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The best deals still available from Black Friday

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but don’t worry if you missed out. There are still a handful of deals sticking around, so we’ve pulled together some of our favorites for you here on everything from auto accessories, to kitchenware, to TVs and more. Keep in mind, many of these deals may be based on availability, so if you see something you like, be sure to snag it quick. Happy hunting! 

Key Features

  • This 9-in-1 cooker acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, food warmer, sous vide and sterilizer
  • Features 15 one-touch cooking presets 
  • East-to-read display includes a cooking progress bar
  • The inner pot is constructed from food-grade stainless steel

Instant Pots have been somewhat usurped by air fryers as the must-have kitchen accessory of the decade (don’t worry, we have an air fryer deal for you below as well), but if you ask us, they’re still pretty indispensable. There’s a reason why your one friend who owns one won’t shut up about it: it’s a great cooking tool! If you’re a big rice fan or slow-cooking fan and you still don’t have an Instant Pot, we recommend giving this deal a good, hard look.

Key features

  • Features an 85″ 4K resolution DolbyVision HDR screen
  • The Triluminos display reproduces more colors than a conventional TV for peak picture quality
  • Built-in Google TV
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Advanced X-Motion clarity
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Features two sound-positioning tweeters on each side of the TV for a more immersive sound experience
  • Works with AirPlay 2

If you’re looking to make a big TV upgrade this year, why not take advantage of this Sony TV deal? The 85″ full array LED screen has 4K resolution and a 120 Hz refresh rate, great for gaming, as well as built-in stereo speakers. It’s even compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2. Paying full price for a TV like this is tough to imagine, but a deal like this makes it tough to ignore.

Key Features

  • Runs on either gasoline or propane
  • 9,375 starting watts and 7,500 running watts of power on gasoline
  • 8,400 starting watts and 6,750 running watts of power on propane
  • 4-stroke 439cc engine
  • Has an electric start switch with a dedicated battery included
  • “Provides up to 10 hours of run-time on gasoline or 5.5 hours on propane”
  • Features an “Intelligauge” to help users keep track of “voltage, hertz and run-time hours” as well as power output
  • Built-in surge protector
  • Includes a 3-year limited warranty with purchase and free lifetime technical support

A portable electricity generator is definitely a luxury, but if you live in a place that tends to lose power from time to time, having one around can be an absolute lifesaver. Sometimes, you just can’t afford to spend an evening without power while you’re waiting on the local energy company to get things back up and running. If you’ve ever considered picking up a generator in the past, this Black Friday deal could be just the thing you’ve been waiting for. It has nearly 5,000 Amazon ratings and is still sitting at a total review score of 4.6 out of 5.

Key features

  • 40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 for smoother 4K streaming experiences
  • Supports Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos Audio
  • Can stream live TV via Sling TV, Youtube TV and others (subscription costs may apply)
  • Remote features built-in Alexa services

If you’re in the market for a set-top box (or in this case, a dongle) then this Fire TV Stick 4K Max is worth your attention. It streams in 4K, supports Dolby Vision, HDR, or HDR10+ and can even connect to your internet via Wi-Fi 6. This little stick could become your entire entertainment hub in no time. Check it out here.

Key Features

  • Features 12 cooking modes from chicken to french fries to bacon
  • Uses “rapid air” technology to cook your meals – no oil required
  • Detachable basket w/ non-stick grill plate
  • Offers 1-year warranty

It’s impossible to escape the hype around air fryers nowadays, but the hype exists for good reason, these things are great. Sure they can cook all kinds of things like chicken, veggies, bacon and more, but for our money, it’s worth the price of admission just for its french fry reheating ability. Never put your leftover fries in the microwave again. You deserve better than that. 

