We’ve been on a cheapskate (or value, if you prefer) kick lately at Buy/Drive/Burn. We’ve covered the cheapest new sedans and trucks on sale in America for 2021, and today we tackle everyone’s favorite type of vehicle: vans. But these three aren’t just any plain cargo vans, they’re passenger vans you can use to haul around your whole family.
On Wednesday, Ford CEO Jim Farley told attendees of the Wolfe Research Auto Conference that the United States needs to start building batteries for the industry’s planned deluge of electric vehicles now that semiconductor shortages have revealed the dangers of needing to source essential components from the other side of the planet.
Farley is likely correct in stating that America really should be able to supply itself, and not just in regard to semiconductor chips. Pandemic-related lockdowns crippled countless industries by upsetting the balance of supply lines. Halfway through 2020, farmers were dumping millions of gallons of milk per day and plowing up fields of eatable vegetables as restaurants were shutdown; factories were idled as part shortages became commonplace; cleaning supplies and disinfectants became impossible to find.
But it’s hard to translate that into sympathy for Ford because, while all of the above was happening, the automaker’s leadership was saying that there was no good reason to manufacture its own batteries.
We closed out last week with a Buy/Drive/Burn entry that covered the three cheapest sedans available in America this year. Nearly all of you decided you’d buy the most expensive of the three, the Hyundai Accent.
Today’s trio are the least expensive trucks on sale today with plain paint, two driven wheels, and steelies. Think you’ll select the most expensive truck of today’s trio for the Buy? Let’s find out.
It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your Ford with Takata airbags is?
Ford needs to recall just 45 Takata airbags from 2004-2006 Rangers, but it lost track of which trucks have them. So it’s recalled just over 153,000 old Rangers instead, hoping that casting such a wide net will allow the company to find and replace the faulty airbags.
I’ve been waiting to get my grubby mitts on the steering wheel of the Ford Mustang Mach-E for over a year now.
I spent a good chunk of a weekend learning all about it before the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. And I was all set to trek to Detroit to drive it last fall. But, well, COVID travel restrictions forced me to keep my FIB (if you know, you know) self out of Michigan. So we sent friend of the site Chad, since he was unencumbered by such things.
Finally, a scant few months later, the electric Mustang (yeah, I know. It’s on a different platform and I’m on record as not liking the use of the Mustang moniker) graced my garage.
While Americans were busy scratching their heads over how to manage a Very Covid Christmas, Ford was producing the final examples of the Mustang Bullitt. Modeled after the Mustang GT driven by Lt. Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) in the 1968 American action thriller that shares the lead character’s last name, the Bullitt tends to hit the market whenever Ford feels the itch.
For its third incarnation, the automaker decided the 2019-2020 model years were enough and had previously hinted that the model would be supplanted by an updated Mach 1. That unit has since been confirmed for 2021, taking the best components in the Mustang lineup to build a solid performer that’s economical to produce. But it didn’t leave any room for the Bullitt, with Mustang spokesperson Berj Alexanian confirming to Ford Authority that the final batch left Flat Rock Assembly right around the time we published our last review on the throwback coupe.
On Monday, Ford and Google jointly announced a strategic, six-year partnership to accelerate the automaker’s connected vehicle and data service programs. Framed as part of Ford’s natural evolution into an information focused mobility firm, the release was loaded with corporate buzz phrases that we had to clean up. But the gist is that Ford would like to leverage Google Cloud for its products, meaning all future Ford models will be running Android operating systems starting in 2023.
This clears a pathway for improved integration from Google Assistant, Maps, Play, or any third-party applications catering to the incredibly popular OS. Unfortunately, it also highlights how gaga automakers are getting about data for the umpteenth time.
Late last year we reported that thanks to the coronavirus and its impact on suppliers, Ford Bronco production would be delayed, saying “customers will receive a delivery window in May 2021. First customer deliveries will now begin in summer 2021 instead of spring 2021.”
I’d like to think the term wouldn’t need an explanation at this point, but for the sake of those just tuning in from parts of the country where vegan eateries outnumber personal automobiles, I’d like to offer a definition. A “brodozer” is a pejorative reference to a full-sized pickup truck, modified typically by the owner (either with traditional wrenches or the good old VISA wrench) with larger wheels and more ground clearance – among other mods.
