2020 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: MicroCompact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain

When the Sport Utility Vehicle trend began, most vehicles in the segment were truck-based, body-on-frame vehicles. Even if initially truck based, many SUVs have morphed into car-based Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs). CUVs look like trucks, but  most feature space-efficient unibody construction, good space efficiency and drive like cars, which is no surprise as many share the same platforms as passenger cars made by their respective manufacturers. Not only has the segment grown, it has segmented as well. Lemon-Aid has expanded the SUV section over the years, reflecting the growth of the segment as well as new categories within it. With Micro, Compact, MidSize, Luxury and All-terrain, Lemon-Aid covers five distinct categories of SUV for 2020. 

The CUV format has moved into bigger and bigger vehicles. The Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Infiniti QX60, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander all have three rows of seats and ample cargo space, if not necessarily at the same time.

The newest trend in the CUV market is the Micro segment, which takes a popular format in a smaller direction, enhancing both affordability and making the vehicle more practical for congested urban habitats. 

Truck-based SUVs, once at the core of the market, have been pushed to the margins of the segment. The Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota 4Runner are the last quasi-affordable body-on-frame SUVs still available. Impressive towing capacity and astounding off-road capabilities are the key advantages that the truck-based vehicles have over the more common CUVs.

Micro CUVs
The only all-new vehicles in this segment for 2020 are GM's new twins-under-the-skin, the Buick Encore GX and Chevrolet Trailblazer. About the only other news for 2020 is a mid-cycle update for the Nissan Qashqui that adds a host of active safety features.  

Compact CUVs
Compact CUVs represent the bulk of sales in the crossover segment. There only all-new model for 2020 is the Ford Escape, but two big players in the segment, the Honda CR-V and the Kia Sportage, feature mid-cycle updates this year.  

Midsize CUVs
The 2020 Hyundai Pallisade and Kia Telluride were introduced in mid-2019 to wide acclaim. New for 2020 is the Ford Explorer which retains a unibody structure but switches to a rear-wheel biased all-wheel drive system. Mazda's CX-9 three-row crossover undergoes a mid-cycle refresh for 2020.   

Chevrolet Equinox  Hyundai Tucson  Kia Sportage  Nissan Rogue 
Dodge Journey  Jeep Cherokee  Mazda CX-5  Subaru Forester 
Ford Escape  Jeep Compass  Mitsubishi Outlander  Toyota RAV4 
Honda CRV  Kia Sorento  Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross  Volkswagen Tiguan 
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport       

 

2020 Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain

 

What’s new
Equinox: New Midnight and Sport trim options. Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking are standard for 2020. Terrain: no news of note for the Terrain this year. The diesel engine option has been discontinued. 

Comments

The base engine is a 170 horsepower 1.5L turbo four, with a 2L turbo four with 252 horsepower, optional. The 1.5L is hooked up to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, with the stout 2L attached to a nine-speed automatic.
The overall elegance of the Equinox is undermined by its busy frontal treatment and side embellishments that do little than impart visual discord. That said, the bright detailing around the windows is very well judged. The cabin of the Equinox reflects the current School of Chevrolet design ethos, with a dashboard that looks lifted directly from the Malibu sedan. The rest of the interior, with pleasing shapes, some attractive colour combinations and matte finished hard surfaces, is very stylish. The dashboard of the Equinox is stocked with clear instruments and simple, logical controls. There is ample rear legroom and cargo space inside the Equinox. The front seats are comfortable but the small voids in the lower outboard rear seat backrest, meant to permit easy seat folding, leave some occupants feeling unsupported. The Terrain is a rather bland design that lacks the distinctive "trucky" visual punch of its predecessor. The Equinox is still built in Canada but the Terrain is imported from Mexico.  

Pricing

Equinox: Broader model range than the Terrain with the cheapest trim, the front wheel drive LS, being $4000 cheaper the base SLE Terrain. The base Equinox is not as well equipped as the base Terrain but is a much less expensive way to acquire a vehicle buily on this architecture. The Equinox offers more engine and trim options, permitting a buyer to pick the top Premier trim while retaining the base 1.5L engine. Fully-equipped, the Equinox is roughly 10 percent cheaper than the Terrain, with the Terrain offering nothing of significance for the extra outlay. All wheel drive, standard on the Premier, is a $2400 option on the LS and LT models. The LT trim upgrade adds deep tinted glass, a power seat and a power driver's seat for a tempting price. The top-of-the-range Premier adds a plethora of equipment such as blind sport and rear cross traffic monitors, a power tailgate and leather seating and is very good value if you like its additional equipment. The 2L turbo four is a $3200 option on the LT and costs an extra $3000 on the Premier. Terrain: Moving up from the SLE to the SLT trim has enough additional equipment to justify its price but it also includes the 252 horsepower 2L turbo, 82 more than the 1.5L. With leather seating and the 2L turbo, buyers seeking those features don't need to upgrade to the Denali. The top Denali trim is good value as it adds navigation, an upgraded audio system, cooled front seats as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, but is expensive. Exceptional lease value for 2020. 

