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Not content to let Mazda have the entire North American small van market to itself, Ford has entered the fray with the new C-MAX. Fitting into Ford’s World Car program, the C-MAX is built on the new C-vehicle platform, which will eventually spawn 10 models worldwide.
The Ford Vertrek looks more cutting-edge than any of the other products in the CUV segment. Add to that the cargo space available in the Escape, and Ford may well have another hit on its hands, like it had when the Canadian-built Edge was released..
Originally launched as a 2006 model, the Mazda5 isn’t like the other kids on the block. A bit smaller than most, the 5 holds 6 passengers, rather than the usual 7. Rather than risk messing with a good idea, Mazda’s design team stayed with the same 6 passenger layout this time and worked on evolution, rather than recreation. The result is an unbelievably sexy-looking little van that offers an equally unbelievable amount of versatility.
At the 2011 North American International Auto Show, Toyota was proudly showing off its new family of Prius hybrid vehicles—while a few steps away sat the NASCAR Garage. OK, so the other manufacturers involved in NASCAR also have electric or hybrid products on the road and under development. However, none of them had a giant NASCAR display surrounding them.
While Scion may not have had anything new to show at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, that didn’t stop it from confirming its position as Toyota’s youth brand. The Scion booth was crammed full of customized cars, ranging from mild personalization to wild custom jobs.
While Toyota is busy with a new “family” of Prius models, across the show hall Honda is pushing hard to show a wide range of electrified vehicles of its own. From hybrids to full plug-in electrics, the Honda booth is full of green vehicles. And like the Mercedes, the Honda Fit EV shows that performance does not have to suffer just because a car is green.
It’s hard to believe a full 10 years has passed since the first generation of the modern MINI appeared at Cobo Hall. Since then, we’ve seen the introduction of the convertible and Clubman, a second generation, and more recently the larger Countryman. As many more traditional brands have been quite successful in the relatively new CUV market, it makes sense that the folks at MINI would up-size a bit and dip their toes in that pool.