The Truth About Cars » Ford http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:37:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Ford http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/ford/ Ford Cuts $900 From Fusion Hybrid, Energi Price Tags http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ford-cuts-900-fusion-hybrid-energi-price-tags/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ford-cuts-900-fusion-hybrid-energi-price-tags/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004482 Shopping for a Ford hybrid or PHEV? The 2016 Fusion Hybrid and Energi models won’t be as thirsty for your wallet as before. CarsDirect reports both models will see a price drop of $900 across all trim levels, from $26,575 to $25,675 for the Fusion Hybrid S, to $33,900 (from $34,800) for the Fusion Energi […]

The post Ford Cuts $900 From Fusion Hybrid, Energi Price Tags appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Shopping for a Ford hybrid or PHEV? The 2016 Fusion Hybrid and Energi models won’t be as thirsty for your wallet as before.

CarsDirect reports both models will see a price drop of $900 across all trim levels, from $26,575 to $25,675 for the Fusion Hybrid S, to $33,900 (from $34,800) for the Fusion Energi Luxury SE.

Despite the cuts, no decontenting will occur among the Fusions; the Hybrid, in fact, will have a new driving mode called EcoSelect, which offers more regenerative braking while delivering a softer launch from the light and less intense heating and cooling.

The price drop follows a similar action last year, when Ford chopped up to $1,200 off the price of C-Max Hybrid and Energi models, and is meant to draw interest away from the upcoming redesigned Toyota Prius, set to begin production later in 2015. Both 2016 Fusion models are due in showrooms at around the same time.

The post Ford Cuts $900 From Fusion Hybrid, Energi Price Tags appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ford-cuts-900-fusion-hybrid-energi-price-tags/feed/ 8
Capsule Review: Ford SVT Raptor – United States Border Patrol Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-ford-svt-raptor-united-states-border-patrol-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-ford-svt-raptor-united-states-border-patrol-edition/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 13:50:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1001114 I’m driving down a narrow dirt track somewhere in a South Texas at a hurried but not unreasonable pace. As I round a bend, the ground arches up into a tall “whoop” just a few meters in front of me. I can’t go around it, and hitting the brakes will only send me skidding into […]

The post Capsule Review: Ford SVT Raptor – United States Border Patrol Edition appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Raptor 6

I’m driving down a narrow dirt track somewhere in a South Texas at a hurried but not unreasonable pace. As I round a bend, the ground arches up into a tall “whoop” just a few meters in front of me. I can’t go around it, and hitting the brakes will only send me skidding into it at nearly the same speed.

Until now, I’ve mostly driven the Ford Super Duty, in F250 or F350 guise, while on patrol. They can be surprisingly capable out here in the desert, but they don’t like to be driven fast on rough terrain. Hitting one of these “Border Patrol speedbumps” at anything above a cautious crawl transforms the cabin into a world of violence as the industrial suspension crashes to the stops and your head crashes into the ceiling. I brace for the inevitable.

Moments later, I’m past it and all is well. My ass never left the seat cushion, and as far as I can tell, my tires never left the ground. Hell, even my water bottle is still resting serenely in the cupholder where I left it. There’s a reason for that. Today I’m not in a Super Duty. Today, I’m in a Raptor.

 

Raptor 3

I wonder if a couple engineers sat down in Dearborn one day and said, “How bout we design the perfect truck for the U.S. Border Patrol?” It wouldn’t be an enviable job. Our trucks are operated in the some of the roughest conditions faced outside of pure military duty, and they have to withstand those conditions every day. They are piloted over steep, rocky mountain roads; across expanses of deep, soft sand that will trap you in place if you apply just a bit too much or too little throttle; through patches of dense, wet clay that wraps itself around your tires in thick, slick layers. They are driven by adrenaline junkies who are not financially liable for their repair or maintenance, and whose supervisors don’t particularly care how much unnecessary abuse is hurled at the chassis so long as you don’t dent the bodywork. We ask a lot, often way too much, of our fleet.

Drowned

Our mildly modified Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Super Duty vehicles can do almost all the things the Ford SVT Raptor is capable of doing. The difference is the ease (and speed) with which the Raptor does them. Where a Tahoe scrabbles up a steep slope, struggling to find purchase in loose rock, the Raptor simply ascends. Where an F350 churns through soft sand, fighting to keep its massive bulk afloat, the Raptor seems to glide over the surface. Our other trucks can be made to work in this environment, but the Raptor is to the manor born.

Raptor 1

Every component on the Raptor is intended to be used this way, under these conditions. Anecdotally at least, this means fewer repairs due to parts being pushed beyond their limits. Even if an agent is not willfully abusive towards his mount, conditions in the desert sometimes require that one drive less than lovingly. Getting across a flooded ditch or a patch of large rocks often requires a bit of momentum going in. I’ve seen this technique result in shattered suspension components, dislodged coolant and/or turbo plumbing, busted oil pans, and dented rims.

Raptor 5

Not with the Raptor. I’ve yet to see a single one sidelined for damage caused by routine overuse. That’s not to say we haven’t “deadlined” a few; if you want to find a product’s limits, give it to a Border Patrol Agent. The Patrol has determined that the Raptor will not float across a running arroyo during monsoon season. Also, if you have too much fun playing with the included inclinometer display, it will roll sideways down a mountain. Yet to my knowledge, not even our wildest/dumbest agents have managed to bend the frame on one.

Raptor 4

We have other trucks that can give the Raptor a run for its money in some circumstances, but none of them do it without significant compromise. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s short wheelbase is a delight when crawling through narrow canyons and up tight switchbacks, but it gets skittish when you have to dial in a bit more speed. The old HMMWV/Hummer H1 can bash its way across any landscape, but it is deeply unpleasant in every other regard and driving them makes me feel sad. Also, every fluid in that venerable military vehicle will boil if it’s hot or hilly, which can be a problem in the Southwest. The Raptor may be outclassed by a particular competitor in that competitor’s one-percent scenario, but you’ll be glad to have the big Ford when you realize 99% of the drive is still ahead of you.

When duty takes us back onto pavement, this off-road savant behaves with polite road manners as well. Pin the throttle coming off a soft shoulder, and the forgiving traction control allows the rear end to kick out a bit as the exhaust plays a thunderous siren song. Disappointingly, the government doesn’t trust us enough to remove the 98 MPH electronic limiter, but the Raptor will get to that limiter in a big damn hurry for such a big damn truck.

Fortunately, the typical smuggler’s vehicle is a circa 1997 Ford Expedition or Chevrolet Suburban loaded well beyond the manufacturer’s recommended GVWR, so 98 is usually fast enough. On an open road, the Raptor will only begrudgingly do anything under 90, the quiet cabin and stable handling cutting your perceived speed about in half. On the rare occasion that the Southwestern hardtop gets twisty, Ford’s desert racer inspires more confidence than most vehicles in the 3-ton+ class. The suspension resists leaning too far into its twelve inches of travel as the 315mm BFGoodrich All-Terrains brace against the pavement and the lateral momentum shifts smoothly from one side to the other. Your average driver will have found his way off the road, through a fence, and into a tree long before a pursuing Raptor hits its limits.

F250

Beyond the apparent savings in repair costs, purchase costs look pretty favorable as well. An F-250 built to standard Border Patrol spec, with the PowerStroke turbodiesel engine and an extended cab, goes for $44,710 according to Ford’s configurator. A base 4×4 Chevy Tahoe stickers over $50,000 nowadays. A 2014 Raptor starts at $44,995, and it requires no additional options for our purposes. Frankly, I’m not sure why the Patrol has purchased anything else since the Raptor arrived in 2010. SVT is taking a hiatus from the OEM off-roader game for the 2015 and 2016 model years, but they’ve already announced the Raptor will return with a lighter, aluminum-clad successor as a MY 2017. The 6.2L V8 will be retired in favor of a tuned 3.5L EcoBoost V6 producing more power and torque than its naturally aspirated ancestor. I can only expect that the price will rise proportionately, I just hope it remains within reach of the U.S. federal government and its humble civil servants like me. Does Uncle Sam qualify for 90 month financing?

F250 Raptor 1 Raptor 4 Raptor 5 Raptor 6 Drowned Raptor 3

The post Capsule Review: Ford SVT Raptor – United States Border Patrol Edition appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-ford-svt-raptor-united-states-border-patrol-edition/feed/ 68
Chicago 2015: Ford GT Presents Its Canadian Passport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-ford-gt-presents-canadian-passport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-ford-gt-presents-canadian-passport/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:21:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=999058 The Blue Oval has no use for 50 shades of gray, not when two will suffice for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show debut of the Ford GT. Per our friends over at AutoGuide, the big news this time around for the 3.5-liter turbo-six exotic is that it will be assembled in Canada. Multimatic Motorsports in […]

The post Chicago 2015: Ford GT Presents Its Canadian Passport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ford-GT-2

The Blue Oval has no use for 50 shades of gray, not when two will suffice for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show debut of the Ford GT.