Generally, one never sees a brodozer using that additional ground clearance for anything other than clearing curbs, but it’s nice to know that the ability to negotiate deeply rutted backwoods trails is there. The other advantage to the ground clearance is the gatekeeping function – old people without significant flexibility will struggle to ascend into the cab – making the brodozer the exclusive province of the young.
All brands of full-size trucks have been built into brodozers, but in my experience, the Blue Oval dominates the breed. Naturally, Dearborn has responded – first, with the F-150-based Raptor, and now with this 2020 Ford F-350 Tremor. It’s lifted, it’s huge, and it’s packing plenty of power. It’s a brodozer with a monthly payment.
Along with the arrival of the car comes a new online buying process, one that seems likely to spread across the Ford lineup – it should be set for use with the Bronco, as well.
It’s a process that could mostly eliminate the worst parts of dealing with the sales department at a new-car dealership.
I mentioned it before, when ripping that Ford ad that got me riled during an NFL Sunday, but I still strongly believe the Ford Mustang Mach-E shouldn’t have “Mustang” in its name.
(Yeah, it’s Mach-E week around these parts. If you couldn’t tell. More to come on the Mach-E later today or next week.)
“Is the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E a proper Mustang?”
It’s a fair question, and one that I’m not sure I can answer. For many of you, a Mustang is a two-door, rear-drive car powered by a V8. If that’s the case, then this is NOT a Mustang. But if you are looking for a car that’s probably more fun than it needs to be, with decent storage and practicality, then the Mustang Mach-E might be something you want to look at. If you extend the Mustang definition to mean “a fun car,” then the Mach-E delivers.
Ford has introduced the all-new 2021 F-150 Tremor, the latest addition to its roster of off-road trucks. Tremor’s improved suspension and driveline, increased suspension travel, and approach, breakover and departure angles, are expected to keep Ford in the hunt for off-road buyers.
My first car was a hand-me-down 1984 Ford Bronco II that my parents bought new. I took possession of it as a hot-to-trot teenager in 1997, happy to finally be a licensed driver and glad I was lucky enough that my parents could gift me a car, even if it was over a decade old and even if my end of the bargain was to get a job bagging groceries to pay for insurance and maintenance.
Many teens, even in the relatively well-off suburb I grew up in, don’t get a car when they reach driving age. I had friends from families who were wealthier than mine who ended up hitching rides, as they didn’t have their own wheels. So I knew I was lucky to have a vehicle to call my own.
The automotive world’s most anticipated product is now delayed again. No, not the All-New Ford EcoSport. In a communication to dealerships, Ford confirmed that the 2021 Ford Bronco would be delayed until Summer 2021. The rollout change was forced by COVID-19 challenges that some of Ford’s suppliers are facing. In a communication sent to dealers that a tipster provided to TTAC, Ford also provided an update on some Bronco options.
Ford Super Duty sales increased by 7.5 percent in November, while the F-series sold 713,325 trucks, 195,000 more than Chevrolet and GMC combined to capture the title of America’s best-selling pickup for the 44th straight year.
Meanwhile, the Ford Transit, America’s best-selling van, sold 9,917 units, 13.9 percent over last year, and a 70-percent increase in commercial sales for the month. Outselling its nearest competitor by 41 percent, Ford now holds a 31-percent share of the full-size van market.
We all know about the Ford Mustang Bullitt’s heritage and its connection to the movie Bullitt. We all know the main chase scene with McQueen in a Mustang and the bad guys in a Dodge Charger cemented its status as one of the great car chases in Hollywood history. The actual car used in the movie, a GT390, was owned by a family for decades, and the owner even turned down an offer from Steve McQueen himself, documented by a letter in their possession. This tale just adds to the legend.
Ford Motor Company’s 2021 Model Year is full of new trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. The one hundred and seventeen-year-old company has a renewed focus on these profitable categories while no longer offering a sedan in North America. The Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Mustang Mach-E expand Ford’s vehicle portfolio while adding new segments for the brand. These are all very important products for the future of Ford Motor Company. However, none of those vehicles provide the company with the same level of revenue as the other new vehicle in the 2021 lineup; the 2021 Ford F-150.
It’s safe to say that the F-150 is Ford’s most important product. It has been the best-selling vehicle in America since 1977 and is in a segment where average transaction prices are near $50,000. In 2014, in order to create a more capable and more fuel-efficient truck, Ford moved the thirteenth-generation F-150 to an all-aluminum exterior. But between that release and today, the full-sized truck segment has become even more competitive. General Motors released an all-new Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 and FCA introduced a brand new RAM 1500.
