March came in like a lamb for Canada’s new-car dealers, who welcomed no new or significantly redesigned models to their showrooms in the third month of 2021. By contrast, April is shaping up like a lion, with more than a half-dozen revised or completely redone vehicles set to arrive at dealerships in the next few weeks.
Of the seven vehicles we have to tell you about this month, three of them are Mitsubishi crossovers the brand hopes will improve its appeal among mainstream shoppers. There’s also a pair of niche Fords – one for fans of off-roading, and the other aimed at track drivers. Finally, Hyundai has an all-new compact crossover that brings daring styling to one of Canada’s most popular segments, and Infiniti’s newest model revisits the crossover coupe trend the brand started nearly 20 years ago.
2022 Hyundai Tucson
This April, Hyundai will roll out one of its boldest-ever styling exercises on the 2022 Tucson, the fourth generation of the brand’s popular compact crossover.
Borrowing heavily from the Vision T concept Hyundai showed at the 2019 LA auto show, the new Tucson’s bodywork sports loads of kinks and creases and cleverly integrates lighting into its design: the daytime running lights are built into the grille and only reveal themselves when the car is turned on.
It may seem daring for Hyundai to put such an out-there design in a mainstream segment, but that strategy worked well for the smaller Kona, which has become one of the brand’s strongest sellers.
The Tucson’s powertrains are comparatively conventional. Most trims use a 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine with 187 hp and an eight-speed transmission, while the poshest Luxury and Ultimate packages come with a gas-electric hybrid powertrain built around a 1.6L turbo four-cylinder with 227 hp and a six-speed automatic.
This summer, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will follow with 261 hp and a promised 51 km of EV range.
For now, 2022 Hyundai Tucson prices start at $27,699 in Essential FWD trim (or $2,000 more with AWD), and the top Ultimate Hybrid package goes for $41,499.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander
April 2021 is a big month for little Mitsubishi, which sees three fifths of its lineup redesigned, refreshed or updated.
First up is the all-new 2022 Outlander crossover, which gets its first ground-up redesign since 2007.
The new Outlander’s styling retains a few elements from like the outgoing model, like the boomerang-shaped chrome pieces that frame its grille, but it owes a lot of its newness to Mitsu’s inclusion in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance: underneath, this Mitsu crossover shares a lot with the third-gen Nissan Rogue introduced as a 2021 model.
If you think the new Outlander looks more substantial, you’re not seeing things: it has grown in length, width and wheelbase to add more passenger space. The cabin’s look and feel take major steps forward, too, with a modern, minimalist dash designed around a floating infotainment screen measuring 8.0- or 9.0 inches depending on trim.
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The new Outlander’s sole engine is a 2.5L four-cylinder that puts 181 hp and a matching 181 lb-ft of torque through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Notably, the Outlander comes standard with all-wheel drive in a class where most of its competitors start as front-drivers.
When the Outlander arrives in Mitsubishi’s Canadian showrooms in April, its starting price will be $31,998 in ES trim, and the top GT Premium model will come in at $42,178.
2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
The other Mitsubishi model set to present a new face in April is the Eclipse Cross crossover that slots in between the Outlander and the subcompact RVR.
This is a mid-cycle refresh as opposed to a full redesign. It’s the Eclipse Cross’s rear that gets the most attention, replacing a quirky dual-window tailgate with a more conventional rear door, along with new taillights and bumper cover. Just about everything about the front end is new, too, but the differences are more subtle.
Mitsubishi tweaked the Eclipse Cross’s interior to accommodate a new touchscreen infotainment system in place of the old car’s touchpad-based setup.
Behind the revised styling are a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, continuously variable transmission, and all-wheel drive carried over from the outgoing 2020 Eclipse Cross (there was no 2021 model).
Pricing starts at $28,598 (ES trim) and tops out at $36,998 in GT form.
2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi’s third April debut is the 2021 Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid), which looks the same as before but gets a more powerful drivetrain, a larger battery, and a nominal increase in electric driving range.
