Car Reviews

2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s New Sport Model, New Engine, Same-ish Starting Price

Subaru announced its 2021 Crosstrek would receive a new Sport trim level, a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for the Sport and Limited trims, as well as some styling tweaks and enhanced safety features. Now it’s clear those updates won’t come at a significant added cost.

Related: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Adds New Engine, Sport Trim, Driver Assistance

Base and Premium model prices increase by $140, while the Limited model will increase in price by $640 (the destination fee for all 2021 Crosstreks is $1,050, an increase of $40 over the 2020’s). Here’s the full list of starting prices, including destination:

  • Base trim with a six-speed manual transmission: $23,295
  • Base, continuously variable automatic: $24,645
  • Premium, six-speed manual: $24,345
  • Premium, CVT: $25,695
  • Sport, CVT: $27,545
  • Limited: CVT: $29,045

As you may notice, Sport and Limited models come with the CVT as standard equipment, while Base and Premium trims charge a $1,350 premium to switch from the manual.

Beyond that, options for the Crosstrek are included in various packages. CVT-equipped Premium models can add a moonroof, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry with push-button start and a power driver’s seat for $1,995 (on top of the $1,350 for the CVT). Sport models can add all of the former except the power driver’s seat, as well as an 8-inch infotainment display, for $1,600. Limited models have two options: a stand-alone moonroof for $1,000 or the moonroof, built-in navigation and a Harman Kardon premium audio system for $2,395.

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The starting price for the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is more than 2020 versions of the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona, and slightly less than the 2020 Jeep Renegade — but unlike all of those models, the Crosstrek also offers standard all-wheel drive.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Herta expects heat and double-headers will be “really tough”

Colton Herta says that it will be physically demanding to compete in four IndyCar races in eight days, especially given the dearth of airflow to the cockpits due to the aeroscreen.

Despite additional ducting being introduced to the cockpits from this weekend’s double-header at Road America and the Saturday race not starting until 5.15pm local time, cockpit conditions are expected to be difficult for the drivers. Given the fact that the next day’s race will start at 12.40pm – and five days later the drivers will be starting another double-header at Iowa Speedway – this must be considered one of the most physically taxing stretches of any IndyCar season in recent history.

The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule has, of course, been compressed by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Back in February, the only twinned races were due to be the usual Belle Isle, Detroit double-header on the weekend after the Indianapolis 500. Now, Road America, Iowa Speedway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will hold two races each to help compensate for lost rounds elsewhere.

Combined with IndyCar’s second round of the season being held last Saturday, it means that most IndyCar drivers will have competed in five races in 14 days by the time the checker falls on the second Iowa event.

Series sophomore Herta, who lies fourth in the championship after the opening two rounds, said: “Yeah, it’s going to be really tough. Luckily I don’t think Road America is that physical. With the windscreen and stuff, it doesn’t even matter about that any more. It just matters how hot it gets in there…

“I think it’s going to be very tough. Even just to recover for the next week going to Iowa, it’s going to be tough. We have practice, qualifying and a full race all in one day. That’s tough on its own. Then you do that twice.

“Luckily Road America is probably one of the least physical places we go to just because you have the long straights to rest. As long as it’s not too hot. Forecast looks like it’s dying down a little bit, looks like it’s going to be in the 80s, a beautiful weekend.

“But it’s going to be interesting to see how everybody shapes up with all of it and if performances drop because guys aren’t fit enough.”

The Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport driver, who scored the first of his three poles at Road America in his rookie season, said of the potential improvements to cockpit cooling, “I think the teams are kind of constantly working on it. They obviously know what the problem is now. They’re looking for solutions to fix it.

“I don’t think it’s something that you’re going to fix in a week. We’ll see. Hopefully throughout the season we can find some stuff to make it better.”

Herta said that taking on plenty of liquids is the best solution post-race.

“The only way you can really recover is just by getting fluids; that’s really what you’re losing,” observed the 20-year-old. “I saw Conor [Daly] lost something like 12 pounds at Indy, which is insane. But it’s just your water weight.

“I think a lot of guys these next few weekends will get IVs after the first day, and that will be good for the second day. Some guys might do it after the race then on the day, too, if they’re really worried about it.”

Intrigued by Iowa qualifying format

IndyCar confirmed to that the Friday/Saturday July 17-18 event at Iowa Speedway will feature an unusual qualifying format. As per usual on all ovals aside from the Indy 500, the qualifying runs will consist of two flying laps, but the first will set the grid for Friday’s race, while the second will define the grid for the Saturday race.

