News Roundup: Jeep Finds Luxury and Solace with the Grand Wagoneer and Plug-in Wrangler
This week in the news: VW shows off the ID.4 EV interior, Honda and GM say they're pairing up, Ram gives the 1500 some new tech, the Hyundai Kona gets a facelift and Kia prices the K5. Plus we've got one from Aston that's just nice to look at.
The big news of the week was in luxury, but no, we’re not talking about the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Rolls-Royce Ghost. We mean the Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept. You can get the full story of the premium SUV here, but the basics are that heritage-inspired grille, calling back to early Wagoneers, and up to 45-inches of dashboard screens with one for the driver, one for the passenger, and two in the middle. There are wood and aluminum accents, and both a PHEV driveline and the ability to tow 10,000 lbs. This is still billed as a concept, but the production version is set to hit early next year. Go here for more information: Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept
Letting you off-road silently is the new Wrangler 4Xe. It’s a PHEV based on the 2.0L turbo-four and manages 375 hp with 470 lb-ft of torque. Yes, it still has proper low range and the fuel economy estimate is 4.7 L/100 km. It’ll also do about 40 km on electric power only and the battery is protected from bashing and water. Here’s our full look for more: Jeep Wrangler 4Xe
Volkswagen’s first electric crossover will be the ID.4, and while the full reveal is later in the month, this is the interior. Simple, flowing, and minimalist. There’s a tiny dash screen, a larger one for infotainment, and storage of close to 600L behind the rear seats making this a very well optimised crossover. Expect more when the full reveal happens.
The Hyundai Kona gets an all-new nose this year that’s a little more mature than the original, but no less funky. It’s 40 mm longer than before, and Hyundai says it offers more cargo and rear seat space. Inside is also redone with new colours and materials as well as an optional digital dashboard. CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless, and the active safety suite adds a wide range of extras including radar cruise and blind spot collision avoidance.
Honda and GM have announced they are planning a North American strategic alliance. If that sounds odd, the two have already shared engines, autonomous tech, EV powertrains, and even OnStar. This alliance would see the two share platforms in North America, gas and EV, with engineering work on the collaborations starting next year. Parts sharing and common engineering reduces costs for both and could make better vehicles as each brings its strengths to the table. No word yet on what vehicles will share bits.
The Ram 1500 gets a new trailer reverse steering control option that uses a camera in the tail and a dashboard dial to make it easier to reverse your trailer and let the truck do much of the work. Ford offers a similar system. There is also a new head-up display on top trims and an available digital camera rear mirror, much like GM’s. Ram has also made some active safety features more available and added a new Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary trim.
Kia’s K5 will come to Canada with three trims to start, LX, EX, and GT-Line. All with standard all-wheel drive and a 1.6L turbo-four. Later a GT will arrive with 290 hp from a larger four with front-drive. K5 starts just $1,100 more than 2020’s Optima despite the AWD and new tech like wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. Kia says it’s roomier, quieter, and has lots of driver aid tech, starting from $29,595.
The Chrysler Pacifica and new Grand Caravan arrive soon. The former is largely new with a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, Uconnect5, all-wheel drive, and a PHEV model along with higher-grade interior fitments starting from $47,785. The new nose has standard LED headlights. The latter is all-new if you look at the badge but is mostly last year’s Pacifica with a few updates. It’s the value-oriented model, starting from $37,995, about $2,000 less than last year’s Pacifica.
This one-off isn’t really news, but it’s a long weekend so we thought you’d enjoy a look. The Aston Martin Victor is a one-off that celebrates the original Aston V8. An 847 hp V12, loads of carbon (on the chassis of the One-77), and those looks!