With spring just around the corner, automotive updates, news releases and new vehicle launches are coming thick and fast.
Here are a few that have come my way:
Mitsubishi has just released its 2022 Outlander. Here’s how the manufacturer describes it:
“Based on the product concept ‘I-Fu-Do-Do,’ which means authentic and majestic in Japanese, the all-new Outlander has been crafted into a reliable SUV with significantly upgraded styling, road performance, and a high-quality feel to satisfy the needs of customers who want to expand their horizons and take on challenges of every kind.”
Power will be delivered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) and all models will have all-wheel-drive. Six drive modes will be built in to the drivetrain, and the interior has been overhauled, with more elbow room.
Look for the 2022 right about now.
Nissan’s Rogue, Maxima, Altima and Sentra models have all been designated by the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States as having the highest rate for occupant safety. The rating takes into account things like roof strength, head restraints and front-end collision protection. The Sentra also got special mention for its headlights.
Nissan also announced that its new Ariya model will be the most aerodynamically efficient SUV the company has ever built. The Ariya, which recently saw the light of day in Paris, will be a fully electric SUV, and its wind-cheating shape is meant to increase its single-charge driving range.
Still with Nissan, the Rogue has just been named the best mid-size SUV for 2021 by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). It was on the receiving end of a complete redesign this year and will be vying for Canadian utility vehicle of the year award from AJAC later this month.
The Subaru Crosstrek garnered an award for Best Small Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2021. It too will be in the running for best in Canada later this month.
Kia Canada, meanwhile, just introduced its all-new 2022 Carnival, the brand’s first “Life Utility Vehicle.” A full-size functional family vehicle that delivers modern luxury, inventive tech and category-leading cargo space, Carnival will be available in Canadian dealerships this spring, in five trim levels, with pricing starting at $34,595.
The Carnival will have a 3.5-litre V6 engine for power, and an eight-speed transmission.
It’s apparently meant to fit in between Kia’s Sorento and Seltos models, and will feature all the usual modern conviences, as well as a full complement of nanny features, including lane keeping and following assist, smart cruise control, parking distance warning and forward collision-avoidance assist, among other things.
Ford’s recently-introduced Bronco is now available with a “modular” customization package. This means things like body quarter panels, doors and fenders can be removed and replaced without major surgery.
Says Ford: “Basic modifications to prep a Bronco for a fun-filled open-air afternoon can be completed in a matter of minutes by hand.” Apparently, off-road enthusiasts are driving this modularity option and it applies to both two and four-door models.
Honda wants us to know that its Grom scooter/commuter/dual purpose bike has just received a complete makeover and engine overhaul, with a greater riding range and improved ergonomics.
What’s a Grom, you ask?
Grom is a shortened version of grommet, a nickname for sports buffs who compete in surfing, skateboarding, mountain biking and so on. In two-wheeled form, it’s a pint-sized ‘naked’ bike powered by a 125-cc engine mated to a five-speed transmission. It’s been affectionately labelled by some as “the world’s smallest hooligan bike.”
The point of the Grom is ostensibly to provide economical, rough-and-ready transportation for just about anything or anyone. With a manageable price tag of just under $4,000, the Grom is aimed at youthful riders who just want to get there.
The new Grom joins updated versions of the CB1000R and NC750X.
Ted Laturnus writes for Troy Media’s Driver Seat Associate website. An automotive journalist since 1976, he has been named Canadian Automobile Journalist of the Year twice and is past-president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For interview requests, click here.