Per our friends over at AutoGuide, the big news this time around for the 3.5-liter turbo-six exotic is that it will be assembled in Canada. Multimatic Motorsports in Markham, Ontario — just north of TTAC Zaibatsu HQ in Toronto — will be in charge of putting together the GT, lending further credibility to the rumor that Ford wants to throwdown at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. The group campaigns a pair of Mustang Boss 302Rs in IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

As for other details about production and pricing since its jaw-dropping world debut in Detroit, analysts believe a few hundred units will leave Multimatic annually, each with a price tag of around $200,000. Ford remains silent about either figure, however.

Ford-GT-10 Ford-GT-1 Ford-GT-2 Ford-GT-3 Ford-GT-4 Ford-GT-5 Ford-GT-6

The post Chicago 2015: Ford GT Presents Its Canadian Passport appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-ford-gt-presents-canadian-passport/feed/ 14
Rental Review: 2014 Ford Fusion http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/rental-review-2014-ford-fusion/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/rental-review-2014-ford-fusion/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=994586 Yes, I know. You’re reading yet another article on TTAC about the Ford Fusion. You’ll have to read yet another sentence about the Aston Martin-style front grille, a paragraph about the EcoBoost engine, a passage about what the interior space is like, another sentence about the Aston martin-style front grille, and a remark on how […]

The post Rental Review: 2014 Ford Fusion appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
DSC_0216

Yes, I know. You’re reading yet another article on TTAC about the Ford Fusion. You’ll have to read yet another sentence about the Aston Martin-style front grille, a paragraph about the EcoBoost engine, a passage about what the interior space is like, another sentence about the Aston martin-style front grille, and a remark on how the good SYNC voice activation is. But this review isn’t going to be the usual road test you read in your local newspaper, auto magazines, and the usual automotive blogs.

It’s about another kind of Ford Fusion. It’s not going to be about the Hybrid version, or the Energi, or one with the powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. It doesn’t have the wheels that thieves will steal from the car in your own driveway. It’s about your run-of-the-mill 1.6-liter EcoBoost Ford Fusion SE. Which has over 45,000 miles and is still serving as a rental car, meaning this truly is another kind of Ford Fusion.

DSC_0201

Let’s start with the interior, as most reviewers tend to begin with the outside. The interior is a pleasant place (even after the tremendous amount of use), with black leather seats and some wood and silver-painted trim. All the touch points still felt fine. The power-adjustable driver’s seat had front and back lumbar support; though you couldn’t move the lumbar support up and down. Additionally, sitting in the back was comfortable and there was more than enough legroom, a welcome surprise coming from a Focus. As for the infotainment system, I don’t like the small LCD screen in the dashboard. It must be small to remind me my car doesn’t have the navigation option, but I’d rather have had the extra buttons and the digital screen. Even though I didn’t like the appearance of the infotainment system, the system was very intuitive and it was easy to tune the radio or change the audio settings.

DSC_0196

Storage space wasn’t an issue. It’s a good car for four people going on a weekend road trip. There was plenty of space underneath the front armrest and to put things in the center console. The trunk could fit three full-size suitcases with room for a backpack. As for the spare tire beneath, it’s a space-saver wheel, so be prepared to drive in the right lane slowly in the event of a flat tire.

The powertrain was the now-discontinued 1.6-liter EcoBoost that makes 182 horsepower. (Now it’s the 1.5-liter Ecoboost.) While I had the car, the check engine light was illuminated and the transmission seemed to lazily drop a gear whenever I pressed harder on the accelerator. If the transmission wasn’t shifted into S, I would describe the cars highway performance “lazy.” The handling and steering feel was very good for a front-drive car of the size and weight of the Fusion, even with the smaller 17-inch alloy wheels. This car also had a normal 6-speed automatic, so you don’t hear the sound of clutches attempting to engage like you would in an “automatic” Focus.

DSC_0218

Furthermore, the rental company activated the MyKey system, presumably to prevent me from driving 100 mph without my seatbelt fastened and with the radio turned to full-blast. However, unfortunately for those who wish to know the top speed my rental company set, I have no idea, since my driving was mainly local and there was traffic on the highway. That and I wanted to avoid a potentially awkward conversation at the rental counter if did found out I really did drive 100 mph without my seatbelt on with the radio turned to 11.

I have to include a paragraph about fuel economy, since it happens to be a major selling point of the car. It didn’t help that while I was watching an episode of New Girl on Netflix (on which Ford has an official product placement deal), one of the characters spent a good minute discussing how he cared about furl economy in his new Ford Fusion. The car computer told me it had received a little bit over 27 mpg overall over the life of the car. However, Ford advertised the fuel economy numbers as 23 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, which I found disappointing, but not surprising considering the acceleration habits of rental car drivers, which likely contributed to that low figure.

On the highway, this car was fairly comfortable and it absorbed some fairly nasty bumps, no doubt thanks to those 17-inch wheels. However, mine had a large problem with wind noise (it felt like one of the windows was slightly open, though everything was closed), and I couldn’t isolate where the wind noise was coming from. To ensure I wouldn’t hear that wind noise, I turned up the stereo louder than usual, which would’ve been fine if the speaker system was good, but it wasn’t. Visibility was very good, though it wish it would’ve been possible to sit up higher.

DSC_0209

My rental car company put the Fusion in the “full-size” class, which I thought was for cars like the Taurus and Impala, and I was really looking forward to either of those two. However, when I was getting the rental, I had a choice between the Fusion and the Kia Optima. I chose the Fusion since I wanted to see how one held up to abuse and hit the jackpot when the odometer showed at least 46,000 miles. As I’ve noted before, numerous publications have tested new Ford Fusions, but it’s nice to know how they hold up over time.

DSC_0198

It wouldn’t be a complete review of the Fusion without a discussion about the styling and a mention of the Aston Martin-style grille. I didn’t want to like it, but somehow, after looking at the photos, I don’t think the styling’s become dated, like what happened to the 2010 Hyundai Sonata after one model year. Despite the lower-end 17-inch wheels, I think it manages to look good. In ten years’ time, I think the Fusion’s looks still will be considered relatively modern.

Unlike the Focus, when I ran the VIN of this particular rental car, I didn’t come across any juicy tidbits of information, and the representative checking out the car to me didn’t volunteer anything either. So this car will probably come to rest on the lot of my local rental car company dealership in at least 5,000 miles’ time. The only somewhat intriguing thing I managed to come across was a document which indicated the Fusion might have been part of a “rent-to-own” program for rental cars. Meanwhile, I’m sure running the Carfax or Autocheck wouldn’t have turned up much, similar to my Focus experience.

DSC_0205

Ultimately, this is a great family car and I like it. I can’t envision the design of the Fusion going out of style very soon, and the steering feel is very good. The performance is fine, as long as you stick to the posted speed limit, but put your foot down any further and the fuel economy doesn’t get anywhere near the number you envisioned. After 45,000 miles as a rental car, this Fusion held up better and was more comfortable than expected, though you should still get an inspection if acquiring a Fusion with 45,000 miles, as the EcoBoost engine might not be cheap to fix if it hasn’t been properly maintained.

And please, if you do purchase a Fusion, please don’t say the name of that British automaker that the grille reminds you of. We’ve all heard enough.

Satish Kondapavulur is a writer for Clunkerture, where about a fifth of the articles are about old cars and where his one-time LeMons racing dreams came to an end, once he realized it was impossible to run a Ferrari Mondial. He’s now scared of what the Ford MyKey system will reveal about his driving habits.

 

DSC_0209 DSC_0205 DSC_0201 DSC_0198 DSC_0196 DSC_0197 DSC_0218 DSC_0216

The post Rental Review: 2014 Ford Fusion appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/rental-review-2014-ford-fusion/feed/ 113
Capsule Review: 2015 Ford F150 XLT SuperCrew http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-2015-ford-f150-xlt-supercrew/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-2015-ford-f150-xlt-supercrew/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985258 The stupid beer can analogies are already tired. Yes, the body of the 2015 Ford F150 is aluminum, but it’s not that important. If they didn’t make a big deal about it, you’d never know. It also fails to make the F150 the lightweight Jesus of pickups.   Ford has been crowing about the weight […]

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Ford F150 XLT SuperCrew appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
red 2015 ford f150 supercrew 4x4 fx4

The stupid beer can analogies are already tired. Yes, the body of the 2015 Ford F150 is aluminum, but it’s not that important. If they didn’t make a big deal about it, you’d never know. It also fails to make the F150 the lightweight Jesus of pickups.

red 2015 ford f150 supercrew 4x4 fx4

 

Ford has been crowing about the weight savings that come from using an aluminum body, but that alone won’t keep the F150 on top. While it’s highly likely the F150 will crack 40 years as the best-selling single model, its competitors have sharpened their daggers lately.

The F150 remains as the F150 has always been – a good truck, sold aggressively, with some weak spots. The areas most in need of improvement have been attended to. That means a better interior, noticeably careful assembly quality, and thoroughly re-imagined powertrain lineup.

