Volkswagen is giving the Golf a makeover for its 50th birthday, adding an illuminated badge along with some novel LED headlight and taillamps. VW doesn’t like to make aggressive changes to the iconic hatchback, so the alterations made on the Mk8 Golf are fairly subtle. They’re also largely irrelevant because the only version of the model still sold on our market is the sporting GTI.
With Mercedes-Benz having updated volume models GLA family earlier this year, everyone knew it was a matter of time before changes were made for the high-performance AMG variants. But how much would change was the big question. With Mercedes having promised to electrify everything new AMG produced from 2025 onward, the model is poised to become an EV during its next re-imagining.
This is reflected in the refresh. The 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S 4Matic+ doesn’t see a lot of mechanical changes and has instead adopted some new styling cues and updates to the interior.
Genesis has updated the G70 for South Korea by swapping the current 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the 2.5-liter unit that’s found in the Kia Stinger. The motor produces 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque in the Kia — suggesting that the 2024 model year will be extra spicy for the G70.
While the manufacturer has not yet confirmed the change for North America, it seems unlikely that they’d leave us with the 252-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.5-liter turbo will likely supplant it as standard equipment or perhaps be offered as an option, with the 365-hp V6 presumably sticking around for decked out versions of the G70.
The Jeep Renegade is being gussied up for the 2023 model year and now includes some fresh color options and a mid-tier appearance package that’ll help it look like something that might actually drive up the side of a mountain. While the new Upland trim is heavily focused on aesthetics, it does come with a few additions that might still help it participate in more basic off-road activities.
While the Ram ProMaster vans may be a few steps behind their rivals in terms of towing, it’s quite competitive when you stick to the more basic trims. The ProMaster shines brightest when left in its more basic configurations but gets left behind when you start cross-shopping something else and decide you’re willing to spend more money to get all-wheel drive, a larger cargo hold, or increased gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). Despite being a great option for budget-conscious delivery firms, tradesmen, or someone looking to DIY a recreational vehicle, the Ram can’t be optioned to spread its wings quite as broadly as its competitors.
However, the manufacturer is hoping to entice customers with several new tech inclusions for the 2022 model year, including an upgraded nine-speed transmission and a new dashboard.
Lincoln has refreshed the Navigator, giving both the standard and long-wheelbase SUV new features. While there have also been some changes made to the flagship vehicle’s design, the company is not straying far from what it already knows works. But that doesn’t mean everything is exactly as it should be.
Despite adding some desirable tech, Lincoln has tweaked the turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6 to produce less horsepower than before. The 2022 model year produces 440 horsepower and 510 ft-lb of torque, whereas the previous version offered 450 hp. Considering Ford has yet to release EPA-certified economy figures, we’re betting this was done to boost efficiency. Compression ratios are also different, with the 2022 MY running 10.5:1 rather than the previous 10.0:1.
Several weeks ago, Tesla officially announced planned updates to the Model S and Model X as part of a comprehensive refresh. The vehicles would be getting more interior screens, improved software, and a top-of-the-line “Plaid” trim. Customers are also supposed to be given the option of purchasing a butterfly-shaped steering rig — which was quite the surprise.
While the system works well on airplanes and dedicated racing vehicles, using a yoke to navigate smoothly around town is an exercise in futility. Their design may make it easy to make mid-corner adjustments at high speeds, but they lack the ability to make a complete rotation with any fluidity. As such, many believed Tesla would tone things down from conceptual renderings and the steering wheel would be a yoke in name only. But they appear to have been mistaken. Over the weekend, a Twitter user started leaking shots of a prototype Model S sporting the rectangular steering… uh… wheel?
Released in tandem with a series of meaningful updates to the gargantuan Armada, Nissan has decided to give the subcompact Kicks a few embellishments of its own for the 2021 model year. While not nearly as comprehensive as its three-row sibling, the updates similarly build upon the existing platform by making small changes customers were undoubtedly harping upon.
Outside, the refreshed Kicks gets a new grille, fog lamps, tail lamps, updated bumpers, and some optional LED headlights. The combination makes the model look like a baby Rogue and brings it in line with Nissan’s current design language. There are also some novel paint options with the manufacturer likewise allowing customers to order two-tone schemes with a black roof.