Key features

  • Brand new GP2 engine improves the cameras performance, touch controls and frame rate over past iterations of the cam
  • The camera is great for high-res photos or video 
  • Captures 23MP photos and 5.3K resolution video at 60 fps 
  • Features 8x slo-mo capture at 2.7K
  • Shoots in low light with high contrast and fine detail
  • Can transfer photos wirelessly from the camera straight to your phone

Everyone probably knows what a GoPro is by this point, but if you don’t, it’s a very solid but affordable camera, great for action sports or anything else you can think to use it for. This latest version is currently on sale for 10% off and features 5.3K video capture, 23MP photo capture and even 8x slo-mo. Of course, being a GoPro, it’s also waterproof and specifically made for some pretty intense shooting. If you want to grab one at less than full price, now’s the time.

Key features

  • Compatible with all Wi-Fi devices
  • Provides up to 1,750 Mbps high speed internet
  • Features 3 external antennas for range
  • Includes 4 built-in gigabit LAN ports
  • Includes integrated USB port
  • The TP-Link app allows users to easily set up and manage their network
  • Works with all internet service providers

Did you know that if you’re currently using a router provided by your ISP, you’re probably paying a rental fee for it? Nearly all ISPs allow you to use your own router with their services, so why pay them a monthly rental fee for a router that’s probably only mediocre anyways? This TP-Link router can handle speeds up to 1,750 Mpbs and thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it only costs $49.99!

Key Features

  • 50-inch screen size
  • 100% color volume w/ quantum dot technology
  • Dual LED back lights
  • 4K resolution
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • Built-in Alexa capability

This 50-inch QLED screen is 10% off right now. As you’d probably expect, it features a 4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate. It even has built-in Alexa capability. If you’ve been looking for a new, high-quality TV, this one is worth a look. 

Key Features

  • Holds 2TB worth of data
  • Transfers files up to 9.5x faster than a traditional hard disk drive (HDD)
  • Reads up to 1,050 MB/s
  • Writes up to 1,000 MB/s
  • Uses USB Type-C for connection

In the market for a good back-up drive, or maybe just some extra digital storage space in general? By now, you probably already know all of the benefits of an SSD drive over an old-school HDD drive, but what you might not know is that SSD external drives have come down in price significantly over the past few years. With this Black Friday discount, you can grab this one for even less than usual!

Key features

  • Best-selling air compressor on Amazon
  • Plugs into the 12V DC lighter port 
  • Includes additional valve adapters for sports balls, air mattresses, bike tires and more
  • Does not support truck tires
  • Includes a built-in LED flashlight
  • Automatically turns off once the pre-set pressure has been achieved

A portable air compressor is a great little gadget to keep in the trunk of your vehicle. This one plugs right into your car’s cigarette lighter port for power and comes with valve adapters for things like basketballs, air mattresses and more, so it’s good for more than just topping off your tires’ air pressure.

Key Features

  • Wireless, connect via Bluetooth
  • Feature Bose “lifelike sound”
  • Weather and sweat resistant – rated IPX4
  • Up to 5 hours of battery life per full charge
  • Built-in “beamforming microphone array” for phone calls
  • No buttons – uses simple touch controls
  • Purchase includes 3 sizes of StayHear Max tips to customize your fit and prevent the earbuds from falling out

If you haven’t gotten yourself a decent pair of wireless earbuds yet, you might consider looking into these Bose Sport earbuds. They connect to your device via Bluetooth, are weather and sweat resistant, keep a charge for up to 5 hours and comes with customizable tips to make sure they stay in your ears, no matter the activity.

Key Features

  • Weighs 2.4 lbs
  • 106W motor
  • 16-foot power cord that plugs into your cigarette lighter
  • Includes flat-head, extendable and brush nozzle attachments for detailing, a carry bag, a filter brush and a spare HEPA filter

Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to let dirt and dust accumulate in our car interiors. A good way to make sure you’re staying on top of your interior cleaning is to just keep a small car vacuum like this one in your trunk. It’s lightweight, plugs right into your cigarette lighter port and has a 16-foot power cord which should give you plenty of slack while maneuvering around getting into all of those tricky crevices. 

