AD #2244 – Land Rover’s Design Transformation, GM to Launch Autonomous Fleet in 2019, Kia Niro Plug-In Details

December 1st, 2017 at 11:45am

Runtime: 8:06

0:32 GM to Launch Autonomous Fleet in 2019
1:24 Toyota to Build Renewable Power Plant
2:44 Kia Niro Plug-In Details
3:37 Land Rover’s Design Transformation
5:51 Why Hyundai Embraces Entry-Level Cars

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18 Comments to “AD #2244 – Land Rover’s Design Transformation, GM to Launch Autonomous Fleet in 2019, Kia Niro Plug-In Details”

  1. Barry T Says:

    It’s interesting that we still hear such a wide variety of timeline predictions for non-geofenced AVs – probably indicates who’s investing in it and who isn’t?

    Seems like Hyundai/KIA are going to be back strong in the sales hunt with all the new *UV products in the pipeline.

    I’m starting to get more interested in Land Rover – their designs are evolving nicely!

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Land Rover seems to be doing what Jeep did 30 years ago with the Grand Cherokee and expand out of the utilitarian very capable off-road vehicle into a refined luxury SUV market. Funny though as they speak about changing identity they show their vehicle rolling up the side of mountain at 12k feet. Which is the identity they have had.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Was just recently on Mound Rd myself and saw a very similar AV equipped car, but it was a silver Chevy Volt. Wanted to follow it for a bit just to observe but had places to be.

    Hyundai could be very smart in pursuing the entry level market if their vehicles leave customers with a good impression. They’re are two ways it can go.
    1) You get customers familiar with your product and if they are happy and feel it a quality product they will return and be repeat customers for the larger more expensive car later.
    2) If your vehicle is cheap and just bare minimum to keep it affordable customers will move to other brands when they are ready to buy up and you only get entry level buyers. However if they understand its a cheap entry level car its possible to retain customer for up level same brand, but that’s only if the car was reliable but basic.

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The Niro is an attractive enough vehicle but whether the plug-in will help or hinder is too hard to tell. It is entering a well populated segment so we shall see what we shall see.

    The Land Rover too is an attractive (enough) vehicle; while leaning towards the high-end (price), again, we’ll see what we shall see. After initial launch, though, the styling (to me) seems to be a little bland. JMO

  5. WineGeek Says:

    Sean did you say that the plugin MPG is less than the hybrid? Overall mileage should be higher if there is 26 miles of pure electric power. Was that a misspoke comment?? :)

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 I’m sure he meant that the mpg of the plug-in is worse, when running on gas. I wouldn’t think it would be much worse, though. Prius Prime and the regular gen 4 Prius get about the same mpg, even if you never plug in the Prime.

  7. Sean McElroy Says:

    @WineGeek – Kit’s right, I should have provided more information. The plug-in get slightly less fuel economy than the hybrid once the battery is drained.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #2 Since around 1980, Land Rover has been best known as a maker of very expensive, but off-road capable tall wagons, like the Range Rover that starts at ~$85K. In the 1950′s-1970′s, they were known for vehicles more like this:

    https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/1961-Land-Rover-Series-II-Pictures-c13324

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    #8 Expensive doesn’t automatically make them luxury. Yes for years now they have moved into the luxury SUV market by accident but they have maintained the off-road capabilities over ride and comfort. They seem to now be willing to refine those items, off-road capability will be compromised like adding the low profile tires shown in today broadcast. Its good to see that they plan to differentiate the uses with the SV, SVX and SVR designation.

  10. Alexander Crabitses Says:

    Hearing Hyundai’s logic for keeping the Accent alive in the US market, despite having the Kona crossover coming, makes Ford look foolish for wanting to kill the Fiesta off in the US.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe Ford product planners have read CR’s reports, and found that the Fiesta has relatively low owner satisfaction, and is unreliable, not good for keeping the company “in the fold” as they move to bigger cars.

  12. Ctech Says:

    It looks like someone at Hyundai has studied both Volkswagen and GM history. They hope to repeat it, without screwing up.

  13. Ctech Says:

    Will we add Dan Ammann’s prediction about autonomous vehicle costs to Roger Smith’s diesel predictions, The Elio 3 wheeler, and the Fisker?

  14. luv2drive Says:

    Interesting piece on Land Rover design, but they all still look a lot like Fords. A top of the line Explorer is visual twin!

  15. Mark Says:

    I have never heard a single explanation for the big push for autonomous vehicles. For over a century we have driven our own vehicles. So why now does the government want to take that away?

  16. Ukendoit Says:

    Really Mark? There has been numerous Autoline Daily and After Hours as well as reader commentary discussing it. Mainly, it is about safety. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44. With autonomy, there will still be a few crashes, possibly even deaths per year (which will make big news and be blown out of proportion) but even if it only cuts the deaths in half, those half million people will be appreciative. With driver distractions ever increasing, autonomy for the younger drivers is very pressing.
    I generally enjoy driving, but I could see letting the vehicle take over in rush hour or for long trips and I would really like the distracted teenager next to me on the road to let the car take over!

  17. veh Says:

    Well said, Ukendoit. “the government” isn’t the evil boogeyman here.

  18. Mark Says:

    #16 Where you getting your facts from Ukendoit? Obviously from the made up news company. A quick search online puts the actual deaths by vehicle at around 40 thousand a year. Far too many, but nowhere near the 1.3 million you quote.

    Autonomous vehicles will remain a miniscule percentage of the vehicles on the roads for a long, long time. So they will have little effect on safety overall. Actually in the near term (10-20 years) I see more people being injured by this not-ready-for-prime-time tech, than being saved by it. One thing for certain, the lawyers will make a mint from all the lawsuits to come when the tech does not work 100% perfect.

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