Thursday, 08 December 2022
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To say the 2021 Toyota Sienna is brand new would be an understatement.

Between its bold new exterior design and its new hybrid-only power plant, Toyota is swinging for the fences with this latest version of its long-running minivan — looking to distance itself and stand out from the rest of the minivan pack.

I recently spent time in a 2021 Toyota Sienna, and I’m back with a full report on how these bold new changes worked.

LOOKS

MInivans aren’t known for being lookers, but I was pleasantly surprised when the 2021 Sienna showed up in my driveway with its sharp red paint scheme.

With bold and aggressive styling and lines added throughout the exterior, from the grille to the rear and sides of the vehicle, it’s a machine that definitely grabs your eye much more than the previous iterations of the Sienna. Of all the current minivans for sale, the only one that has caught my eye more is the new Kia Carnival, but the Sienna is running a close second and outshines the remaining competitors’ designs.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Toyota Sienna  
  • Price as tested $48,029 (starts around $35K) 
  • Best feature Spacious and well-designed interior, bold new exterior redesign, hybrid fuel mileage  
  • Rating 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle? Minivan lovers who want a versatile family vehicle with strong fuel mileage 
Posted On Sunday, 17 October 2021 00:01 Written by
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With SUVs continuing to dominate sales, it’s no surprise that many automakers are looking to grow their presence and lineup in this category. One automaker that’s had a tricky history with its SUVs, but is still sticking around and attempting to grow, is Volkswagen.

A few years back, VW introduced its 3-row Atlas SUV, and now they are starting to grow the Atlas family with the smaller, two-row midsize Atlas Cross Sport SUV — which is now in its second year and goes up against a bevy of popular vehicles including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevy Blazer and Ford Edge, and literally dozens of other SUV options.

I recently drove a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport — which mostly carries over from the 2020 model but adds a new infotainment system and some more safety features — and I’m back with a full report on how it fits into the SUV landscape.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport  
  • Price as tested $48,115 (starts at $33K)  
  • Best feature Quality and versatile interior design, strong new infotainment system, safety features   
  • Rating 3.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle? Two-row SUV buyers looking for a new alternative that’s attractive and user-friendly, and tech-savvy   
Posted On Saturday, 16 October 2021 19:30 Written by
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Since launching the hybrid craze years ago with the Prius, Toyota has been a leader in eco-friendly vehicles. Hence their recent emphasis on plug-in hybrids, the next step toward the inevitable arrival of electric-only vehicles for the masses.

One such offering in this vein that I recently got to test is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid version of their wildly popular RAV4 SUV. With an electric range of 42 miles, and strong fuel economy when in hybrid mode, it’s definitely one of the plug-in offerings getting a lot of attention in this changing automotive landscape.

I recently spent some time in the RAV4 Prime, which serves a good landing point for people who want to move beyond standard hybrids but are not yet comfortable with electric-only options.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid
  • Price as tested $49,776 (starts around $41K; tax incentives are available)
  • Best feature Strong fuel economy, decent electric range
  • Rating 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle? Toyota fans who want something between a standard hybrid and a full electric ride
Posted On Sunday, 03 October 2021 02:32 Written by
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Long a symbol of success and a favorite among those with the means to afford it, the Cadillac Escalade was about due for an update to keep up with growing competition in the luxury SUV realm; And that’s exactly what Cadillac did for 2021.

Completely redesigned to be longer than the previous model, with additional space for passengers and cargo and a bevy of new tech features including GM’s Super Cruise, the 2021 Escalade lives up to the hype and continues the legacy of this signature vehicle.

I recently spent some time in a 2021 Escalade Platinum with 4WD, so read on for my full assessment of the latest version of Cadillac’s esteemed land yacht.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2021 Cadillac Escalade
  • Price as tested $112,465 (starts around $76K)
  • Best feature Super Cruise capability, interior design, storage versatility 
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle? Luxury SUV buyers wanting an extra-large, tech-savvy vehicle 
Posted On Sunday, 29 August 2021 23:50 Written by
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Minivans are sort of a love-it-or-hate-it thing in the automotive world.

Many people might say they hate minivans, but a vocal minority are minivan lovers.

With the completely new 2022 Kia Carnival, a reinvention of the vehicle formerly known as the Kia Sedona, the Korean automaker is hoping to turn some of those haters into members of the minivan fan club, and create potential customers.

After some time tooling around in this family-friendly ride, I’m back with a full report on how the Carnival measures up, as it takes on the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Voyager on the minivan battleground. 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle 2022 Kia Carnival 
  • Price as tested $38,775 (Starts around $32K)
  • Best feature Versatility, tech capabilities, cargo space
  • Rating 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle? Minivan buyers who want the latest, greatest version of this often-maligned vehicle type
Posted On Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:34 Written by
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