2016 L.A. Auto Show: New SUVs

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNew Sport and Utility
American drivers have a seemingly insatiable appetite for sport-utility vehicles and that desire shows no signs of diminishing, fueled by a flood of new and redesigned models from automakers around the globe. From the diminutive Ford EcoSport to the imposing Mercedes-Benz G550 4X4-2 — and every size in between — the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show offers drivers many fresh choices in the SUV and crossover segments. Click through for a quick look at new models that debuted at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
After a 20-year absence from the U.S. market, Alfa Romeo returned with the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C — a two-seat mid-engine sports car — followed by the high-performance midsize 2017 Giulia sport sedan that is hitting dealerships in late 2016. With a sports car and a sport sedan in the mix, it’s time for Alfa Romeo to add a sport-utility vehicle, and the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio fills the bill in Los Angeles. The front-end appearance of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio takes design cues from the Giulia sport sedan; the overall shape of the new 5-passenger SUV is very sporty.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Named after Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps — considered by many to be one of the greatest driving roads in the world — the Alfa Stelvio will be offered in three different trim levels: Stelvio, Stelvio Ti and Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Stelvio and Stelvio Ti will be powered by a new direct-injection turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio will be powered by an all-aluminum direct-injection 2.9-liter biturbo intercooled V6 engine producing 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 177 mph. The Q4 all-wheel-drive system is standard for all three trim levels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Chevrolet Equinox
Sales of small crossovers continue to increase, and Chevrolet has updated the compact Equinox for the 2018 model year with a new exterior design that incorporates design elements from Malibu and Cruze. Projector-beam headlights and LED running lights are standard, with wider horizontal taillights and LED taillights for upper trim levels. Inside, the new Equinox features a down-and-away instrument panel with a low windshield base for improved outward visibility. The lower cushions of the rear seats tilt forward, and when the split-folding seatbacks get lowered Equinox has a flat cargo floor.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Chevrolet Equinox
Three engine choices are offered for Equinox in the U.S. market: a 1.5-liter turbo, a 2.0-liter turbo combined with a new 9-speed automatic transmission, and a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. The 1.5 liter will produce 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft or torque; the 1.6 liter will produce 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque; and the 1.6-liter diesel will deliver 136 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Advanced safety features new to Equinox include Safety Alert Seat, Surround Vision, Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance indicator, Low-speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning and a Rear Seat Minder.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceFord EcoSport
Slated to become the smallest SUV in Ford’s model line, the new EcoSport crossover will join the lineup below the popular compact Escape. A growing segment of the market, small crossovers offer buyers the look and versatility of an SUV in a smaller package. Owners will be able to equip the EcoSport to fit their lifestyle via four trim levels, 10 exterior colors and seven ambient lighting options, and stay connected with the SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system. The EcoSport SES trim features sport-tuned suspension, sport steering, Intelligent 4WD and unique styling cues inside and out, including bright copper accents.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceFord EcoSport
EcoSport will be powered by a choice of two EcoBoost engines: a 1.0-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder unit or a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant. Both engines are combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission; Intelligent 4WD is standard on the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. Available SYNC Connect with FordPass allows the driver to start, lock, unlock and locate the vehicle, as well as remotely check the fuel level and odometer reading. A premium 10-speaker B&O PLAY audio system is standard on the EcoSport Titanium. The rear cargo area is accessed via a side-hinged rear door, and the cargo management system features a movable floor board and fold-away second row seats that create a flat cargo floor. EcoSport should arrive at dealerships in early 2018.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJaguar I-PACE Concept
At the Los Angeles Auto Show Jaguar debuted the I-PACE Concept, a visually stunning electric performance car scheduled to enter production in 2018. Jaguar describes the I-PACE as the smartest 5-seat sports car, combining a performance car, a family car and an SUV all in one — as well as an electric alternative to a premium SUV. One advantage of electrification means more freedom for designers, resulting in the I-PACE’s cab-forward, sporty driving position and generous interior space. Although the grille and taillights reflect current Jaguar models, the design itself is unlike anything else from Jaguar.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJaguar I-Pace Concept
