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2021 hyundai kona review

Detailed Review of the 2021 Hyundai Kona

The 2021 Hyundai Kona proves that good things come in small packages. It’s a small crossover SUV with budget pricing and attractive body lines. However, the Kona does come with available all-wheel drive, a turbo engine, and other high-end amenities. Play around with the model trims and options and you’ll walk away with a sweet deal.

There are six trim levels for the Kona crossover. The base model SE comes with an attractive entry cost as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The SEL model has push button ignition and rear cross traffic collision warnings. The SEL Plus upgrades the Kona with tech amenities like wireless charging, a premium audio system and a Blue Link connected car system. The Night Edition has sporty black accents, aluminum alloy sport pedals and 18-inch semi-gloss black wheels. The Limited model has a 175 horsepower turbo engine and a dual clutch SHIFTRONIC gearbox. The Ultimate model has leather upholstery, a Heads-up Display, and smart cruise control.

Auto enthusiasts will be excited to learn that Hyundai does plan to produce an N model for the Kona. In a company press release Till Wartenberg, the Head of N Brand Management said, “We are very excited to unveil the KONA N, a true Hot SUV with all the driving fun N offers. With our first ever N Day, we aim to continue the story of N and share our vision with this digital format to further engage with our enthusiasts.Hyundai N Day is April 27th, 2021. So, look out for more details about the 2021 Hyundai Kona N to come very soon.

2021 Hyundai Kona: A Small but Sporty Exterior

The 2021 Hyundai Kona has a busy exterior design with lots to see. There’s a large front mesh grille with headlights arranged in a stacked formation. Just ignore the faux air intake vents as you pass along to the profile. The base model comes with 16-inch alloy wheels. It might be wise to upgrade to the SEL model so that the wheel wells get at least a set of 17-inch shoes. 18-inch wheels are available on the higher model trims.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona has a small footprint. It stretches out to 164 inches in length and just under 71 inches in width. It has 6.7 inches of ground clearance and a height of 61.6 inches when equipped with roof rails.

Perhaps, the 2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate is the best model to showcase the crossover’s exterior style. The Ultimate Kona comes with LED headlights with high beam assist. It has 18-inch black wheels, roof rails and a power tilt and slide sunroof.

For a more detailed look at the 2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate, check out this video review on YouTube.

Interior Amenities of the 2021 Hyundai Kona

The interior of the Kona isn’t a bit easier on the eyes than the exterior. The 2021 Hyundai Kona has seating for 5 passengers, but 4 will fit much better. The Hyundai Kona favors the front row in terms of passenger space. The front seat occupants get 39.6 inches of headroom and 41.5 inches of legroom. Things get a bit more cramped on the rear bench though. Head room is almost universal, but leg room in the back seat drops to just 34.6 inches. There’s a total of 113.3 cubic feet of interior volume and 94.1 inches of that is earmarked for passengers. There’s a total of 45.8 cubic feet of cargo volume when you fold down the rear seats. There’s a dual level cargo floor back there that adds some additional storage space.

Cloth upholstery is standard on all Kona models except for the Limited and Ultimate models. A 7-inch color touchscreen display outfits the center dashboard while the Ultimate model gets a small boost with an 8-inch screen. The SEL is just a step up from the base model and gets proximity key entry, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Yet, the SEL still only costs about $22,300.

Performance Options for the Kona Crossover

The 2021 Hyundai Kona is available with two choices for the powertrain. There’s a 2.0 Liter inline four-cylinder engine that gets 147 horsepower and 132 pound feet of torque. With a 6-speed gearbox pushing the front wheels, it’s pretty obvious that this is an economy team. The Night, Limited and Ultimate models come with a 1.6 Liter turbo inline four. It produces 175 horsepower and 195 lb. ft. of torque. The turbo models also get a 7-speed EcoShift transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard, but any model can be outfitted with all-wheel drive. The suspension is bolstered by gas-pressurized shock absorbers. Front-wheel drive models have a coupled torsion beam axle rear setup. The all-wheel drive models trade out the standard suspension for an independent multi-link design.

There are two driving modes. Drivers can toggle between normal and sport mode. The 2021 Hyundai Kona gets impressive gas mileage which is to be expected from a four-cylinder compact crossover. The Kona with front-wheel drive gets 30 MPG combined while the all-wheel drive models get 28 miles per gallon combined.

Safety Features from Hyundai

The NHTSA gives the Kona crossover a 5-star crash rating. However, standard safety features on the base model are surprisingly sparse. The SE model comes with Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Driver Attention Warnings. Yet with just a slight upgrade to the SEL model, interested buyers get the additional blind-spot collision warning, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic collision warning. Only the 2021 Kona Ultimate gets additional safety features. It comes with parking distance warning and an improved forward collision warning system that includes pedestrian detection.

Related: Detailed Review of the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy

Which Model of the 2021 Hyundai Kona is the Best?

The 2021 Hyundai Kona has an MSRP of $20,500. The 2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate model has a cost of $28,150. So, even the top tier model for the Kona doesn’t break the bank. The base model is skippable, especially when you consider the features and amenities you get just from going up one notch on the model tree.

Hyundai offers some attractive incentives to go with the 2021 Kona crossover. Buyers get 3 years or 36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance. You also get a 10-year powertrain warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance for 5 years.

The Kona crossover is one of the best budget vehicles on the market. The 2021 Hyundai Kona has a lot going for it, but real performance heads might want to wait for the N model. Perhaps, the Kona N will get improved handling, a sport-tuned transmission and even better style elements.

2022 Kia Stinger GT Features and Configurations Review

The 2022 Kia Stinger GT is the ultimate sleeper. It’s a gran tourer with luxury and power in equal measure. The brand name might not give people the chills, but South Korean automaker Kia has got a winner with this sporty saloon.

There are three configurations for the 2022 Kia Stinger GT. There’s the GT-Line, GT1 and GT2. The GT-Line model comes with nearly every advanced safety feature on the market and a peppy turbo-charged four-cylinder engine. The GT1 steps up to V6 power and adds plenty of performance upgrades to match. The GT2 takes the interior of the Stinger to the heights of luxury with heated seats and Nappa leather. There’s also the Scorpion special edition model.

The Scorpion special edition outfits the Kia Stinger GT with a stylish rear spoiler, black fender accents with matching side mirrors and smoky chrome exhaust ports. There are black 19-inch polished wheels under the fenders and special body paint colors like Snow White, Aurora Black, and Ceramic Silver. The interior gets bonus carbon fiber trims.

2020 Kia Stinger Features and Configurations Review

Performance Capabilities of the 2022 Kia Stinger GT

The standard 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line has a 2.5 Liter turbo four under the hood. It produces 300 horsepower and 311 lb. ft. of torque. The Kia Stinger had a version of this four-cylinder powertrain in the 2021 model, but this turbo four-cylinder engine is new for 2022. It produces about 40 more HP than the previous year’s entry level Stinger.

Transmission

The 2022 Kia Stinger has an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. There’s an available electronic shift-by-wire transmission, as well. There’s five different driving modes that link up throttle, torque, suspension and steering to create unique driving profiles.

You can outfit the Kia Stinger GT with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Rear wheel drive models come with a limited-slip differential (LSD) while all-wheel drive Stingers get an electronically controlled transfer case and dynamic torque vectoring control. The all-wheel drive has torque vectoring just like the Audi S4 and the AMG C43. Those sports cars are a bit faster though. The Audi S4 can go from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds.

Engine

The top models are the Stinger GT1 and GT2. These models come with a 3.3. Liter, twin turbo V6 engine that pumps out 368 horsepower and 376 pound feet of torque. It rips from zero to 60 in 4.7 seconds. The 2022 Stinger GT1 and GT2 have launch control and a valved exhaust system. The electronic variable exhaust affects the engine note for a robust, athletic sound.

Suspension

The 2022 Kia Stinger GT comes with high performance dampers, a multi-link rear suspension and MacPherson struts in the front. An electronically controlled suspension comes standard on the GT1 and GT2. The GT1 and GT2 also have larger red Brembo brake calipers.

