News Roundup: Held Horses, Most Stolen Vehicles, 1,075 lb-ft Ram, More
This week in the news, the Bronco is delayed, Canada's most-stolen vehicles are revealed, Mazda's turbocharged CX-30 gets a price, there's a refreshed Honda Accord, a beefier RAM HD, and far more Hyundai Kona EVs arriving
Ford has confirmed that the new Bronco in two and four-door versions is being delayed until summer. That’s because of production issues related to COVID-19, the automaker says. Reservation holders will have until March 19th to get their dealer and order finalised, Ford said. To go with the start of production being pushed back from spring, the Sasquatch off-road package with the seven-speed manual, a late addition to the lineup, will now be delayed until model year 2022. It’s not yet clear if that means calendar 2022, or just later in 2021. This doesn’t affect the Bronco Sport, which should be hitting dealers shortly.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada changed how they made their annual Top 10 Stolen Vehicles list this year, and going by overall thefts instead of making it based on the number left on the road has made for an almost completely new list. While previous years had been mostly pre-2008 Ford Super Duty pickups, this year’s most stolen was the 2018 Honda CR-V. IBC’s list was mostly crossovers from Honda and Toyota/Lexus, and the research suggested that many of these were being chopped up for parts or shipped overseas, while in Ontario, more theft was related to street racing activities. To help keep your car where you left it, IBC suggests not leaving your keyless entry remote in the vehicle or near your front door, to install an immobiliser or tracking device, and to ensure your vehicle is left with windows and doors locked, and don’t leave it running.
Mazda is following the classic performance car pattern of putting its most powerful engine into one of its smallest vehicles. The CX-30 compact crossover is getting a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 227 hp (250 on 93-octane), and that 250 figure is 95 hp more than the base 2.0-litre engine (with more than double the torque). It’s a still-healthy 64 hp upgrade over the CX-30’s uplevel 2.5 NA four. The Mazda CX-30 Turbo will be offered only on the top-spec GT trim arriving at dealers next month. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo will start from $36,250 with standard all-wheel drive.
For 2021 the Honda Accord is getting a light styling refresh including new grille and headlights. Inside it gets improved Honda Sensing driver aids, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and low-speed braking control. The 2021 Accord starts with a new SE trim that replaces the LX but it raises the starting price significantly to $32,305. Top of the Accord line is the Hybrid Touring at $42,805. Both the 1.5T and 2.0T models see the same power figures as last year, with the 1.5T gaining Stop/Start. The Hybrid has been tweaked for more EV power use and more natural (ie. gas-like) driving characteristics.
The 2021 Ram Heavy Duty sees upgraded towing capacity and torque on top-spec models. Able to tow up to 37,100 lb when properly equipped, it now has a more than 1,000 lb over the next-closest competitor. The 6.7L Cummins diesel High Output engine has climbed from 1,000 lb-ft in 2020 to offering 1,075 lb-ft for 2021, again making it the highest in-class. Other changes include a digital rear view mirror camera display and a new power plug available in the bed.
Hyundai has massively increased the number of Kona Electric models coming to Canada this year, and that’s likely to continue into next year as sales warrant. Just 2,600 were imported in 2019, but thanks to a new factory for Europe this year 7,900 will come in. That has let Hyundai meet a backlog of orders, but it will also let Hyundai dealers have Kona EVs in stock to let buyers check out and drive the 415 km EV, something that couldn’t do before the increase.