The Honda Pilot entered its third generation for the 2016 model year, and with it came a completely redesigned vehicle that dropped its boxy look, shed a few pounds, and inches closer to the premium segment as far as interior materials and overall fit and finish. On the outside, the front end is now sportier with thinner wraparound headlight units, a stylish front fascia, muscular hood, sculpted side profile, new taillight units, and a rear end that is far less boxy compared to the outgoing model. Inside, the cabin has been redesigned to provide a more premium feel, despite still be packed full of hard plastic trim. There is a new digital instrument cluster, and eight-inch touch screen display and extra passenger and cargo room compared to the previous model. Honda didn’t do too much to alter the Pilot’s drivetrain for the third-gen model, but it did update the 3.5-liter to include cylinder deactivation, a stop/start function, and a six-speed automatic transmission.
More importantly, however, is the fact that the 2016 Honda Pilot should be safer than the outgoing model, earning “good” ratings for moderate overlap frontal offset, small overlap frontal offset, side impact, and roof strength, which was an improvement over the previous gen model, which received a “poor” rating for small overlap frontal offset and a “marginal” rating for roof strength for the 2009 to 2011 model years. With models like the Toyota Highlander and Chevy Traverse already sporting a more modern design, the new Pilot finally has what it takes to compete in the Large SUV segment once again. With that said, take a look at our detailed review of the new 2016 Honda Pilot below.
Updated 06/28/2018: Honda has updated the 2019 Pilot with a revised exterior look, a revised nine-speed automatic transmission, Honda Safety Sense, and a decent list of optional equipment for the taking. Check out the details in our updated section below.
2018 Subaru Legacy 50th Anniversary Edition
Subaru celebrates 50 years of selling vehicles in America with an appropriately named 50th Anniversary Edition lineup, including the Legacy sedan. Each model receives similar treatments of Heritage Blue paint, satin chrome accents, and an embroidered interior with the unique 50th Anniversary logo.
Subaru is producing a limited number of each anniversary edition model, with the Legacy limited to 1,050. Of those, 800 will be the 2.5i Limited trim, while the other 250 are the 3.6R Limited. Subaru chose to base the 50th Anniversary Edition on the Legacy’s range-topping trim, the Limited, so each example will pack tons of standard equipment and features. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist package is included, meaning active safety features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist are present. EyeSight also includes the 8.0-inch Starlink infotainment system with navigation, high-beam assist, and LED headlights with steering responsive turning.
Now let’s jump into what makes the 2018 Subaru Legacy 50th Anniversary Edition special.
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2018 Subaru Forester 50th Anniversary Edition
Subaru used the 2018 Chicago Auto Show to launch special 50th Anniversary Edition models for each of its vehicles as a celebration of the five decades the Japanese automaker has been selling inside the U.S. While no mechanical upgrades are made, there are several visual changes that help distinguish the 50th Anniversary Editions from their standard counterparts.
These 50th Anniversary Editions are based on upper trim levels. For the 2018 Forrester, that means the Touring model – including both the 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder and the turbocharged 2.0-liter Boxer-four engine options. The Continuously Variable Transmission comes standard on the Touring trims, as does Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system with X-Mode and Hill Descent Control.
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2018 Subaru Crosstrek 50th Anniversary Edition
Subaru is launching a 50th Anniversary Edition for each of its 2018 models, including the Crosstrek. No mechanical changes are included on the Anniversary Editions, but there are several key visual changes making the package worthwhile. Subaru is also limiting availability of the special edition.
The 50th Anniversary Edition is based on upper trim levels, which for the Crosstrek, means the 2.0i Limited. That means leather seats, the CVT, and Eyesight safety system comes standard. Like all 2018 Crosstreks, this model comes with Subaru’s 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder making 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Symmetrical AWD is standard, too, of course, and includes X-Mode and Hill Descent Control. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with regular 87 octane gasoline.
For everything that’s special about the Crosstrek 50th Anniversary Edition, keep reading.
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2018 Fiat 500
One of Fiat’s most iconic nameplates, the 500 was originally introduced in 1957 and kept in production for almost two decades, until 1975. The nameplate was revived in 2007 as a neo-retro design based on the first mini car. It was Fiat’s answer to the modern Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper, introduced in 1997 and 2000, respectively. The new 500 was received with great enthusiasm, and the addition of convertible and Abarth models made it that much more popular. However, unlike the Mini Cooper, the 500 soldiered on unchanged for years, with its first update launched in 2015. Three years have passed, and Fiat is again updating the small hatchback.
Unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show alongside the rest of Fiat’s North American lineup, the update is far from spectacular, but it does add a few new features to the 500’s cute exterior. The interior carries over unchanged, which is somewhat disappointing, but the drivetrain department has a new engine to brag about. It’s not as new as it is rehashed from an old model, but it’s significantly more powerful than the outgoing unit. More about that in the review below.
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2018 Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition
Subaru made its first foray into the U.S. market in the late ’60s, and now, it’s celebrating that momentous occasion with a slew of special edition models. Introduced in a blitz of debuts at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the six-star brand is calling it the 50th Anniversary Edition, and it includes revamped iterations of just about every model in the lineup. Chief among these is the rip-snortin’, extra-wing-havin’, hood-scoop wearin’ WRX STI, the quickest of Subaru’s lineup, which gets new exterior paint, a unique wheel finish, and new badges to mark half a century of the Six Stars in the States.
Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Subaru WRX STI 50th Anniversary Edition special.
2018 Subaru Outback 50th Anniversary Edition
The Subaru Outback isn’t making many headlines today, especially when compared to other wagons on the market, but it’s getting pretty good reviews. Sure, it’s not as fancy as the Volvo V90 Cross Country or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain, but it offers a spacious cabin, solid off-road ability, and a decent equipment package. And it’s more affordable than the aforementioned models too. Introduced in 2014, the latest model is still pretty fresh, but Subaru is giving it the limited-edition treatment for 2018 with the 50th Anniversary Edition.
No, the Outback nameplate isn’t 50 years old yet. It’s barely on its way to its 25th anniversary. Of all the existing model, the Legacy is the oldest, and it dates back to 1989. This limited-edition model was actually launched to celebrate half a century since Subaru of America was established. The Outback is only one of seven vehicles to get this treatment, as the celebrations include all nameplates offered in the U.S. (sans the upcoming Ascent). What does it have to offer on top of the regular model? Let’s find out below.
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2019 Ford Edge Titanium Elite
Introduced in 2014, the Ford Edge, one of the company’s key vehicles, gained a significant update for the 2019 model. Alongside the revised exterior, high-tech interior, and upgraded turbo engine, Ford also updated the model lineup with an ST model. Replacing the old Sport, the new Edge ST brings the performance-oriented "ST" badge into the SUV market for the first time. At the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, Ford unveiled a second new trim. It’s called the Titanium Elite and slots right between the Titanium and the ST.
Ford’s choice for a new trim seems rather awkward at first glance. Unlike other models, the Edge doesn’t have the luxury-oriented Platinum trim. The latter seemed to be the next logical step after the ST, but Ford chose to introduce a slight upgrade to the Titanium model. The Titanium Elite would make more sense if the Titanium were to be discontinued soon, but as things stand, I can’t really understand where Ford is going with this. But let’s have a closer look at what we already know about this new trim.
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2018 Subaru Impreza 50th Anniversary Edition
Unveiled for the 2017 model year, the current-generation Subaru Impreza received a significant makeover inside and out compared to the previous model, but old engine was carried over with mild revisions. Despite not being that much more powerful, the sedan gets a lot of praise for its comfortable and roomy cabin, the standard all-wheel-drive system, and the available safety features. For 2018, the Impreza continues without any changes — which isn’t surprising given that it’s still relatively new — but Subaru is offering a limited-edition, 50th Anniversary package.
The bundle is part of Subaru’s celebration of its 50th anniversary in the United States. Established in 1953, the Japanese firm crossed the pond to the U.S. in 1968, when Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm founded Subaru of America in Philadelphia and began selling the tiny 360 model. This limited-edition Impreza is part of a larger scale 50th Anniversary offensive that includes the entire U.S. lineup, minus the yet-to-be-available Ascent. Yes, you can have the package on the Legacy, Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, BRZ, and WRX too, but we’re going to focus on the Impreza in this article.
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2019 Ram 1500 By Mopar
It’s been just a month since Ram debuted the brand-new 1500 pickup truck at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, and FCA is already offering a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories. Showcased on a concept truck at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, these new accessories cover everything from the exterior and interior to the drivetrain and the chassis. Most of them will become available in a few months, so you can start planning a Moparized model if you’re not happy with the standard and optional Ram features.
Described as an "outdoor, sport-themed truck," this Mopar-specced vehicle sports a unique, slightly more aggressive exterior, a more upscale interior, and lift kit that turns it into a more capable off-road explorer. The parts and accessories are taken from a list of around 200 items that can be purchased from Mopar via FCA dealerships. That’s quite a big selection, unlike anything you get from the competition. Let’s have a closer look at some of these features in the review below.
