just under 200,000 vehicles sold.
One new item that helped in November was the A5 Sportback, a new arrival in the U.S. that totaled 1,130 sales.
The biggest sales increases came on the SUV side, with Q5 sales increasing 31 percent (5,467 sold) and Q7 sales growing 31 percent (3,292 sold).
At the L.A. Auto Show this week, Lexus has unveiled a three-row version of its RX crossover, dubbed the RX L. The RX is an annual top seller among luxury SUVs, and this adds another option to the RX portfolio. Seating capacity in the RX L will be either 6 or 7 passengers, depending on the configuration. Two models will be offered: The 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL (hybrid) models.
To achieve the third row option, the RX L is 4.3 inches longer in the rear, and the tailgate window uses a steeper angle. Third row can be accessed via a lever that slides and folds the second seat forward. The six-seat configuration features second-row captain’s chairs.
Also, in the 2018 RX L models, full-length side curtain airbags are installed for all three rows, and the Lexus Safety System+ remains standard.
Due to arrive at dealerships by year’s end, the 2018 RX 350L will start at $47,670 (FWD) and $49,070 (AWD).
Volkswagen has announced that it will offer the R-Line package on the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. The new trim package augments the all-new SUV’s sportiness with interior and exterior design elements that give it an even more dynamic appearance. The Tiguan R-Line package will be introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The R-Line package enhances the robust list of equipment in the Tiguan SEL and SEL Premium trims with performance-inspired treatments. The sporty exterior styling details include 19-inch “Trenton” aluminum-alloy wheels for SEL trims and 20-inch “Braselton” aluminum-alloy wheels on SEL Premium trims. Also included are R-Line badging; unique front and rear bumpers that incorporate stylish air intakes at the front and a diffusor in glossy black paint at the rear; and body color wheelarch extensions and side skirts.
BMW has announced the first-ever BMW X2, the newest addition to the BMW X family featuring an unmistakable design with sporty yet urban genes. The car’s specifically tuned chassis and xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, promise undiluted driving fun. The cutting-edge BMW TwinPower Turbo engine strikes the ideal balance between sporting dynamics and exceptional efficiency powering this Sports Activity Coupe in just 6.3 seconds from 0-60 mph. The latest digital services from BMW ConnectedDrive and BMW ConnectedDrive Services add the necessary technology for the first-ever BMW X2 to fit perfectly into a seamlessly connected lifestyle.
Even next to its bigger brothers, the BMW X4 and BMW X6, the BMW X2 makes a distinctive impression with its unique design language. The main contributing factor is the car’s exterior design, which essentially combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of a BMW X model.
“The BMW X2 represents an expression of modern and extrovert vehicle dynamics,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, in describing the first-ever BMW X2. “Its standalone vehicle concept brings a new, fresh and exciting facet of the BMW to the compact segment.” On the road, the BMW X2 has the poise of an athlete in peak condition. This is true for the basic version and even more so for M Sport X models. The BMW X2 M Sport X package combines design elements from BMW M and the BMW X family.
The first-ever 2018 BMW X2 will be available in Spring 2018 with pricing to be announced closer to market launch.
The 2018 Audi S5 Sportback earns a spot among Wards 10 Best User Experiences with editors noting that the Sportback remains a benchmark for exceptional integration of technology and refined interior design in the luxury sedan segment.
As manufacturers increasingly strive to simplify connectivity with personal devices in vehicles, information displays and advanced driver-assistance features, the S5 Sportback received high marks for its virtual cockpit with vivid graphics, refined interior design with carbon fiber accents and its suite of available advanced driver assistance systems.
WardsAuto editors evaluated vehicles based on the overall effectiveness of the user experience, how easily the car connects with a compatible smartphone, user-friendliness of the controls, the availability of the advanced driver assistance technology, and how appealing the materials are as a component of the user experience.