The Price is Right

2021 Subaru Impreza keeps its standard AWD, goes up just $100 in price

The 2021 Subaru Impreza continues to come standard with all-wheel drive.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

For the 2021 model year, the Subaru Impreza will continue to be the only compact passenger car in America with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). The 2021 Subaru Impreza will also only cost $100 more than the 2020 model despite a performance upgrade.

Subaru has priced the base model Impreza to start at $18,795. It is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Subaru has made a continuously variable transmission (CVT) available on all trim levels but a five-speed manual is standard on this model.

The base model has a good list of standard features including a 6.5-inch infotinament touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, power windows with auto up/down for driver and front passenger, tilt and telescoping steering column, keyless entry, power door locks, 4.2-inch driver information screen, tire pressure monitoring system, rear seat reminder technology and EyeSigh Driver Assist Technology. The five-door version of the Impreza starts at $19,295.

Upgrading to the Impreza Premium ($22,195 for sedan, $22,695 for five-door) will get you all the features of the base model along with a standard CVT, steering wheel with paddle shifters, fog lights, All-Weather Package (heated front seats, windshield, and exterior mirrors), and roof rails. New for 2021, the Impreza Premium includes SI-Drive performance management system.

Impreza Premium
The popular Impreza Premium trim, priced at $22,195 for sedan and $22,695 for 5-door includes all features from the Base model with Lineartronic CVT and adds 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. The Premium also adds the STARLINK 6.5-inch Multimedia Plus, STARLINK Safety and Security features, fog lights and the All-Weather Package with heated front seats, windshield and exterior mirrors. The 5-door models are equipped with roof rails as standard.

New for 2021, the Impreza Premium includes SI-Drive performance management system, which allows the driver to maximize engine performance, control, and efficiency and includes two selectable drive modes. Buyers can add an option package ($1,970) to their Impreza Premium that includes a power moonroof, blind spot detection with lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry, push-button start, and six-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

Impreza Sport is also available in sedan ($23,595) and five-door ($22,995) body types. It has unique suspension tuning, 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels, and active torque vectoring. The Sport hatchback comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission but the sedan comes with the CVT and SI-Drive performance. Buyers can upgrade to the CVT in the five-door model. Both styles include a 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen, keyless entry, push-button start, aluminum pedals, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift handle, and CVT shift boot.

Buyers can add an option package ($2,470) to the Impreza Sport that includes a power moonroof, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, a Harmon Kardon amplifier and speakers, and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

Upping the ante, the Impreza Limited is priced from $25,895 for sedan and $26,395 five-door. The model builds on the Premium and Sport models. It offers standard LED headlights and daytime running lights, a leather-trimmed interior with double-stitched door armrests and instrument panel, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, keyless entry, and push-button start. Subaru's SI-Drive performance management system is standard.

In addition to its roster of standard EyeSight safety tech, Subaru adds reverse automatic braking, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and steering responsive headlights to the standard equipment list.

An option package ($2,350) includes navigation, Harmon Kardon premium audio, and a power moonroof is available.

The 2021 Impreza arrives at Subaru dealerships in October. All prices are reported without the standard $925 destination charge that applies in most states.

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The Kia Sorento has undergone a bold redo for 2021

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

We already knew what the redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento would look like thanks to its global reveal in March. Now we now what the U.S.-spec will be getting.

The Sorento will be available to U.S. customers in a new X-Line trim. It features a one-inch lift resulting in improved approach and departure angles. The grade also includes all-wheel drive with Snow mode, and a more robust roof rack.

201 Kia Sorento SX The Sorento has a new, sturdier roof rack.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia will offer the Sorento with four engine options in the U.S. The base power plant is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine achieves 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. It achieves 27 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive is standard with this engine and all-wheel drive is available.

Buyers will be able to upgrade the base model Sorento to get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood that delivers 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed wet-clutch dual-clutch transmission - the same as what is offered in the Hyundai Veloster N - and is expected to achieve 25 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive is standard with this engine and all-wheel drive is available.

The front-wheel drive Sonata Hybrid will feature a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 44.2 kWh electric motor, and six-speed automatic transmission.. That powertrain produces approximately 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That's more powerful than the standard four-cylinder in the 2020 Sorento but less horsepower than buyers would get with the 2020 Sorento with a V6. Kia says the model gets 37 mpg combined.

