Ford’s luxury subsidiary brings back an old name with a bang.
At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Lincoln took the wraps off the all-new, completely reinvented Aviator, its foray into the large, three-row crossover segment after the discontinuation of its predecessor in 2005.
Unlike its previous Aviator, and like the latest Lincoln Navigator, the new Aviator is far more than just a rebadged Ford. Despite sharing a multi-layout platform with the upcoming new Ford Explorer, it is an entirely different animal on the outside and inside.
Lincoln’s design team looked to aeronautical history for inspiration while penning the new SUV, delivering a strong and stately appearance comparable to a Range Rover or any other vehicle of its caliber. Are happy with how it transitioned from the Aviator Concept?
Inside, the instruments and gauges draw inspiration from Bell and Ross, a watchmaking company best known for its devotion to aviation-inspired design, and polished, engine-turned aluminum accents replace wood trim, calling to mind the instrument panels of vintage aircraft.
Even the perforation on leather seats take cues from aircraft runway lights. The “glass cockpit” is dominated by a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display, while the big pilot and co-pilot seats are jam-packed with adjusters, massagers, heaters, and coolers.
Going against convention — the vast majority of mainstream crossovers fundamentally have a front-wheel drive architecture — the new Aviator is rear-wheel-drive, offering an all-wheel-drive setup as an option. Power will come from a twin-turbocharged V6 that produces a healthy 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque or, optionally, a hybrid powertrain rated at an estimated 450 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, both utilizing Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Lincoln placed a heavy emphasis on the technological aspect of the luxury car experience. As a highlight, Aviator premiers the company’s new “Phone as a Key” feature that lets you unlock and start the SUV with your smartphone.
The suspension also automatically lowers the Aviator to “greet” the driver, while a smart, camera- and sensor-based adaptive suspension can adjust to discomforting road imperfections to improve ride quality.
From the plug-in hybrid powertrain, to the striking exterior and to the stunning, tech-loaded interior, the new Lincoln Aviator looks like a serious contender in the large premium crossover segment. Do you like how it turned out?
2020 GMC Acadia Refresh Brings Rugged AT4 Model, New Turbo Engine
The updates include a more aggressive look, a new turbo four, and a rugged new AT4 model.
GMC has given the Acadia a mid-cycle refresh that brings a revised exterior design, interior and tech enhancements, a new engine option, and an off-road-focused AT4 model.
On the outside, the 2020 GMC Acadia features a bolder grill flanked by rectangular headlights with C-shaped LED inserts, new-look rear lights and nicer 18- and 20-inch wheel designs that brings the overall design in line with GMC’s recent design language.
The interior has been enhanced by an electronic shifter that frees up real estate on the center console for more storage space and an updated infotainment system that the company says is “more intelligent and more intuitive” thanks to a higher-resolution eight-inch touchscreen, an easier to use interface, and improved voice recognition. Wireless charging for your phone is available, as are a head-up display system, a new HD rear camera, and a Rear Camera Mirror that replaces the rear-view mirror with a screen.
A new turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine joins the lineup for the 2020 model year and comes standard on the Acadia SLT and Denali models. Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, it produces 230 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm and uses Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) to maximize fuel-efficiency.
The 2.5L four-cylinder and 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engines carry over from the 2019 model, with the latter now shifting through the same nine-speed automatic as the new turbo four instead of a six-speed automatic.
In response to the growing demand for rugged vehicles, GMC has expanded the Acadia lineup with a new AT4 model aimed at adventurous buyers. Like the Sierra AT4, the Acadia AT4 looks the part with a trim-specific grille with black chrome accents, plastic body cladding, 17-inch alloy wheels (20-inch alloys are optional), and a sporty dark interior with contrasting accents.
Lastly, the Acadia has received some suspension improvements that help with ride and handling. Front-wheel drive is still standard, while all-wheel drive is optional, though the Acadia AT4 is offered exclusively with all-wheel drive and the V6.
Made in Tennessee, the updated, 2020 GMC Acadia goes on sale in fall 2019. Do you like the changes General Motors made to it?
New, 2020 Kia Soul EV Has 243 Mile (391 Km) Driving Range
Kia’s quirky crossover joins the high-range electric vehicle group.
The EPA has given the 2020 Kia Soul EV a driving range of up to 243 miles (391 km) on a single charge, placing it in the same class as the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Nissan LEAF e+, all of which get over 200 miles (322 km).
In fact, the Soul EV uses the same 64 kWh battery pack as the Kona Electric and Niro. Power is provided by an electric motor that generates 201-horsepower and 291 lb-ft. of torque and can be modulated with four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+, which automatically adjust power output, regenerative braking, climate control settings, and set speed limits to help manage overall efficiency.
Similar to the Niro and Kona EVs, it will charge at around 100kW for at least the first 50 percent of charge. A DC Fast Charge port comes standard.
The 2020 Kia Soul EV goes on sale in the second half of 2019.
Kia’s New Telluride SUV Is Big Enough For Your Whole Family
Kia’s biggest-ever SUV has enough room to accommodate eight occupants in relative comfort.
The Kia Telluride has finally seen the light of day, giving Kia a spacious modern SUV for the whole family.
Designed in California specifically for the North American market, particularly the United States, the Telluride stands out with a boxy shape, a blunt hood, and a wide grille flanked by a pair of blunt vertical headlights. It’s distinctive, attractive and should turn some heads in the rather soft and puffy-looking full-size SUV segment.
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Power is provided by a 3.8L V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, good enough for a 5,000-pound tow rating. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives the wheels.
The Telluride also features four-wheel independent suspension with an optional self-leveling system and all-wheel drive. ‘Comfort’ and ‘snow’ odes distribute just 20 percent of torque to the rear wheels, while ‘sport’ has a 65-35 front-back split and ‘lock’ divides power equally between all corners.
Inside, the clean, BMW-esque dashboard is fitted with a 10.25-inch touchscreen that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibile, while a 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman Kardon sound system makes it easy to blast you favorite tunes throughout the cavernous interior. There’s also a wireless charging pad and a total of six USB charging ports.
Buyers looking for a more premium look and feel can splurge on a number of luxury interior appointments, ranging from quilted Nappa leather to matte-finish wood.
On the safety front, Kia’s big SUV is available with tons of safety tech, including forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, a blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and a head-up display.
The all-new, 2020 Kia Telluride goes on sale in the second half of 2019 in LX, EX, S, and SX trims. Would you consider it as your next family-hauler?