Road Trip

Talus Expedition Gear's CampPack Camper is an RV in a box

The Telus CampPack Camper was tested, and passed with flying colors.

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

For those who appreciate adventuring off the beaten path, a pickup truck can be a great mode of travel. Current models offer comfortable, roomy interiors combined with impressive off-road capability. But getting away for more than a day hike requires roughing it on the ground or scaling back the adventure by hauling an RV.

Talus Expedition Gear of Boise, Idaho, has devised an ingenious solution. This small outfitter takes RV amenities — such as electrical power, running water and sleeping off the ground — and incorporates them into — and above — the bed of a pickup truck.

Here's a quick overview of the CampPack Camper, a unique camping solution.

RV lite

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

Adopting the concept that getting away from civilization doesn't mean leaving all creature comforts behind, Talus Expedition Gear created a modular RV-lite package that installs in the bed of a compact or full-size pickup. Unlike conventional truck campers, the Talus VenturePack Camper and CampPack Camper packages fit flush with the top of the pickup bed and allow the tailgate to be closed, preserving the truck's ability to venture off the beaten path unhindered.

Solid construction

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

Each Talus camper features solid aluminum construction fastened with aircraft-grade rivets and TIG welding. Weighing around 500 pounds (700 pounds with tent), the Talus camper gets attached to the truck bed via tiedowns at the front and bolts in existing holes near the tailgate — on most trucks no alteration is necessary. The camper designs fit in both compact and full-size pickup trucks with short or long beds. Using all available space, larger trucks get more storage; however, the kitchen module remains primarily unchanged no matter the truck size.

The ultimate kitchen drawer

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

The Talus camper gives a whole new meaning to kitchen drawer — in this case the drawer is the kitchen. Sliding out (like a drawer) from the back of the truck, the kitchen unit features a refrigerator, propane stove, electrical connections, storage — even the kitchen sink. The drawer is easily unlatched and pulled into position for use.

Good old H2O

Telus CampPack Camper

The Talus contains a 16-gallon tank that provides water via a 1-gallon-per-minute electric pump. The camper unit also has a pressurized external hose connection — a great feature for cleaning muddy boots or filling a water jug. The higher-end VenturePack also includes a pump-style portable water filtration system that uses a silver-impregnated ceramic filter capable of filtering at 0.5 microns with better than 99.9% efficiency at 0.2 microns. This means water can be drawn from any source to further extend a camping trip. The pump easily stows in the main storage area.

Plugged in

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

The basic CampPack Camper gets a 100aH battery that powers the water pump, a night-sky compliant light under the drawer, a standard 120-volt outlet, a 12-volt auto auxiliary power outlet and two USB ports. The up-level VenturePack upgrades with a larger 200aH battery and a 2,000-watt power inverter that can run power tools or kitchen accessories such as a coffeemaker or blender.

According to Talus, with careful use the larger battery can last up to a week while powering the refrigerator, light and water pump. Obviously, powering other items will diminish the time off grid.

With a 30-amp rapid battery charger built in, charging the Talus's battery is as easy as plugging an extension cord into an outlet. Even the larger battery recharges to full power in seven hours when plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet. For those who would rather not return to civilization for a charge, there is another solution — solar power.

Solar charger

Telus CampPack Camper

The Talus VenturePack comes with a portable solar panel — the Bugout Solar Charger sourced from Overland Solar. The 120-watt solar charger takes considerably longer to charge the battery to full power — about 20 hours. The charger can be set on the ground, on the hood of a truck or on the truck's roof, and left there for the duration of the camping trip, constantly keeping the battery charged. Given the solar panel's flexible construction and long cord, camp can be set up in the shade while the charger stays in direct sunlight. When not in use, the charger folds up for easy storage.

Tailgate as a kitchen

Telus CampPack Camper

Although cooking over an open fire seems like an iconic camping experience, it's often outlawed or dangerous, so it's easier and safer to cook dinner on a stove. The Talus has a propane stove with 5,900 BTU and 3,700 BTU burners. The unit has storage space for two standard one-pound propane bottles — an available universal propane adaptor hooks up to a larger propane tank. When not in use, the stove's cover can be closed to provide additional counter space.

Top rack system

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

The Talus Camper box features integrated rails that can be used to mount a rack for carrying equipment and accessories such as bicycles, kayaks or an additional storage box for extended adventures. But the best use for the rails is a rooftop tent, and Talus takes care of that as well.

Kitchen use

Telus CampPack Camper

When in use, the kitchen drawer only takes up a portion of the truck's tailgate, so the remaining horizontal surface provides a convenient workspace. Also handy are storage drawers at the end of the kitchen module — a great place for storing dry goods as well as utensils. Trucks with shorter beds get two drawers; trucks with longer trucks have space for four drawers.

Storage drawer

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

Next to the kitchen drawer sits a longer one for gear storage. The all-weather space provides up to 17 cubic feet of real estate for clothes, food and other supplies. Dividers are available for easier organization. Whereas the kitchen module remains primarily the same size, the main drawer size depends on truck size — a short-bed compact pickup will get about 6 cubic feet, while space gets maximized in a full-size pickup with a larger bed.

Top track system

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

The Talus Camper box features integrated rails that can be used to mount a rack for carrying equipment and accessories such as bicycles, kayaks or an additional storage box for extended adventures. But the best use for the rails is a rooftop tent, and Talus takes care of that as well.

The tent

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

Talus Expedition Gear partners with 23ZERO to offer a selection of tents that can be mounted on top of the camper box. Tents range in size from the 56-inch-wide Breezeway that can sleep two comfortably to the 87-inch Walkabout that has space for up to five. These 4-season tents have a 3-inch-thick foam cotton-top mattress with a waterproof base and a built-in rain fly. The 23ZERO tents also feature Light Suppression Technology — with all windows and door closed, practically no light infiltrates the tent, so there's no need to wake up at the crack of dawn.

Out of the way

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

With the Talus tent folded it takes up little space, and its low mounting position keeps it behind the cab of the truck, thus reducing wind resistance while driving. That being said, Talus does offer a high-mount configuration for the tent — for those who need additional storage beneath.

Easy setup and take down

Telus CampPack Camper

Photo courtesy of AutoNXT

One of the most desirable aspects of the Talus camper is its quick setup time. Unstrapping and unfolding the tent takes about five minutes, and kitchen setup takes about 30 seconds. This rapid setup is especially appealing after a long day of trekking overland. Everything packs up easily as well, meaning daily adventures begin more quickly. And heading off on an adventure may mean discovering a new location for camping that night. With the Talus, there's no need to go back for the gear — it's always in the truck.

How much does the Talus CampPack Camper cost?

The Talus CampPack Camper starts at $11,900, while the top-line VenturePack starts at $13,750. The 23ZERO tent options start at $1,369.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Mercedes-Benz GLA was redesigned for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz GLA was completely redesigned for the 2021 model year, taking it from a mundane tuna can-like hatchback to a zippy, more traditional small SUV. Everything about it fits into the modern Mercedes SUV lineup. It's a mini Merc. It's formulaic and perfectly fine but it's just not that nice compared to what else you can get for around $40,000 (starting price is just over $36,000)

Mercedes sells the GLA in three variants with another on the way. There's the traditional GLA 250 and GLA 250 4MATIC, and the AMG GLA 35. A more high-performance version of the model, the AMG GLA 45 is coming soon. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on most models. A variety of drive modes allow the driver to choose how much torque they want to allocate to what wheels and additional setup options for suspension and dynamics are available on pricier GLAs.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 The car's infotainment and driver information screens are housed together as one unit.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

As tested, the GLA 250 was powered by the standard 2.0-liter turbo-four that is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. It delivers 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The SUV had trouble off the line during daily driving. The GLA's turbo lag added together with low-end gearing confusion to make the mundane drive from stop sign to stop sign in a neighborhood a comfortable creep followed by a robust burst of energy. Once out of the neighborhood and up to full speed on the highway, the powertrain performed far better, however, there was nothing elegant about it.

The model's steering is numb, which is typical for its class. It's steering circle isn't as tight as is optimal.

Any promise of a tranquil ride that you would think would be relatively standard with a Mercedes is not something the GLA possesses. However, for as much road noise that permeates the cabin, it's still less than the awful rattling the previous generation GLA allowed in. For that we can all be thankful.

The added height of the GLA gives the vehicle a more SUV-like seating position than its crossover predecessor. Ingress and egress is easy, as it should be with a model of these proportions. Head- and legroom for front passengers is fantastic for a vehicle of the GLA's size.