Japan’s most downtrodden legacy automaker that isn’t Mitsubishi appears ready to take the fight to its global rivals, at least as far as the full-sized sport-utility segment is concerned. Nissan has refreshed its colossus from tip to tail for the 2021 model year, resulting in an SUV that’s decidedly more modern (and hopefully competitive) than most people probably thought possible.
Nissan’s Armada is an interesting car often that’s difficult to recommend. While truly massive and incredibly comfortable, it’s hard to suggest over any of its full-size opponents — most of which are substantially more compliant at cruising speeds. The Armada may have the best-in-class standard towing and horsepower, thanks largely to its obligatory 5.6-liter V8, but the overall experience is a mixed bag. Fortunately, Nissan is issuing updates specifically designed to smooth its rough edges for 2021.
Genesis has been planning a mid-cycle update for the G70 sedan for a while and has been obliging us with previews showing off how good its designers are at their jobs for months. But Hyundai Motor Group recently previewed the model in South Korea to prove that the improvements made went beyond mere aesthetics.
While the split headlamps and updated grille bring the model more in line with other Genesis products, sacrificing a bit of visual menace for a more upscale appearance, technological changes ensure it’s no less capable from a performance standpoint. Next year, the Genesis G70 will receive a new sports+ driving mode that tightens engine and transmission programming to squeeze out every ounce of performance available, a new dynamic AWD system featuring a built-in drift mode, and an exhaust with active valves to make the V6 sound as sweet as possible on demand.
Genesis has predictably brought the G70 onboard with the rest of its lineup’s familial styling. Fortunately, the look the company has gone for has successfully merged disparate concepts by being both spectacular and incredibly tasteful. While your author would have argued that prior Genesis models had aped German exteriors so effectively that they might actually be beating Deutschland at its own game, the new designs only serve extend its advantage. It seems as though everything Hyundai Motor Group touches these days can’t help but have a stunning exterior and it’s true from the sub-$25,000 Kia K5 right on up to the $72,000 Genesis G90.
Quad lamps (front and rear) are now the hallmark of Genesis Motor and have finally been affixed to the G70, giving it a more refined and luxury-focused appearance. It’s also quite unique across the industry and helps distinguish the Korean brand from other nameplates at a distance. While many (including your author) enjoyed the sporting musculature on the current model, 2022 will be a more opulent affair better suited to the frugal fanciness the Genesis has become synonymous with.
The subcompact Hyundai Kona earned itself no shortage of attention on these digital pages after it landed in dealers in February of 2018. Some of that press was, ahem, not favorable to the little Hyundai, which impressed neither in interior volume or in off-roadability.
It’s a subcompact crossover, of course. Its utility will be limited. Still, the Kona proved a success for Hyundai, boosting sales volume for the suddenly-struggling brand and helping get it to where it is today. Despite the pandemic, July saw the model’s fourth-best monthly showing since its debut.
Committed to fielding the freshest lineup around, Hyundai already has changes in store for the Kona. If power was once a concern, a new variant should put that issue to rest.
Almost every day I go for a walk that takes me up the hill behind my apartment. And on that route, I pass by a black, base model Nissan Kicks parked in my neighbor’s driveway. A value special, for sure, and one with a decent amount of attributes — its starting price being topmost among them.
In a country far, far away, Nissan just introduced an altogether different Kicks, and at least one part of it should make its way stateside.
Unless you’re the owner of a Honda Civic and find its fuel economy lacking — a rare combination — the Insight probably isn’t on your radar. Despite being this first hybrid model to grace North American roads, selling more units than Honda predicted, the original Insight was quickly overshadowed by the Toyota Prius. Successive generations performed better by adhering to greater levels of normalcy, with the current generation appearing for the 2019 model year after a prolonged absence.
For 2021, the Insight is due for a refresh. Honda’s keeping the changes light, focusing on adding a handful of safety options and new “Radiant Red” metallic paint hue. Sure, it won’t send people running to the dealership, though it might sway a few prospective Prius customers — a community that’s been shrinking since 2013.
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- Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
- Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
- Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
- CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
- Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.