by Gabrielle DeSantis

The 2021 Lexus RX is a midsize luxury SUV with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. There’s a hybrid option and some pretty great safety features. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Lexus RX a Top Safety Pick Award, so on top of everything else, the 2021 Lexus RX is safe. Let’s look at what makes this a great SUV. 

2021 Lexus RX | Lexus

What is an IIHS Top Safety Pick award?

To be awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must score a good rating in all of the IIHS crashworthy ratings. These include the driver-side small overlap front, the passenger-side small overlap front, and the moderate overlap front. In addition to these front crash tests, the vehicle must get a good score in the side crash tests, roof strength, and head restraint tests. 

Additionally, the vehicle must have an advanced or superior in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. Headlights, often overlooked by car shoppers, must have a good or acceptable rating available. Oftentimes one trim level has good headlight ratings while another trim level does not, so it’s important to check the test results of the trim level you’re considering purchasing. 

There is also a Top Safety Pick+ award, which is given when a vehicle aces all of the tests. Although the Lexus RX didn’t get that, a Top Safety Pick award is still pretty great. 

How crashworthy is the 2021 Lexus RX?

One of the things that makes the 2021 Lexus RX safe is its crash test ratings. The 2021 RX got a good score for small overlap front: driver-side. Within this category are subcategories, including structure and safety cage, driver injury measures, and driver restraints and dummy kinematics. The Lexus RX got a good score in each of these categories. 

Similarly, the small overlap front: passenger-side category and subcategories were all good. So were the moderate overlap front subcategory results. 

Side crash test ratings were also all good. These subcategories contain similar elements to the front crash tests: overall, structure and safety cage, driver injury measures. There’s also driver head protection and rear passenger injury measures, as well as rear passenger head protection. 

How is the roof strength, head restraints and seats?

A Lexus RX is crash tested.
Lexus RX is crash-tested | Lexus

The roof strength in the 2021 Lexus RX got a good score. It has a curb weight of 4,410 pounds, a peak force of 21,136 pounds, and a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.79. The IIHS finds the strength-to-weight ratio by crushing the vehicle by five inches. The amount of force it takes to do that is the resulting score. You want a good score in the event of a rollover; the roof shouldn’t give in easily. 

Head restraints and seats in the 2021 Lexus RX all got good scores including overall, dynamic rating and seat/head restraint geometry. 

How is the crash prevention?

The IIHS tested the standard Lexus Safety System + 2.0 Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, and gave it a superior rating. Not only did it meet the requirements for forward collision warning, but it also avoided a collision in the IIHS 12 mph and 25 mph tests. 

The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection got an advanced rating. In the 12 mph  crossing child test it avoided a collision, and in the 25 mph test, it reduced speed by 20 mph. In the 12 mph crossing adult test, it avoided a collision, and in the 25 mph test, it reduced speed by 22 mph. In the 25 mph parallel adult test, the Lexus RX avoided a collision, and in the 37 mph test, it reduced speed by 25 mph and a warning was issued 1.8 seconds before impact. 

The headlights ratings weren’t as good as the rest of the 2021 Lexus RX. Trim level headlight ratings range from poor to acceptable. You’ll definitely want to check out which headlights your Lexus RX is coming with.

Overall, the 2021 Lexus RX is a pretty safe car. As long as you pay attention to the headlights you’re getting, you should have a safe vehicle. Of course, careful driving is the best way to avoid an accident. 

RELATED: Toyota Ordered to Pay $194 Million to Family in Lexus Crash

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by Gabrielle DeSantis

Looking for some of the best new hybrid SUVs on the market this year? The Honda CR-V Hybrid, Kia Niro PHEV, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and Toyota Highlander Hybrid made the list. What did Consumer Reports think about these options? Most of them scored fairly well.

Is the Honda CR-V Hybrid worth it?

The Honda CR-V Hybrid compact crossover SUV is a Consumer Reports pick | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Autoblog put together a list of a few new hybrid SUVs on the market. The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid gets 38 mpg combined in the all-wheel-drive option. The CR-V has a ton of cargo area and is highly rated by brands like Consumer Reports. The CR-V received an overall score of 82. On the list of compact sport utility vehicles, this SUV ranked at number three overall. The predicted reliability came in at a four out of five, which is still an excellent score.