Key features

  • Streams and records in full 1080p HD resolution at 60 fps
  • Premium glass lens
  • Uses smart auto-focus 
  • The auto-framing feature makes sure you stay in the center of the shot
  • Optimized for streaming software like OBS and XSplit
  • Connects with USB-C
  • Comes with Logitech Capture Software

Video streaming is here to stay. Whether you’re taking business video calls in a professional setting or have ambitions of being a professional streamer online, one thing’s for certain: You’ll need a solid webcam. This one streams and records in full 1080p HD resolution at 60 fps, has auto-focus and auto-framing, connects to your devices with USB-C and is already optimized for streaming software like OBS. 

Key Features

  • Includes both health information and ancestry information
  • The health test can tell you if you’re a carrier for certain inherited conditions as well as how your genes may be influencing your lifestyle
  • The ancestry test can show where your ancestry is from across over 2,000 regions
  • Data is “encrypted, protected, and under your control”
  • You’ll also have the option to opt into research that “could help lead to discoveries that may one day make an impact on your own health, the health of your family, and people around the world”

A 23andMe kit is a fun and informative tool to help you learn about both your genetic health as well as your ancestry. While it’s no replacement for a doctor’s visit, it can let you know if you’re a carrier for certain hereditary conditions, and it can even let you know how your genes might influence your personality! It can also give you insight into your family tree, which is always interesting and informative. 

Key Features

  • Disposable face masks
  • Highly elastic ear loops
  • Can be used by adults or children

If you’re looking for a good way to get your hands on a ton of masks, this 100-pack ought to do the trick. There’s not a whole lot to say about these. If you’re in the market, take advantage of this deal!

Key Features

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Can drill up to 1,500 RPM
  • Drill motor provides 300 unit watts of power ability
  • Drill bit set comes with a connectable accessory storage system

Every home needs a good drill and this one by DeWalt definitely fits the bill. It’s compact, lightweight and comes with a 21-piece drill bit set. You can get it for nearly $90 off as long as the deal lasts!

Key Features

  • 43-inch LED screen
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution
  • Built-in Alexa voice control
  • Built-in Fire TV
  • DTS Studio Sound

If you’re looking for an affordable 4K TV, look no further. This 43-inch Insignia will give you a crisp 4K picture at a super affordable price. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive option, but who needs QLED tech when you can save a few hundreds bucks, right?

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Best-selling vehicles by state

America loves trucks. According to Edmunds, which has tracked the best-selling vehicles by state based on new vehicle registrations, 40 out of 50 U.S. states’ best-selling vehicle is a pickup. Most often, that’s the Ford F-Series, but occasional Chevy, Ram and even Toyota top the lists.

Here, we’ve compiled the best-selling vehicles by state, including the four runners-up for each state. Interestingly enough, only one EV shows up in a state’s top five (Tesla Model 3 in California). Read on below to see what’s most popular in your state.


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Camry, GMC Sierra and Ram 1500/2500/3500


Ram 1500/2500/3500, followed by Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota RAV4


Ram 1500/2500/3500, followed by Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Tacoma


Ram 1500/2500/3500, followed by Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota Camry


Honda Civic, followed by Toyota RAV4, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Tesla Model 3


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota 4Runner


Honda CR-V, followed by Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford F-Series


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4


Toyota Corolla, followed by Ford F-Series, Toyota RAV4, Chevy Silverado and Toyota Camry


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Camry


Toyota Tacoma, followed by Toyota 4Runner, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Corolla and Honda CR-V


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, Toyota RAV4 and GMC Sierra


Ford F-Series, followed by Honda CR-V, Chevy Silverado, Toyota RAV4 and Chevy Equinox


Chevy Silverado, followed by Ford F-Series, Chevy Equinox, Ram 1500/2500/3500 and Honda CR-V


Chevy Silverado, followed by Ford F-Series, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Equinox and GMC Sierra


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, GMC Sierra and Toyota RAV4


Chevy Silverado, followed by Ford F-Series, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Camry


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, GMC Sierra and Honda Accord


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4 and GMC Sierra


Toyota RAV4, followed by Ford F-Series, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry and Chevy Silverado


