2014 Summer Model Preview Guide

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Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

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, Automotive Editor - January 2, 2015

A look at all the all-new 2015 models coming out later this season.

After a long wait, summer is finally here and so are a record number of new 2015 models, including sedans, crossovers and pickup trucks. Manufacturers have worked hard to update, and in some cases, totally redesign their most coveted models to help lure in prospective buyers and window shoppers alike. These models are not all out just of yet--but will be later this year.

When the original Ford Edge hit the streets in 2006, it was one of the first of what was then a new segment of crossover utility vehicles, or those that feature the tall ride height, seating space and cargo capacity of an SUV while retaining more comfortable car-like driving dynamics. A brand-new second-generation Edge coming for 2015 seeks to refine that formula with a larger footprint, more cargo space, a plethora of useful technology and new engine options. In a segment now filled with quality players from every major automaker, the new Edge will need to stand out, and it looks like Ford will deliver.

In a nod to its fan faithful, Nissan has chosen Instagram as the venue to show off the first cleverly camouflaged photos of its next-generation Frontier, set to debut later this year most likely as a 2015 model. The new-generation Frontier is expected to add an all-new engine option along with sharper styling and better fuel efficiency across the board. With sales lagging the popular Toyota Tacoma and new versions of the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado just around the corner, Nissan aims to beat other manufacturers to the punch. While full-size pickups sell in greater raw numbers, compact trucks are gaining popularity.

In a big surprise for Toyota fans at this year's New York Auto Show, the Japanese brand debuted its best-selling Camry for the 2015 model year with a host of significant changes that improve both its look and feel. From more-refined sheet metal to a revamped interior and two new trim levels, there's a whole lot to see here that should help the Camry stack up when with newer family sedans like the Mazda6 and Honda Accord.

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class competes in the ultra-popular compact luxury SUV segment, counting the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 among its chief rivals. With the current model getting a little long in the tooth, Mercedes has an all-new GLK planned for 2015 that promises to be both sportier and more family-friendly than the model it replaces. More interior room, a larger cargo area, and a menacing design with steeply sloped roof along the lines of the more-compact GLA-Class are about all we can gather from spy shots to date. In this hugely important segment to overall profitability, the new GLK needs to be a great SUV, and we fully expect Mercedes-Benz to deliver.

Nissan's popular Murano was one of the first CUVs on the market when it made its debut back in 2003, presenting buyers who wre used to chunky SUVs with something better. It had all the space and utility of a typical SUV, but since it feature unibody construction--it was lighter, more comfortable and more fuel-efficient. The all-new 2015 Murano takes that formula and runs with it.



Honda continues its onslaught of exciting new models this year with the introduction of the all-new 2015 Honda HR-V, a subcompact crossover that will base from the new-generation Honda Fit small car platform.

The Tesla Model X all-electric SUV, which first debuted in concept form complete with "falcon wing doors" all the way back in 2012, will finally see production early in 2015, bringing a second model to join the widly successful Model S sedan in the Tesla Motors product portfolio. The Model X will reportedly seat 7 passengers, offer competitive cargo capacity to other luxury SUVs, and feature all-electric AWD.

Toyota’s truck-based Sequoia SUV comfortably seats 8 passengers and is equally at home on city streets and roads that are a little rougher. Sitting between the Highlander at one end and the hulking Land Cruiser at the other, the capable SUV is derived from the Tundra full-size truck. Featuring a 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8, the Sequoia can tow and haul more than just a cabin full of kids.

Kia’s fun-loving Sportage CUV will see a mid-cycle refresh for the 2015 model year, bringing revised front end styling, higher-quality interior materials and the brand’s newest-generation UVO infotainment system. The current-generation Sportage has been on sale since the 2010 model year, so Kia hopes to spice things up while bringing its design language in line with newer products like the Cadenza and K900 premium sedans.

Toyota’s long, long-slung wagon, the Venza, has offered crossover buyers something a little different throughout its long tenure on the market. Though Toyota hasn’t revealed a Venza successor just yet, that model is widely expected to be revealed this year or early next year as a 2015 or 2016 model.

Subaru’s go-anywhere Impreza compact sedan just received a comprehensive update for the 2014 model year, with modern new styling and efficient CVT transmissions that help it to become the most efficient all-wheel-drive vehicle you can buy. With buyers responding well, the big news for 2015 is a move to the new Impreza platform and design for the hotter WRX and WRX STI models.

When Honda released its wildly popular Civic hatchback in its current form in 2012, buyers were a bit overwhelmed with the new car’s direction. Styling was tepid and looked like the last Civic, and interior tech was underwhelming. That led Honda to respond, drastically improving base equipment and feature content for 2013 and further refining the car in 2014.

Toyota just came out with a comprehensive set of upgrades for its 2014 Tundra full-size truck for the 2014 model year, including bolder, blockier exterior styling and a tech-laden interior. However, that hasn’t stopped the Japanese brand from introducing an all-new, off-road-ready Tundra variant for 2015, lovingly called the Tundra TRD Pro Series (TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development).

Ford’s all-new 2015 Ford F-150 is coming this year, albeit later than we had previously reported. From what we’ve heard (and seen), it will be well worth the wait. The burly new full-size truck will make its debut towards the end of November 2014.

Lexus has something special planned for this year’s 2014 Detroit Auto Show with the introduction of the exciting and high-powered RC-F Coupe, the brand’s upcoming challenger to the 2015 BMW M4 and the first standalone coupe model since the end of the SC line in 2010.

To help commemorate the 50th year of the iconic Mustang, Ford has released official pictures and specs on the new 2015 model, scheduled to be released September 2014. That’s a long time to wait for such a storied car, but we’re confident that the enthusiasts and the everyman will wait. After selling 9 million Mustangs (that’s 9,000,000) over the years, Ford knows a thing or two about building high-value muscle for the masses.

The 2015 Acura TLX is the next-generation midsize sedan based on the best-selling Honda Accord chassis. The new naming nomenclature includes an “X” to the end of the prior generation’s TL alphanumeric naming convention, joining the ILX, TSX, RDX, MDX and RLX. That means that the next-generation TSX will not be developed—if you want a smaller and sportier midsize sedan, the 2014 TSX will be your last chance.

The totally revamped Lexus lineup will expand even further for the 2015 model year with the introduction of the brand-new 2015 Lexus NX, a compact true luxury crossover that will slot in below the current RX in size and price. Expected to start at just over $30,000 when it releases towards the end of August of 2014, the NX will lower the cost of entry for the Lexus brand in an effort to appeal to a more youthful demographic.

Two years have passed since the Ford killed the midsize Ranger, leaving Toyota and Nissan as the two lone horsemen in the midsize truck race. Not ones to rest on their proverbial laurels, Toyota has been hard at work redesigning an all-new 2015 Toyota Tacoma, which aims to improve on an already stellar platform.

The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro will be redesigned, and in its 6th generation, will receive some advanced updates that will put it squarely in the path of the Ford Mustang’s recent dominance. It will arrive sometime in 2014, possibly in September or October.

, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

Follow On: Google+ | Website