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Thursday, January 4, 2018

An Automotive Year in Review

2018 started months ago in the automotive world.  So let’s look back at the introductions, trends and standouts.

The pinnacle of crossovers:  Bentley Bentayga
Ram’s Laramie Limited interior sets the bar in pick-up luxury.

Newly Introduced:  VW’s 7 passenger Atlas SUV
Mazda’s MX-5 Miata RF hardtop launched as a limited edition last fall and sold out in 13 hours.  More are on the way!



3 Row Seaters:  Three rows in a crossover is a nice convenience for occasional use, but if you use the third row often, we suggest going with a larger SUV for comfort and cargo space, (and if you need it—towing capability).  The new Ford Expedition has a top of class tow rating, can seat eight and has 6 USB ports.  And if you think minivans are strictly for soccer moms, check out the Chrysler Pacifica and the all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey with a Cabin Watch rear-facing camera to keep tabs on kids in the back.  One of the most thoughtful enhancements for young families to look for in this category are the seats that fold and slide forward to allow third row access with the car seat still buckled in.

Compacts:  It’s feeling more like Europe on our roadways with all the compacts buzzing around.  Compact crossovers and sedans are a hot, hot, hot segment.  Competition in this fast-growing segment brings value, lots of new model introductions, even all-new vehicles such as the Toyota CHR. Since everybody’s got a crossover, sports wagon and hatchback variations are on the rise as alternatives. 

Euro Crossovers:  Yep, the Europeans are on to the fact that one in three vehicles on American roadways is a crossover.  Volvo’s XC90 is a standout, and Jaguar’s F-Pace is one of the contributor’s to Jaguar’s 116% growth in sales last year. Even Maserati and Bentley now have crossovers with the Levante and Bentayga.

Toys:  Whether it’s a spider, coupe or an off-road truck, driving for some is a sport, and this trend will be even more significant when autonomous vehicles take to the roadways.

Everyone’s a Fancy Pants Rancher:  Pick-up trucks, even heavy duty versions, keep getting fancier and pricier.  We almost have to laugh when the “big news” pertaining to a new model truck is about the chrome accents, leather stitching and the storage compartments.  Trucks have more brute capabilities than ever, and yet they are comfortable and prestigious enough to drive anywhere every day.   Ford masters numerous configurations, style levels and engine choices with its F-150 lineup.  RAM has built one of the highest loyalty ratings with its buyers.  Chevy hangs in as a classic American truck, and the new Nissan Titans have garnered attention and market share.  Honda brings an all new buyer to the truck arena with its all-new Ridgeline.


Don’t Forget Sedans:  Nothing lackluster here!  Take another look at the new Toyota Camry and Buick LaCrosse.  And few vehicles delight us more than the new Lincoln Continental and Cadillac CT6 or the fabulous Mercedes and Jaguar sedans.

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