Toyota RAV4, followed by Honda CR-V, Ford F-Series, Jeep Cherokee and Chevy Silverado

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road in gray


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Equinox, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado and Chevy Blazer


Chevy Silverado, followed by Ford F-Series, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota Camry and GMC Sierra


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, GMC Sierra and Honda CR-V


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota RAV4


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Jeep Cherokee and GMC Sierra


Ram 1500/2500/3500, followed by Ford F-Series, Toyota RAV4, Chevy Silverado and Toyota Tacoma

New Hampshire

Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Toyota RAV4, Ram 1500/2500/3500 and Honda CR-V

New Jersey

Honda CR-V, followed by Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Cherokee and Honda Accord

New Mexico

Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tacoma

New York

Honda CR-V, followed by Toyota RAV4, Jeep Cherokee, Ram 1500/2500/3500 and Chevy Equinox

2021 Honda CR-V Touring in light blue

North Carolina

Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V

North Dakota

Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, GMC Sierra and Chevy Equinox


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, Honda CR-V and Chevy Equinox


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota RAV4


Toyota RAV4, followed by Ford F-Series, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota Tacoma and Subaru Forester


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Chevy Silverado

Rhode Island

Toyota RAV4, followed by Honda CR-V, Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado and Toyota Highlander

South Carolina

Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4

South Dakota

Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Jeep Cherokee


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, GMC Sierra and Toyota RAV4


Ford F-Series, followed by Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Tacoma


Ford F-Series, followed by Toyota RAV4, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra


Ford F-Series, followed by Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500/2500/3500


Toyota RAV4, followed by Ford F-Series, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester

West Virginia

Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Tacoma


Ford F-Series, followed by Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500/2500/3500, Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V


Ram 1500/2500/3500, followed by Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tacoma

Washington D.C.

Toyota RAV4, followed by Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Toyota Camry and Honda Civic

Puerto Rico

Toyota RAV4, followed by Toyota Yaris Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota Tacoma

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November auto sales show ongoing slide as inventory woes persist

The U.S. auto industry continues to recover from the pandemic-tainted sales of 2020, but you wouldn’t know it from a glance at the sales charts, which contained pretty much universally bad news for the manufacturers who still report monthly retail sales totals. 

Apart from Genesis, which is having a gangbuster year with a big fat asterisk on it, every brand that has reported its November sales so far has come up short compared to last year. Even Kia, which has already surpassed its previous full-year sales record, sold fewer units last month than it did during the same period in 2020. Sister company Hyundai saw a nearly 20% drop for its mainstream brand. 

Honda and Toyota, which both seemed better-positioned to weather the chip shortage earlier this year, remain up more than 12% and nearly 16% for the year, respectively, but those numbers will likely slip in December if current trends continue. With production shutdowns becoming less frequent and supply chain issues easing slightly, the final month of 2021 could be the difference between a rebound and relapse for some automakers.

Subaru, which experienced many consecutive years of sales growth prior to the pandemic, is in danger of selling fewer units in 2021 than it did in 2020. Its volume was down more than 34% in November. Of the automakers who report monthly sales, only Ford’s figures were still outstanding at the time of publication; like GM, the Blue Oval is expected to announce that its sales volumes have slipped further due to ongoing parts shortages. 

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2022 Hyundai Elantra N is the most affordable N car at $32,925

While the Hyundai Kona N tops the price range for Hyundai’s N models, the 2022 Elantra N slides in just below its Veloster cousin to become the cheapest way to get a hopped-up Korean compact. The standard version with the six-speed manual starts at $32,925 including destination. That makes it $600 less than the equivalent Veloster.

The Elantra N is also available with a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and that version picks up a power sunroof. It’s priced at $34,425. Again, that’s $600 less than the equivalent Veloster, and the Veloster doesn’t get a sunroof. And of course, the Elantra has significantly more rear seat space and a nicer interior than the Veloster, albeit without the flexibility of a hatchback.

