2015 Ford Explorer XLT Appearance Pack Adds 2.0L Turbo, Big Wheels and Dark Grey/Black Trims

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The lovable Ford Explorer brings a few updates for the 2015 model year, highlighted by the new XLT Appearance Pack and its dark grille, big wheels and black trims. This brings much of the street presence of the range-topping Explorer Sport to the volume leader of the Explorer group — and is a welcome style and handling upgrade! The main way to tell the XLT Appearance Pack trucks from the Explorer Sport is the grille: the XLT option is a dark grey grille, while the Explorer Sport runs a gloss black grille. 2015 Ford Explorer XLT Appearance Pack 2015 Ford Explorer Sport Other tweaks to the Explorer’s seven-seat crossover offering are modest – with a few new colors and a new optional turbo engine for the front-drive models. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder makes a respectable 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, but its biggest benefit is in fuel economy. …

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MEGA Road Test Review – 2015 Hyundai Sonata Is Like A Value-Added Audi A6 – Choice Between Lux or Sport Dynamics

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MEGA Road Test Review – 2015 Hyundai Sonata Is Like A Value-Added Audi A6 – Choice Between Lux or Sport Dynamics   If you are keeping track, this is perhaps the fifth article in a series covering the 2015 Sonata’s launch. We were fortunate enough to attend the big event the other week and have been working up to this: the definitive review! After much consideration, the new Sonata reminds me most of the Audi A6 2.0T – in size, what it offers buyers, and in overall appeal. Shocking, right? Especially with the Sonata’s base pricing in the $20,000’s that is barely half the Audi. This comparison might seem ridiculous, but it is valid for a number of reasons once you spend time in the high-quality cabin out on the road. Included in this article is a full review, tech specs and features availability toward the bottom of the page. …

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2011 Peugeot HX1 Concept Shows Sumptuous Detailing and Scale, But Front-Drive Proportions

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A low, long and and wide super-wagon! YES! Is there anything not to like? Very little, in the case of the gorgeous HX1 concept from Frankfurt 2011. The car is part of a numerous series of concepts exploring and fleshing out the latest Peugeot design themes – ideas that are in a final point of production-readiness via the latest 508 RXC and 508 Estate. But while the exterior panels of the crash-safety-obsessed French car brands can easily be re-stamped in sexier shapes, the underlying platforms will require a much bigger overhaul. Therefore, even the fantasy HX1 rides with a far too front-drive proportion to be convincing as a real premium car. Things like the cab-forward base of the windshield hitting the hood in front of the axle-line are well-known indicators of a front-drive, transverse-engine layout. That is not sexy or cool. Here we compare the 508 with the 2014 EXALT …

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2015 Lincoln Navigator Power Confirmed at 380HP and 460 Lb Ft. – Pricing From $63k Undercuts Escalade by $10k

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Pricing for the 2015 Lincoln Navigator is here! We’ve put together a handy chart for ease of use versus picking the numbers out of the below… 2015 Lincoln PRICING 4×2 4×4 Navigator $       62,475 $       65,400 Navigator Reserve $       69,975 $       72,900 Navigator L $       64,640 $       68,215 Navigator L Reserve $       72,140 $       75,715 The Navigator’s available ‘Reserve’ trim level will be the best bet for the Navigator’s loyal buyers – it brings a brand-new set of super-plush leathers and the 22-inch wheels that help update the truck’s look almost as much as the LEDs front and rear. The black chrome wheels will definitely be the coolest style option you should select. BLACK CHROME WHEELS RENDERING     As shown in this Escalade article, these Navigator prices are steeply discounted versus the Escalade for 2015, which bases for $72,000 in the standard-length, 4×2 setup. PRICING — 2015 Escalade Select …

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2015 Dodge Charger R/T With Painted Front Bumper Is Less Terrifying, More Premium and Sporty