Fuel Economy

Gas mileage might be the thorn in the paw of the 2022 Kia Stinger. Rear wheel drive models equipped with the four-cylinder engine get the best gas mileage. The GT-Line with rear wheel drive gets 22 MPG in the city and a surprising 32 miles per gallon on the highway. However, all wheel drive models suffer significantly. The GT1 and GT2 with all wheel drive and a V6 powertrain only get 17 MPG in urban settings and 24 MPG on the highway.

Style Elements of the New Kia Stinger

The Kia Stinger was always an aggressive looking sports car. The 2022 model comes back with sharper wheel designs, improved LED lighting, and four exhaust ports in the rear. The LED taillights now cross the whole rear end liftgate. It’s as if the Stinger finally looked in the mirror and realized just how competitive it really can be against the big name brands.

The 2022 Kia Stinger has a long hood, swept back windshield and low-riding interior that marks it as a gran tourer. There are chrome air intakes on the front and sides of the vehicle. You can outfit the Stinger GT with 18-inch wheels on the GT-Line model. The GT1 and GT2 come with 19-inch Spire alloy wheels. Michelin all-season tires are optional. Pilot Sport summer tires come as standard equipment on all the new Stinger GT models.

Luxurious Interior of the 2022 Stinger GT

The interior of the 2022 Kia Stinger GT has a cockpit aesthetic reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SLR coupe. The center console of the Stinger GT has three large air conditioning vents in the place where most automakers place their touchscreen interface. The 2022 Kia Stinger GT has shifted the display to the top of the dashboard so that drivers won’t need to take their eyes off the road to access navigation and infotainment. The Stinger comes with a 10-and-a quarter-inch touchscreen display.

No detail was too small to be obsessed over,” noted Orth Hedrick, Executive Director, Car Product & Telematics on the Kia website.

Colors

The interior has red, black or beige Nappa leather upholstery with glossy black and chrome accents sprinkled throughout the cabin. The front bucket seats are oriented in a low, almost reclining posture. The rear bench fits two people and provides the type of stretching room you’d expect from a gran tourer.

Dimensions

There’s 23.3 cubic feet of cargo volume and 93.8 cubic feet of total passenger volume. There’s 37 inches of headroom and 36.4 inches of legroom in the rear. Front passengers have the best use of the interior space with 38.3 inches of headroom and 42.6 inches of legroom.

Tech

The 7-inch LCD instrument cluster is bright with a functional layout. It tells you pertinent performance data such as turbocharger boost levels and cornering g-forces. A Heads-up Display projects your vehicle’s speed and navigation directions. The interior also has ambient LED lighting that comes standard.

The entry model doesn’t come with a sunroof. You can add the Sun and Sound package which outfits the Stinger with a wide sunroof, 8-way power adjustable passenger seats to enjoy it, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system with 15 speakers.

Safety Features from Kia

In the safety department, the Stinger GT comes with automatic emergency braking, blind spot collision warnings, and lane keeping assist. You don’t have to pay an extra premium for these features. They come standard on the 2022 Kia Stinger GT.

The only safety feature that doesn’t come standard on all Stinger GT models is the blind-spot view monitor. Otherwise, every 2022 Stinger Gt gets rear cross traffic collision avoidance, driver attention warning, forward collision warnings, and pedestrian detection.

At the Finish Line

The 2022 Kia Stinger has an MSRP of $36,090 for the GT-Line model. If you’re not that interested in performance, then it’s a hard sell to choose the GT1 over the entry level GT-Line Stinger. It already produces 300 horsepower and that’s more than enough power for most drivers. Plus, all of the best safety gear comes standard on the entry model. The 2022 Kia Stinger GT2 costs $53,490. It’s simply the best performance vehicle that Kia has ever produced.

Nobody expected such a car. Not just the way it looks but also the way it drives.” – Albert Biermann, Head of Vehicle Test & High-Performance Development

The Kia Stinger quietly competes with the Audi S4, BMW M340i, and the Mercedes-Benz AMG C43. It’s just as capable and stylish with a much prettier price tag. The Kia Stinger could possibly be Kia’s last internal combustion engine (ICE) sports car. Then again, perhaps consumers will demand that automakers keep making a small batch of ICE vehicles for people who simply love them and don’t want to make the shift to electric cars. In either case, the 2022 Kia Stinger GT is a sure bet. It costs less than a German sports car but hangs with the pack. If you’re a driving purist then it shouldn’t matter what logo is on the hood. It’s what’s under the hood that matters the most.

Detailed Review of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Subaru has just debuted their premiere off-roader, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. It comes with a turbocharged engine, enhanced suspension, and off-road modes, plus a tough exterior that can tame the outdoors with ease. The Outback Wilderness has plenty of standard safety features and comfortable seating for a rambunctious family of five.

Detailed Review of the 2021 Hyundai Kona

Rugged Style of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The Outback Wilderness is full of style enhancements for 2022. The front and rear bumpers have signature Wilderness model designs and decals. The front fascia has a hexagon honeycomb black grille. Tough black cladding creeps up from the front skid plate all the way up to the center of the front fascia. The profile has black cladding over the wheel wells, too. The hood has a matte black decal traveling down the center. There are LED fog lights up front and LED lights for the rear gate.

The rear of the Wilderness model makes use of the thick black cladding motif again with a chunky U-shaped rear bumper. There are bright copper accents all around the vehicle that indicate where you’ll find utility points like front and rear tow hooks and roof rail tie downs. The roof rack can accommodate 700 pounds of gear and has versatile options for storing cumbersome camping gear. An upgraded options package outfits the Outback Wilderness with a power moonroof.

The 2022 Outback Wilderness has an exclusive color called Geyser Blue. It hearkens back to Subaru’s rally heritage and the blue color palette is a welcomed change from Subaru’s usual drab color schemes for the Outback. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard on the Wilderness model and they have a matte black finish. The Outback Wilderness comes with Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires as standard equipment. Your spare tire isn’t a dud either. It’s a Yokohama all-terrain tire that’s stored under the cargo area in the rear. The back of the Outback Wilderness has a power, hands-free liftgate with an LED light.

The dimensions of the 2022 Outback Wilderness model have some of the same measurements as the standard Outback. It has 191.3 inches of length like the standard Outback and a wheelbase of 108.1 inches. However, the Wilderness model sits slightly higher, adds more than an inch and a half in width, and a slight nudge to the track both front and rear.

Performance Capabilities to Match

It’s abundantly clear that the Outback Wilderness can manage challenging terrains and elevations. A 2.4 Liter turbocharged BOXER engine comes standard on the Outback Wilderness. It produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound feet of torque. A symmetrical all-wheel drive is also standard. The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness has a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) gearbox. It can be operated as an 8-speed manual with the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel assembly.

The 2022 Outback Wilderness has a ground clearance of 9.5 inches. That’s thanks to longer shock absorbers and springs. That’s about an inch higher than the other Outback models. The approach angles have a 2-inch increase. The breakover angle has gone up and the departure angle went from 21.7 degrees to 23.6 degrees. The rear differential was also tweaked a bit, too. It has a 3,500 maximum towing capacity.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness comes with active torque vectoring and an assortment of electronic stability controls. The suspension has been upgraded for rugged adventures. The X-MODE system has been upgraded to provide an even sportier experience. It has two functions – snow/dirt and deep snow/mud. The X-MODE in the Outback Wilderness can switch automatically from low to high speed so that there is no loss of power as you traverse trails that require a quick change in traction and torque. A front skid plate comes with the 2022 Outback Wilderness from Subaru. However, if the standard equipment isn’t rugged enough for you there are accessory options that include a steel skid plate to cover the fuel tank, engine, rear differential and transmission undercarriage.

When it comes to gas mileage, the 2022 Outback Wilderness doesn’t disappoint. It gets 22 miles per gallon in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. Driving conditions will make these figures highly variable, but the CVT transmission keeps the turbo BOXER engine primed for the best fuel economy.