2015 ford f150 ecoboost badge

The base engine for is the 3.5 liter V6. It’s just as solidly unremarkable here as it was in the Lincoln MKZ. With 282 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, the 3.5 is completely overshadowed by a pair of optional EcoBoost V6 choices. The 2.7 liter EcoBoost is the short-money option, costing you $795 to bump up to 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. Spend $1,995 and you’ll get the 3.5 liter EcoBoost. Its 365 hp is just 20 hp shy of the 5.0 liter V8’s 385 hp, but its 420 lb-ft of fat turbo torque will be noticeably stronger and more flexible than the V8’s 387 lb-ft.  Ford prices the V8 right in between the turbo sixes, at $1,595. Either EcoBoost is a hell of an engine, and if you crack a window, you’ll hear the turbos spool.

2015_ford_f150_15

With the window up, you won’t hear much at all. It’s quiet inside, but the interior of the F150 is still plagued by the same kind of nonsense that’s afflicted the Mustang for a decade. Rock-hard door panels, tons of greasy-looking, cheap-feeling plastic, and bunch of buttons vomited on the panel. Compared to the MyFordTouch system, though, the HVAC buttons are a paragon of usability. With MFT, there’s a touchscreen with icons that are too tiny, so skip it and be safer on the road. SYNC3 can’t arrive soon enough.

Button-aggro aside, the new F150 is very comfortable to drive. The quiet environment is a pleasant start, the seats are supportive, with enough adjustments to dial in some personalization, and this thing is solid. Even though it’s a pickup, the steering is a tick slow off-center and numb. The EcoBoost 3.5 is ballsy. Very ballsy. Light the tires up like a sports car ballsy. If the underwhelming interior is Bad Mustang, the Truck Nutz are Good Mustang.

2015_ford_f150_14

It’s an open secret that pickups look more useful than they often turn out to be. That’s especially true with the 5 1/2 foot bed my F150 had. It’s fine for a weekend warrior, and it keeps the total length down so you’re not trying to turn the Nimitz around in the convenience store parking lot, but it’s a compromise. The SuperCrew is standard with a 6 1/2 foot bed, so you save $315 with the shorter bed. It’s best to think of the SuperCrew F150s as an Expedition with a bed in place of the 3rd row, versus a super-utilitarian pickup. The bed does have LED, the new BoxLink system with adjustable locking tie-downs, and handy D-rings. If you’re going to torture your F150 with real work, get a stripped-down XL, not this $50,000 SuperCrew. The pickup truck arms race leads to some absurdity. There’s a staircase built into the tailgate, which is ridiculous and kind of cumbersome to use. There’s cool stuff, too, like the optional ramps and remote tailgate release.

2015_ford_f150_11

The F150 is the truck that does just about everything well. Rams have better interiors and the GM twins are quiet and refined with somewhat better ergonomics – not to mention the small-block V8. The T’s – Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra – remain non-players, though I’m eager to get my hands on the new Titan. Even with the huge investment to go aluminum for the body, the F150 isn’t a featherweight, but it does wind up strong in every category. The engineering has obviously been obsessed over. The driving experience is tidy and disciplined, and while it doesn’t lead the class in interior quality, there’s been energy put into making it better. Bottom line: The F150 is solid, it has show-stand looks and is comfortable to drive. The interior is a disappointment, and the price can jump into “holy crap!” territory really quickly. The F150 feels light on its feet and is a lot more refined than it used to be. It’s also the most forward-thinking pickup you can buy right now.

red 2015 ford f150 supercrew 4x4 fx4 2015_ford_f150_08 red 2015 ford f150 supercrew 4x4 fx4 2015_ford_f150_03 2015_ford_f150_02 2015_ford_f150_04 2015_ford_f150_05 2015 ford f150 ecoboost badge 2015_ford_f150_09 2015_ford_f150_10 2015_ford_f150_11 2015_ford_f150_12 2015_ford_f150_13 2015_ford_f150_14 2015_ford_f150_15 2015_ford_f150_16 2015_ford_f150_17

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Ford F150 XLT SuperCrew appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/capsule-review-2015-ford-f150-xlt-supercrew/feed/ 201
Ford Elevating 55 To First-Tier Pay After Hitting Second-Tier Cap http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ford-elevating-55-first-tier-pay-hitting-second-tier-cap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ford-elevating-55-first-tier-pay-hitting-second-tier-cap/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=992474 Fifty-five Ford employees will be elevated to first-tier pay status after the automaker exceeded its cap on second-tier hires. Automotive News reports the employees were hired between February and June of 2010, and work at the automaker’s facilities in Kansas City, Chicago and Louisville, Ky., per the announcement by the United Auto Workers. The union […]

The post Ford Elevating 55 To First-Tier Pay After Hitting Second-Tier Cap appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ford Louisville Assembly Plant + Ford Escape

Fifty-five Ford employees will be elevated to first-tier pay status after the automaker exceeded its cap on second-tier hires.

Automotive News reports the employees were hired between February and June of 2010, and work at the automaker’s facilities in Kansas City, Chicago and Louisville, Ky., per the announcement by the United Auto Workers. The union praised the move, considering it a milestone as it presses forward toward the goal of eliminating the two-tier system in its contract with Ford. The contract requires that second-tier employees be promoted to first-tier in order of hiring when the cap on the former is exceeded.

As a result, those 55 employees will see their pay rise from $19/hr. to $28/hr., though benefits will still fall short of those received by employees hired in 2007 and earlier. Currently, 14,200 of the automaker’s 50,400 U.S. employees are on second-tier pay status, and that it was 69 employees away from hitting the cap of 28 percent of all employees for that level of pay. Ford is the only one of the Detroit Three to have a cap in place; General Motors and FCA US had caps of 20 to 25 percent of all employees, which were lifted in 2009 under bankruptcy protection.

The post Ford Elevating 55 To First-Tier Pay After Hitting Second-Tier Cap appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ford-elevating-55-first-tier-pay-hitting-second-tier-cap/feed/ 12
Rental Review: 2013 Ford Focus SE http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/rental-review-2013-ford-focus-se/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/rental-review-2013-ford-focus-se/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:12:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989778 You never know what car you’re going to get at the rental counter. Whether you’re at an airport in Anchorage, a Milwaukee suburb, or in Tahiti, you won’t know how you’ll get from Point A to Point B, or if you’ve ever vacationed in Tahiti, Point A to Point A. It could better than your […]

The post Rental Review: 2013 Ford Focus SE appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
DSC_0193

You never know what car you’re going to get at the rental counter. Whether you’re at an airport in Anchorage, a Milwaukee suburb, or in Tahiti, you won’t know how you’ll get from Point A to Point B, or if you’ve ever vacationed in Tahiti, Point A to Point A. It could better than your usual car, a newer version of your usual car, worse than your usual car, or horribly worse than your usual car, the last category reserved for the Dodge Avenger and Chevy Spark.

DSC_0195

When I was at the counter, my reservation specified a full-size car, so that thankfully meant no Avenger or Spark. The Taurus and Impala, the perennial full-size rentals, have gotten pretty good, so I was really looking forward to one of those. Alas, there were no full-size or even mid-size cars at my Hertz Local Edition. So I was supposed to get a 2013 Corolla. I didn’t want the Corolla, as it looked tired and had Iowa plates, so it a) definitely had plenty of miles on it, and b) the plates were going to make me a target for California law enforcement.

DSC_0191

After asking the rep about all the available cars he had (“How about that Avenger that just came in?”), I ended up with a Tuxedo Black 2013 Ford Focus parked way back in the lot. That’s right. 2013. You might be thinking, “Oh, it probably didn’t have much mileage so Hertz decided to keep it in the fleet.” Well, I can safely write that wasn’t the case. It had 44,594 miles on the odometer. That is not a typo. Hertz seriously does keep cars in their fleet for that long.

On my drive home, many issues made themselves known. The car had obviously sat in the lot of my Hertz Local Edition for such a long time that the interior was stuffy, the air-conditioning blew musty air, the transmission’s clutches weren’t in the best condition, and there was so much static coming from the stereo. Additionally, the transmission never seemed to choose the right gear when climbing up the steep hill to get to my house.

I’m not going to discuss the interior that much since most of you have probably rented the Focus, sat in it at an auto show, bought it, read the brochure, seen the TV ads, made out in the back seat, etc. But I liked it. The gauge cluster and stereo interface were very intuitive. I didn’t notice any large panel gaps like I would’ve in a 2005 Ford Focus after 40,000 miles. The touch points still felt fine. The seats were surprisingly comfortable after that much rental car duty. The only qualm I had was with SYNC addressing me in Spanish since someone named Arturo had plugged in his iPhone at some point.

DSC_0185

I didn’t like the engine. The valve-timing system wasn’t the best, especially when climbing steep hills. 160 horsepower was not enough for this especially in the higher gears. However, if your goal is to travel at the speed limit on local roads and highways, the engine has more than enough strength to hold its own.

More important to discuss than the engine, however, is the transmission. Around town, even if you’re used to dual-clutch transmissions (which is what Ford’s PowerShift transmission is), this car is horrible. The clutches always feel like they’re going to go every time you accelerate from a stoplight. When I got the car, the rep had taken special care to inform me that how the throttle and transmission acted was normal.

I wish Ford would’ve made the gears selectable, instead of giving us the usual PRNDL, which makes most drivers treat the transmission like they would any automatic. As an owner of a 40,000-mile Jetta 2.0T with the DSG, my VW struck me as more refined (though I’m very careful with my footwork in traffic), and I found it interesting Ford doesn’t recommend transmission fluid changes at some of the service intervals.