Seats in the GLA are not uncomfortable, and certainly not the worst that Mercedes offers.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes wins points for the GLA's tech, which is easy to use, responsive, and pleasing to the eye. The GLA comes standard with the Mercedes-Benz two screens, in one large housing. Its Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) operating system runs two 7.0-inch screens. The centrally located screen, which controls the infotainment system, reacts to touch and can also be operated by a touchpad controller on the center console. The list of standard equipment also includes four USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Buyers can upgrade their model to include a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen, 12-speaker Burmester audio system, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, head-up display, and navigation.

Mercedes gives every GLA a reasonable amount of active safety features. The list includes a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, vehicle exit warning, automatic emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, and crosswind assist. To get the most desirable safety features, GLA buyers need to add on two packages, which drive up the price $2,800.

The SUV has ample space in the second row for adults.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The GLA's interior materials, cabin noise, and unrefined powertrain make it seem like a less-than premium SUV. The car's tech offerings give it a boost, but other models offer a longer list of standard and available safety technology.

Buyers who are savvy and looking to get the most bang for their buck will want to test drive similarly sized models like the 2020 Buick Encore GX, Jaguar E-Pace (it was refreshed for the 2021 model year with major changes), and Mazda CX-30 before committing to the GLA. They have interiors that are just as nice and offer price tags that are more wallet-friendly.

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The Polestar 1 is one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive vehicles you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Polestar

When winter amps up and roads get swathed in rain, sleet, snow and ice, the benefits of all-wheel drive come into play. Luckily drivers don't need big gas-guzzling SUVs or trucks to tackle wintry conditions — plenty of fuel-efficient options offer additional traction thanks to power at all four wheels.

What follows are the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive models available in America that run on gasoline, electric, and hybrid powertrains. Note that vehicles appear in ascending order by combined EPA fuel economy rating. MPGe is "miles per gallon equivalent," which equates electric energy to that found in a gallon of gasoline — this figure is used for EVs (electric vehicles) and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles). Prices listed are MSRP and don't reflect additional options or EV tax credits.

24.) 2021 Audi A8 60 TFSI e Plug-In Hybrid quattro

2019 Audi A8

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

MPGe/MPG (combined): 53/23
Electric range: 18 miles
Base MSRP: $95,900
As the flagship of the Audi lineup, the A8 has the distinction of being one of the most luxurious vehicles on this list. Offered for the first time with a powerfully efficient plug-in hybrid system, this large sedan features a turbocharged V6 engine combined with a potent electric powertrain to produce a plentiful 442 horsepower. Whether running in hybrid mode or fully electric, power gets routed through the 8-speed transmission to Audi's legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system.

23.) 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge PHEV T8 eAWD

2020 Volvo XC90 Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA


MPGe/MPG (combined): 55/27
Electric range: 18 miles
Base MSRP: $63,450
One of the larger, more luxurious plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market, the XC90 received fresh styling and new standard features for the 2020 model year. Also new for 2020 is an available 6-passenger configuration that replaces the second-row bench with individual bucket seats. Power comes from a unique 2.0-liter engine that is both turbocharged and supercharged, teamed with a powerful electric motor to produce 400 horsepower. Volvo's advanced all-wheel-drive system can send up to 50 percent of the total torque to the rear wheels as needed.

22.) 2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring

2021 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Co.

MPGe/MPG (combined): 56/23
Electric range: 21 miles
Base MSRP: $68,900
The top-line trim of the all-new 2021 Lincoln Aviator is the Grand Touring — a plug-in-hybrid version that combines a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine with a 75 kW electric motor for total output of 494 horsepower and a prodigious 630 lb-ft of torque. This three-row luxury addition to the Lincoln lineup offers available adaptive suspension, adaptive suspension with road preview and air glide suspension. Aviator Grand Touring offers Pure EV and Preserve EV modes for electric-only driving or to preserve the battery charge for later driving. The Grand Touring comes with Lincoln's intelligent all-wheel-drive system as standard equipment.

