2018 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: MicroCompact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain

Volume sales of Sport Utility Vehicles in Canada are increasingly clustered around so-called Sport Cute models based on compact car platforms. These so-called Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs), possess available all-wheel drive, a high seating position, can carry four of five people comfortably and have good cargo capacity.

The CUV format has moved into bigger and bigger vehicles. The Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe XL Infiniti QX60, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander all have three rows of seats and ample cargo space, if not necessarily at the same time.

Truck-based SUVs, once at the core of the market, have been pushed to the margins of the segment. The Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota 4Runner are the last popularly-priced body-on-frame SUVs still available. Impressive towing capacity and astounding off-road capabilities are the key advantages that the truck-based vehicles have over the more common CUVs.
Micro CUVs

About the only new vehicle ostensibly in this segment for 2018 is the Nissan Kicks. However, without all-wheel drive, even as an option, the Kicks has been relegated to our Supermini section.

Compact CUVS
Compact CUVs represent the bulk of sales in the crossover segment. With new models like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Jeep Compass and Mazda CX-5, the 2017 model year delivered a bumper crop of new vehicles. 2018 is a very low key year for this segment with only the Volkswagen Tiguan being all new. The current Subaru Forester is in its last year for 2018, with a new model expected in this fall.

 

Chevrolet Equinox  Hyundai Tucson  Kia Sportage  Nissan Rogue 
Ford Escape  Jeep Cherokee  Mazda CX-5  Subaru Forester 
Honda CRV  Jeep Compass  Mitsubishi Outlander  Toyota RAV4 
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport  Kia Sorento  Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross  Volkswagen Tiguan 

 

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

 

NEW

What’s new
Chevrolet finally renews its Equinox lineup after eight long years on the market. The Terrain, the GMC twin to the Equinox, has not yet been renewed. A wide array of active safety equipment will be available on the new Equinox. The new Teen Driver feature permits parents to monitor the use of their vehicle. Apple CarPlay-Android Auto is standard for 2017.

Comments

Based on a new architecture, the 2018 Equinox is built on a 132 mm (five inch) shorter wheelbase, spans 118 mm (4.6 inches) less from bumper to bumper, is roughly the same width and height and up to 180 kilograms (400 pounds) lighter than its predecessor. 
The previous 2.5L four and 3.6L V6 engines have been retired in favour of a trio of new powerplants. The base engine is a 170 horsepower 1.5L turbo four, with a 2L turbo four with 252 horsepower replacing the 3.6L V6 that was an option on the old Equinox. In what might be a Too Late to Stop it move, given the fiasco of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, Chevrolet has announced its intention to market a 1,6L turbodiesel that produces 136 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The 1.5L and diesel are hooked up to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, with the stout 2L attached to a new nine-speed automatic that debuted in the 2017 Malibu.
With its multi-segment frontal port treatment and undulating accent lines, the Equinox reflects Chevrolet's current design vocabulary. The overall elegance of the new Equinox is undermined by its busy frontal treatment and side embellishments that do little than impart visual discord. That said, the bright detailing around the windows is very well judged. The cabin of the new Equinox reflects the current School of Chevrolet design ethos, with a dashboard that looks lifted directly from the Malibu sedan. The rest of the interior, with pleasing shapes, some attractive colour combinations and matte finished hard surfaces, is very stylish. The dashboard of the Equinox is stocked with clear instruments and simple, logical controls. The shorter wheelbase has not hurt rear seat legroom or cargo space, both of which are ample. The front seats are comfortable but the small voids in the lower outboard rear seat backrest, meant to permit easy seat folding, leave some occupants feeling unsupported. Chevrolet notes that its new rear seat design, where the bottom cushion flips forward, allows the backrest to fold in a way that creates a flat load floor. 
The Equinox is still built in Canada but the Terrain, when it turns up, will be imported from Mexico.  

Pricing

No pricing details are available at this time. 

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. The previous Equinox was rated average for reliability. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-4 T  (170 HP), 1.6L-4 TDI (136 HP), 2L‑4  T (252 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A , 9A (2L only)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  N/A
Highway Fuel Economy:  N/A

Active Safety Features:  Forward collsion warning with low-speed forward emergency braking. Lane change, land departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. 

Additional airbags:  No info available


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2018
Country of Origin: Canada (Equinox), United States (Terrain, eventually)

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Ford Escape

 

What’s new 
An SEL trim and a Safe and Smart package are new for 2018. 

Performance
The 1.5T turbo delivers more than adequate power and good flexibility, but was no faster than the previous-generation 2L Mazda CX-5 with fewer horsepower. The six-speed automatic transmission mates well with the 1.5 L turbo four. The more powerful (240 horsepower) 2L turbo four is genuinely fast and very eager. Precise steering. Well thought out ride-handling compromise but both are affected when the vehicle is loaded up with passengers and cargo. Good visibility. The cabin is very vertical with those in front sit in a very legs-down stance. The front seat cushions are more comfortable than before but larger drivers will still find them too small and they are still narrow. The outboard rear seats can be reclined individually, the seat is thinly padded and legroom is tight for this class. The cabin reflects contemporary style and is carefully assembled from attractive components. The slow-moving power tailgate reveals a low load floor. The rear seats fold when cargo-area release toggles are pulled, but create a stepped load floor. 

Comments
Like other European-designed Fords, the bold lines, unusual shapes, slick detailing, matte finishes and more soft-touch surfaces of the Escape's cabin are very attractive. Engine choices include a normally-aspirated 2.5L four, and two turbo fours, a 1.5L and a 2L.The sole transmission offered is a six-speed automatic. An "On demand" all-wheel drive system is optional. Properly equipped, towing capacities for the Escape are 680 kg (1500 lbs.) for the 2.5. 907 kg (2000 lbs.), for the 1.5T and 1578 kg (3500 lbs.), for the 2.0T with the towing package.

Pricing

Sold exclusively in front-wheel drive form, the base S is short of equipment and is hard to find on dealer lots. The price to migrate from the SE to SEL trims reflects that value of the equipment included in the upgrade. Despite the inclusion of the powerful 2L engine, the Titanium range topper is significantly overpriced. All-wheel drive, standard on the Titanium, is a $2300 option on the SE and SEL models. The Safe and Smart active safety package is a bargain on all models except for the base S.

Reliability
Below average reliability. Numerous complaints regarding poor fuel economy and well as glitches in the dashboard and electrical system. Turbo engine maladies are not unknown. The normally-aspirated 2.5L four is a better bet than the turbos but many features buyers like are not available on 2.5L cars. An extended warranty from Ford of Canada is recommended if you plan to keep your Escape past the warranty period.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-4 T  (180 HP)*, 2L‑4 T (245 HP),  2.5L-4 (168 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.3L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support
Additional airbags:  Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Honda CR-V

 

What’s new
An all-new for 2017, the CR-V is unchanged this year. 

Performance
The 1.5L turbo four and CVT is quick and flexible, but is a bit throaty at full throttle and drones annoyingly while accelerating gently. Handling is near the best in this segment but the ride can get a touch choppy on rough pavement. Precise steering and strong braking.  

Spacious interior with class-leading rear seat legroom. The front seats are not universally appreciated as the pronounced bulge at the front of the bottom cushion can cause some people discomfort. The rear seat is very comfortable. Easy to scan gauges and the minor controls are more straightforward to use than the current Civic but not as simple as those on the 2018 Accord. 