No matter the transmission, the Elantra N gets the familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. It gets an electronically-controlled mechanical limited-slip differential, electronically adjustable shocks and drive modes, sporty seats (that are heated), plus niceties such as dual-zone automatic climate control, a Bose audio system and wireless phone charging.

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Aston Martin V12 Vantage shows off sound, will return in 2022

According to Aristotle’s fourth-century History of Animals, swans “are musical, and sing chiefly at the approach of death.” Scientists still debate the accuracy of this statement, but we don’t think anybody is going to argue with the melodic tones of the swan song that is Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage. Listen for yourself in the video up above.

We’ve been expecting this. We saw spy shots in August of a hardcore Vantage mule out testing on the Nürburgring that was fitted with all manner of enhancements that led us to believe a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V12 may be under its vented hood. Later, the rumormill was aflutter with reports that the British marque was planning to bestow its smallest car with big power courtesy of a V12 tuned to deliver a reported 670 horsepower. That’s 20 ponies fewer than the Speedster’s twelve-cylinder, which spins out 690 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque.

We don’t know much more than that, for now. Aston Martin’s teaser says the V12 Vantage returns in 2022, we’d guess as a 2023 model, and that it will be labeled a Final Edition. We’re certain the number produced will be limited, so if this is the beautiful swan song you’ve been waiting for, now would be a good time to get your finances in order.

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VW ID.Buzz EV passenger model caught in new spy photos

Volkswagen is testing its ID.Buzz electric minivan in the arctic circle this week, as evidenced by these new spy photos of a prototype wearing virtually no camouflage. While this is not the first time we’ve seen an ID.Buzz prototype without its front or rear ends covered, this passenger model sports windows for the second and third (we assume; more on that below) rows, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from the family variant of VW’s spiritual successor to the Microbus. 

Unfortunately, despite the visible rear greenhouse on this prototype, we can see only two rows of seats, so there’s nothing here to clue us in as to how the ID.Buzz’s passenger cabin will be arranged. Previous rumors have pointed to some potentially wacky seating arrangements (potentially including a rear-facing row) but a lot of that will ultimately be determined by which wheelbases Volkswagen chooses to offer in each of the ID.Buzz’s eventual markets. 

Early rumors suggested that the United States will get only a long-wheelbase version to be positioned as a premium vehicle with some rugged pretensions. Whether we’ll get an eight-passenger version out of it remains to be seen. Regardless of how long VW chooses to cut this particular sausage, it is expected be sold in rear- and all-wheel-drive variants, likely making 201 and 295 horsepower respectively. The commercial version we’ve seen previously is not expected to be sold in the U.S. Additional details, like driving range and pricing information should be revealed closer to the EV’s unveiling in 2022.

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Polaris reveals electric Ranger XP Kinetic side-by-side

Polaris introduced an electric version of the Ranger XP side-by-side that it developed jointly with Zero Motorcycles. Offered only with three seats, the battery-powered Ranger XP Kinetic boasts surprising horsepower and torque numbers and a powertrain that’s almost completely silent.

Many members of the side-by-side segment offer more power than you might assume given their golf cart-like proportions, and the Ranger XP Kinetic is no exception. Its electric motor develops 110 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, figures about on par with a four-cylinder-powered 1999 Jeep Wrangler. It’s also capable of towing up to 2,500 pounds or hauling 1,250 pounds. Polaris notes that the quiet powertrain unlocks several advantages: hunters notably gain the ability of going to their favorite hunting spot without being heard from several hundred yards away. Alternatively, if you’re an early bird, you’ll be able to start your Ranger without waking up the neighbors or family.

At launch, buyers will have two trim levels called Premium and Ultimate from which to choose. The former is equipped with a 14.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that provides a maximum driving range of 45 miles. The latter gains a 29.8-kilowatt-hour pack that stores enough juice for an 80-mile maximum range. Ultimate models also receive a seven-inch touchscreen and dashboard-mounted speakers. Buyers can charge the battery pack in approximately five hours by plugging the Ranger XP Kinetic into a 240-volt outlet.

