2021 lexus lc 500 convertible

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

Lexus fans might be quite familiar with the LC flagship coupe, but this is the first time it’s available as a convertible. It’s a distinctive, powerful roadster with an Aston Martin roar and Mercedes Benz style. It has a retractable, soft top but shares many of the same body lines as the standard Lexus LC coupe. This will be a detailed review of the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible.

The Inspiration Series Convertible

There’s also the Inspiration Series model trim with only 100 examples being produced. It comes in a stunning blue exterior paint with custom 21-inch alloy wheels. The brilliant blue paint is inspired by the color of a morpho butterfly. Inside the cockpit, there’s white leather upholstery and advanced climate control. The steering wheel and shifting knob have Alcantara trimming, as well.

The Touring package adds a 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system to the LC Convertible, plus a heated steering wheel and embossed headrest. Most of these interior amenities come with the Inspiration model trim, but if you don’t like the spectacular blue paint, then this might be the way to go. The Inspiration Series is extremely limited and carries an MSRP of $119,000.

Stylish Exterior of the 2021 LC 500 Convertible

The 2021 LC 500 Convertible hits the ball out of the park in the style category. There are triple beam LED headlights set into the front fascia. The signature illusion grille with hourglass shape is a hallmark of the Lexus brand and it fits the 2021 LC 500 Convertible quite well. The hood sweeps back long and low to house the enormous 5.0 Liter V8 engine inside.

It only takes 15 seconds for the hydraulic system to deploy the soft top of the 2021 LC convertible. You don’t even have to slow down. It can be done at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. There are two color options for the soft top. It comes in black or sand. The profile is one of the LC convertible’s best angles. It has flush door handles and large wheel wells to accommodate its 20-inch wheels.

The rear of the LC 500 Convertible has a broad spoiler and dual chrome-tipped exhaust ports. If the taillights of the LC convertible remind you of an aircraft, then that’s no accident. There are 160 LEDs along the rear of the vehicle that are designed to create a mirror effect. The result is something that resembles the afterburners of a fighter jet.

What’s The Interior of the LC 500 Convertible Like?

To call the interior of the LC convertible a cabin would be a bit of an overstatement. It’s more of a cockpit. The interior has an obvious concentration on the driver. The vehicle acts as an extension of the driver and even the front passenger will get a bit bored with nothing but paneling and the open road ahead of them.

The colors available for the upholstery are black, circuit red, and toasted caramel. The dashboard is dominated by a 10.3-inch touchscreen display. Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa and Android Auto all have compatibility with the multimedia interface. You can use voice activated controls to access navigation, make to-do-lists while you drive and listen to your favorite tunes.  There’s a 12 speaker audio system inside the LC 500 convertible. Some of those speakers are mounted into the rear seats.

The windshield sweeps over the cockpit at a very narrow angle to protect the driver and passenger from road noise and wind. There’s even a small wind screen in the rear of the cockpit, as well. The 2021 LC 500 Convertible takes climate control to another level. The HVAC system manages the air conditioning for several different zones around the cockpit. There are heating units in the seats, headrests, and steering wheel. There are even vents that can apply warm or cool air to the back of the driver’s hands while they’re gripping the steering wheel.

The steering wheel is ergonomically shaped to fit the driver’s hand in a way that maximizes comfort and control at high speeds. There are aluminum pedals beneath the steering column. The LC 500 Convertible has push button ignition, illuminated entry and a performance-inspired instrument cluster. You can find important vehicle performance information there with G-force meter alongside your RPMs.

The manufacturer calls the 2021 LC 500 Convertible a four-passenger coupe, but anyone with eyes could see that the rear bench isn’t suitable for adult passengers. Even on paper, there’s just 28 inches of legroom back there. The trunk has just 3.4 cubic feet of storage space. So, the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible loses a ton of points when it comes to its useless rear.

Related: Detailed Review of the 2021 Lexus RX 450H Hybrid

How Fast is the 2021 LC 500 Convertible?

The 2021 LC 500 Convertible has a 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 powerplant that produces 471 horsepower and 398 pound feet of torque. The 2021 LC Convertible’s top speed on the track is 168 MPH. The 2021 LC 500 Convertible can travel from zero to 60 MPH in 4.6 seconds. However, it’s important to consider that this vehicle has a curb weight of 4,540 pounds. With the right weight reduction, this could be a sub 3 second roadster. Unfortunately, it’s the heaviest of the LC models.

