Each model year brings with it new trends and innovations. 2016 is no exception with innovations from fuel cell technology to the launch of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We’ve listed our six favorite trends we’re seeing in 2016 models.
6. Emergence of Fuel Cell Vehicles
Why we’re excited: Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen gas to generate electricity which powers the vehicles (with only water and heat as byproducts). Hyundai was the first mainstream auto brand to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market with the 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. In 2016 Toyota joins the fray with the launch of the 2016 Toyota Mirai; Honda is planning to respond with its own model soon. We’re excited to see a corresponding increase in the number of hydrogen fueling stations to go with these releases and lessen the barriers to mass adoption.
5. Resurgence of Clean Diesel
Why we’re excited: There’s no denying that the American diesel market took a beating in 2015. That said, we remain bullish on the technology itself and its ability to provide increased fuel economy with a net emissions savings. (See Why you should consider clean diesel.) We’re optimistic to see an uptake in market share for truly clean burning diesel vehicles, as 2015’s transgressions are put behind us.
4. Growth of the Crossover/Compact SUV Market
Why we’re excited: Crossovers and small SUVs are becoming increasingly popular options for those who want the added cargo room of a wagon or SUV with the drivability of a car. The 2016 model year introduces the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, FIAT 500X, as well as a redesigned BMW X1. We forecast continued growth in this segment as many consumers shift their preferences from more traditional options. (See What are our Top Selling Compact SUVs?)
3. Introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Why we’re excited: The 2016 model year brings with it the integration of vehicle infotainment systems both Apple iPhones and Android devices. (See Should your new car have Apple CarPlay?) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto provide drivers with a familiar interface, the convenience of their phone’s voice control, and the easy integration of maps, calls, and text messages. We’re hopeful these integrations will cut down on distracted driving and allow drivers to expend more of their focus on the road ahead.
2. Increasing Availability of Active Safety Technology
Why we’re excited: Cars are becoming more autonomous and are increasingly able to actively to apply steering and braking controls to prevent accidents before they happen. (See Should your new car have a crash prevention system?) We love watching this technology become more available and affordable for consumers.
1. Introduction of New Mainstream Plug-in Hybrid Models
Why we’re excited: 2016 will see the advent of numerous plug-in hybrids including the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid (shown above), a plug-in BMW 3 Series and X5, a plug-in Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class, and many more. (See Why are European luxury brands offering so many plug-in hybrids?) We’re thrilled that there are so many options available to drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising on style or handling.