The CR-V has many standard safety features like forward collision warning, emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane departure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the SUV five out of five stars for the overall crash, frontal crash, and side crash ratings. The hybrid engine is torquey enough and checks all the boxes drivers might want. The Hybrid EX starts at $30,560.

Is there a 2021 Kia Niro PHEV?

The Kia Niro and Kia Niro PHEV are both small in stature and price. The Niro Hybrid starts at $24,690, while the plug-in hybrid starts at $29,590. The Niro electric vehicle starts at $39,090. The hybrid combined fuel economy is between 49 mpg and 43 mpg. The Niro plug-in gets from 0-26 miles all-electric range and 105 MPGe (Combined).

It has some user-friendly infotainment systems, but it is a pretty compact SUV. So if buyers are looking for a lot of room, this might not be big enough. However, the price point gets you a lot further for less cash. Consumer Reports gave the Niro a score of 62 and was picked as a Green Choice.

Which is better, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or RAV4 Prime?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid starts at $38,800, and the RAV4 Prime starts at $38,250. For the hybrid combined fuel economy, it gets 40 mpg. The plug-in hybrid electric range is 42 miles, and the fuel economy is 94 MPGe. Compared to the Niro, the RAV4 has a lot more room.

Being that it is a Toyota, the resale value and reliability are pretty great. CR gave it a 69 overall and a 72 on the road test. It also came in ninth out of 24 compact SUVs. The interior is well built, and the RAV4 has a variety of trim levels and styles. Overall, the RAV4 is an option buyer shouldn’t overlook.

Is it worth buying a Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

The 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has the best fuel economy for a three-row crossover SUV. The inside is upscale and has room in the cargo area, but the third-row is tight. It gets 35 mpg with the all-wheel-drive option and is priced at $38,735. Compared to some similar SUVs like the Kia Telluride, the Highlander is smaller but gets about 14 mpg better.

The price for the hybrid is less than $1,500 more than the regular Highlander, too. Whatever the case, the same reliability from Toyota is packed in this option like the RAV4. CR scored the Highlander fairly high with an 84 overall. The road test scored a pretty impressive 86. It was third out of 15 on the list of midsized SUVs with three rows.

These options blend the reliability of the gasoline options with the fuel economy of hybrids. Though some of the SUVs on the list might cost a little extra, it will pay for itself fairly quickly.

RELATED: 2021 Mazda CX-5 vs. Subaru Forester: Compact Crossover Comparison

The post 4 Best New Hybrid SUVs for 2021, Including the Honda CR-V appeared first on MotorBiscuit.

by Gabrielle DeSantis

It seems like the Ford Ranger was reintroduced only yesterday. But time flies and the 2022 Ford Ranger is already being redesigned to include some incredible upgrades. The Ranger is getting even better with upgrades that even go back to its roots. 

The 2022 Ford Ranger is getting fresh upgrades 

2022 Ford Ranger rendering | Car Expert

The current Ranger returned in 2019, so the updates may feel a little fast. However, the Ranger has been available in other markets for the last decade. That’s why a refresh is already on the way.

According to Motor Authority, the 2022 Ford Ranger is getting a little bigger and smaller. New spy shots reveal that single and Super Cab versions are on the way. The Single Cab will really provide the Ranger with a nostalgic feel. Also, in some markets, an SUV body will be offered. 

The 2022 Ranger is expected to borrow styling cues from the 2021 Ford F-150. Despite being heavily covered in camouflage, you can see that the new Ranger has a similar headlight design. The Super Cab body also includes a sport bar. 

How much power does new Ford Ranger have? 

2022 ford Ranger Single Cab spy shot
2022 ford Ranger Single Cab spy shot | Motor Authority

The 2022 Ford Ranger will have close ties with the Ford Bronco because it will ride on the updated version of the T6 body-on-frame platform. The updated platform is a little larger and can support hybrid technology. 

Therefore, it’s safe to expect the Ranger to carry the same powertrains. But this is purely speculation at the moment. The Bronco has a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four with 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 330 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. The Ranger may be offered with a seven-speed manual and a 10-speed automatic transmission too. 

The current Ford Ranger has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 7,500 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,860 lbs. This is an excellent amount of power, so these figures may not increase. 