Stylish Interior of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The first thing you might notice inside the 2022 Outback Wilderness are the seats. They’re made of a water-resistant, ultra-durable material called StarTex. The headrests have a huge Outback Wilderness logo. There’s bright copper stitching on the seats to match the copper accents on the steering wheel and shift knob. Brushed aluminum pedals and gun metal grey accents hit the AC vents just right.

The center console has an 11.6 inch touchscreen display. It comes with a STARLINK multimedia system and it’s oriented vertically like a tablet. You can access X-MODE controls and infotainment. Yet, there are still some manual buttons for volume, radio tuning and air conditioning. The 2022 Outback Wilderness comes with full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Top of the line models come with an integrated navigation system.

The cargo area has a waterproof cargo tray, and it extends up over the rear seatbacks. The Outback Wilderness has all-weather floor mats with the embossed Wilderness logo on them, as well. There’s little doubt what this SUV is meant to do – get dirty and get moving in style.

Top Safety Gear from Subaru

One of the best safety features on the new Outback Wilderness is the EyeSight Drive Assist Technology. It employs cameras and sensors to monitor traffic around you. It comes standard on the Subaru Outback. The system can prompt you to get back in your lane if you drift and it can adjust the cruise control for safety. It also comes with automatic braking against frontal collisions. The Subaru EyeSight safety suite has given the Outback the highest rating from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The IIHS reported that EyeSight helped to reduce rear end crashes with injuries by up to 85%. Additional safety gear includes a front view camera and a rearview camera. The available option package includes automatic reverse emergency braking.

Related: Top 5 Family Vehicles of 2021

Final Thoughts about the Subaru Wilderness

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the most off-road capable vehicle that Subaru has ever created. This SUV can ride toe-to-toe with a Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler. It has power, towing, and torque. The interior is unique and sporty. It’s also meant to clean out easily.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness debuted without pricing information. Subaru is expected to provide details about pricing later in the year. The current model of the Subaru Outback has an MSRP of $26,795. So, even with a slight bump up in price it’s easy to see that the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness could present serious competition for Land Rover and Jeep.

Subaru vehicles are notoriously reliable. According to Experian Automotive, 97% of Subaru vehicles sold between 2010 and 2019 are still on the road today. You might not think that the Outback Wilderness model is fit for city slickers, but there’s plenty of tech inside the cabin to make daily commutes much easier. It gets great gas mileage. Plus, it’s easy on the eyes. So, whether you plan on conquering mountains or not, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness model will certainly make you feel capable of anything.

Detailed Review of the 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody

The 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody is a muscular sedan from Dodge that doubles down on style and performance power. It is unapologetically fast and loud, but that is what auto enthusiasts love about this vehicle. The 2021 Charger Scat Pack Widebody aims for speed glory and it is certainly a contender for the crown. It has a HEMI SRT V8 engine that produces well over 400 horsepower.

Let’s take a closer look at this muscle car and all of its best features.

Quick Q&A Guide on Muscle Car Insurance

2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Style Elements

The 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack has American athleticism and charm. The body style of this vehicle is almost identical to the Dodge Challenger coupe. It just has a signature grille, two extra doors and a heavier, wider stance. The body width of the Scat Pack Widebody is 78.3 inches and has a curb weight of 4,385 pounds. For comparison, the base model Charger SXT has a width of 75 inches and a curb weight of 3,964 pounds.

The front fascia for the Scat Pack Widebody is similar to the SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye. All three of these models have the widebody style with larger intake ports in the front fender. The profile is eye-catching with deliberate lines traveling down the length of the vehicle. 20-inch black wheels with black brake calipers come standard on the Charger Scat Pack Widebody. All-season performance tires also come standard. A power sunroof is available, but it doesn’t come as a standard feature.

The rear end has a black spoiler. There are also clever black accents on either end of the Charger’s rear so that the widebody doesn’t just look like it has a plain swath of color paneling. It’s a subtle but nice touch.

The Scat Pack Wide Body has dual exhaust ports that constantly belch out a monstrous invitation to press the accelerator over and over again. The sound of the 2021 Charger Scat Pack is so appealing; it enhances the appearance of the vehicle. At idle, it just hints at the power within. When it revs, there’s a throaty rumble that’s absolutely aggressive.

There are 13 colors for the Scat Pack Widebody. They vary widely from muted monochrome colors to bright, attention getting palettes like Go Mango orange and Hellraisin’ purple. The White Knuckle paint adds a clean white contrast to all of the black accents around the vehicle. A satin black hood, roof, trunk, and spoiler can be outfitted for an extra $3,495.

2022 Kia Stinger GT Features and Configurations Review

Muscle Car Performance

This vehicle has a 6.4 Liter SRT HEMI V8 engine. It’s managed by an 8-speed automatic transmission that shunts power to the rear wheels. There are paddle shift controls on the steering assembly and a standard gearshift knob in the center stack.

The Charger Scat Pack Widebody produces 485 horsepower and 475 pound feet of torque. Just breathe on the accelerator and the Charger’s full weight leaps to action, pressing your torso into the back of your seat. There isn’t any speed sensitive steering on the Charger. So, the combination of raw power and rear wheel torque can get out of control if drivers aren’t careful.

Fuel economy is a non-starter with the Dodge Charger. It’s important to note the specs in this review, but most people who are interested in a muscle car will accept that fuel economy isn’t a strong suit of the segment. The 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody gets 15 MPG in the city, 24 on the highway with a combined score of 19 MPG on premium unleaded gasoline.

The Interior of the Charger Scat Pack Widebody

The interior of the 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack is surprisingly well-appointed. It has a passenger volume of 105 cubic feet and comfortable seating for four passengers. Black cloth seats with the signature bee logo come standard, but there are three leather and Alcantara upholstery packages that are hard to resist. There is all black, black on tan, and black on red. One of the best packages is the two-toned black Nappa leather upholstery with red Alcantara. The same two-toned color motif is found on the doors, as well.

The dashboard has contrast stitching and ambient lighting to match the color palette. It really ties the whole interior aesthetic together quite nicely. There is an 8.4 inch touchscreen display in the center of the dashboard. It controls HD and satellite radio, temperature controls for the atmosphere and seats, and some apps for infotainment.

There are some pesky redundant buttons beneath the touchscreen display. There’s an additional manual control for temperature even though that function is handled by the touchscreen. You can select a driving mode from this center stack and also engage the Charger Scat Pack’s launch control.

There are performance pages available on the center touchscreen, but most of the essential performance information can be found in the driver’s instrument cluster. That is controlled by manual buttons on the left side of the steering wheel.

You’ll find gauges and indicators for tire pressure, battery voltage, g forces, and how much horsepower and torque you’re producing. It’s an amazing performance feature to be able to have digital displays of all your performance outputs in real time while you’re operating the vehicle.

Safety Features of the 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody

The 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody comes with a full complement of interior airbags and side impact beams. There are also rear parking sensors, brake assist, electronic stability control, and traction control. Otherwise, safety considerations are largely in the driver’s hands. The 2021 Charger Scat Pack has a lot of power on tap and the driver has the ultimate responsibility of operating the vehicle safely.

There are six packages available for the 2021 Charger Scat Pack Widebody and most of the advanced safety gear is bundled into the Plus Group and the Technology Group. These packages carry an extra cost, but the safety features within these groups are almost indispensable.

The Plus Group provides blind spot indicators on the mirrors and cross path detection. The Technology Group has adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, forward collision warnings, and lane departure warnings.

At the Finish Line

The 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody carries an MSRP of $47,195. If you work your way through a build out and equip additional features, then your final price could land between $50,000 and $70,000.

That’s the price for unbridled driving excitement. It is almost impossible to get bored driving the 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody. The exhaust notes, the torque, and the stylish American muscle vibe are intoxicating. It’s a thirsty beast though. You’ll be spotted near the pump more often than on the road.

The Dodge Charger lacks the subtlety of a German sports car. It would greatly benefit from such features as torque vectoring, automatic emergency braking and adaptive steering. However, in the world of the Dodge Charger there is only fast, faster and fastest. Everything else gets drowned out by the roar of the Challenger’s rumbling SRT engine.

Detailed Review of the 2021 Honda Ridgeline

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is a tough pick-up truck with all-wheel drive and a peppy V6 powertrain. The rugged exterior gives way to a comfortable interior with plenty of versatility and SUV DNA inside. The Ridgeline isn’t the most powerful truck on the market, but it is one of the most reliable vehicles for work or play.

Watch my video review

Configurations

The 2021 Ridgeline doesn’t overcomplicate its qualities. There are just four model trims for the Ridgeline. For a pick-up truck, that’s refreshingly streamlined and simple. There is the Sport model that comes with 18-inch wheels, rearview camera and dual-action tailgate. The next level up is called the RTL. It provides leather upholstery, a power moonroof, and heated seats. For just a small increase in price, the RTL model is a top value. Then, there’s the RTL-E. This is the top model of the Ridgeline and it comes with advanced tech features like navigation, wireless phone charging, and cross traffic monitors. For an MSRP of $42,420 the Ridgeline truck with the best features is quite affordable.

There is a special trim called the Black Edition. This model adds unique style elements to the Ridgeline. As the name would suggest everything has a blacked-out aesthetic. It comes with black exterior accents and 8-inch black alloy wheels. The interior features black leather upholstery and contrasting red ambient lighting.

Real Review of the 2021 Ford F-150

Exterior Style of the 2021 Honda Ridgeline

Competition for the Honda Ridgeline is tough. Perhaps that’s why the Ridgeline has an even tougher exterior design for 2021. The front bumper, grille and hood have all been updated. The result is a front end that matches up with contemporary style cues that consumers expect for a pick-up truck in 2021.

The rear of the Ridgeline has dual chrome-tipped exhaust ports. That’s a new feature. The tailgate is attractive and incredibly versatile. It can flip down vertically or open horizontally on side hinges. The bed itself is a rust-resistant composite with lockable trunk storage. It’s 64 inches long and 60 inches wide from wall to wall.

The Honda Performance Development (HPD) package gives the Ridgeline a sporty, almost throwback style upgrade. It comes with bronze 18-inch wheels, chunky fender cladding, and a unique front grille design. However, it doesn’t add any mechanical advantages to the Ridgeline. The name is a bit misleading in that regard. It’s an appearance package for now, but Honda might use the moniker to add off-road prowess to the Ridgeline in the near future.

Detailed Review of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Performance Capabilities of the Ridgeline Pick-up Truck

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has a 3.5 liter V6 engine for a power plant. It makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound feet of torque. The Ridgeline is a swift little mover that shunts power to all four wheels with a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It gets 18 miles per gallon in urban settings and 24 MPG on the highway. For the point of comparison, the 2021 Ford Ranger pick-up truck gets slightly better gas mileage with 21/26, but the Honda Ridgeline does stretch highway driving a bit farther than the Toyota Tacoma.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a maximum payload of 1,583 lbs. That falls a bit short of the competition. The 2021 Ford Ranger can pull 7,500 lbs. and haul up to 1,860 lbs. when properly configured. However, the Ridgeline can still handle the average workload with ease.

Both the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Tacoma have performance packages. There’s the Tremor off-road package for Ford and the TRD off-road model from Toyota. That doesn’t mean the 2021 Honda Ridgeline isn’t tough enough for the trail. It has a durable unibody frame with a 20.4 degree approach angle and 7.64 inches of ground clearance. The V6 engine is capable enough to power through some tricky terrain, but it lacks the performance underpinnings for managing challenging variations in elevation.

There are MacPherson front suspension struts and a multi-link rear suspension in the rear. The steering is quite smooth for a pick-up truck, too. The Ridgeline handles itself like an old-school SUV. It’s comfortable on the interior but capable of towing a car out of the mud or carrying a living room’s worth of furniture across town.

Real Review of the 2021 Honda Passport

Interior Amenities of the 2021 Ridgeline

The 2021 Ridgeline pick-up truck looks a lot like the Honda Pilot when you open the doors. That’s actually a good thing. The Honda Pilot is a fantastic SUV, so it bodes well for the Ridgeline to borrow some of the Pilot’s finery.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has comfortable seating for five passengers and there’s underseat storage in the rear for extra gear. With leather seating and matching leather steering wheel, the interior of the Ridgeline dares to present itself as an upscale vehicle when you get to the mid-level trim.

The base model has plenty of amenities though. There’s a standard 8-inch touchscreen display. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity comes standard on all models and so does a 7-speaker premium audio system. There are at least 2 USB ports and a wireless charging on the higher level models.

Safety Technology from Honda

Honda offers the Honda Sensing Safety Suite with every model of the Ridgeline truck. So many automakers provide advanced safety features across a number of costly packages, but Honda offers them as standard features.

The 2021 Ridgeline comes with lane keeping technology, road departure and lane departure warnings. The Ridgeline has forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking. It comes with adaptive cruise control and a rearview camera. Blind spot warnings are available on every model except the entry level Ridgeline. The previous year’s Honda Ridgeline received a 5-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Final thoughts on the 2021 Honda Ridgeline

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has an MSRP of $36,490. There’s no smoke and mirrors with the Ridgeline. The base model comes with all-wheel drive and a V6 engine. Thankfully, Honda didn’t force a four cylinder engine into the lineup just to get interested buyers to skip up to a costlier model.

When it comes to off-road performance, the Ridgeline doesn’t quite match up to the Ford Ranger or the Toyota Tacoma. However, that still leaves a lot of room for the Ridgeline to win over new buyers. It’s a hearty everyday truck that doesn’t specialize in any one particular aspect. It’s mechanically well-rounded and that’s an essential quality for a pick-up truck.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline has top notch safety equipment and fantastic safety ratings. The interior of the Ridgeline has everything that you’d want from a family SUV. There’s leather upholstery, a fantastic sound system, push button ignition, a moonroof, and infotainment. For drivers who plan to spend plenty of time behind the wheel, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline promises a fantastic long-term relationship. It’s got everything that you need and nothing that you don’t.

Review of the 2022 Land Rover Defender

The 2022 Land Rover Defender is a throwback SUV with top level capabilities and modern technology. Versatility is the Defender’s ace of spades, but the price tag could send some interested parties running for the hills.

The 2022 Defender is in the same class as other unibody SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco. However, both the Wrangler and the Bronco seem to fall just a step behind the Defender in nearly every category. The 2022 Land Rover Defender effortlessly crosses the bridge of urban dwelling for adventurous forays into just about anything that the wilderness can throw at it.

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What’s New for the 2022 Land Rover Defender?

The 2-door Defender gets two model trims that were previously only available for the 4-door body style – the X-Dynamic SE and X-Dynamic HSE. There are two new special edition trims. There’s the XS Edition which provides a style remix to the Defender both inside and out. There’s also the new flagship Defender. It’s called the V8 Carpathian.

There are a few other infotainment upgrades, but everybody is talking about the new V8 powertrain for the 2022 Defender. The addition of a V8 powertrain for the Defender is certainly big news. In a company press release, Iain Gray, the senior manager of the powertrain advanced engineering department gave some key insights into the new engine option.

“The 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine further enhances the unique character of the Defender. It sounds fantastic and delivers incredible performance – providing new levels of driver appeal.” Gray went on to comment, “Our engineering focus has been to optimize powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road – all without compromising the Defender vehicle’s all-terrain capability and wading ability.”

Why Are There So Many Different Types of Defender SUVs?

The different types of Defender models can be a bit confusing; there are just so many options and trims. On the one hand, that speaks to the versatility of the Defender, but it can also put-off casual consumers who want a more streamlined buying experience.

So, here is a simplified description of what Land Rover has available. First, there are two different body styles for the Land Rover Defender. There’s the 2-door variant called the 90 and the four door, full-sized Defender called the 110.

Furthermore, these two variants get broken down into different model trims. For 2022, there are 9 model trims, and the prices cover a wide lane. Just so that you have a quick reference of the different 2022 Land Rover Defender models, check out this list.

  • Base Model 90 and Base Model 110
  • S and SE
  • X-Dynamic SE and X-Dynamic HSE
  • The XS Edition and the X
  • The V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition

There are subtle differences as you climb the ladder, but the biggest difference is the price. You can’t just look at the base price for a 2-door Defender and assume that this is a bargain-priced vehicle. Each model trim offers new features and amenities that might leave interested buyers wondering if this stairway truly leads to heaven or to yet another paywall.