Comments
The CR-V is powered by a 1.5L turbo four that produces a stout 190 horsepower in the CR-V. A CVT is the sole transmission available. Most buyers will pick all-wheel drive, but a front-wheel drive LX trim variant be available to advertise a low MSRP and also meet the needs of customers who like the ride height, space and versatility of the CR-V but do not need all-wheel drive or too many frills. The CR-V features automatically deploying radiator shutters to maintain optimum operating temperature, standard heated seats, remote start, alloy wheels as well as options like heated rear seats, rain sense wipers and a rear tailgate that can be triggered by wiggling a foot under the rear bumper. Android Auto-iOS CarPlay are standard on all trim levels. The Honda Sensing safety suite is standard on all-wheel drive variants. 
Styling is contemporary, with smoother flanks than the Civic, but the bulging rear fenders, accentuated by a roofline that tapers inward toward the tail of the car, which itself is distinctly over-styled, are awkward. That said, the CR-V features some artfully-rendered bright detailing. Like the Civic, the new CR-V has some bizarre and unattractive alloy wheel choices. According to Honda, a lot of effort was expended to improve the look and feel of the interior. The gauge package, with a bar-graph tachometer at its top, a digital speed read-out in the middle and a trip computer info screen at the bottom, flanked by a temperature and fuel gauges, is reminiscent of the one in the Civic but with a re-ordered central core. The dashboard is clean-lined, a bit over-scaled for the size of the car and clad with soft-touch materials. The centre of the dashboard is dominated by the large touch screen seen in other Honda vehicles, but one that has been graced with a radio volume knob, the lack of which proved irritating to owners of other Honda products. Big, comfortable seats, lots of legroom and ample cargo space round out the cabin of the new CR-V.

Pricing
Even the base LX front-wheel drive model is very well equipped. All-wheel drive is standard on all trims except for the base LX, where it is a $2800 option, but also includes the Honda Sensing array of active safety gear standard on all wheel drive models. The price to upgrade from the LX all-wheel drive to the EX trim and from the EX-L to the Touring reflect the value of its additional features. The EX-L is a spectacular bargain if you like its equipment. Good lease value.
Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average but the engine and transmission are unproven. The APA has received complaints from owners of the current-generation CR-V about slow engine warm up in cold weather substandard heater and defroster performance. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-4 T(190 HP) 

Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 8.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.2 L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Collision mitigation braking, lane departure and forward collision warnings are standard on all-wheel drive models. Adaptive cruise control in standard on the EX and higher trims. Touring model equipped with blind spot and rear cross traffic variants

Additional Airbags: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Canada, United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

 


What’s new
No changes of note for what should be the last year for the current Santa Fe Sport.

Performance
Tested with the 240 horsepower 2L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the Santa Fe's smooth, flexible and punchy engine performed effortlessly. The 2.0T turbo engine uses little more fuel than the normally-aspirated 2.4L. The Santa Fe's ride is a model of absorbency at all speeds. Unfortunately, the whipped-cream ride is at the result of soft springs and flaccid shock absorbers that cause excessive oscillations over big bumps as well as significant lean in corners. This lack of precision isn't helped by numb steering that masks anything going on under the Santa Fe's tires. The Santa Fe's upscale cabin could be mistaken for a Lexus if there were no logos inside the car. Clear gauges and simple, logical controls. Front occupants are treated to large, enveloping seats that are perhaps too soft to maintain proper support on a long trip. Outboard rear seat riders are pampered with supportive, reclining seat and generous legroom. Good cargo space unfettered by a spare tire, which is stored, outdoors, under the back of the Santa Fe.

Comments
Two four-cylinder engines from the Sonata, a non-turbo 2.4L and the 2L turbo, power the Santa Fe Sport. Power reaches the front wheels, or optionally, all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing
The Premium trim upgrade is exceptional value and includes desirable features such as   a heated rear seat and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors. The SE (all-wheel drive only) includes fashionable equipment such as leather upholstery and a panorama roof, is keenly priced as is the 2.4L Luxury model. The 2L turbo SE includes about $1000 in additional features compared to the 2.4L SE; with $1400 of the $2400 supplement attributed to the turbo engine. The 2L Limited is very good value but Ultimate range topper is significantly overpriced. All-wheel drive, standard on the 2.4 SE, 2.4 Luxury and the turbos, is a $2000 option on the 2.4 Base and Premium models. Leasing is poor value.