21.) 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV T8 eAWD

XC60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid R-Design

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

MPGe/MPG (combined): 57/27
Electric range: 19 miles
Base MSRP: $53,500
Volvo's most popular SUV, the XC60 was redesigned for the 2018 model year and in addition to new styling and features, the premium crossover is available with the same powerplants as its larger sibling, the XC90. Surprisingly, the most fuel-efficient powertrain of the XC60 line is also the most powerful. Like the XC90, the T8 plug-in hybrid system employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine sending power to the front wheels, while an electric motor powers the rear wheels. Total power output is up to 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. The immediate torque of the electric motor helps the XC60 T8 reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

20.) 2021 Polestar 1

2021 Polestar 1

Photo courtesy of Polestar

MPGe/MPG (combined): 58/26
Electric range: 52 miles
Base MSRP: $155,000
For many years, the Polestar moniker had been associated with high-performance models of the Volvo lineup — this year Polestar launched a standalone electric performance brand with the introduction of the Polestar 1. Fuel efficient, sexy and powerful, the Polestar 1 features a turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder engine sending 326 horsepower to the front wheels, while an electric motor in each rear wheel creates a high-tech all-wheel-drive system delivering a total 619 horsepower.

19.) 2021 Volvo S90 Recharge PHEV T8 eAWD

2021 Volvo S90

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

MPGe/MPG (combined): 60/30
Electric range: 21 miles
Base MSRP: $60,695
The flagship sedan of the Volvo lineup, the S90 gets a freshened exterior and an updated interior for the 2021 model year. Like other Volvos on this list, the S90 also receives the 400-horsepower plug-in hybrid system with all-wheel drive provided by a gas engine powering the front wheels while an electric motor motivates the rears. This also means that when operating in pure EV mode, the S90 is rear-wheel drive — the internal-combustion engine must be running to engage the all-wheel-drive system.

18.) 2021 BMW X3 xDrive 30e

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Photo courtesy of BMW

MPGe/MPG (combined): 65/25
Electric range: 18 miles
Base MSRP: $49,600
For 2020 BMW added the X3 xDrive30e, the first plug-in hybrid version of the popular X3 compact crossover. The X3 xDrive30e combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower with an 80-kW electric motor integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission for a total system output of 292 horsepower. Since the electric motor is integrated with the transmission, power can be sent to all four wheels even when operating in electric-only mode.

17.) 2021 BMW 330e xDrive

2021 BMW 330e

Photo courtesy of BMW

MPGe/MPG (combined): 67/25
Electric range: 20 miles
Base MSRP: $46,550
The BMW 3 Series has been available with xDrive all-wheel drive for years — and now this sporty sedan gets a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain. The 330e sports a 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine delivering 181 horsepower teamed with a 107-horsepower electric motor for an impressive total of 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. For those seeking a bit more oomph, pressing the throttle past the "kick down" position delivers an extra 40 horsepower for 10 seconds. The rear-wheel biased all-wheel-drive system provides sporty performance as well as added traction needed for slick road conditions.

16.) 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e 4Matic EQ

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e 4Matic EQ

​Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

MPGe/MPG (combined): 68/25
Electric range: 22 miles
Base MSRP: $51,900
For 2018 Mercedes-Benz added a plug-in hybrid to its popular GLC crossover lineup — the 350e 4MATIC. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine teamed with an electric motor, the GLC 350e 4matic EQ delivers total system output of 315 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Power gets directed to all four wheels via the standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The GLC 350e is also available with a route-based operating strategy that activates the electric driving mode when it is most efficient for the planned route — considering navigation data, topography, speed limits and traffic conditions.

15.) 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI Plug-in Hybrid quattro

2021 Audi A7

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

MPGe/MPG (combined): 68/29
Electric range: 24 miles
Base MSRP: $74,900
For 2021 Audi adds a plug-in hybrid variant to its A7 model lineup, bringing all the performance and luxury expected with the added benefit of greater fuel efficiency. The 362-horsepower powertrain consists of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor situated between the engine and the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Whether running both powerplants or with electricity alone, the power gets sent to the pavement via Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

14.) 2021 Porsche Taycan 4S

2021 Porsche Taycan AG

Photo courtesy of Porshe AG

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 68/71/69
Electric range: 203 miles
Base MSRP: $103,800
Five years ago, Porsche introduced the Mission E Concept along with news that the German sports car company would come to market with a fully electric vehicle based on that concept. The car is the new Porsche Taycan. This sleek four door is available in a range of high-performance variants; however, the 4S provides the best fuel economy. With up to 563 horsepower emanating from two synchronous motors located on the front and rear axles, the Taycan 4S can sprint to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds while providing the added traction of all-wheel drive.

