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2018 Ford EcoSport crossover SUV scores concerning three-star government rollover rating

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A version of the pint-size 2018 Ford EcoSport crossover SUV earned four stars overall in the federal government’s barrage of crash tests, including an unusual three-star rating for its resistance to rollover.

The NHTSA said Thursday that the front-wheel-drive 2018 EcoSport scored three out of five stars in the rollover category, while the slightly heavier all-wheel-drive version earned a more commendable four stars.

MORE: Read our 2018 Ford EcoSport review

Both versions of the EcoSport scored four stars overall, including a four-star frontal crash-test rating and a five-star side-impact rating. The EcoSport may be a new nameplate for the U.S., but a version of it has been sold in numerous emerging markets since 2013.

The NHTSA doesn’t dole out many three-star ratings for the rollover test, which it simulates via calculations that take into account the vehicle’s center of gravity rather than an actual instrumented test. A four-star rollover score is typical for crossover SUVs, although some larger, truck-based models earn three stars. The EcoSport is the only subcompact crossover SUV to earn just three stars in the government’s calculations.

The EcoSport’s scores are lower than its chief competitors. The 2018 Chevrolet Trax, 2018 Mazda CX-3, 2018 Toyota C-HR, and 2018 Honda HR-V all scored five stars overall and four stars in the rollover test.



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Car2Go becomes Chicago’s first park anywhere car-share

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Car2Go said Friday that it’s coming to Chicago, meaning that one of America’s densest cities will finally have a car-share that lets members stash vehicles on city streets.

While Zipcar, Getaround, and GM’s Maven all operate in Chicago, those services require members to park cars in designated parking spots. The Chicago City Council voted in March to allow what’s known as “free-flow” car-sharing to operate in certain parts of the city’s North and Near South sides.

MORE: Car2Go car-share planning for a self-driving future

Car2Go is the first car-share to be granted a permit to operate “free-flow” services in Chicago, although its trial permit is only good through the end of 2018.

Austin, Texas-based Car2Go, which is owned by Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, will launch in Chicago on July 25 with 400 cars. Its pay-by-the-minute service uses a cellphone app to let subscribers reserve, access, and rent vehicles for 29 to 39 cents per minute. Unlike in some of the cities where Car2Go operates, Chicago users won’t be able to leave the service’s vehicles at parking meters after they’re done with their rental.

In Chicago, Car2Go’s fleet will include the Smart Fortwo city car, the Mercedes-Benz GLA250 subcompact crossover SUV, and the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 sedan.

Chicago will become Car2Go’s seventh city in the U.S. and 24th globally when services start in late July.



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2019 GMC Yukon Graphite Edition packs underhood punch

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Graphite is the new black, at least at GMC. On Monday, the truck maker revealed its 2019 GMC Yukon Graphite Edition and Graphite Performance Edition  packages that follow in the footsteps of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom Edition.

With the 2019 Yukon, buyers have the the option of going with the regular Graphite Edition which features a long list of blacked-out elements or the Graphite Performance Edition with a big underhood boost in addition to the styling bolt-ons.

MORE: Read our 2018 GMC Yukon review

Notable features on the regular Graphite Edition include 22-inch machined alloy wheels with dark metallic pockets, an ominous-looking black chrome grille mesh insert with black fog lamp surrounds, body-color grille surround, black roof rails and gloss black beltline moldings.

The Graphite Performance Edition also gets a beefier 6.2 liter V-8 and custom-tuned magnetic ride suspension.

Along with the upgraded V-8 and suspension system boost, the Graphite Performance Edition also receives a host of other mechanical upgrades including a 10-speed automatic transmission, active two-speed transfer case for four-wheel-drive models, trailer brake controller, high capacity air cleaner, and a 170-amp alternator. The interior of the Performance Edition gets Bose active noise cancellation, a head-up display, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation.

Both packages can be applied to the Yukon’s SLT trim in both rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations. Three exterior colors will be available: Onyx Black, Dark Sky Metallic and, White Frost Tricoat.

GMC has yet to announce pricing for the new editions but did say that they will make their way to dealerships this summer.



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