The gasoline-powered Ranger’s all-terrain prowess carries over to the Kinetic. Fitted with 29-inch tires, it offers 14 inches of ground clearance, 10 inches of suspension travel and a full underbody skid plate. Polaris also installed a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo box, and it developed a new shifter specifically for the EV with high, low, neutral and park positions, plus a switch that’s used to select forward or reverse. Users will also have three drive modes to choose from: Eco+, Standard, and Sport. The first curbs torque and top speed for maximum range. The second dials in a level of throttle response suited to daily tasks, while the third unlocks the Kinetic’s full potential.

Polaris dealers are already taking orders for the Ranger XP Kinetic and deliveries are scheduled to start in the summer of 2022. Pricing for the Premium model starts at $24,999 while the Ultimate trim will set you back $29,999. Clearly, the price penalty associated with going electric doesn’t disappear in the side-by-side world. Stick to the gasoline-burning engine and the less powerful Ranger XP 1000 Premium costs $18,799. As a trade-off, Polaris expects the Kinetic will cost about 70% less to maintain than a comparable gasoline-powered model.

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My year in EVs: 8 electrics that are changing the car industry

The year 2021 will go down as an inflection point in the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It’s when many much-anticipated models became reality. No longer sketches or sketchy prototypes, electric vehicles appeared from all corners with everything from the Lucid Air to Ford Mustang Mach-E changing how we think about transportation. I managed to drive a lot of them, and as I went through my notes, I realized I’ve got a mini memoir of the seminal EVs of 2021. Here’s my take on eight of them.

Hummer EV

Easily the most over-the-top EV I tested this year. The 1,000-hp super truck lived up to the hype with its domineering presence, stupendous power and simply being a reincarnated Hummer. I took it for a short spin on- and off-road at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Mich., and was impressed with the airy cabin, removable sky panels and expansive touchscreens. Yes, I crab walked, which felt like steering a pontoon boat, though I can see why it would be useful.

Lucid Air Dream Performance

The most beautiful sedan I tested all year, EV or otherwise. Unlike the futuristic Mercedes EQS — which is quite attractive — Lucid’s car is a blend of mid-century modern interior aesthetics and classic European exterior styling. When I walked up for my test drive, someone who I’m pretty sure was comedian Jon Lovitz was sitting inside and taking it all in. As it sat in the valet of a hotel in a wealthy suburban enclave north of Detroit, the Lucid drew more attention than any of the Mercedes, Cadillacs or Lexus models passing by. The driving experience was enveloping. Starting at $169,000 for the Performance model (reservations are closed), the Lucid I sampled packed 1,111 hp and 471 miles of range. From the precise steering to the comfortable suspension, the dynamics were spot-on. It’s a formidable product, and all the more impressive given it’s Lucid’s first.

Chevy Bolt EV

The Bolt was the most pleasant surprise for me. It handled well, offered low-to-the-ground hot hatch dynamics and the steering was dialed-in. Adding a crossover variant for the new generation was a smart play. On a summer morning where I went to a first drive of the Ford Bronco at an off-road course, my hour-long commute in the Bolt was an enjoyable appetizer. 

The Bolt was also my biggest disappointment due to its extensive recalls for fire risk. Ironically, I had the Bolt in my driveway when the initial recall went out for the previous generation (2017-19). Being slightly compulsive, I moved the car to the street, even though it’s a 2022 model. The next month GM expanded the recall to every Bolt ever made and advised owners to park them outside and away from things. Guess my instincts were right. Now, GM won’t build new Bolts until next year as the fixes are prioritized. This is a black eye. Stuff like this shouldn’t happen. It sunk the first iteration of Fisker, and Toyota and Audi took years to recover from similar recall issues. GM’s own airbag issues dinged its image for much of the 2010s. This isn’t meant to pile on. Rather, it’s highlighting a missed opportunity. The Bolt is an excellent car. Without this recall, GM would already have an affordable electric car with 259 miles of range that’s on sale and normal people can buy. 

