The Friday Five:The Kona Karussell, Cruising Speeds, Greenhouse Gases Edition

Liz Kim | Mar 12, 2021

This week, we reported the J.D. Power 2021 Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study results, which found that Porsche and Mini owners are happiest with their dealership service experience.

News broke about changes to the 2022 Ford F-Series Super Duty, and Hyundai announced prices for the redesigned 2022 Tucson. Jeep released all of the details about the new 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, while GMC teased the upcoming Hummer EV SUV and Kia provided glimpses of the EV6 electric SUV.

If you’ve been wondering what HondaLink is or what Amazon Fire T.V. for Auto is, we’ve got explainers for both technologies. We also compared the Honda Civic vs. the Hyundai Elantra this week and published a review of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

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

Hyundai’s Kona Meets Germany’s Nurburgring - Find the best Hyundai deals!

Driving enthusiasts seeking a fun, small, crossover SUV will want to take note of the upcoming 2022 Hyundai Kona N, pictured above. 

2022 Hyundai Kona N Front View Teaser

An amped version of the little crossover, this turbocharged, 275-horsepower, Nurburgring-trained performance SUV boasts a prominent rear spoiler, red accents on the front and rear, two oversized exhaust outlets, and big wheels wearing meaty tires. 

Hyundai should release full Kona N specs in the coming months, and it will be in showrooms shortly after that. It will benefit from the changes Hyundai is applying to all 2022 Kona models

Tesla Full Self Driving Isn’t Fully Self Driving - Find the best Tesla deals!

Tesla may be promoting its Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode, a $10,000 upgrade to the Model 3 and Model Y, to the public as a near-autonomous feature, but that’s not what automaker is telling the California Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Instead, FSD is officially a Level 2 autonomous driving technology, which means the driver needs to maintain consciousness and awareness and be ready to take control of the vehicle at any point. 

Still, the FSD upgrade unlocks some pretty cool features like Auto Lane Change, Stop Sign Control to slow the vehicle at traffic lights and stop signs automatically, and soon, Autosteer on City Streets. 

Adaptive Cruisers More Likely to Speed

Semi-autonomous driving technology like Tesla FSD means that the driver can relax a little and let the car handle some of the driving tasks. 

However, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study finds that when drivers use advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), such as adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assistance, there is a 24% increase in vehicles traveling at higher speeds than when drivers control the vehicle manually. On highways with a 55-mph limit, drivers using these aids drove an average of eight mph over the limit.

Based on this study, the IIHS says that ADAS users are “at about 10% higher risk of a fatal crash” because higher speeds result in more severe crashes. However, this study’s results are theoretical. The experiments are not based on any real-world data and do not consider the benefits of these systems in avoiding a collision in the first place.

Changes Announced for the 2022 Volvo XC60 - Find the best Volvo deals!

Volvo announced updates to its 2022 XC60, its compact 5-passenger crossover SUV. Slight changes to the front and rear bumpers give the Volvo XC60 an altered appearance, but the main difference relates to its infotainment system. 

Starting in 2022, Volvo switches to an Android-based operating system with a free 4-year subscription to Google Maps, Google Assistant, Google Play apps, and a Digital Services Package providing the connectivity to use them. You can opt to continue the subscription after that time at an extra cost. 

The 2022 Volvo S90, V90, and V90 Cross Country will also move to this infotainment technology.

The U.S. Must Cut Emissions in Half This Decade

The Biden Administration has a stated goal of the U.S. reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, but according to a new study by the Climate Action Tracker, it will be a long, uphill climb. The U.S. needs to lower its emissions by 57% to 63% from its 2005 levels by 2030 to reach that goal on time. Other nations and science consortiums have pegged the number at around a 50% reduction. 

In any case, it’s a heavy lift; even with the reduced economic activity due to the pandemic, U.S. emissions dropped only 9% from their 2019 levels. Thus far, the U.S. has reduced greenhouse gases by 12% from 2005 to 2018, while globally, the reduction number was 24%. 

To accelerate America’s ability to meet this goal, the Biden Administration has outlined its ambition to invest billions in promoting green energy, electric vehicles, and shoring up infrastructure to support them. 

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