Jaguar Land Rover designed the electric motors and battery pack to be as compact and efficient as possible. Two powerful electric motors — one driving each axle for all-wheel drive performance — are integrated with the transmission and provide a total of 400 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The I-PACE will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds and has an estimated range of 220 miles on a full charge. The liquid-cooled 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is positioned as low as possible in the chassis between the axles, resulting in a low center of gravity and a flat floor in the passenger compartment. A sophisticated battery-management system ensures battery operates at maximum efficiency under different conditions. The interior of I-PACE features premium materials, providing comfort and convenient space with innovative storage.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Jeep Compass
Taking full advantage of the enduring success of the Grand Cherokee, the redesigned 2017 Jeep Compass possesses obvious influences from its older sibling. Thus, the new Compass looks a lot like a baby Grand Cherokee. Built on FCA’s small-wide 4X4 architecture, the new Compass compact crossover will be sold in markets around the world to further the reach of Jeep’s off-road capability and improved on-road driving dynamics. On sale in the first quarter of 2017, Compass will be offered in four trim levels for the U.S. market: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Jeep Compass
For the U.S. market, Compass will be powered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 9-speed manual transmission for 4X4 models and a 6-speed manual for 4X2 versions. A 6-speed manual is available with both 4X4 and 4X2 drivelines. Two full-time 4-wheel-drive systems are offered: Active Drive and Active Drive Low with a low-speed crawl ratio. Jeep Compass Trailhawk offers the best off-road capability with Active Drive Low, Selec-Terrain with Rock mode, increased ride height, skidplates, red tow hooks, unique fascias for increased approach and departure angles, hill-descent control and 17-inch off-road tires.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Land Rover Discovery
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show made its North American Debut November 11–14th at the Discovery Venice display in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. Big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton and wife Gabby Reece, champion volleyball player and fitness leader, were on hand for the opening on November 11th, which included the opportunity to view the new Discovery as well as premium activity gear. The Discovery name returned to the Land Rover lineup last year with the 5-passenger Discovery Sport, and the 7-passenger Discovery returns for 2017.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Land Rover Discovery
Echoing the modern styling of the Discovery Sport, the fifth-generation Discovery is larger to accommodate seven passengers and additional cargo. Several design cues carry forward from the original Discovery, including a stepped roofline as well as stadium-like seating — the rear seats sit higher for better forward visibility from every seat. Of course, the new Discovery retains all the off-road capability SUV buyers have come to expect from Land Rover. The Disco has 11.1 inches of ground clearance and can wade through almost three feet of water. The Discovery will go on sale in midyear 2017 with a base price of $49,990. A limited run of 529 “First Edition” models will be available in the United States, with exclusive features including unique etched map detailing on the aluminum trim of the doors and dashboard, unique badges, special color choices and a long list of standard equipment.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda CX-5
Mazda debuted the new CX-5 compact crossover in Los Angeles, advancing the state of Mazda’s current design and technology. The 2012 Mazda CX-5 was the first model to features Mazda’s KODO design language and SKYACTIV technology, creating a vehicle that is not only efficient but dynamic and fun to drive. The new CX-5 will feature G-Vectoring Control, the first SKYACTIV-VEHICLE Dynamics technology, which is designed to achieve high levels of vehicle responsiveness and stability while reducing sideways sliding of the occupants for a more comfortable ride.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda CX-5
To further develop Mazda’s expressive language, designers used “Refined Toughness” as the key descriptor while sculpting the exterior design, using the surfaces and shading to create a dynamic design. The look gets enhanced by a specially-developed Soul Red Crystal paint that enables both brighter highlights and darker shadows to accentuate the lines and details of the design. Planned for sale in multiple markets around the world, CX-5 will be offered with three different engines: the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 and SKYACTIV-G 2.5 gasoline direct-injection engines, and the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine, combined with either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Specific details for the U.S. market have not been announced, but the new CX-5 is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in February, followed by other markets later in 2017.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4X4-2
For 2017 Mercedes-Benz adds the G550 4X4-2 to the lineup as the most capable G-Class ever, featuring innovative portal axles, three locking differentials, ground clearance of more than 17 inches and a 4.0L V8 biturbo engine. Based on the production G-Class platform and following the AMG G63 6X6 that was never sold in the U.S., the G550 features advanced suspension with dual springs and damper struts for a high range of suspension travel in tough off-road conditions, as well as stabilizer bars for sporty on-road performance.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz G550 4X4-2
