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The BMW X1 Transforms From Wagon to SUV

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers, Family Cars     Tags

If you’ve seen a BMW X1 before, it probably reminds you of older station wagons with its elongated design and low ride height, but BMW just unveiled the new X1, which received a massive injection of SUV DNA. This is the first BMW FWD platform vehicle to make it to the United States, and we’re pretty excited to see it hit the streets.

Let’s take a look at what we know.

Updates to the X1BMW X1

Increases in roof and ride height make the interior of the X1 one of the most spacious yet. The new design gives the vehicle a new look as well, with the roofline peaking right over the front seats and tapering down toward the rear end. Whether it was intentional or not, there’s a clear impression of the BMW X3 here.

The new chassis on the X1 is set to offer a more comfortable driving experience thanks to available features like active dampers, and you should be able to find both front- and all-wheel drive versions when the model arrives. X1 AWD models will have the ability to transfer torque on demand to the individual wheels that need it most for new levels of control on the pavement.

The European release will feature a total of seven different engine options, though we would be surprised if either of the two three-cylinder models made it across the Atlantic. BMW features a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic transmission to pair with their engines.

As far as amenities go, this is a BMW. It’s loaded with the latest in tech and comfort features, from the iDrive infotainment system with touchscreen to available LED headlights to advanced safety features that can actually bring the X1 to a stop on their own to prevent a collision.

We’re still waiting on pricing, but because it’s a BMW, expect it to carry an MSRP appropriate to its class. The X1 is set to debut in Europe this October, with the United States release coming later.

What Do You Think?

Are you excited for the new, sportier, more SUV-like BMW X1? Weigh in down below and be sure to check back regularly for more updates on cars we think our car fans will love.


Discover the 2015 BMW X4 at the New York Auto Show

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers     Tags


The success of the coupe-like crossover X6 surprised so many critics and automakers that many are rushing to release their own stylish crossover vehicle, but it looks like BMW has managed to beat them to the punch again with the 2015 BMW X4.

Debuting at the 2014 New York Auto Show, the X4 is built on the underpinnings of the X3 while targeting performance and style to put it head to head against competitors like the Range Rover Evoque, Lincoln MKC, and Porsche Macan.

What Does “Coupe-Like” Mean?

While the X4 certainly takes many aesthetic choices from the coupe body style popular with cars, BMW is still giving you a four-door crossover here. Instead of borrowing the two-door design, the X4 carries a smooth line design, a low sloping roof, and yet still offers room for three in the rear.

Put simply, rather than borrowing from the box-like build of old SUVs as many crossovers do, the X6 and X4 give you a sense of style and design instead of a sense of mere practicality.

Powertrain Options

Since the X4 is sharing a platform with the X3, it will also have similar engine options, including a 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 hp on the X4 xDrive28 model and the option for an upgraded 3.0L straight six turbocharged engine rated for 300 hp on the X4 xDrive35i.

Although the X3 has a rear-wheel drive option, each of the X4 models will have BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive as standard equipment, giving you total control over your new crossover.

A Delight for Car Fans Everywhere

One of the things that we simply love about the BMW brand is there ability to go above and beyond what is expected and deliver truly unbelievable vehicles. From the success of the X6 to what we can only assume will be incredible success of the upcoming X4, they seem to know what car fans what before even we do.

You can learn more about the 2015 BMW X4 at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, which runs from April 18th to the 27th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, but rest assured that we’ll let you know any major developments here too!


The Most Fuel Efficient Crossovers on the Market Today

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers, Fuel Efficiency     Tags

One of the reasons that crossover SUVs have supplanted full-size truck-based SUVs in many American households is their fuel economy. As gas prices show no signs of ever 2013 Nissan Jukedropping, fuel efficiency has become a high-priority for just about everyone. The more miles per gallon your vehicle gets, the less you spend at the pump, and the less CO2 emissions you throw into the atmosphere. But we can’t all drive hybrids subcompacts – and that’s where crossovers come in. Here’s a list of the most fuel efficient crossovers currently available:

  1. The Toyota RAV4 EV: There just aren’t any vehicles that can beat the RAV4 EV – unfortunately, unless you live in California, you can’t buy one either. If you are so lucky as to track down one of the few that were made, you’ll see a combined 76 mpg equivalent rating.
  2. The Lexus RX 450h: This premium crossover is the best performing hybrid with a 30 mpg combined rating from the EPA. It’s also a powerful, refined, and luxurious choice, that, if you can afford it, will easily meet just about anyone’s needs.
  3. The Nissan Juke: The Juke is small, and it makes no bones about it. While the small size may restrict cargo capacity somewhat it also helps the turbocharged four-cylinder Juke to yield 29 mpg combined.
  4. The Mazda CX-5: This crossover uses the Mazda SkyActiv direct injection engine to achieve an impressive 29 mpg combined. It’s a well balanced blend of style, performance, and comfort.
  5. The Toyota Highland Hybrid: The Highlander is a big vehicle, with seating for seven, but with a hybrid powertrain, it yields fuel economy numbers that put smaller traditional SUVs to shame: 28 mpg combined.
  6. The Subaru XV Crosstrek: This distinctive SUV clocks in at 28 mpg, but for what it’s worth, that’s an estimate with all-wheel drive. Many vehicles on this list get their best fuel economy with only front wheel drive. A hybrid version of the XV Crosstrek is slated for 2014 release, so look out for that.
  7. The Ford Escape: When equipped with the EcoBoost turbocharged 1.6L engine this crossover yields 28 mpg combined.
  8. The Buick Encore: Another American choice, this compact crossover also gets 28 mpg combined.
  9. The BMW X1: The BMW X1 is the smallest SUV available from the German maker, and clocks in at 28 mpg combined.
  10.  The Mini Cooper Paceman: This little crossover also has BMW genes. It yields 27 mpg combined in the most fuel efficient version.

Buick Encore vs. Chevy Equinox

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers     Tags

So you’re thinking about buying a crossover SUV: an automobile that combines all the best attributes of a sedan and an SUV, while maximizing efficiency and cargo and passenger room. You can get a crossover for the price of 2013 Buick Encore 2an entry-level mid-size sedan, but if you’re looking for something more, and your price range is somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000, there are plenty of great options on the market. The Buick Encore and the Chevy Equinox are two crossovers to check out; here’s how they stack up.

Luxury or Practicality?

The Buick Encore and the Chevy Equinox are two different kinds of crossover SUV, so your choice may boil down to what “more” means to you. If you’re mostly looking for more space, both for passengers and cargo, the midsize Equinox is probably the car for you. If you’re looking for more features and refinement, the subcompact Encore is the better choice.

The Equinox: Versatility and Comfort

Both the Equinox and the Encore provide plenty of comfort for front-seat passengers, and even though the Encore is 20 inches shorter than the Equinox, rear-passenger seating doesn’t suffer much. The Buick Encore’s slimmer cabin, however, does cut down on hip and shoulder room for rear passengers. Behind the rear seats, the Equinox offers 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is significantly better than the 18.8 cubic feet in the rear of the Encore. With seats folded down, however, the Encore’s space deficit shrinks slightly, since its cargo area maxes out at 48.4 cubic feet – 15.3 cubes less than the Equinox.

The Encore: Value and Style

The look and feel of the Buick Encore is somewhat more upscale than that of the Equinox, though the base-model Encore doesn’t offer much of anything that the Equinox LS doesn’t – except for a rearview camera and heated mirrors. There is a significant – and unexpected – price difference between the high-end trims on each of these models, however: the Encore Premium tops out at around $28,190, which is $3,000 less than the Equinox LTZ. This is no small difference, so if you’re looking for a fully-loaded crossover, the Encore Premium is definitely the better buy.


Mazda5 vs. Kia Sorento

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers     Tags
2013 Mazda5

2013 Mazda5

When it comes to finding a car that is family-friendly, there are a number of options available that aren’t all minivans. Of the 15 most family-friendly cars on the list put together by Parents magazine and, the Mazda5 and Kia Sorento made the cut. But which of these crossover models is the better family buy? Let’s take a look and see what each has to offer.


If price is a major determinant for you when it comes to deciding on a car, Mazda takes a slight lead. The 5 has a starting price of $20,420 while the Sorento comes in at $23,950.

2013 Kia Sorento

2013 Kia Sorento

Powertrain and Performance

The Kia Sorento comes equipped with a standard 2.4L engine that delivers 175 hp, while the Mazda5 offers a 2.5L engine that produces 157 hp. The Sorento also has a 276 hp 3.5L V6 available. So when it comes to powertrain, the Sorento offers a little more power than the 5. However, going from 0 to 60 mph only takes 9.1 seconds for the Mazda crossover, while Kia’s crossover requires over 10 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. The braking distance is also better for the Mazda, with a braking distance of 128 feet at 60 mph. The Sorento’s is 140 feet.

Interior Space

If you’re looking for a crossover that offers plenty of space for your groceries or shopping bags, then you’d be in favor of the Sorento as it offers 72.5 cubic-feet of cargo room. The Mazda5 offers 44.4 cubic-feet of cargo space. You may also be a little more comfortable in the Kia as you’ll get 55.6 cubic-feet of space in the front, while the Mazda gives you 53.2 cubic-feet. What you will be impressed with as far as Mazda’s crossover goes is that it offers three rows of seating.


You’ll get a little better vehicle warranty with the Kia crossover when compared to the Mazda. The Sorento offers a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty whereas the Mazda5 has a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty plan.

As you can see, each of these crossover models has its advantages over the other. As far as which one you should consider purchasing, that’s up to you as it depends on what you’re looking for in a family vehicle.