It’s time to reconsider what the Hybrid badge means in today’s automotive arena. More power and better driveability are now perks of being a Hybrid – in addition to improved efficiency. In the case of the RAV4, it strengthens its weakest link for a small cost that will quickly pay for itself.
The 4Runner requires a full commitment to its rough and tumble DNA. It forgoes many of the daily comforts found in today’s crossovers for the off-road capability and durability that has earned it its legendary status. For most though, the daily compromises might be more than its worth. Let’s discuss.
Making the case for the most capable vehicle available today.
When Mercedes-Benz graces the rear end of the car with the AMG badge, there is an immediate rise in expectations. The now in-house performance arm has waived their wands over more unlikely vehicles such as the G 63 (and the single-year run of the R 63) which raises suspicion of the big SUV’s true sporting intentions but the brand-new generation AMG GLS 63 begs one to test its go-fast credibility all while enjoying its lengthy list of luxurious features and three-row spaciousness.
Imagine a car designed by the most logical and forward-thinking engineers at GM. The car isn’t going to win any styling competitions nor does it come close to meeting the benchmark for ride and handling. Rather, its mark on the industry is etched with an exceptional driving range, ease of use, and utmost practicality. It may not be overly exciting but it is entirely satisfying.
Automakers usually look to the model’s past to adopt what worked and what needed rethinking, however, in the case of the Blazer, Chevrolet chose a different path and there are no similarities with the rough and tumble SUV that once roamed for 25 years. Considering the frenzy that Ford has generated with its retro-inspired Bronco, one can’t help but wonder if this soft-natured crossover should have been called something else. But even after putting the nameplate aside, the new crossover’s concept feels disjointed and as such, it becomes difficult to appreciate more than just the sum of its components.
Each key vehicle development stage from styling all the way through mass-production, leaves its own impression on the vehicle’s overall personality. True success depends on whether they all carry the same tune. In the case of the Expedition, all teams contributed to a confident and very capable machine, although, its $72,000 price tag will be difficult for most to justify.
For every model redesign, there is an expectation that the new version has naturally inherited the best traits of the previous generations while also continuing to push the design forward into the next era. It’s a simple formula in concept, however, it is not always easy to pull-off.
Older generations of the CR-V featured clever design details, spacious cabins, and were engaging to drive and that’s very much how one can describe this generation as well. However, now the CR-V design’s later years, it feels a step behind its rivals’ premium feel yet it can’t be beaten when it comes to ultimate utility and driver engagement.
With expectations of a new design every five years, the automotive market doesn’t take kindly to models that don’t continuously push their boundaries. That is especially true of the crossover market, where an ever-increasing number of new players means that even the Toyota Highlander, the segment’s best selling model since 2016, needs to take some calculated risk.
And sure enough, the Toyota Highlander went big with its 2020 redesign and is impressive in nearly every regard.