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. GM new cars generate fewer complaints than they used to.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-4 T  (170 HP)*, 2L‑4  T (252 HP) 

Transmissions: 6A* , 9A 

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*


City Fuel Economy:  9.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.0L/100 km

Active Safety Features:  Equinox: Standard forward collision warning, including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, a lane departure warning and a lane keep assist system. Optional adaptive cruise control, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. Terrain: Standard forward collision warning, including pedestrians and autonomous emergency braking.Optional blind spot monitor.  

Additional airbags:  None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2018
Country of Origin: Canada (Equinox), Mexico (Terrain)

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: M

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Dodge Journey

 

 

 

What’s new
The Journey returns for its 12th year on the market in SE and Crossroad trims powered by a 2.4L four driving the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. Three-row seating is standard on the Journey for 2020. 
Performance
The 2.4L four has enough power to move the Journey at a reasonable clip, but except when cruising, the engine sounds harsh and wheezy. Good ride and handling for a vehicle of this type. The steering is nicely weighted but feels numb. Elegant dashboard with clear gauges and logical controls. The cabin is carefully assembled from attractive components. Cabin space is ample in the first two rows, but the third row is meant for the small and agile. The second and third row seats fold to reveal a long, regularly-shaped cargo bed that is deep Cargo space is tight when the third seat is up.
Comments
Only one engine, a 2.4L four, is offered this year. The sole transmission for 2020 is a four-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels. With just 2184 units sold last year compared with the 5777 in 2018 and 13,000 in 2017, the Journey is on a fast track to oblivian.       

Pricing
At just over $26,000, the base Journey SE is a large package for the money but is an incredibly old design. The $1495 SE Popular equipment group adds dual zone climate control, a power driver's seat and rear climate control, at a tempting price. Likely most Journeys ordered by dealers will have the SE Popular equipment package. Though the Crossroad adds leather seating and navigation, its price bump over an SE with the Popular equipment package looks to be about $3000 overpriced.
Reliability
Below average reliability long-term reliability predicted.   

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/3, 2/3/2

Engines:
2.4L-4 (173 HP)

Transmissions: 4A,

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive


City Fuel Economy: 12.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 9.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additonal airbags: Knee airbag for the driver

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2009
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: M

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Ford Escape

 

NEW

What’s new
 After seven long years on the market, Ford finally renews the Escape.

Comments
While roughly the same length and height as previously, the new Escape is 96.5 mm (3.8 inches) wider than its predecessor. Styling swaps the hard-edged boxiness of the previous Escape for a rounded form that gives more than a nod to design forms used by Porsche on its crossovers. Despite just a marginally longer wheelbase than before, rear seat legroom is much better than before and rear comfort is further enhanced by more substantial seats and extra space between rear seat passengers due to the substantial increase in the width of the vehicle. Cargo space is good. The cabin is a very conservative design and very much in the current Ford styling idiom. On the Titanium trim, the driver faces a transistor film technology gauge cluster, a large info-screen dominates the top centre of the dashboard and the climate and audio controls are straightforward. A rotary dial gear selector replaces the traditional mechanical one used previously. Except for the unattractive faux wood trim, the cabin materials are quite attractive.
The familiar 2L turbo four returns for 2020, but the new base engine is a 1.5L three-cylinder turbo engine that produces 180 horsepower. Ford discontinued its Escape hybrid when it launched the ill-fated and unpopular C-Max, but returns with two hybrid Escapes for 2020. The conventional hybrid model employs a 2.5L normally aspirated four as well as electric motors to furnish 198 total system horsepower. Ford will evntually market a PHEV (plug-in hybrid) variant which is rated at 209 horsepower. Power reaches the the wheels via a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission on the gasoline models and an electronic CVT on the hybrids. 
Driven briefly in 2L form, the Escape is fast, flexible, and is more refined than many of the 2L turbos powering luxury brands. The lusty 2L four is hooked up to a conventional hydraulic eight-speed automatic transmission that is well matched to the power characteristics of the engine. The steering of the Escape is light but precise and the ride-handling compromise arrived at by Ford reflects a lot of hard work.

