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Wheel Love 2016: Revving Up For This Year’s Best

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By James Hurst

According to Global Investing Insights, the automotive industry is facing some global changes which will impact everyone, as well as other industries across the world. With the reduction in fossil-fuel consumption, the automotive industry is gradually moving toward renewable sources of energy. As electric vehicles plug into the grid to charge, some will be able to upload power back to the grid during times of high demand. In addition, autonomous vehicles (also known as “driverless vehicles”) are on the horizon to upend our concept of the open road. With the advances in technology and computers, some of the first industries to feel the impact will be the taxi/rental car and delivery-service industries. Eventually, the consumer on the open road will experience the winds of change. Until then, OutSmart would like to introduce you to some interesting automobiles for 2016—they range from practical and fun-loving to exuberant and over-the-top.

Buick Cascada

The 2016 Buick Cascada.
The 2016 Buick Cascada.

Buick introduces the all-new Cascada for 2016. This luxury convertible is designed to let you enjoy the open road with the top up or down. The premium soft-top features acoustic and thermal insulation for comfortable all-season driving. With the pull of a lever, it transforms from a quiet sedan to a convertible in only 17 seconds, while driving up to 31 m.p.h. Buick designed the Cascada with long doors and the Easy Entry system that tilts and automatically slides the front seats forward for convenient access to the back row. Advanced technologies include available OnStar 4GLTE with a WiFi hotspot to keep you connected as you explore the open road. Cascada is powered by a 1.6L 200 hp turbocharged engine and features a sport lowered chassis, Stabilitrak technology, 20-inch wheels, and Hiper Strut Suspension. Starting price for this sexy new Buick is $33,065.

Cadillac CT6

The 2016 Cadillac CT6.
The 2016 Cadillac CT6.

For 2016, Cadillac introduces the first-ever CT6 sedan. This bold, innovative platform creates a beautifully crafted automobile with an available 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo engine. The CT6 interior is designed to stimulate your senses with custom-stained exotic woods, rich leathers, excellent craftsmanship, and a Bose Panaray Sound System. Cadillac offers collision-avoidance technology through an assortment of radar, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors that detect potential hazards. The CT6 has available 4-wheel steering which, combined with the innovative fusion technologies, creates a high-strength frame for quieter acoustics. The increased rigidity makes for a beautiful sedan with precise handling. The CT6 is available from Cadillac today, starting at $53,495.

Kia Sedona

The 2016 Kia Sedona.
The 2016 Kia Sedona.

Exceptional style, sportiness, and versatility are all good descriptions for this minivan from Kia. It has room for eight, storage for the necessities, and a long list of standard and optional safety features. The 2016 Sedona offers multiple seating configurations, is powered by a 276 hp V6, six-speed transmission, and has a variety of technologically advanced features, including available Smart Cruise Control and BlindSpot Detection with Lane Change Assist. The Sedona is arguably the best-looking minivan available today. Sedona’s pricing starts at $26,995 for the base model and climbs up into the mid $40,000 range, depending on the options one checks off. A well-equipped, leather-lined EX can run around $33,195.

Range Rover Discovery Sport

The 2016 Range Rover Discovery Sport.
The 2016 Range Rover Discovery Sport.

The 2016 Discovery Sport can be described as a modern, well-proportioned midsize luxury SUV. According to Range Rover, it is designed for those who want to go off the beaten path and explore. The styling is smooth, clean, and simple. The Sport offers plenty of passenger space in the first and second rows, while the folding third-row seating is best suited for storage and/or small children. Range Rover offers the Discovery Sport with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 240 hp and 250 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels. The capable all-wheel drive and Terrain Response system adjusts the Discovery’s parameters for optimum traction on various surfaces such as snow, mud, or sand. This luxury SUV starts at $37,455.

Fiat 500X

The 2016 Fiat 500X.
The 2016 Fiat 500X.