13.) 2021 Volvo S60/V60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T8 eAWD

2021 Volvo S60/V60 Recharge

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

MPGe/MPG (combined): 69/30
Electric range: 22 miles
Base MSRP: $48,295 / $67,945
Volvo introduced an all-new S60 sedan and V60 wagon for the 2019 model year. Built on Volvo's new Scalable Product Architecture, both body styles are available with a variety of powertrains; however, the most powerful also happens to be the most efficient — the T8 plug-in hybrid. Like other Volvos on this list, the S60 / V60 features a unique powertrain; under the hood resides a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine teamed with a powerful electric motor. Total output for the S60 hybrid system is 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque delivered to all four wheels. The hybrid variant of the V60 wagon is only available on the performance-oriented Polestar Engineered trim which gets sportier features and boosts output to 415 horsepower.

12.) 2021 MINI Cooper SE Countryman All4

2021 Mini Countryman Photo courtesy of MINI

MPGe/MPG (combined): 73/29
Electric range: 18 miles
Base MSRP: $42,350
MINI's small crossover, the Countryman gets fresh styling and equipment upgrades for the 2021 model year. This also means updates for the brand's first plug-in hybrid, the Cooper SE Countryman. One of the larger MINIs on the market, the Countryman is a four door offering reasonable cargo space, ALL4 all-wheel drive and a fuel efficient yet potent hybrid powertrain. A 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine drives the front wheels, teamed with an electric motor powering the rear wheels for a combined 224 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. When fully charged, the hybrid Countryman can reach speeds as high as 77 mph using the electric motor alone.

11.) 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

​Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

MPGe/MPG (combined): 74/25
Electric range: 22 miles
Base MSRP: $36,295
Last year the Mitsubishi Outlander received exterior updates including a new grille, headlights, lower bumper accents, 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler — these changes also applied to the Outlander plug-in hybrid. The Outlander PHEV combines a 2.0-liter gas engine and two high-performance electric motors — one at the front and one at the rear — for a combined 224 horsepower. The electric motors provide instant torque for Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control 4WD system, designed to deliver efficient all-weather capability and efficiency. Mitsubishi is selling the 2020 model into 2021 before it releases the redesigned 2022 Outlander.

10.) 2021 Jaguar I-PACE

2019 Jaguar I-PACE Photo courtesy of Jaguar

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 80/72/76 (estimated based on 2020 model)
Electric range: 253 miles
Base MSRP: TBA
Jaguar introduced the I-PACE last year as a fully electric luxury crossover that delivers excellent on-road performance as well as off-road capability. The all-wheel-drive I-PACE is powered by two electric motors, one driving each axle, for a total output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, which makes the I-PACE capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Drivers can choose a mode according to driving conditions that changes throttle response, suspension and steering — there is even a Rain/Ice/Snow mode. All I-PACE trims come well equipped with high levels of luxury, as well as the latest high-tech safety features including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic monitor, traffic-sign recognition and clear exit monitor.

9.) 2021 Audi e-Tron Sportback

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 76/78/77
Electric range: 238 miles
Base MSRP: $69,100
The Audi e-tron Sportback is the second all-electric vehicle from Audi, following the e-tron SUV that launched last year. Up front, the e-tron Sportback features the familiar Audi Singleframe grille with vertical struts; the 2-row crossover seats five adults and has a 4-door coupelike roofline. The e-tron Sportback is motivated by two potent electric motors — one powering each axle — creating a new generation of quattro electric all-wheel drive. Output from the two electric motors is 355 horsepower, and in Boost mode that increases to 402 horsepower, which allows e-tron to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The 95 kWh battery is positioned low in the vehicle with a protective honeycomb structure for a lower center of gravity and better handling.

8.) 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 85/72/79
Electric range: 208 miles
Base MSRP: $53,990
This year Volvo brings its first-ever fully electric vehicle to market — the XC40 Recharge. Based on Volvo's small, premium crossover, the XC40 Recharge offers impressive storage space that includes a "frunk" under the hood. The all-wheel-drive electric powertrain produces an impressive 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque — a lot of power for such a small crossover. Arriving in showrooms later this year, the XC40 Recharge features an Android-powered infotainment system featuring embedded Google technology and services such as the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store.

