New Model News

2021 Nissan Armada debuts with fresh face, best-in-class tech

The 2021 Nissan Armada has fresh fascia and a large infotainment touch screen.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has taken its aging Armada and kicked it up a notch for the new model year. Not only has the 2021 Nissan Armada gotten fresh body styling, but it also has a many more high-tech features.

Nissan will sell the 2021 Armada in S, SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels.

The SUV has gotten a new grille, hood, and front fenders that echo the design of the 2021 Nissan Rogue. Its updated front and rear bumpers and new LED headlights and tail lights help complete the enhanced looks of the model. Nissan will sell the model with the Midnight Edition Package for the first time for this new model year.

2021 Nissan Armada

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Armada continues to be powered by Nissan's thirsty 5.7-liter V8 engine. The powertrain is completed by a seven-speed automatic transmission. Total output is 400 horsepower. A front and rear independent double-wishbone suspension rides underneath the body.

Nissan has enhanced the large SUV's Auto 4WD system, giving it Auto, 4HI, and 4LO models. The system is standard on four-wheel drive Armadas (two-wheel drive is standard). For 2021, Armada gets an integrated trailer brake controller with tow hitch receiver as standard on SV, SL, and Platinum trim levels. Trailer sway control is standard on SL and Platinum grades. Armada has a 8.,500-pound towing capacity.

The interior of the SUV has been significantly upgraded for the new model year. The center stack has been completely redesigned and now features a largest-in-class 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Wi-Fi keep the family connected.

Nissan has opted to let the Armada retain its dated, hard plastic-ridden console and rounded dashboard.

The Armada will go on sale in early 2021. An S grade will be available at a later date. Expect pricing for the 2021 Armada to stick closely to the MSRP of the 2020 model, which starts at $47,500.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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