What to Drive After That Fresh Cut: Spring 2022 Whips
In this edition of Whips, we gave the winter a little time to help us pick from the new batch of 2022 models hitting the market and embrace the theme of spring: Rebirth. With design leading the way as the main theme, here are three automobiles that surely justified the wait.
All photos courtesy of the automakers.
All-New 2022 Infiniti QX 60
Kicking the door in on the midsize luxury SUV segment, Infiniti has completely redesigned the QX 60 after a year-long wait and has done a tremendous job as a result. At first look, the top comes blacked out, complete with a panoramic moonroof and roof rails; the grille is more refined; the thinner taillights give a more futuristic look, and it's sitting on 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Inside, the contrast piping on the gorgeous, saddle brown, quilted leather seats— with massage in the front— and console set the tone. The second row comes with two heated captain chairs and a removable console for more cargo space splitting them, plus a third row that's ideal for smaller passengers.
Tech brings it, too, with amenities including a 12.3-inch touch screen, a 17-speaker Bose sound system, WiFi, Android/Apple CarPlay connectivity, wireless charging, and Infiniti's custom InTouch services, to list a few.
As far as driving is concerned, the all-new QX 60 is powered by a 295-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and newly implemented 9-speed automatic transmission replacing the CVT by popular demand. Safety features like the predictive forward collision warning and signature Around View monitor, front/rear automatic braking, and pedestrian detection help keep the mind at ease.
Yep, Infiniti put their foot in this one. The redesign is a complete success.
What the sticker says: The all-new 2022 $63,250 MSRP fully equipped as reviewed.
For more information, visit Infinitiusa.com.
2022 Acura TLX Type-S
Off the rip, Acura stepped their game way up with the redesign of this Acura TLX sports sedan in 2021 with its more sloping, closer-to-the-ground placement, and overall more aggressive sporty feel with the welcomed trunk lid spoiler and sinister grille. The version reviewed was presented in a gorgeous Tiger Eye Pearl to further justify the constant head-turning from onlookers.
It's an animal under the hood, too, with a roar backed by 355 horsepower coming from a 3.0L turbo V6 engine with SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). It's sitting on 20-inch alloy wheels with Brembo front brakes and quad exhaust finishers, plus the interior's posh Ultra-suede sport seats and loads of tech features seal the deal starting at $53K for this version.
Inside amenities are impressive with ventilated leather sport seats, remote start, a banging ELS Studio 17-speaker sound system, WiFi, and other pampering thanks to the highly recommended Tech and A-Spec packages.
I see you, Acura! This is definitely a standout whip this year.
What the sticker says: The redesigned 2022 Acura TLX Type-S starts at $53,300 MSRP.
For more information, visit Acura.com.
The All-New 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD
The compact pickup truck class just got shook up with the all-new Santa Cruz. Taking many notes and influence from the carmaker's popular Tucson crossover, this four-door, five-passenger Santa Cruz comes with the cool factor of the El Camino of yesteryear jumping in a time machine. Heads turned at every stop thanks to its curvaceous exterior; rear bed with retractable cover; attractive front grille sporting futuristic, daytime-running LED lighting package; rear-bumper corner steps; and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Under the hood, there's a Smartstream 2.5-liter turbocharged engine complete with an 8-speed transmission with Shiftronic technology, paddle shifter, multiple driving modes, self-leveling rear suspension, and HTRAC all-wheel drive.
The cabin is also well-appointed; comfortable; practical (60/40 rear seats with storage); not stingy in the tech department (10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, surround-view monitor, BOSE premium system); heated/ventilated front seats; and Blue Link connectivity.
With Hyundai's stellar warranty program and advanced safety technology package, everything from helping a friend move to a night on the town is effortlessly doable in this new addition to the Korean automaker's family.
The sticker says: The all-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD $39,720 MSRP fully equipped as reviewed.
There's an "N" in Hyundai
Referencing the review of the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N + 2022 N M/T in our October 2021 Whips article, we said "Hyundai shows racing enthusiasts major love with its N series (including N and N Line), named after the research and development center for high-performance automobiles based in Namyang, South Korea, and the world-famous test track in Nürburgring, Germany."
As promised, Hyundai has expanded its N series in 2022. The Kona N Line is ranking at the top by numerous car authorities in the subcompact SUV segment as it should. Its AWD capability with multi-link rear suspensions guarantees a fun drive, plus there’s some kick; the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine peaks at 195 horsepower and still averaging 29 miles per gallon. It starts at $27,350. Check out the Blue Wave exterior. It pops!
The 2022 Elantra N Line is also impressive with its 2022 version getting upgrades to its powertrain and handling. Reviewed with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and Shiftronic paddle shifters (available in manual and automatic), the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes with several driving modes and tops out at 201 horsepower. Gas is still reasonable at 28 city/ 36 highway MPG as well. We definitely found this one to be one of the best bargains in the industry for the compact car segment, starting at $24,350. Our review version was $26,350.
And the N version? Both the Kona and Elantra have a more powerful 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 8-speed EcoShift “N” version. They both flex an impressive 276 horsepower burst; the Elantra starts at $31,900 produced in manual and automatic, while the Kona is $34,200 and up. We recently took both models for a spin at the Atlanta Mortorsports Park and were honestly blown away, but we need more time with them during everyday-life conditions to get the full scope. (Hint, hint Hyundai.) Stay tuned for that!
Hyundai keeps coming with that heat!
For more information, visit Hyundaiusa.com.
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