There are two key points within the life cycle of a vehicle: the introduction of a fully redesigned model and a significant midlife update. If you’re looking to maximize your new vehicle purchase, knowing these timelines can help you make the best decision.
An automaker’s marketing might liberally describe the vehicle as “all-new!” at both points, but it’s important to know the difference. A midlife update typically ushers in appealing styling tweaks or feature updates, but a full redesign introduces wholesale changes to the vehicle. These improvements, which can include better fuel economy, more power or new helpful technology features, can be dramatic.
With this in mind, Edmunds experts have selected five noteworthy redesigned vehicles for 2022 that are worth looking into.
Acura’s three-row midsize SUV has been on sale since 2000 and enters a new generation for 2022. The latest MDX boasts eye-catching new exterior styling, additional legroom in all three rows, and improved interior materials. More than before, the MDX comes across as a bona-fide luxury SUV.
Ride and seat comfort are high points for the latest MDX, though Acura’s touchpad interface can be distracting to use while driving. The tech story isn’t all sour, thankfully. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a punchy 16-speaker ELS Studio sound system, and USB charging in all three rows are contemporary conveniences. Look to get the MDX Type S as its more powerful engine is worth the extra cost.
Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $49,195
The Honda Civic is a compact sedan staple with 50 years of refinement. For 2022, the Civic bundles its affordable, efficient and reliable attributes in a more mature body style. Compared to the outgoing Civic’s edgy design, the latest model is modest — some might even say boring. However, the majority of Edmunds experts appreciate the new styling direction.
Inside, the 11th-generation Civic is spacious and well built. Though the base four-cylinder lacks grunt, the available turbocharged engine helps the Civic get up to highway speeds or pass slower traffic with suitable authority. Ride comfort and handling are segment-leading, but road noise levels are elevated at highway speeds. The 2022 Civic is priced higher to start than some competitors, but its excellent fuel economy and compelling standard features feel worth the premium.
Starting MSRP: $23,645
Since the Tundra entered the full-size pickup truck market in 1999, Toyota has nurtured a growing group of loyal customers. The last-generation Tundra, introduced back in 2007, had started to lag behind competitors, though. This redesigned Tundra touts many improvements, such as smoother ride, a robust base turbocharged V6, and even an available hybrid model that cranks up the power and offers improved fuel economy.
Though Edmunds’ real-world fuel economy results couldn’t match EPA estimates, the new truck does otherwise boast smooth power, an intuitive 14-inch center touchscreen and a full-width power rear window. The changes for 2022 put the Tundra back in the thick of the full-size light-duty pickup discussion.
Starting MSRP: $39,695
Developed alongside Toyota’s GR86, the Subaru BRZ has become an enthusiast icon in just 10 years. Attainable, lightweight and available with a manual transmission, the BRZ sport coupe is both an entry point for blossoming drivers and a weekend toy for those with a little cash to spare. Redesigned for 2022, the latest BRZ has revised styling, a more powerful engine and an updated interior.
Steering and handling remain sharp, and an improved touchscreen adds convenience. The fun per dollar here is hard to match, far outweighing small complaints about its engine note and sound-system quality. Much the same can also be said about the Toyota GR86. But of the two, we think the BRZ is the better buy.
Starting MSRP: $28,990
The compact SUV class is fiercely competitive and dominated by the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. But the Hyundai Tucson continues to earn new buyers with its mix of affordability, comfort and convenience. And now there’s the 2022 model that kicks off a new generation with useful tech features, standout styling and a roomy cabin.
Edmunds experts appreciate the new Tucson’s ride comfort and user-friendly tech, though its engine can be sluggish to respond. The 2022 Tucson’s jagged design may split opinions, but standard features and build quality are objectively solid for the price range.
Starting MSRP: $27,095
If you’re hesitant about choosing a vehicle based on a particular feature or styling trait, waiting for a refresh or redesign could solve those issues. Keep in mind, however, that if you opt for the outgoing model year vehicle before a redesign or refresh, it tends to depreciate at a faster rate than the model that replaces it since the latest body style will usually be more desirable when sold or traded in.
Miles Branman is a contributor at Edmunds and is on Twitter
Miles Branman, The Associated Press