Herta said he was “excited to see how that plays out.”

He went on: “I think you qualify as you normally would. It’s just interesting because I think some teams you’ve seen in the past have really quick second laps, and their first lap isn’t quite up to speed. It’s going to punish them for the race.

“I’ve never seen a qualifying format like that. It’s going to be very interesting. Do I think it will affect the result? No. I think passing is so plentiful there, it won’t even matter.”


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Auto News

Toyota Corolla Cross Crossover SUV Debuts: Will It Come to the U.S.?

Toyota is capitalizing on the growing popularity of crossovers by expanding the global Corolla lineup to include such a model. Meet the Corolla Cross, which Toyota unveiled in Thailand. While the automaker remains mum on the model’s future in the U.S., we see great potential for the Corolla Cross on our shores.

In terms of size, the small crossover slots between the subcompact C-HR and the compact RAV4. Oddly enough, it bears little resemblance to the rest of the Corolla family. With sharp headlights and more rounded proportions than the RAV4, the design is pleasing, albeit conventional.

See all 16 photos

Like the RAV4, the Corolla Cross is designed with practicality in mind. The automaker promises large door openings for easy entry and exit, an elevated driving position, and a spacious interior. Toyota is aiming for class-leading luggage space in the Thai market. Comfort and convenience features include a 9.0-inch touchscreen, a power moonroof, rear USB outlets, LED headlights and taillights, a foot-activated liftgate, and more.

The Corolla Cross offers two powertrain options in Thailand. The first is a 1.8-liter engine that produces approximately 138 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. A four-cylinder gasoline-electric hybrid unit, meanwhile, makes approximately 120 hp. Front-wheel-drive and an automatic transmission come standard with both powertrains.

Given how much American customers love crossovers, we think the Corolla Cross would make an excellent addition to Toyota’s U.S. lineup. But there’s no way of knowing whether it’s headed our way. Toyota USA wrote in a statement that, “The Corolla Cross revealed in Thailand . . . is an exciting new Toyota product that will be available in select markets around the world. At this time, no decisions or announcements have been made with regard to this vehicle coming to the U.S.”

The Corolla Cross debuts just a few months after Toyota introduced the more boldly designed Yaris Cross crossover SUV.  That model, sadly, is not coming to our market. Let’s hope the Corolla Cross has a different fate, as it could serve as a nice alternative to the quirky, but somewhat flawed, C-HR. We imagine it’ll also sell like hotcakes.

*Chart compares the Thai-market Corolla Cross to the U.S.-market RAV4 and HR-V


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Bottas will drive more ‘cautiously’ if gearbox issue reappears

Valtteri Bottas reckons he and Lewis Hamilton will have to drive more cautiously in Formula 1’s Styrian race if updates to be trialled in practice do not solve Mercedes’ gearbox problems.

After Mercedes was hampered by a build-up of electrical noise – stemming from vibration caused by the Red Bull Ring’s kerbs – the team explained the issue was a “complex problem” with no quick fix that would reoccur if the W11 was run in the same arrangement as the season opener.

It is understood that Mercedes will bring new parts to its 2020 challenger to try and fix the issue, as well as understand it further using additional data, which will be collected during Friday’s running.

When asked by if he and Hamilton will have to avoid the kerbs from the off in the Styrian GP during the pre-event press conference, Bottas said: “The team has tried to do things to fix it already for this weekend.

“Obviously it’s limited in the regulations how much you can do and how much you can’t when it’s about gearboxes.

“But they’ve localised the issue. I have full trust that we’re going to fix it, just when is the question.

“On Friday we are running quite a [few] sensors to try and monitor what’s going on and see if the issue will reappear.

“But if it will, yes, for sure we will need to be on [the] cautious side. We obviously want to finish the race and get the full points that we can.

“But that’s something we should be more wiser [about] after Friday – to see how things are. But [we] could potentially have to drive differently, we’ll see.”

Despite the gearbox failure threat during the latter stages of last weekend’s race, Bottas held on to win the F1 season opener for the second year in succession – with Hamilton fourth after being penalised for his contact with Red Bull’s Alex Albon.

Bottas has struggled to maintain momentum in a title challenge since joining Mercedes, but said his approach to the upcoming races will not change despite stealing an early advantage over his teammate.

He said: “It’s still only one race done, and of course you get a positive feeling from starting the season like that and you want to carry the positive momentum and keep the confidence that you get from that.

