2020 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. New for the 2020 model year is a 7” touchscreen on specific trims such as this higher end XLE model, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration on all grades as well as putting the Toyota Safety Sense P system in all cars. The all-wheel drive option comes in 2 trims: LE and like here XLE. Pricing starts at around $28,000 while this one with the Advanced Technology Package including a heads-up display and swiveling headlamps, checks in at $31,429. So in 2020 is the Prius still relevant?
Jeep continues to expand the Wrangler’s portfolio by adding a plug-in hybrid for the 2021 model year. The 4-door Wrangler 4xe adds yet another powertrain choice to the various gas and diesel offerings.
And this one is a torque monster – something off-roaders crave – producing 470 pound-feet from its electrified powertrain. Recharge the 400-volt battery pack situated below the rear seats and the 4Xe provides up to 25 miles of pure electric driving. Want to preserve that quiet, zero-emission propulsion for the trail? Select the E-Save drive mode and bottle it up for later use. Otherwise, once all of the juice has been squeezed, the 4xe runs as a typical gas-electric hybrid, leaning on its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo to produce a combined 375 horsepower working through an 8-speed auto with an integrated electric motor. Jeep estimates that the 4xe’s gas mileage will be the same as that of a Toyota Prius. The full-time 4-wheel drive transfer case provides all of the options you want; including 2WD and automatic 4-wheel drive settings to compliment the usual 4H and 4L modes. And if you think this is a fragile Jeep you can’t take deep into enemy territory, think again. All high-voltage bits are sealed and waterproof so it can ford the same 30” of water and underneath you’ll see the same Dana 44 axles and skid plates while the Rubicon has an electronic sway-bar disconnect and nearly 11” of ground clearance. Base 4xe and Sahara models are also offered and we’ll know more about pricing as the 4xe’s December on-sale date grows closer.
2020 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER QUICK TAKES.
The fourth-generation Toyota Highlander brings a new level of bold, distinctive design to a foundation built on safety, comfort, quality, durability and reliability. The Highlander gas model and the Highlander hybrid are available at dealerships now!
Just as the first RAV4 launched the compact crossover SUV segment 22 years ago, the original Highlander redefined the midsize family SUV when it arrived in 2001. At a time when most midsize SUVs were truck-based, the Highlander’s unibody structure with four-wheel independent suspension quickly became the template for a new segment of more comfortable and family-friendly SUVs. After adding a third row, the Highlander not only grew in size, but is also now the best-selling retail model in the segment since 2016.
Now, the 2020 Highlander amplifies all qualities while taking on a dramatic new design direction that combines a powerful SUV presence with sophisticated detailing.
The new sophisticated SUV sits on a new vehicle platform called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K). This robust new foundation, shared with other Toyota models, enables even greater capability, comfort and safety than before.
The fourth-generation Highlander offers the choice between a powerful V6 or new-generation hybrid powertrain, with the gas version offering up to a manufacturer-estimated 24 MPG combined fuel economy and the Hybrid offering up to a manufacturer-estimated 36 combined MPG.
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Quick Takes.
The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) enters 2020 with new standard safety equipment, a restyled dashboard and updated option and trim packages that increase the value, safety and overall aesthetic of the world’s best-selling PHEV.
The Outlander PHEV is a perfect culmination of Mitsubishi’s 100-plus-year history of automotive excellence: over 50 years of electromobility and four-wheel drive technology that goes back to 1937 when the company built Japan’s first four-wheel-drive vehicle, and subsequently honed on the international rally circuit. Featuring a highly efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with two high-performance electric motors, along with Mitsubishi’s advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV delivers SUV capabilities and EV efficiency.
The Outlander PHEV represents a fusion of the EV technologies developed by Mitsubishi for models such as the i-MiEV, a strong understanding of the S-AWC system from the Lancer Evolution, and SUV know-how gained from the Montero.
2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes. The venerable Escape has long since been a small SUV favorite but as you can see Ford has taken its styling in a decidedly car-like direction repositioning it in their reborn, utility-focused lineup.
The Escape is America’s small SUV. Having been on the road now for 20 years, it’s where we’ve turned when the patriotic pangs pull us away from the RAV4, CR-V and Rogue. And now that Ford is almost exclusively a truck and SUV brand they’ve seized the opportunity to morph the Escape into something a little more car-like so as not to alienate shoppers who aren’t SUV crazy. And yes, believe it or not, those people still exist. Lower, wider, longer and more aerodynamic, the new Escape resembles less the tough little SUV it once did and more the bastard child of a Porsche Cayenne and Tesla Model 3. Thankfully, this is the Escape’s worst crime as the rest of it is actually very good.