The APA had an opportunity to drive a new-generation Escape powered by the segment-first three-cylinder engine. With 180 horsepower, the 1.5 T accelerates with vigour, revs eagerly and cruises at low revs. While the engine really delivers in terms of fuel economy, smoothness is another matter. Around town, the engine sounds like a quiet diesel but is mechanically smooth as it revs. The harmonic imbalances inherent with the three-cylinder layout are most evident in the 1500 to 2000 rpm range, which corresponds with top-gear operation at most posted speed limits. Most passengers asked what the sonic rumbling was, aware that Escape had an unusual engine. Certainly the new 1.5L triple is not as smooth as the 1.5L turbo four that was the mainstream engine in the Escape last year. Turning up the audio system does not eliminate the the imbalance as it is felt as well as heard. The eight-speed automatic transmission seeks the highest possible gear, a common strategy to log the best fuel economy possible on U.S. government fuel economy tests. The transmission upshifts smoothly and downshifts eagerly. Ford will have to work harder to eliminate the sonic rumbling of the 1.5L three but could have also altered gearing to get the engine out of its rumbly rev. zone at most posted speed limits. The auto-start system can be turned off but must be cancelled each time the Escape was re-started. Instead of restarting when the driver lifts their foot from the brake, Ford requires the driver to place their foot on the gas pedal to get the engine moving again. The automatic transmission has no creep feature when in Drive, requiring the gas pedal to be pushed to move when maneuvering the vehicle at low speeds. Observed fuel economy of 10.3L/100 km in mild, late spring conditions, was no better than four-cylinder competitors. 

Like its 2L showroom mate, the 1.5L Escape is very well sorted for a mainstream crossover. Ford has arrived as a pleasant ride-handling compromise. Steering is nicely weighted and quick, but does feel just slightly nervous at highway speeds. 

The interior of our heavily optionned SEL model (leather, dual-panel sunroof and navigation) was equipped so comprehensively that there is no real reason to move up to the Titanium trim. The interior is generally very well presented but Ford should have spent a bit more money on the analogue gauges in mainstream models and also on the faux alloy trim, which looks decidedly faux. With comfortable seats and abundant space, the Escape is a worthy travel capsule for full-sized adults. Cargo space is ample. The Escape;s air-conditioning works well enough and both the seat heaters and heated steering wheel warm very quickly.  



Pricing
All-wheel drive, which is only standard on the 2L Titanium trim, is a $1500 option on all conventional and hybrid models. All trims are equipped with blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors as well as the Ford CoPilot 360 active safety system. The SE trim upgrade includes Keyless Go and a power seat and is good value. Migrating up to the SEL model adds reversing sonar and a heated steering wheel among other things, and is reasonably priced. The Titanium forces the powerful 2L engine under the hood and adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a TFT gauge package, a name-brand audio system, leather upholstery, active parking and navigation, for a very reasonable premium. The CoPilot 360 Plus Assist system costs only $850 and includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go as well as navigation. The all-wheel drive hybrid variant of the Titanium is actually priced $2000 lower than its conventional 2L equivalent. No pricing is available for the plug-in hybrid but it will be eligible for rich incentives from both the Federal government and Quebec, which will make it more popular than the regular hybrid. The Escape is a poor lease value for 2020. 

Reliability
Reliability is unknown on this all-new vehicle. The 2L turbo is a known quantity but the new 1.5L turbo triple, both versions of the hybrid and the new eight-speed automatic transmission, are unproven. The its first few years of production, the previous Escape was rated well below average for reliability.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-3 T  (180 HP)*, 2L‑4 T (250 HP),  2.5L-4 H (198 HP), 2.5L-4 H Plug-in (209 HP) 
 
Transmissions: 8A, CVT (hybrids) 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  8.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors. Optional adaptive cruise control with stop and go. 

Additional airbags:  Driver's side knee airbag


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2020
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: M

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Honda CR-V

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle refresh with minor exterior styling updates and cabin revisions. The Honda Sensing safety suite is now standard on all models for 2020. The previous EX model has been replaced by the Sport trim and a new Black appearance package has been introduced. Wireless cellphone charging is a new feature on the Touring trim for 2020. A CR-V hybrid was announced for the U.S. market but Honda Canada has not made a similar announcement as of April 2020. 

Performance
The 1.5L turbo four and CVT is quick and flexible, but is a bit throaty at full throttle and drones annoyingly while accelerating gently. Handling is near the best in this segment but the ride can get a touch choppy on rough pavement. Precise steering and strong braking.  
Spacious interior with abundant rear seat legroom. The front seats are not universally appreciated as the pronounced bulge at the front of the bottom cushion can cause some people discomfort. The rear seat is very comfortable. Easy to scan gauges but the infotainment controls are designed more for looks than ease of use.

