Monday, October 11, 2021

Steer Me! Standouts For 2021!

Check out this 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4XE!

Regardless of a few challenges, 2021 has been an awesome year for automobiles. Let’s continue to spotlight those cars that deserve a little extra shine from various price brackets and styles. Lifestyle writer Andrea Janise is also contributing to this roundup of what’s impressive on the road. See some of these cars and other reviews on my Whips column for
Photography courtesy of the automakers

2021 Mustang Mach-E First Edition eAWD

Admittedly, a compact electric SUV is not super sexy when mentioned, but a five-passenger Mustang Mach-E surely is. This highly anticipated head turner raises the bar for this car segment and will surely bring conversation wherever its driven; this is especially true with its optimal handling, athletic frame, optional signature Rapid Red Metallic exterior, and 19-inch wheels adorned with black accents and red-painted calipers. Under the hood, there’s impressive power regardless of the Select, California Route 1, Premium and GT trims; specs start at 266 horsepower and 6.1 seconds from 0-60 miles per hour all the way to 480 horsepower and 0-60 at 3.8 seconds in the GT. Battery life also has options from 210 to 305 miles on one full charge. (The reviewed model included an 88-kWh extended-range battery and AWD for optimal handling.) 

Note that besides charging stations throughout the US, you can power up the Mach-E with a standard 120-volt outlet, a 240-volt outlet, or an available Ford charging station for the home. Saving money on gas, eliminating emissions, and getting a tax credit up to $7500 while wowing onlookers certainly doesn’t hurt either.

What the sticker says: Starts at $42,895 (MSRP); reviewed with eAWD and Extended Battery is $58,300

For more information, visit

2021 KIA K5 GT  

Entering the market in grand fashion, the all-new K5 line has heads turning for numerous reasons. Shelving the Optima sedan, KIA flexes a lot more muscle with this more sleek, muscular and powerful four-door variation. This GT version reviewed comes stacked with a 2.5-liter, turbo 4-cylinder engine topping out at 290 horsepower, an 8-speed dual clutch transmission, and a panoramic sunroof sitting on 19-inch sport alloy wheels. The special GT 1 Package adds 10.25-inch touchscreen, a BOSE premium sound system, LED projection headlights, the signature UVO link and numerous safety features ideal for this kind of car. Looking stunning especially in Sapphire Blue and incredibly value, KIA did a great job with this addition to the family.

$35,705 MSRP including the GT 1 package costing $4000

For more information, visit


Jeep carries a legion of loyalists for more than half a century and this top-of-the-line Rubicon got more looks than a supermodel. While maintaining the virtually limitless off-road capability this automaker is renowned for, Jeep gets environmentally responsible with this all-new, highly anticipated 4XE plug-in-hybrid version coming in three trims; it blesses drivers with an impressive, combined city/highway 49 miles per gallon-equivalent performance. 
The soft top and doors are removeable after using its custom tool kit for those gorgeous days in the sun, plus a user-friendly infotainment system (Uconnect), spacious “Unlimited” four-door cabin with leather-trimmed seats, push-button start, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, two additional USB ports, an Alpine premium sound system with satellite radio on an 8.4-inch screen, and a plethora of safety features to name a few standouts. As for the heart, it’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (plus two electric motors) with an eight-speed automatic transmission yielding 375 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque, and a 370-mile driving range sitting on rugged 17-inch x 7.5-inch black-painted wheels. Already garnering environmental awards left and right, this Jeep is going to kill it in the second half of 2021 and beyond.

Starts at $51,695 (MSRP); reviewed with optional features in the Customer Preferred Package, it’s $62,660.
For more information, visit

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD RS

This all-new SUV provides drivers with both style and durability in this head-turning vehicle. The 2021 version has upgraded its exterior from its previous Chevrolet model so the body is more attractively sculpted. The Trailblazer’s numerous amenities consist of keyless entry and start; 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity; 10-way power seat adjustment with lumbar control; roof rack and side rails for mounting bikes (or any personal outdoor equipment); Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability; wireless charging; and Bose Premium 7-speaker system. The Trailblazer does not disappoint when it comes to safety with the automatic emergency breaking, lane departure warning and forward collision alert coming standard in every vehicle. We also appreciated the combined 28 MPG for short and long trips. This value and style combined make the Trailblazer a great option for those wanting a vehicle that will fit a busy and ever-changing lifestyle.

