Slideshow: 2020 Chrysler Voyager

2020 Chrysler Voyager delivers a lot of bang for the buck

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Chrysler Voyager is a basically a downmarket Chrysler Pacifica. But, it's really not. Despite how the value proposition conversation in the model is framed, Chrysler still provides a compelling choice for families in the 2020 Chrysler Voyager, albeit not as fancy as the Pacifica.

This slideshow covers the 2020 Chrysler Voyager, which is on sale now and starts at $26,895.

2020 Chrysler Voyager

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The Chrysler Voyager keeps many of the design hallmarks of the Pacifica as they share a body design.

Read more about the Chrysler Voyager here. You can also check out the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica here and see the changes made for the new model year.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Subaru Crosstrek has been revised for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is an excellent example of what can happen when a car company stops spending its time, efforts, and marketing dollars on chasing the biggest competitors in the room and chooses instead to focus entirely on building and selling what its customers want.

The Crosstrek received a significant overhaul for the 2018 model year, but it's the updates that Subaru put in place for 2021 that have genuinely made it a complete car. Headlining the changes is a newly available engine, which at 2.5 liters is both larger and more powerful than the 2.0-liter mill that powered the Crosstrek line before. The car also got a nose job and new standard safety gear for 2021.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The Crosstrek has been given a new face.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is adequate but lacks power where it counts. With the lesser engine on board, reaching highway speeds is a real chore. There's far more noise and vibration involved than there should be, which accentuates the fact that, no matter how hard you stomp the accelerator pedal, it's not going anywhere fast.

The available 2.5-liter four-cylinder spices things up considerably, with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. It's still paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the extra power mitigates many of the transmission's annoying quirks and makes the vehicle much more engaging overall. It's more refined, has great low-end grunt, and is much quieter in everyday use.

As you'd expect, a tall ride height makes the car more useful when the pavement ends, but what you might not expect is how well Subaru has tuned the suspension and chassis to gracefully deal with the lifted body. For the most part, the ride is sublime, as the beefy suspension and tires soak up all but the worst potholes and broken pavement. Despite that, the Crosstrek, which comes standard with all-wheel drive, remains surefooted when pushed, and like many crossovers, doesn't feel floppy or soft in the corners.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The dimensions of the Crosstrek have remained basically the same for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The Crosstrek's surprisingly spacious interior is a pleasant place to spend time, but luxurious is not a word that comes to mind to describe the cabin in any of the car's trim levels. Form here follows function, but that's not a terrible thing. Headroom is generous in both rows, though the driving position can lead shorter drivers to feel like their face is uncomfortably close to the windshield. Even so, there's plenty of hip and shoulder room, both front and back, and the back seat can squeeze a full-size rear-facing car seat without breaking a sweat.

The Sport trim I tested comes with synthetic leather upholstery that Subaru calls "StarTex," which is essentially a high-tech polyurethane material made from recycled plastics. It's far from leather, but it's equally as far from feeling entry-level or cheap. It's a different thing altogether, and while I didn't get to take my dog for a ride or take the car camping, I can see several situations where a water- and dirt-resistant synthetic upholstery material could come in handy.

The optional 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen sits high on the dash, making for excellent visibility and usability from either of the front seats. The upgraded screen in the Crosstrek Sport is a 1.5-inch step up from the standard display and makes good use of the extra real estate with bright, crisp text and images. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice controls, and HD Radio. The top-level Limited trim gets the same display with navigation, but most people will be just fine with maps provided by Apple or Google in other trim levels.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The interior of the Crosstrek is perfectly functional.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

It'd be irresponsible to write this entire review without mentioning Subaru's safety efforts in the new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn't crashed the 2021 Crosstrek yet, but the organization awarded the 2020 model, which has the same core body structure, a Top Safety Pick designation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated it five stars overall.

Those successes come thanks in part to Subaru's standard EyeSight technology, which brings driver assistance features like pre-collision braking, lane departure alerts, and adaptive cruise control. The Sport trim adds high beam assist and is available with blind-spot monitors.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Dark accents and wheels make the Crosstrek Sport stand out in a crowd.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

If there's one thing that Subaru does better than anybody else, it's listening to its customers. The automaker knows that its buyers want a comfortable car but need one that won't fall apart at the first sign of abuse. It also knows that many people who walk onto a dealer's lot looking for a new Crosstrek are doing so because they believe it will be better for their active lifestyle, better at transporting their pets, and better at keeping them safe. The best part about all of that for buyers, besides the fact that their car company listens to them, is that Subaru hit the mark on all accounts.

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The Acura MDX Prototype has debuted, showing off the future of the SUV.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The Acura MDX Prototype is here, which means that the next-generation MDX is right around the corner. The newest version of the three-row SUV will arrive at dealership lots in early 2021 with MDX Type S models coming in the summer of 2021. This is the exact same lath the 2021 Acura TLX took for its redesign.

The MDX Prototype features a dramatic exterior with sculpted features and a wide face that takes the design of the TLX and moves it to a SUV model. It looks fresh though perhaps more importantly, it looks premium.

Acura MDX Prototype The Acura MDX Prototype is the first step in the official direction of the fourth-generation MDX.Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura is showing off the concept car in Liquid Carbon and Performance Red exterior colors. The Diamond Pentagon grille is flanked by four-element JewelEye LED headlights that have Chicane LED daytime running lights underneath that are inspired by the Acura ARX-05 race car.

The new SUV serves as the debut of the company's next-generation truck platform. It's the most rigid model to date and comes complete with a double wishbone front suspension. It comes with all-wheel drive (available on the next-gen model) and features Brembo four-piston brake calipers, finished in Ivory paint, at all four corners.

Acura has put its strong and tested 3.5-liter V6 under the hood and paired it with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The forthcoming MDX Type S will have a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

The SUV's 21-inch wheels highlights the MDX's 3-inch longer wheelbase that allows for a larger and more versatile cargo area and added spaciousness for passengers. The prototype shows off more legroom in all three rows than was in the previous-gen model.

Acura MDX Prototype

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura sport seats are featured in all three rows and offer 16-way power adjustment and integrated massage functionality with nine massage modes.

The interior of the MDX Prototype features a sophisticated cabin that is mostly duplicative of what you'll find in the TLX. There is open-pore wood that is infused with metallic flake, polished aluminum, and soft-touch Milanno leather. The instrument panel and steering wheel feature two-tone Ebony and Light Orchid leather.

There's an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof. The SUV's LED ambient lighting is available in 27 different schemes tied to driving modes and representative of various locations, such as iconic roads and race circuits around the world.

Like the TLX, the MDX Prototype features Acura's Precision Cockpit. It features a customizable 12.3-inch, high-definition display in front of the driver. The 12.3-innch infotainment display matches in size and is controlled with Acura's touchpad.

Acura's audio system partnership has resulted in the model featuring the ELS Studio 3D premium audio system. It delivers 1000 watts of power and utilizes 25 speakers.

Acura has promised that, as in the prototype, the company's suite of driver assistance and safety technology, AcuraWatch, will be standard.

Stay tuned to see the next-gen MDX soon.

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