After 11 months of pandemic-related supply chain problems that have hampered the auto industry’s ability to deliver new vehicles to Canadian dealerships, December is shaping up to be one of 2021’s best months for the arrival of redesigned models.
The newcomers constitute a varied group, including Volkswagen’s Golf R hot hatch and ID.4 EV; the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup; an all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee; a significantly updated Subaru Forester with an off-road-ready Wilderness trim package; and refreshed versions of the Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse crossovers.
Here’s what you can expect from all of these vehicles when they roll into Canadian showrooms in December.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
In April, we reported that single-motor versions of the all-electric VW ID.4 would begin arriving in Canada in summer 2021, with the dual-motor AWD variant following closer to the end of the year. But VW Canada’s Thomas Tetzlaff said the company changed its mind and held back the entry-level ID.4 so it could launch both variants at the same time. He says VW began shipping the car to dealers in October, but the combination of global demand and supply chain issues means only a small number of Canadian-market cars have actually made it here so far.
The ID.4 Pro starts at $44,995 with its single electric motor putting 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels; the $49,995 AWD version adds a second motor at the front wheels and boasts total output of 295 hp and 339 lb-ft. Every ID.4 qualifies for a $5,000 rebate through the federal government’s zero-emissions vehicle program.
VW says the ID.4’s 82-kWh battery will charge from 5 to 80 per cent in less than 40 minutes on a DC fast charger, or 7.5 hours using a 240-volt home charger. Driving range is 400 km for the RWD model and 386 with AWD. Every ID.4 comes with three years of unlimited fast charging on the Electrify Canada network.
2022 Toyota Tundra
In December, the 2022 Toyota Tundra will be the freshest face in Canada’s full-size pickup segment, with its arrival in showrooms marking the truck’s first comprehensive redesign in about 15 years.
The Tundra’s update goes well beyond its bold styling: Gone is the previous generation’s V8 engine, which Toyota has replaced with a 3.5L twin-turbo V6. It makes up to 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque – 8 hp and 78 lb-ft more than the V8 – and a 10-speed transmission boasts four more ratios than the outgoing truck. Toyota will also offer an entry-level version of the turbo V6 tuned for 348 hp and 405 lb-ft.
Either way, the new Tundra is more efficient, with fuel consumption estimates starting at 13.1/10.1 L/100 km (city/highway) with 2WD, down from last year’s V8/2WD ratings of 17.7/13.6 L/100 km.
Toyota is also using the Tundra to introduce a new infotainment system that promises to be more intuitive. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite of driver assists will be standard across the range with new features like left-turn oncoming vehicle detection, crash avoidance and lane-departure steering assist, and sway warning.
And if you’re a fan of Toyota trucks, there’s more to look forward to: Next year, the Tundra’s first-ever hybrid powertrain will join the lineup.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Early this year, Jeep introduced Canada to the Grand Cherokee L, the mid-size SUV’s first-ever three-row model. In December, the redone five-seat version will arrive with its own all-new design promising luxury and refinement to compete with some of the industry’s poshest upscale SUVs.
While Jeep’s upscale off-roader is all-new, the basic formula is the same, with 3.6L V6 and 5.7L V8 engines, three different 4WD systems, and sure-footed off-road capability.
What’s different is a range of high-tech features that Jeep says makes this the most advanced Grand Cherokee ever. The base Laredo trim comes with digital gauges and an 8.4-inch touchscreen, but you can upgrade the central display to a 10.1-inch screen and add a second 10.25-inch panel on the passenger side. A 10.0-inch head-up driver display is also available.
New this year is a standard suite of driver safety assists – forward collision avoidance with pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, active lane management, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and rear parking sensors with automatic braking – most of which were previously limited to the top Summit trim. Now, the Summit model is home to some new features, including active driving assist, drowsy driver detection, intersection collision assist, traffic sign recognition, 360-degree camera views, and parallel/perpendicular park assist.
There’s also a new top trim called Summit Reserve, which packs in Palermo leather, ventilated seats front and rear, walnut wood trim, and a McIntosh 19-speaker stereo system. Those items build on the Summit’s four-zone A/C and massaging front seats.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing starts at $51,545 in Laredo trim and tops out at $81,535 for Summit Reserve with the V8 engine.
2022 Subaru Forester
Subaru’s dealers are setting up for the December arrival of a refreshed Forester compact crossover that builds on the fifth-generation model that debuted in 2019.
As with many mid-cycle updates, this one brings new bumpers and redesigned grille and headlights. It also brings a new Wilderness trim level similar to the one Subaru introduced earlier this year on the Outback.
The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness comes with a lifted suspension for more ground clearance and protective skid plates for when the trail becomes really challenging. All-terrain tires are driven by an automatic CVT with gearing tailored to off-road situations and an oil cooler that boosts towing capacity to 1,360 kg. A front-view camera lets you keep a close eye on trail conditions, and DriverFocus keeps an eye on you to make sure you’re not distracted from the road ahead.
Wilderness models also get their own bumpers and styling accents to set them apart from the rest of the Forester range.
2022 Subaru Forester pricing starts at $29,495; the new Wilderness model comes in at $38,995, and Premier tops the seven-trim lineup at $40,595. All trims use a 182-hp, 2.5L four-cylinder engine with CVT and AWD.
2022 Volkswagen Golf R
Next month, Volkswagen Canada will wrap up the rollout of its eighth-generation Golf models with the 2022 Golf R, among the hottest of hot hatches.
Building on the GTI that arrived in November, the Golf R adds AWD and a tuned-up, 315-hp version of the GTI’s 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine.
Priced at $44,995, the new Golf R comes in a single trim whose only options are a panoramic sunroof and a dual-clutch automatic transmission that replaces the standard six-speed manual. A set of 19-inch wheels houses big brakes with blue calipers; you also get steerable LED headlights, a lighted grille (carried over from the GTI’s options list), adaptive damping suspension, and a two-piece rear spoiler.
The Golf R gets fancy with a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, three-zone A/C, digital gauges, a 10.0-inch touchscreen, navigation, wireless phone charging, and a Harman Kardon stereo. The R is also the only Golf that comes standard with VW’s IQ.Drive semi-automated driving system.
2022 Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse
This month, two of Chevrolet’s crossover models get updates aimed at keeping them fresh in Canada’s crowded SUV marketplace.
Both the compact Equinox and mid-size Traverse get new styling that includes redesigned headlights, grilles and front bumpers, and the Traverse adds new taillights.
Other Equinox additions include a new optional RS appearance package, a new wheel design for the top Premier trim, and updated interiors for LS and LT trims. All Equinox models are now standard with heated side mirrors with turn signal repeaters and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. New options include front and rear parking sensors and automatic park assist.
The Traverse’s Premier and High Country trims gain power-folding side mirrors, there’s a new look for Redline Edition models, and LS and LT can be optioned with new Midnight and Sport Edition packages. Chevrolet has also made its safety assist suite (forward collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and following distance indicator) standard in all Traverse trims. Rear pedestrian alert is standard starting with LT trim, and adaptive cruise is now included in True North trim and higher.
2022 Chevrolet Equinox pricing starts at $28,898 in LS trim, and the entry-grade 2022 Traverse LS comes in at $39,498.