The 2-door 2022 Land Rover Defender 90 has an MSRP of $47,700 and the four-door 110 costs $50,500. Not too bad, right? Well, the top-of-the-line Defenders cost $104,100 and $107,200 respectively. If you are interested in purchasing or leasing a 2022 Land Rover Defender, then it’s best to focus on two things: your budget and the type of activities you expect to do in your new SUV.

The Base Model 2022 Land Rover Defender

The base model Defender 110 is an ideal choice for growing families. It has seating for five to seven passengers and plenty of safety features. It comes with a surround view camera and a 360-degree parking aid. The onboard sensors turn their attention to monitoring the driver for signs of fatigue. The base model has emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition.

The exterior has 18-inch wheels and LED lighting. The interior has fabric seats. The front seats are even heated. The powertrain isn’t that amazing though. The base model comes with a 2.0 Liter turbocharged inline four. It’s capable of achieving 296 horsepower but its saving grace is the standard all-wheel drive with terrain response and a two-speed transfer case. It’s a Defender alright.

A 2022 Land Rover Defender That Focuses on Performance

If you’re interested in off-road prowess or simply want the most powerful Land Rover ever constructed, then you should set your sights on the new V8 powertrain. It’s equipped in the 2-door Defender 90 V8, and the 90 V8 Carpathian Edition. You can also select a V8 powertrain for the 4-door body style, as well.

This thing roars and rumbles in such a satisfying way. It’s a 5.0 Liter, Supercharged V8 engine that produces 518 horsepower and 461 pound feet of torque. It also comes with some transmission and handling upgrades. You get custom suspension and springs with an electronic active rear differential.

The V8 model also has new style upgrades for 2022. It comes with signature badging, quad exhaust and 22-inch wheels. The front brake calipers are painted blue, and they gorgeously complement the Santorini Black paint finish.

The Most Stylish 2022 Land Rover Defender

The new V8 Carpathian model is the clear winner. Perhaps, it’s best viewed on the 4-door body style just because there’s more surface area to appreciate. The Carpathian model has grey premium metallic paint with a satin protective film. It’s like something you would see on a modified Bentley Bentayga or Rolls Royce Cullinan.

Related: 2021 Rolls Royce Cullinan Review

22-inch gloss black wheels fill out the fenders and a sliding panoramic roof opens the sky. Illuminated floorplates and satin chrome trim can be found inside the cabin along with suede or Windsor leather upholstery. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara. There is also a 14-speaker premium sound system, but the updated 11-inch touchscreen display will still cost you a bit extra.

The Best Value Option for the 2022 Land Rover Defender

The 2022 Defender 90 X-Dynamic HSE hits the sweet spot for value, especially if you’re not that big on off-roading but you like the style of the Defender. The X-Dynamic HSE rides in the middle of the model trim pack.

It comes with the 3.0 Liter P400 hybrid powertrain all-wheel drive and adaptive cruise control for improved fuel economy. The exterior has fog lights, 20-inch wheels, and attractive silicon silver accents. The interior has leather seating and a leather steering wheel. You also get all those amazing safety features from the base model as standard equipment. This model has an MSRP of $69,600.

At the Finish Line

The 2022 Land Rover Defender is equal parts icon and innovator. It has tremendous versatility and off-road capability. To get the most out of the platform, you need to spend some time at the build out to ensure that you get all the best features.

The turbo four-cylinder engine is skippable. The hybrid powertrain and the new V8 engine are impressive, but for different reasons. The hybrid boosts the Defender’s fuel economy while the V8 maximizes the Defender’s capabilities.

The base model comes with remarkable safety equipment as standard offerings. Yet, the different model trims start to get pricey in a hurry. One thing is for certain though – the new Defender puts the Jeep Wrangler out to pasture and brings rugged outdoor proportions to the sophisticated urban jungle.

Enjoy the ride.

Detailed Review of the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The Grand Wagoneer has been reborn as the premiere luxury SUV for Jeep. It has the ability to haul 10,000 pounds and has a plush interior that can rival luxury yachts. It’s a full-sized SUV with a V8 engine and 22-inch wheels. Top of the line models of the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer can cost more than $100,000.

Either Jeep executives missed the electric vehicle memo, or they simply chose to provide the automotive market with a well-dressed dinosaur. In a company press release, Christian Meunier, Jeep® Brand Chief Executive Officer addressed the inspiration and focus of the new 2022 Jeep SUV. “We are ready to start a new exciting adventure with a model that wrote some of the most iconic pages in the history of the American automobile.

Meunier went on to say, “Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are born from the Jeep brand, but they have a flair of their own, building on a rich heritage of craftsmanship and refinement, while offering new levels of sophistication, comfort and legendary 4×4 capability, as well as a new level of customer service.

Review of the 2022 Land Rover Defender

Configurations

There are four model variants for the Grand Wagoneer. The base model is Series I and it has an MSRP of $86,995, making it one of the most expensive entry level SUVs on the market. The nest level up is Series II and it comes with 22-inch polished wheels, premium leather and autonomous parking. Then, there’s the Obsidian model. It costs $98,995 and exerts itself as the custom style version of the Grand Wagoneer. It comes with blacked out grill and dark onyx inlays inside the cabin, plus a 23-speaker entertainment system. Finally, there is the Grand Wagoneer Series III. It is the top tier model and carries an MSRP of $103,995. Series III has all the top autonomous driving and safety features that Jeep has to offer.

There are so many more amenities for the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. So, let’s explore the vehicle in greater detail.

Exterior Style of the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is the most expensive vehicle in the Jeep lineup. Take a look at Jeep’s luxurious new SUV.

https://twitter.com/Jeep/status/1370736525214949384

The exterior of the 2022 grand Wagoneer is bold and expressive, as you would come to expect from big SUVs like the Suburban and Bentley Bentayga. The Grand Wagoneer has a high strength steel body on frame architecture that gives the Grand Wagoneer the rigidity it needs to carry its own weight.

The Grand Wagoneer has a black roof, power side rails with flared out fenders to create a commanding profile. The front fascia houses a new premium LED configuration and tow hooks to remind everyone on the road that the Grand Wagoneer has real towing muscle. The rear of the vehicle is upscale with a hands-free liftgate and the letters of the brand stretch across the width of the vehicle.

The front fascia of the new Grand Wagoneer has the signature grille design of a Jeep, but you won’t find much mention of the Jeep brand anywhere on the vehicle. Instead, the front fascia has the words Wagoneer across the grille. The logo is also on the rear, sides and the interior front seats. The word Jeep is absent from the design on purpose and that’s because the Wagoneer is slated to become a new luxury sub-brand.

You’ve seen this before; it’s becoming a popular trend. Hyundai gave the Genesis its own brand. Ford now has a Mustang sub-brand as well as a Bronco sub brand. The Grand Wagoneer represent the premium luxury segment of Jeep and there will undoubtedly be more vehicles coming down the pipeline.

Interior Refinement of the 2022 Grand Wagoneer

One of the highlights of the Grand Wagoneer is the attention to detail that goes into creating the vehicle’s interior. At just a glance, you’ll be inspired by the American craftsmanship, the choice of materials and thoughtful layout.

In keeping with tradition, there is an overabundance of wood grain inside the cabin. Satin American Walnut wood gives the interior the same aesthetic of a luxury yacht deck and drives home the upscale target audience of this vehicle. Aluminum trim and premium leather fill in the spaces between.

The center armrest is much more functional than other vehicles. The vehicle’s infotainment controls flow from bottom to top starting with a rotary dial and push button ignition, a 10-inch touchscreen, and yet another, much larger 12-inch touchscreen above it. The front passenger dashboard also has a 10-inch touchscreen display. So, there are some 45 inches of display real estate across the dashboard and 2 available touchscreen displays for the second row, too.

This glut of digital screens controls heating and cooling, navigation, entertainment, internet connectivity and surround view cameras. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer could double as a nightclub on wheels with copious interior space and a McIntosh 1,375-watt 3D surround system that bumps with a 12-inch subwoofer.

