For the last year, we have heard automakers say that they are expanding their SUV and CUV lineups and now it looks like we are going to see what they meant. Brands ranging from Jeep to Mitsubishi to Kia to Land Rover, and many more, are improving and adding new SUVs and CUVs to their lineups.
In early January, FCA announced a $1 billion expansion of truck and SUV production in the U.S. The move will make it possible for Jeep, already an only-SUV brand, to add three new SUV models to the lineup -- the Jeep Wagoneer, Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Jeep Wrangler pickup truck. Before any of these new models are released in 2017 or 2018, the all-new Jeep Compass will debut.
What is missing from Jeep’s plans? There has been no mention of significant increases in fuel efficiency and with emissions standards looming in the next few years, we wonder why there isn’t more talk.
With big changes in 2016, like a merge with Nissan in 2016, Mitsubishi Motors has a few different plans for on the horizon and several of them include SUVs. To many people’s surprise, Mitsubishi announced that they are discontinuing the Mitsubishi Lancer after 2017 to make room for SUVs and CUVs.
According to an article on Autoblog, COO of Mitsubishi's North American division Don Swearingen said, the sedan market is shrinking and the company needs to make sure any new product it develops is profitable, which is why Mitsubishi continues to shift its focus to the ever-growing crossover market and there are no current plans for a new Lancer.
The company has recently added a new trim to the Outlander Sport lineup and they claim that the Outlander PHEV will finally make its way to the U.S. in 2017, but that promise has been broken a few times before. Additionally, Mitsubishi has announced that they will premiere a brand new compact SUV at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.
Like Jeep, Land Rover is an SUV-only brand, and also like Jeep, the brand is expanding their lineup as the consumer demand for models increases. For the 2017 model year, Land Rover is introducing three new models. The new models and trims further diversify the brand’s offerings in size, price and power. The
Chevrolet has a diverse lineup of vehicles and this year they are focusing on improving their SUV and CUV models. “We’ve got the strongest truck business in the industry and we’ve reinvigorated our car lineup with Volt, Cruze and Malibu,” said Alan Batey, Global Chevrolet president in a press release. “We’re applying the same customer focus to grow our crossover/SUV business — starting with the Chevrolet Equinox.”
So far, Chevy has announced the redesign of the 2018 Chevy Equinox and 2018 Chevy Traverse and the addition of a new diesel engine option on the Equinox lineup.
Rated number one in the 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, Kia is also expanding their lineup. Kia’s latest CUV was just released and it is a hybrid. “We’re excited about the Niro,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. “It’s fantastic – exceptional fuel economy, great looks, the usefulness and security of a compact utility and it’s fun to drive. The Niro really does set a new standard in the market.”
Dodge will debut the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT at the Chicago Auto Show next week. The new Durango model will make the Durango the fastest and most powerful three-row SUV in its class. Unlike Kia's fuel efficient model, the Durango SRT will boast a ton of horsepower. Under the hood of the new Durango SRT is a 6.4-liter SRT HEMI V8 engine that produces 475 horsepower. The Durango SRT goes from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and does a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds. Wow!
Stay tuned for more industry news! We know there are more additions and improvements everyday.