The 2021 LC Convertible has rear-wheel drive and a 10-speed direct shift electronically controlled transmission. For such a powerful engine output, the fuel economy is surprisingly decent. The LC Convertible gets 18 MPG combined. It’s even better on the highway with 25 miles per gallon.

The LC Convertible has exceptional handling. There’s a new torsion box in the rear and other structural improvements to the chassis. The 2021 LC Convertible has independent double-jointed multilink suspension with coil springs on both the front and rear axles. One of the most impressive features is the Adaptive Variable Suspension. The AVS system makes automatic adjustments the suspension in response to various driving conditions in order to deliver unprecedented control. We’re talking hundreds of micro adjustments every second. The result is a driving experience that feels intuitive and vigorous – a true sports car.

Safety Gear from Lexus

Every 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible comes stocked with tons of advanced safety gear from Lexus. The Lexus Safety System+ comes with pre-collision warnings, pedestrian detection, lane departure alerts and lane keeping assist, intelligent high beams and dynamic radar cruise control. Every vehicle comes with a back-up camera and six airbags inside the cockpit. The standard LC coupe has eight airbags. Additionally, the LC 500 Convertible has blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and parking assist.

At the Finish Line

The 2021 LC 500 convertible has a starting MSRP of $101,100. With options and add-ons the price can climb to around $120,000. That’s if you can find one of the rare Inspiration Series models on the market.

The LC 500 Convertible holds back only a touch when it comes to high performance output. It’s a shame that the sport and dynamic packages don’t appear to be available for the LC 500 Convertible. These packages add performance enhancements and sporty carbon fiber pieces. Carbon fiber door scuff plates are optional, but hardly seem functional.

Otherwise, the LC 500 Convertible aces the elegance of a Lexus with its refined interior and well-sculpted exterior. The V8 engine is powerful enough to hang with supercars but tames the beast with next level handling and steering upgrades. You’ll have fun driving the LC 500 Convertible, for sure. Just don’t ask more than one other person to ride with you. It’s strictly a 2-seater.

If you want to see more of the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible, then check out this amazing video from Build Your Own. Take a visual tour of the vehicle’s features and create the hottest LC 500 Convertible in the virtual build out.

7 Best New Car Interiors Under $50,000

Big screens and premium leather – you might be surprised at which vehicles offer the best interior amenities under 50 grand. The interior of your vehicle is important, mainly because that’s where you spend the majority of your time. Automakers are well aware of this and the latest vehicles are decked out with versatile cabins that check all the right boxes for new car buyers.

7 Affordable Vehicles with the Best Interiors

2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line – $36,090

The GT-Line is the base model of the 2022 Kia Stinger. It makes the list of 10 best new car interiors because it comes loaded with new age features and a sports car vibe. The Kia Stinger comes with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and brushed aluminum pedals. There are six upholstery options and all of them include leather upholstery as standard.

If you select the Sun and Sound Package, the Stinger GT-Line gets upgraded with a power sunroof, Harman Kardon audio system with 15 speakers, and 8-way power adjustable passenger seat. This powerful sedan comes with 10-inch touchscreen navigation, infotainment connectivity, and advanced safety features. The 2022 Kia Stinger GT is an amazing performance sedan, and the stunning interior is just icing on the cake.

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2021 Toyota Venza Limited – $39,900

The Toyota Venza is an elegant crossover SUV that packs just as much technology and style inside the vehicle as it does on the outside. The Limited model houses some impressive amenities. You get a 12.3 inch touchscreen display that can be customized to the owner’s preferences. The driver also has a 7-inch digital instrument cluster. The rearview mirror is also digital and provides a clear view of the vehicle’s surroundings without the obstructions of rear pillars and bobbing toddlers.

It’s not all tech inside the Venza from Toyota. The overall aesthetic of the Limited model’s interior is upscale and sophisticated. The upholstery has dark SofTex synthetic leather, a panoramic sunroof top, and ambient lighting. If you’re afraid of luxury automakers and their pricey packages, then the Toyota Venza will make you feel like you’re in a posh European SUV without topping the $50,000 mark.

Related: Detailed Review of the 2021 Toyota Venza

2021 Audi A5 Coupe – $44,000

Finding a new German auto under 50 grand is a unique challenge. However, there is a unicorn in the Audi stable; it’s the 2021 Audi A5 Coupe. There are four different color palettes to choose from, not just the black-on-black interior that you’d come to expect from an Audi. The Okapi brown leather seats with granite gray stitching are especially chic. Coupled with natural oak wood inlays, this palette is simply amazing for the price listed.

