The Price is Right

2020 Nissan Frontier starting at $26,790, comes in 11 configurations

The Nissan Frontier gives a hint at what's to come with a redesigned truck.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2020 Nissan Frontier is part old part new. While it still has the same body design as the current generation model, it has the engine of the next gen. The Frontier remains a midsize truck and the smallest in Nissan's lineup.

The 2020 Frontier is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine achieves a best-in-class 310 horsepower, which is an increase of 49 horsepower over the V6 in the 2019 Frontier, and has improved fuel economy and emissions performance. There is no other engine offered in the 2020 Frontier.

2020 Nissan Frontier

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Buyers can get the 2020 Frontier in 11 different configurations:

  • Frontier S King Cab 4x2 - $26,790
  • Frontier S King Cab 4x4 - $29,680
  • Frontier S Crew Cab 4x2 - $27,900
  • Frontier S Crew Cab 4x4 - $31,290
  • Frontier SV King Cab 4x2 - $27,670
  • Frontier SV King Cab 4x4 - $30,560
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x2 SWB - $28,800
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x2 LWB - $31,410
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x4 SWB - $31,990
  • Frontier SV Crew Cab 4x4 LWB - $32,410
  • Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab 4x4 - $37,490 USD

Every new model is subject to a $1,095 to a destination and handling charge.

The Frontier now comes standard with push-button start, a leather shift knob, manual tilt steering, power door locks, and power windows with driver side auto-down. The interior of the model remains mostly unchanged, otherwise.

In the 2019 model, options were offered in available packages that added money to a buyer's bill are now part of the Frontier lineup and available as no-charge add-ons. The 2020 Frontier Crew Cab SV Midnight Edition includes black exterior treatments and 18-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, while the Special Edition Package features trip computer, Satin Chrome grille, body-color rear bumper and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Frontier fans can expect to see the next-generation 2021 Frontier later this year.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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