Reliability
Predicted average reliability. The previous Santa Fe was reliable. Some rust-related problems reported on the last Santa Fe.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (185 HP)*, 2L-4 T (240 HP)  

Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic warnings. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection are available

Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Hyundai Tucson

 


What’s new
The 1.6T Limited model has been discontinued. Map Care provides free map updates for five years on navigation-equipped Tucsons. L.E.D. headlamps replace the previous xenon lights on premium versions. 
Comments
Hyundai representatives at the 2015 New York Auto Show stated that this new Tucson represents the first in a cycle of product renewal for the Korean firm. Built on an all-new platform, the Tucson is a bit larger than its predecessor and has become a viable alternative to the bigger Santa Fe Sport.
The cabin of the Tucson reflects contemporary style and is fashioned from materials that are attractive for a vehicle at its price point. The interior features comfortable seats, good legroom front and rear and plentiful cargo space
The base engine will be a 2L 164 horsepower normally aspirated four, with a 175 horsepower 1.6L turbo four optional. With so little power difference between the 2L and the 1.6T, opting for the turbo seems pointless and is most likely meant solely to flatter U.S. Government fuel economy tests. The suspension, not a strong point on the previous Tucson, is much improved.
Active safety technologies include lane departure, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, as well as lane change assist and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection– an impressive array of safety devices for a vehicle in this class.

Pricing

Except for the fact it lacks alloy wheels, the base trim is quite nicely equipped. The 2.0L Premium model, with heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, alloy wheels, satellite radio, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, is good value and reflects the wish list of many buyers. The 2.0L SE, which adds a power driver's seat, leather seating, a large-format sunroof, is comprehensively equipped. The 2L Luxury trim is equipped with navigation as well as leather wraps for the upper and lower dashboard. All-wheel drive, standard on the 2.0L Luxury and both 1.6L turbo models, is a $2000 option on other models. Compared with an all-wheel drive 2.0L SE, the stronger 1.6T engine will set you back $2100. With a price approaching $40,000, more than a Honda CR-V Touring, a Tucson 1.6T Ultimate is looking expensive. 
Reliability
Not rated. insufficient date. The previous-generation Tucson generated few complaints.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 T (175 HP), 2L-4 (164 HP)*

Transmissions: 6A*, 7A (dual clutch) 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings. Available lane change assist and autonomous emergency braking.
Additional Airbags: : None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Jeep Cherokee

 


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2018 as a late-cycle refresh of the current Cherokee should be on sale as a 2019 by this summer. 

Performance
Equipped with the 3.2L V6, the APA's test Cherokee is quick, quiet and economical. Other than being in too high a gear when exiting a corner, the transmission works very well. Steering, ride and handling are very well tuned for the Cherokee's intended "family hauler" role. Strong brakes. The cabin is impressive, with big gauges, logical controls, abundant soft-touch surfaces, comfortable seats and good space for passengers and cargo. Fuel economy with the V6 is virtually the same as the 2.4L four. 

Comments
Based on the same platform that underpinned the now-discontinued Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart, the Cherokee is the only one of the three models to enjoy any market success. Two engines, a 2.4L four with 184 horsepower and a 271 horsepower 3.2L V6, are offered. The sole transmission is a nine-speed automatic. Three AWD systems Active Drive I, a single speed unit, Active Drive II, equipped a with a two-speed transfer case and Active Drive Lock, which adds a locking rear differential, are available. Optional active safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection.

