There appears to be no end to the SUV sales boom that has gripped the auto industry for more than a decade, with almost all size categories surging ahead of 2017’s totals. And it doesn’t seem to matter which end of the scale you might be looking at, everything remains on the up and up, though it’s the medium category that’s by far the most popular. It’s also as difficult as ever to choose between make, model and variant, given the sheer number of SUV manufacturers involved – around 31 in total, and of those there are at least seven carmakers battling it out amongst premium SUVs with a price tag of 40-grand or more. They’re not all the same size, though, ranging from the visually diminutive Audi Q2 to the slightly larger BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace and upcoming Volvo XC40 – all of them classed as small SUVs. There are others too, like the aging Audi Q3, all-new BMW X2, Infinity Q30/QX30, Mini Countryman and of course the Range Rover Evoque. … [Read more...] about 2018 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic sport v BMW X1 xDrive25i comparison
Mercedes-Benz never has quite given up on its quest to become the purveyor of relatively affordable, commodity cars. It soon will expand its lineup of entry-luxury models that start at a middle-class point. If you can find a 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 with absolutely no options, not even an extra-cost paint color, it will set you back $33,695 retail, about the average price of a new vehicle in the U.S. today. That’s a notch above Mercedes’ past commodity efforts, which include the Smart brand it initially shared with the Swatch watch company, and its nine-year ownership of Chrysler. Now, the A-Class lineup is expanding according to Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz’s vehicle research & development chief. The lineup consists of the CLA-Class and the GLA-Class crossover/utility in North America, as well as the new A-Class hatchback recently launched in Europe. We scooped the Mercedes A-Class sedan for the U.S. in our August 2016 Future Cars print issue. It’s an … [Read more...] about Mercedes Plans a Family of FWD-Based Compacts for the U.S.
The National Labor Relations Board has filed an amended complaint against Tesla, reigniting a fight between the independent government agency and the automaker over alleged workplace violations. Tesla is reeling from a particularly troublesome week, after a safety regulator launched an investigation into a deadly crash involving a Model X and Moody’s downgraded the automaker’s credit rating, potentially making it more expensive for it to borrow money. Tesla’s stock price took a nosedive in response to the news. Now the automaker has to address claims from the NLRB. Last August, the labor agency filed a complaint against Tesla, saying it found merit to allegations previously made by Tesla employees about unfair labor practices. The filing came after months of organizing by pro-union employees who were supported by the United auto Workers. A hearing was scheduled for mid-November, but the NLRB had postponed it to investigate new claims brought by workers. After months … [Read more...] about U.S. Labor Agency Files Amended Complaint Against Tesla For Alleged Worker Rights Violations
Nissan and Renault are reportedly in talks for a merger that will result in a new automaker that will trade as a single stock, Bloomberg reports. According to insiders familiar with the subject, the apparent deal is looking at ending the current alliance between the companies – which added Mitsubishi into the framework in October 2016 – and combine them into a single corporation. No other details have been reported about the matter, which has just emerged into the public eye. The latest report follows on that which came about earlier this month, when news reports indicated that Nissan and Renault were apparently discussing plans for a closer association through a change of ownership structure, one that would see the Japanese automaker buying out the French government’s 15% equity stake in Renault. In response to this, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance said that any discussion about a share transaction involving Renault, Nissan or the French state was pure … [Read more...] about Nissan and Renault reportedly in talks to merge and create a company that will trade as a single stock
The paths of Jaguar and Land Rover, both throughout their past and towards their future, are inexorably tied together. Since they were joined under the notorious British Leyland corporation in 1968, the companies were inseparable, and even after Jaguar was spun off in 1984 and then bought over by Ford in 1989, it was reunited with Land Rover when Ford purchased the SUV maker from BMW in 2000. Now under the Tata umbrella, the two form a common entity, sharing components, engines and production sites. It seems like the ideal union – although both cater to a similar upper middle class demographic, they serve two completely different markets, with one building fast, discreet sports cars and luxury sedans, and the other churning out tough, dependable off-roaders. They complement each other perfectly. Or so we thought. Just a few years after the merger, we heard rumours that the Leaping Cat was going to build (gasp!) an SUV. Rubbish, we thought – the very idea that Jaguar would … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: Jaguar F-Pace 3.0 S/C V6 S and 2.0 D review