There are three rows of seating for 8 passengers and interested buyers can choose between a second-row bench or captain’s chairs at build out. The 24-way power adjustable seats in the front row have memory settings and you’d be excused for spending the better part of an hour tweaking the seating position to perfection. The second row seats fold flat and the rear bench is 60/40 split folding. With everything placed flat, you can slide just about anything inside the Grand Wagoneer.

Performance Capabilities

The 2022 Grand Wagoneer can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly outfitted. It has a powerful 6.4 Liter V8 power plant under the hood. The intake and exhaust manifolds are unique to the new Grand Wagoneer. It also has variable camshaft timing and the ability to de-active cylinders for enhanced fuel economy.

The Grand Wagoneer’s engine produces 471 horsepower and 455 pound feet of torque. The powertrain delivers lots of low-end torque, but the range is rather broad so that the Grand Wagoneer can maintain traction and power in various conditions over large distances. The Grand Wagoneer comes with a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. It can travel from zero to 60 MPH in six seconds flat. That’s pretty impressive for a vehicle this size. It won’t win any races, but drivers will feel confident enough to lay down some power to maneuver around.

The Grand Wagoneer has some impressive performance capabilities, but it hasn’t been trail-rated like other Jeep SUVs. That’s this vehicle’s naughty little secret. The grand Wagoneer is a large vehicle and although it has off-road packages available, the big luxury SUV won’t be required to pass some of the most vigorous off-road testing. In that sense, it truly is a departure from the Jeep lineup.

That being said, the Grand Wagoneer will still have three available 4×4 systems. The suspension system is electronically controlled. It can ford up to 24 inches of water, has a crawl ratio of 48:1 with 10 inches of ground clearance and features a terrain management system.

Advanced Safety Equipment from Jeep

The Grand Wagoneer Series III has over 100 safety and security features. These include autonomous and driver-assisted features that would rival anything put on the road by Audi or Mercedes-Benz. The Grand Wagoneer comes with night vision for the surround view camera display along with pedestrian detection. The onboard sensors produce blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assistance. The driver is fully supported if he/she begins to feel drowsy on a long ride. The steering wheel will re-adjust the vehicle position automatically if the driver is less than attentive and fails to do so. Other advanced safety features include intersection collision assist, traffic sign recognition, and automatic emergency braking.

Related: Top 10 SUVs and Crossovers of 2021

Final Thoughts on the 2022 Grand Wagoneer

The 2022 Grand Wagoneer will most likely be a popular fleet vehicle for record companies and celebrities. The Obsidian model has black wheels, black and chrome accents, and plenty of urban appeal. In any trim, the Grand Wagoneer has all the luxury trappings of a Bentley or Mercedes-Benz and the price tag to match.

It’s important to note that there is also a Jeep Wagoneer that premiers alongside the Grand Wagoneer. It costs about $30,000 less but lacks some of the grandiose refinery of the Grand Wagoneer. It will most likely turn the heads of auto consumers who fail to see the value of a six-figure vehicle but still feel nostalgic for the bygone era of big SUVs.

The original Wagoneer debuted back in 1963 and it was the first 4×4 vehicle to have automatic transmission and the first vehicle to have an automatic all-wheel drive system. Essentially, it was the first modern SUV. The first Grand Wagoneer debuted in 1984 as the first luxury sport utility vehicle.

It seems as if Jeep is seeking to reclaim their brand dominance in the luxury SUV market, but are they too late? As consumer preferences scale down from large SUVs and away from internal combustion engines, it will be an uphill climb for Jeep to redefine or reclaim the luxury SUV experience with the Grand Wagoneer.

Detailed Review of the 2021 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid

The RX mid-sized crossover is the most successful vehicle in the Lexus lineup. Its name is almost synonymous with hybrids because Lexus was a pioneer in the luxury hybrid section. The RX already does a lot of things well, and the hybrid version, the 2021 Lexus RX 450h is the luxury crossover to beat. 2020 saw a major refresh to the RX mid-sized crossover. So, the 2021 version is only slightly updated with more standard safety equipment and subtle style upgrades.

The 2021 RX 450h comes in four model trims. There’s the base 450h with all-wheel drive and hybrid fuel economy. There is a 450h F Sport with all-wheel drive and an F Sport Black Line Special Edition. The Special Edition is a limited run with only 1,000 vehicles. Lastly, there’s the 450hL. This model stretches the vehicle to accommodate a third row of seating.

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2021 Lexus RX 450h: Performance First. Hybrid Second

The 2021 Lexus RX 450h gets a combined 30 miles per gallon. There are thriftier hybrids on the market, but very few that can match the performance of the 2021 RX crossover. It’s capable of reaching 308 horsepower on the F Sport and 450hL models. There’s a rotary dial selector in the center console. It’s a drive mode selector that toggles between eco, normal, sport, and an EV mode that drives the RX hybrid for short distances solely on electric power.

The 2021 RX Hybrid has a 3.5 Liter V6 engine with dynamic torque all-wheel drive. The gasoline engine is bolstered by two electric motors and a battery bank. The hybrid powertrain is managed by an 8-speed electronically controlled CVT with paddle shifters on the steering column. In truth, the gasoline engine produces front-wheel drive, and the electric motors propel the rear.

The 2021 RX Hybrid can go from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, but you should know that its speed is reduced to 8.1 seconds in the 450hL. All of the hybrid RX vehicles have a top track speed of 112 miles per hour.

Does F Sport Make the RX Hybrid Faster?

Although the F Sport model doesn’t do much to improve acceleration or top speed, it does sound better. That’s because the exhaust sound is channeled through the cabin to add sportiness to the RX hybrid’s driving experience.

The F Sport RX Hybrid isn’t all about speed, but really shines in its handling. It has adaptive dampers that tighten the steering response making the RX Hybrid drive more like a sports car and less like a clunky electric concept car. It also has an F Sport tuned suspension on the front and rear chassis. The result is a corner carving crossover that really sticks to the road.

Upscale Style of the Lexus RX Hybrid

Looking at the exterior of the 2021 RX crossover is a bit like looking through a kaleidoscope. There are angles, cuts, and reflective paneling everywhere along the body. The 2021 RX Hybrid has a pinched, hourglass front grille with trim LED headlights. Overall, the front of the Lexus RX presents the vehicle as a sharp and edgy hybrid.

The angular exactness of the RX’s style is toned down a bit in the profile. Lines are a bit more subtle with a floating roof over the rear C pillars. The RX has a power liftgate. The hourglass motif returns in the rear of the RX and so do the sharply tapered lights.

The 450hL is a bit longer (by about 4 inches) to accommodate a third row of seating inside. The difference is negligible from the outside, but unmistakable from the interior cabin. For 2021, power-folding and auto dimming side mirrors are standard.

18-inch wheels come standard on all RX vehicles, all but the F Sport models. Those have dark alloy 20-inch wheels that fill the wheel well nicely. The F Sport Special Edition has a sporty black strip of paneling on the profile and a blacked-out grille.

Interior Comfort and Convenience

The seating has synthetic leather, but real premium leather can be equipped with a luxury package. Even without genuine leather, the contrast of wood trim creates the refinement that a Lexus customer would come to expect from a luxury crossover.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel and soft touch surfaces make the RX hybrid a cocoon of comfort, but that comes as little surprise given the RX crossover’s reputation. There’s 44.1 inches of legroom for front passengers and 38 inches of legroom for rear passengers. As far as mid-sized crossovers go, the 2021 Lexus RX Hybrid checks all the boxes as a five-seater.

The 2021 450hL adds a third row of seating to the RX Hybrid, but any adult would be frustrated with the amount of space back there. It only adds a single passenger space, so it’s out of sorts to call it a “row”. To be fair, the 350L (the non-hybrid model) has seating for 7. The one saving grace of the 450hL’s interior is the available rear captain’s chairs that recline.

The F Sport can be outfitted with brushed aluminum accents and bold red leather with thick side bolsters, which instantly transform the 2021 RX into something akin to an Aston Martin or Porsche. Nobody will be able to accuse the Lexus RX of being tame after a ride in the F Sport.

