Wednesday 26 October 2016
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Auto News: Fiat 124 Spider, Infiniti X30, Nissan Sentra

Auto News: Fiat 124 Spider, Infiniti X30, Nissan Sentra

It’s been a week of big debuts and reveals at the Los Angeles Auto Show which is now open to the public. In this week’s Auto News, we take a look at some of the ones making waves at this year’s show.

2017 FIAT 124 SPIDER

In the two-seater department, Fiat is bringing back the 124 Spider 50 years after it was originally introduced.

“There’s no better way to celebrate 50 years of the Fiat 124 Spider than to bring back this iconic roadster, pairing its Italian styling of the past with all of the modern performance and technology of today,” said Olivier François, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The 124 Spider expands the FIAT family, bringing to market yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle for our customers.”

It’s based on the current Mazda MX-5 Platform, but gets slightly more power under the hood. It comes with a turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, available with manual or automatic transmission.

The First 124 units will be available as limited-production Prima Edizione Lusso, the blue Fiat shown at the LA Auto Show. The all-new Fiat 124 Spider will arrive in North America next summer.


Infiniti is going after a new generation of younger buyers, aka Millennials, with its upcoming Infiniti QX30 crossover.

The small CUV features swoopy lines, high ride height, not to mention all-wheel-drive. Inside, the QX30 is comfortable with ergonomic seats, because even younger people can have back problems, right? It also features a seven-inch touchscreen and a quiet cabin.

It will be available with either a diesel or gas engine, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. A firm suspension makes this thing fun to drive as well when heading through twists and turns in the road.


The 2016 Nissan Sentra is also getting a facelift like its bigger siblings, the Altima and Maxima. It gets an updated interior styling, new safety tech and it’s priced starting at $16,780.

“For 2016, we’re giving our popular Sentra a complete makeover – that’s three-for-three for our top sedans,” says Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, U.S.A., Nissan North America, Inc. “Like Altima, we’re taking a powerful nameplate and making it even better.”

Outside of its more aggressive look with updated taillights, boomerang-shaped headlights and V-shaped nose, inside you get upgraded seat fabrics, a new steering wheel and shift knob. There is also a 5.9-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display between the tachometer and speedometer on the SV, SR and SL trims.


Ford is rolling out a pretty dramatic mid-cycle refresh for the 2017 Escape. It gets updated styling, lots of cool tech features and more room.

One of the coolest things is that it will be the automaker’s first vehicle to get Sync Connect. It allows drivers to lock and unlock doors, start engines, and even locate their vehicles by using a smartphone app.

Under the hood, the new Escape gets two new four-cylinder EcoBoost engines  – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. In another Ford first, it’s the automaker’s first vehicle to get auto stop-start standard. Ford says it improves fuel efficiency by 4 percent to 6 percent in stop-and-go traffic.

In terms of trims, you’ve got the S, SE and Titanium models, plus a new Sport Appearance Package available for SE and Titanium. The Titanium trim doesn’t mess around and gives you unique Salerno leather seats.

The 2017 Escape hits the road next spring.

Photo Credit: Infiniti