Anything as long as it’s a SUV, almost
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The floor at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show will look a lot like America’s roads: full of SUVs.
Hyundai and Nissan will debut new small SUVsand Subaru will take the wraps off its new three-row SUV, the Ascent. Jeep will show a new version of its rough-and-tumble Wrangler, and Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln and Porsche will debut more refined models.
Low petrol prices, growing millennial families and a host of new models are fuelling the SUV boom. As of October, overall US vehicle sales were down 2 per cent compared to the same period last year, but SUV sales were up 6 per cent, according to Autodata Corp.
The LA show this weekend will also have plenty of eco-friendly models in a nod to California buyers, who purchase a higher percentage of hybrids and electrics than the US as a whole. Land Rover will debut its first plug-in gas-electric hybrid, and Volkswagen is showing its upcoming electric family. Porsche will also have a plug-in hybrid.
Here are some of the vehicles at the show, which opens to the public on Friday:
SUVs of all sizes are so popular these days that Nissan is introducing its sixth entry in the US. The compact Kicks is even smaller than the hot-selling Rogue and Rogue Sport.
The sculpted Kicks comes standard with automatic emergency braking as well as a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine. It also has a continuously variable transmission that lets the engine operate at the most efficient speed possible.
Mercedes debuts the third generation of its CLS four-door coupe. The fastback roof and minimalist styling remain, but there are two major changes: for the first time, the CLS will seat five and it’s also a mild hybrid.
An electric motor works in tandem with the new six-cylinder engine, boosting acceleration. Inside, there’s a system that adjusts the seats, massagers, music, lighting, climate control and even adds a touch of fragrance based on six moods a driver can choose
The biggest news with Audi’s revamped A8 large luxury sedan is that it can nearly drive itself at slower speeds on some divided highways.
The German brand’s flagship car, when equipped with a traffic-jam pilot, has 24 radar, camera and laser sensors connected to a computer that can take charge of steering, acceleration and braking at up to 60 km/h on motorways with central barriers.
That means the driver doesn’t have to touch the steering wheel in traffic jams until manual control is required again.
Infiniti’s midsize, five-seat SUV gets a complete overhaul, starting with a rigid but lightweight new underbody made from high-strength steel. The 2019 QX50 sits up higher than the outgoing model and has a beefier, more confident look.
Under the hood is what the company says is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine.