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Month: September 2018

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe earns top marks in latest crash tests

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The insurance industry-funded IIHS said Friday that the redesigned 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover SUV earned its Top Safety Pick+ award when equipped with optional LED headlights.

The headlights are standard on the Santa Fe Limited and Ultimate trim levels. Other Santa Fe trims—SE and SEL—have halogen headlights that the IIHS rated “Marginal,” meaning those versions of the crossover SUV don’t earn a Top Safety Pick award.

MORE: Read our 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe first drive

The 2019 Santa Fe aced the IIHS’ barrage of instrumented crash tests, earning “Good” marks for its crashworthiness. The IIHS said that the Santa Fe’s standard collision-avoidance technology including automatic emergency braking rated “Superior,” its highest award. It rated the crossover SUV’s child-seat anchors “Acceptable.”

The IIHS uses a four-point scale from “Poor” to “Good” for crash tests, headlight effectiveness evaluations, and child-seat anchor ease of use. Collision-avoidance active safety technology is rated on a six-point scale.

The NHTSA has not yet subjected the 2019 Santa Fe to its crash testing.

Hyundai shook up its crossover lineup naming scheme for 2019 when it replaced the Santa Fe Sport with a new model called just Santa Fe. The automaker renamed last year’s Toyota Highlander-sized three-row crossover SUV to “Santa Fe XL” for 2019 in preparation for a new model due next year that reportedly will be called “Palisade.”



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2019 Cadillac XT4 Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos

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Luxury crossover SUV owners are spoiled for choice. Many competitors offer bleeding-edge tech wrapped in high-quality materials, dressed in flashy sheet metal.

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 keeps pace with all of them, mostly. It offers the latest whiz-bang features, but asks drivers to pay a princely sum for all of them.

We give the new XT4 a point for features, thanks to its generously sized infotainment screen but bring it back down to average with a menu of spend-up safety features that nickel-and-dime their way out of our good graces. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The XT4 is available in Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trim levels starting at $35,790, including mandatory destination, and reaching toward $57,000 fully loaded.

XT4 Luxury versions are equipped with 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, LED headlights and taillights, power-adjustable front seats, four USB charging ports, dual-zone climate control, a 4.2-inch driver information display, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Base XT4s largely skip offering any options except a cold weather package that adds heated seats and steering wheel, and we think the base model misses the point.

The Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels cost the same amount to start, $40,290 including destination, and offer slightly different standard features befitting their mission.

XT4 Sports keep the synthetic leather upholstery, but add sporty exterior appearance items, a sporty steering wheel, and kick plates.

The Premium Luxury is more in line with our ideas for the Cadillac XT4’s purview. It subs in real hides and aluminum or wood interior accents for its starting price.

A comfort package goes further for $1,050 on Premium Luxury versions by adding power-adjustable cooled front seats with massage, a power liftgate, and better lumbar support. It costs $1,900 on Premium Luxury models, after a prerequisite cold weather package is added in.

Equipping the XT4 with high-speed automatic emergency braking takes patience, deep pockets, and Sport or Premium Luxury trims to start.

A $770 starter package adds low-speed auto braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and automatic headlights. High-speed automatic braking requires 20-inch wheels (Why?—Eds) and the aforementioned “Safety for Beginners” group (Our words, not theirs.—Eds, again) for $1,100 more.

Cadillac’s highly advanced SuperCruise driver-assistance features aren’t on the menu at all. That’s an oversight.

All our news isn’t bad news, however. The revised Cadillac infotainment system is sharp and easy to use. All XT4 versions get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with bright menus and a clear display. The surround-view camera system optionally equipped on top trims is neat, and there are a number of baked-in apps such as Spotify that add value. Our only quibble: No pinch-to-zoom on the maps.

Review continues below



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Global trade war prompts Volvo to put brakes on its IPO

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Volvo said Monday that the global trade war spurred by U.S. President Donald Trump has forced it to delay its plans for an initial public offering.

“The issues around trade are hard for us because they impact cars shipped between China and the U.S. It’s a huge drawback,” Volvo Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson told Bloomberg during a phone interview. “The risk is that these headwinds will increase.”

MORE: Volvo begins delivering cars through its subscription program

Volvo, which was acquired from Ford by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010, had reportedly planned to go public as soon as this fall in Stockholm and Beijing.

Earlier this summer, Volvo shifted production of a crossover SUV and a full-size sedan for the U.S. away from China to Sweden. It has also indicated that its plans to export vehicles from a new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina, may no longer be viable.

Samuelsson said in the interview that building the XC60 in Sweden for the U.S. would be “OK to mitigate,” but that the S90 sedan would be “more difficult.”

Consumers’ preferences for crossover SUVs in the U.S. has affected Volvo’s sales, as well. Its XC60 crossover outsells the S90 sedan by about 4-to-1.

The automaker on Monday also extended its contract with Samuelsson an additional two years to 2022.



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