The Friday Five:The Ford Powers Texas, Tesla Trims Prices, Toyota Lifts Tacomas Edition

Liz Kim | Feb 19, 2021

This week, J.D. Power announced the results of its annual Vehicle Dependability Study, Jaguar announced it would sell nothing but electric cars by 2025, and rumors flew about new Subaru Wilderness models with more rugged capabilities off-road.

We also explain how car buyers can research a car online, why women suffer more injuries in car crashes than men, and how Ford Pro Power Onboard can help Texans heat their homes.

A slew of new SUVs debuted this week. They include the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV, 2022 Honda HR-V, 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, and 2022 Nissan Rogue Sport.

We’ve also got reviews of the redesigned 2021 Kia Sorento, the famous 2021 Toyota Corolla (in a new FAQ format), and a Ford Explorer vs. Honda Pilot comparison.

But that’s not everything that was happening in the automotive space.

Ford F-150 Hybrids Help Texans Power Through Crisis - Find the best Ford deals!

When the going gets tough, the tough get resourceful. With Texas in the deep freeze, residents of the Lone Star State found ways to survive the shocking lack of power, heat, and water. However, those who purchased a 2021 Ford F-150 with its Pro Power Onboard option had an advantage.

Ford Pro Power Onboard Close Up

Pro Power Onboard is available for any F-150 except those equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 engine. Trucks with a conventional gasoline powertrain offer a 2-kW onboard generator, while all F-150 PowerBoost hybrids come standard with a 2.4-kW unit. Exclusive to the F-150 Hybrid, a 7.2-kW is also available.

Any version of Pro Power Onboard helped Texans power their lives when the state’s electrical grid could not, with the 7.2-kW version proving the most useful. Ford even encouraged its Texas dealers to loan out any F-150 PowerBoost Hybrids in stock to those in need, reimbursing the dealers $600 per vehicle.

2022 Infiniti QX55 Price Starts Just North of $47,500 - Find the best Infiniti deals!

This week, Infiniti released pricing for its all-new QX55 crossover, with starting prices of $46,500 for the base Luxe trim, $51,600 for the Essential, and $57,025 for the top-of-the-line Sensory trim level. The prices do not include the $1,025 destination charge. Every QX55 has standard all-wheel drive and 20-inch aluminum wheels, among other features.  

Based on the compact QX50, the new 2022 Infiniti QX55 has a coupe-like design. It competes with the Audi Q5 Sportback, BMW X4, and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, all of which forsake the usual boxy SUV shape for a faster roofline and a sportier appearance. The Infiniti is the most affordable of this quartet of SUV coupes.

Tesla Cuts Prices of Model 3, Model Y - Find the best Tesla deals!

Teslas are becoming more popular and mainstream than ever. Last year, the electric car manufacturer passed Audi in new vehicle registrations, making it the 4th most popular luxury brand in America after BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.

Now, Tesla cuts prices on the base trim levels of its lower-priced models. The popular Model 3 sedan now costs $36,990 in Standard Range Plus form, a $1,000 reduction in price. Meanwhile, the Model Y SUV Standard Range gets a $2,000 discount to $39,990. California residents can also apply a $1,500 Clean Fuel Reward rebate to make them even more affordable.

On the other end of both lineups, though, the Performance variants both see a price hike of $1,000. The Model 3 Performance now costs $55,990 while the Model Y Performance tallies up to $60,990. The prices do not include a destination charge of $1,200.

Reach for the Sky! Toyota offers new TRD Lift Kit for Tacomas - Find the best Toyota deals!

Pickup truck owners expect an endless array of accessories to make their vehicles uniquely their own. Now, Toyota Tacoma owners can opt for a TRD factory lift kit. Best of all, unlike aftermarket kits, it’s covered under warranty and is designed to work together with all Toyota Safety Sense advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS).

The dealer-installed option lifts the front of the truck by two inches and the rear by one inch. New monotube Bilstein shocks improve driving dynamics on and off the pavement, and the kit improves approach, breakover, and departure angles. A TRD Pro-style grille is part of the upgrade, helping to ensure onlookers know your lifted Tacoma is a real deal.

The kit goes for $1,350, plus the cost of labor for dealer installation. Toyota says it is compatible with any 2020 model year or newer Tacoma with a V6 engine and 4-wheel drive.

The U.S. Rejoins Paris Climate Agreement

There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s pretty serious about combating climate change. A key backer of the Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 200 countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. withdrew from the accord under the Trump Administration. As of February 19, 2021, the U.S. has rejoined the commitment to fight climate change.

As required by the agreement, all countries must reduce carbon emissions levels by specific dates. In 2015, the U.S. agreed to reduce its carbon emissions across all industries by 25% by 2025, based on its 2005 levels. Automakers are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions within the transportation sector. Numerous new all-electric, zero-emissions vehicles are going on sale this year and in those to follow.

Demand for change isn’t coming solely from governments. Private industry is clamoring for it as well. BlackRock, the world’s largest financial asset manager, is requesting that all companies with which it does business release their emissions assessments to encourage emissions reduction. Some environmentalists are urging BlackRock to ditch holdings in companies that do not comply.

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