The 2016 Fiat 500X is built on a new global platform that the 500X shares with the Jeep Renegade. This subcompact crossover should broaden Fiat’s appeal, as it is more comfortable, has better-quality materials, and caters better to the North American mindset. The base model (designated as the Pop trim) is powered by a 1.4L four-cylinder engine producing 160 hp and mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox. Four additional trim levels are offered, powered by a 2.4L four-cylinder engine producing 180 hp, with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Fiat 500X options include an all-wheel drive system. Base prices range from the Pop, starting at $20,900, upward to the Trekking Plus trim that begins at $28,900.

BMW 435i Gran Coupe

The 2016 BMW 435i Gran Coupe.
The 2016 BMW 435i Gran Coupe.

The 2016 BMW Gran Coupe can be described as a sedan that works like a hatchback. On the surface, the Gran Coupe looks like any traditional sedan, but open the decklid, and a liftgate hinges open from the roofline, revealing convenience and utility, especially with rear seats folded. Gran Coupe buyers can choose all–wheel drive or a more efficient four–cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 435i is powered by a turbocharged DOHC 24-valve inline- 6 delivering 300 hp and 300 pound–feet of torque. The entry level 428i Gran Coupe starts at $41,650 and rises to $49,950 for the 2016 XDrive 435i. Of course, the BMW 4 Series is available in a wide array of choices, from the coupe to the convertible and iconic M4.

Lincoln Black Label MKC

The 2016 Lincoln Black Label MKC.
The 2016 Lincoln Black Label MKC.

The 2016 MKC is Lincoln’s sport crossover with the refinement of a luxury sedan. This very attractive vehicle sports a low roofline with a sculpted exterior. The Black Label MKC is considered the top–of–the–line model. For 2016, the Lincoln offers a whole new personalized and exclusive experience, starting with a choice of either scheduling a dealership visit or a personal shopping-assistant meeting at your home or office. During the visit, the Black Label representative will detail the various options available for your vehicle, which include Venetian leathers, microsuede, wood trim, and four available designer “themes.” Black Label customers are treated to an exceptionally comprehensive ownership package. These perks include unlimited “anytime” car washes, free loaner, pickup/delivery, and a “Culinary Collection” membership to a curated list of restaurants nationwide. The Lincoln Black Label MKC is certainly designed to catch your eye and create an experience. Starting at $46,455.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

This newest member of the Mercedes-Benz family is a very attractive, muscular SUV. The 2016 GLE Coupe is described as an SUV with the heart and soul of a sports car, powered by a 3.0L bi-turbo V-6 producing 362 hp and 384 pound-feet of torque. Of course, the GLE offers all the latest technology, from the available Parking Assist Package and Surround View system to the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound premium sound system. This newest member of the Mercedes-Benz family should prove to be a formidable challenger to the rest of the pack. The GLE starts at $65,100.

Volvo XC90

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 9.45.39 PM
The 2016 Volvo XC90.

The all-new Volvo XC90 has been named the 2016 North American Truck of the Year. It should prove to be the safest, most advanced, most powerful, and most efficient luxury vehicle they have ever made. Traditionally known for their boxy designs and safety, Volvo has taken Scandinavian design to a new level with an SUV that is beautiful, both inside and out. The all-new supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 316 hp and 296 pound-feet of torque, and is mated to an all-new automatic eight-speed Geartronic transmission. Pricing begins at $43,950.

OutSmart Community-Supportive Auto Dealerships in this issue:

Advantage BMW Midtown
1305 Gray at Caroline
713.289.1200
advantagebmwhouston.com

Beck & Masten Buick GMC South
12820 Gulf Freeway
713.947.4111
beckmastensouth.com

Beck & Masten Kia
25503 Tomball Parkway
281.539.1111
beckmastenkia.com

Central Houston Cadillac
2520 Main
713.874.0900
centralhoustoncadillac.com

Clear Lake Fiat
15695 Gulf Freeway
281.617.4923
fiatusaofclearlake.com

Land Rover Houston Central
7019 Old Katy Road Houston
713.293.6100
landroverhouston.com

Planet Lincoln
20403 I-45 North
281.539.4900
planetlincoln.com

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James T. Hurst

James Hurst is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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