More Details and Photos of the New 2016 Acura RDX (32 photos)


Acura's updates to the 2016 RDX import a healthy dose of styling from the brand's other recently updated models. Five years ago I'd be groaning after reading that, but Acura's latest design direction is on the up and up as the luxury brand distances itself from the exaggerated shield/beaked designs of the past.

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The 2016 RDX adds a more dimensional, attractive shape to the compact SUV with new front and rear styling for a more contemporary look. One of the stand-out features of the 2016 are the new jewel-eye LED headlights, which are becoming a staple of the brand and feature LED low and high beams and LED "light pipe" accents. Acura's wild LED projector headlights sparkle even when they're off and are standard equipment on the RDX.

By Joe Bruzek | February 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

2016 Honda Pilot Video

Honda's three-row SUV gets a huge makeover for 2016. reviewer Kelsey Mays highlights the many changes, including sleeker styling outside, a new multimedia system inside and a host of additional family-friendly features.

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The new Pilot will go on sale this summer. Check out the video for more.

Watch on YouTube

By Jennifer Geiger | February 12, 2015 | Comments (1)

How Much Has the 2016 Chevy Equinox Really Changed? (28 Photos)


The Equinox has set sales records each of the past five years, according to Chevrolet, which perhaps explains why the brand didn't feel compelled to fully redesign it for 2016; the Equinox is now in its seventh model year, but it receives just a mild styling update for 2016.

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And those changes are mild, even by refresh standards. They're concentrated in the new front-end design that Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet, says shows where the brand's look is heading. The new face gives the Equinox a greater Chevy family resemblance, and the new taillights are nice, but otherwise this small SUV looks exactly like the current one, which has had handsome proportions since its 2010 redesign.

By Mike Hanley | February 12, 2015 | Comments (2)

2016 Acura RDX: First Look


Competes with: BMW X3, Volvo XC60 and Cadillac SRX

Looks like: Designers took an angle grinder to the front and rear bumpers

Drivetrain: 279-hp, 3.5-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Spring 2015

Acura's compact luxury crossover is coming off its best year of sales since being introduced for 2007. The RDX hasn't been updated since 2013, and for 2016 it gains a number of updates that should keep Acura's second-best seller fresh.

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The RDX gets new front and rear styling, a slightly more efficient and powerful engine plus a new optional multimedia system. A line-topping Advance Package is also available for the first time; it slots above the Technology Package and offers newly available features as well as a suite of advanced safety options.

By Joe Bruzek | February 12, 2015 | Comments (5)

Inside the New 2016 Honda Pilot


There was a moment at the unveiling of the last-generation Honda Pilot during the 2008 North American International Auto Show that stuck with me all these years: The cover came off the truck, and the crowd was silent. Honda executive John Mendel then asked the assembled journalists, "Well, what do you think?" expecting applause - but getting only continued silence. Honda had turned the Pilot from an attractive, wedgelike machine into a big-eyed, upright box. It didn't hurt sales much, with Pilot still selling well, but a recent roundup of three-row crossovers has shown that the Pilot has been soundly passed by the competition in many areas.

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Honda is looking to remedy that with this, the new and thoroughly redone 2016 Pilot, and at first glance it looks like Honda has crafted a winner. Styling is even more appealing than the first-generation Pilot, with a sleekness that wears the smaller CR-V's overall look but with better proportions and heft.

By Aaron Bragman | February 12, 2015 | Comments (5)

2016 Honda Pilot: First Look


Competes with: Hyundai Santa Fe, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer

Looks like: A pumped-up Honda CR-V

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V-6 engine, six-speed or nine-speed automatic transmission, optional all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2015

Honda's big SUV got a huge styling change when it went from the sleek, angular first-generation model to the boxy, not-so-attractive second-generation model. For 2016, it's coming full circle — the redesigned Pilot got a very stylish update for the 2016 model year.

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The new Pilot is longer than the one it replaces, which increases interior room — something the previous model didn't exactly lack, being one of the few three-row SUVs on the market that could accommodate three child seats across the second row. The field has changed a lot since the Pilot was last redone in 2008, with competitors all having received at least one update in the time the Pilot has soldiered on unchanged, but now the new Pilot has arrived to up Honda's game in this hot-selling segment.

