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What do the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto, and, while not all such vehicles are down - the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward - the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment.
Where are all those compact sedan buyers going? To compact SUVs, at least in part. Wards cites data showing that sales of small SUVs and crossovers are up big over the last several months. Vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are all showing sales increases as buyers shift from sedans to utility vehicles, says Wards.
Still, it's way too early for automakers to give up on C-segment sedans. Though down, sales of popular models like the Civic and Corolla are good enough to put them well into the top 10 sales chart (in ninth and sixth place, respectively).Permalink | Email this | Comments
Subaru is getting into viral videos with two new, radically different shorts to promote the 2015 WRX STI; both are pretty entertaining. They are certainly more interesting, from an enthusiast perspective, than the company's dog-oriented advertising campaign and sponsorship of the Puppy Bowl.
The first promotes a new grindhouse-style short film that Subaru is launching, which is cheekily called The Ride of Her Life, and it previews the full deal due on March 13. While It's just a glimpse at the moment, if Subaru really leans into the cheesy, 1970s-style, then the full video could be really enjoyable.
The second video is a new take on an idea we've seen before but is still very cool. There might be some digital trickery going on in some of the "Stick bomb" shots, but the result is still exciting. Plus, the STI's Nürburgring livery is quite attractive. Scroll down to check them both out and tell us which you prefer in Comments.
[Update: comments are now closed.]
Subaru seems mighty invested in its Viziv crossover. It first showed its original concept at the Geneva Motor Show last year, then it presented an updated version, Viziv Evolution, at the Tokyo Motor Show, and now it's back with a newer and more production-look concept dubbed Viziv 2. Despite its name, the Viziv 2 in fact has two more doors than its antecedents, and in sprouting those extra apertures, the softroader would appear to take a giant leap into the realm of production friendliness (though we'd expect a serial model to carry front-hinged rear doors).
That air of plausibility continues with the Viziv 2's new look, which includes production-ready headlamps (as opposed to the Evolution's blacked-out units) and prominent new round driving lamps that "serve to emphasize the image of an active crossover." We think it looks pretty handsome sitting on its 20-inch wheels.
Powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged boxer-four with through-the-road all-wheel drive provided by a plug-in three-motor hybrid system (one in the front, two in the back), the Viziv offers a new take on Subaru's renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, one that allows "fine-tuned control" of each independent wheel. And it's not just the drivetrain that's sophisticated - Subaru has fitted the car with an undisclosed measure of autonomous driving technology.
Subaru's continuing development of the Viziv suggests that it believes there are more ways to skin a small crossover than what it currently offers. Considering that the Japanese independent's seeming perpetual sales growth has been powered by similar models like the Forester and the XV Crosstrek, we can hardly blame them for investigating the idea.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Last year at the Geneva Motor Show, Subaru brought out its Viziv Concept
It's a little 2015 Subaru WRX STI