Buying Advice

These are the best vehicles for social distancing

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

If these cars could come with a Hallmark card that reads, "When you don't want to be at home, but also shouldn't go out in public" (opens card) "Congratulations on your new car" they should. The models on this list offer many creature comforts, but also provide a number of features that make them perfectly suited for social distancing behaviors, whether it be during the Covid-19 outbreak or any other time.

If you're in need of a new car but don't want to visit a dealership, remember, you can virtually shop for new cars using Cadillac Live or purchase a used car online through sites like Carvana. And, keeping a packet of sanitizing wipes in the glovebox to use to wipe down gas pumps and windshield washer fluid station wands, isn't a bad idea.

Land Rover Discovery

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

With its off-road prowess and plush accommodations, the Land Rover Discovery is ready, willing, and able to take you far away to the desolate corners of civilization. Plus, the Disco has some great features like standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, fog lights, blind spot monitoring, and power lift gate. Navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera are available.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There's a fair amount of parents complaining about being stuck in the house all day with their children. Why not pile them in the plug-in hybrid version of America's plushest minivan? The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can comfortably seat seven and it can go 32 miles without using any gasoline meaning less time touching dirty fuel pump handles.

Ram 1500

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Ram 1500 is plenty capable of towing and hauling but when it comes to leaving the house with your most precious cargo during an epidemic, the truck's creature comforts show through. Many drive-ins are opening up and the Ram's reclining second row and abundant passenger space make the model a great choice to take to the movies. Plus, you can set up a few chairs or tent in the bed to enjoy a more unique experience.

Subaru Crosstrek

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Latch you kayaks, skis, snowboards, or bicycles to the top of the Subaru Crosstrek and head out to your favorite recreation facility to take advantage of communing with Mother Nature in solitude. The Crosstrek has good cargo space, standard all-wheel drive, and can go nearly 600 miles between fill ups.

Mercedes-Benz Metris

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Chicago Auto Show debut of the Mercedes-Benz Metris camper van was just in time. Though you might not have the lead time to order one of theirs, you can DIY a camper van from and of the Mercedes van models, new or used.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback has debuted but Americans will have to wait around six months to get one.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi Q5 Sportback takes the traditional dimensions of the Audi Q5 and shaves some off the back of the roof to creating a more sloping design. The result is a model that fits right into Audi's lineup.

At the front of the new all-wheel drive model is an octagonal Singleframe grille that is flanked by large air inlets. The car's headlights feature daytime running lights with the buyer's choice of LED or matrix-design LED technology. At the rear are taillights that feature OLED lighting technology split into three ties of six segments each.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Like the roof, the car's windows taper as the design of the vehicle flows backward. Its rear bumper appears to be high-mounted.

Base Audi Q5 Sportback models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system to to deliver 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The SQ5 will come standard with adaptive dampers and has an available air suspension and dynamic steering capability.

Each model has Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system, which can be optioned to include a 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver as well as virtual cockpit and head-up display technologies. At the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen with navigation. The system allows for multiple user profiles.

The Audi phone box and a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 3D sound are available.

Inside the cabin, the car has a rear bench seat the can be shifted laterally as well as forward and aft. The seat also reclines.

Each Q5 Sportback comes with a standard hands-free power tailgate.

Buyers can option their model to include numerous driver assist systems including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, standard Audi Side Assist and Audi Pre Sense Rear, lane departure warning, and Parking System Plus.

The 2020 Audi Q5 starts at $43,000. Expect the Sportback model to be slightly pricier when it arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2021. It will be assembled at the San José Chiapa plant in Mexico.

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Jeep is extending its customer care program for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

This model year, Jeep celebrates 80 years in the business. The brand was born in 1941 and to celebrate to anniversary, the company is expanding its Jeep Wave Customer Care program adding value to each model purchase. The additional level of service only applies to 2021 model year vehicles.

"After nearly 80 years, the Jeep brand remains true to the original SUV by continuing to deliver legendary 4x4 capability that has enabled countless adventures and open-air freedom," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're pleased to provide our customers with 80th Anniversary models that offer a unique appearance, great value and loads of safety and technology features.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept showcased the future of the brand, in the shape of a luxury-level three-row SUV. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"As a tribute to our unique, enthusiastic and growing customer base, we are expanding our Jeep Wave customer care program across the entire Jeep vehicle lineup," Morrison added. "We are pleased to reward our loyal customers with Jeep Wave premium service that offers peace of mind and no-charge maintenance for three years."

The program now includes three years of maintenance at Jeep dealerships, including oil changes and tire rotations, 24/7 support via phone or online chat, trip interruption and first-day rental coverage, and VIP access to select Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep lineup includes the Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, Wrangler, and Grand Cherokee SUVs as well as the Gladiator truck. The company recently unveiled the Grand Wagoneer concept, a luxe take on a future luxury-level three-row SUV that will compete directly with the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

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