New Model News

All-wheel drive, new paint jobs, added trim level highlight 2021 Toyota Avalon options

The Toyota Avalon XSE Nightshade Edition is a new offering for 2021.

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

Toyota is giving the Avalon a host of upgrades for the 2021 model year as well as introducing a new trim level and making all-wheel drive available. The 2021 Avalon goes on sale later this year.

The 2021 Toyota Avalon will be sold in 10 variations. The Avalon XLW, XSE Nightshade, Limited, Touring, and TRD are powered by a V6 engine. The Avalon Hybrid is available in XLE, XSE, and Limited grades. All-wheel drive is available in the Avalon XLE and Limited.

2021 Toyota Avalon Nightshade The Avalon XSE Nightshade Edition features black-painted 19-inch alloy wheels.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota's addition of the Avalon XSE trim is a move that brings the Avalon lineup in closer step with other Toyota sedan and SUV offerings. The XSE grade traditionally features a sportier suspension setup and design elements traditionally thought of as meant for sport-centric models like blacked out trim and multi-tailpipe designs. These hold true in the Avalon XSE, which is a step below the Touring model and equipped similarly.

The new-for-2021 XSE Nightshade Edition is based on the 2020 Avalon XSE. It get the black grille, mirror caps, rear spoiler, and name badges from the Avalon XSE and adds black-painted 19-inch alloy wheels, black window trim and door handles, and a black shark fin antenna. The Avalon XSE Nightshade is available on models painted in Midnight Black Metallic, Wind Chill Pearl, and Celestial Silver Metallic exterior colors.

2021 Toyota Avalon Nightshade Other black elements on the 2021 Avalon Nightshade include black window trim and door handlesPhoto courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Buyers have new paint choices. The Avalon TRD is available in a two-tone paint job that features a black roof paired with either the Windchill Pearl or new Ice Edge body colors. Ice Edge replaces Supersonic Red, which now becomes available for the other Avalon grades. Buyers can also get their Avalon TRD in Midnight Black Metallic. New for 2021, Toyota is offering the model with the choice of summer-only tires and it gets a new startup display.

The Parisian Night Pearl paint color option has been replaced by Blueprint. Opulent Amber, Harbor Gray Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, and Ruby Flare Pearl continue to be offered in all other Avalon variants.

New interior colors include Cognac with Black in the Avalon XSE Hybrid and Touring, and, in the Limited, Black replaces Beige.

2021 Toyota Avalon Limited Blueprint The Avalon Limited is available with all-wheel drive and has, for the first time, Android Auto.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

For the first time in Avalon history, the model gets all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option. Toyota is estimating that 20 percent of customers will opt for the drivetrain - a percentage on-par with the take rate of other AWD models in the Toyota lineup. Buyers can't the model as a standalone option on Avalon's XLE and Limited, which combine Dynamic Torque Control torque vectoring technology with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.

Dynamic Torque Control AWD (only available in North America) can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels in response to acceleration from a start or slippage at the front wheels. When AWD is not needed, the system senses this and allows the car to drive as a front-wheel drive model, which helps with fuel savings. The system does not encroach on the dimensions of the cabin.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of the Avalon with AWD is 25 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined.

2021 Toyota Avalon Limited Blueprint Toyota is offering the Avalon with all-wheel drive for the first time.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota is adding Android Auto compatibility to a roster of infotainment technology that already includes Android Auto. There are also new USB-C charging ports. Avalon also features Toyota's first integration of smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device connectivity, as part of Toyota Remote Connect. Users can unlock the car's doors, start the engine, or check fuel level, from the convenience of an Apple Watch, compatible smartwatch, or Amazon Alexa-enabled device.

The Avalon continues to be equipped with Toyota Safety Sense-P as standard. That includes a pre-collision braking warning system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, and automatic high beams. Blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, clearance sonar, and rear cross traffic braking are available,

Toyota continues to make the Avalon in Georgetown, Kentucky.

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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 AWD performance car

The Subaru WRX is all-new for 2022

The new WRX's body cladding is already stirring up controversy.

Subaru

The Subaru WRX is a rally-bred performance car that offers a unique mix of rowdy all-wheel drive fun, a value price, and youthful styling. The car is long overdue for an update, though, and Subaru is doing just that for the 2022 model year. The fifth-generation WRX is all-new, and features a more powerful engine, along with several go-fast upgrades.

2022 Subaru WRX Both a manual and an automatic transmission will be offered.Subaru

A new GT trim joins the WRX lineup for 2022. It features a new automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and drive mode selections. With various customization options available to the driver, the system offers up to 430 different settings combinations. The GT's interior adds Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede with red stitching. The GT also gets exclusive 18-inch wheels.

Though still a Boxer engine, the 2022 WRX's powerplant is new and more powerful than before. It delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a broader torque curve. Subaru says that the larger engine plus an electronically controlled turbo wastegate and air bypass valves improve responsiveness and acceleration.

2022 Subaru WRX A larger 11.6-inch infotainment screen is on board. Subaru

All WRX models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring, which can shift power to individual wheels that need the most traction. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a new Subaru Performance Transmission is available, which features faster shifts and other features to improve performance.

The 2022 WRX also gets a tech upgrade that brings a large 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen. It runs Subaru Starlink infotainment, handles HVAC and vehicle controls, and offers split-screen functionality for two apps to run simultaneously. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and HD radio. An upgraded version of the system also offers navigation with three years of free map updates.

2022 Subaru WRX Subaru will offer a new GT trim with upgraded suspension and finishes.Subaru

As it has done with many of its other vehicles, Subaru is equipping every WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids. The packge includes lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and more. A new available automatic emergency steering system works with the car's pre-collision braking feature to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

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