The A5 Coupe has a panoramic sunroof and sporty three-spoke steering wheel. You also get a 10-inch touchscreen display, LED interior lighting, rear view camera, smartphone integration, and a basic Audi pre-sense safety system. It’s as if Audi forgot to charge consumers an arm and a leg for one of its most stylish vehicles. Even with a destination charge and the convenience package, you’re still paying less than $50,000 for the 2021 Audi A5 Coupe.

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2021 Subaru Outback Touring XT – $39,945

This is the top-of-the-line Outback model and it’s under $40,000. It comes with Nappa leather-trimmed seating and that includes heated and ventilated front seats. It has a power sliding and tilting moonroof. The wagon body style of the Outback allows for plenty of interior space. There’s 75.7 cubic feet of cargo volume plus 106.5 cubic feet of total passenger volume.

In addition to all the interior space, the Outback Touring XT comes with fantastic amenities that make it one of the best interiors for 2021. There’s an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with navigation, a total of 8 USB charging ports, 4G LTE WiFi and a Harman Kardon premium audio sound system. It’s the perfect choice for big families with a thirst for adventure.

Related: Detailed Review of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2020 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD Platinum – $44,910

The Nissan Pathfinder is due for a model refresh, but the 2020 Pathfinder still aces the big SUV interior game. The Platinum model with 4WD is the top-level vehicle and comes equipped with more creature comforts than a small New York city apartment. For starters, you get plenty of seating options. The Platinum Pathfinder is fit for seven with three rows of seating that fold, slide and recline. If you want more utility, then skip the passengers and fold the entire second and third row down for a total of 79.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

The infotainment selection is hit or miss though. On the one hand, you get available viewscreens in the second-row headrests, but the Pathfinder Platinum only comes with an 8-inch center console display. It has an amazing Bose 13-speaker sound system but doesn’t have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity. If you’re not big on tech amenities and want an SUV that’s large and rugged, then the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD Platinum is a sleeper on the list.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks – $32,320

There’s so much to love about the Ford Bronco Sport. It’s a compact 4×4 with instant brand recognition and plenty of off-road prowess. There are five models available, all of which are priced under $50,000. However, the Outer Banks model warrants closer inspection because it’s the only one that provides a blend of rugged utility and urban allure.

The Outer Banks model comes with heated leather-trimmed bucket seats in an adventurous brown and black color motif. It also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel with matching accents throughout the cabin. It has a rubberized, removable cargo floor, but you’ll fuss over the carpeted floor mats for the front and second row. There’s plenty of storage space and the Outer Banks Bronco comes with USB ports, AC power points, and has an available wireless charging pad.

2021 Kia Telluride SX – $42,490

Whoever said full-sized SUVs were a thing of the past must not have seen the new Kia Telluride. It’s one of the most critically acclaimed vehicles of 2021 and spares nothing when it comes to valuable features and amenities. The top tier model is called SX and it carries an MSRP of $42,490.

You get three full rows of seating for seven passengers; the Telluride has the most passenger volume in its class. The second row captain’s chairs are heated and ventilated. You can choose between leather or synthetic leather upholstery with nine different color patterns available. Add the best safety and technology features available for no added charge and you’ve got the best new car interior under $50,000.

NEXT: 2020 Kia Telluride Detailed Auto Review

Why Do People Drive Drunk?

Everybody knows that drunk driving is both dangerous and illegal. However, every year thousands of people still choose to drive drunk. This short article takes a statistical approach to review some of the reasons why drivers choose to drink alcohol and then drive a car.

Some people drink alcohol to have fun with friends and family. They might drink during a night out, then come home with the help of a designated driver. Others, however, make the reckless decision to drink and drive, endangering not only their lives but the lives of everyone else on the road. Driving under the influence results in the loss of lives every single day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28 people in the US die every day because of an alcohol-impaired driver. That equates to around 10,000 people a year, or once every hour. Injuries due to alcohol-related car collisions also amount to one every 90 seconds. With countless cars on just about every road, it can be terrifying to think that someone behind the wheel is not in control of their vehicle.

Most states in the US have the legal alcohol limit at 0.08% blood alcohol content. It takes just about three to four drinks for most people to reach this limit. If driving under the influence is dangerous to society, why do so many still do it?