Comments
The CR-V is powered by a 1.5L turbo four that produces a stout 190 horsepower in the CR-V. A CVT is the sole transmission available. Most buyers will pick all-wheel drive, but a front-wheel drive LX trim variant be available to advertise a low MSRP and also meet the needs of customers who like the ride height, space and versatility of the CR-V but do not need all-wheel drive or too many frills. 

Pricing

With heated seats, the Honda Sensing active safety suite, remote starting and alloy wheels all standard, even the base front-wheel drive LX is well equipped. All-wheel drive, standard on other trims, is a $2800 option on the LX. The Sport trim upgrade, which adds a power driver's seat, heated steering wheel and a power-operated tailgate, is good value. The EX-L model introduces leather upholstery without having to move up to the Touring trim. Compared with the EX-L, the Touring model, which adds blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, as well as a large format sunroof and navigation, is good value but many buyers are opting for the EX-L and using the iOS-Android cellphone interface for navigation. The new Black Edition offers little for the money asked. The CR-V has traditionally had strong resale value may be hurt by engine failures and poor cold weather and heating performance from the 1.5L turbo that Honda hasn't properly addressed to restore confidence in the vehicle. The CR-V is an exceptional lease value for 2020.  

Reliability
Numerous complaints on 2017 and 2018 models regarding gasoline contamination of the engine oil on some on some engines and poor heater output in cold weather. Honda claimed to have taken corrective action to address the problems for the 2019 model year but complaints are still being received. An extended powertrain warranty would be a prudent move for those not leasing a CR-V. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-4 T(190 HP) 

Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 8.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.4L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. Optional blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors

Additional Airbags: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Canada, United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: M

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Hyundai Santa Fe 

 

What’s new
A rear seat occupant alert and a rear seat quiet mode are all standard on the base Essential trim for 2020. The sliding rear seat has been deleted for 2020. Both the 2.4L and 2L turbo Preferred models offer a Sun and Leather package for 2020. 

Comments
The current Santa Fe follows Hyundai's move toward more barocque styling themes. The cabin is stylish, roomy and comfortable. A 2,2L diesel was announced when the car was introduced but references to the engine have disappeared. Two familiar Hyundai engines, a normally-apirated 2.4L four and a turbocharged 2L four, return for 2020. The sole transmission offered is a conventional eight-speed automatic. 

Pricing
Except for the base Essential model where it is a $2000 option, all-wheel drive is standard on all Santa Fe's this year. An active safety suite (SmartSense $1200) option equips the base car in a pleasing manner. The Preferred trim upgrade, with blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, the SmartSense safety suite, dual zone climate control, and Keyless Go, among other things, is tempting. The Sun and Sound option, available on both the 2.4L and 2L-4 T engines, is a bargain of epic scope. Swapping the 2.4L normally-aspirated four for the 235 horsepower turbo on the Preferred Sun and Sound variant costs $2000. The 2L-exclusive Luxury trim is priced to reflect the value of its content as is migrating from the Luxury to the Ultimate trim level. The Santa Fe is an exceptional lease value for 2020. Leasing is a good way to avoid a costly engine failure out of warranty. 
Reliability
Not rated. Insufficient data. Three star rating is not a reflection on the way the vehicle drives but is a reflection potential engine failures which have been a significant problem for Hyundai owners. Hyundai has not responded pro-actively to the ending failures, which is not encouraging. Servicing the car at a Hyundai dealership using the "severe service" schedule is a virtual necessity as is keeping all oil change receipts. An extended powertrain warranty would be a prudent move if you plan to keep the vehicle past the powertrain warranty but the warranty is very expensive.   

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (185 HP)*, 2L-4 T (235 HP)  

Transmissions: 8A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning, including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability 

Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2019
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: M

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Hyundai Tucson

 


What’s new
The Preferred trim now includes Keyless Go and entry and rear privacy glass. The 2L all-wheel drive model is now offered with a Sun and Leather package. 

