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All-New and Refreshed SUVs for 2015

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/5/2014 Karla Sanchez

Like the fashion industry, the automotive industry is influenced by fads, with the latest one being all-about small crossovers. Several new subcompact crossovers from just about every other automaker are scheduled to burst onto the scene in 2015, while a good number of already-existing SUVs have received a significant refresh.

Research

ALL-NEW

2015 Audi Q3

© Provided by MotorTrend For those who think the Q5 and Q7 are too big, the all-new Q3 should do just the trick. Based on the new A3 sedan, the Q3 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 making 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, and although it's currently available in only one trim, chances are Audi will bring more enticing variants to our shores such as an SQ3 or RSQ3. A diesel-powered Q3 could also be in the cards, but either way, the Q3 has some serious competition with the Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class also in the picture.

2015 BMW X4

© Provided by MotorTrend Essentially a baby X6, the X4 promises to encompass everything it's larger stablemate does, but in a more compact package. Although it looks small, it's has a slightly larger footprint than the X3 with a 0.6-inch longer body. Since it also squats 1.5 inches lower to the ground, we expect the X4's lower center of gravity help return a more spirited performance, especially around bends. While the sloping roofline gives the X4 its super sleek profile, don't expect it to help much when it comes to cargo capacity or read headroom.

2015 Chevrolet Trax

2015 Chevrolet Trax Front Side View Wheel Turned© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Trax Front Side View Wheel Turned Interesting fact about the Trax is that it wasn't supposed to come to the U.S. in the first place, but after seeing the mechanically related Buick Encore enjoy lots of unforeseen success, Chevrolet reconsidered bringing the compact crossover to compete in the hotly contested segment. The Trax is powered by the same 138-hp, 148 lb-ft of torque 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 used in the Buick, Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic, but don't be fooled by its size. The passenger seat folds down flat, making it easier to load items as long as 8-feet long.

2015 Honda HR-V

© Provided by MotorTrend Coming from Japan where it's known as the Vezel, the HR-V joins the rapidly growing subcompact crossover segment in the U.S. Since it's based on the Fit hatchback, the HR-V should offer the same cargo space tricks thanks to the automaker's interior packaging miracle known as the "Magic Seat." Powered by the Fit's 130-horspower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the HR-V should serve as the perfect answer to those who think the CR-V has gotten too big and expensive over the years.

2015 Jeep Renegade

© Provided by MotorTrend It's hard to believe the Renegade is a Jeep. After all, it's built on a platform shared with the Fiat 500L, and it's also manufactured and exported from Italy. Even though it has its differences, the Renegade doesn't abandon its roots with its Wrangler-like seven-slot grille, round headlamps, upright windshield, square tail lamps, and removable roof. Although it might not be the most capable Jeep ever, it can still be taken off-pavement if equipped properly. With plans to sell it in more than 100 countries, the Renegade will be the most globally available Jeep ever.

2015 Lexus NX

© Provided by MotorTrend Although the new NX shares its platform with the Toyota RAV4, Lexus claims the NX is 90 percent different, and it all starts with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the first turbo ever developed by the luxury brand. Badged as the NX 200t, the crossover will also come in hybrid guise as the NX 300h and as a much sportier F Sport model. As far as size go, the NX is 5.5 inches shorter than the best-selling RX, with a 3.2-inch-shorter wheelbase.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

© Provided by MotorTrend The CLA was our first sampling of Benz's new front-wheel-drive platform, and since the four-door coupe's performance has been through the roof, a crossover version should prove to be even more successful. Enter the GLA-Class, which bumps up the ride height and adds more cargo capacity and rear passenger room. Engines carry over from the CLA, including the hopped-up 355-hp in the GLA AMG, which garners lots of attention on the road thanks to its boy-racer looks and its humongous rear wing. Although the GLA250 4Matic wasn't available at launch, it will join the ranks soon enough.

2015 Porsche Macan

2015 Porsche Macan© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Porsche Macan Named after the Indonesian word for "tiger," the Macan is just as lithe as its name suggests. With its drop-dead gorgeous looks, it's no surprise that the crossover is in such high demand. Buyers have had to wait months before taking delivery, so to help make the time go faster, Porsche launched a program allowing them to lease a Boxster or Cayman until their Macan arrives. There are a range of athletic engines to choose from, and since about 30 percent of Cayennes sold in the U.S. are diesels, a Macan diesel should be in short order.

2016 Tesla Model X

© Provided by MotorTrend It'll be hard to ignore the Model X once it hits the streets thanks to those double-hinged "falcon-wing" doors, but more importantly, people are likely to flock to the electric crossover given the Model S's success. Like the sedan, the Model X will boast a large iPad-like screen, but unlike it, it'll have a second motor on the front axle for all-wheel drive capability. The Tesla-style of the pancake-flat under-floor battery packs (in 60- or 85-kW-hr batteries) and low-positioned motors also help create room galore inside the cabin, while both the rear cargo hold and front truck offer a respectable amount of space for items.

REFRESHED

2015 Cadillac Escalade/ESV

Bigger, bolder, and more beautiful, the Cadillac boasts an entirely new look and feel in its fourth generation. A larger front grille and sharper character lines are just some of the exterior changes, while underneath the hood, there's a more powerful engine V-8 that makes 420 horsepower. Although it spits out more power, the engine improves fuel economy with as many as 3 mpgs more on the highway for 2WD models. Passengers will also appreciate the much quieter cabin and additional luxury features inside. The glow-in-the-dark Cadillac badge is also pretty cool, too.

2015 Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe

© Provided by MotorTrend The Tahoe and its larger twin are new from the ground up, with revised styling, improved interiors, and a new 355-hp, 383-lb-ft 5.3-liter V-8. The new sheetmetal on both is more chiseled, making them look more truck-like, with an in-your-face large chrome grille. Since the SUVs are historically among some of the most-stolen vehicles in the U.S., they've been fitted with a new anti-theft measures including window or glass break sensors, and vertical-movement and interior movement sensors which, when triggered, sound the alarm and shut down key control systems.

2015 Ford Edge

© Provided by MotorTrend There's more Edge to love for the 2015 model year. The crossover's dimensions have grown in almost every direction, with the wheelbase up an inch and the overall length up four inches. This translates to more passenger space, and although the Edge is slightly bigger, the extensive use of ultra-high-strength steel drops the average curb weight by 50 pounds. A number of advanced features have also been made available, including enhanced park assist that can park perpendicularly and cool inflatable rear seatbelts. The Edge is also the first Ford to come standard with the EcoBoost engine.

2015 GMC Yukon/XL

© Provided by MotorTrend Like the Tahoe/Suburban, the GMC SUVs get much of the same changes, including bolder styling that features projector headlights and LEDs on the running lights and taillights and the Sierra's bold chrome grille. Ride quality has also been improved with GM's magnetic ride control that now comes standard, and things like inlaid doors, the cabin is quieter than before. Passengers in the rear will appreciate the new GMCs, since there are an extra two inches of legroom and an available dual-screen Blu-Ray rear-seat entertainment system in the XL.

2015 Lincoln MKC

© Provided by MotorTrend The MKC is the anxiously awaited production model of the MKC Concept that made a surprisingly big splash at the Detroit auto show earlier last year. The Audi-like styling completely redefines the car, with larger headlights and taillights, and the massive wraparound tailgate that gives the crossover a nicer overall shape. No longer does the MKC look like a dressed up Ford. Further setting itself apart as a luxury vehicle, the MKC is available with a driver alertness monitor, park-out assist, panoramic sunroof, and approach detection which turn on the lights in the car when it senses the key approaching.

2015 Lincoln MKX

© Provided by MotorTrend Expected to debut as a 2016 model sometime in 2015, the MKX gets a drastic makeover that highlights all-new styling that makes it more attractive than ever before. Although it has the same type of European-like design language as the MKC, its unique rear-end helps set it apart. It's still too early to know engines the midsize crossover will be available with, though we expect the 2.3-liter turbo-four and a 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6. Like the MKC, the MKX should also offer advanced safety tech features. The MKX concept is shown here.

2015 Nissan Murano

© Provided by MotorTrend Taking on the appearance of the futuristic Resonance concept that debuted at last year's Detroit show, the Murano looks much edgier in its new guise with a "V-motion" front grille, boomerang-style headlights, and floating roofline thanks to an invisible D-pillar. Although the 3.5-liter V-6 and CVT combo carry over from the outgoing model, the Murano is more efficient thanks to the aerodynamic improvements. Inside, expect to find increased rear legroom and the Altima's NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats. When equipped with advanced safety features, the Murano has up to four onboard cameras and three radar systems.

2015 Subaru Outback

© Provided by MotorTrend The two-row midsize crossover is bigger and more efficient than before. The improved package starts with better styling, which removes the black cladding to make the Outback look more premium. Already known for its off-road ability, the Outback gets more capable with the new X-Mode, which at the push of a button, optimizes the engine and CVT settings for better traction in more extreme off-road conditions. Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system has also been refined, and the newest version of the automaker's EyeSight safety system is available. The IIHS recently named the Outback a Top Safety Pick +.

2016 Volvo XC90

© Provided by MotorTrend The XC90 hasn't received a full redesign for over 10 years, but it seems like the next-gen crossover is going to be well-worth the wait, since it's completely new in every way. Based on the new Scalable Product Architecture (otherwise known as SPA) platform, the XC90 will boast a more modern take on a clean Scandinavian design highlighted by Thor's Hammer-like headlights and a new infotainment system that features a large Tesla Model S-like iPad touchscreen. Expect the new Drive-E T5 and T6 engines as found in the current S60 in the XC90, as well as a plug-in hybrid in the near future.

2015 Cadillac Escalade© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Cadillac Escalade
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