Pricing
Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims except for the Trailhawk and V6-powered Overlands. Drivetrain options include all-wheel drive at $2200 on all models except for the Overland, where it is priced at $2355. The smooth, flexible V6, is, at $1595, a bargain priced option on most models. The North trim upgrade is priced to reflect the value of its content, the Limited trim upgrade is a bargain and the Overland range topper is great value but nearly $45,000 with all-wheel drive, is quite expensive for a vehicle the RAV4 CR-V class, even with its silky V6. The Trailhawk looks a bit expensive on paper but ticking the order box for it delivers a lot of off-road capability with a single stroke.  

Reliability
Below average reliability overall. Some transmission control issues and outright failures have been reported. Some owners report electrical problems as well. An FCA Canada extended warranty is recommended is you plan to keep your Cherokee past the three-year/60,000 km     basic warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (184 HP), 3.2L‑V6 (271 HP)*

Transmissions: 9A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  112.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available active cruise control with stop and go, forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic and and lane keep assist.
Additional Airbags: Front occupant knee airbags and outboard rear side airbags
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Jeep Compass

 


 

The second-generation Compass went on sale in mid-2017. Except for new options like Guardian, TraveLink and Traffic Plus from Sirius, there is little new for 2018 except for the dropping of the "All New" portion of the name since the demise of the original Compass at the end of the 2017 model year.

Performance
Hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the 2.4L four in the all-wheel drive North model driven by the APA accelerates with sufficient alacrity, cruises quietly and emits a pleasing rasp when extended. Though much maligned, the ZF supplied nine-speed automatic transmission worked well-enough in this application and didn't exhibit any bad behaviour. 

The steering of the Compass is nicely weighted, precise and quickly geared without being nervous, but is numb. The structure of the Compass feels quite stout and bumps are absorbed well and handling is stable and predictable. Driven briefly, the TrailHawk variant handled less precisely than the North and suffered from some nervousness from the steering at highway speeds. Outward visibility is less than panoramic and drivers are happy to have a rearview camera that aids reversing. 

The two-tone cabin treatment of our high-end Sport test vehicle, with elegant bright accents, was very nicely done. The all-black cabin of our TrailHawk model was drab and grim. Elegant looking and carefully assembled components inhabit the interior.  

The front seats are comfortable and there is plenty of legroom. The rear seat is sufficiently supportive and legroom is acceptable for a vehicle of this size. 

The Compass pilot faces crisp, clear gauges and the logical touch screen and climate controls which are common to most current FCA vehicles.  

Cargo space is square and deep below the window line. 

Comments
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finally released its second-generation Compass during mid-2017 as the All New Compass, but has since reverted to the Compass moniker since the demise of the original model at the end of 2017. The Compass is built on the same platform than underpins its showroom mates, the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade. The redesigned Compass replaced both itself and the current Patriot, which was not renewed. The new model looks more mature compared to its predecessor, which always had a slightly makeshift aura to it.

Power is provided by a 180 horsepower 2.4L four that is hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission on front-wheel drive models, with all-wheel drive variants employing a nine-speed automatic. Two all-wheel drive systems, Jeep Active Drive, a full-time all-wheel drive is will suit most buyers and Jeep Active Drive Low, with a 20:1 crawl ratio, available for the more adventurous. The Trailhawk version adds Selec-Terrain which includes Selec-Speed control and Hill Descent control.

Pricing

The base Compass model, the front-wheel drive Sport model with manual transmission, is priced at $24,900 ($26,395 with automatic). All-wheel drive, standard on the Limited and Trailhawk trims, is a $2500 option on the Sport and North trims. Very good value North trim upgrade which includes popular items such as alloy wheels, roof rails, deep tint glass, fog lights, satellite radio and Keyless Go. The North is equipped in a way to suit most buyers. The Limited range-topper, which adds luxuries like leather seating, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and a remote starter, is priced roughly $1000 too high compared with the North. The Trailhawk is a convenient way to create a very capable all-terrain vehicle by simply ticking an option box. Fantastic value Safety and Security, Navigation, Cold Weather and Advanced Safety and Lighting packages. That said, you have to be very careful how you option your Compass as you can push it to pricing that matches that of the much better Honda CR-V Touring. 