Comments
The cabin of the Tucson reflects contemporary style and is fashioned from materials that are attractive for a vehicle at its price point. The interior features comfortable seats, good legroom front and rear and plentiful cargo space. The base engine is a 161 horsepower 2L four, with a 181 horsepower 2.4L engine found under the hood of premium models. Driven briefly hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission, the base 2L model is quick enough, quiet unless pushed hard and relaxed while cruising. The Tucson is usefully bigger than a crossover like the Kona to provide plenty of space for four large adults but small enough as to not be a burden in urban traffic

Pricing

The base Tucson features air conditioning, heated front seats, fog lights, lane keep assist, forward collision avoidance and the iOS/Android cellphone interface. All-wheel drive, standard on the Luxury and Ultimate trims, is a $2000 option on other models. The new Preferred Sun and Leather package is exceptional value and equips the vehicle very nicely for not much money. Compared with base Essential, the 2L Preferred trim is excellent value and includes equipment such as alloy wheels, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, Keyless Go and entry, rear privacy glass, leather wraps for the steering wheel and shift lever as well as roof rails. The equipment included in the Preferred Trend model. like a power driver's seat, dual zone climate control, auto dimming rearview mirror, Homelink garage door opener and 18 inch wheels, is solid value in itself but also includes the stronger 2.4L engine. The power tailgate, leather seating and big format sunroof that are part of the 2.4 Luxury trim level, which is priced to reflect the value of the equipment. With the L.E.D. headlamps, navigation and power passenger seat, the Ultimate trim represents an impressive bargain. Exceptional lease value for 2020. Leasing is a good way to avoid a costly engine warranty out of warranty. 

Reliability
Three star rating is not a reflection on the way the vehicle drives but is a reflection potential engine failures which have been a significant problem for Hyundai owners as Hyundai is not responding positively to premature engine failures. Servicing the car at a Hyundai dealership on the "severe service" schedule is a virtual necessity as is keeping all oil change receipts. An extended powertrain warranty would be a prudent move if you plan to keep the vehicle past the powertrain warranty but the warranty is very expensive. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (161 HP)*, 2.4L-4 (181 HP)

Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and a lane keep assist system. Available driver awareness, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings and adaptive cruise control
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Jeep Cherokee

 


 

 

What’s new
After a major refresh last year there is nothing of note new for the Cherokee this year.  

Performance
Equipped with the 3.2L V6, the APA's test Cherokee was quick, quiet and economical. Other than being in too high a gear when exiting a corner, the transmission works very well. Steering, ride and handling are very well tuned for the Cherokee's intended "family hauler" role. Strong brakes. The cabin is impressive, with big gauges, logical controls, abundant soft-touch surfaces, comfortable seats and good space for passengers and cargo. Fuel economy with the V6 is virtually the same as it is with the 2.4L four and the V6 is well worth stepping up to as it transforms the vehicle in terms of performance and refinement.  

Comments
Based on the same platform that underpinned the now-discontinued Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart, the Cherokee is the only one of the three models to have enjoyed any market success. So much so that Jeep elected to comprehensively update it last year rather than replacing it with an all-new generation of Cherokee. The frontal styling, which follows traditional Jeep cues, is a significant improvement over the visually discordant mess that fronted the model previously. The two returning engines, a 2.4L four with 180 horsepower and a 271 horsepower 3.2L V6, are joined this year by a 270 horsepower 2L turbo four that debuted in North America under the hood of the Alfa-Romeo Giulia. With similar horsepower as the silky 3.2L V6, the rough and ready 2L seems pointless, especially as it is priced higher than the V6. The sole transmission is a nine-speed automatic. Three AWD systems Active Drive I, a single speed unit, Active Drive II, equipped a with a two-speed transfer case and Active Drive Lock, which adds a locking rear differential, are available. Optional active safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic detection.

Pricing
A dizzying array of models, many looking superfluous, are offered. Front-wheel drive is standard on most models. All-wheel drive is standard on the off-road oriented Trailhawk trims, is a $1905 option on the Limited equipped with a V6 and a $2500 option on all other models. The 2.4L four is the base engine, with the smooth 3.2L V6 a $1595 option on most models. The V6 is recommended as it offers impressive refinement well beyond that which four-cylinder competititors can offer and exacts no real fuel economy penalty. The 2L turbo four, is not offered on the base Sport trim, is priced $995 more than V6 versions of the vehicle and is priced $2590 more than a 2.4L Cherokee.. Moving up from the Sport to the North adds alloy wheels, deep tint glass and a power driver's seat, resulting in a vehicle suited to most buyers, at a good price. The Limited trim adds a wealth of equipment, highlights of which include Nappa leather seating, heated front seats and steering wheel, a power driver's seat and power tailgate, at a tempting price. The Overland range-topper, which adds blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, navigation, ventilated front seats, more luxurious trim as well as additional sound insulation, an accoustic windshield and front side windows, is excellent value. The Trailhawk offers tremendous off-road ability for a single tick of the order box. The Trailhawk Elite trim adds numerous luxury features for a bargain price. The $995 Technology Group, includes a forward collision and lane departure warnings, autonomous emergency braking, self parking and adaptive cruise control with stop and go, but enforces the purchase of the $500 Safetytec package that brings (except for the Overland where it is included) blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors to the mix. Very poor lease value proves FCA does not want this car back at the end of a lease. 

