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In the market for an SUV? Don’t miss these six upcoming models

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Six upcoming SUVs to watch for

Volvo XC60.

If you want the latest and greatest, take note of new models coming up from Volvo, Ford, Hyundai and more

If only buying a car was as simple as buying an iPhone. If you want the latest and greatest, Apple releases a new one every September, so you know that's the time to buy.

Car companies, on the other hand, release new models seemingly at random throughout the year. This makes it difficult to jump in at just the right time to ensure your new car stays feeling fresh for as long as possible. A new car is a big purchase, and most people don't swap them out every year like cellphones, so buying at the right time is important. That new-car feeling can be quickly dashed if, soon after you bring your ride home, it's been superseded by an updated model with new bells and whistles. Alternatively, if you're looking for a deal, it's helpful to know when the new models are coming because dealers may want to shed existing stock.

In Canada, compact SUV sales are up 15 per cent as of March, compared to the same time last year, according to data from GoodCarBadCar. With the market booming, auto makers are launching new 'utes at an unprecedented pace. It can be a bit of blur, with all these new models blending into an alpha-numeric jumble. Let's cut through that fog: if you're in the market for a new SUV, and you want the latest and greatest, take note of these six upcoming SUVs.

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Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60.

What is it?

An all-new compact SUV from Volvo, the born-again Swedish brand that is – in the words of Zoolander's Mugatu – so hot right now.

Why is it worth waiting for?

Volvo is the brand to watch for the foreseeable future, as it rebuilds its lineup from scratch with money from Chinese auto giant Geely. Volvo's flagship models – the 90 Series – have been raking in accolades worldwide. But those vehicles are expensive. We're curious to see if Volvo can successfully bring the same level of design and quality downmarket. The XC60, the first new compact vehicle from reborn Volvo, has the same ingenious four-cylinder engine as its bigger siblings. The motor comes in three increasingly complex and powerful versions: turbocharged; supercharged and turbocharged; and supercharged and turbocharged, with plug-in hybrid. Prices for the XC60 will start at $45,900.

Arrives:

Late August.


Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

What is it?

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Alfa Romeo's first SUV. Sacrilege, maybe, but Alfa's small lineup needs an SUV if it is to survive in North America.

Why is it worth waiting for?

If you're in the market for an SUV with some Italian bravura, there aren't many options. Lamborghini made the LM002 a while back. Maserati has the Levante, but it's a black sheep. The Stelvio will be significantly more affordable than both, starting around $53,000. It's handsome in a lumpy sort of way, and will be available in Quadrifoglio high-performance trim, meaning it'll have a 500-horsepower, Ferrari-derived V-6 under the hood. The Quadrifoglio grabs the headlines, but will the basic four-cylinder model – the version most people will buy – provide enough Italian flair to justify its price over the proven, reliable, German competition? We'll find out soon.

Arrives:

Summer.


Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport.

What is it?

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An affordable SUV from Ford, coming to Canada to take a slice of the booming mini-SUV market.

Why is it worth waiting for?

The EcoSport is based on the Fiesta, so if you can do without the junior-SUV styling, just get that hatchback. It's cheaper and you won't have to wait until fall. If you need a cute-ute, there are many to choose from, including the Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and the upcoming Hyundai Kona. Ford is late to the party, so expect it to offer more than just a blue oval on the hood to tempt buyers. The EcoSport puts tech first in the form of the SYNC infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software. Blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and navigation will be available, too. Pricing should start at around $20,000 for a basic model with front-wheel drive and a 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. All-wheel drive and a 2.0-litre motor will be available as an upgrade.

Arrives:

Late fall.


Volkswagen Tiguan

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.

What is it?

All-new for 2018, the formerly petite Tiguan can now be found in the big-and-tall aisle.

Why is it worth waiting for?

The Tiguan has put on a few pounds, but wears them well. The added bulk means it has seating for "5+2," which in car math means it has room for five adults plus two gymnasts or children. Its increased space and cargo room make the Tiguan a more tempting proposition than the outgoing model. The Tiguan slots into Volkswagen's lineup below the new Atlas SUV. The latter has seven seats, too, but it's one size larger and more expensive, starting at around $36,000. Canadian pricing for the 2018 Tiguan has yet to be announced. We expect it will cost slightly more than the outgoing model at $26,000, but you'll be getting more SUV for your money.

Arrives:

Late August.


Jaguar E-Pace

Jaguar E-Pace.

What is it?

A more affordable SUV from Jaguar, which hopes to capitalize on the unprecedented success of the F-Pace.

Why is it worth waiting for?

If it's as good as Jaguar's first SUV, the F-Pace, this second one will be a force to be reckoned with. And yes, it seems Jaguar will be sticking with this goofy Pace naming scheme for all its SUVs. The E-Pace will start at $42,700, which is $7,500 less than the bigger F-Pace. We only have one photo of the E-Pace to go on, but it looks like a squished version of its bigger sibling. The steeply raked rear end is meant to give it some sporty chutzpah. Whether the performance lives up to it yet, we don't know. Jaguar hasn't said anything about engines, other than that the E-Pace will be gasoline-only, no diesel or hybrid engines. The all-electric I-Pace is slated to launch in the second half of 2018.

Arrives:

Early 2018.


Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona.

What is it?

Hyundai's newest, cheapest ' ute, and the latest entrant into the crowded sub-compact SUV arena.

Why is it worth waiting for?

As with the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai is late to the party here. The Kona's rivals are many. It's Hyundai's first foray into this particular niche. The Kona brings an interesting design to the table – it's something between the Toyota C-HR and Audi's Q2. The styling is the work of Luc Donckerwolke, who left Bentley to lead the design departments at Hyundai and Genesis. Beyond the style, the Kona's chief selling point is all the technology Hyundai has crammed into it: wireless phone-charging, heads-up display and lane-keep assist, among others. An optional forward-looking camera and radar system can detect an imminent collision and automatically slam on the brakes. All-wheel drive and a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine will be optional, with a 2.0-litre non-turbo motor and front-wheel drive as standard.

Arrives:

Early 2018.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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