The handling was something that brought a smile to my face. Ford got the suspension tuning spot-on. On a winding road, I didn’t feel compelled to brake in the bends, and the tires didn’t squeal either. Traction control is incredibly fair, and though the intervention is noticeable, it still lets you enjoy the car. After 40,000 miles worth of rental car abuse, I was amazed at the amount of feel I got through the steering.

DSC_0188

As for trunk space, the area is enough for two to three suitcases, but it probably wouldn’t be able to swallow as much cargo as a Jetta. Thankfully though, the spare tire, housed beneath the trunk, is full-size. Furthermore, rear legroom was fine, but I don’t think most people would be capable of sitting there for more than two hours, like in most compact cars.

Now, I wanted this review to be about what a Focus would be like after 44,000 miles. I wanted to ensure the car had been maintained, wasn’t involved in any accidents, and was loved unconditionally by its owner. Therefore, whoever would be considering a 2013 Focus, or any other 2013 Focus with 40,000 miles, would know what they were getting themselves into.

As a result, I went the extra mile (not that the Focus needed it) and ran the Autocheck on the car to have an idea of what it went through. It gave me no details, except for the car’s initial registration date. After more than 44,000 miles, there were dents all over the car, including a major one on one of the doors (seriously, the inspection form when I signed for the car is marked all over). Also, the car had to have been through a few services, none of which appear on the report. And according to the Hertz rep who signed out the car to me, the windows had been replaced after being smashed with the last renter. I only knew that bit after asking about the pieces on paper in the rear passenger windows. Even those details didn’t show up on the Autocheck report.

But I found even more worrying things when I simply entered the car’s VIN into Google. I managed to discover that Hertz actually had my very car for sale on eBay back in December at around 44,500 miles. I also managed to catch a Google-cached November listing of the car on the Hertz Auto Sales website. By the way, to the surprise of no one by this point, the Autocheck report didn’t catch this too. Meanwhile, Hertz has known for at least the last two months that it needs to get rid of this car!

So how on earth did I end up with a car that Hertz couldn’t sell? My guess is Hertz ended up pulling it from their sales lot once the holiday demand for rental cars happened, and automakers were too busy selling cars to individual customers that they perhaps didn’t have enough inventory to push into fleet sales. As a result, when I looked at the 2013 Ford Focuses on the website of the local Hertz Auto Sales, not one had below 50,000 miles, and some had well above 60,000, demonstrating that rental companies aren’t turning over their fleet as much as they used to.

In the end, should you buy a 2013 Ford Focus SE with over 40,000 miles on the clock?

I don’t think it would be a bad idea, as long as the transmission is inspected, you’ve ensured all recall work is done, and you have an idea of the service history.

But should you buy a high-mileage ex-rental car, particularly one that a rental company was incapable of selling to normal people and one with a questionable dual-clutch transmission?

As my car might’ve told me after hearing my voice commands in broken Spanish, “No way, Jose.

DSC_0181 DSC_0185 DSC_0188 DSC_0191 DSC_0193 DSC_0195

The post Rental Review: 2013 Ford Focus SE appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/rental-review-2013-ford-focus-se/feed/ 89
Bark’s Bites: Two Years With the CUV That Flexes from Long Beach to Texas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/barks-bites-two-years-with-the-cuv-that-flexes-from-long-beach-to-texas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/barks-bites-two-years-with-the-cuv-that-flexes-from-long-beach-to-texas/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:34:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=985722 “I’m NOT buying that thing. It looks like one of the cars that the Nazis rode around in.” Ah, the Ford Flex. It is one of those cars that all “car people” seem to love, while the general public seems to be slow to adopt—perhaps because it looks like one of those cars the Nazis […]

The post Bark’s Bites: Two Years With the CUV That Flexes from Long Beach to Texas appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
flexdriveway

“I’m NOT buying that thing. It looks like one of the cars that the Nazis rode around in.”

Ah, the Ford Flex. It is one of those cars that all “car people” seem to love, while the general public seems to be slow to adopt—perhaps because it looks like one of those cars the Nazis rode around in.

At least that’s what Mrs. Bark said in the summer of 2013 when it became painfully obvious that our 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LT was no longer meeting the needs of our expanded family. I did a good deal of comparison test reading as well as renting of larger CUVs in my journeys around the country in those days, anticipating the day when the Equinox would need to go. I drove them all—Pathfinder, Highlander, Pilot, Traverse, and Explorer—but the one that I always loved to see in the Emerald Aisle was the Flex.

National Car has several of them in the Great Lakes area airport fleets, mostly in Limited trim. I enjoyed driving them as rentals, simply because they drove more like a car than any of their lifted competitors. The Explorer and Flex, while nearly identical in most other respects, were simply not comparable in the joy-to-drive category. The Flex never drove as big as it was—from the driver’s seat, it actually felt smaller than our Equinox did.

Also, for those of you who don’t obsess over the personal vehicle purchases of TTAC writers, you may not remember that I’m not the first contributor here to own a Flex. Nope, that honor belongs to Jack, who had a baller two-tone Flex Limited that he used to tow his racing rig around the Midwest. I remember not being a huge fan of the aesthetics of the car (okay, I may have said that it looked like a hearse), but it always seemed like it would have been a great family car.

So, when the day came that a third-row was no longer simply desirable but mandatory, I only seriously considered the Explorer and Flex. In SE trim, each could be had for well under $30K, including all rebates and X-Plan pricing. And when I took Mrs. M. to drive them, even she had to begrudgingly admit that the Flex was the more enjoyable car to drive—which was important, because our Equinox had seen over 25k miles per year of driving through the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. The 2013 refresh of the Flex, which strays from the design language of both the Ford cars and Ford SUVs, improved the looks of the CUV to the point where she relented on her objections to its quadratical form. Of course, once we settled on the Flex, there really was no other color to consider other than “Mineral Gray,” or as TTAC readers might call it, “Brown.”

Well, here we are two and a half years later, and the Flex has over 55k on the clock. How has it fared? What’s the quality been like? Most importantly, would I buy it again, given the chance?

For the TL:DR crowd, the answers are:

Fantastic.
Amazingly good.
Heck to the yes.

Those who would like to know more can continue on.

I think I can describe my Flex ownership most accurately in the following way: I can’t think of any other vehicle that would do what I need it to do nearly as well as the Flex has.

The importance of the Flex’s ride height simply cannot be overstated. Not only can my six and four-year-old children get themselves in and out of the second row easily, so can my sixty-eight year old mother. This is the one area where it outshines every other vehicle in its class. I don’t know why middle-class America has decided that the elevated ride height of CUVs is a feature rather than a detriment, but I think it would only take a week or two behind the wheel of the Flex to change their collective minds. Not only has entry and exit been easier, loading groceries and Black Friday shopping runs into the cargo area is MUCH easier than in any other third-row CUV.

flexstorage

While the SE doesn’t have all the entertainment options available on higher priced models, that can largely be remedied with a $69 dual-screen DVD player. However, it is missing a feature that I desperately wish I had sprung for—the second-row bucket seats. The SE has the bench seat in the second row. Although my kids like having the middle seat available for stuffed animal and LeapPad storage, it makes getting back to the third row nearly impossible for adults, especially if car seats are installed. I would love a re-do on that buying decision.

Also, the third row seats shouldn’t be used by anybody larger than a non-Jack member of the Baruth family—which is to say, nobody over 5’9″ or 165 lbs should try to sit back there for any length of time. I’ve done it, but I didn’t enjoy it. My son, on the other hand, loves it back there. I think it’s the closest thing to a modern-day rear facing station wagon seat, where children can envelop themselves in their own little worlds of creativity while the adults drone on in the first two rows.

Fuel mileage, you say? Well…it isn’t good. In fact, it’s bad. Granted, Kentucky is not fuel mileage friendly, what with its picturesque rolling hills of blue grass and truckers who are determined to patrol the left lane of highway 64 with extreme prejudice. That being said, I’ve experience about 21 combined MPG from the non-EcoBoost V6. I think drivers who have a flatter commute could realistically expect closer to 24. Meh.

The compromise you make for lackluster fuel mileage is easily justified when power is applied with the right foot. Real-world acceleration has been incredibly good, even when weighed down with kids and luggage. The Flex has never met an on-ramp it didn’t like. While 0-60 might only be in the 7.5 second range, the 5-60 grunt from the torquey sixer means that you’ll never have trouble merging, and the old-school transmission never searches for the right gear (looking at you, Highlander).

No, not everybody loves the looks of it. But those who do really, really do. I field nearly as many questions from fellow motorists about the Flex as I do about my Boss. The 2013 refresh makes for a much more masculine looking ride—I never feel like I’m driving the Mom Taxi when I’m behind the wheel. In fact, when given the choice for daily driving, I pick the Flex far more often than I pick the Mustang. Sacrilege? Not really. The Flex is just an easier car to drive.

The more utilitarian of you might be wondering, “Why not a minivan?” The Flex doesn’t do minivan things as well as a minivan does, for certain. But it does car things much better. You can take a Flex out on the town and not feel like people are wondering why you’re out without your kids. Yes, you can get a base model like mine, but if you were so inclined, you could spend $50K on a murdered-out Limited and have one bad-ass urban assault vehicle.

