Utility vehicles – in other words, crossovers and SUVs – are so hot right now. Two of our top stories from last week revolve around the utilitarian vehicle, but besides their jacked-up, five-door bodystyles, they couldn't be more different. The 2019 Subaru Ascent is headed into an extremely crowded and competitive segment, where it'll have to go up against industry stalwarts like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, not to mention upstart contenders like the Volkswagen Atlas. The Mercedes-AMG G63, on the other hand, has very little competition – there simply aren't very many ultra-luxurious, off-road-ready SUVs in the world vying to attract the dollars of the wellest-to-do customers across these United States.
Moving on from crossovers and SUVs, our readers remain attracted to classic front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sportscars. The Toyota Supra's upcoming rebirth earns two places on our list of stories worth highlighting from the week that was; one with leaked information from a Japanese magazine, and another with rumors indicating that maybe we shouldn't be quite so excited.
The all-new Honda Insight Prototype will make its world debut on Jan. 15 at the North American International Auto Show, giving consumers a first glimpse of the latest model in Honda's growing lineup of electrified vehicles. Launching nationwide later this year, and positioned as a premium compact above Civic in the Honda passenger car lineup, Insight elevates itself above other compact hybrid models with its sleek sedan design, roomy five-passenger cabin, and refined driving performance, along with high fuel efficiency.
"The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume."
By adding 300 new jobs in Ohio and investing a further $267 million into the production of the 2018 Accord sedan, Honda is hoping to own a larger chunk of the shrinking mid-size sedan market.
In the first nine months of 2017, the segment has shrunk by 15% compared to last year, with every model in the category experiencing fewer sales, most of them by double digit figures, reports Autonews.
The fact that Mitsubishi is still the only manufacturer to offer a plug-in hybrid SUV in the mid-size class is surprising, but how does the Outlander PHEV fairs against its newer rivals?
It sure lacks the modern design features of other SUVs, but its visual shortcomings are mostly covered from the benefits of having a plug-in hybrid powertrain.