Weekly news roundup: Frozen Lightning, Sportage pricing, distracted driving, and more

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Car and Utility Vehicle of the Year

The 2022 Canadian Car and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year awards from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada have been presented. With over 250 eligible vehicles driven coast-to-coast by dozens of Canada’s top automotive editors, including many of our own reviewers, thousands of ballots have been cast. This year’s Canadian Car of the Year is the all-new Honda Civic, and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year was awarded to the Hyundai Tucson. Voting factors include performance, fuel economy, features, design, safety, and more.

Sony partners with Honda

Honda and Sony have announced that the two will team up to develop and sell electric vehicles. The two companies plan to form a joint venture later this year with the aim of selling the first vehicle in 2025. Sony’s latest electric vehicle concept, the Vision-S 02, was a surprise this year. Partnering with an automaker to build it seems like a much more logical way to bring it to market. Honda already has a partnership with General Motors that will see Honda electric vehicles built on GM’s Ultium electric platform, this should add to that.

2023 Kia Sportage Price

Kia’s all-new 2023 Sportage will hit dealerships shortly, starting at $28,395 plus destination. The crossover will come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. It will also hit the market a few months later with hybrid and PHEV models, although pricing for those has yet to be announced. Kia offers a full range of standard driver aids, including forward collision avoidance, driver attention warning, lane keeping assist and rear occupant alert. A 2023 Sportage AWD has an MSRP of $30,395 plus destination and the lineup goes to the X-Line Limited with an MSRP of $40,995.

F-150 Lightning Winter Testing

Ford is putting the electric F-150 Lightning through its paces in Alaska, helping to ensure it can handle winter driving. In a phase of development called “low-mu” testing, referring to low levels of road surface friction in winter, Ford tested the truck’s AWD system on snow, ice and concrete, at temperatures hovering around 34 below. Ford says the electric motors allow quicker responses than a traditional gasoline engine stability and traction control system and is always ready to engage all four wheels, unlike a conventional transmission. Ford didn’t say how much those extreme temperatures might affect range.

Distracted driving

A recent survey by ICBC, British Columbia’s public insurer, found that 42% of drivers admit to using their phone on at least one in 10 trips. Meanwhile, 93% of drivers surveyed think that it is very risky to send text messages while driving. 76 people are killed each year in British Columbia as a result of accidents related to distracted driving. ICBC says that using electronic devices like your phone while driving increases the risk of a crash fivefold. ICBC and the British Columbia Police Force are planning a month-long campaign to step up enforcement against distracted driving and are calling on community volunteers to help monitor distracted drivers.

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