It’s simply a matter of preference. After thirty months or so of Flex ownership, I can’t give the car anything but the highest marks. Maintenance cost has been limited to oil changes and standard scheduled maintenance. It is still running on the OEM tires and shocks. It’s inexpensive, it’s unique, and it’s wildly functional.

The Flex is also a fantastic example of a car that isn’t a huge seller yet still retains a great deal of its value on the used car market. A quick AutoTrader search reveals that it’s difficult to find one for less than $20K that isn’t either at least four model years old or has over 100k on the clock. So go ahead and take advantage of the fact that some Ford stores have a hard time unloading them and get a new one equipped exactly the way you like.

I anticipate driving my Flex until it hits the 150K mark, myself, and its flawless mechanical performance over the first nearly 60K gives me no reason to think that it won’t easily hit that milestone and beyond. However, when it comes time to replace it, I hope that Ford is still making new examples. Unlike nearly every other car I’ve ever owned, I have no itch to replace it with anything other than another one just like it.

Seems to me like that’s as good of a recommendation as I could make. If you’re in the market for a CUV, you should be in the market for a Flex.

barksgarage

The post Bark’s Bites: Two Years With the CUV That Flexes from Long Beach to Texas appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/barks-bites-two-years-with-the-cuv-that-flexes-from-long-beach-to-texas/feed/ 140
Capsule Review: 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia 2.0 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:44:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=981897     “Wait! Is that a…” “Are you British?”  “I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!” Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is […]

The post Capsule Review: 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia 2.0 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

559672_10151672335673269_340180691_n

 

“Wait! Is that a…”

“Are you British?”

 “I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!”

Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is far from a compromise.

424093_10150542670218269_1278572108_n

To see it is to not know it: like most hyper-futuristic designs past their prime, a head turner in conservative 1982 England is a familiar profile in conservative 2015 Texas.  Aside from the steering wheel on the wrong side!

But critical eyes notice the Ghia’s grille-free nose and alien headlights. The conversation’s tenor changes: there’s no better compliment to Mr. Uwe Bahnsen and his gifted team than the subtle and thoughtful reactions a Sierra earns a full thirty-three years after liftoff.

Get behind the wheel and the modern theme continues, because it drives like a newer vehicle.

Reasonable drag coefficient (.34) and almost nothing frontal area aside, the finest late-70s technology helps the Sierra match (or trump) the manners of new vehicles at most (legal) speeds.  Strut front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering is right, even without modern aluminum componentry. The semi-trailing arm rear looks modern-ish with exposed webbing on the differential: credit the beginnings of finite element analysis.

(photo courtesy: Ford Press Release)

At 2500-ish lbs, the ho-hum Ford Sierra is a balanced rear-wheel drive, fully-Germanic chassis on a family car body. Which means that roads normally tortured by flaccid CUVs now tango with something Miata-sized.

Captain Mike, the mastermind of this plan, behind the wheel at the Nürburgring.

Thrills start at the tiller: no power assist means road feel harkens to a dance with a soul mate. Manual steering effort is no chore with 165mm wide tires that rarely lack grip on city streets. Emergency maneuvers are effortless, understeer is progressive with the possibility of gentle, controlled oversteer.

66933_10151644286878269_1675348576_n

Go round-abouting and the Sierra hangs tight as speeds near 25mph. Above 25 and the front wheels howl as your grin grows. Add a dab of oppo, scandinavian flicks, badass drifter talk blah-blah-blah: with more go-juice, steering modulation and you could duplicate this:

Fiesta THIS.

Like all Sierras thrashed-then-trashed in Europe, its a joy to drift at low speeds even if hamstringed by saggy, original springs and plush dampers. But it’s a pleasant ride/handling tradeoff.  Potholes disappear with 80-series sidewalls smoothing imperfections to the point the big-rimmed Rolls Royce Phantom hangs its NVH-soaked head in shame. How Britishy!

Too bad about the buzzy powertrain: 105 bigger-than-you-think horses from a 2.0L OHC four-banger (sporting a large 2bbl Weber) means the Sierra rarely struggles, but makes a helluva ruckus.

It’s a wonderful powerband: diesel-like torque from a standstill with a smooth-ish (but L-O-U-D) demeanor all the way to 6000 emissions control free revs. The 3-speed auto schools modern units with an effortless 1-2 upshift and a reassuring push to 3rd at full throttle: all autoboxes should shift this sweet.

Brakes?  Credit the light weight for the Sierra’s discs/drums bringing the machine down from 60mph with the hustle of a modern machine. ABS would help, ditto weight adding life-saving technology like airbags, larger door bars, etc.  I reckon with today’s weight shedding tech (aluminum engines, plastic hoods/intakes, etc) offsetting the safety goodies, the Sierra’s fighting form wouldn’t gain a pound.

In the right place. (photo courtesy: Ford Motor Company)

And Ghia spec Ford Sierras are a nice place for average Americans and most Europeans, aside from the previous owner’s decision to order it sans air conditioning: antique English vehicle shopping FTW, SON MATE!

314875_239307882787242_35442316_n

Fleet-spec Sierras don’t stand a chance, but the real wood trim and buffet-worthy options list protect Ghias from modern motoring irrelevance. Power windows (front 2 or 4), crank moonroof, adjustable reading lamps and a four-speaker cassette stereo are far from impressive. But heated seats, roll up rear sunshades, headlight washers and a gen-u-wine electronic trip computer are touches you’d pay extra for even today.

Mediocre overall, as integration is the killer app.

IMG_4441

Because 1980s. (photo courtesy: Ford Motor Company)

The dash, less radical than the wraparound polycarbonate bumpers, organizes controls in zones for easy use: one to the right of the gauges, another to the left, a third atop the center stack (dark chocolate) and a 4th in the lighter brown region. It’s charming in a proto-modern, Atari 2600 human factors kind of way.

2012-03-10_15-31-20_63-XL

The interior bits are from a dumber era in polymer construction, yet texture/fit/finish from the doors, vent registers, levers and switches is pure Germanic craftsmanship. Aside from the (period excellent) brown velour, the interior’s aged well.

252857_191309494253748_372970_n

But goodness, those seats are magical.  Don’t let the benign seams fool you: the Ghia sucks you in, cradling you. All passengers get thick, luxurious cushions with brilliant thigh support and Volvo-worthy head restraints. Even the Velcro-like velour provides impressive lateral support for everyone but latex-wearing fetishists.

While the stereo is barely adequate, while the vintage Hitachi deck’s discman input smartphone jack provides turn-by-turn Google navigation and streaming audio, don’t forget the tunes held in a handy hatchback with 42.4 cu-ft of space!

1005039_10151858112953269_1584136033_n

And the beat goes brown.

Considering fuel economy numbers near 30mpg for highway-skewed driving (no overdrive) the Ford Sierra is an antique you could daily drive. (Just find one with A/C.)

But the original MKI design asks for more. It deserves more. 

10678751_10152458015928269_5632059352482689779_n

Back on the trailer for big upgrades: more gears, power and period-correct emissions processing for a powertrain worthy of that efficient body.

Yes, this Sierra has the power of contemporary V8s in a superior chassis. And it’s quite the time capsule, even difficult to find in Europe…but at what cost to cutting-edge design?

Next time you see TTAC’s Ford Sierra, prepare for an even larger threat to the notion of a modern car!

 

2012-03-10_15-31-20_63-XL 314875_239307882787242_35442316_n 190755_175144755870222_1403373_n IMG_4441 252857_191309494253748_372970_n 254272_191309870920377_8346766_n 1005039_10151858112953269_1584136033_n 559672_10151672335673269_340180691_n 66933_10151644286878269_1675348576_n IMG_4444 10678751_10152458015928269_5632059352482689779_n 424093_10150542670218269_1278572108_n IMG_4437

The post Capsule Review: 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia 2.0 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/feed/ 65
Hinrichs: Extensive Use Of Aluminum Only For Truck Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/hinrichs-extensive-use-aluminum-truck-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/hinrichs-extensive-use-aluminum-truck-lineup/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=983793 The King of Truck Mountain may have new aluminum armor these days, but Ford has no plans on fully equipping the rest of its lineup with the metal. According to Automotive News, Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs says other, more cost-effective methods for improved fuel economy take precedence over building an all-aluminum Mustang, […]

The post Hinrichs: Extensive Use Of Aluminum Only For Truck Lineup appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ford F-150

The King of Truck Mountain may have new aluminum armor these days, but Ford has no plans on fully equipping the rest of its lineup with the metal.

According to Automotive News, Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs says other, more cost-effective methods for improved fuel economy take precedence over building an all-aluminum Mustang, Fusion or Fiesta:

One of the big benefits you get from lightweighting on trucks is you give customers more capability that they want. You can tow more, you can haul more, you can do more of those things by taking the weight out. You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side. So truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car.

As far as lightweighting the overall line is concerned, Hinrichs says aluminum may be kept to individual parts such as the hood and doors. Other materials could come into play down the road, however, such as the carbon fiber wheels on the Shelby GT350R that helped the super-pony car shed 52 pounds of unsprung weight.

