Posts Tagged ‘compact crossover’

Production Toyota C-HR At The Geneva Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

After being on a grand tour for the past two years and then being debuted as a design study at the Paris auto show in the fall of 2014 the Toyota’s C-HR concept has remained prominent on the continent and even managed to make its grand entrance at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show showing off its impressive body to the viewers. Just a month later, this innovative and expectantly trendy C-HR model popped up at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show wearing a Scion badge and a vivid coat of red paint. It was at the Los Angeles show that it was revealed that this brilliant C-HR was a go. Unlike Scion itself, which is now dead. Now the production version has been debuted 2016 Geneva auto show, and it looks impressive.

Toyota C-HR

Personally, I dislike the styling of this car’s direct competitor, the Nissan Juke, but this Toyota C-HR blows it away. I know which one I would pick from looks alone.

It is quite evident that Toyota chose not to stray too far away from their original concept, and will probably impress the masses when they see how they added the low-profile/floating roof to the transition of this production vehicle. Certainly, the entire C-HR is only somewhat different from its original concept form, with very minor variations to the headlamps and the lower front end connecting the smaller wheels as the most noticeable changes.

According to Toyota’, their Toyota new global architecture (TNGA) which is also found under the newest Prius, it appears that the C-HR, which will have a full hybrid powertrain along with one or more gas-only alternatives.

The Toyota C-HR was scheduled to be sold in the United States as Scion, but those plans were crushed in early February 2016 when Toyota broadcasted that it would be closing its youth-oriented division. Despite the fact that the announcement wasn’t very surprising, ironically the C-HR’s crossover standing and hybrid powertrain might have certainly helped Scion in crucial market areas where it lacked any product. Now that it is coined a Toyota, the C-HR will be competing with well-known models like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke vehicles that made their mark on the subcompact crossover division while the new C-HR was still on tour around the globe in concept form.

It is anticipated that the C-HR will go on sale later this year, shortly after which I expect we will be seeing them pop up in the car auctions over here in Japan.


2016 Mazda CX-3 Official US Specs Revealed

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

2016 Mazda CX-3

You may already know that the 2016 Mazda CX-3 subcompact crossover is set to go on sale in the fall of this year. This weekend, Mazda revealed the models official specs ahead of its production debut.

Under the hood, the Mazda CX-3 will only be available with a single engine and transmission option. It’ll be a 2.0L Skyactiv-G with output rated at 146 hp at 6,000 rpm and 146 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 RPM. The engine will only be offered with a six speed automatic transmission. There’ll be no manual CX-3 models offered in the US, at least for 2016.

2016 Mazda CX-3 rear

Why won’t Mazda offer the CX-3 with a standard transmission? Simply because there isn’t enough demand. However, just like they did with the Mazda 3, a manual transmission isn’t out of the question for future model years if there is enough demand for it.

Of course, Mazda gave us more details than just the engine and transmission. The CX-3 will use Mazda’s i-ACTIVE all-wheel drive and ACTIVSENSE safety suite (including lane-departure warning, Smart Brake Support, rear cross-traffic monitoring, rearview camera and Mazda Radar Cruise Control). Inside, the CX-3 will use the Mazda Connect infotainment system through a beautiful seven-inch color touchscreen. All trims will include Bluetooth phone-pairing and audio streaming, push-button start, cruise control, AC, power windows and doors, and keyless entry.

2016 Mazda CX-3 interior

The trim levels start with the Sport package, which comes with all the features listed above. Starting price for that model will be in the low $20,000s (specific pricing has yet to be revealed). Then, the Touring package gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded six-speaker audio system, armrests, and fancy mirror-mounted turn signals. The top of the range is held by the Grand Touring package which gets larger 18-inch alloys, a moon roof, leather seating, BOSE seven-speaker audio, and a whole bunch of other cool features like paddle-shifters and heated seats.

Want more details on the 2016 Mazda CX-3? You can read the full press release here.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Nissan Juke

2012 Nissan Juke

This Nissan Juke is the undisputed king of the subcompact crossover class, with the new Honda HR-V looking like the other big rival to the throne. If the Mazda CX-3 wants to compete, it’ll have to stand up to cars like this one.

2012 Nissan Juke rear

The Nissan juke is the perfect example of what makes the subcompact crossover so appealing for drivers.

  • First, the Juke stands out; it has an eye-catching design, even if it’s a bit quirky.
  • Second, it feels like a car, not an SUV. Look at that interior – it’s cozy and well-appointed and it CAN have cargo space with the seats folded.
  • Finally, it’s efficient and fun. It has a 1.5L engine with an automatic transmission, similar to the CX-3 but with a smaller engine.
2012 Nissan Juke interior

To learn more about this auction find, keep reading below the auction sheet for a full rundown of the specs:

2012 Nissan Juke auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered 2012, Urban Selection model, FAT, AC, service book, original AWs, power steering, power windows, original TV, original navigation system, airbag, HDD navigation system, digital TV, M-SV, interior trim scratches, marks as per map”


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Lexus NX 200t

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

With the arrival of the new Infiniti QX30 Concept at last week’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show, we thought today would be a good time to look at the other most recent competitor to the premium compact crossover niche. That car is the Lexus NX. The NX you see here is a 2014 model year in the 200t trim.

2014 Lexus NX

I was actually a bit surprised to see this car already up for auction in Japan. The 2014 Lexus NX is the first-ever model year for this new premium crossover, and it’s been a smashing hit in just about every market. The 200t version L is the baseline trim, but the car you see here is anything but basic.

Under that pristine white hood is a 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with direct injection and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It outputs a full 235 horsepower, and is actually the first Lexus ever to be fitted with a turbocharger. It uses D-4ST technology to maximize combustion efficiency, which means you can access most of that peak power output even from a low rev range.

Plus, for a car that goes from 0-60 in just 7 seconds, it still gets a pretty impressive 28 mpg.

2014 Lexus NX auction find

The exterior of the Lexus NX doesn’t need too much explaining… It’s one of the first models to use the premium automaker’s now-trademark pinched grille, although this model forgoes the spindle pattern in favor of horizontal bars. This particular Japanese car auction find is in really great shape, with an overall rating of 5 and an A-grade exterior.

Although we don’t have any pictures of it, the interior is graded at an ‘A’ too. Fortunately, I’ve found a manufacturer-sourced imaged (below) so that you can get a feel of the NX’s interior.

2014 Lexus NX interior creme leather

Keep in mind that this image from Lexus has been Photoshopped to appear extra sharp and crisp, plus it’s shown here in a Crème leather trim which may not be what you get in this model. However, you can still use this to get a general feel for the styling and layout of this auction find’s interior. It’s well-appointed with a full-color LCD Remote Touch Interface, plush leather seating, a wireless charger for mobile devices and even a color heads-up display to project all the most important vehicle info onto the windshield in front of you while you’re driving.

Even with just a brief overview of the Lexus NX’ design and features like the one we’ve provided here, you can see that it’s an exciting, feature-rich compact crossover that’s worth learning more about. If you agree, keep reading below the auction sheet for more info:

2014 Lexus NX auction sheet

“Interior A, exterior A, first registered September 2014, 200t Version L model, FAT, AAC, DBA emissions code, black leather, pre-crash safety, head up display, panoramic view camera, Mark Levinson system, panoramic roof, side visor, 3-level full LED headlights, radar cruise control, original navigation system, original TV, sunroof, leather, ABS, airbag, original AWs, power steering, power windows, no spare tire, marks as per map”