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Whisper it – but my favorite of the Dodge Charger/Challenger has always been the Charger. Not only do I prefer the name – I just like its style and long/low/wide scale better than the retro two-door. The latest updates for the 2015 model-year look thorough and helpful for improving the current Charger’s weakest link: its cabin. New performance pages from the SRT stable are included in this R/T model – along with a totally redesigned interior with more configurable digital screens in between the main gauges of the instrument cluster. On the outside, the car is still as scary as ever. Is it a victim of its own success with law-enforcement? Highway patrols LOVE the Charger – to the point where even seeing one in the center median of the interstate is enough to slam your smile away and bring in the fear. This the Charger that debuted in New …

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Official: Volkswagen Mid-size SUV Will Seat 7, Be Built in USA – Name TBD

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After much dithering and time-wasting, VW has formally announced Chattanooga as the assembly location of the forthcoming 2016 Passat-based SUV. No new name or production images have been released – leading us to believe the production car will be close in form and spirit to the CrossBlue concept — which is pictured outside the VW Tennessee plant here. NEW MIDSIZE SUV FROM VOLKSWAGEN TO BE PRODUCED IN CHATTANOOGA Jul 14, 2014 Winterkorn: “This model will play a key role for Volkswagen’s presence in North America” Volkswagen Group of America to invest approximately $900 million in the project Second model to be produced in Chattanooga, in addition to the US-built Passat, starting from the end of 2016 Approximately 2,000 additional jobs to be created Establishment of a National Research & Development and Planning Center in Chattanooga Group Works Council Chairman Osterloh to be named a member of the Board of Directors …

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2015 Chevrolet Trax USA Arrival In September To Battle Juke, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade Mini SUVs

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Can you blame Chevrolet for bringing the Trax to the US market? Of course not! There is no bigger growth segment in the car market than the mini SUV. This one shares most of its platform and running gear with the Sonic and other little guys in the Chevy portfolio, but will command a $3,000 premium just for sitting a bit higher up and having some SUV body cladding. This model is required to slot in below the ever-larger and very dated Equinox and very-old-indeed Captiva Sport that is a fleet-only model. Chevrolet and GM have been rightly lambasted for their appalling small cars for decades – but this really started to change in 2012 or so. With Spark, Sonic and Cruze — the Chevy bow-tie badge is now the best-selling brand in the compact and subcompact car markets. This is thanks to hip styles and good tech integration – …

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2014 Kia Optima Hybrid Updated With New Grille, LEDs Front and Rear – Specs, Features and Pricing

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The Kia Optima is a run-away success for the brand: since its latest design debuted, sales of the model are nearly double what the nameplate has ever achieved before. To keep this momentum and address buyer priorities, the Hybrid model has rounded out the base and turbo engine options. For the current model-year, the Hybrid brings a few updates both outside and in. The LED accents in the nose are a Hybrid exclusive, as are the lower double fog-lamp elements. These are not nearly as cool as the quad-LED setup in the SX-L trim, but are still pretty nice elements for the design. That is because the Hybrid wears the SX-L’s full lower body kit – a very sporty styling upgrade to the design. This extends to the body-color rocker panels and a deeper rear bumper. All provide extra aero smoothness, pairing nicely with the Hybrid’s extra-smooth underbody trays. The …

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2015 Vauxhall Corsa Brings Adam Opel-style Nose, Better Engines and Cabin Refinement

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Official Details are out for the next Opel/Vauxhall Corsa – which is by far the division’s greatest seller around the world. 370,000 units per year is nothing to sneeze at, especially as these buyers are in the highly-desirable under-40 age segment. While that might not seem like a cool or hip demo, it is actually pretty low by industry averages. 2015 Vauxhall Corsa     Vauxhall reveals fourth-generation Corsa First official pictures of New Corsa ahead of late-2014 launch New engines, transmissions and engine technology New interior with IntelliLink Set for unveil at Paris Show, October 4-19 Luton – These are the first images of Vauxhall’s Fourth-Generation Corsa, which will reach production later this year and is set to raise the class benchmark for driveability, comfort and practicality in a model which has become a household name for British small-car buyers. Still one the UK’s top-selling and best-loved cars, the current …

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