Cox Automotive: This Week In Car Buying
This Week in Car Buying: Cadillac prices 2020 XT6; 2019 Hyundai Kona Iron Man bows; Last call for V12 S-Class; Transaction prices jump
by Matt DeLorenzo
Atlanta GA March 8, 2019; Cadillac has released pricing for its new 3-row crossover SUV positioned between the XT5 and Escalade. The 2020 Cadillac XT6 will start at $53,690 including $995 delivery for the Premium Luxury front-drive model. That base price is about $1,500 more than the base 2020 Lincoln Aviator with rear-drive. Both are expected to go on sale this summer.
The 7-passenger XT6 is equipped with a 310-horsepoewr 3.6-liter V6 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, while the 3-row Lincoln will come with a 400-horsepower turbo 3.7-liter V6 with a 10-speed automatic.
A new Sport model trim level being introduced to Cadillac’s SUV lineup will also appear in the XT6 range. The 2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport will be priced from $58,090 including delivery and includes all-wheel drive as part of the mechanical package.
Standard equipment on all models includes forward collision alert, automatic emergency and front pedestrian braking, front and rear part assist, lane keep assist with a lane departure warning, and a rear seat reminder. Also standard are 20-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an 8-inch infotainment screen. Cadillac will begin taking orders for the 2020 XT6 by the end of the month.
Those old enough to remember the Isuzu VehiCross can recall an Ironman version, however that trim level referred to the triathlon of the same name. The 2019 Hyundai Kona Iron Man has something different in mind, the comic-book inspired hero that is Tony Stark’s alter ego.
The interior and exterior of the new Korean subcompact SUV sports design elements inspired by Iron Man’s suit. Finished in a matte gray paint scheme, the special edition Kona sports 18-inch wheels, red accents, custom daytime running lights that resemble the look of the Iron Man mask, a dark chrome grille, V-shaped hood bevel, red two-tone roof, Tony Stark signature on the dashboard, red stitching and piping on the upholstery and a special head-up display. Fog lights and the power sunroof have been deleted.
Pricing for the 2019 Kona Iron Man edition starts at $30,550 for front-drive models and $31,950 for all-wheel drive. Standard Kona models start with an SE trim priced from $19,990 with the Iron Man AWD model sitting above the previous top trim Ultimate, which carries an MSRP of $28,900.
Last call for V12 S-Class
The run of V12 engines in Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans is about to come to an end. The German luxury car maker announced that limited run of S 65 Final Edition models will be offered by the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand. Only 130 of the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12-powered sedans will be built for worldwide distribution.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Final Edition features a high-gloss obsidian black metallic paint scheme, 20-inch forged wheels, front air inlets in a unique matte bronze finish, and an AMG crest on the C-pillar. The look is punctuated by high-gloss black exhaust tips at the rear of the vehicle.
The interior is finished in black Nappa leather with copper-colored stitching, carbon fiber trim elements with copper-colored threads, a numbered edition plaque as well as copper-colored ambient lighting. Special attention is also paid under the hood where the badge with the signature of the technician who assembled the engine is in black instead of silver. The V12 produces 621 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with the standard-specification AMG Driver's package, the S 65 Final Edition has a top speed of 186 mph.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but rest assured, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. The standard 2019 Mercedes-AMG S 65 is priced from $232,550.
Transaction prices jump
Even though February sales declined, the average price paid for new vehicles jumped nearly three percent over year ago levels. According to data from Kelley Blue Book, the estimated average transaction price was $36,590, a 2.8 percent or $993 jump over year earlier figures. Following recent trends though, the ATP again declined month-over-month slightly by 0.5 percent or $205.
“New-vehicle transaction prices climbed nearly 3 percent in February, led by the strength in full-size pickup trucks,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “New pickups from General Motors and Ram are setting the pace for the segment, and every full-size pickup truck had year-over-year growth greater than 4 percent. Looking at midsize trucks, the segment was only up 1 percent for the month, but it is set for a similar revival with the new Ford Ranger hitting the market right now and the Jeep Gladiator coming soon.”
Full-size pickup trucks, as a class, saw average prices climb 6.5 percent to $49,958, up from $46,930 in February 2018. Minivans also saw a 4.1-percent jump in ATP to $35,635. The only segment with an appreciable loss in pricing was among the increasingly competitive subcompact crossover SUVs, dropping 1.5 percent to $23,982. The category is seeing more new entries and increasing incentives.
Gaining most year-over-year, Ford Motor Company’s average prices were up 5.5 percent, with both Ford and Lincoln up by 5 percent. Ford’s strength was led by the refreshed Edge and its new ST trim, which helped pull the model’s average up 5 percent. The F-Series also saw prices rise as the Super Duty trucks capture a larger share of sales. At Lincoln, the Nautilus rose 8 percent above the MKX it replaced, and the Navigator is still posting solid transaction prices, up 4 percent year-over year.
Subaru’s strong sales for its new Ascent is helping push up the ATP of that brand, fueling a 5.2-percent increase to $29,500, up from $28,032 a year earlier. Volkswagen Group is also seeing an increase in 4.2 percent in average prices, also fueled by success of the new VW Atlas 3-row SUV.
General Motors was flat year-over-year, with only the GMC brand posting an increase. GMC climbed 2 percent largely on the redesigned Sierra pickup, which was up 6 percent. However, Buick fell 3 percent, as the Enclave was down 4 percent now in the second year of its generation, and the Envision dropped by 5 percent.
Hyundai has taken the wraps off its next generation midsize sedan in the form of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. It will officially launch the vehicle at the New York Auto Show.
Land Rover is adding to its portfolio of electrified vehicles in the form of the 2019 Range Rover Sport mild hybrid. Two versions of the hybrid I6 will be offered.