BMW X5 eDrive Concept

BMW is careful to call the vehicle a "concept," but almost everything except the powertrainon the X5 eDrive is standard-issue X5. In addition to being the first plug-in hybrid X5, it is also the first four-cylinder X5, powered by BMW's 2.0-liter I-4 and supplemented by a 95-hp electric motor. This is a major departure from BMW's previous SUV hybrid effort, a stomping 485-hp twin-turbocharged V-8 hybrid in the form of the X6 ActiveHybrid. Unsurprisingly, very few were sold, with few buyers seeing the need for an ultra-powerful hybridized $90,000 limited-utility fastback SUV.

Click here to read more on the BMW Concept X5 eDrive Concept

2015 BMW X4

The latest trend among the premium brands is to try to slice out ever narrower niches off a common platform, creating vehicles that have a simultaneously broad and specific appeal. The new 2015 BMW X4 is a case in point. The new smaller "sport activity coupe" is in addition to the BMW X1 crossover hatch, the bread-and-butter X3 on which it is based, the 3 Series wagon, and don't forget the 3 Series Grand Touring, which basically looks like a less-chunky, more carlike version of the BMW X4. So you basically have four variations on the same theme. Where does that leave the X4? Let us examine.

Click here to read our full first look of the 2015 BMW X4 .

2015 Mini Countryman

The Mini Countryman gets a mild refresh for 2015 but doesn't yet make the transition to the new platform underpinning the 2014 Mini Cooper two-door model. That means it's still powered by a 1.6L I-4 engine, making a maximum of 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque (207 lb-ft on overboost) in the John Cooper Works model. Most of the changes to the '15 model are cosmetic, with three new exterior colors: Jungle Green metallic, Midnight Grey metallic, and Starlight Blue metallic.

The 2015 MINI Countryman models get revised grilles with a red radiator rib with a logo badge on JCW models. Optional is a new Piano Black exterior finish option, which applies a high-gloss black finish to selected exterior trim areas, including the accent piece between the A-pillar and wheelwell. Other changes include lighter-weight alloy wheels, LED foglights, and driving lights. The speedometer and tachometer get an anthracite finish on all Countryman models, following the style of the JCW model. Expect the Mini Countryman to move to the new platform within the next two years.

2015 Chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet will get its own version of the Gamma-II-based Encore in the U.S. market with the 2015 Chevrolet Trax. For some unknown reason, other than letting the Buick Encore get its 15 minutes of fame, the Trax was introduced to the Canadian and global markets in 2013. So while not completely new to the world, the Trax is new to the U.S. market. Mechanically, if you're familiar with the Encore, you'll be familiar with the Trax. The powertrain is the familiar 1.4-liter 138-hp turbo I-4 mated exclusively to the Hydra-matic 6T40 six-speed automatic. Customers have a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

Click here to read our full first look of the 2015 Chevrolet Trax .

2015 Honda HR-V

Honda hasn’t released powertrain details, though expect the HR-V to be powered by the 2015 Honda Fit’s 130-hp, 1.5-liter inline-four engine. A CVT will most likely be used, though it’ll be interesting to see if Honda offers the HR-V with a six-speed manual. The fourth-generation Fit is slightly larger, with a wheelbase that has stretched 1.2 inches, providing more passenger and cargo room. The chassis is not only stiffer thanks to a new body-on-skeleton construction, but it’s also lighter thanks to a number of revised components such as its hollow front anti-roll bar.

Click here to read more.