Tag: updates

By on August 24, 2021

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.  (Read More…)

By on August 18, 2021

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.   (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2021

The Chevrolet Blazer will be dumping its base engine for the 2022 model year. The naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter motor always felt as though it would have been more at home in a vintage Plymouth Acclaim or original S-10 Blazer, however. Removing the 193-horsepower unit from the modern crossover, which can be optioned to weigh in excess of two tons, probably isn’t going to make anyone’s eyes well up.

In exchange, the manufacturer has seen fit to expand the color palette.

(Read More…)

By on March 18, 2021

If you purchased a base Kia Stinger with the turbocharged 2.0-liter, many will argue you made the wrong decision. They’ll allege that you should have sprung for the more powerful twin-turbo V6. But it always seemed just a bit too steep of a price jump to make sense for every single person. If you were cross-shopping the Stinger against fancier — albeit indirect — rivals like the BMW 3-Series, that 2.0-liter was still completely adequate. However, we could say the same thing about the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and a cadre of other non-premium sedans.

Kia’s twin-turbo V6 seemed to be there to create some additional distance between its touring sedan and just about everything else on the market. With the 3.3-liter unit churning out 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, the Stinger becomes much more exciting and suddenly capable of covering the quarter-mile in under 13 seconds. For the 2022 model year, the manufacturer has decided to split the difference by ditching the base 2.0-liter mill. Replacing it will be a 2.5-liter four-banger producing 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft — representing an increase of 45 hp and 61 pound-feet of twist.

But it’s not going to be free.  (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2021

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?  (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2020

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. (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2020

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. (Read More…)

By on November 18, 2020

With the Los Angeles Auto Show rescheduled for May before its likely cancellation, manufacturers have been issuing bundled press releases for products that presumably would have been there had society bothered to maintain a shred of normalcy. On Wednesday, Land Rover announced a series of updates for the 2021 Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, and Discovery Sport. But improvements appear largely limited infotainment tweaks, save for the Velar’s upcoming hybrid powertrain.

North American customers may also be disappointed to learn that 2021 MY cars likely won’t arrive until after Christmas. The pandemic has placed Jaguar Land Rover behind schedule already and European officials are pushing for another extended lockdown over flu season. That’s enough for us to recommend you save any comically oversized red bows for next year because government health restrictions basically guarantee production slowdowns. (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2020

Nissan unveiled a substantially updated version of the Navara pickup truck sold overseas on Thursday, foreshadowing what we might be seeing with the next incarnation of the mid-sized Frontier.

The model shares DNA with many vehicles around the world, including the Renault Alaskan, Dongfeng Ruiqi 6, and the failed X-Class from Mercedes-Benz. While they all have unique touches to distinguish themselves from each other, the platform is fairly consistent and should offer us a glimpse into the future of our Nissan Frontier. But that won’t be because it’s using the same platform as the new Navara. (Read More…)

By on October 2, 2020

BMW has applied its new corporate grille to the 4-Series and nixed the retractable hardtop from the convertible in exchange for a ragtop that helps the model dump unnecessary weight. While the softer sunshine rig sounds relatively impressive, this will likely be a lateral move for most fans. The brand’s elongated Hitler mustache grille hasn’t gone over with everybody and a soft top certainly seems less premium. But BMW thinks it can win customers over on practicality and substance.

For starters, the new system offers a smidgen more headroom (just 0.2 inches) and has improved thermal insulation and sound dampening to keep it on par with the outgoing hardtop. It also takes up less space when stowed and only takes 18 seconds to do so at speeds at or below 31 mph. (Read More…)

By on September 2, 2020

Hyundai showcased a number of updates for its subcompact Kona on Tuesday without minimizing the funkiness it’s already famous for. In fact, the Korean crossover might even have a little more personality than it did before.

While the grille has been reduced in size and some of the hard edges rounded off, it remains impressive how many interesting little details Hyundai managed to tack onto the front of this thing without turning it into an eyesore.

Still too busy for you? That’s understandable. But know that Hyundai is offering an N Line variant that ditches the contrasting plastic cladding for color matching body panels that make the 2020 model almost look like a regular hatchback. As an added benefit, it also offers enhanced performance via the all-new 1.6-liter T-GDI Smartstream engine making a claimed 197 horsepower. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2020

A laundry list of options from the Porsche 911 Turbo S have trickled down to the rest of the 992 Series, plus a few new inclusions aimed at making daily commutes more livable.

The biggest get has to be the expanded availability of the seven-speed manual, but that’s thus far reserved for European customers who still prefer be-clutched vehicles in greater numbers than we do. Still, don’t panic just yet. Porsche hinted in the past that the U.S.-spec Carrera S and 4S models would also be made available with manual options later on.

If it works out like it’s supposed to in Europe, optioning your prospective 911 with the Sport Chrono package opens it up to the no-cost option of choosing either the PDK dual-clutch or seven-speed stick. You’ll also get the associated track goodies, plus a new tire temperature display and some updated ambient lighting options.  (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2019

Until the refresh of the Cadillac Escalade arrives, you want the Lincoln Navigator if you need a premium American battle tank. It’s a Raptor-powered beast of a cruiser, and Lincoln is keeping it fresh for the 2020 model year by offering a new appearance package and more standard tech.

Starting with the visuals, there is now a Monochromatic Appearance Package for the Navigator. If you don’t like chrome, and this author doesn’t, then this is a box you’ll want to check. Yes, there’s still some chrome, it is a Navigator after all. But the Monochromatic Package on the Reserve series offers three different colors to “showcase the bold lines” of the Navigator.

(Read More…)

By on July 9, 2019

Are you sitting around waiting for a Tesla Model S or Model X update before spending your hard-earned money on the high-end electric vehicle of your dreams? You might as well just buy now because, according to Elon Musk himself, there is no major refresh or updates coming to either of Tesla’s top-end models. Cue the sad trombone.

In response to a tweet from last night, Musk answered the question as to whether there would be an update on the horizon. “There is no ‘refreshed’ Model X or Model S coming” said the CEO, “only a series of minor ongoing changes.” Musk went on to then say there there might be small updates over time, like integrating the motor from the Model 3 into the S and X, but that just happened recently so there’s nothing in the pipeline.  (Read More…)

By on September 4, 2018

Jeep updated several of its models for 2019, but appears to be downplaying some of the new features. Case in point is the new Grand Cherokee, which comes with new standard safety equipment, a handful of changes, and a “Limited X” variant offering some unique visuals. But the brand only made casual mention of it in its 2019 model fact sheet, released earlier this month.

The rest of the Grand Cherokee fleet marches onward with the same general appearance and specs as the 2018 model year. However, they will receive blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection as standard kit, as well as some infotainment upgrades. Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee Limited X boasts a more aggressive front and rear fascia, performance hood, “Granite Crystal” (see: shiny, super-dark gray) exterior accents and new 20-inch Low Gloss Granite Crystal wheels. (Read More…)

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