By Aaron Bragman | February 12, 2015 | Comments (9)

Kia Trail'ster Concept: First Look


Looks like: A Kia Soul ready for off-road trails

Defining characteristics: Lifted ride height, meaty winter tires

Ridiculous features: Blinding array of front LED illumination

Chance of being mass-produced: You never know

An off-road Kia Soul seems like a stretch of the imagination, but the automaker put together a fun, if not convincing, concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show called the Kia Trail'ster. Featuring a turbocharged engine, electric all-wheel drive, lifted ride height and various trail-focused features, Kia says the Trail'ster is intended for those looking to escape the urban environment in favor of snow, mud, streams and trails.

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"The Trail'ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that's built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness," said Tom Kearns, Kia Design Center of America's chief designer, in a statement.

Though the concept shows off numerous trail-focused bits and pieces, Kia also teases that the Trail'ster's electric all-wheel-drive system could be a fuel-economy booster if used in a production application. We're listening, Kia.

By Joe Bruzek | February 12, 2015 | Comments (0)

Can the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Pull Family Duty?


I've been trying to get a Mercedes-Benz into my family's fleet for some time, but the luxury brand's offerings usually come in a little higher than our budget allows. I tested the 2014 CLA-Class with the hopes that this sub-$30,000 sedan could work for my family of three, but quickly determined the four-door "coupe" was not intended for families, even small ones. My scheming started again with the 2015 GLA-Class. I wondered if the three of us would fare better in the subcompact crossover, which starts at $32,225 including a destination charge, than in the CLA-Class.

Related: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class Expert Review

On paper, the GLA250 offers more passenger room and cargo space than the CLA250 thanks to its crossover body style. It's no surprise that the GLA250's cargo area is larger at 17.2 cubic feet behind the backseat compared to the CLA250's 13.1 cubic feet. My stroller fit in the GLA250's cargo area easily, but in the CLA250 I had to remove one of the stroller's wheels to fit it. When the GLA250's 60/40-split rear seats are folded, there's 43.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The GLA250 also boasts an additional 6 inches of rear legroom (33.9 inches) over the CLA250, which is impressive considering both cars have the same 106.3-inch wheelbase.

The GLA250 is fun to drive, but it doesn't have the same heft and solidity on the road as others in the Mercedes lineup. At times, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission shifted harshly and hunted for the right gear. Coupled with the engine's jarring stop-start technology, the drive experience was much less refined than other Mercedes-Benz models I've driven in the past.

By Carrie Kim | February 6, 2015 | Comments (2)

Chevrolet Teases 2016 Equinox


A trend is starting to emerge for next week's Chicago Auto Show: updated crossovers. Honda plans to unveil a new Pilot, Acura will reveal a freshened RDX and GM just announced that it'll pull the wraps off the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.

Related: More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

Chevrolet's crossover is coming off its best January ever, with sales up nearly 20,000 units last month compared to year-ago levels, and the automaker is hoping to keep the momentum rolling with a refreshed model. GM didn't release any details but published a teaser pic, above. Check back with us on Feb. 12 when the 2016 Equinox is unveiled.

Manufacturer image

By Jennifer Geiger | February 6, 2015 | Comments (0)

How Swanky Is the Lincoln MKC Black Label?


Ford's luxury brand has needed some help in the way of new product for a while now, and it got a big boost with the 2015 Lincoln MKC compact luxury crossover. An undeniably stylish hatchback, it features a choice of two turbocharged engines, scads of high-tech safety systems, an optional THX premium stereo, and big wheels and tires. The new crossover is slowly helping Lincoln crawl back from oblivion, thanks in no small part to television commercials starring Matthew McConaughey and countless spoofs of said commercials starring everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Jim Carrey.

Related: 2015 Lincoln MKC Review

But Lincoln has a plan to boost its luxury chops in the eyes of consumers, and it starts with this: the Black Label series. Option up an MKC or MKZ sedan, and you have a perfectly nice car — but check the Black Label box, and you'll get something a bit more special. The Black Label series is a combination of unique, premium interior materials and colors, and an ownership experience at the dealer level that aims to inject some personalized pampering into the purchase and ownership process.

When buying a Black Label vehicle, you work with specially trained "liaisons" who will either take you into a special lounge at the dealership or visit you at your home or office to configure your car. When you've purchased the car, it can be delivered to your home (if you live within 30 miles of the dealer) instead of to the dealer. A four-year 50,000-mile premium maintenance plan is included that covers all maintenance and wear, including free car washes and an annual detailing. All that stuff is nice, but how is the car itself and importantly, how much is it?

By Aaron Bragman | February 5, 2015 | Comments (5)

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