Safety Equipment from Lexus

Thankfully, the 2021 RX Hybrid crossover gets Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alerts as standard safety equipment. That’s a new addition to the 2021 line. The Lexus Safety System 2.0 comes standard on all RX 450h vehicles.

That safety suite comes with lane tracing assist and lane departure warnings. Drift too far and the steering assist gently guides you back between the lines. There’s a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian and road sign detection. Plus, there’s intelligent high beams and adaptive cruise control.

2021 Lexus RX 450h Technology

Inside the cabin, the eye is immediately drawn to the touchscreen display. It sits high over the center console creating a top-heavy cliff-face that cascades down toward the drive mode shifter. The 2021 RX Hybrid comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, but it’d be hard to resist upgrading to the navigation package.

That’s one of the best packages that Lexus offers on the RX Hybrid. It has a 12.3 inch touchscreen with navigation and a premium 12 speaker sound system. Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, Voice Commands, and Apple CarPlay are standard tech features. You also get six USB outlets and a 4G Wi-Fi subscription service.

At the Finish Line

If you’re shopping for a luxury crossover SUV and the Lexus RX 350 AWD has caught your eye, then you’d might as well get the RX 450h. It’s just about $1,200 more than the standard RX crossover. The chart topper in terms of price would have to be the 2021 RX 450h F Sport Special Edition. It has an MSRP of $51,885. If you get caught staring too long at all the options and packages, then this vehicle could cost you upwards of $50,000 in any guise. Count on it.

That being said, there aren’t many downsides to this vehicle. Plus, there aren’t many luxury hybrids that can match the RX 450h on fuel economy, safety features and performance. So, it’s a good buy in the arena of luxury vehicles and the hybrid powertrain is a bonus.

Real Review of the 2021 Honda Passport

The 2021 Honda Passport is a mid-sized SUV that offers a spacious interior, Honda Sensing safety gear and some light off-roading forays. It’s an attractive vehicle in the budget bracket, but base models won’t raise any eyebrows. The Passport Elite is the top tier model trim and upgrades the 2021 Honda Passport so that it breaks away from its big brother, the 2021 Honda Pilot.

There are four model trims available for the 2021 Honda Passport. The base model Sport trim comes with Apple CarPlay connectivity and the Honda Sensing safety features. The next level up is EX-L. This model trim adds leather seating and a one-touch power moonroof. The Touring model has parking sensors, premium audio, and navigation systems, as well as a hands-free power liftgate. The top level model is called Elite. It has some of the best features of any mid-sized SUV on the market. Let’s take a closer look at how the Elite model puts all the best features on the 2021 Honda Passport.

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2021 Honda Passport Exterior Style

The 2021 Honda Passport has a front end that features harder surface paneling than painted body. This is an attempt to make the Honda Passport more rugged than the Odyssey or the Pilot and for the most part it works. From the profile, the Passport can’t hide its resemblance to the Honda Pilot. When you start to add on some of the package features like roof rails and running boards, the Honda Passport starts to live up to its adventurous mission statement.

Colors

The color choices for the exterior are rather limited. There are only four color options that come standard with the 2021 Honda Passport, but you can choose from three different premium paints that cost an additional $395. One of the most attractive colors, Deep Scarlett Pearl, happens to be in the premium section.

Wheels

20-inch gloss black alloy wheels come standard with the new Honda Passport. They have a nice premium look that complements the other black accents of the exterior. You can include machined chrome wheels that are the same size, but that adds over two thousand dollars to the build without adding much style.

Packages and Add-ons

There are two accessory packages that you can include in the final build of the 2021 Honda Passport, Adventure Packages and Urban Packages. There is a tiered group of features for each package. You can get a basic Adventure Package or the advanced package. The highest level Adventure Package comes with protective door handle film, fender flares, wheel locks, running rails, cargo tray and seatback protectors. It’s all the little things you need to take the 2021 Passport on an outdoor adventure.

The highest-level Urban Package includes welcome lights on the exterior, underbody spoilers in the front and rear, and crossbars. The interior gets outfitted with cargo bins and illuminated door sill trim. This package is ideal for families or people that put a lot of miles on their mid-sized SUV in their daily rounds.

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2021 Honda Passport Performance Capabilities

The 2021 Honda Passport has a 3.5 Liter V6 engine. It’s the same one from the Honda Pilot. It’s capable of achieving 280 horsepower and 262 pound feet of torque. The 2021 Honda Passport gets decent fuel economy considering that it has a V6 powertrain. The front-wheel drive version gets 20 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. The all-wheel drive Passport only loses a single digit in each category. This is the standard powertrain package for the Elite model.

The 2021 Honda Passport has a 9-speed automatic shift-by-wire transmission. It’s one of the only negative marks on the 2021 Honda Passport. The 9-speed transmission has a nice acoustic sound, but it doesn’t deliver the power. In low gears it hesitates, and frustrated drivers will likely just mash the accelerator to power through the lag. This will sacrifice some gas mileage for sure.

This mid-sized SUV has decent towing capacity thanks to its robust V6 engine and all-wheel drive traction control. The 2021 Honda Passport Elite with all-wheel drive has intelligent traction management for snow, sand, and mud. The Honda Passport isn’t as hearty as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it’s still up for some outdoor fun. The front-wheel drive model can tow 3,500 pounds and the all-wheel drive variant of the Elite model pulls 5,000 lbs.

2021 Honda Passport Interior Amenities

There are two interior upholstery options for the Elite model. There’s black leather and grey. The front seats are heated and ventilated to provide all-weather comfort throughout the year. If you live in a cold climate region, then you’ll be delighted to see that the 2021 Honda Passport Elite model comes with a heated steering wheel, as well.

The Elite model comes with some impressive technology. There’s a wireless charging pad in the center console. Just place your smartphone on the charging tray and your Honda Passport tops up your battery. The Passport has home link technology, ambient LED lighting, three USB ports, three 12-Volt power outlets, and Wi-Fi Hotspot capabilities. Unfortunately, the center console only has an 8-inch touchscreen display even on the top tier Elite model.

The interior has ample space for 5 adults and some cargo. There is 114.9 cubic feet of passenger volume and 100.7 cubic feet of cargo volume. The rear seats fold down and split with one touch to accommodate odd-sized luggage and travel gear. Gaining access is made easy by the hands-free power liftgate in the back.

Safety Options

Honda Sensing and Driver-Assistive Technologies are standard on all models. Even the base model comes equipped with lane keeping technology and adaptive cruise control. All but the base model comes with blind spot detection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) give it 5-stars overall.

Rain-sensing windshield wipers come standard on the Elite model. It’s not an essential safety feature, but it’s comforting to have one less mechanical function to worry about in an unexpected downpour. There’s also a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic gridlines on the Elite model.

Final Thoughts

The 2021 Honda Passport has a starting cost of $32,790. The top of the line Elite model trim carries an Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $44,180. When outfitted with premium paint, machined-finish alloy wheels, and the urban accessory package, the final build cost can reach more than $48,605. Still, that’s a decent bargain for a mid-sized SUV with V6, all-wheel drive and some added creature comforts.

You can compare the 2021 Passport to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The starting cost of a Grand Cherokee is slightly higher, and the Limited model is more expensive, as well. The 2021 Honda Passport isn’t as capable as the Jeep in off-road settings and doesn’t have all of the refinery but makes up for it by offering top safety equipment, style, and interior comfort for a bargain. It might take some thinking, but most consumers will find that the 2021 Honda Passport is the better buy.

Detailed Review of the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT

From the time that the E-Tron GT debuted as a concept car at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show to the time that it is slated to go on sale in the summer of 2021 has been relatively short. Most people got their first peek at the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT when Tony Stark pulled up to the Avengers headquarters driving one in the movie Avengers: End Game.

There’s no coincidence that the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT bears a striking resemblance to a Porsche. It’s built on the foundations of technology from the Porsche Taycan EV. Essentially, this is an Audi modded version of the Porsche Taycan EV. Anyone who thinks that means there’s a lack of vision or originality at play here would be mistaken.

