In this episode, Kristin and Aaron talk about the all-new, fully redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. Aaron isn’t sold on its new looks, but both Kristin and Aaron agree that the interior is game changing for the segment.
In this review, Aaron looks at the Nissan Kicks, which sees some changes for the 2021 model year. The Kicks is Nissan’s compactest little crossover and it’s surprisingly well-done for such a low price point.
Subaru is developing an all-electric sport utility as a joint venture with Toyota. Built on the new e-Subaru global platform, the Solterra is slated to go on sale in the United States, Canada, China, Europe, and Japan in 2022.
The naming of the Solterra comes from a combination of the Latin words for “sun” and “earth.” The joint venture with Toyota, which was announced last year at the renewal of the current collaboration on the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 sports cars, aims for electrified vehicles based on technologies shared between the companies. The collaboration combines Subaru’s expertise in all-wheel drive technology and Toyota’s electrification knowledge and allows for the sharing of parts and sourcing.
Subaru says that the new Solterra and its platform were the result of the company’s engineers working specifically to mate Subaru’s AWD capability and driving dynamics with a dedicated EV platform. Subaru says that more details for the Solterra will come closer to the EV’s launch date.
In this quick review, Aaron looks at the new 2021 Envision from Buick. This little crossover has a lot of hits, a few misses, and sums itself up with “Tiny Goodness.” Check it out.
The GLE 63 is the big, V8-powered Mercedes SUV that’s received the AMG sport treatment. This is as upscale as it gets for most luxury consumers and there’s a lot to talk about with this utility. But first, you have to say its name three times fast.
In this video, we look at the all-new Nissan Rogue. It’s been greatly improved to add more space, a smaller footprint, and better ergonomics overall. We have a couple of “not so great” points, but overall, this is a very well-executed crossover from Nissan.
See Aaron’s interview-style review with Kristin about the new Rogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxrU8NxsZhI
The Cachet of Cadillac
The Cadillac name is synonymous with luxury. It doesn’t matter which model you’re talking about because the brand alone says it all. Or does it? While every Cadillac is a luxury car, the Escalade sits at the top of the lineup as something unique unto itself.
The Escalade is the epitome of Cadillacs. It really doesn’t even matter if you need a three-row SUV with seating for up to eight. That might be part of your reason for wanting an Escalade, but that’s not why you buy one.
You buy an Escalade because of the statement it makes whether it’s sitting in your driveway, pulling into the office parking lot, or being loaded up with the family’s groceries. Owning a Cadillac Escalade tells the world you have arrived.
There are legions of three-row SUVs from which to choose with a wide range of prices that fit every budget. The Escalade does not fit every budget. Our test vehicle came in with a price of $109,500. There is no such thing as a cheap Escalade.
Impressive in Every Way
Even people who don’t know or care much about cars have likely heard of this one. It’s the car professional athletes and wealthy Hollywood types drive. People notice you when you drive around in an Escalade.
That’s in part due to its impressive size. This thing is big. I’m not going to lie. I may have passed a tight parking spot or two for something with a bit more room further away from the door of my local grocery store. You’ll get the hang of it eventually, just spend some time getting comfortable with that bulk before you head out into a congested city.
The upside to the Escalade’s size is an expansive interior. There’s room for seven adults, eight with an optional second-row bench seat. As is the case in most every three-row SUV, the third row is best for two unless you’re putting the kids in back. There are 25.5 cubic feet behind that third row with up to 109.1 cubic feet if your fold both second and third rows flat.
Yes, you can load up the Escalade with cargo, but cargo doesn’t care about luxury. People, however, very much care about luxury and that’s what makes this SUV stand out from the rest. The front seats on our Platinum trim were plush with rich leathers, 16-way power adjustability, heat, ventilation, and massage. Leather accents were everywhere from the steering wheel to the center console to the doors and the dashboard.
It’s All About Luxury
Striking, highly varnished wood trims enhance the interior’s luxurious first impression along with a sueded headliner and illuminated door sills. At first glance, it looks like the dashboard is one giant screen, but it’s a series of three, curved OLED displays that cover the dash in front of the driver. There’s a 16.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster, and 7.2-inch touchscreen control panel. It’s impressive.
An AKG 19-speaker audio system is standard, but we had the pleasure of listening to the upgraded 36-speaker system. It fills the cabin with rich, immersive sound. It impressed my teenager. That’s saying something. From the materials to the technology to the comfort to the audio, the Escalade delivers a consistent luxury experience.
It also delivers a luxury ride. The potholes of New England roads can rattle your teeth this time of year, but they went unnoticed in the Escalade. Passengers sit at the top of the priority list in a luxury car. They need to be not just comfortable, but downright coddled. The Escalade delivers with a ride that is smooth, composed, and quiet, even at highway speeds. Despite its size, handling is responsive so passengers remain comfortable while the driver stays relaxed and in control.
Our Escalade was powered by a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It had no trouble managing this SUV’s bulk and it did so quietly. Remember, this is a luxury car. No one wants to hear the engine doing its work. It just does its thing unobtrusively in the background while you enjoy that fancy audio system and those supple leather seats.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade offers the luxury, technology, and ride one expects from a luxury car. There might be other luxury SUVs that’ll do the job, but the Escalade makes a lasting impression that’s hard to duplicate.
In this episode, Kristin asks Aaron about the all-new, fully redesigned Rogue and what he thinks of it. Aaron talks about the Nissan Rogue and how it changed the game before and continues to change things for the better now. This is Nissan’s best-selling vehicle and they definitely had to bring an A-game to it.
Watch for Aaron’s full review of the Rogue coming soon.
In this episode, we talk about the new turbocharged engine found in the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback as well as the CX-30. Both labeled “Turbo” models to designate their engine choice, these vehicles greatly benefit from the added power and low-end torque given by the turbocharged addition. Here’s our thoughts on both.
For a full review of the Mazda3 Turbo: https://drivemodeshow.com/2021/03/03/the-2021-mazda3-bring-on-the-turbo/
For a full review of the CX-30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZYdjmo76gs
Talking semi-autonomous safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60s7_sa45gY
Aaron loses all objectivity in this review of the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat. It’s pure awesomeness and probably the greatest family vehicle ever designed, up there with the Pontiac GTO Wagon and other hallmarks of muscle car multi-seaters.