The Ford Thunderbird is popular here at Rare Rides, apparently. Thus far, we’ve covered one from 1982 which was hacked into a convertible, and one from 1988 which was turbocharged and very good. Today’s Bird hails from 1979, which was the very last year the model was large(ish) and in charge.
When I visit a car graveyard, I’m always on the lookout for three things: puzzling examples of badge engineering, crazy high odometer readings, and manual transmissions in unexpected cars. One of the rarest of all is a non-SHO Ford Taurus with three pedals, sold under the MT-5 designation for the 1986 through 1988 model years. After a decade of searching, I found my first discarded Taurus MT-5 in Phoenix, three years back. Now a junkyard near Pikes Peak has provided the second example of this extraordinarily rare Junkyard Find.
Ford’s $11.5 billion investment (through 2022) into electrification has birthed its first in a series of planned work vehicles. The E-Transit takes everything that was good about the gasoline-powered Transit van and makes a few sacrifices in the name of progress while also offering a handful of useful features made possible by its 67 kWh battery.
One of the biggest items being surrendered is range. Ford estimates the E-Transit to have an operating area of roughly 126 miles between charges, which isn’t great. However, the company claimed this would be sufficient for the kind of applications it envisioned customers would be using it for and noted that reduced range helped the vehicle come in just under $45,000. Longer-range versions are planned, as well as an all-wheel-drive variant, and Ford has added a few features to the E-Transit not available on the gasoline-driven unit.
Today’s Rare Ride hails from the last bit of the Fox-body Mustang era. And while there were only supposed to be a handful of these 7UPs ever made, the special edition ended up with a production figure in the low five digits.
Only one car is lemon, lime, Mustang, and forgotten. Let’s go.
Rare Rides has featured Ford’s compact Escort offering previously, in a first-generation EXP from 1986. Today’s Escort hails from the model’s second generation and wears a Mercury badge instead. It also has three important letters on the back: LTS.
Let’s check out a sporty economy sedan from the good people at Mercury.
Eager to prove itself as a forward thinking mobility brand, Ford has advised us to prepare for the debut of the battery powered E-Transit van on November 12th. Following some heavy teasing from CEO Jim Farley during the company’s third-quarter earnings call a day earlier, Blue Oval issued an official announcement on Thursday to be ready for the commercial vehicle poised to change the way it does vans.
We’ve heard this before. There was supposed to be a battery electric Transit Connect, developed in partnership with Azure Dynamics, coming to market for the 2011 model year. While a prototype existed and was driven around by numerous outlets who praised it for being incredibly normal, the car ended up being prohibitively expensive to manufacture and kind of underwhelming to live with. Range was an abysmal 56 miles (according to the EPA) and the van was only just barely capable of maintaining highway speeds. In the end, Ford handed the project over to Azure — which nixed the passenger model and sold a few thousand commercial versions to various U.S. bureaucracies, coastal power companies, AT&T and the Canada Post for a little under $60,000 a pop.
Despite rumors that the current-generation Ford Edge will be the company’s last, Blue Oval has decided to give the crossover a 12-inch touchscreen as standard equipment for 2021. You probably didn’t ask for it, you definitely don’t need it, and it will likely increase the chances of a horrific accident when someone has to take their eyes off the road to use it. But it’s coming and will be the largest-in-class center stack screen going into production, trumping the optional 10.1-inch unit that’s available on the larger Ford Explorer.
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to take up much more real estate, as the automaker has chosen to install it portrait style. But it does appear to be supplanting psychical climate controls while leaving knobs for the volume and radio turning/track selection. Other updates to the 2021 Edge include fresh wheel designs, additional interior trim choices, and a couple of new exterior colors — both of which happen to be shades of gray.
You’ve seen those two-door 2021 Ford Broncos with doors that have a cutout in the middle. They’re called donut doors, because, well, they look like a donut, kind of. They look cool. Unfortunately, they won’t make production for safety reasons, according to a report.
In August of 2009, I wrote in the Ode To The Suburban that I couldn’t imagine hauling seven people around without at least a cylinder per person. Thanks to Ford’s Ecoboost 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, the Expedition Max King Ranch does just fine with only six cylinders. This engine pairs well with the joint venture Ford/GM 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford built the massive Excursion in its lineup to counter the market-leader Suburban until 2006. The Expedition Max was introduced for 2007, adding approximately one foot in length to the cargo space, which translates to about 15 more cubic feet of space thanks to a 9.1-inch wheelbase increase. This fourth and latest-generation Expedition was introduced in 2018.
