2021 Acura TLX First Look By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. Acura’s just an SUV brand, right? Well, that’s not entirely accurate though the RDX and MDX do outsell Acura’s 4 cars combined by nearly 3-to-1. But Acura’s here to remind us that their cars are still worthy of the caliper badge and that begins with one of their many underrated models, the TLX. The current car is a solid choice and a decent seller but Acura wants to make a bolder impression with this all-new 2021 redesign. Arriving this fall, Acura says this TLX will be the quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sedan they’ve ever made, a title currently held by the surprisingly good, lame duck RLX Sport Hybrid. With a considerably longer wheelbase, wider track and lower roofline the TLX presents itself as a more legit sports sedan. And moving beyond the recent A-Spec Sport appearance package is the heralded return of the Type S badge…a specification last seen on sporty Acuras over a decade ago. The Type S arrives later next spring. While a 272 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 powers the standard TLX, the Type S utilizes a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with the engine’s output to be announced later. Both will use a 10-speed automatic. Whereas Acura’s torque vectoring all-wheel drive system is currently only available on the V6 model, the new TLX will offer it across the board replete with quicker reactions and more rear-wheel drive intervention. Brake by wire technology applied from the NSX supercar and an available adaptive damping suspension flesh out the new chassis which Acura claims is the most rigid they’ve ever offered with an infusion of lightweight materials. The TLX’s dual personal cockpit design creates a strongly delineated space for both front seat occupants while the wider body affords more hip and shoulder room for rear seat passengers. The infotainment system incorporated from the RDX uses a touchpad interface. A Japanese company but primarily an American brand, Acura is counting on the new TLX to diversify its SUV sales heavy product portfolio.
Mercedes has been producing some crazy fast SUVs over the past 20 years and this one here is the OG. Originally known as the ML 55, this all-new 2021 GLE 63 S carries the brand’s AMG torch into a new decade of decadent speed. Is 603hp enough? How about a 0-to-60mph time of 3.7 seconds? The handcrafted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 receives an electric boost from its 48 volt system that can provide an additional 21 horses and a quick shot of 184 pound-feet of torque for even more responsive acceleration. The 9-speed twin-clutch transmission adapts to the drive program that goes all the way to a RACE setting for driving on closed circuits. But it is an SUV after all, so the fully variable 4MATIC + all-wheel drive system works in concert with Trail and Sand drive modes and the air suspension to provide safe driving at max performance on soft, muddy or slippery ground. A performance exhaust system contributes the requisite soundtrack. The interior is characterized by a sporty ambiance with exclusive Nappa leather AMG seats, customizable 64-color ambient lighting and the latest infotainment system with a Supersport mode replete with an AMG menu that includes a Race Timer, Engine Data and more. Pricing will be released closer to this summer’s launch but expect it to be north of $110,000.
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave FIRST LOOK By Auto Critic Steve Hammes.
If you’re into 4-wheeling, then you know that not all off-roading is the same. So while the Trail-Rated badge graces Jeep 4X4s after they’ve proven themselves in 5 critical categories, this first-ever Desert Rated Jeep operates under a different set of criteria. The 2020 Gladiator Mojave is designed for a high-speed, sandy environment so it’s not as concerned with water fording and articulation as it is ride control and stability and desert prowess.
2021 Toyota Trail Editions
When you’ve got the oldest truck lineup in the industry you turn to special editions to move the metal. Toyota is introducing Trail Special Editions to the 2021 Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner that put an emphasis on extra storage and convenience, unique styling and exclusive content. Toyota says their truck buyers love the great outdoors more than any other, so the Trail models come with standard fixings such as all-weather floor liners, lockable bed storage on the Tacoma and Tundra and a rooftop cargo basket with 40-quart cooler on the 4Runner. The Tacoma and 4Runner also receive TRD Off-Road wheels while the Tundra wears the top-trim 1794 Edition grille. All 3 Trail models are based upon the lower-end, less expensive SR5 grades and are offered in in 2- or 4-wheel drive. The Tacoma is a Double Cab and the Tundra a Crew Max with Upgrade Package. Army Green, Cement, Midnight Black and Super White comprise the color palette. Toyota is planning to equip 7,000 Tacomas, 5,000 Tundras and 4,000 4Runners as Trail Editions when they hit showrooms this summer.
2021 GMC Yukon First Look By Auto Critic Steve Hammes. When the Escalade is a little too rich for your blood and a Chevy a tad too plebian, GMC is right there to perfectly meet your large SUV needs. The all-new 2021 Yukon and its extra-long brother the Yukon XL have plenty of new tricks up their sleeves including an even more luxurious Denali model and the addition of the more rugged AT4 trim. Families will appreciate the Yukon’s nearly 5” longer wheelbase which substantially expands 3rd row legroom and max cargo volume. The Yukon XL also grows in those regards but more modestly. A new sliding 2nd row seat makes getting in and out of that 3rd row easier than ever. Of course, the new independent rear suspension also plays a role in the smarter packaging as well as elevating the Yukon’s ride sophistication. Built in Texas, the 2021 Yukon and Yukon XL go on sale this summer. https://testdrivenow.com/2021-gmc-yukon-first-look/