Behind the Wheel

News from Kia, GM, VW, B&B Auto, and a Spotlight of the New Toyota RAV4

2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition
2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition

Kia Telluride Named a Car and Driver 10Best for 2021

The Kia Telluride has been named to Car and Driver’s 10Best list for 2021, marking the second year in a row the full-size SUV has earned that recognition. The highly regarded awards recognize the smartest, most entertaining cars, trucks, SUVs and vans on sale today.

“We’re excited to include the Kia Telluride in Car and Driver’s 10Best for the second year in a row,” said Sharon Carty, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver. “We remain impressed with how many features you get for Telluride’s base price of $33,160.”

The Telluride competed against 57 other vehicles to earn its spot on the list of 10. The field included all-new or significantly updated vehicles with a base price below $90,000, along with last year’s winners.

For 2021, the Telluride received minor enhancements, along with a special appearance package, the Nightfall Edition.

EPA Confirms 250-Mile Range for VW First Edition Electric SUV

Volkswagen recently announced fuel economy figures for the 2021 ID.4 electric SUV. The ID.4 1st Edition and Pro models have an EPA-estimated 250 miles of range on a single charge. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for city driving is 104 MPGe; highway driving is rated at 89 MPGe, and combined city/highway is 97 MPGe.

The first models to be launched — ID.4 1st Edition and ID.4 Pro — offer an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from 5 to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes.

ID.4 owners also benefit from three years of unlimited charging sessions with Electrify America at no additional cost. Electrify America is the nation’s largest open DC fast-charging network.

GM Recalls EVs

After five reported fires and two minor injuries, General Motors Co. is recalling 68,677 electric vehicles that pose a fire risk. The Detroit automaker said the worldwide recall affects 2017-2019 model-year Chevrolet Bolt EVs with high-voltage batteries produced at LG Chem’s Ochang, Korea facility.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation into the Bolt EVs after reports of three Bolts catching fire under the rear seat while parked and unattended.

B&B Auto Offers Hybrid and EV Battery Services

Bremerton’s venerable B&B Auto Repair is perhaps the most experienced local shop when it comes to working on electric vehicles (EVs). Today’s EVs and hybrids are very sophisticated and require detailed knowledge of gas/electric hybrid and fully electric propulsion systems. B&B owners, brothers Joel and Nathan Baxter — who did propane conversions in the 1970s — were one of the very first EnviroStars participants and recipients of the Governor’s Win Award. They’re no strangers to environmentally friendly vehicles.

Hybrid and EV battery life begins degrading in the three- to five-year range, causing some cells not to come to full charge, which weakens the entire battery pack. This results in poor mileage for hybrids and weakened performance for EVs. The problem is often remedied by installing a new battery harness and auxiliary charge lead, and then rebalancing the battery pack — a two-day process.

Most battery packs over six years old would benefit from this service, which is significantly less expensive than replacing the entire battery pack. The cost of a battery pack replacement — depending on the make, model and year of the vehicle — could cost as much as the car is worth.

Hybrids and EVs make up less than 5 percent of the market and are the wave of the future. B&B Auto Repair has positioned itself as the most knowledgeable and prepared local shop to meet that challenge.

Reach B&B Auto at 360-377-0682 or

New Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium Model

Very few vehicles can be both a segment leader and a segment disruptor — but the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 has managed to achieve that. The latest RAV4 adds the XLE Premium model to the hybrid lineup at a starting MSRP of $32,500. Additionally, for the RAV4 TRD Off-Road, a new TRD-stamped stainless steel front skid plate has been added for 2021.

Modeled on the gas version with some new additions, features of the new RAV4 Hybrid XLE Premium include:

  • 18-inch, five-spoke superchrome-finished sport alloy wheels
  • Power moonroof
  • LED projector headlights with automatic on/off high beams
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Integrated fog lamps
  • Dual-zone, automatic climate-control system with dust and pollen filter
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic three-spoke steering wheel
  • Eight-way power-adjustable front driver’s seat with lumbar support; four-way adjustable front passenger seat
  • 4.2-inch digital multi-information display
  • 7-inch touchscreen; six speakers; Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatible; USB media port; four USB charge ports; hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth.