Posts from ‘First Spin’
With the redesign of its long-running Pathfinder midsize SUV for 2022, Nissan seems to be trying to have its cake and eat it too. Stylistically, the new Pathfinder gets a sharper-edged, beefier look that recalls the rugged styling of the truck-based, body-on-frame Pathfinders of the 1990s and early 2000s. Underneath, however, is a heavily modified version of the more family-friendly, crossover-style unibody architecture that the Pathfinder has been built upon since 2013.
We’ll admit that when the first wave of fastback-roofed sport-utility vehicles started hitting the market, kicked off by the BMW X6 back in 2008, we didn’t really “get it.” Why would an automaker take a vehicle that’s primarily designed for utility—heck, the word is right in the name!—and deliberately turn it into something less practical?
Well, believe it or not, we’re already almost at the end of Buick’s first full model year as an SUV-only brand. The LaCrosse large sedan and Cascada convertible both said sayonara after the 2019 model year, and Buick’s last traditional passenger-car holdouts—the midsize Regal Sportback hatchback sedan and Regal TourX wagon—were dropped after the 2020 model year.
When the outstanding Kia Telluride debuted as a 2020 model, it was an instant hit. This all-new “plus-size” midsize three-row SUV garnered many industry accolades (including a Consumer Guide Best Buy award), and continues to be a top seller for the brand. The Telluride’s success made it easy to forget that Kia already had a strong-selling, albeit smaller, three-row midsize SUV in its model lineup. The Kia Sorento was introduced as a 2003 model, and for 2021 it gets a complete redesign that brings it out of the shadow of the Telluride and back into the spotlight.