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Why people drive drunk

In 2015, researchers from the University of Valencia, Spain, studied and wrote about why people drive under the influence of alcohol. The study, published in the Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy open-access journal, focused on 1100 Spanish respondents consisting of 678 men and 422 women drivers.

While 60% of the respondents said they believe driving drunk is maximum risk behavior, 9.7% admitted they had driven after drinking in the past. Over 90% said they never or rarely drove after drinking because they wanted to avoid accidents and sanctions. However, those who did drink and drive said they did so because they had no other way to go home, or they drank only along with a meal.

These aren’t the only reasons drivers take the wheel while intoxicated. Some drivers may feel a bit drunk but believe they’re still capable of driving. Being intoxicated can also cause drivers to feel more confident in their driving ability and make them think they won’t get caught by the authorities. It’s just as possible that they have heard of other people driving under the influence and now believe it isn’t such a big deal if they do the same.

Many explain that they are forced by their circumstances to drink and drive. They may not want to leave their car in an unfamiliar location, or they may have to be somewhere at a particular time. Teenagers who drive to parties or bars are often too afraid to ask their parents to get back home.

In their desperation, intoxicated drivers may resort to trying to get sober by eating greasy food, exercising, or drinking black coffee, among others. They may then end up driving under the influence, believing that the methods they tried worked.

Drive smart

Drivers who have taken alcohol or drugs should enlist a designated driver’s help or find alternate transportation instead of choosing to drunk drive. Doing so can save lives.

How Automobile Fog Lights Work

Fog lights don’t come with every car. Because they are not standard equipment for most vehicles, fog lights often come as an extra feature in luxury models. Drivers’ lack of experience with the fog lights adds to the equipment’s confusion, leaving many unsure about when and how to turn them on.

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What are fog lights?

Fog lights are different from high- and low-beam headlights, which are regularly used in the dark. Fog lights aren’t always necessary; drivers need to keep them on when visibility is low due to poor weather or dust. Unlike headlights, fog lights point at a steeper angle in a bar-shaped beam to prevent the light from reflecting into the driver’s eyes.

Fog lights are specifically made to function quite low on the vehicle’s body and face the ground, while headlights are installed at a shallow angle to light up as much of the road as possible. Fog lights illuminate only the ground and pierce through any fog, mist, haze, dust, or other particles that limit visibility.

Though some shops that sell fog lights may promote lamps with selective yellow light as “fog lights,” many kinds of lights use the color yellow. Fog lights are characterized by their shape and how they illuminate the road, not by their color.

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Fog lights: not always recommended

As their name suggests, the purpose of fog lights is for fog and similar low-visibility conditions. When used on regular days, the light can end up blinding other drivers because it is too bright.

Even in poor weather, fog lights shouldn’t stay enabled the entire time. Instead, a driver should use them only when the driver finds it difficult to see the road. Keeping the fog lights on when they aren’t necessary can lead to accidents because the light cannot illuminate areas far in front of the car. Cars going too fast with only their fog lights on may collide with other vehicles and objects. Drivers are advised to go slow whenever they use their fog lights, at least until they reach their destination or park somewhere until the weather improves.

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How to use fog lights

Cars equipped with fog lights usually feature a switch or buttons aside from the controls for the headlights. Some vehicles have separate switches for front and rear fog lights, while others use the rotary light switch. Typically, there’s a symbol in the instrument panel that informs the driver that the fog lights are on, but most fog lights automatically turn off when a driver turns off the vehicle.

Buying fog lights

Fog lights are affordable accessories one can install in various ways. Factory-style fog lights would require the removal of the bumper and addition of a specific grille. Still, universal fog lights can be mounted onto any part of the vehicle without much hassle. Car-owners would benefit from fog lights with glass lenses instead of plastic for increased durability. Broken fog lights shouldn’t be a problem either, considering they’re easily replaceable.

Fog Light Symbols

At the point when you turn on your fog lights an image will illuminate on your dashboard to show that they’re on. Generally, the universal symbol for the rear fog lights is golden in color and the light for the front fog lights is green.

The symbol you’re looking for in your instrument cluster is a light pointing to the left plus a wavy line with three lines through it – these are your front fog lights. When you switch on your rear fog lights a light pointing to the right plus a wavy line with three lines through it will illuminate in your instrument cluster.

Are Tesla Vehicles Really Safe?

