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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The Parisian Night Pearl paint color option has been replaced by Blueprint.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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The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is joining the company’s lineup

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The decision to add a turbocharged engine variant to the Mazda3 was met with praise for those who like getting in a little more excitement behind the wheel. Now It has been announced that the Mazda3's crossover counterpart, the CX-30 is getting the same treatment.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 will be available with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when the tank is filled with 93 octane fuel. The performance drops to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque when owners fill up with 87 octane. Engines with the turbo-four also get standard all-wheel drive.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The body styling is pretty much the same as the rest of the Mazda CX-30 lineup, but it does have unique wheels and other attributes.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

To accommodate the new engine option, Mazda has not had to change the outward appearance of the model In earnest but does add some highlights including 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, larger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors and a "TURBO" badge on the liftgate.

As the most premium Mazda CX-30 model, it comes with a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, black upper dash and chrome finishes. The features list includes a Bose 12-speaker audio system and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen..

The CX-30 2.5 Turbo, as the models with the engine will be known. Also comes equipped with Smart City Brake Support Reverse and rear cross-traffic braking technologies that can sense a vehicle coming into the lane of travel when reversing, warn the driver, and apply the brakes in order to possibly avoid a collision. Additional available safety technologies include a 360-degree view monitor, Active Drive Display, traffic sign recognition, and adaptation front lighting.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The CX-30 debuted just last year.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is scheduled to go on sale by the end of 2020. Specific packaging and pricing details will be announced in the coming months

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The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross used the Internet of Things to connect to the My Mitsubishi Connect app

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North Americ

Mitsubishi has enlisted Aeris and Dealer-FX to better connect owners to their vehicles. Using integrations with the Aeris Mobility Services and Dealer-FX ONE platforms, the My Mitsubishi Connect mobile app will now enable Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drivers to view real-time service and maintenance needs, as reported by their vehicles.

The system will push timely notifications from the vehicle to the app and the owner's smart mobile device allowing them to act in a matter of seconds rather than trying to remember that a warning light cane in while operating the vehicle.

"Mitsubishi customers are dreamers, achievers, entrepreneurs – active in their communities and in their family homes, and their time is extremely valuable," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer of MMNA. "The My Mitsubishi Connect app allows us to enhance their experience, be more efficient with their time and continue to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high quality, top value vehicles with leading-edge technology in the U.S."

This isn't the company's first IoT foray. When it debuted, Mitsubishi Road Assist+ was the first hardware-free, smartphone-based app provided by an OEM that allowed owners to realize the cost savings of usage-based insurance without having to own "connected car" with built-in telematics capabilities or aftermarket-installed telematics hardware.

Mitsubishi continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market. The company recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Nashville, Tennessee area near where Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance member Nissan has its North American headquarters.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create the Small Batch - Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Mitsubishi executives, among other benefits.

The My Mitsubishi Connect and Mitsubishi Road Assist+ apps are currently available on the Google Play store and the Apple's App Store for use on Android and iOS devices.

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