There are three versions of the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT. There’s the base model E-Tron GT Quattro Premium Plus and a Prestige model trim. There’s also an RS E-Tron GT version. It’s hard to call the entry level Audi E-Tron GT a base model. It has a power output of 350 kW and 470 horsepower with a price tag that comes dangerously close to six figures. However, the bar for Audi’s electric grand turismo has been set extremely high.

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Performance Capabilities of the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT

The E-Tron GT has a dual motor set-up with all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The permanent electric motors provide the same quattro all-wheel drive experience of internal combustion engines by pushing power and torque to both the front and rear axles. The power output is a bit offset. The front axle power is 235 horsepower, and the rear puts out 429. This is optimized by the E-Tron GT to produce a combined output of about 469 horsepower and 464 pound feet of torque. Launch control and overboost will provide a 522 horsepower bump and 474 lb. ft. of torque for around 2.5 seconds.

Overboost Mode

The RS E-Tron GT has a power output of 440 kW and 590 horsepower. Its rear motor is more powerful. The overboost mode is key to Audi’s high-performance claims for the Audi E-Tron GT. The power output jumps to 522 for the base model and 637 horsepower for the RS. That overboost mode opens up a new stratosphere for the E-Tron GT. When drivers engage launch control, the electric sedan rockets from zero to 60 MPH in about 3.3 seconds with a maximum speed of 152 miles per hour.

All-Wheel Steering

The E-Tron GT has available all-wheel steering, as well. The rear differential lock on the rear axle and the multi-plate clutch allows this EV to brake each wheel individually and shift torque automatically to offset slippery conditions on the road and deliver the handling that drivers have come to expect from Audi Sport. It’s standard on the RS E-Tron. This will give the RS E-Tron GT some of the best handling of any EV on the market.

Driving Modes and Exhaust

Drivers can adjust the sonic output of the E-Tron GT by selecting through the different driving modes. Muscle cars have their own signature throaty rumbles and pops, but the new E-Tron GT matches their bravado with a specially designed futuristic acceleration sound. EVs are normally whisper quiet, but Audi chose to boost the acoustic feedback of the E-Tron GT to broadcast its performance chops.

Aerodynamics

Audi engineers put aerodynamics into driver’s hands with the new E-Tron GT. The ride height can be adjusted by lowering or raising the air suspension. It has a novel three chamber air suspension system that is governed by an electronic chassis platform. The ride height can be adjusted 22 millimeters (0.9 in) downward and 20 millimeters (0.8 in) upward. This can help reduce drag at high speeds or add comfort while cruising on the highway. There are also controls inside the cabin that can open and close the front air intakes or adjust the extension of the rear wing. Some drivers might travel thousands of miles and never toggle any of these settings, but savvy motorists will adjust these settings to choose energy efficiency on long drives and boosted performance for short bursts of exhilaration and speed.

Charging

The E-Tron GT offers fast charging to rival Tesla, Chevy, and other electric vehicle providers. The E-Tron GT has a 93kWh lithium-ion battery bank with 800 volts. This sets a benchmark in electric vehicle charging. It can recoup 60 miles of driving range in just five minutes of DC fast charging. The Audi E-Tron GT has a driving range of 238 on base models and 232 miles for the RS E-Tron GT version. The overall driving range isn’t the best on the market, but you can quickly top-up the power with fast charging.

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Style Points for the 2022 E-Tron GT

The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT has a curb weight of 5,100 lbs. with its stock 20-inch alloy wheels and huge floorboard battery bank. It also gives the E-Tron GT its wide stance and low center of gravity. The battery bank has integrated cooling and a separate aluminum frame. The Audi E-Tron GT has a glass roof, but you can outfit the RS with a carbon fiber reinforced roof.

Exterior Design

The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT has some of the most attractive lines of any Audi vehicle. It has a dominant, aggressive, performance-first appearance. There’s the high rear fenders, the sloping rear window and sharp body lines along the lower door sills to love. Those shoulder lines are the first thing that draws the eye because it’s a significant departure from Audi design architecture. For the E-Tron GT, the fenders are more pronounced, adding more Quattro muscle. The front fascia has an inverted honeycomb grille that further distinguishes this EV from other Audi vehicles.

In a company interview, Audi’s head of design Marc Lichte, gushed over the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT. “The Audi e-tron GT quattro is perfectly proportioned. My philosophy is that proportions are always the springboard to good design. That applies in equal measure to architecture and fashion as well as cars. In that respect, the GT’s design is built on a sound foundation—giant wheels, beautifully tight transitions and a seriously road-hugging silhouette.”

Headlights

The jewel-eyed headlights of Audi have undergone a significant tweak for the 2022 E-Tron GT. Matrix LED headlights are not standard on the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT Quattro. The LED headlamps that come standard on the RS have an X-shape that separates the E-Tron Gt from anything else in the field. Audi Laser Light doubles the range of the headlights, but it comes as an option on both vehicles. In the rear of the vehicle, there’s a continuous band of lights that travel across the width of the E-Tron GT. They have a prominent V-shaped pattern that can run through a series of different animations every time the driver enters or exits the vehicle.

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What’s the Interior of the Audi E-Tron GT Look Like?

The interior of the Audi E-Tron GT takes on the appearance of a true supercar. In true Grand Turismo fashion, everything is angled toward the driver. The seating position is rather low with all the dashboard controls sprawling out both horizontally and vertically.

There’s black leather-free upholstery with thickly bolstered sport seats, red contrast stitching, Alcantara headliner and red ambient lighting. There’s also carbon fiber accents placed around the interior space. The steering wheel has a flat-bottomed D-shape wrapped in Alcantara for enhanced grip with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster in the dashboard.

The center stack is dominated by both touchscreens and manual push button controls. The central touchscreen is 10-inches. If you’re familiar with Audi tech, then there’s nothing really novel about the central console controls. It offers onboard Wi-Fi, satellite navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Why Choose the RS E-Tron GT?

The 2022 RS E-Tron is the first Audi Sport EV. The RS E-Tron comes with 21-inch alloy wheels and a lightweight carbon fiber top. It has boost mode and launch control. It’s capable of achieving 637 horsepower with all-wheel drive. The rear electric motor is even more powerful than the E-Tron GT Quattro. It produces 450 horsepower all by itself. The RS has a maximum output of 637 horsepower and 612 lb. ft. of torque. It can go from zero to 60 in 3.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour. The only thing this fast in the Audi stable is the R8 with V-10 engine. The main difference here is that the RS E-Tron is delivering that same level of performance with zero emissions.

At the Finish Line

This Gran Turismo EV is all about versatility in a segment that usually plays only one note. The E-Tron GT has high performance capabilities and the ability to just maneuver through suburban parking lots if you need a daily driver. That’s thanks largely to its two-speed transmission.

Options

Audi is notorious for parceling out its best tech features in pricey packages. A premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, all-wheel steering, a heads-up display, and matrix LED headlights are all options. It’s almost a sin to have a vehicle cost nearly six figures stock with missing equipment.

Price

So, the MSRP of the Audi E-Tron GT will almost certainly not be the final price that prospective buyers will pay. The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT Quattro has an MSRP of $99,900. The Prestige model costs $107,100 and the RS E-Tron GT has an MSRP of $139,900.

Competition

The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT is loaded up with enough style and electric tech to rival other luxury electric performance vehicles like the Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-PACE. However, consumers will find that there’s little difference between the Audi E-Tron GT and the Porsche Taycan EV. That might be a disappointment for people who wanted something truly unique from Audi.

At the end of the race, Audi will have a hard sale with the E-Tron GT’s price tag. The novelty of the vehicle helps, but its power output is dependent on overboost, launch control and the right aerodynamic settings. Without them, the E-Tron GT is still middle of the pack.

The E-Tron GT is perfect for fanboys and auto enthusiasts who love the Audi brand and want the latest status symbol in electric vehicles. Yet, that’s the sales model for all performance EVs. Prospective buyers will hear the same pitch on the Tesla lot, too. The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT will most likely appeal to a niche crop of buyers who daydream about being Tony Stark.