New Model News

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road adds rugged looks and capability

Toyota has added the TRD Off-Road trim level to the RAV4 lineup for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 was redesigned for the 2019 model year featuring a new, more masculine stance and design notes shared with the current Toyota Tacoma. For 2020, Toyota is adding more brash to the model with the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TTRD Off-Road.

As the RAV4 Adventure grade proved, the RAV4 is properly off road worthy. This new trim level builds on the Adventure trim adding more rugged-looking exterior accents including high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, aggressive bumper and grille designs, and fog lights.

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road The SUV has new exterior accents to make it look more rugged.Photo courtesy of Toyota

The RAV4 TRD Off-Road has the same 8.6-inch ground clearance of the RAV4 Adventure. Toyota has used what it learned from Ryan Millen's Rally RAV4 to employ a suspension, flow-formed 18×7-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels, and Severe Snow Rated tires engineered specifically for trail riding. The model has red-colored coil springs, twin-tube shocks are re-valved and feature internal rebound springs to improve control, and new bump stops to maximize compression-direction wheel travel and help improve body control over large bumps and dips. It also has all-wheel drive and Driveline Disconnect.

The RAV4 TRD Off-Road can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is well equipped.Photo courtesy of Toyota

Toyota is selling the model with an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic with Ice Edge Roof combination as well as Midnight Black and Lunar Rock paint jobs with an available Ice Edge roof. The SUV has dark gray front and rear lower fascias, and standard front LED fog lights.

Inside, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road features red stitching and red trim. It seats are covered in black SofTex and the TRD logo is stitched on the headrests. All-weather floor mats and a rear cargo mat come standard.

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road The model has TRD stitching on its headrests.Photo courtesy of Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is on sale now. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 starts at $25,850 and the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road starts at $35,180.

Mazda has introduced the CX-30 for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mazda

Fresh off the launch of the redesigned Mazda3 last year as the first model in the Japanese automaker's seventh generation of design, Mazda has introduced the 2020 Mazda CX-30. The model is a crossover, or a high-riding hatchback (six of one, half a dozen of the other), that resides adjacent to the Mazda CX-3 in the stable.

On the outside, the Mazda CX-30 features similar design characteristics of the Mazda3 including rounded styling that grabs the light and moves it along its body without the aid of creases. Sharp angles reappear at the very front and back where the CX-30 sports very Mazda-like design including neat rounded taillight housings and metal accents at the front that jut out abruptly from the car.

2020 Mazda CX-30 The front of the CX-30 is more rounded than many other models in its class.Photo courtesy of Mazda

Every CX-30 is powered by Mazda's 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine that has class-leading 186-horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Front wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are also standard. All-wheel drive is available.

The spirit of Mazda DNA lives in this crossover. While its competitors are often knocked for delivering numb steering and a disconnected drive experience, the CX-30 has none of that. Especially when equipped with all-wheel drive, the model takes to winding roads with ease allowing for a drive experience that doesn't feel like a compromise.

The car's interior is plush for its segment and right in line with recent offerings from Hyundai, Nissan, and Kia. Still, there are some questionable materials choices like the sticky faux leather dashboard covering and flimsy speaker housings on the doors. The overall aesthetic is simple and straightforward allowing for the driver to focus on the purity of a driving experience. How very on-brand.

Mazda's proud of the new seat engineering in the Mazda3 and CX-30, and they should be. The front seats are comfortable, even for long spells, and easy to get into position. Rear seat passengers have a very limited amount of legroom to work with making this crossover best for empty nesters or young professionals.

2020 Mazda CX-30 The back side of the Mazda CX-30 is more interesting than the front.Photo courtesy of Mazda

Despite lacking active noise control technology, the CX-30 delivers a fantastically quiet ride. When you want to turn up the volume on the available 12-speaker Bose audio system, you'll be thoroughly impressed. The engineers have a true winner with this system, which excelled in enveloping the passengers with pure sound.

As tested, the car came with heated front seats, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-inch digital gauge display, 8.8-inch infotainment screen, and head-up display. The screen is nestled in the same style dashboard cubby that it is in the Mazda3, which meant that the bottom of the screen may be unviewable depending on your height and seating position.

The current version of the car's infotainment system is easier to use than the last and the resolution of the screen is greatly improved over the last-gen.

It has a reasonable amount of cargo capacity for its class, with a number of suitcases easily able to fit in the back.

The car's safety technology is unobtrusive and its adaptative cruise control was quick to respond to changing conditions.

2020 Mazda CX-30 The interior of the CX-30 features premium materials that would be at home in much more expensive models.Photo courtesy of Mazda

Mazda is billing this crossover as being for activity-focused individuals. That includes an Off-Road Traction Assist button that performs many of the typical light off-roading duties crossovers need assistance with, including traction control and hill descent control. Its functionality is not unlike similar system that are found in the Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Outback.

