AutoGuide's Top News Stories of 2021

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Hands-on previews, affordable fun cars, and the ICE saviour? These were your favorite news stories this year.

As we head into 2022, we’re taking the usual retrospective looks back at the last 12 months. It was a year of ups and downs as the world continues to adapt, and the automotive sector was no exception.

If there’s one thing the AutoGuide readership clicked on this year, it was the humble hands-on preview. For both you and us, it’s the first experience we can have with a new car, giving us a clearer picture of how those good-looking interiors truly function in the real world.

The big winners were pickups—no surprise, as truck sales continue to make up an ever-increasing portion of the market pie. The other theme was one of affordability, with many of the most popular stories focusing on everyday metal. That’s not to say luxury cars didn’t get their own time in the spotlight.

Read on for the top 10 AutoGuide news stories of 2021:

10. 5 Details That Stand Out on the 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Pickup

SEE ALSO: 2022 Toyota Tundra First Drive Review: All Grown Up and Somewhere to Tow

Toyota made waves with the reveal of its third-generation Tundra full-size pickup. That’s because the outgoing truck was introduced way back in 2007, which is practically Paleozoic in car terms. A lot has changed: out goes the V8, and in comes a turbocharged V6, complete with an available hybrid system. Towing figures shift upward too, up to a maximum of 12,000 pounds. The exterior styling has proven somewhat divisive, but what we don’t predict will see much debate is the excellent new infotainment system. Regular contributor Chris Tonn drove the Tundra this autumn and came away impressed.

09. 2022 Lexus LX 600 to Debut October 13

One of the more recent news pieces to make the list is this teaser about the 2022 Lexus LX debut. You folks really took the Toyota Land Cruiser discontinuation news rough, huh? The LX debuted before the year’s end, keeping the fancy-pants version of Toyota’s hardcore off-roader alive on this side of the Atlantic. We’ll be driving the new one soon, which shares its drivetrain with the Tundra above.

08. 2022 Infiniti QX60 First Look and Preview

Continuing the trend of old models finally finding replacements, we previewed the next Infiniti QX60 in the summer. The brand’s three-row crossover once again pairs with the Nissan Pathfinder, with a carryover V6 engine hooked up to a new nine-speed transmission. The swoopy looks outside pair with a much more luxurious interior, with a quilted leather dashboard that looks pretty ace. Managing editor Mike Schlee is in Infiniti’s latest over the holidays, so expect the AutoGuide review soon!

07. 2022 Genesis G70 Preview: Our Favorite Sport Sedan Gets Better

SEE ALSO: 2022 Genesis G70 Review: First Drive

Unlike the three trucks above, the Genesis G70 is hardly old. It debuted for the 2019 model year, and earned the AutoGuide Car of the Year title. That was prior to Genesis discovering its distinctive current design language however, which is centered around the twin-line motif of its head- and taillights. So the G70 came in for a facelift, seeing a few interior tweaks and dynamic upgrades as well. We drove the car a short while later and it’s just as good as ever, the best all-round compact sport sedan out there. We just wish Genesis would bring the wagon here.


06. 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Hands-On Preview: 5 Things We Love About the Funky EV Crossover

SEE ALSO: 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 First Drive Review: The Future is Now

Get ready to hear a lot more about the Hyundai Ioniq 5. We went hands-on with the retro-futuristic EV in the summer, and spent the second half of the year (im)patiently waiting to drive it. A few weeks ago we did, and sure enough, it’s very good. The right size, the right shape, and lots of user-focused tech makes the Ioniq 5 one of the most appealing cars going on sale for 2022, not “just for an EV.”

05. What is eFuel? How Porsche’s Synthetic Fuel Could Save the Combustion Engine

Porsche and ExxonMobile are working on “closing the loop” with today’s internal combustion engines. Using a combination of hydrogen, electrolysis, captured carbon dioxide, and a methanol-to-gasoline (MtG) process, the companies are hoping to make synthetic fuel, dubbed eFuel, that is largely renewable. It wouldn’t be cheap, nor would there be lots at first: just 130,000 liters are planned for 2022, but that could expand to a massive 550 million liters within five years. It’s unlikely eFuel will power the entire ICE fleet, but it could be a way to more responsibly keep classics alive.

04. 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Hands-On Preview: 5 Things We Love About the EV Pickup

Ford is readying the F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup, and while it won’t be first to market—that distinction goes to the Rivian R1T—it should be a big deal, what with it being based on the best-selling vehicle in North America and all. The Lightning looks much like a regular F-150, with new full-width head- and taillights for good measure, and the same great interior we love in Ford’s workhorse. Two battery options will be available when the truck goes on sale in 2022, with up to 300 miles of range and 10,000 pounds of towing capacity. It’s one of our most-anticipated vehicles of the year.

03. Why Subaru Believes the World Needs the 2022 Subaru BRZ

Readers responded strongly to our first look at the 2022 Subaru BRZ. The brand readily acknowledges that sports cars are a niche these days, but it’s a niche that’s holding steady sales-wise. With other brands exiting the scene, Subaru is looking to cash in on an increased share of the pie. The BRZ doesn’t dramatically change for its second generation: power is up a bit, as is weight, but it remains a spunky, affordable, fun-to-drive car. Well, we hope so: we haven’t driven it yet, but we did get a first drive review of the related 2022 Toyota GR86.

02. 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross First Look: A Corolla On Stilts Or Something More?

SEE ALSO: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Second Drive Review: What’s in a Name?

Speaking of Toyota, readers turned out in droves for the brand’s Corolla Cross. We poked around the sub-RAV4 crossover in the summer and found an eminently sensible package. The C-HR might be funky, but as the sub-compact segment becomes more and more important, Toyota needed something more middle-of-the-road. More practical. More… Corolla, really. Since the preview we’ve gone on to drive the Corolla Cross not once but twice, and you’ll be seeing more of it next month, too. We expect this to quickly become one of the best sellers in the segment.

01. 2022 Ford Maverick Hands-On Preview: 5 Reasons Ford’s Small Pickup is a Big Deal

SEE ALSO: Ford Maverick vs Hyundai Santa Cruz Comparison: Same But Different

“Big deal” turned out to be an understatement. Our summer hands-on preview with the 2022 Ford Maverick out-did stories 10 through 6 combined. It almost doubled the second-place Corolla Cross’ clicks, and handily out-performed any reviews. It turns out people really dig the idea of an affordable unibody compact pickup. The big news is the standard hybrid drivetrain, which provides the Maverick with Civic-beating fuel economy. Paired with a super-low $21,490 starting price, the Maverick is also one of the most affordable new vehicles out there. No wonder Ford has already filled the 2022 allotment of hybrid models. Is this the most important new vehicle of the year? We’re inclined to say so.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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