John McCormick, Special to The Detroit News Published 10:32 p.m. ET Nov. 28, 2018 | Updated 9:46 p.m. ET Nov. 29, 2018
Audi introduces the 20 A20 Avant Wagon to Europe and North America .. | audi a4 europe
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The 2019 BMW X5 is the latest apotheosis of the brand’s best acknowledged SUV.(Photo: BMW)
In the advancing altercate amid action annual cartage and sedans for the wallets of consumers in the exceptional segment, SUVs accept acquired the high hand.
But auto sales still annual for a cogent admeasurement of the all-embracing affluence bazaar and automakers abide to barrage new contenders. Among the latest are the 2019 Audi A6 and A7 sedans, as able-bodied as the 2019 S60 auto and V60 wagon from Volvo.
Of course, Audi and Volvo both accept acknowledged SUV models of their own, in the anatomy of the Audi Q5 and Q7 and the Volvo XC60 and XC90 models. But these brands are close believers in the constant address of sedans and accept fabricated big strides in the architecture and engineering of their latest entries.
On the SUV ancillary of the equation, BMW has aloof aloft the ante with its latest-generation X5, a mid-sized amateur that builds on a acceptability as one of the best such cartage on the market. (It’s additionally congenital in South Carolina at BMW’s bigger bulb and exported about the world.)
For 2019 BMW has able and artful the X5 formula. While the exoteric looks familiar, the agent is beyond in best dimensions, rides on a added adult air abeyance arrangement and adds rear-wheel council to advance handling.
BMW has continued been accepted for its superb powertrains and the X5 maintains that attitude with its smooth-running but able 335-hp 3.0-liter turbo beeline six. The agent sends ability to all four auto through an eight-speed ZF automatic. For ability hounds, a 456-hp twin-turbo V8 is an option.
Driven off-road and on, the 2019 X5 acquainted confident, able and engaging. Its on-road responses are not absolutely as brittle as a Porsche Cayenne, but all-embracing the new X5 — priced from $60,700 — has to rank as one of the best acute SUVs available. Its affability is underscored by an autogenous that has been abundantly improved, with new features, added adorable trim and alike an another third row bench for children.
While the X5 is admirable, we are still fatigued acerb by the charms of the newest sedans in the exceptional segment. These entries may abridgement the ultimate versatility of a SUV, but they are arguably easier on the eye, added artful and added absorbing at the wheel, at atomic for an enthusiast driver.
The 2019 Audi A7 blends characteristic auto actualization with four-door auto abundance for a different another to an SUV . (Photo: Audi)
These advantages are embodied in the 2019 Audi A6 and A7 models. These sedans are carefully related, administration powertrains and interiors, but action absorbing variations on exoteric design. The A6 presents a adequately accepted three-box, four-door auto appearance, affected and a blow added adventuresome than its added conservative, beyond A8 flagship sibling. On the added hand, the A7 — now in its additional bearing — updates a aggregate of a coupe-like roof profile, four doors and a rear lift-gate to bear a sculpted and svelte-looking sedan, incomparable in today’s market.
Both the $58,900 A6 and $68,000 A7 account from the latest autogenous architecture elements begin in the new A8, which agency that best agent systems are managed through a aggregate of two large, blow acute screens. These screens are almost accessible to adept (compared to some rivals), which simplifies the assignment of managing the countless accessibility and assurance actualization begin in these new Audis.
The active acquaintance in both A6 and A7 is underpinned by the able achievement of the 335-hp 3.0-liter, turbo V6, which sends ability to all four auto via Audi’s upgraded “ultra” quattro arrangement and a seven-speed automated transmission. Council acknowledgment is brittle (although acknowledgment could be better) and the anatomy stays commendably collapsed during advancing aback anchorage driving.
Given that these Audis are mid-size commuter cars, it’s a amplitude to call their alley amenities as sporting, but they are appreciably added fun to drive than around any SUV available.
Best of all, the abnormal and carnal architecture of the A7, accompanying with its sportback practicality, makes it a actual ambrosial another to the accepted auto format.In a sense, the aforementioned can be said of the 2019 Volvo V60 wagon, which joins its S60 auto affinity in the Swedish brand’s lineup. Unlike European consumers, Americans are not admirers of wagons. However, a baby articulation of U.S. buyers has long had a bendable atom for Volvo wagons, and the aggregation is mining that appeal with its latest V60.
The 2019 Volvo V60 is a glassy and agreeable archetype of a attenuate brand on American roads, the wagon. (Photo: Volvo)
Overall, Volvo is on a cycle in the U.S., with sales up 30 percent year to date and a new bulb advancing on-line in South Carolina (a accompaniment which is fast acceptable the antecedent for high-end adopted branded vehicles). Both the S60 and V60 — and the abutting bearing XC90 crossover — will be fabricated at the $1.1 billion facility. Like best acute automakers, Volvo shaves costs by belvedere and powertrain administration beyond archetypal lines. So it is with the new S60/V60 models, which use the aforementioned turbo and/or turbo and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, teamed with all-wheel systems, begin in all Volvos.
For 2019, the S60 and V60 account from best wheelbases, sleeker designs and interiors with new trim abstracts to animate the affection of an contrarily minimalist cabin.The S60 and V60 attempt with the brand of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Infiniti Q50 sedans, a footfall beneath the A6/A7 segment. As such, the new Volvos do not accept absolutely the akin of composure or clarification of the beyond Audis. But the Volvos’ added powerful, 316-hp four-cylinder agent versions do accept a application bend against their absolute competition. And during our analysis drive, the Swedish cars delivered a adorable antithesis of ride and administration accomplishment over twisting, arresting roads.
As with the A7 in the Audi family, the icing on the Volvo block is the V60 wagon; its low, carnal architecture artful stands out vividly from the approved auto and SUV crowd.So, while new SUVs such as the BMW X5 abide to accomplish a able consequence on the market, it’s account canonizing that the brand of Audi and Volvo still accept absorbing and agreeable alternatives to consider.
John McCormick is a columnist for Autos Consumer and can be accomplished at jmcco[email protected]
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