Tesla’s self-driving vehicles are a classic case of the automaker’s reach exceeding their grasp. Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems almost obsessed with realizing his dream of a futuristic world that seems ripped right out of the pages of a sci-fi pulp fiction magazine.

Trips to Mars. Vehicles that drive themselves. It’s the future that the 1980s promised we’d have by now, but is the technology safe enough for widespread public use? Are Tesla vehicles really safe to use with the auto pilot software engaged? Are Tesla’s safety claims exaggerated?

Tesla Protest in China

These questions are being asked after Tesla endured a brutal month of bad press. In China, a man was driving a Model 3 car on the motorway that caused a multi-car crash in February. The man’s daughter Zhang Yazhou staged a dramatic protest during the Shanghai Auto Show that went viral. She stood on top of a Tesla vehicle at their booth and cried foul play. She alleged that the Tesla Model 3 her dad was driving experienced a brake failure that caused the crash.

https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/1384021874439462918

Tesla revealed that vehicle data from the vehicle in question indicated that the vehicle was speeding and the brakes had been applied successfully more than 40 times in the half hour leading up to the crash. Zhang was quick to call the vehicle data fake and the Chinese government has put pressure on Tesla to respect Chinese consumers and meet the highest safety measures.

Tesla Crash in Texas

Earlier this month, two men were killed in a fiery Tesla car crash that took place in Texas. The vehicle was speeding and eventually crashed into a tree and burst into flames. After firefighters extinguished the blaze, they found one passenger in the back seat and one man in the front passenger seat. There was no one driving the Tesla vehicle.

Elon Musk took to Twitter to deny allegations that the vehicle’s autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the crash. He also pointed out that the owner did not purchase the Full Self-Driving feature.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1384254194975010826

This crash from Texas is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA has 24 ongoing investigations into crashes involving Tesla auto pilot software.

How Does Tesla AutoPilot Work?

The official disclaimer from Tesla’s website is that Tesla’s Autopilot feature is not designed to work independently, at least not yet. Autopilot is “intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time,” the website states.

According to the Tesla website, a vehicle will not engage auto pilot unless the vehicle’s sensors detect there is adequate weight in the drive’s seat, the seatbelt is engaged, and the driver is attentively watching the road ahead. The full self-driving software update has been created but Tesla has not made it available to the public yet. Right now, Tesla electric vehicles can accelerate, change lanes, brake and follow road signs, as well as enter and exit highway ramps.

Consumer Reports put the Tesla AutoPilot feature to the test in a new video. During a demonstration, a small weight was applied to the steering wheel and there was no live driver behind the wheel. The Tesla vehicle essentially drove itself and failed to engage any safety measures regarding a lack of a driver.

Tesla’s software is notoriously quirky. It’s important to note that the vehicle can also still drive itself if someone is asleep behind the wheel. Trusting your life to a vehicle that drives itself takes a great deal of faith in technology and the brand which brings that technology to the market.

Related: Detailed Review of the 2021 Tesla Model S

Are Tesla Vehicles Dangerous?

Tesla autopilot statistics are confusing to say the least. The findings would suggest that passengers are just as safe with the feature engaged as they are with it disengaged. Tesla publishes quarterly safety reports via their website. Here is what the electric vehicle automaker had to say about their most recent data statistics.

“In the 1st quarter, we registered one accident for every 4.19 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 2.05 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 978 thousand miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles.”

That sounds absolutely stellar, but critics are quick to point out some inconsistencies. Most Tesla vehicles use Auto Pilot on the highway where the chance of a fatal crash is reduced in comparison to city streets. The Full self-driving software is designed to allow auto pilot in urban settings, but it hasn’t been released yet. In essence, Tesla is comparing their limited highway driving statistics against the total number of driving accidents on both the city and highway.

Consumer Reports has been a thorn in Elon Musk’s side for a couple of years now. In 2020, Consumer Reports compared the driving assistance systems of all the leading automakers. Despite all the bragging that Tesla executives uphold about their Auto Pilot safety, the Cadillac Super Cruise function that’s featured on the Cadillac CT6 beat out the Tesla Autopilot by a wide margin.

Tesla’s claims that their electric self-driving vehicles are safer than anything else on the road is little more than a marketing scheme. At all times, a driver must mechanically operate a motor vehicle. The future of autonomous driving is attractive, and it is close to realization. However, it’s not worth risking your life. Please drive safely.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.