“But in the end, work as normal. Each race weekend is an individual weekend, you again reset and start from zero.

“And you try to do things better than what you did the previous race weekend.

“You take the learnings and try to always raise the bar for each one, so I think that’s the plan really for the season.

“The races will come pretty rapidly, so being efficient on the learning side and how you work with a team. This is going to be the key.”

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Car Reviews

2021 Toyota 4Runner updated, Lambo Sian roadster previewed, RAV4 Prime marked up: What’s New @ The Car Connection

2021 Toyota 4Runner updated, Trail editions return, and TRD Pros get spacey

The 2021 Toyota 4Runner will get sharper eyes, fleeter feet, a new edition, and a fresh paint job in a bid to keep the aging SUV fresh.  

Another small car goes boom; Chevy Sonic won’t return

Chevrolet will shelve the slow-selling Sonic after the 2020 model year, the automaker confirmed this week.

The 2021 Mazda 3 compact car will offer three available engines when it goes on sale, including a new entry-level inline-4.

From Motor Authority:

Lamborghini Sian Roadster

807-horsepower Lamborghini Sian Roadster is a topless 217-mph monster

The Lamborghini Sián is the most-powerful car the Italian supercar maker ever produced, and the company’s first hybrid. Now, the 807-horsepower coupe is getting an equally powerful roadster sibling.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ spy shots

Bugatti stunned the automotive world last fall when a new version of the Chiron it had developed cracked the 300-mph barrier, making it the fastest production car in the world by a significant margin.

2021 Nissan Frontier spy shots

A redesigned Nissan Frontier is coming soon to challenge the Tacoma, Ranger and Colorado.

From Green Car Reports:

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime price marked up as battery supply issue pinches production

Toyota confirmed Wednesday that “unforeseen battery supply constraints” may keep its RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid in short supply through at least the end of this year. 

London black cab spawns range-extended electric delivery van 

The modern take on the iconic London black cab could be making urban deliveries and cargo runs in the UK and throughout Europe. 

2021 Audi A7 plug-in hybrid fastback: US details confirmed

The 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e will join the Q5 55 TFSI e crossover and A8 60 TFSI e sedan in U.S. showrooms this fall.



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Car Reviews

Elon Musk Says Tesla Is 'Very Close' To Level 5 Self-Driving Technology

But wait, Tesla’s vehicles aren’t even officially Level 3 yet.

Tesla Autopilot is really the only advanced driver-assist system that gets a great deal of news coverage. This is likely due to the system’s name, added to the fact that anything related to Tesla is constantly in the news. However, its current “self-driving” tech is only officially categorized as Level 2.

Since Tesla constantly updates the technology via over-the-air software updates, it has many Level 3 features. If the Autopilot system was analyzed today, it may actually be considered Level 3. but there’s no way to know for sure. According to the NHTSA, there are not yet any Level 3 systems on public roads.

Interestingly, at a recent conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared:

“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year.”

According to the NHTSA, based on automation levels as defined by the SAE:

Level 2 can itself actually control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances. The human driver must continue to pay full attention (“monitor the driving environment”) at all times and perform the rest of the driving task. 

Level 3 can itself perform all aspects of the driving task under some circumstances. In those circumstances, the human driver must be ready to take back control at any time when the ADS requests the human driver to do so. In all other circumstances, the human driver performs the driving task.

If you’re familiar with Tesla Autopilot, you may agree that it fits the definitions above. However, skipping to Level 5 would be an epic feat. Cars with Level 5 autonomy don’t need to have steering wheels or pedals. People could actually sleep in the car while it takes them to their destination, or even send the car out on its own. Level 5 is defined as An automated driving system (ADS) on the vehicle can do all the driving in all circumstances. The human occupants are just passengers and need never be involved in driving.”

Nonetheless, at the annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, Musk said, “I’m extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly.”

As you can read, he’s careful with his words. The CEO is confident that the company will have the basic functionality.” He doesn’t say it will be Level 5 or that Level 5 will be released to the public.

We’re interested to get your opinions on this. Is Tesla ready to officially release a “feature complete” Full Self-Driving system?

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Car Reviews

Gaussin Receives Record Order For 150 ATM FULL ELEC

It’s high time to electrify logistics facilities.

French company Gaussin has announced that its distributor Blydd, has placed an order for 150 all-electric “shifters” – ATM FULL ELEC.

Taking into consideration that since 2017 the company sold about 50 units, (including three orders from Blydd for a total 46), it’s a clear sign that electrification is taking off.

