Electric Vehicles

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime bests 2020 Ford Escape PHEV on all-electric range, but not mpg

The Toyota RAV4 Prime doesn't best its chief rival in every category.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Environmental Protection Agency has certified the results of all-electric range testing for the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Prime, the company's new plug-in hybrid variant of the best-selling SUV in the U.S.

The RAV4 Prime delivers 42 miles of all-electric range and 600 miles of overall range. This is good for 94 MPGe ad 38 mpg (when running as a traditional hybrid).

MPGe, or miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent, is an Environmental Protection Agency metric to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles to what traditional gas-powered vehicles consume.

2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid The 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid gets 100 MPGe and 37 miles of all-electric range for under $35,000 Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Compay

The chief rival to the 2020 RAV4 Prime is the new 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). It delivers best-in-class EPA-estimated all-electric fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe. However, it's all-electric range is just 37 miles. When running on strictly gasoline, the SUV gets 41 mpg.

The front-wheel drive Escape is powered by a new 2.5-liter hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Its liquid-cooled, 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery is positioned below the second-row seats. The Escape is significantly less powerful than the RAV4, getting just 221 horsepower.

Toyota has given the all-wheel drive RAV4 Prime a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine and paired it with an 18.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The SUV has a total system output of 302 horsepower. Like the Escape, the Toyota's engine is paired with a CVT. The Toyota has two pound-feet of torque less than the Ford (168 vs. 170).

Buyers can get the PHEV powertrain on every Escape trim level except S and SE Sport. The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a starting MSRP under $35,000. That MSRP is lower than the RAV4 Prime, but the Toyota model's over $38,000 starting price is reflective of the fact that it features mid-grade and higher features and equipment right off the bat.

RAV4 Prime Escape PHEV fuel economy side by side Photo courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency

The RAV4 Prime has a starting MSRP of $38,100. Toyota offers the model in just two grades: SE and XSE.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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New electric luxury vehicles

Three new Mercedes-Benz EVs we can't wait to see

Mercedes showed off its electric future at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is going electric, and though it only recently announced its firm plans to do so, it already seems that the German automaker is moving quickly toward that goal. At the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich, Mercedes showed off some of its upcoming electrified products. We've seen the EQS, a flagship electric sedan, but three newcomers made an appearance at the show.


Mercedes-Benz EQB EQB will be Mercedes' electric family SUV.Mercedes-Benz


EQB

EQB is the brand's family-sized SUV, offering seating for up to seven people. A long wheelbase of 111.3 inches and adjustable second-row seating allows more interior space for people and gear. Mercedes says the EQB will offer two powertrain configurations: The EQB 300 4MATIC will get 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4MATIC will sport 288 horsepower. A front-wheel drive configuration will go on sale later and a long-range model will follow.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG The EQG will eventually become the brand's electric off-roader.Mercedes-Benz


EQG

Concept EQG is a preview of the eventual electrification of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, its boxy, upper-crust off-roader. This concept is far closer to a design exercise than something we'll actually see in production, but it's an interesting demonstration, nonetheless. With 22-inch wheels, wild exterior lighting touches, and what the automaker says will be legendary off-road abilities, the EQG will be an exciting vehicle when it does make an appearance.


Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE will follow the EQS as a smaller, sportier electric sedan in 2022.Mercedes-Benz


EQE

EQE is the second car to use Mercedes' EVA2 electric architecture, following the EQS sedan. The car is currently scheduled for a staggered release in mid-2022 and will feature a more compact and sportier design than its predecessor. Mercedes says that the car will be available with either 19- or 21-inch wheels, and notes that its size is comparable to the current CLS coupe-sedan. The car offers an impressive range of up to 410 miles on a single charge from its 90kWh battery and special charging capabilities through the Mercedes me Charge network.

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