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New, 2020 Ford Explorer Debuts As RWD, 365HP Large SUV

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New, 2020 Ford Explorer Limited SUV, blue

It’s the first SUV to ride on the Blue Oval’s new platform.

Ford has unveiled the all-new, 2020 Explorer, the latest iteration of its mainstay three-row family SUV, having previewed it days earlier with the new Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid .

Whereas the previous-generation Ford Explorer is built on a front-wheel drive platform that debuted in 2008, the new model moves onto a brand-new rear-wheel-drive platform that also underpins the new Lincoln Aviator. It’s a return to form for Ford’s nearly 30-year-old nameplate.

Power is provided by a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, paired to Ford’s new ten-speed automatic that drives either the rear wheels or, optionally, all four wheels.

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That output isn’t too shabby for a base engine, but buyers looking for even more oomph! will have the choice of a 3.0L turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque, the most powerful engine ever put in an Explorer. A hybrid powertrain will also be available.

The 3.0-liter EcoBoost equipped Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds (2,540 km), while models with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost and Class III Trailer Tow Package can tow up to 5,300 pounds (2,404 km).

Moving to the exterior, designers chose to give the new Ford Explore an evolutionary design that reminiscent of its predecessor, but the rear-wheel drive proportions give it a sportier, more athletic look that should appeal to more buyers.

The interior is both upscale and practical, featuring a new sliding second-row seat that eases entry to the rearmost row. The long list of standard comfort and convenience features includes a 4G LTE WiFi hot spot that can accommodate up to 10 devices, a power-operated rear hatch, and a vertically-mounted infotainment system that juts out of the dashboard like a tablet. Do you like the look?

Cargo capacity comes in at 87.8 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded and 6.1 cubic feet more than the current Explorer.

On the safety front, every Explorer now comes with Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of passive and active safety features that consists of a blind-spot monitor with a cross-traffic alert system, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and a forward collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.

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An adaptive cruise control system with lane-centering technology is available, as are an automatic rear braking system and Ford’s latest parking assistant, which is able to parallel or perpendicularly park the Explorer without the driver having to touch the steering wheel or pedals.

The all-new, 2020 Ford Explorer goes on sale in summer 2019 with a starting price of $32,765 in the United States. Are you happy with how it turned out, and could you consider one for your next vehicle?

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2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Rocks The Coupe-Like Look

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2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

The Cross Sport is more stylish than the regular Atlas.

Volkswagen has revealed the all-new Atlas Cross Sport, expanding the Atlas lineup with a sportier, coupe-like crossover.

As a five-seat alternative to the regular Atlas, the Cross Sport eliminates the third row of seats in favor of a sleeker profile but still manages to provides 40.3 cubic feet of stowage space when the rear seats are up and 77.8 cu ft when folded flat.

A three-bar chrome grille, unique headlights, and more sculpted hood gives it a more upscale look than its larger sibling, while an available R-Line package amps up the sportiness factor with 21-inch wheels and sportier bumpers with chrome and piano black accents around the lower front air scoops.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport interior

The interior benefits from a few upgrades, featuring a new steering wheel and available stitching accents on the seats and door inserts. Heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, rear sunshades, and a 12-speaker Fender audio system are part of the options list.

As for power, buyers can choose between a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 235 horsepower or a 3.6-liter V6 with 276 horsepower. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, driving either the front wheels or, optionally, all four wheels.

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport will be built alongside the Atlas and Passat at VW’s Chattanooga plant, with the first deliveries arriving in spring 2020.

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2021 Toyota Rav4 Plug-in Hybrid Is The Most Powerful Rav4 Ever

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2021 Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid

It is the most fuel-efficient and the most powerful Rav4 variant.

Toyota has revealed the 2021 Rav4 plug-in hybrid ahead of its official debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show.

According to the Japanese automaker, the plug-in hybrid Rav4 will utilize the most powerful powertrain in the model’s history, one that delivers “surprising performance capabilities,” including spirited acceleration and nimble handling.

That means it makes more power than the basic Rav4 hybrid variant, which makes due with 219 horsepower.

Visually, the Rav4 plug-in hybrid features unique styling touches that include a black grille and vertical LED fog lights. It will also be offered with a new Supersonic Red paint scheme and bright chrome wheels.

In related news, rival Honda recently revealed the hybrid version of its popular CR-V crossover.

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Toyota C-HR Gets New Grille And Headlights For 2020

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2020 Toyota C-HR small SUV, front

It also benefits from new colors and more options.

Toyota has given the C-HR a few styling and tech modifications for the 2020 model year.

The biggest updates are at the front, where the small crossover features LED headlights, a restyled grille, and a new bumper.

The LE trim level also gets new optional 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Limited trim level sports new 18-inch alloy wheels.

Two new optional colors join the lineup, both available with a black roof only: Supersonic Red and Hot Lava Orange.

2020 Toyota C-HR small SUV, rear

The interior updates are small, and include new seatback pockets and windshield visor extensions for the XLE trim level, and an 8-way power driver’s seat and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with headlamp auto-leveling for the Limited.

On the tech front, the C-HR now offers Android Auto to go along with the pre-existing Apple CarPlay and comes standard with SiriusXM satellite radio.

The 2020 Toyota C-HR continues to be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, sent to the front wheels by a CVT transmission. All-wheel drive is still not offered.

Dismal headlight performance prevented the 2018-2019 C-HR from achieving a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but this is an issue Toyota has presumably addressed for the 2020 model year.

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