The ATM FULL ELEC are already used in “some twenty logistics facilities in France”, and thanks to the battery swap option, some are able to operate round the clock. We saw the first pilot project with Gaussin EVs also in the UK.

“In particular, these ATM vehicles are used in the facilities of Carrefour Supply Chain, Kuehne Nagel, Gerflor, Leroy Merlin, Cdiscount, Conforama, Auchan, But, Colissimo, Décathlon and Yves Rocher. Their delivery has made it possible to validate the performances of ATM® FULL ELEC in the field and on a real scale, opening the way to this order for 150 vehicles.”

Gaussin notes that the COVID-19 crisis boosted e-commerce, which now requires more vehicles at logistics facilities.

The ATM FULL ELEC can go only about 25 km/h (15.5 mph) using “wheel motors”, but it has a towing capacity of 44 tonnes. The capacity of the lithium-ion battery pack was not revealed.

Gaussin boasts that its EVs have a number of advantages over the conventional road vehicles:

• Reduced size, compact machine
• Exceptional manoeuvrability
• FULL ELEC: Environmentally responsible, zero CO2 emissions
• No noise pollution
• Total safety and visibility
• Rapid start-up and safe manoeuvring
• Low maintenance

Gallery: Gaussin electric Trailer and Swap Body Mover (TSBM) in UPS fleet

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Auto News

Lamborghini Chops Top off of Supercapacitor Supercar Sian

Sometimes we think that it’s mean. Lamborghini teasing us with a new car that’s sold out even before we knew it existed. But then we look at beasts like this Sian Roadster and all is forgiven. Except for the puddle of drool on our keyboards, of course.

It’s the convertible version of Lamborghini’s Sian, the V12 and supercapacitor-powered hypercar that has the company’s most powerful engine ever. 819 hp with 34 of those coming from the 48V electric motor that’s installed in the transmission. On top of going fast, the e-motor lets the car reverse and park using electric power. Less dramatic, less hassle.

Like the hardtop, this one gets Lambo’s supercapacitor that stores 10 times the power of a lithium-ion battery and can discharge it even more quickly than a battery can.

The Sian Roadster also has all of the outrageous detailing that is synonymous with the automaker. Towering rear wing, edges that could cut like infomercial knives, and six stand-alone taillights that are some of the coolest lamps anywhere.  The difference is that this one doesn’t have a roof, and no, there doesn’t appear to be one to pop on later. Better check the weather forecast before heading out. On the other hand, if you’re on the list for one of these, you can probably stop the rain from falling instead.

Just 19 Sian Roadsters will be built, all of the 220 mph monsters already sold. They’ll be customized for their owners by Lamborghini’s Ad Personam department and the Centro Stile that selected the new Blu Uranus paint of the photo car.

Will you ever see one on the road? Unless you’re somewhere like Dubai, probably not. But, like with so many raging bulls over the decades, we’ll keep hoping to spot one in the ring.

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Car Reviews

Suzuki Vitara review

The Suzuki Vitara has transformed from a chunky off-roader into a softer crossover

  • 1Verdict – currently reading
  • 2Engines, performance and drive
  • 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
  • 4Interior, design and technology
  • 5Practicality, comfort and boot space
  • 6Reliability and Safety

  • 3.0 out of 5

    Price£20,110 to £25,760

    • Modern design
    • Lively engines
    • Plenty of kit
      • Interior quality
      • Limited off-road ability
      • Light steering

      The Suzuki Vitara has been transformed from a utilitarian family-friendly SUV into more of a crossover with Range Rover Evoque-inspired styling and more advanced equipment. There’s also more dynamic driving ability on offer, but it’s not quite up with the class best.

      If you can sacrifice a little ride comfort, and value driving dynamics more, the Vitara is a fine crossover that’s car-like to drive, with a sharp chassis and steering, but its lack of boot space counts against it. The diesel’s mix of strong efficiency and performance is impressive.

      Still, with a responsive and agile chassis for the class, and improved efficiency from the 1.4 Boosterjet petrol hybrid engine, this latest crossover-style Vitara is a much more alluring proposition than its off-road biased predecessors.

      Combining value, style, safety and versatility in a good-looking package, only the low-rent feel of the dash and poorer depreciation than some rivals that really let the side down – especially if you’re spending over £24k on a higher-end model.