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Below average reliability is predicted. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L‑4 (180 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A, 9A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Available forward collision, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings as well as forward collision active braking and lane keep assist


Additional Airbags: Driver side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front:G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2019 Kia Sorento

 


 

What’s new
Mid-cycle refresh for the Sorento. Various exterior styling tweaks and some cabin updates. The 2L turbo four has been discontinued. 

Performance
While it feels like a tank when you first leave from a stop, that sensation dissipates once you become accustomed to the vehicle. Our SX test vehicle was powered by Hyundai-Kia's punchy 3.3L V6 that is silken smooth under most conditions, but delivers a delicious, precision snarl when pushed. The operation of the Sorento's six-speed automatic transmission goes completely unnoticed as its operation is essentially faultless. The brakes do shed speed quickly enough but pedal travel is excessive and pedal effort is too soft. A firmer pedal and greater initial bite would be big improvements and would be more reassuring in stop and go traffic. The Sorento's combination or resilient ride and tidy handling is very pleasing for a large family bus. The Sorento is a very refined machine.
The Sorento's cabin doesn't push any stylistic boundaries but is totally functional, tasteful and fashioned from attractive components. The dashboard features clear gauges, and considering the vast array of functions it controls, the dash centre stack is straightforward and works very well. The first two rows of seats are roomy and very comfortable. Access to the third-row seat on our test vehicle was for the nimble, with room enough for children or small adults. Good cargo space when in two-row mode, with limited space available when the third row is arrayed for passengers. Excellent sound system in our SX test vehicle and the heating and air conditioning worked very well in a varied week of weather.

Comments
Available engines include a normally-aspirated 2.4L four and a 3.3L V6. Power reaches the front wheels, or optionally all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission on 2.4L models and a new eight-speed with the V6.  Active safety equipment such as active cruise control with forward collision warning and blind spot, rear cross traffic and driver awareness monitors  are available.  
Pricing
There is no pricing information available for the 2019 Sorento. 

Reliability
New model, not rated. The previous Sorento was rated above average. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3, 2/3/2

Engines:
2.4L‑4 (185 HP), 3.3L-V6 (290 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6A , 8A
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  14L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  10.1L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Available forward collision, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. Available Active cruise control with autonomous emergency braking. 


Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Kia Sportage

 

What’s new
All-wheel drive is standard on all models except for the LX. A front passenger seat height adjustment feature has been added to the EX and EX Premium trims. Autonomous emergency braking and front parking sensors are now standard on the EX Premium and EX Tech models.

Performance
The large 2.4L normally aspirated four delivers smooth, effortless performance and is nicely mated to its conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The nicely weighted steering, while lacking in feedback from the road, is precise and has good directional stability at highway speeds. The ride-handling compromise of the new Sportage is quite well judged for this type of vehicle with a comfortable ride married to tidy handling. The more powerful 2L turbo engine is both fast and flexible, but, with an average fuel economy of 12.7L/100 km, experienced in extremely hot weather, it is very heavy on fuel. The turbo’s ride was a bit firmer and its handling slightly crisper than the 2.4L model. Compared with its platform mate, the Hyundai Tucson, the Sportage is smoother, quieter, is quicker with the base engine and its cabin is a bit more luxurious

Comments
Kia showed the newest iteration of its popular compact crossover at the Montreal show. The design, while very elegant and bearing fantastic surfacing and detailing, breaks no new ground for the model or the brand. The new Sportage is 40 mm longer than the previous model, most of it due to a longer wheelbase, which results in substantial rear legroom. The Sportage's cabin is fronted by a dashboard with big, clear gauges and logical controls. Soft-touch surfaces cover the upper dash and upper door panels, with hard trim panels on the lower dash and rear doors. Most surfaces look good but the plastics on the lower dash and console look a bit too shiny. The Sportage cabin has plenty of cupholders, bins, cubbies, slots for water bottles as well as cupholders. Comfortable seats, front and rear.
The platform, which also underpins the new Hyundai Tucson, is reportedly stiffer, safer and delivers enhanced refinement and driving precision.
Most versions of the 2017 Sportage will be powered by a 181 horsepower 2.4L four. Optional will be a 2L turbo four that produces 237 horsepower. Power reaches the front, or optionally, all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission. Available active safety equipment includes intelligent cruise control, forward object and pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.