7.) 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

MPGe/MPG (combined): 90/35
Electric range: 17 miles
Base MSRP: $35,145
The first plug-in hybrid vehicle from Subaru, the 2021 Crosstrek Hybrid is based on the top-level Crosstrek Limited trim. The Crosstrek Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine with a Lineartronic CVT teamed with two integrated motor generators allowing up to 17 miles of electric range at speeds up to 65 mph. The hybrid's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is designed for a PHEV with an electronically controlled variable transfer clutch. The onboard system will charge the 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery in five hours with 120-volt power, and in approximately two hours with 240 volts.

6.) 2021 Polestar 2

2021 Polestar 2

Photo courtesy of Polestar

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 96/88/92
Electric range: 233 miles
Base MSRP: $59,900
The second model from the new standalone Polestar brand, the Polestar 2 is a 5-door fastback built on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture platform that integrates the battery pack into the floor for improved chassis rigidity and reduced noise, vibration and harshness. Polestar 2 is equipped with two electric motors driving all four wheels. Total output is a healthy 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque — good enough for this entry-level model to reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The new Polestar 2 is expected to start arriving in showrooms by the end of 2020.

5.) 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

MPGe/MPG (combined): 94/38
Electric range: 42 miles
Base MSRP: $38,100
The RAV4 is already Toyota's top-selling model in the U.S., and for 2021 Toyota doubles down with the addition of the RAV4 Prime — the first plug-in hybrid SUV from Toyota. RAV4 Prime derives power from a new hybrid system that combines the 2.5-liter gasoline engine from the RAV4 Hybrid that produces 177 horsepower with front and rear electric drive motors for a total system output of 302 horsepower. According to Toyota, RAV4 Prime will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, making it second fastest in the Toyota lineup behind G Supra.

4.) 2021 Tesla Model X Long Range Plus

2021 Tesla Model X

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 109/101/105
Electric range: 371 miles
Base MSRP: $79,990
Although there are only a handful of fully electric SUVs for sale in America, the Tesla Model X was the first of the group. The Model X Long Range is powered by a dual-motor all-wheel drive system and will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. Adaptive air suspension is standard; the Model X offers seating for seven with access to the rear seat via top-hinged Falcon Wing doors. Thanks to the absence of an internal combustion engine, the Model X has a large front trunk in addition to a rear cargo area.

3.) 2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus

2021 Tesla Model S

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

MPGe (city/ hwy/combined): 121/112/117
Electric range: 402 miles
Base MSRP: $69,420
Tesla changed the automotive landscape when it introduced the all-electric Model S — this luxury sedan was the first production electric car to offer more than 200 miles on a full charge. The big sedan is available with a range of high-performance powertrains, but the Long Range Plus with its dual-motor all-wheel-drive system is the most fuel efficient according to the U.S. EPA. This entry version of the Model S offers plenty of gusto — the efficient automobile can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

2.) 2021 Tesla Model Y Long Range

2021 Tesla Model Y

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 131/117/125
Electric range: 326 miles
Base MSRP: $49,990
The newest model in the Tesla lineup, the Model Y tops the charts as the most fuel-efficient crossover sold in America. Smaller than Model X, Model Y offers optional third-row seating that enables the vehicle to carry up to seven occupants. The dual-motor system provides torque to both the front and rear axles for full-time all-wheel-drive capability, and according to Tesla, Model Y will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 145 mph. The Model Y can recharge up to 158 miles in 15 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger location.

1.) 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range

2021 Tesla Model 3

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

MPGe (city/hwy/combined): 141/127/134
Electric range: 353 miles
Base MSRP: $46,990
The Model 3 joined the Tesla lineup last year; although production was slow to start, this "more affordable" electric sedan is now Tesla's best-seller. With styling similar to the larger Model S, the Model 3 Long Range gets two electric motors — one on each axle — and enough power to reach 60 mph in about 4.2 seconds. Despite being the entry-level Tesla, the Model 3 comes well equipped with features such as a 15-inch touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, LED exterior lighting, a backup camera and a suite of advanced safety technology with collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking.

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