Volvo station wagons are, and have been, cool without even trying. Arguments can be made whether the original PV445 Duett met the standard when it was new, but it sure is today. Its successor, the 140, the original “brick,” most certainly did. After all, it established the squared-off design parameters for Volvo wagons for the next four decades.
Nearly two decades have passed since the first RX went on sale, riding a ripple of enthusiasm for crossover SUVs that has since transformed into a towering tidal wave. Fast-forward to today, and the RX faces an onslaught of competitors from nearly every premium automaker. Nevertheless, it not only leads its segment in terms of sales, but it is also the most popular luxury model in America.
Fledgling automotive start-ups lack out-of-the-box instructions for creating a car company, and often suffer rather embarrassing public growing pains as a result. At the same time, long-established vehicle brands are frequently susceptible to identity crises, suggesting that even after demonstrating success, potential failure awaits around every corner.
Despite all the bluster about missiles and nukes north of the 38th parallel, the big action on the Korean Peninsula is south of there. That’s where Hyundai Motor Company, together with its Kia Motors and Genesis Motors affiliates, has grown exponentially to become the fourth largest automaker in the world.
Durango be nimble, Durango be quick, Durango jump over every other midsize SUV on the market. Okay, no, that doesn’t rhyme but the Dodge Durango SRT is an SUV that doesn’t behave as an SUV should. For the 2018 model year, SRT power is available in the three-row hauler for the first time ever. What this means is a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine rumbling under the hood, and it’s just this side of glorious.
Lexus is introducing an all-new generation of its range-topping LS sedan. It’s a car that steadfastly embodies the virtues that got the brand where it is today, with a sumptuous, roomy and quiet cabin, ample power and great reliability. But in the stratosphere of premium luxury where ownership or lease terms seldom outlive the factory warranty, long-term dependability may not be quite as important as having the latest style and tech. According to Brian Bolain, General Manager of Lexus marketing, research shows that luxury buyers are looking for something different. LS Chief Engineer Toshio Asahi adds, “We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”