At the risk of being Captain Obvious, there are a lot of cars in the world. And especially in the past few years, it seems like there are new cars being released all the time. Because I can't possibly write about all of them, I tend to stick to the absolute most important or exciting reveals. But there are a lot of cars out there that are not quite interesting or important enough to get their own article, but too interesting or important to ignore. So I've decided to take a look at a few of the most interesting or significant cars that have debuted recently. (All photos are from manufacturer websites)
CHEVY BOLT EUV
GM vs. Ford has been one of the fiercest automotive rivalries ever, and I'm not going to take sides. Yet both companies share one major problem. They may make huge (and hugely popular) pickup trucks with enough torque to put a dead planet back into orbit. And they make iconic V8-powered muscle cars, which now offer Ferrari levels of performance for half the price. Yet when it comes to their lineups of ordinary cars (well, mostly just crossovers now), both companies fall well short of their rivals from Japan and Korea. And despite GM's head start on hybrids and EVs a decade ago with the Volt, today it's in the same position as all the other legacy automakers--chasing Tesla. The Bolt EV--the only electric car GM currently makes--is a very good car, and was very well-received when it came out in 2017. But it's just not as cool or interesting as the Tesla Model 3, and thus has not sold as well. And the new Bolt EUV is, for the most part, more of the same. There's nothing at all wrong with the car--it has a reasonable range of 250 miles, as well as the option of GM's excellent Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. But the car is completely anonymous -GM hasn't done nearly enough to set the EUV apart from the normal Bolt. There's simply no way in which the Bolt EUV stands out, except one: The price. And the price is likely to be what saves this car. It's $8K less than a Tesla Model Y, and is even around $3K cheaper than the previous generation of the regular Bolt (the refreshed version of the regular Bolt is around $5K cheaper). The EUV is only about $3K more than the Mini Electric, a vehicle that's more interesting than the Bolt, but also less practical and with just 110 miles of range. In fact, it's substantially cheaper than any other EV with similar range. A base model Tesla Model 3 is about $37K, as is the Hyundai Kona EV, while the Nissan Leaf Plus is around $38K. So the Bolt might not be particularly exciting, but I suspect it will probably convince a lot more internal-combustion car owners to switch permanently to electric.
Despite (or more likely because of) the fact that the last Nissan Frontier dated back to the Mesozoic era, I always liked it. For one thing, it was the last truly small pickup truck on sale. And because of its age, it lacked modern luxuries, which made it a more utilitarian vehicle than most other pickups. But inevitably, the Frontier has been redesigned after 17 years (!), and this newer version should be a strong contender in its class. For one thing, while it's grown bigger during the redesign, it's still not huge, which is good. For another, it's very good looking, and it could serve as a lesson to Ford and GM on how to make a truck that looks tough without looking ridiculous and quite possibly homicidal. On the other hand, the interior does look kind of cheap in photos. I don't mind (it is a truck, after all), but all those weirdos who use their trucks as luxury vehicles might want to look elsewhere. Overall, though, the Frontier looks like it will be a strong competitor in the midsize truck segment, although it's too early to tell if it will be the best in class.
BMW M5 CS
It seems like really track-focused sedans are becoming more and more common nowadays. First there was the slightly bonkers and entirely awesome Jaguar XE Project 8, then the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA, and now this even faster version of the BMW M5. The M5 CS closely follows the established formula for special editions of existing high performance cars, in that it's a little lighter, a little more powerful, and a lot more expensive. In fact, the CS starts at $143K, which is more than $30K higher than the regular M5. That's a pretty steep price difference, and it's a little di cult to see how it could be worth the price. On the other hand, reviews of the BMW M2 CS seem to indicate that it's significantly better than the regular M2, so maybe BMW will be able to make the price gap seem justified. Overall, the CS seems to take a slightly different approach than some other track-focused sedans. It's not nearly as track-focused/insane as the Jaguar Project 8, lacking the huge wing, roll cage and loud styling of the Jag (and the BMW also has back seats). The M5 CS is more like the wingless Touring version of the Project 8--more focused than a regular supersedan, but still with some concessions to luxury and on-road usability.
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is sort of like the AC/DC of cars--hugely, consistently popular, and it hasn't changed at all for 40 years. OK, that last one is an exaggeration, but 10 years is still a long time between redesigns for a vehicle as popular and important as the Grand Cherokee (it's the best-selling vehicle Jeep makes, even ahead of the Wrangler). Now, however, Jeep has finally released a redesigned Grand Cherokee, and, in order to compete with other large crossovers, it now has three rows of seats, making it a cheaper Grand Wagoneer for people who have taste (sort of). Here's the basic information: The Grand Cherokee L (a two-row version will arrive later) starts at $38K for the base model, and goes up to $60K for the top trim level. That's more than competitors like the Honda Pilot or Kia Telluride, but I guess you pay more for the Jeep name. The engines are the same 3.6 liter V6 and 5.7 liter V8 that were in the last one. OK, that's enough boring information, now on to my opinions. First, the styling. I like it. It looks similar to Jeep's atrocious Grand Wagoneer concept from last fall, but it's a lot more restrained, without the gratuitous overuse of chrome and LEDs that was a key component of the Grand Wagoneer's styling. The other key thing about the Grand Cherokee is that it looks immediately like a Jeep, unlike the blobby and boring regular Cherokee. It has a boxy and slab-sided pro le, like all Jeeps should have, and the detailing is also more interesting than the last Grand Cherokee. But what's even better than the exterior is the interior. It looks incredible--well-designed, with great materials, and even some actual physical buttons in addition to the obligatory massive screen. In short, the new Grand Cherokee seems to do everything it has to, and I expect that Jeep will continue to sell millions of them.
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Rory Cahill is a highly sarcastic teenage car enthusiast and amateur automotive journalist, who is especially interested in 80s/90s cars, classic off-roaders, and anything weird. He owns a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbodiesel. He is also very interested in rock music and politics, and wrote this whole bio in the third person because he is a filthy, filthy snob