Pricing

Vast model range. The EX trim is a bargain and moving up to the SX turbo is reasonably priced especially as it includes the stronger turbo engine. The EX Premium model is priced to reflect the value of its additional content but the EX Tech seems very expensive for what you are getting. All-wheel drive is standard on all models except for the LX, where it is a $2200 option. A Sportage EX Premium is priced about $1700 less than a Honda CR-V EX-L but isn't as spacious as the Honda and lacks the Honda Sensing active safety suite. At just under $40,000, the SX turbo is a comprehensively equipped vehicle but is priced at a point where there are some tempting alternatives.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is above average. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (237 HP), 2.4L‑4 (181 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.3/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.5L/100 km
Active Safety Features:  Available active safety equipment includes intelligent cruise control, forward object and pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
Additonal Airbags: None

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Mazda CX-5

 


What’s new
The 2.5L four in the CX-5 features a cylinder shut off system that lets the engine fun in a two cylinder mode during steady state cruising. Packaging changes result in more models offered with optional active safety equipment. Mazda may offer a diesel engine in the CX-5 this year but no release details are known.


Comments
The new CX-5 is built on the same wheelbase and is essentially the same dimensions as its predecessor. With the return of the 2L and 2.5L gasoline fours and a six-speed conventional automatic transmission, the mechanical elements of the new CX-5 are unchanged from those of its predecessor. For 2017, the gasoline fours are joined by a 2.2L turbodiesel that produces 150 horsepower and up to 280 lb-ft of torque. The diesel, mooted since the introduction of the latest 6, is finally here. GM is also offering a diesel in the new Equinox and it will be interesting to see if the diesel engines are accepted by buyers or if it is already too late for diesel power in North America. 
Along with other recent Mazdas, the cabin of the new CX-5 is a model of elegance. The gauge cluster looks very similar to those of the Mazda 6 and the recent CX-9, is both elegant and easy to scan. The climate control panel will be familiar to owners of other Mazda vehicles as the unit is common to several models. With chic shapes, attractive finishes and some very convincing faux alloy accents, the CX-5's cabin is very elegant. The aftermarket style standalone screen, seen in other Mazdas, takes pride of place on the top centre of the new CX-5's dashboard. Built on the same wheelbase as its predecessor and essentially the same size overall, cabin and cargo space of the new CX-5 should be similar to its predecessor. 

Pricing
The 2L engine-manual transmission powertrain combination can be swapped for the 2.5L four and 6-speed automatic transmission for only $1400; a bargain. Moving up from the GX to the GS trim brings compelling features like a heated steering wheel, power tailgate and vinyl-faux suede trim, for a good price. The $900 i-Activesense package offered on the all-wheel drive GX and GS models have radar cruise control with stop and go, smart brake support, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane keep assist. The range-topping GT, with luxury features such as a sunroof, leather seating and Keyless Go, is an absolute bargain and results in a car with a luxury class cabin ambience. All-wheel drive, standard on the GT, is a $2000 option on the GS and GX trims with automatic transmission. The Technology group on the GT includes the GS i-Activesense equipment as well as satellite radio and head up display, at a reasonable price.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data, Few complaints received thus far.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (155 HP) , 2.5L-4 (187 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  N.A.
Highway Fuel Economy:  N.A.

Active Safety Features: Available forward collision, lane departure, blind spot, rear cross traffic warnings and active cruise control. 


Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/Unlimited, 5/Unlimited
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


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