Week In Review: Best-Sellers, SEMA, and Car of the Year

By | November 09, 2013
Another week has come and gone, bringing us closer and closer to the Los Angeles Auto Show. Monday brought us the best selling vehicles by segment, with rivalries still brewing between the automakers. On Tuesday, we visited SEMA in Las Vegas and learned all about what's new with Honda. Volvo announced on Wednesday the safety scores for the 2014 XC90. Thursday brought us the results of Motor Trend's Car of the Year. On Friday, we got a glimpse at new design elements from Volkswagen. We've brought in the week's top stories in a shortened format for your viewing pleasure. Have time to read the full articles? Click on the link embedded in the summary. Monday, November 4 Paragraphimage There's a race every month to have the top vehicles in each segment, and when sales are announced at the beginning of every month, we see many familiar faces fighting to be the segment leader. October showed that Nissan owns the subcompact segment, as its Versa once again leads the pack. Honda took the compact top spot from Toyota with the Civic, while Toyota retains the midsize crown. There's no stopping the F-Series, as the majority of the competition can barely come close. The Honda CR-V and Ford Escape battled it out in the two-row crossover segment, with the Honda pulling out ahead, while the Ford Explorer cinched the three-row crossover category. BMW and Mercedes-Benz duke it out every month for the luxury car segment, and BMW's 3 Series remains the sales leader. As the Lexus RX created the luxury crossover segment, it's only fair it keeps the top spot. The Ford Mustang managed to edge out the Chevrolet Camaro for the sports car leader, rounding out our segment best seller list for October. Tuesday, November 5 Paragraphimage We usually see a few solid vehicle debuts at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), held at the Las Vegas Convention Center every year, and this year didn't disappoint. Honda showed an upgraded Civic sedan and announced further changes to the coupe and Si model. The Civic coupe offers a more athletic appearance, with a bolder nose and strong fender line, while the Si has a bolder spoiler and larger wheels. The Civic Si's engine has been tweaked to produce more horsepower and torque. Honda also shared news regarding the CR-Z, mentioning a newly-available chassis kit featuring 18-inch aluminum wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, along with sport brake pads and sport dampers. The Honda Performance Development (HPD) Supercharger Kit has also been optioned on the CR-Z, increasing power on the sport hybrid. As it turns out, 50 extra horsepower does make this hybrid more fun to drive. We just hope Honda can keep prices down to lure in more buyers. Wednesday, November 6 Paragraphimage The 2014 Volvo XC90 has landed itself a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, managing top marks in all tests. The XC90 managed to pass the difficult small overlap front crash test that simulates what happens when the front corner of a car strikes an object, tree, or other vehicle at 40 mph. Other models have failed to earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating because of this new test, including the Toyota Rav4. This achievement is significant for Volvo as it did not have time to make significant changes to the model like Toyota, but was able to implement minor structural changes like Subaru did with its Impreza and XV Crosstrek. As a leader in safety, Volvo has made sure to maintain its reputation by producing some of the safest vehicles on the road today. Not only has the XC90 received high safety marks, the XC60 and S60 have also earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. Thursday, November 7 Paragraphimage Motor Trend has announced its results for the annual Motor Trend Car of the Year award, and the 2014 Cadillac CTS has managed to claim the title. The CTS was up against some stiff competition, including the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette and 2014 Jaguar F-Type. We know that this will be a controversial pick and some may not agree with the choice, but when we drove the 2014 Cadillac CTS, we couldn't stop gushing over it, and we feel as if we've been vindicated by the decision. This may have been one of the toughest competitions for Motor Trend in recent years, as there was not one car that we didn't feel was a solid competitor, but as a whole, the CTS just outperformed in all aspects of the competition. Congrats to Cadillac for producing a solid car that could go up against the big guns that cost significantly more. Friday, November 8 Paragraphimage "It's time for a new look," said a Volkswagen insider to Autocar. With auto show season in full swing and many automakers stepping up their game, Volkswagen has decided to introduce a new design language that it will slowly unveil as each new model rolls off the line. As of right now we know that the automaker is planning on keeping its iconic looks, but will be modernizing and evolving them. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, it was suggested that the Sportsvan concept, the replacement to the current Golf Plus, was the first glimpse at what Volkswagen wants to do with its new design. The new model will be five inches longer than the current Golf Plus and three inches longer than the five-door Golf when it hits production. We expect the new model to come out in 2014.
  • 2014 Cadillac CTS