Volkswagen ID.4

I drove both the rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive models and I give VW props for creating a mainstream crossover that will appeal to well, crossover buyers. It’s an attractive vehicle with piercing LED headlights and an elegant silhouette. To the uninformed, it might be an EV, or it might not — and that’s how some buyers will want to approach the issue. Offering a range of up to 260 miles, there’s plenty of capability and the RWD model felt sporty to me. I didn’t like the infotainment, which was cumbersome and dense to use. Otherwise, this is the right crossover for a lot of people, electric or otherwise (as I wrote in March). VW should have offered “Voltswagen” as a no-cost badge option for its EVs, which would have been cool for a lot of owners, opposed to playing a deceptive prank.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

This was the first EV I drove in 2021, over the course of a few frigid February days. Put simply, it lived up to its mission as an electric Mustang. It looks the part — getting as much attention as an Aston Martin DBX I reviewed around the same time — and it’s a lot of fun to drive. I tested a First Edition with 346 hp, a range of 270 miles and a price of $59,400. All seemed reasonable for a premium sports crossover. As the Mach-E lineup has grown this year, Ford is offering more power and more range for more money, though you can also get a more basic entry for about $43K with 230 miles of range. It’s a compelling portfolio. Ford got the little things right with the Mach-E. The infotainment is excellent and using the 15.5-inch touchscreen accomplishes everything from changing the radio to the drive mode. Ford’s only hiccup with the Mach-E was a stop-sale for its Level 2 home chargers earlier this year.

Mercedes EQS

This was the most futuristic car I drove this year, full stop. From head-turning design to the acres of screens inside the cabin, the EQS felt like Transportation 2030. I would have assumed it was electric. Or perhaps solar-powered. Ask a kid to draw their idea of a future car, and it’s the EQS. With the wheels at the corners and mouse-like shape, it’s a dramatic departure from Mercedes’ traditional design elements. Some won’t like that. I loved it. My tester, an EQS 580, started at $119K and had a gorgeous white interior. Somehow, I got it clean after tossing a muddy scooter for my 3-year-old in the cavernous hatch after a fall outing with leaves and mud.

From an EV perspective, it’s a big car that feels fast. This model offers 516 hp and can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, which is blinding quick for something this size. The augmented reality heads-up display worked well for me when I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and the elaborate and colorful screens were surprisingly intuitive. Considering all of this, the 2022 EQS feels like a preview of the 2030 S-Class, when many of these elements will become commonplace on luxury cars.

Rivian R1T

The R1T is a compelling truck with a range of competitors, including the expensive Hummer and the more proletarian Ford F-150 Lightning. Pondering all of this, I couldn’t help but feel Rivian has created a niche for itself as I pushed the R1T through the back roads of Michigan west of Ann Arbor. It’s a clever design, with interesting cues like the horizontal headlights and pass-through areas behind the cabin, which would be good for storing long objects like tent stakes. The thumb controls located in the steering wheel aren’t my flavor of brandy, but otherwise the clear and logical infotainment system was solid. I tried the drive assist feature on a busy Wednesday morning on Interstate 94 and was reasonably satisfied, though I’d need more time to gain confidence. With a quad motor setup producing 800+ hp and up to 314 miles of range, the R1T has all of the bonafides. I was impressed, and also left with the impression that Tesla needs to hurry up with the Cybertruck. There’s a lot of good electric trucks already here.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

I spent probably the least amount of time in the Ioniq 5, as it was more of a preview quick spin, but its edgy styling and 300-mile range look solid. The interior is simple and uncluttered, reminding me a bit of VW’s approach with the ID.4. The Ioniq 5 kicks off Hyundai’s new generation of electrics, and they look promising. 

Watch my test drive of the GMC Hummer:

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EV cost burden pushing automakers to their limits, says Stellantis' CEO Tavares

DETROIT — Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said external pressure on automakers to quickly shift to electric vehicles potentially threatens jobs and vehicle quality as producers struggle with EVs’ higher costs.