The post Hinrichs: Extensive Use Of Aluminum Only For Truck Lineup appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/hinrichs-extensive-use-aluminum-truck-lineup/feed/ 14
NAIAS 2015: Shelby GT350R Mustang Ready For Track Day http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-shelby-gt350r-mustang-ready-track-day/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-shelby-gt350r-mustang-ready-track-day/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:30:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=978313 Coming to Canada and the United States later this year is Ford’s “most race-ready road-legal Mustang ever,” the Shelby GT350R. Under the bonnet of this beast is a 5.2-liter DOHC flat-plane V8, whose 500+ horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of torque make the engine the most powerful naturally aspirated unit Ford offers today. An air-to-oil […]

The post NAIAS 2015: Shelby GT350R Mustang Ready For Track Day appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016-Ford-Mustang-GT350R-13

Coming to Canada and the United States later this year is Ford’s “most race-ready road-legal Mustang ever,” the Shelby GT350R.

Under the bonnet of this beast is a 5.2-liter DOHC flat-plane V8, whose 500+ horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of torque make the engine the most powerful naturally aspirated unit Ford offers today. An air-to-oil cooler for the V8 and a standard cooler for the six-speed manual help the GT350R handle the hardest of track days.

Suspension is composed of revised springs, bushings and jounce bumpers, antiroll bars, a lowered ride height, cross-axis ball joints up front, and a limited-slip differential with a 3.73 axle ratio in the back.

Like its exotic sibling, the Ford GT, the GT350R was optimized for better aerodynamic performance and downforce. Key components include front and rear underbody belly pans, revised front splitter, vented hood and wheel wells, and an aggressive diffuser.

The track-day machine is also lighter than the GT350 Track Pack model by 130 pounds. Whatever Ford could remove, it did, including the rear seats, air conditioning, stereo system, trunk carpeting and floorboard, exhaust resonators, backup camera, and so on. Weight reduction is further enhanced by standard 19-inch carbon fiber wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Those who prefer a little comfort in their GT350R can opt for the Electronics Packages, which includes dual-zone air conditioning and a seven-speaker audio system among its list of features.

2016-Ford-Mustang-GT350R-1 2016-Ford-Mustang-GT350R-13 2016-Ford-Mustang-GT350R-23 2016-Ford-Mustang-GT350R-27 ShelbyGT350R_02_HR ShelbyGT350R_04_HR ShelbyGT350R_06_HR ShelbyGT350R_08_HR ShelbyGT350R_09_HR ShelbyGT350R_10_HR ShelbyGT350R_11_HR ShelbyGT350R_12_HR ShelbyGT350R_14_HR ShelbyGT350R_16_HR ShelbyGT350R_18_HR

The post NAIAS 2015: Shelby GT350R Mustang Ready For Track Day appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-shelby-gt350r-mustang-ready-track-day/feed/ 38
NAIAS 2015: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Ready For Return To Baja Valley http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2017-ford-f-150-raptor-ready-return-baja-valley/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2017-ford-f-150-raptor-ready-return-baja-valley/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=978161 The King of Truck Mountain is ready for its return to Baja Valley below in its latest Raptor incarnation. The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering more power than the outgoing 6.2-liter V8’s 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque, though just how much more hasn’t been stated. Said […]

The post NAIAS 2015: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Ready For Return To Baja Valley appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2017-Ford-Raptor-10

The King of Truck Mountain is ready for its return to Baja Valley below in its latest Raptor incarnation.

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering more power than the outgoing 6.2-liter V8’s 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque, though just how much more hasn’t been stated. Said power is directed to all corners via a paddle-shifted 10-speed automatic, and managed by a torque-on-demand transfer case. The front pair of wheels also boast a new Torsen front differential for greater off-road prowess.

Supporting the Raptor is standard FOX Racing Shox suspension, which uses custom internal bypass tech to “damp and stiffen suspension travel over rough terrain,” preventing the truck from bottoming out after leaping over a small hill or two. A set of 17-inch wheels mounted in BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires help cushion the blow as the truck claws its way through the trails.

The body is composed of high-strength military-grade aluminum that weighs 500 pounds less than the outgoing Raptor, and is supported by a purpose-built high-strength steel frame, the strongest frame throughout the entire F-150 range.

Other features include: six driving modes; traction control; stability control; advanced LED lighting and camera tech; roof-mounted auxiliary controls inside the cab; and three color material levels.

The 2017 F-150 Raptor is set to go on sale in the fall of 2016, and will leave for showrooms from the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich.

2017-Ford-Raptor- 2017-Ford-Raptor-10 2017-Ford-Raptor-16 17FordRaptor_12_HR 17FordRaptor_10_HR 17FordRaptor_11_HR 17FordRaptor_09_HR 17FordRaptor_06_HR 17FordRaptor_05_HR 17FordRaptor_04_HR 17FordRaptor_01_HR

The post NAIAS 2015: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Ready For Return To Baja Valley appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2017-ford-f-150-raptor-ready-return-baja-valley/feed/ 76
NAIAS 2015: The Return Of The Ford GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:15:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=978057 We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned. The new GT will begin production late in 2016, and will be sold in select markets around the world in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ford’s destruction of Ferrari at Le Mans with the GT40. Power for the GT is […]

The post NAIAS 2015: The Return Of The Ford GT appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2017-Ford-GT-9

We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned.

The new GT will begin production late in 2016, and will be sold in select markets around the world in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ford’s destruction of Ferrari at Le Mans with the GT40.

Power for the GT is derived from a mid-mounted next-gen twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 producing upwards of 600 horsepower, which is sent to the back via a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle.

Surrounding the engine and transaxle is bodywork composed of carbon fiber with front and rear aluminum subframes. The body itself is heavily optimized for aero and downforce, and features an active rear spoiler that follows both speed and what the driver desires.

Other features include: adjustable ride height; 20-inch wheels mounted in Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires with a composition made specifically for the GT; upward swinging doors; and Ford’s new SYNC 3 connected-vehicle system.

2017-Ford-GT-9 2017-Ford-GT-16 2017-Ford-GT-18 2017-Ford-GT-4 All-NewFordGT_01_HR All-NewFordGT_02_HR All-NewFordGT_13_HR All-NewFordGT_04_HR All-NewFordGT_03_HR All-NewFordGT_06_HR All-NewFordGT_11_HR All-NewFordGT_10_HR All-NewFordGT_09_HR

The post NAIAS 2015: The Return Of The Ford GT appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/feed/ 178
European Prices For 2015 Ford Mustang Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/european-prices-2015-ford-mustang-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/european-prices-2015-ford-mustang-revealed/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 12:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=974306 Europeans who are itching to saddle up the new 2015 Ford Mustang now know how much the price of admission will be to do so, and it’s quite the pretty penny. Mustang6G obtained a German market brochure for the pony car in late December, which listed the base prices for the following configurations: 2.3-liter EcoBoost […]

The post European Prices For 2015 Ford Mustang Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015-Ford-Mustang-Low-Angle-2

Europeans who are itching to saddle up the new 2015 Ford Mustang now know how much the price of admission will be to do so, and it’s quite the pretty penny.

Mustang6G obtained a German market brochure for the pony car in late December, which listed the base prices for the following configurations:

  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost Fastback (manual) – €34,000 (~$41,511 USD)
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost Fastback (auto) – €36,000 (~$43,953)
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost Convertible (manual) – €38,000 (~$46,394)
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost Convertible (auto) – €40,000 (~$48,836)
  • 5.0-liter Coyote Fastback (manual) – €39,000 (~$47,615)
  • 5.0-liter Coyote Fastback (auto) – €41,000 (~$50,057)
  • 5.0-liter Coyote Convertible (manual) – €43,000 (~$52,500)
  • 5.0-liter Coyote Convertible (auto) – €45,000 (~$54,941)

Though the European prices are much higher than the $23,800 – $46,170 base range in the United States, the Mustang still fares well against other sport coupes in the market. For example, the BMW 4 Series starts at €36,050 ($42,638), topping out at €48,100 ($56,891) for the 435i. Meanwhile, the Euro-spec Chevrolet Camaro, powered by the SS’ 6.2-liter V8, begins at €39,990 ($47,298), bringing it in line with the 5-liter manual fastback.

The post European Prices For 2015 Ford Mustang Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/european-prices-2015-ford-mustang-revealed/feed/ 43
New Apps, Infotainment Systems Turn Up At 2015 CES http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-apps-infotainment-systems-turn-2015-ces/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-apps-infotainment-systems-turn-2015-ces/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973610 Autonomous alien luxury pods and royalty-free hydrogen patents aren’t the only things coming onto the stage during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Today, we’ll show you the latest and greatest from BMW, FCA, Audi and Ford, with the help from our brothers and sisters over at AutoGuide. BMW introduced non-contact gesture controls […]

The post New Apps, Infotainment Systems Turn Up At 2015 CES appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
FCA Uconnect Access Services

Autonomous alien luxury pods and royalty-free hydrogen patents aren’t the only things coming onto the stage during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Today, we’ll show you the latest and greatest from BMW, FCA, Audi and Ford, with the help from our brothers and sisters over at AutoGuide.

