Such a Tease

Hyundai teases refreshed Santa Fe with hybrid and plug-in powertrains

Hyundai has shown off a refresh of the Santa Fe SUV, which includes two new powertrain options.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai has given the world its first glimpse of a new Santa Fe. With the release of a new teaser photo, the Korean automaker has announced that hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants of the SUV are on their way, as well as a host of interior updates.

The image reveals as slightly bolder Santa Fe, with its daytime running lights and grille combining at the front of the car. The new design incorporates a "T" shape, making Hyundai the second automaker to employ such a design in modern autos. Volvo has had a sideways "T" for its headlights since the current XC90 generation debuted, calling it "Thor's hammer". There will, naturally, be comparisons to the Tesla logo.

Hyundai Vision T concept car suv The Hyundai Vision T concept SUV debuted at the LA Auto Show in November. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The move to debut a hybrid and PHEV version of the Santa Fe comes as no surprise. Hyundai has promised that they will reveals 13 hybrids, six PHEVs, 23 electric vehicles (EVs), and two fuel cell vehicles by mid-decade.

In the U.S., the mode is sold with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower) or a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (235 horsepower). Both engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The European version of the model currently only is available with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel power plant, with a manual or automatic transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the U.S. with all-wheel drive available. European models only are available with 4x4.

U.S. buyers can currently choose from three plug-in models in the Hyundai lineup, the Kona Plug-In, Sonata Plug-In and the Ioniq Plug-In. Those models are also available as hybrids, as is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.

At the LA Auto Show last November, Hyundai unveiled a concept SUV that championed eco-conscious lifestyle choices, including electric power. Though it's thought that the model serves as a study for the next-generation Tucson, it's likely that we'll see some parallels between the Santa Fe hybrid and PHEV, and the forthcoming new Tucson. Hyundai frequently reveals concepts that give hints at new model news.

It's also quite likely that the Hyundai Santa Cruz utility truck will be born as a hybrid later this year.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. No word yet on when, or if, it makes its way to U.S. dealerships.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross takes its name from the beloved cars.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

I wasn't a big car guy growing up. Some kids can tell you the horsepower and engine and endless stats about every car on the road. Or they'll notice the difference in taillights between individual model years, or any of a million other nips and tucks that carmakers do to differentiate their cars.

These days, it's my job to know that stuff, but when I was in high school, I didn't know much — but I knew what a Mitsubishi Eclipse was. As I got ready to write this review, I went back and watched perhaps the most famous 90's-era Mitsubishi Eclipse you could find: Paul Walker's bright green ride in "Fast and the Furious".

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross The car is more traditional up front than it is in the back.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

The second-generation Eclipse, built from 1995 to 1999, was the best-known (and best-looking) of all the cars, and became a vehicular icon for my generation in no small part to the role it played in "Fast and the Furious". Though I remember the car, I'd forgotten how terrible this movie is. The dialogue is cringeworthy, the cars are absurd (how many gears does that thing have?), and the story is outlandish. But it's still a hoot, and I may end up rewatching the whole series.

But then in 2011, Mitsubishi ended the Eclipse line for good. Or so we thought. Now we have a new one, only the sporty looks and movie-star glamour is long gone. It's called the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and it's... a compact crossover SUV of no particular importance.

That might be a little harsh. It's actually quite an interesting looking vehicle, which is more than can be said for most crossovers. Though the front isn't particularly exciting, the rear has more going for it. There's a dual-window design on the rear tailgate, with a light bar running across the middle. It's very much a love-it-or-hate-it design, but at least it's not boring.

There's a crease running up the doors to the back as well, which looks particularly sharp on the Red Diamond review unit that Mitsubishi sent me for a week. It stickered for $32,720 on the SEL trim, though you can likely negotiate a nice chunk of change off of that at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross The touch screen is okay but the trackpad that is used to navigate it is detrimental.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Feature-wise, the Eclipse Cross is well-equipped, with a tiny 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower. That's not a ton of power, but for a family crossover it's plentiful and turns in a combined 25 miles per gallon.

Mine had the $2,100 Touring Package, which kicks in a lovely panoramic sunroof, the ever-important adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection and auto-braking, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, and some other minor additions.

If you look at the feature list, the Eclipse Cross is a solid vehicle. The interior design is a little rougher, with hard plastic everywhere and not-so-luxurious touch points. The trackpad to control the screen is terrible, as are the up/down buttons to control the dual-zone climate control (though the heated seats work excellently).

The infotainment screen could be bigger, and the dash screen needs some polish. The engine gets the job done, but it's not exactly quiet. It's a middle-of-the-road crossover. It does what it's supposed to do. You can get it for a good price and it's well-equipped.

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Bentley's vehicle's are getting the company's new steering wheel for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The Bentley Continental GT is a grand tourer of the grandest design. It's getting an update for 2021, giving customers more of the high-tech features and design they've requested. Bentley sells the Continental GT in coupe and convertible body styles.

The 2021 Continental GT is now available in Viridian, Patina, and Snow Quartz paint jobs - the same colors that were added to the Flying Spur this year. Viridian is a dark emerald metallic hue that is Bentley's take on classic British racing green. It features green and blue undertones, and tiny flecks of amber and gold.

2021 Bentley Continental GT Viridian is Bentley's new take on British Racing Green.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Patina is inspiredly the look of polished metals, blending together with elements of champagne and silk. The mid-cream tone features a tinge of green.

The Snow Quartz paint job consists of three layers of pearlescent paint that results in a shimmering and lustrous whiteness.

All Continental GT coupes are now able to come with Bentley's panoramic glass roof. This is the same as in the 2021 Bentayga and Flying Spur. The sunroof features polarized glass that reduces glare and interior blind clad in Alcantara that is electronically controlled by the car's console. The blind matches the car's headliner. There are 15 headliner color options to choose from.

With the addition of the paint jobs and roof, there are now over 10 billion variations a customer can choose to personalize their Continental GT.

2021 Bentley Continental GT A panoramic sunroof is available.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The model also receives the automaker's new steering wheel as standard. The wheel features a revised shape and profile, with capacitive sensing throughout the wheel rim, allowing the steering wheel to detect when it is being held. The steering wheel also features a more elegant aesthetic with a chrome bezel at the bottom of the vertical spoke.

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