New Model News

2021 Honda Pilot gets special edition, new standard features

The Honda Pilot is nearing the end of its generational run.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

As the current generation Honda Pilot begins to sunset, the automaker is offering a new Special Edition trim level for the 2021 model year. Additionally, a long fresh list of standard features and transmission come on the model.

The Pilot is facing increased competition as it ages from the redesigned-for-2020 Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Mazda CX-9. Kia's redesigned 2021 Sorento will be out later this year and Volkswagen has refreshed the Atlas for 2021 as well. The Chevrolet Traverse remains popular with buyers and will be refreshed for the 2022 model year.

In the Honda stable, the Pilot slots at the top of the SUV lineup. Below it are the Passport, CR-V, and HR-V. The company recently added a CR-V Hybrid model.

2021 Honda Pilot Elite The Pilot lineup sees a bit of a price increase for the 2021 model year. The Pilot Elite, shown here, remains at top-tier offering.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Starting today, dealerships will have 2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition (SE) models in stock. Those models build on the Pilot EX-L trim and offer, in addition to what is on the EX-L roster, leather seats, second-row sunshades, and a power-adjustable driver's seat with two-position memory. Blacked out features include 20-inch wheels, roof rails, grille, and front/rear skid garnishes. There's a foot-activated hands-free tailgate and wireless phone charger. The model is available in two- or all-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive models start at $38,960 and AWD versions have a $40,960 price tag.

Honda is also making its nine-speed automatic transmission standard across the model line adding paddle shifters to each model. Dual-zone climate control is now standard. Buyers now have the option to choose the Platinum White Pearl paint job for their Pilot Black Edition.

The price of the Pilot has gone up for the 2021 model year, but only slightly. It now starts around $600 more than the 2020 edition. The 2021 Pilot LX with two-wheel drive starts at $32,250 adding AWD to that trim level bumps the price up to $34,250.

The 2021 Honda Pilot is made at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant alongside Odyssey, Passport, and Ridgeline. Its engine is also manufactured in Alabama.

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Updated compact SUV

2022 Nissan Rogue gets new VC Turbo engine

The Rogue was fully redesigned last year.

Nissan

Nissan refreshed its best-selling vehicle, the Rogue SUV, in 2021 with a grown-up new look and plenty of new tech. Changes the year after a major overhaul are usually minor, but for 2022 Nissan's giving the Rogue a new powertrain. A brand-new 1.5-liter variable compression (VC) Turbo engine is on board, producing 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Nissan Rogue The new VC engine can change its compression to adapt to driving conditions.Nissan

Power is up 11 percent and torque is up a staggering 24 percent with the new power plant. The variable compression engine is capable of adapting to changing driving conditions. When the driver needs more power, the engine shifts to higher compression, which delivers better acceleration at the expense of fuel economy. When efficiency is best, the engine changes its compression again. The VC engines made their debut in 2019 in both the Infiniti QX50 and Nissan Altima. It's trick engine technology, but it doesn't always deliver on its promise of efficiency gains. Nissan's continuously variable transmission is still in place, though it has been improved with 17 percent wider gear ratio coverage and 32 percent lower friction. The automaker says it helps deliver better acceleration and fuel economy.

2022 Nissan Rogue Top Rogue trims get upscale finishes and a handsome cabin.Nissan

Pricing for the 2022 Rogue S FWD starts at $27,875, including a $1,175 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price by $1,500. Nissan offers three packages for the SUV as well, including a $2,660 SV Premium Package, a $1,320 SL Premium Package, and a $400 10.8-inch head-up display for the top Platinum trim.

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The Integra returns next year as a 2023 model.

Acura

In the last couple years, we've seen a few big-name nostalgic automotive nameplates return to the market. There was the Land Rover Defender and more recently the Ford Bronco. Now, it's Acura's turn to stroll down memory lane, as it gears up for the release of the fifth-generation 2023 Integra. The car will return in 2022 as a four-door with a liftback, and most importantly, it gets plenty of go-fast bits in the places that matter.

2023 Acura Integra While it's true that the Integra looks like other Acura sedans, it's not an indication of how it will drive. Acura

Before we go too far: Yes, the Integra looks like the ILX and the TLX sedans, and yes, it has four doors. Remember that the first-, second-, and third-generation cars were available with four doors. It wasn't until the Acura RSX (sold as the Integra in Japan and Australia) that the car shaved two doors and became exclusively a two-door hatchback. So, while the look may be disappointing to some, it's not out of place.

2023 Acura Integra The new Integra will come with a limited-slip differential and an optional manual gearbox.

All the specs are here, too. The 2023 Integra will get a high-output 1.5-liter engine, a limited slip differential, and an available six-speed manual gearbox. If that isn't the recipe for a fun front-drive enthusiast car, we don't know what is. The prototype rides on matte-finish 19-inch wheels and comes with Brembo high-performance brakes.

2023 Acura Integra Acura will release more details closer to the car's launch in 2022. Acura

Acura says that the 2023 Integra will mark the car's first time being built in the United States, and notes that the car will enter production at its Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. The car will be formally introduced in the first half of 2022, so we'll have to wait until then for detailed specs and pricing information. The good news, however, is that Acura says the car will start around $30,000, making it accessible to a wide swath of the car buying public.

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