The new powertrain is built around a 2.4L engine (replacing a 2.0L), which works with the new battery and a larger rear-axle electric motor to add 31 hp for a new total of 221 hp.
Mitsubishi’s new 13.8-kWh battery pack (up from 12 kWh) adds 4 km of electric driving range, for a promised 39 km of EV range on a full charge before the gas engine is called on to help out.
Prices range from $44,198 (SE trim) to $52,198 (GT), maintaining the Outlander PHEV’s eligibility in the Canadian federal government’s zero-emissions vehicle rebate program.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford bolsters its pony car performance offerings with the 2021 Mustang Mach 1, the first Mustang in more than 15 years to boast that sought-after label.
Intended to bridge the gap between the Mustang GT and Shelby GT500, the Mach 1 adds 20 hp to the GT’s 5.0L V8 for a total of 480 hp. The Mach 1 also benefits from a front fascia and rear spoiler optimized for aerodynamics, along with an extended underbody belly pan and other wind-cheating tweaks.
The design of the 2021 Mustang Mach 1’s 19-inch wheels calls back to those on the original 1969 model, measuring 9.5 inches wide up front and 10 inches out back. Also standard are MagneRide suspension dampers that are optional in the Mustang GT.
Track driving enthusiasts can add an optional handling package that further enhances the Mach 1’s high-speed aerodynamics and brings wheels – and tires – an inch wider.
Ford’s base price for the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is $63,000 with a six-speed manual transmission – a nearly $17,000 bump over the GT – and a Mach 1 Premium package adds a few comfort and convenience features for $65,000. A 10-speed automatic is optional in both base and Premium models.
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Also new in Ford dealers this month is the Ranger Tremor, the most aggressively off-road-focused version of the brand’s midsize pickup.
Key to the Ranger Tremor’s extra off-road prowess is its suspension, which consists of Fox dampers with rear external fluid reservoirs and Continental all-terrain tires to add nearly an inch of ground clearance. It also gets trim-specific springs front and rear to add suspension travel and softer anti-roll bars to improve off-road driving comfort.
Ford says the taller ride improves the Ranger’s approach, breakover, and departure angles for more confidence when clambering over uneven terrain, and a front bash plate and an underbody skid plate help protect the truck’s drivetrain and fuel tank from rock damage.
The driver benefits from four terrain management modes, a traction control system programmed for better acceleration and grip on gravel surfaces, and six auxiliary power switches that can be wired to control aftermarket items like off-road lights and winches.
If you do manage to get your Ranger Tremor stuck, there are two extra recovery hooks at the back end, in addition to the standard Ranger’s front pair.
Elsewise, the Ranger Tremor’s upgrades are cosmetic, including a trim-specific grille, and seats with suede inserts, black accents, and the “Tremor” logo stitched into them.
Ford says the Tremor package is a $5,250 option on Ranger SuperCrew XLT and Lariat trims, which start at $38,308 and $42,688 respectively.
2022 Infiniti QX55
In the early 2000s, Infiniti introduced the auto industry to the idea of a crossover coupe, placing fashion-forward bodywork on a sport-utility platform to create its FX model (which later became the QX70). Despite being the first of its kind, the QX70 (which disappeared after 2013) ended up on the sidelines of a niche now dominated by the BMW X4 and X6, and conceptually similar vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Porsche.
Starting in April, Infiniti hopes to capitalize on the now-trendy crossover coupe segment with its newest model, the 2022 QX55. It’s a riff on the more conventional QX50 and shares its 2.0L turbocharged variable compression four-cylinder engine (268 hp/280 lb-ft of torque), continuously variable transmission, and standard AWD.
Predictably, the lower-slung QX55 gives up some interior space to the boxier QX50, but Infiniti claims class-leading cargo space in comparison to other compact crossover coupe models.
Infiniti also positions the QX55 as a step up from its linemate, starting off in Luxe trim at $51,995, a $3,500 premium over the same package in the QX50.
From there, a QX55 Essential ProAssist package comes in at $56,998, and the top Sensory trim level goes for $60,998.