BMW introduced non-contact gesture controls for its Control Display touchscreen infotainment system, allowing drivers to input a given address with directed gestures made between the instrument panel and gear shift, among other tasks. Another system, Touch Command, will use a standard Samsung tablet to handle all infotainment and comfort functions, and provides wireless access to all onboard electronics for all passengers.

Over at FCA, the automaker debuted new additions to its Uconnect Access suite of apps: Vehicle Finder, Send Destination to Vehicle, Monthly Vehicle Report and Vehicle Health Alert. All four allow owners to keep tabs on their vehicle’s systems, easily navigate to a given destination, and know where their vehicle is at all times. The new suite will debut in H1 2015 on select FCA products equipped with either 8.4A or 8.4AN Uconnect systems.

Audi showed off the new interior of the next-gen Q7 — set to bow in Detroit next week as a 2016 model — to the media in attendance at the 2015 CES. The dashboard arrangement is derived from the TT, featuring a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit display with 3D maps and other important information. An additional pop-up central display uses a rotary knob and touch-sensitive pad to operate, while two large, removable, Wi-Fi-enabled tablets mounted in the back of the front headrests provide navigation info and entertainment for those seated in back.

Finally, Ford has added on AccuWeather and Life360 to the AppLink suite of apps on-board the new, QNX-based Sync 3 system. The Life360 Sync 3 app has a special Drive Mode feature that sends text messages to a driver’s friends and family so that they know not to contact the user while driving, with a follow-up text sent upon arrival at the user’s destination. AccuWeather, meanwhile, will use GPS to give minute-by-minute weather forecasts to help drivers better deal with and plan around inclement weather.

BMW CES 2015 01 BMW CES 2015 02 BMW CES 2015 03 BMW CES 2015 04 Uconnect_Access_Smartphone_App_ Vehicle_Finder Send_Destination_to_Vehicle_FCA Monthly_Vehicle_Health_Report Audi Q7 CES 2015 01 Audi Q7 CES 2015 02 Audi Q7 CES 2015 03 Audi Q7 CES 2015 04 Ford CES 2015 01 Ford CES 2015 02 Ford CES 2015 03 Ford CES 2015 04

The post New Apps, Infotainment Systems Turn Up At 2015 CES appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/new-apps-infotainment-systems-turn-2015-ces/feed/ 10
Callum: No ‘Visual Connection Between Lincoln And Ford’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/callum-no-visual-connection-lincoln-ford/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/callum-no-visual-connection-lincoln-ford/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973594 For the longest time, there wasn’t much difference between Lincoln and Ford in the design game, consumers hardly seeing much difference between an MKZ and a Fusion despite the former’s premium price. Ford global design boss Moray Callum is drawing a line in the sand as far as that is concerned. In an interview with […]

The post Callum: No ‘Visual Connection Between Lincoln And Ford’ appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Lincoln MKC

For the longest time, there wasn’t much difference between Lincoln and Ford in the design game, consumers hardly seeing much difference between an MKZ and a Fusion despite the former’s premium price. Ford global design boss Moray Callum is drawing a line in the sand as far as that is concerned.

In an interview with Automotive News Callum said that as far as design goes, he didn’t think there should be “a visual connection between Lincoln and Ford.” The decision to have a design studio separate from Ford is part of this goal, citing the cross-pollination among competitors Lexus and Infiniti with their respective parent brands, Toyota and Nissan.

Within Lincoln, the differentiation is beginning to take hold. Callum explained that the MKC and MKZ share no common sheet metal, proportion or stance with its cousins, the Ford Escape and Fusion. That said, the differentiation is not something he has to enforce, nor does he feel a need to do so, proclaiming that it’s a decision both brands are consciously making.

As for Ford’s own premium concerns, Callum states that though the Blue Oval isn’t pretending “to be a premium brand,” he didn’t see any harm in bringing a premium feel to the portfolio, adding that “the premium brands don’t have a monopoly on great design.”

The post Callum: No ‘Visual Connection Between Lincoln And Ford’ appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/callum-no-visual-connection-lincoln-ford/feed/ 73
Ford Transit Best-Selling US Van In December http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/ford-transit-best-selling-us-van-december/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/ford-transit-best-selling-us-van-december/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972929 Ford may soon have a new member in its royal family, as the 2015 Transit is asserting its dominance upon Flower Shop Lane. Autoblog reports the Blue Oval moved 20,488 2015 Transits in 2014, half of which — 10,030 — were sold to plumbers, caterers and hotel shuttle fleets in December. In that same month, […]

The post Ford Transit Best-Selling US Van In December appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ford Transit at a Hotel

Ford may soon have a new member in its royal family, as the 2015 Transit is asserting its dominance upon Flower Shop Lane.

Autoblog reports the Blue Oval moved 20,488 2015 Transits in 2014, half of which — 10,030 — were sold to plumbers, caterers and hotel shuttle fleets in December. In that same month, the Chevrolet Express took second on the podium with 5,611 sold, while the outgoing Ford E-Series — the current king of Flower Shop Lane with 103,263 units sold in 2014 — took third at 5,256.

Ford representative Mike Levine took to Twitter to express his joy at the news, dubbing the Transit a “game changer.” Per an interview with the publication, Levine cited his employer’s commitment to its customers’ needs, as well as the vast configurability of the Transit and its smaller sibling, the Transit Connect.

AutoPacific auto industry analyst Dave Sullivan added that the van’s lower base price — in comparison to competitors like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — also helped in winning the sales game for December. However, he warns the Transit will have a major challenge ahead this year, as it will have to take up the throne abdicated by E-Series.

The post Ford Transit Best-Selling US Van In December appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/ford-transit-best-selling-us-van-december/feed/ 13
Obama Visiting Ford Plant Wednesday Amid Temporary Closure http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972082 President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max. The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech […]

The post Obama Visiting Ford Plant Wednesday Amid Temporary Closure appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

President Barack Obama will be visiting the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Wednesday, a plant currently closed due to low demand for both the Focus and C-Max.

The Detroit News reports the president will be in Michigan for less than two hours that afternoon before jetting off to Phoenix to give a speech on the recovering housing market. Both Ford CEO Mark Fields and Chairman Bill Ford Jr. are expected to be in attendance; the company received $5.9 billion in low-cost government loans from the U.S. Energy Department in 2009 to help transition Michigan Assembly from SUV production to that of fuel-efficient small cars

Per the White House, his speech at the plant will focus upon “the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector now that the auto rescue has been completed and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it.”

Meanwhile, the plant’s closure is expected to be temporary, with its 5,100 employees receiving most of their standard pay in the interim. The closure is an extension of a two-week Christmas break at the plant, and is meant to help better manage supply as consumers, encouraged by falling fuel prices, look at F-150s and Explorers over smaller cars like the aforementioned Focus and C-Max.

The post Obama Visiting Ford Plant Wednesday Amid Temporary Closure appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/obama-visiting-ford-plant-wednesday-amid-temporary-closure/feed/ 9
Benson: Ram ProMaster City Portfolio Could Expand Via Demand http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/benson-ram-promaster-city-portfolio-expand-via-demand/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/benson-ram-promaster-city-portfolio-expand-via-demand/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 14:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969937 Right now, one can pick up a new Ram ProMaster City for catering tacos and installing cable down Flower Shop Lane. If that’s not enough, however, Ram might soon have a few more tricks up its sleeve. According to Edmunds, Ram commercial truck operations chief Joe Benson says consumer demand could increase the current ProMaster […]

The post Benson: Ram ProMaster City Portfolio Could Expand Via Demand appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ram ProMaster City 01

Right now, one can pick up a new Ram ProMaster City for catering tacos and installing cable down Flower Shop Lane. If that’s not enough, however, Ram might soon have a few more tricks up its sleeve.

According to Edmunds, Ram commercial truck operations chief Joe Benson says consumer demand could increase the current ProMaster City portfolio beyond the two-passenger commercial panel van and five-passenger people carrier. Possibilities include diesel power, shorter wheelbases, seven-passenger models, a taller panel van, and a pickup variant with drop-down sides for easy cargo-box access.

Regarding the overall picture for Flower Shop Lane, Benson believes combined U.S. sales could climb to 100,000 by 2016, compared to the predicted 50,000 units sold in 2014. The increased demand is likely to come from Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari owners looking to replace their aging units with those from not only Ram, but Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan.

The post Benson: Ram ProMaster City Portfolio Could Expand Via Demand appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/benson-ram-promaster-city-portfolio-expand-via-demand/feed/ 84
Changan-Ford Introduces New Edge For Chinese Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/changan-ford-introduces-new-edge-chinese-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/changan-ford-introduces-new-edge-chinese-market/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=969281 It’s official: This is the Chinese-made Ford Edge Sport and Edge Limited. CarNewsChina reports the new crossover for the Chinese market will be leaving for the showroom from Changan-Ford factories beginning in May 2015, arriving just before the Everest SUV. Power for the seven-passenger Limited and five-passenger Sport will come from either a 2-liter turbo-four […]

The post Changan-Ford Introduces New Edge For Chinese Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
ford-edge-china-o-1-660x374

It’s official: This is the Chinese-made Ford Edge Sport and Edge Limited.

