As 2018 comes to an end and we get to see the approach of the exciting new features of 2019’s newest releases, it’s worth looking back at the innovative milestones of 2017 and 2018.
For one thing, our next round of luxury vehicles owes some of its merit to the breakthrough technologies and advancements that the auto industry saw in 2017. High-tech features that were once thought unachievable came to us in waves in 2017, paving the way for a new breed of vehicles that even the average consumer could access and enjoy.
But also, as the holiday season approaches and dealerships clear their stockyards to make way for 2019 vehicles, we’re about to see some major discounts on 2017 vehicles. Let’s have a look at the best options out there for the consumers that want a high-tech driving experience without the high-end price tag.
2017 Tesla Model S
The buzz and excitement surrounding the Tesla Model S is one consumers and manufacturers alike haven’t seen for decades. Perhaps the most exciting addition to the auto market, the electric Model S took the auto manufacturer and consumer game to a completely new height. With its eco-friendly baseline, unbelievable acceleration rate, sophisticated technology and loads of high-tech luxuries and features, nothing compares to the Tesla in terms of changing the face of the auto industry in recent years.
Tesla discontinued the Roadster, and in quick succession, released its new Model S. Since then, the Model S has become widely popular and sales were good enough that Tesla has extended its offering of vehicles, now including the Model X and the soon-to-be-released Tesla Model 3. At first, the Model S sedan came only in rear-wheel drive and featured an extended range 265 miles. Not that it wasn’t a bad initial package – Tesla did effective set the standard for all-electric vehicles, and to date, it’s still the best all-electric model you can get.
Over the past few years, the Model S has seen several updates, including a new front motor that made all-wheel-drive variants available, plus Autopilot, and Ludicrous mode. In that time frame, the range has also been increased up to 295 miles for properly equipped models. The one thing that hasn’t changed since the car’s introduction, however, is the body style. But now as we approach the 2017 model year, Tesla has finally given the Model S a facelift.
Before you get to overwhelmed with excitement, be warned that the facelift is pretty minor. It was well needed, though, and the front end does sport a new look. Join me for an in-depth look at the Tesla Model S and what it brings to the table as Tesla ushers in the 2017 model year.
When we look at the 2017 Model S, it is pretty clear Tesla didn’t put a whole lot of time into developing a new look. What it did do, however, is refine the current style, giving it a somewhat sportier appearance. Up front, you’ll notice the same hood and corner vents in the fascia. The headlights have the same overall shape, but the lens itself has changed. It now sports an LED strip that outlines the top and outer side of the lens, as well as a smaller LED strip that hangs from the upper edge.
The most important change comes in the form of a redesigned nose. The previous model had a big chrome strip that circles the point of the nose, but Tesla has done away with it all together. Instead of having a small grille positioned just above the air dam, Tesla has integrated that vent into the area just below the front hood. The Tesla emblem still sits right in the middle. With this change, the rest of the fascia is smooth, with a single but slightly taller air dam between the two corner vents. It should also be noted that the lip on the front fascia now features a small dip, further accenting the air dam.
2017 Chevrolet Volt
One of the best hybrids on the auto market even today, the Chevrolet Volt raised the standards for hybrids with its 2017 release. In an achievement unmatched even since then, the Chevrolet Volt combines eco-friendly features with safety and maximum comfort, setting the bar for hybrid models for years to come in terms of what consumers will expect for their environmentally-friendly choices.
If you’re looking to go green, but aren’t exactly sure if you could make do solely on an electric car, Chevrolet’s Volt could be the right vehicle for you. It offers up to 85 km of all-electric range, nearly matching pure electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric. Yet it also features an on-board gas-powered generator and a sizeable fuel tank to give it a real-world range that’s on par with conventional compact cars.
The Volt’s refined exterior and interior are considerably more conventional than the first-gen car. The rounded-block styling has given way to sleek fastback-like shape. Although it looks like a sedan, the Volt remains a hatchback with a large rear trunk and fold-down rear seats. The high lift-over height remains, though.
Right now is a great time to investigate these options for yourself as the holiday season draws near.