Governments and investors want car manufacturers to speed up the transition to electric vehicles, but the costs are “beyond the limits” of what the auto industry can sustain, Tavares said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference released Wednesday.

“What has been decided is to impose on the automotive industry electrification that brings 50% additional costs against a conventional vehicle,” he said.

“There is no way we can transfer 50% of additional costs to the final consumer because most parts of the middle class will not be able to pay.”

Automakers could charge higher prices and sell fewer cars, or accept lower profit margins, Tavares said. Those paths both lead to cutbacks. Union leaders in Europe and North America have warned tens of thousands of jobs could be lost.

Automakers need time for testing and ensuring that new technology will work, Tavares said. Pushing to speed that process up “is just going to be counter productive. It will lead to quality problems. It will lead to all sorts of problems,” he said.

Tavares said Stellantis is aiming to avoid cuts by boosting productivity at a pace far faster than industry norm.

“Over the next five years we have to digest 10% productivity a year … in an industry which is used to delivering 2 to 3% productivity” improvement, he said.

“The future will tell us who is going to be able to digest this, and who will fail,” Tavares said. “We are putting the industry on the limits.”

Electric vehicle costs are expected to fall, and analysts project that battery electric vehicles and combustion vehicles could reach cost parity during the second half of this decade.

Like other automakers that earn profits from combustion vehicles, Stellantis is under pressure from both establishment automakers such as GM, Ford, VW and Hyundai, as well as start-ups such as Tesla and Rivian.

The latter electric vehicle companies are far smaller in terms of vehicle sales and employment. But investors have given Tesla and Rivian higher market valuations than the owner of the highly profitable Jeep and Ram brands.

That investor pressure is compounded by government policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union, California and other jurisdictions have set goals to end sales of combustion vehicles by 2035. The United Kingdom has set 2030 as the deadline for going all-electric.

Tavares said governments should shift the focus of climate policy toward cleaning up the energy sector and developing electric-vehicle charging infrastructure.

Stellantis, created in 2021 with the merger of French automaker Peugeot SA and Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler NV, is on track to deliver 5 billion euros in cost reduction through streamlining its operations, Tavares said.

Tavares has accelerated Stellantis’ electric vehicle development, committing 30 billion euros through 2025 to developing new electric vehicle architectures, building battery plants and investing in raw materials and new technology.

On Tuesday, Stellantis said it had invested in solid-state battery startup Factorial alongside German automaker Daimler AG.

“We can invest more and go deeper in the value chain,” Tavares said. “There may be other (investments) in the near future.”

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2022 Hyundai Kona N priced at $36,650

Pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Kona N is out, and it’s predictably a small chunk more expensive than the Veloster N. Hyundai says the starting price is $36,650, including the $1,225 destination charge.

That base price appears to be what you’ll pay, too, as there are no extra packages to add on to the car. Instead, it comes standard with every option that Hyundai allows the Kona N to have. Compared to the Veloster N DCT, the Kona N (which comes standard with the 8-speed DCT) will cost you an extra $1,625. For one extra door and the convenience of having a crossover, that’s not so bad, especially when we already know that the Kona N drives so well.

As for competitors, well, they don’t really exist at the Kona N’s price point. The closest thing to it would be something like the Mini Clubman JCW or Countryman JCW, but both of those have starting prices over $40,000 prior to options. Even more expensive competitors come from the luxury realm, as you could easily cross-shop it with a Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 or BMW X2 M35i. After options are settled, though, both of those hot German crossovers could be nearly double the price of the Kona N.

No, where the Kona N will compare best is against other non-luxury hot hatches. All of the above competition gets all-wheel-drive power, whereas the Kona N is limited to front-wheel drive. That makes cars like the new Volkswagen GTI and Civic Type R better points of direct comparison than the other vastly more expensive crossovers. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the possibility of the Kona N to cannibalize sales from the Veloster N. With both the crossover and the Elantra N in the picture now, things are getting busy in Hyundai’s compact N lineup.

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