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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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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.”

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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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Lyft celebrates 175 years of the Oregon Trail with covered wagon rides

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The dream of the 1840s is alive in Portland, Oregon, this week. That’s because ride-share service Lyft is offering covered wagon rides downtown to commemorate 175 years of the Oregon Trail from Tuesday to Thursday.

Lyft admits that the service isn’t as much about efficient transportation as it is about celebrating history. Riders who use the promo code OREGONTRAIL175 via the Lyft app get a free ride with pioneer-era experts as docents. They’ll be treated to a view of some of Portland’s oldest buildings and they’ll receive what Lyft said in a statement is a “commemorative memento.”

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Lyft said the rides are free but asked participants to bring a canned food item to donate to the Sunshine Division food bank. The rides start at the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland.

The Lyft rides have more in common with the popular educational video game that debuted in the 1970s than what as many as 400,000 fur trappers and early settlers experienced 175 years ago as they sought to tame the frontier. The original Oregon Trail was a wagon route from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, first laid by trappers and later used by settlers fulfilling the “manifest destiny” ethos popular at the time.

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Use of the Oregon Trail declined rapidly after the Pacific Railroad’s final spike was driven into the ground near Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869. Today, Interstates 80 and 84 follow much of the same route Ruts from wagons used in the trail are visible in some areas today, most notably near Guernsey, Wyoming.

While actual Oregon Trail veterans dealt with disease, food shortages, and hostile territory, those waiting for the Lyft rides can play the Oregon Trail video game on iPads to pass the time.



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