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 has a value-focused starting point of $21,900. Its most premium model, which fits in with the Acuras and Infinitis of the world, comes in around $28,000. That's right in line with many of the less well-appointed and less engaging crossovers and SUVs currently on the market.

Buyers looking at the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, and Buick Encore, among others, owe it to themselves to cross-shop the CX-30. It's really a job well done.

The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban have gotten a makeover for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

When the Chevrolet Silverado was redesigned for its current generation, there was little doubt that a redesign of the Tahoe and Suburban weren't far behind. Now it is certain. The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe have debuted in Detroit sporting engineering, body, and tech enhancements from its tires to its top.

These are the major takeaways from the debut.

The redesign gives the Suburban and Tahoe class-leading interior space.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Tahoe got 66 percent more cargo room behind its third row and the Suburban got 19 percent more maximum cargo space behind its first row. The 2021 Tahoe has 25 percent more cargo room behind its third-row seat than the 2020 Ford Expedition does. The 2021 Suburban (shown above) has the most passenger and cargo space of any SUV.

Chevrolet says that the SUVs' driving dynamics are greatly enhanced in this new generation.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 body outdoors rugged

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

It isn't hard to believe given the ride and handling improvements from one generation to the next in the Silverado. All three vehicles share a platform. Chevrolet will offer the vehicles with Magnetic Ride Control and an Air Ride Adaptive Suspension. The new air suspension allows automatic leveling on all four corners of the vehicle and can adjust a vehicle's ride height by up to four inches. Above, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 hits the open trail.

​The models are filled with modern technology.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Up to five screens and nine cameras are available in the vehicles. The list of screens includes: a standard 10-inch central touchscreen (largest in its segment), available 8-inch instrument cluster, available 15-inch head-up display (no competitor offers this), available dual 12.6-inchl rear-seat LCD displays.

The models come with a Wi-Fit hot spot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, multiple USB charging ports, and wireless charging with charger cooling (not available in the LS grade).

Above, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is shown with premium infotainment options.

Chevrolet has engineered the Suburban and Tahoe's engines to be powerful and efficient.

Chevrolet Duramax Diesel engine

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The automaker has updated its engine lineup to align with the Silverado's in this new generation. A 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel and refined V8s are part of the menu. The engines are all paired with a standard 10-speed automatic transmission and push-button electronic shift.

A 5.3-liter V8 rated at 355 horsepower is standard on LS, LT, Z71, RST and Premier models; and a 6.2-liter V8 rated at 420 horsepower is standard on High Country models. The Duramax diesel power plant shown above is available on all models except Z71.

The SUVs are meant for towing.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban parked outside

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet has given the new Tahoe and Suburban (shown above) trailering technology that first appeared in the new Silverado. A Max Trailering package is available and includes a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan, an integrated trailer brake controller, a Hitch Guidance with Hitch View feature, and the Chevrolet trailering app.

The Suburban and Tahoe will be offered in six trim levels.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

This is the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe RST.

The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe (show above in the RST variant) will have the LS trim as their base model. Next up is the LT grade. Additional trim levels include:

  • RST - The front fascia includes a black ice finish on the grille, while the interior includes RST-specific seats with stitching in a contrasting color. RST models include all LT content, plus black and black-chrome exterior trim, 22-inch wheels and more.
  • Z71 - The Z71 front fascia has a higher approach angle to aid off-road capability. Four-wheel drive is standard and includes a two-speed transfer case and hill descent control, along with 20-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, front skid plate and red tow hooks. Z71 features black and black-chrome exterior accents.
  • Premier - This trim level adds features such as Magnetic Ride Control, navigation, an 8-inch-diagonal reconfigurable instrument cluster, premium Bose 10-speaker audio system, 12-way power vented and perforated front bucket seats, power releases for both rows of rear seats, heated steering wheel, Safety Alert Seat, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Front and Rear Park Assist, and 20-inch wheels.
  • High Country - The design is highlighted by a unique grille with bronze accents and High Country badging. The interior includes High Country sill plates, seat embroidery, and expanded color and trim choices. High Country features the 6.2L V-8 engine with Magnetic Ride Control, 22-inch wheels with chrome inserts, and adds Rear Pedestrian Alert, a head-up display, HD Surround Vision, and the rear camera mirror. Air Ride Adaptive Suspension and adaptive cruise control.

The 2021 Suburban and Tahoe will be manufactured in Arlington, Texas and go on sale in mid-2020.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Arlington Assembly

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Pricing for the 2021 models is expected to rise a bit from the 2020 model year, as is common with a redesign. The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban starts at $50,800 and tops out over $20,000 more than that. Chevrolet has priced the 2020 Tahoe to start at $47,900 and with options its price tag can rise to near $74,000.