Reliability
Predicted reliability is average to below average. The reliability of the new 2L gas turbo is unknown. An extended warranty from FCA Canada is recommended if you plan to kee the car past the three-year/60,000 km basic warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.0L- 4T (270 HP), 2.4L-4 (180 HP), 3.2L‑V6 (271 HP)*

Transmissions: 9A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.6L/100 km 

Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, a lane keep assist system and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.


Additional Airbags: Front occupant knee airbags and outboard rear side airbags
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Current Generation Debut: 2014
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Jeep Compass

 


 

What's new
No changes of note for 2020.

Performance
Hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the 2.4L four in the all-wheel drive North model driven by the APA accelerates with sufficient alacrity, cruises quietly and emits a pleasing rasp when extended. Though much maligned, the ZF supplied nine-speed automatic transmission works well-enough in this application and doesn't exhibit any bad behaviour. 
The steering of the Compass is nicely weighted, precise, quickly geared without being nervous, but is numb. The structure of the Compass feels quite stout and bumps are absorbed well and handling is stable and predictable. Driven briefly, the TrailHawk variant handled less precisely than the North and suffered from some nervousness from the steering at highway speeds. Outward visibility is less than panoramic and drivers are happy to have a rearview camera that aids reversing. 
The two-tone cabin treatment of our high-end Sport test vehicle, with elegant bright accents, is very nicely done. The all-black cabin of our TrailHawk model was drab and grim. Elegant looking and carefully assembled components make up the interior.  
The front seats are comfortable and there is plenty of legroom. The rear seat is sufficiently supportive and legroom is acceptable for a vehicle of this size. 
The Compass pilot faces crisp, clear gauges and the logical touch screen and climate controls which are common to most current FCA vehicles, work as well here as they do elsewhere. Cargo space is square and deep below the window line.

Comments
The Compass is built on the same platform than underpins its showroom mates, the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade. Power is provided by a 180 horsepower 2.4L four that is hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission on the front-wheel drive Sport model, with all-wheel drive variants employing a nine-speed automatic. Two all-wheel drive systems, Jeep Active Drive, a full-time all-wheel drive that will suit most buyers and Jeep Active Drive Low, with a 20:1 crawl ratio, available for the more adventurous. The Trailhawk version adds Selec-Terrain which includes Selec-Speed control and Hill Descent control.

Pricing

All-wheel drive, standard on the Limited and Trailhawk modes, is a $2500 option on the Sport and North trims. With alloy wheels, roof rails, fog lights and deep tint glass, the North trim upgrade is very good value. With heated front seats and steering wheel, leather upholstery, power-operated front seats and remote start. the Limited trim price reflects its additional content. Though not inexpensive, the Trailhawk upgrade includes a formidable array of off-road equipment and competence that just requires an open wallet and the ticking of an order box to accomplish. The Compass is a reasonable lease value for 2020. 
Reliability
Predicted reliability is below average. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L‑4 (180 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A, 9A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings as well as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with stop and go


Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Kia Sorento

 


 

What’s new
Front-wheel drive is no longer available. Realigned trim levels for 2020, the last year for the current-generation of Sorento.
Performance
Our SX test vehicle was powered by Hyundai-Kia's punchy 3.3L V6 that is silken smooth under most conditions, but delivers a delicious, precision snarl when pushed. The operation of the Sorento's eight-speed automatic transmission goes completely unnoticed as its operation is essentially faultless. The brakes shed speed quickly and pedal feel, once an issue with the Sorento, is now much more satisfying. The Sorento's combination or resilient ride and tidy handling is very pleasing for a large family bus. 
The Sorento's cabin doesn't push any stylistic boundaries but is totally functional, tasteful and fashioned from attractive components. The dashboard features clear gauges, and considering the vast array of functions it controls, the dash centre stack is straightforward and works very well. The first two rows of seats are roomy and very comfortable. Access to the third-row seat on our test vehicle was for the nimble, with room enough for children or small adults. Good cargo space when in two-row mode, with limited space available when the third row is arrayed for passengers. Excellent audio system on our range-topping test vehicle. In a recent APA vehicle group test that also included the Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent and the Sorento, the latter was judged the best vehicle overall despite the fact that its third-row seat was not as spacious as those of the competition.

Comments
Available engines include a normally-aspirated 2.4L four and a 3.3L V6. Power reaches the front wheels, or optionally all wheels, via a six-speed automatic transmission on 2.4L models and a new eight-speed with the V6.  Active safety equipment such as active cruise control with forward collision warning and blind spot, rear cross traffic and driver awareness monitors, are available.