CarNewsChina reports the new crossover for the Chinese market will be leaving for the showroom from Changan-Ford factories beginning in May 2015, arriving just before the Everest SUV.

Power for the seven-passenger Limited and five-passenger Sport will come from either a 2-liter turbo-four producing 252 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, or a larger 2.7-liter turbo V6 making 300 horses and 370 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will send their power through a six-speed automatic to all four corners, with the 2-liter offering FWD as standard.

Price of admission begins at ¥280,000 ($45,000 USD), topping off at ¥450,000 ($72,400). The Limited will be limited to China for the near-term.

ford-edge-china-o-1-660x374 ford-edge-china-o-1a-660x495 ford-edge-china-o-1b-660x495 ford-edge-china-o-2-660x361 ford-edge-china-o-4-660x495 ford-edge-china-o-5-660x323

The post Changan-Ford Introduces New Edge For Chinese Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/changan-ford-introduces-new-edge-chinese-market/feed/ 15
Teknikens Värld: Ford Mondeo Estate ‘Dangerously Overweight’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/teknikens-varld-ford-mondeo-estate-dangerously-overweight/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/teknikens-varld-ford-mondeo-estate-dangerously-overweight/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962754 The Ford Mondeo Estate is in trouble with one Swedish automotive publication, thanks to how much it weighs. Teknikens Värld reports the Mondeo Titanium Estate equipped with the 150-horsepower 2-liter TDCi and six-speed manual is supposed to weigh 3,530 pounds. However, when the publication’s test subject was placed on a roadside scale, the weight came […]

The post Teknikens Värld: Ford Mondeo Estate ‘Dangerously Overweight’ appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ford Mondeo Estate overweight

The Ford Mondeo Estate is in trouble with one Swedish automotive publication, thanks to how much it weighs.

Teknikens Värld reports the Mondeo Titanium Estate equipped with the 150-horsepower 2-liter TDCi and six-speed manual is supposed to weigh 3,530 pounds. However, when the publication’s test subject was placed on a roadside scale, the weight came out to 4,145 pounds, 615 more than what Ford said it weighed.

This is a problem in Sweden, as loading a vehicle above its total gross weight is illegal, something that would occur if a family loads the Mondeo to what they believe is the gross weight, only to find they’ve exceeded it.

The extra weight also proved to be dangerous, as the Mondeo failed the publication’s moose test, faring better at said test when the load dropped to 220 pounds above the maximum load limit.

The post Teknikens Värld: Ford Mondeo Estate ‘Dangerously Overweight’ appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/teknikens-varld-ford-mondeo-estate-dangerously-overweight/feed/ 122
NHTSA Ready To Force Nationwide Takata Airbag Recall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nhtsa-ready-force-nationwide-takata-airbag-recall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nhtsa-ready-force-nationwide-takata-airbag-recall/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962073 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is ready to force Takata and three of its clients into a nationwide recall over the catastrophic failure of the supplier’s airbags. The Detroit News reports the agency will bring Ford, FCA US and BMW to court if necessary, compelling the automakers to recall 5 million affected vehicles in […]

The post NHTSA Ready To Force Nationwide Takata Airbag Recall appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Takata-jpg

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is ready to force Takata and three of its clients into a nationwide recall over the catastrophic failure of the supplier’s airbags.

The Detroit News reports the agency will bring Ford, FCA US and BMW to court if necessary, compelling the automakers to recall 5 million affected vehicles in addition to those already recalled.

The first act in bringing the named parties to trial will be a formal demand letter issued to all concerned. Upon refusal, the NHTSA will file a suit against each party in U.S. District Court, a process that could last for months, if not years.

The die was cast when Takata rebuffed the agency’s request earlier this month to expand its recall efforts beyond high-humidity locations in warm climates around the United States, including Florida and Hawaii.

The post NHTSA Ready To Force Nationwide Takata Airbag Recall appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/nhtsa-ready-force-nationwide-takata-airbag-recall/feed/ 12
Seven Finalists Announced For Europe’s 2015 Car of the Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/seven-finalists-announced-europes-2015-car-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/seven-finalists-announced-europes-2015-car-year/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961993 After months of deliberation, Europe’s Car of the Year panel has narrowed down the field of 31 to seven finalists. Autoblog reports the panel has chosen the following nominees for the 2015 Car of the Year: BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Citroën C4 Cactus Ford Mondeo Mercedes-Benz C-Class Nissan Qashqai Renault Twingo Volkswagen Passat The […]

The post Seven Finalists Announced For Europe’s 2015 Car of the Year appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
renault-twingo-03-1

After months of deliberation, Europe’s Car of the Year panel has narrowed down the field of 31 to seven finalists.

Autoblog reports the panel has chosen the following nominees for the 2015 Car of the Year:

  • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
  • Citroën C4 Cactus
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Renault Twingo
  • Volkswagen Passat

The winner will be announced during the 2015 Geneva Auto Show this coming March. Previous winners include the Peugeot 308, Volkswagen Golf and Opel Ampera, with the first title awarded 50 years ago to the 1964 Rover 2000.

The post Seven Finalists Announced For Europe’s 2015 Car of the Year appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/seven-finalists-announced-europes-2015-car-year/feed/ 30
Trucks, SUVs Best Premium Sedans In Over $50K US Segment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/trucks-suvs-best-premium-sedans-50k-us-segment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/trucks-suvs-best-premium-sedans-50k-us-segment/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961313 Keep those Benzes, BMWs and Audis in the garage, son: $50,000-plus trucks and SUVs are where it’s at for the ballers and players these days. TrueCar says trucks and SUVs account for six of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the United States market, specifically the segment where transaction prices of $50,000-plus are the norm. […]

The post Trucks, SUVs Best Premium Sedans In Over $50K US Segment appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015-ford-f-150-in-detroit-rear-side-view

Keep those Benzes, BMWs and Audis in the garage, son: $50,000-plus trucks and SUVs are where it’s at for the ballers and players these days.

TrueCar says trucks and SUVs account for six of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the United States market, specifically the segment where transaction prices of $50,000-plus are the norm.

The biggest of them all? The Ford F-150, whose projected 2014 volume of 189,776 “will likely surpass total U.S. volume of luxury car benchmarks including BMW’s combined 3, 5 and 7 Series sales or total deliveries for the Audi brand this year.” The Blue Oval will see revenue of $10.8 billion from those high transactions, making up a third of an estimated $33.2 billion for the overall F-Series portfolio.

The demand for looking California and feeling Minnesota is helped in part by a recovering U.S. economy, improved vehicle quality, and a growing supply of cheap gasoline, which is helping the $50,000-plus transaction segment, as well: approximately 8.1 percent of total 2014 sales will transact at that level, up from 6.6 percent in 2013.

Finishing out the podium per TrueCar is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram truck lineup, with sales of 76,266 at the $50,000 transaction level, Mercedes taking third with its E-Class at 67,006.

TrueCar 2014 50K USD Transaction Table

The post Trucks, SUVs Best Premium Sedans In Over $50K US Segment appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/trucks-suvs-best-premium-sedans-50k-us-segment/feed/ 250
Ford Kills MyFordTouch, Introduces SYNC 3 Connected-Vehicle System http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-kills-myfordtouch-introduces-sync-3-connected-vehicle-system/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-kills-myfordtouch-introduces-sync-3-connected-vehicle-system/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=959081 Joy to the world, MyFordTouch is dead. In its place, Ford introduced Thursday its new SYNC 3 connected-vehicle system. Pulling from suggestions and comments from 22,000 consumers, in combination with clinics and surveys, the QNX-based SYNC 3 aims to be more intuitive than the outgoing technology, delivering an interface similar to those found on smartphones […]

The post Ford Kills MyFordTouch, Introduces SYNC 3 Connected-Vehicle System appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
SYNC 3

Joy to the world, MyFordTouch is dead. In its place, Ford introduced Thursday its new SYNC 3 connected-vehicle system.

Pulling from suggestions and comments from 22,000 consumers, in combination with clinics and surveys, the QNX-based SYNC 3 aims to be more intuitive than the outgoing technology, delivering an interface similar to those found on smartphones and tablets. The system also offers day and night settings, reduced complexity, and better voice recognition.

Speaking of smartphones, users can connect theirs via SYNC 3’s AppLink, allowing them to control their smartphones through voice commands. The latest version of AppLink can automatically discover music and news apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio Auto and NPR One.

Software updates can now be achieved via Wi-Fi: once a user links the system to their home network, updates can happen while the car is parked in the garage or on the driveway.

Finally, users can dial 911 via the subscription-free 911 Assist service, which uses a Bluetooth-connected phone to call first responders in the event of an accident, and providing detailed information location, whether airbags were deployed, how many seat belts were used, and the type of crash that occurred.

Owners can expect SYNC 3 to arrive in the 2016 model year, with full replacement by New Year’s Eve 2016. Lincoln will have a slightly touched-up version for its customers, as well.

SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3 SYNC 3

The post Ford Kills MyFordTouch, Introduces SYNC 3 Connected-Vehicle System appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/ford-kills-myfordtouch-introduces-sync-3-connected-vehicle-system/feed/ 72