      Today’s Suzuki Vitara has changed considerably from the model that was first for sale in the UK in the 1990s. Gone are the chunky looks and purposeful looks of a genuine small off-roader, replaced by a compact crossover that’s designed to appeal to a new generation of buyers.

      More reviews for Vitara SUV

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      The current Vitara arrived in 2015, and is designed to be a competitor against cars such as the Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur, Nissan Juke and a wave of new small crossovers that have joined the class since the Vitara’s original release. As a result, Suzuki gave the Vitara an update to help keep it competitive.

      • Best SUVs to buy 2020

      One big change for the latest Vitara is the introduction of front-wheel drive to the range. In fact, the majority of cars are now front-drive, with only the top-spec version gaining Allgrip 4WD. This highlights the expectations of modern SUV buyers, as they want the rugged looks and raised driving position of a 4×4, but still have the running costs of a conventional hatchback. If you need a dedicated 4×4, then the Suzuki Jimny will be right up your street.

      Power comes from the 1.4 Boosterjet petrol hybrid engine, delivering 127bhp and 235Nm of torque. All models use a six-speed manual transmission.

      Trim levels comprise SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5, and all versions are pretty well equipped. There are electrically heated door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, climate control, Bluetooth and a host of safety equipment, too. SZ-T models add sat-nav, DAB radio and a reversing camera, while SZ5 come with adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights and 17-inch wheels.

      If you want 4WD, it’s only offered with the top-spec 1.4 SZ5.

      For an alternative review of the latest Suzuki Vitara SUV visit our sister site

      Which Is Best


      • Name1.4 Boosterjet SZ-T 5dr
      • Gearbox typeManual
      • Price£20,110

      Most Economical

      • Name1.4 Boosterjet SZ-T 5dr
      • Gearbox typeManual
      • Price£20,110


      • Name1.4 Boosterjet SZ-T 5dr
      • Gearbox typeManual
      • Price£20,110
      In this review
      • 1Verdict – currently readingThe Suzuki Vitara has transformed from a chunky off-roader into a softer crossover
      • 2Engines, performance and driveNimble handling makes the Vitara fun to drive, while the 1.4 Boosterjet hybrid engine provides a decent turn of pace.
      • 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsLightweight build and efficient hybrid powertrain make the Vitara an economical crossover.
      • 4Interior, design and technologyThe sharply suited Suzuki VItara is let down by a cheap-looking interior – but it’s very well equipped
      • 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceTwo-wheel-drive versions lack the versatility of the 4×4, but the Vitara’s ‘crossover’ design is practical enough
      • 6Reliability and SafetyThe Vitara boasts excellent crash test results, but Suzuki owners seem to have a downer on build quality

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    Car Reviews

    Daimler Shareholder Calls Mercedes EQC ‘Too Late, Too Expensive And Too Boring’

    He argues it’s one of a series of misguided investments that have negatively affected the company’s profits.

    Inge Speich is Deka’s Head of Sustainability and Corporate Governance, and Deka has a stake of around 0.5 percent of the Daimler group. During a recent shareholders meeting, Speich spoke out about the fact that he believes Mercedes’ first mass-market EV, the EQC, is a bit of a flop.

    He said

    ‘ We look back at a lost year for Daimler. ‘

    Adding that the EQC is

    ‘ Too late, too expensive and too boring. ‘

    We recently drove the Mercedes EQC and found it a very competent luxury car, one of the best premium high-riding EVs to travel aboard. However, it lags behind rivals in terms of range and fast charging speed, not to mention the fact that mechanically speaking, it’s basically a gutted GLC with EV internals. This surely doesn’t help its cause (since its rivals are designed from the ground up as EVs).

    And it seems the CEO of Daimler, Ola Kallenius, is on-board with this point of view, although he doesn’t specifically target the EQC. He talks more broadly about how the group missed its self-imposed efficiency improving measures, and how it was not prepared for a massive global recession (the one that has been caused by the pandemic)

    ‘ Our previous efficiency goals covered the upcoming transformation, but not a global recession. Daimler can do better, and we are determined to deliver. ‘

    Kallenius went on to say that even though Mercedes will have revealed no fewer than five EVs, as well as 20 PHEVs by the end of 2020, meeting the EU’s strict emissions rule will be difficult for both this year and 2021. The next Mercedes EVs to be launched are the EQA crossover and the EQS large sedan.

    Now Daimler is looking at massive cost-cutting and streamlining of its operations. Last year in November, they announced that more than 10,000 jobs will be cut across the world, which the company expects will result in $1.58-billion in savings by 2022.

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