Pricing

All-wheel drive, previously optional, is standard on all trims. The LX+ trim includes blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and a wealth of comfort and convenience features for a tempting price. The LX+ V6 includes the silky V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission at a fair price. The EX, with a large format sunroof and leather seating, is a bargain if you like its features. The EX+ includes active cruise control, lane keep assist and forward collision warning. The SX offers exclusive equipment such as front seat ventilation, active L.E.D. headlamps and upgraded leather at a fair price. A Sorento can be cheaper to buy than something like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Sienna, but if you keep the car for around five years, the Pilot and Sienna will hold their value better. Exceptional lease value for 2020. Leasing is a good way to avoid a costly engine failure out of warranty. 

Reliability 
Predicted reliability is average to above averge. Unlike their four-cylinder engines, the Hyundai-Kia V6 engine appears reliable thus far. Servicing the car on the "severe service" schedule, exclusively at a Kia dealer is recommended as is keeping all oil change receipts. Kia has been very reluctant to settle claims for premature engine failures under warranty so buying an extended powertrain warranty if you opt for the 2.4L engine is a virtual necessity but the warranty is very expensive. Be aware that dealers will attempt to tack on a wide variety of extra charges including dealer admin fees, window etching and nitrogen gas for tires. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L‑4 (185 HP), 3.3L-V6 (290 HP)*

Transmissions: 6A, 8A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.3/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.5L/100 km
Active Safety Features:  Optional fowward collision warning, including pedestrians, lane departure, blind spot, rear cross traffic and driver awareness warnings, a lane keep assist system and an adaptive cruise control system. 
Additonal Airbags: None

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Kia Sportage

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle remake include L.E.D. headlights in a restyled front end, updated rear design and a new eight inch display audio system. Lane Keep Assist and a driver awareness warning are new for 2020. The LX model gains a new Anniversary edition commemorating Kia's 20 years in Canada. Package and packaging updates.  

Performance
The large 2.4L normally aspirated four delivers smooth, effortless performance and is nicely mated to its conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The nicely weighted steering, while lacking in feedback from the road, is precise and has good directional stability at highway speeds. The ride-handling compromise of the new Sportage is quite well judged for this type of vehicle with a comfortable ride married to tidy handling. The more powerful 2L turbo engine is both fast and flexible, but, with an average fuel economy of 12.7L/100 km, experienced in extremely hot weather, it is very heavy on fuel. The turbo’s ride is a bit firmer and its handling slightly crisper than the 2.4L model. Compared with its platform mate, the Hyundai Tucson, the Sportage is smoother, quieter, is quicker with the base engine and its cabin is a bit more luxurious

Comments
The Sportage's cabin is fronted by a dashboard with big, clear gauges and logical controls. Soft-touch surfaces cover the upper dash and upper door panels, with hard trim panels on the lower dash and rear doors. Most surfaces look good but the plastics on the lower dash and console look shiny. The Sportage cabin has plenty of cupholders, bins, cubbies, slots for water bottles as well as cupholders. Comfortable seats, front and rear.
The platform, which also underpins the new Hyundai Tucson, is reportedly stiffer, safer and delivers enhanced refinement and driving precision.
Most versions of the Sportage will be powered by a 181 horsepower 2.4L four. Optional will be a 2L turbo four that produces 237 horsepower. Except for the base LX trim, power reaches all wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Available active safety equipment includes intelligent cruise control, forward object and pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane departure, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. 

Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on most trims of the Sportage, is a $2000 option on the base LX model. The base LX, with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, the iOS-Android cellphone interface, deep tint glass and heated seats, is very well equipped. The Anniversary Edition has in reality become the base model and offers a forward collision warning, lane keep assist and driver awareness warning, about $1300 in features, at no additional charge. The EX trim upgrade, with a forward collision avoidance system and lane keep assist, is priced to reflect its additional content. The EX Premium features leather upholstery as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors among other things, at a price that reflects the value of the additional content. The EX Tech 2.4L range topper features an upgraded audio system, a navigation system and L.E.D. headlights, at a fair price. The SX turbo is priced $2000 higher than the EX Tech model but includes about $2200 worth of additional equipment plus the stronger turbo engine. Very good value leasing for 2020. Leasing is a good way to avoid a costly engine failure out of warranty. 