One of the perks of this job, and any auto blogging job, really, is that you get paid to surf the Internet for car news. I came across something yesterday that suggested the upcoming Ford Bronco won’t be available for pricing on the company’s X-plan, which is the pricing plan for friends and family of the company.
I emailed Ford to fact-check this, and yep, it’s true.
Ford’s Raptor is one tough truck, and it has new competition, thanks to the Ram TRX. Not only that, but the F-150 on which it’s based is new for 2021. So it figures, then, that a new Raptor is on the way.
And this one might be available only in a SuperCrew configuration. Maybe not for the entirety of the model run, but perhaps at least at first.
Rare Rides has featured a couple of F-150 things previously, in the super luxurious Lincoln Blackwood, and the performance-oriented first generation SVT Lightning. Today’s truck combines both luxury and performance into a single F-150.
Let’s check out this very clean triple-tone Harley-Davidson F-150 from 2003.
Last night I was watching my beloved Chicago Bears stumble and bumble their way to a win over the Tampa Bay Tom Bradys when I saw an ad for Ford in which the company claimed they “electrified the Mustang.” My inner fact-checker was not pleased.
Yes, of course, Ford does have an all-electric crossover-ish (more like raised five-door, but Ford insists on calling it an SUV or crossover) called the Mustang Mach-E. It’s part of the Mustang “family”. So, in the strictest sense, Ford does sell an all-electric Mustang.
The urination for distance competition (that’s a metaphor, and not literal, thank heaven) continues among the automakers who produce full-size pickups.
This time it’s the Blue Oval, firing a shot across the bow (or over the balcony, as it were), with the towing numbers for the 2021 Ford F-150 released today.
We wrote last week about rumors that Ford was testing a Bronco with the Sasquatch Package and a manual transmission. That was remarkable because Ford initially said the off-road-performance package would only be available on automatic transmission vehicles.
Which, of course, caused enthusiasts to howl. Especially on Twitter.
We’re as tired of teasers as you likely are, but Ford nevertheless slipped one into its other news from earlier this week.
Matt noted that Ford claimed the truck would be cheaper to own than the gas model, and that it would be produced in Michigan as part of a major investment, but what else do we know about it?
I didn’t plan for it to happen. It just did.
I had requested a Shelby GT500 loan because I’d driven the car on the launch but wanted to see what it’s like to live with the king of current Mustangs in the real world. Because the car is likely in high demand among Chicago-area automotive journalists, the loan would be short. So I’d have a gap in my schedule.
I don’t need test cars to get around. I am not dependent on them – I don’t feel beholden to the fleets or the automakers. I have other ways to get around, whether it be walking, biking, using a cab/Uber, or whatever. But I try to schedule cars each week, either so I can review them for TTAC (even if it takes a while to actually get around to the write-up, sorry gang) or at least use them as background for knowledge and comparison.
Ford Bronco enthusiasts were happy that you’ll be able to get a manual transmission. But they weren’t so happy when the company announced that the Sasquatch off-road package would only be available with an automatic transmission.
The Twitter push back was intense, and Ford PR did say that the company would consider offering the Sasquatch on manual-transmission models (the stick is only available with the 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine) if there was enough consumer interest.
Apparently, there is.
Ford had a short Web meeting for the media earlier this week, and a big chunk of the time was spent on the newest version of the F-150 pickup truck, including confirmation that the company will be building an all-electric F-150 at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, as Matt wrote Thursday.
The other big announcement from the Blue Oval focused on how the F-150’s existence helps America. Drawing on a study from Boston Consulting Group, Ford says the F-150 is among the most valuable consumer goods sold in America.
If you want a new Ford Bronco and you want eight cylinders, you better start searching for aftermarket upfitters.
According to our friends at Autoblog, Ford won’t be offering a V8 in the Bronco due to emissions regulations and a belief that well, it doesn’t need to, because the 2.7-liter V6 will be powerful enough for customers. Bronco’s chief engineer Eric Loefller laid out the company’s reasoning in an interview with Muscle Cars and Trucks.
Ford’s Ranger is getting some serious off-road goods for 2021.
No, we don’t mean the Ford Ranger Raptor is finally coming Stateside, although most of us here in TTAC-land would love that. Nah, today we’re talking about a Tremor off-road package for the 2021 Ford Ranger.