$30,580 MSRP as reviewed
For more information,

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

If you are looking for safety coupled with reliability and performance, the upgraded Subaru Crosstrek will fit certainly the bill. Consistently providing the dependability we have come to love from the Subaru name, the 2021 Sport model comes standard with the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine—making it the most powerful of the line—and a new exterior trim element giving it a more rugged look, while maintaining a combined 29 MPG. Standard features include keyless entry with push button start, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration and Bluetooth connectivity, a 6-speaker audio system, dual USB charging ports in both front and rear consoles, roof rails and a power moonroof. The adventurous motorists will appreciate the water-repellant StarTex upholstery beautified by yellow contrast stitching, and durable floormats made from recycled materials. 
Regarding safety, the Crosstrek’s advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, tire pressure monitoring system with individual wheel display, blind spot detection and rear seat reminder will steadily give you peace of mind. Base prices starting as low as $22,245 MSRP, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek combines affordability and appeal for a truly multi-functional and worry-free vehicle.

$26,495 MSRP as reviewed
For more information,

There are a good number of redesigned vehicles that hit the market this year, and the Buick Envision is one of the more welcomed alterations in 2021. The standout change is the muscle under hood; the engine is now a four-cylinder turbo version powered by 228 horses, while the ride remains smooth with AWD maneuverability. Justifying its luxury compact SUV designation, standards include 4G LTE WiFi; 18-inch aluminum wheels with a charcoal metallic finish; remote start; handsfree liftgate; dual-zone climate control; a user-friendly infotainment system with a 10-inch touch screen; various drive modes; numerous driver assistance features via the Buick Driver Confidence Plus (lane change alert, departure warning, rear parking assist, front pedestrian braking); plus the beloved OnStar service GM provides. The Technology Package is a highly recommended option thanks to the HD Surround Vision; a Bose nine-speaker premium audio system; wireless charging; wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; head-up display; and front park assist. Promising reliability and a competitive price tag compared to the Envision’s classmates also ease the mind when considering a long-term buy. Nice job, Buick!

Starts at $37,600 (MSRP); reviewed with optional features in the Technology Package, it’s $41,790.
For more information, visit

Future Shock!

Check out what the future has in store for us in 2022!


2021 Hyundai Veloster N + 2022 Veloster N M/T

Let’s be frank: Hyundai is killing it. One of the reasons for such a successful boom is their aggressive approach to design, quality upgrades and increased power allotment; the 2021 Veloster N is a perfect example coming in both automatic (8-speed Wet Dual Clutch Transmission with paddle shifters) and the 2022 close-ratio 6-speed manual (M/T).

Hyundai is showing racing enthusiasts major love with its N series, named after the research and development center for high-performance automobiles based in Namyang, South Korea, and world-famous test track in Nürburgring, Germany. Racing means muscle, and the Veloster gets an aggressive jolt—a 2.0-liter turbo engine packing 275 horses and 260 lb.-ft. of torque—in both trims. The N Grin Control System provides five driving modes, plus electronic controlled suspension with 5 G-Force sensors, and sport exhaust for extra roar. This series also has its exclusive embellishments to please the eye from the glowing “N” on the racing seats, to the 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli tires, two-stage rear spoiler, custom “N” floor mats, glossy black side mirrors, and leather-wrapped steering wheel to help terrorize the roads. Coming with a plethora of standard safety features, high-tech amenities, and generous free maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles (whatever comes first), there is virtually nothing negative to say about the Veloster N and M/T. (See what I did there?)

Look for other models of the Hyundai legion to be presented in the N version soon as well.

The 2021 N is $34,745 (MSRP); The 2022 N M/T is $33,525.

For more information, visit




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