It’s currently unclear which electric options Ford has planned for the Ranger. It could receive a plug-in hybrid variant before going fully electric. Also, the Ford Ranger Raptor may be the only option available with the twin-turbo V6. 

How much does the 2022 Ford Ranger cost? 

The 2022 Ford Ranger is expected to begin at around $26,000. This would be for the base model with two-wheel drive. According to Kelley Blue Book, higher trim levels such as the Ranger Raptor could increase the price to about $50,00. The XLT Crew Cab with the FX4 Package could start around $40,000. 

Its price will be well worth it, thanks to the exterior and interior upgrades. It’s safe to expect a larger touchscreen with ford’s new Sync 4 infotainment system. The current model offers an 8-inch screen. 

There could be a 12.8-inch vertical display near the center console with a 10.25-inch digital cluster display. Rumors suggest that Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available with a layout similar to the Mustang Mach-E’s.

The new Ford Ranger is expected to be available during the first quarter of 2022. So hopefully, we will learn more about its redesign by the end of summer. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

RELATED: 3 Big Reasons the Ford Ranger Is Better Than the Toyota Tacoma

The post The 2022 Ford Ranger Has Major Changes Coming appeared first on MotorBiscuit.

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Kia has been working to improve its reputation as well as the performance of all of its vehicles. Now that it’s becoming more reliable on the road, Kia is seeing success with some of its lineup, including vehicles like the Kia Niro

MotorTrend reports that the Niro will be offering more with its EV model, but the price will remain the same as before. What’s new with this model and how well does it perform? Let’s see what MotorTrend thinks about the EV version of the Niro.

What’s new for the 2021 Kia Niro EV?

The Kia Niro EV | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

There are some sweet new changes with this model of the Kia Niro EV, but don’t expect them to include any performance improvements or design elements with either the interior or exterior of the crossover SUV. In fact, as MotorTrend reports, it looks and drives just like the 2020 model. So, what’s the difference between the two versions?

This year’s model kept things to a minimum. What you get are more standard features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now come standard using the wireless version instead of the wired connection it had in the previous model. Both offer specific benefits to its own respective group of users. You also get a standard rear-occupant alert, and remote start function so that you can pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle before driving. 

The list goes on, though. The Kia Niro EV also offers the new DriveWise driver’s assistance package. This will gain you a leading vehicle departure alert, which will detect the movements of the car in front of you. It also offers navigation-based adaptive cruise control, and the Level 2 driving assist. 

How much does the Kia Niro EV cost, and what features do you get?

If you’re looking at the base model, the Kia Niro EX, you can expect to pay $39,000 for the all-electric version, according to U.S. News. The EX version is only one of two Niro models that offer the all-electric powertrain. This particular model gets you heated front seats, cloth upholstery, wireless device charging, electronic stability control, integrated turn signal mirrors, and daytime running lights. 

The EX Premium comes in at $44,600 and is the other Niro model offering not just an all-electric version, but also a plug-in hybrid powertrain. With this model, you can expect heated and ventilated front seating, rear parking sensors, synthetic leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel. 

How well does the Kia Niro EV perform?

The Kia Niro EV is powered by an electric motor that can produce 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. This model, like other EVs, gives power to the accelerator pedal instantly, while other non-EV versions build it up and then release it. 

When it comes to driving range, the Kia Niro EV has one of the best in the class with an estimated 239 miles. The biggest drawback, however, is the charging time. For a Level 2 charging system, which is often used at home, it can take around 10 hours to fully charge the vehicle. If you can get to a Level 3 charger, that time drops to an hour or so.

MotorTrend also remarked that the Kia Niro EV handled pretty well for an electric vehicle. The same can be said for its direct, responsive steering. It just made for an all-around fun drive, especially when you compare it to the Niros with the hybrid powertrains. 

All in all, the Kia Niro EV is offering more this year, even though it’s not improving its driving dynamics or its overall performance. What it is doing is giving you more features standard, which will help tremendously with how much you end up spending on your EV. 

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Niro Is 1 of the Most Fuel-Efficient Hybrid SUVs to Buy

The post The 2021 Kia Niro EV Is Giving You More at No Added Cost appeared first on MotorBiscuit.