We all know that scene in Jurassic Park where the island’s designated hunter gets outsmarted by the raptors and becomes their dinner. That dude’s death always bothered me because he was cool, and I hate it when cool characters buy the farm in disaster movies. Also, he seemed smart enough to not be outwitted by the voracious dinos, unlike others in the flick.
Ahem, where was I? Oh yes – Ford might be hiding some Raptors of its own, so to speak. Although instead of disappearing behind bushes, these Raptors are lurking in plain sight on public roads, with only canvas and tape concealing them from those who hunt this type of prey.
It’s been a while since Buy/Drive/Burn covered a trio from the Seventies; December 2019, in fact. But today we return to that decade of automotive change with (almost) everybody’s favorite topic: personal luxury coupes.
Let’s sort out which of these PLCs was worth taking home in ’76.
The hottest vehicle segment that doesn’t yet exist — full-size electric pickups — continues to arouse interest online, though the nature of that buzz can’t be directly translated into future sales.
Lofty promises of future product may send investors and tech geeks into mouth-frothing displays of overreaction, but established automakers, regardless of what Silicon Valley disciples claim, stand a better chance of having their wares on the market before the upstarts. Ford’s upcoming F-150 EV is one of those products. Scheduled to arrive in the middle of 2022, the automaker is preparing a plant overhaul designed to slot the new variant into its next-generation truck’s assembly operation.
Ford’s build-and-price tool can now be wielded against the next-generation F-150 pickup, revealing that going hybrid will vary wildly in price, depending on where you start.
You’ll recall that, last week, a video surfaced of a camouflaged 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor prototype with an interesting exhaust note, leading to speculation that the next version of the brand’s dedicated off-road performance pickup would ditch V6 power for something more potent.
Well, today a new report cites sources claiming exactly that. It seems the next Raptor might make use of a Predator.
Last week marked the Ford Bronco’s 55th anniversary, with the model’s creator celebrating the momentous occasion by throwing an exclusive and socially distanced Bronco party in Holly, MI.
At this off-road soiree, Ford showed off its Bronco family adventure concepts, announced that 165,000 Broncos have been reserved since the July 13 reveal, and proclaimed that Austin, TX would be the first location of the Bronco Off-Roadeo (Ford’s spelling, not a typo) off-road adventure playground.
While all these pieces of information are great, they aren’t exciting enough to headline a Bronco Anniversary party. Instead, the headliners of this party were the off-road ride-alongs in the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport and the 2021 Ford Bronco 2-door.
Ford’s pony car has typically made the most out of its platforms, eking out the maximum amount of longevity and profit before moving on to wholly new underpinnings. The Fox-body era saw that tradition taken to extremes.
Come 2022, the Mustang will don a new wardrobe, and Ford expects it to stick around for quite some time.
With the Ram 1500 TRX assumed to arrive with a V8 making oodles of power, Ford’s F-150 Raptor may round out the year with egg on its face. In 2017, the Blue Oval ditched the model’s 6.2-liter V8 for a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and added a quartet of gears — pissing some die-hard fans of the model right off. Baja boys bemoaned the decision to put a more complicated motor into a vehicle that’s designed to be abused largely off-road, while others were just mad they were missing out on that V8 sound. However, most of those who weren’t obsessed with SVT badging agreed the changes hadn’t ruined the truck and that the second-gen suspension upgrades ultimately made for a better off-road vehicle.
That said, Ram dumping a model onto the market that targets the same audience, and with a V8 on board, is bad news for Ford. But it doesn’t have to be, especially if the noises we hear coming from the tailpipes of the latest test mule are what some listeners claim.
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- 285exp If the conversion to EVs was really so vital to solve an existential climate change crisis, it wouldn’t matter whether they were built by US union workers or where the batteries and battery materials came from.
- El scotto Another EBPosky, "EVs are Stoopid, prove to me water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius" article.It was never explained if the rural schools own the buses or if the school bus routes are contracted out. If the bus routes are contracted out, will Carpenter or Bluebird offer an electric school bus? Flexmatt never stated the range of brand-unspecified school bus. Will the min-mart be open at the end of the 179-mile drive? No cell coverage? Why doesn't the bus driver have an emergency sat phone?Two more problems Mr. Musk could solve.
- RICK Long time Cadillac admirer with 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance and 93 Brougham, always liked Eldorado until downsized after 76. Those were the days. Sad to see what now wears Cadillac name.
- Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
- Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.