The portal axles are one of the most interesting technical aspects of the G550 4X4-2 — they allow the suspension, steering and drive shafts to remain the same as the G550, but employ a series of gears to drop the wheels lower and wider, creating 17 inches of ground clearance and increasing the track by 9 inches at the front and 10 inches at the rear. Approach angle increases from 30 degrees to 51.6, departure angle increases from 30 degrees to 43.8, and break-over angle moves from 24 degrees to 47.4. The G550 4X4-2 derives power from a new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with the turbos located between the cylinder banks, developing 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. of torque.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Rogue Star Wars
Nissan debuted the 2017 Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Nissan’s best-selling model, the Rogue becomes the first production vehicle ever to wear the Star Wars brand. Only 5,400 units of the Star Wars Limited Edition will be produced, with 5,000 for the U.S. market and 400 for Canada. The Nissan Rogue: Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition is based on the all-new 2017 Nissan Rogue SV with the Sun and Sound Touring Package, including a panoramic moonroof and Bose audio. Offered exclusively in Magnetic Black or Glacier White, the Star Wars Limited Edition is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Rogue Star Wars
Special features of the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition include a black grille, a black lower fascia, black lower rear doors, black roof rails, black door handles, D-pillar “Rebel Alliance” and “Galactic Empire” logo decals, a “Star Wars” logo clear rear bumper protector and Rogue One logo badging on the front doors. Inside, special features include logo carpeted floor mats, “Star Wars” logo illuminated kickplates, “Rebel Alliance” and “Galactic Empire” logos in cupholder inserts and interior accent lighting. Each Rogue Star Wars Limited Edition comes with a numbered, full-size replica collectible Death Trooper helmet.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept
Subaru debuted the VIZIV-7 SUV Concept at the L.A. Auto Show as an indication of what to expect for a new, larger 3-row vehicle planned for the U.S. market in early 2018. (VIZIV stands for Vision for Innovation.) The exterior design possesses elements similar to the current Outback, but the VIZIV-7 SUV Concept also indicates that the next Subaru vehicle will be the largest one ever offered by Subaru. The automaker plans to add a new vehicle to the lineup for customers who need three rows to carry seven or even eight occupants — a configuration not currently offered by the brand.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept
The VIZIV-7 SUV Concept demonstrates how large the new vehicle from Subaru will be, with a wheelbase of 117.7 inches, an overall length of 204.7 inches, a height of 79.9 inches and a width of 72 inches. “The concept expresses our core brand values, safety, dependability, capability for outdoor activities and a forward-looking attitude,” said Takeshi Tachimori, corporate executive vice president of Fuji Heavy Industries, LTD — the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Toyota C-HR
Toyota also enters the small crossover segment with the introduction of the C-HR at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Scion C-HR, or Coupe High-Rider, first debuted at last year’s Los Angeles show under Toyota’s now-defunct youth brand, and continues to production as a Toyota with a design very close to the first concept. The athletic, dynamic shape incorporates slim projector halogen headlights with daytime LEDs that wrap into the fenders, while the side profile suggests the shape of a diamond set on its side. Rear door handles are incorporated into the distinctive C-pillar.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Toyota C-HR
The Toyota C-HR is powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 144 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new continuously-variable transmission with Sport Mode and a simulated 7-speed Sequential Shiftmatic. Sport mode increases throttle response and quickens the CVT’s artificial step shifts. The C-HR will be offered in XLE and XLE Premium trim levels at launch. Standard equipment for the XLE includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, bolstered bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch audio display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with backup camera and Toyota Safety Sense P. The XLE Premium adds a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, a power lumbar driver’s seat and a smart key with pushbutton start.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Volkswagen’s new 3-row family SUV, the 2018 Atlas made its Los Angeles Auto Show debut following its initial unveiling in Santa Monica. To emphasize the amount of interior room offered, Los Angeles Laker legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy rode in the Atlas along with three high school students as the Atlas drove onstage. Atlas will be built at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga assembly plant alongside the Passat. At 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide and 69.6 inches high, Atlas is the largest Volkswagen ever built in the U.S. The new SUV offers room for seven adults, and the third row can be accessed via an innovative second-row folding seat that operates even when child seats are installed.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Atlas will be offered with either a 238-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection TSI 4-cylinder engine or a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter VR6 powerplant, both combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard with both engines, and 4Motion all-wheel drive is optional with the VR6. Five trim levels will be offered, and the available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit lets the driver configure how vehicle information gets displayed. An available Volkswagen Car-Net system provides a full suite of connected vehicle services, and the available Fender Premium Audio System is the most sophisticated offered in a Volkswagen with 12 channels, a 480-watt amplifier and 12 speakers. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is scheduled to launch in spring of 2017.

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