2018 Ford Expedition will start at $52890; up $4570 from last year

Our friends over at CarsDirect.com have sneaked a peek at the order form for the upcoming 2018 Ford Expedition and have reported that the new family hauler will be surprisingly nearer and dearer for interested buyers later this year.

The 2018 Ford Expedition will start at $52,890, including destination, for a XLT model with rear-wheel drive, a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, and 10-speed automatic, which is an increase of $4,570 over the current model. The long-wheelbase Expedition MAX will start at $55,580, including destination.

A fully decked long-wheelbase 2018 Ford Expedition MAX Platinum with four-wheel drive will run $79,740, according to CarsDirect. That’s an increase of more than $8,500 over the current range-topping 2017 Ford Expedition Platinum EL model on dealer lots.

Adding four-wheel drive tacks on roughly $3,000 to any trim.

MUST SEE: Read our 2018 Ford Expedition preview

It’s unclear what buyers can expect for the substantial price hike this year. A 10-speed

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1111154_2018-ford-expedition-will-start-at-52890-up-4570-from-last-year

Venezuela gets desperate, seizes a GM plant and vehicles

The political climate in America may be tense at the moment, but it’s nothing compared to what’s happening in Venezuela. The South American nation is in such a state of chaos that authorities in the city of Valencia have seized a General Motors plant, forcing the automaker to suspend operations there for the foreseeable future.

A complicated situation

The troubles in Venezuela are complex, but they’re largely rooted in the country’s heavy dependence on oil exports.

When crude prices were high, the situation in Venezuela was better, but since oil began its sharp plunge in the summer of 2014, the economy has been in a tailspin. Inflation has surged, reaching 800 percent last December.

The financial troubles have had a direct effect on everyday Venezuelans. The country has become an outrageously dangerous place–the most murderous on Planet Earth–and the U.S. State Department has warned travelers about visiting Venezuela “due

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1110037_venezuela-gets-desperate-seizes-a-gm-plant-and-vehicles

2017 Genesis G90: From Portland to Seattle

The Pacific Northwest has long been a place for escape — whether it’s hiking through forests thick with fir trees, tasting the saltwater spray from the bow of a whale-watching ship, or simply sitting back and enjoying a steaming cup of good coffee. Lately though, well-off folk have been moving here en masse, escaping their urban metropolises to two main port cities, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.

Before the venture capitalists and other moneyed interests displace the funky people who built these places and forever alter the function and feel of these two inimitable cities, we wanted to visit Portland, see Seattle, explore the surrounding areas, and talk to the people that turned the Pacific Northwest into a charming corner of our country. Behind the wheel for the journey was Epic Drives host Justin Bell, who set off from Portland in an all-new 2017 Genesis G90 to follow

... read more at: http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-genesis-g90-portland-seattle/

Diesel Ram, Jeep models resubmitted to EPA; closer to sale now?

Jeeps and Ram pickups with the company’s 3.0-liter diesel engines are one step closer to going back on sale in the U.S. after the automaker announced Friday it would resubmit those vehicles to federal testers.

In a statement, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said that it filed an application to sell 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2017 Ram 1500 models fitted with its EcoDiesel-branded engine. The SUVs and trucks were in limbo after a January announcement by the EPA that it had discovered up to eight undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices on those trucks that altered performance on emissions tests.

The company fired back at the hint that its cars cheated emissions tests by saying that the devices prolonged the engines’ lives.

“They cannot be classified as defeat devices because we’re trying to defeat nothing,” FCA chief Sergio Marchionne said in January. “These were mechanisms that were put in place to protect the

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1110551_diesel-ram-jeep-models-closer-to-sale-after-fca-submission

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Review

The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is an archaic enigma. It’s certainly outclassed on-road by most of its rivals, and yet it’s something nearly all of us would park in our garages.

We’ve rated it a 6.4 out of 10 overall, but there’s more to the 2018 Land Cruiser’s six decade heritage than just numbers. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

It’s hugely capable off-road and has an enviable reputation for reliability even under the harshest conditions. Those attributes have long made Land Cruisers a staple in the most remote, war-torn regions of the world, but they don’t really come into play in suburbia.

This year, the Land Cruiser is largely unchanged after a hefty refresh in 2016. Its rear-seat entertainment system gets with the times and becomes a stand-alone option instead of standard (since most kids are attached to their tablets these days) and its exterior mirrors

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/toyota_land-cruiser_2018

2018 BMW X5 Review

The 2018 BMW X5 is a popular luxury crossover SUV available with seating for up to seven.

It’s a strong overall package, albeit one that lacks some of the BMW verve of yore. We’ve rated it a 7.2 out of 10 based on its excellent real-world usability, strong engines, and varied lineup. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X5 changes little for 2018, other than a sport-tuned version of its automatic transmission is now standard on almost all versions, and the German automaker has shuffled option packages to act more like trim levels. That means that the popular Premium package—which you’re likely to find on just about every X5 stocked on a dealer lot—now acts as a gateway to most individual options. There’s less configurability, but little lacking in this lineup.

The X5 remains available with 3.0-liter turbo-6 or 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 gas engines, a 3.0-liter

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/bmw_x5-series_2018