201 Kia Sorento X-Line The new Sorento X-Line model features black design accents and wheels.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

That same engine powers an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid variant of the model that will be available in 2021 and feature 261 horsepower and 30 miles of all-electric range.

U.S. drivers will be able to configure the model with either 4+2 or 5+2 seating. The three-row SUV offers best-in-class front and rear legroom and overall interior passenger volume.

The fully upgraded interior includes a standard 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen that gets bumped up to a 10.25-inch screen in higher trim levels. An available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster is available. There are eight USB charging ports (six in the LX model) and the larger screen allows for dual-phone Bluetooth Capability.

2021 Kia Sorento The interior of the Sorento features a new design for the automaker.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Opting for a system with UVO telematics adds cloud-based connected routing that allows navigation to be adjusted in real time according to evolving traffic and road conditions. There’s also weather information for up to 25,000 cities, voice assistant functionality, keyless entry user profiles, smart speaker integration, and advanced notifications for things like extended idle times and rear occupancy alerts. The system will automatically contact 911 should it sense that an airbag has deployed.

For the first time, Kia offers the model with on-demand Find My Car functionality with surround view technology that captures images of the vehicle’s surroundings then pushes them to the Kia Access Uvo app to aid in location. Additionally, last mile navigation provides walking directions to a final destination if the vehicle is parked between 0.1 and 1.2 miles away from the destination as entered in the navigation system.

A 12-speaker Bose sound system and wireless charging capability is available.

2021 Kia Sorento A 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen is available, Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has given the Sorento a host of standard safety features including forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and rear occupant alert. Blind spot collision avoidance assist, passenger safe exit, and blind view monitor technologies are available.

The 2021 Sorento is assembled in West Point, Georgia alongside the Telluride and the K5.

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The 2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition features a thermal orange paint job that it shares with the Acura NSX.

Photo courtesy of Acura
Acura will make a PMC Edition of its best-selling RDX for the 2021 model year. The move comes following successful PMC Edition iterations of the TLX and MDX and forecasts a design change is in the RDX's future.

Named after Acura's Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Ohio, the 2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition will be hand-crafted alongside the Acura NSX by master technicians. Just 360 of the range-topping RDX PMC Edition models will be made and carry a sticker price in the low $50,000s. Exact pricing will be announced in the coming weeks.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura has given each of the North American market-exclusive models a Thermal Orange Pearl paint job - a color shared with the NSX.

It builds on the top-of-the-line RDX, which includes the RDX Advance Package and RDX A-Spec styling. The model gets exclusive black 20-inch alloy wheels, a body color grille surround, black chrome exhaust finishers, and a gloss black roof, side mirrors, and door handles. All-wheel drive is standard.

Acura has pushed the orange color to the cabin where it appears as color-matched orange stitching for the seats, center console, door panels, steering wheel, and floor mats. The RDX PMC edition features a 10.5-inch color head-up display, 16-way power Sport Seats trimmed in Ebony Milano leather and Ultrasuede, heated steering wheel, and heated outboard rear seats.

Like the NSX, each RDX PMC Edition will be built and handled with care. It starts as a body-in-white shell that arrives at PMC to be finished in its orange paint via a robotic paint system. Multiple base coats enhance the paint's intensity. Next ,a mid-coat of gold and orange mica is applied giving off a pearlescent effect in the sunlight. Finally, four layers of clearcoat are applied to increase the paint's luster and protect the finish. The total time in paint, including curing, is five days.

2021 Acura RDX PMC Edition www.youtube.com

Post-paint, PMC master technicians begin hand-assembling the two-row SUV starting with the installation of the drivetrains and chassis components, wiring harnesses, and electronics. Then, the wheels and tires are added. The final step in the process is to fit the vehicle with its unique interior including an individually numbered serial plate affixed to the RDX's center console.

Following assembly, the RDX PMC Edition undergoes an identical quality control process as NSX, which includes a full electronic systems line-end test, expert wheel alignment, dyno run, water-leak test and final paint examination. Before exiting PMC, each vehicle is wrapped in a protective film and loaded onto an enclosed, single-car carrier for transport to an Acura dealer.

Acura has introduced a PMC Edition of the TLX and MDX as they have entered the final year of their design phase. Could a refreshed RDX be on the horizon for 2022? All signs point to yes.

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