Posts from ‘First Spin’
It’s not often that a vehicle’s redesign isn’t necessarily its headline news.
It wasn’t so much a matter of “if” as a matter of “when” … and “who.”
Over the past couple of decades, those following heavy-duty pickups have been treated to a race similar to that enjoyed by car enthusiasts for years. This one, however, wasn’t about horsepower; it was about torque. And though all the top contenders kept leap-frogging each other toward that magic 1000 lb-ft finish line, it was Ram that got there first.
The 2019 model year is a momentous one for domestic-brand full-size pickups. The Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ram 1500 are all redesigned, and the Ford F-150 sees some notable updates. As always, these big haulers are available in a dizzying array of body and cab styles, trim levels, and powertrain options, and the GMC Sierra roster gets even bigger with the mid-year addition of the new AT4 trim level and an accompanying performance package.
This preview didn’t go entirely according to plan.
Mazda flew us up to Whistler, British Columbia — site of the 2010 Winter Olympics — to demonstrate its “predictive” i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive system, introduce a newly available turbocharged engine in the CX-5 line, and let us experience all three of its crossovers in slippery, snowy conditions. The first and last, of course, depended on the cooperation of Mother Nature, and she accommodated — a little too generously, as it turned out.
Even before this latest redesign, the RAV4 was hot. According to Toyota, the 2018 model closed out its tenure not only as the company’s best-selling vehicle, but as the best-selling non-pickup in the country. And almost without question, the 2019 RAV4 is even better.
If you haven’t noticed, compact crossovers are all the rage nowadays. That applies to premium ones as well, and increasingly, to premium ones that have been downsized to near subcompact proportions. And that’s the game Lexus has entered with the new UX.
As one of the oldest members of Volvo’s reinvigorated – and fast-growing — lineup, the S60 premium midsize sedan was due for an update. And boy, did it get one.