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2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS
Introduced for the 2018 model year, the second-generation Chevrolet Traverse is a significant departure from its predecessor, boasting a sportier look, state-of-the-art technology, and offering best-in-class maximum cargo room. The old 3.6-liter V-6 was also replaced with a brand-new unit, but Chevy also announced plans to fit a turbocharged four-cylinder in the SUV. The new engine was unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show in the Traverse RS, the first-ever Traverse to sport a turbocharged powerplant.
Alongside forced induction, this model also gets a few visual upgrades inside and out. It’s pretty much the SUV version of the Sonic RS. It also gets quite a few extra standard features. It’s not the fanciest trim available, but it’s very similar to the Premier model in terms of equipment and price. You can always go with the High Country model if you’re into a more luxurious cabin, but if you’re looking for a sporty appearance, the new RS is the best choice you have. Let’s see what set it apart in the review below.
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2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Toyota’s 2019 updates to its trio of TRD Pro models brings some impressive upgrades to the Tacoma. Headlining the features is the new Desert Air Intake, a high-rise snorkel that not only looks awesome but sucks in cleaner air from higher above trail. The suspension is also updated Fox Racing Shocks and a handful of cosmetic changes keep the truck fresh.
The Tacoma TRD Pro has been around since 2015 and jumped to the third-generation Tacoma for 2017 after skipping the 2016 model year. Now for 2019, the truck’s updates work to better align the Tacoma TRD Pro with the new and highly impressive Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor. While the Tacoma enjoys a fat sales margin over the Colorado, its lead has been dwindling. Once Ford’s new Ranger his the streets for 2019, Toyota will have a real fight on its hands. Read on to see how the 2019 updates prepare the Tacoma for a tough battle.
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2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is one of the capable SUVs on the market today. While most SUVs have softened into crossovers with unibody chassis, the 4Runner continues its body-on-frame tradition matched with the even-more-capable TRD Pro suspension system. Yet, for 2019, Toyota is turning up the heat.
The 2019 4Runner TRD Pro gets upgraded Fox Racing Shocks that help better handle high-speed desert running while providing a civil ride around town and a new roof rack offers more storage for dirty gear. A few other changes inside and out help keep the 4Runner fresh as interest explodes for its main rival, the Jeep Wrangler.
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2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Toyota has upped the ante with its Tundra TRD Pro for the 2019 model year. The off-road package receives a mid-cycle refresh that includes both cosmetic and suspension upgrades. The move is completely understandable considering how hot the off-road segment is getting these days.
It’s important to understand the Tundra TRD Pro’s place in the market. It competes most directly with the Ram 1500 Rebel, both of which fall short of the Ford F-150 Raptor’s outright ownership of the high-speed desert racing niche. But while Ford is busy making the Raptor an extremely capable but very expensive upgrade to the F-150, both the TRD Pro and Rebel are more obtainable for the everyman. In other words, the Tundra TRD Pro might not match the Raptor’s off-road performance, but it’s also far less expensive.
Nevertheless, Toyota’s 2019 updates push the Tundra TRD Pro beyond what it was capable of from 2015 to 2018.
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2018 Hyundai i30 N TCR
Launched for the 2018 model year, the i30 N is Hyundai first high-performance vehicle for the road. Although the N division is a few years old and responsible for the company’s solid rally campaign, road-going cars wearing this badge are still to come. While the i30 N already available in Europe, a similar version of the brand-new Veloster is coming to the U.S. in 2018. The i30 won’t make it on this side of the pond for road use, but Hyundai wants to use the beefed-up hatchback on the race track. Meet the i30 N TCR, Hyundai’s weapon of choice for the Pirelli World Challenge.
Showcased for the first time at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the i30 N TCR was launched alongside Hyundai’s new partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport. The result of this collaboration is a factory-sponsored race team that uses two versions of Hyundai’s i30 N TCR race cars currently available to customers in Europe. Bryan Herta will also develop all aspects of the team, including technicians, drivers, coaching, and management.
As the name suggests, the i30 N TCR will compete in the Touring Car Racing division of the Pirelli World Championship. The season kicks off in March and ends in September after six events across the U.S. You’ll be able to see the i30 N TCR on March 23-25 in Texas, April 27-29 in Virginia, May 25-28 in Connecticut, July 13-15 in Oregon, August 10-12 in Utah, and August 31 - September 2 in New York.
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