The Friday Five:The Updated Telluride, Uncovered MDX, Unloved Clarity Edition

Beverly Braga | Jun 18, 2021

This week, we covered electrifying news from Mazda and Lincoln and provided production updates on the 2021 Ford Bronco and 2022 Subaru Forester. (Yes, the Bronco is finally actually happening.)

We also previewed the upcoming 2022 Lexus NX. And for more on Lexus technologies, check out our brief guides to the Lexus Interface and the Lexus Safety System+. Additionally, we’ve got new explainers about evasive steering assistance systems and boxer engines.

New reviews went live this week, covering the redesigned 2022 Honda Civic and the all-new, three-row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. For full-size, light-duty pickup truck shoppers seeking alternatives to the Chevy, Ford, and Ram trio, we compare the 2021 Nissan Titan vs. the 2021 Toyota Tundra.

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

2022 Kia Telluride Gets New Branding, More Equipment - Find the best Kia deals!

Kia first introduced the Telluride for the 2020 model year, but as the automaker aggressively pushes to rebrand itself, the sales-leading three-row SUV receives an update for 2022.

2022 Kia Telluride SX Prestige Green Front Quarter View

Visually, the changes are minimal and subtly align the Telluride with other Kia models. For example, the updated grille now features a blacked-out mesh instead of chrome and wears Kia’s distinctive new, oval-less logo.

However, the biggest changes are evident from the driver’s seat. Navigation-based adaptive cruise control, which uses GPS to adjust vehicle speed for upcoming turns and bends, is standard across all trims. In addition, the entry-level LX and sporty S trim now have a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, automatic climate control, and semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist, a hands-on Level 2 advanced driving assistance system (ADAS).

There is a starting price increase of $600 for LX and S models and $200 for EX and SX trims, but these are relatively negligible considering the additional standard equipment. The 2022 Kia Telluride will arrive in dealerships later this year.

2022 Acura MDX Type S Sneak Peek From Pikes Peak  - Find the best Acura deals!

The 2022 Acura MDX Type S has officially debuted – and as the Acura Race Team team tow vehicle of all things. The MDX Type S is shown without camouflage as it poses with a TLX Type S sports sedan, one of two cars that will compete in the annual hill climb racing competition. 

The automaker previously released specs on the MDX Type S, which is the first Acura crossover to wear the Type S badge. It has a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, which is the same powertrain found in the TLX Type S. Output is 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. When equipped with all-wheel drive and the optional tow package, the MDX Type S can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Pricing and additional specifications will be released closer to the vehicle’s launch date later this year.

Study: Legalizing Weed Leads to More Crashes

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), crash rates have increased in states where recreational marijuana is now legal. The IIHS took into account the number of incidents reporting injuries and fatalities and whether the states had legalized marijuana use. 

The study looked at crash data from 2009 and 2019. The research showed a 6.6-percent increase in crashes that resulted in injuries if occurring in states with legalized pot. In addition, fatal crashes saw a rise of 2.3 percent on average versus states where weed is still illegal. 

Interestingly, a separate but related study showed no increase in injuries while under the influence of marijuana, except when alcohol was also a factor. This data was specific to California, Colorado, and Oregon. Nevertheless, driving under the influence is illegal everywhere and is apparently more dangerous when involving multiple inhibitors. 

Unbreakable? Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator May Be Offered with Gorilla Glass - Find the best Jeep deals!

Rumor has it the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator will be built tougher from the factory. Or at least the windshield. Jeep owners who do, in fact, take their vehicles off-road and off the grid might know a thing or two about windshield repair. 

The upright design of the windshield makes it prone to damage from rocks and other debris. A Corning Gorilla Glass windshield, known for being damage and scratch resistant, has long been offered as a replacement. But a new report says the tough-as-nails glass could be made available as a factory option for new Wranglers and Gladiators. 

If so, the Gorilla Glass windshield would only be available on Willys, Sahara, and Rubicon Wranglers and Willys, Overland, Mojave, and Rubicon Gladiators.

Let’s Be Clear: Honda Clarity To Be Discontinued - Find the best Honda deals!

The third-generation Honda Clarity debuted in 2015 as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. A plug-in hybrid and all-electric variant followed soon afterward. However, Honda discontinued the Clarity Electric last year, and Honda recently confirmed the rest of the model lineup would cease production starting in August.

Sales for the Clarity were never great. Through May of 2021, Honda has sold only 1,896 Clarity models. Last year, annual sales totaled 4,215, while pre-pandemic numbers were 11,654. 

Even without the Clarity in its lineup, Honda remains committed to bringing more fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles to the market. Through a partnership with General Motors, a new battery-electric crossover will launch in 2024. In addition, Honda is targeting a fully-electrified, zero-emissions lineup by 2040.

The automakers are the sources of information for this article. It was accurate on June 18, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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