Reliability
Predicted reliability for the first five years is average to above average and the two star rating reflects engine premature failures Kia seems unwilling to address. Servicing the car on the "severe service" schedule is recommended as is keeping all oil change receipts. Kia has been very reluctant to settle claims for premature engine failures under warranty so buying an extended powertrain warranty is a virtual necessity but the warranty is very expensive. Be aware that dealers will attempt to tack on a wide variety of extra charges including dealer admin fees, window etching and nitrogen gas for tires.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (237 HP), 2.4L‑4 (181 HP)*

Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.8/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features:  Optional forward collision warning, including pedestrians, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, adaptive cruise control, a lane keeping system and adaptive cruise control
Additonal Airbags: None

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Mazda CX-5

 


What’s new
A 2.2L turbodiesel version of the top Signature trim joined the lineup late in the 2019 model year, with the 2020 diesel not expected until later in the model year. The i-Activesense active safety suite is no longer offered on the base GX trim. All trims feature additional sound-proofing materials between the roof and the headliner. The TFT speedometre has migrated from the Signature to the GT trim. An off-road traction system has been added to the gasoline turbocharged models. If 93 octane fuel is being used, the torque figure on the gas turbo increases from 310 lb-ft of torque to 320. The Signature model now features a 360 degree monitor camera and front and rear parking sensors.  
Comments
Two 2.5L fours, normally-aspirated with 187 horsepower and a 227 horsepower 2.5L turbo, are available. A 2.2L: turbodiesel variant joined the lineup late in the 2019 model year. Like other recent Mazdas, the cabin of the new CX-5 is a model of elegance. The gauge cluster looks very similar to those of the Mazda 6 and the recent CX-9, and is both elegant and easy to scan. The climate control panel is easy enough to deal with once you are used to it. With chic shapes, attractive finishes and some very convincing faux alloy accents, the CX-5's cabin looks upscale. The aftermarket style standalone screen, seen in other Mazdas, takes pride of place on the top centre of the new CX-5's dashboard. While the seats feel hard at first, they do become more comfortable as time passes. Cabin and cargo space are sufficient but not as spacious as newer XXL rivals like the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. Driven briefly, the CX-5 is a delightful companion. The 2.5L four sounds gruff when leaving from a light but smooths out once you are up to about 50km/h and spins sweetly past that. The big four is well-mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that is notable only in that it just gets its job done without fuss. The 2.5L turbo four, raucous and gruff in the CX-9, has been turned into a smooth performer in the CX-5. The CX-5's steering is nicely weighted, accurate and precise. While not luxuriously absorbent, the CX-5's ride is competently shrugs off major bumps with ease and is complemented by crisp road manners. Driven in 2019, the 2.2L turbodiesel, while recognizably a diesel, is very smooth. With a massive 290 lb-ft of torque, the CX-5 requires only the slightest prod on the throttle to get the CX-5 moving and keep it moving. Considerably heavier than the base 2.5L model, handling on the diesel is more ponderous than it is with the gasoline engines. 

Pricing
With alloy wheels, heated front seats, deep tinted glass and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, the base GX trim is nicely equipped. The GS trim, the favourite of buyers, which adds a variety of comfort and convenience features as well as the i-ACTIVESENSE safety suite, is very good value. The GS Comfort package, with a sunroof, dual zone climate control and Keyless Go, is well worth the money and delivers some of the GT's desirable features at a lower price point. The GT, with a sunroof, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seat and a name brand audio system, is a bargain. The Signature trim, with Nappa leather, genuine wood trim, an all around view monitor and front and rear parking sensors, is a good deal and results in a very luxurious vehicle. The turbo engine, standard on the Signature trim, is a $2000 option of the GT model. Gas turbos account for up to a third of CX-5 sales. Available only on the Signature model, the turbodiesel engine commands a hefty $5000 premium over the 2.5L gas turbo. All-wheel drive, standard on the GT and Signature models, is a $2000 option on the GX and GS trims and accounts for about half of all CX-5 sales. CX-5 buyers are also looking at the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and the Santa Fe and Tucson from Hyundai. The CX-5 is an exceptional lease value for 2020. 

Reliability
Above average reliability is expected. Very good rust resistance. Unlimited mileage warranties are an interesting market proposition from Mazda and a real plus for high-mileage drivers. Turbo engines: Mazda's last-generation of turbo cars (MazdaSpeed 3 and 6 and the CX-7) lacked durability. An extended powertrain warranty recommended if you plan to keep the car past the five year powertrain warranty. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.2L-4 TDI (168 HP), 2.5L-4 (187 HP)*, 2.5L-4 T (227 HP)

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.2L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Standard blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and low speed forward object detection and smart braking. Optional forward collision warning, including pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, a lane keeping assist system and adaptive cruise control

Additional Airbags: None



Warranty: 3/Unlimited, 5/Unlimited
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: A

NHTSA Rating:


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