The Right Spec: 2022 Ford F-150

Choosing the right spec of a pickup is fraught with danger since it is unlikely any two truck customers have the same needs. Jim might need a base two-wheel-drive regular cab for chores on the farm while Bill could be after a Crew Cab monster to tow the family camper.

Nevertheless, we shall try. Consider the following as a selection of F-150 which is likely to be pressed into runs to the hockey rink and the scattered bit of towing on the weekends, mixed with a decent amount of useful new tech. In other words, the one this author would buy.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Subaru WRX

This 2022 model year marks the introduction of a fifth-generation WRX – that all-wheel-drive hooligan that some of us first discovered on the screens of a PlayStation. The car has gone through several permutations over the years, including some ill-advised styling choices, but has never left the psyche of most gearheads as one of the preferred turbocharged tools for sliding around a dirt-covered back road.

For 2022, the WRX adds a new top-of-the-line GT trim, featuring electronically controlled dampers that can tailor the dynamic performance to the driver’s preferences. But – hang on a minute; according to the bumf, that trim is only available with a CVT!

The humanity.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Genesis GV70

Some of us who are rapidly approaching a certain age will clearly recall when Lexus (and Infiniti, to a lesser extent) first showed up on the luxury car scene and promptly took the establishment to school. Fast forward 30+ years and we find an upstart Korean brand attempting the same thing – and being largely successful.

The GV70 plugged an important hole in the Genesis lineup, given the perpetual thirst of Americans for crossovers and SUVs. Its unique lighting treatments might be a love-it-or-leave-it affair, but there’s no denying this thing brings the goods to a cutthroat segment.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Viewed in a vacuum, especially through the filtered lens of an online picture, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 might appear to be a hatchback roughly the size of a VW Golf. In reality, it’s a lot more crossover-like inside and out, with the added bonus of seating flexibility that eliminates a space-hogging center console which creates a spiritual successor to the old-school bench seat.

There is a quartet of trims offered in our market, starting with the $39,700 SE Standard Range with its single motor and rear-wheel drive.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Honda HR-V

Sketches of the next bite-sized Honda surfaced this morning, showing a vehicle with an admittedly big gob but wearing proportions that are a smidgen less awkward than the machine which has been around now for very nearly a decade in some markets. If this were pre-pandemic times, we’d be bleating that a Right Spec would help buyers select the best of what’s being cleared out of dealer lots in favor of the new rig. That’s hardly the case these days.

Nevertheless, it’s entertaining to learn where the different trims land in terms of desirability. Let’s find out what’s on tap for the final model year of this HR-V generation

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The Right Spec: 2022 BMW 2-Series Coupe

We’re wading into dangerous waters with this one, since the BMW jihad fan base generally has strong opinions about the particular spec of a vehicle, spewing chassis numbers through their adenoids like water from a fire hose.

Still, we know a thing or two about cars around here, leading us to give it a go. The 2-Series (officially hyphen-free but it looks weird that way) has recently been refurbished and while it does have a set of too-small taillamps, it at least avoids the Bugs Bunny grille slapped on its older cousins.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Toyota Tundra

Thanks to Toyota’s glacier-like design cycle, a new Tundra is something most of us will experience only a few times in our adult lives. How long was the last generation around? Well, George W. Bush still had nearly three more years in the White House when the XK50 Tundra was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006. Yeah, it’s been a minute.

All that changed when the curtain dropped on the ’22 Tundra earlier this year. While the mighty and burly TRD Pro has gotten a lot of the press (and most of the promotional photos), there are actually about half a dozen trims on offer, some of which can be layered with options and packages.

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The Right Spec: 2021 Ford Mustang

We started this series however many months ago with the Challenger since it is a model with which I am familiar. Now, with summer in the rearview mirror and gearheads in wide swaths of the nation putting away their toys for the winter, build-n-price tools for sports cars will surely get a workout. After all, many car nuts often feel if they can’t exercise their clutch leg until spring, they might as well see what sort of rig they can build online.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Our fancy-pants Managing Ed. is currently enjoying the sunny and rocky environs of Moab, sampling different variants of the new-for-’22 Jeep Grand Cherokee. His impressions will appear on these digital pages in due time but, until then, let’s examine what might just be The Right Spec of this popular SUV.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Kia K5

While hammering away at his keyboard in preparation for publishing this post, it dawned upon your author that The Right Spec for any new vehicle these days is – thanks to the chip shortage and a myriad of other supply problems – whatever resides on the lot. Or at least doesn’t have an exorbitant markup placed on its sticker.

Why are we profiling a family sedan this week? Because there are still swaths of Americans, believe it or not, who’d rather have this type of machine in their driveway than yet another SUV to add to the line of vehicles in the school pick-up line. And as for why the K5, in particular, was selected – well, let’s just say we hope to start an argument in the comments.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Chevy Colorado

GM’s mid-sizer showed up as a contestant in the Ace of Base series a couple of years ago, back when the four-banger could be paired with a manual transmission. Chevy has since quietly removed that option from its order sheet, leaving cheapskates frugal shoppers with a fistful of automatic transmission.

An advantage of these Right Spec posts? The ability to venture beyond the bargain basement. Despite its second-rung status in the Chevy Truck pecking order in terms of size, there’s no shortage of trim configurations for this bowtie pickup. Throw in a trio of body styles plus a few engine choices, and the decision tree grows quite a number of branches.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

We’ve covered the Civic sedan on these digital pages in the past, noting improvements in several areas over its predecessor save for one detail – a manual transmission. Honda gets it right with the ’22 hatch variant, offering a six-speed stick in this body style.

Sure, the build-n-price tool isn’t officially live on Honda’s site as of this writing but there’s no lack of information about this model on their media site. Which is the best bang for your Honda hatchback buck?

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The Right Spec: 2022 Toyota 4Runner

With every mainstream automaker on the planet seeking to pad their bottom line with tasty SUV profits, the number of jacked-up wagons on offer is truly dizzying. Most of them are car-based, of course, including several in Toyota’s own wheelhouse – witness the mystifying Corolla Cross introduced this year.

This makes the 4Runner something of a glorious throwback. Perched on its toes and looking out into traffic with a lantern jaw, this SUV may be old as the hills but is enjoying some of its most robust sales to date.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe

In terms of sales, the Tahoe/Yukon and its larger cousins are the beyond-dominant leaders in the full-size SUV category. Blame (or thank) a robust fleet program that places these brutes in the hands of most security forces across our nation. If you spy a black Tahoe or Suburban parked outside your home … well .. you’ve seen the movies.

This is, in this author’s opinion, part of the cosplay when private individuals buy them for schlepping their family back and forth to school or the soccer game. For the 2021 model year, GM imbued these machines with a dose of new style and more efficient packaging; for 2022, they’ve upped the availability of certain powertrain combinations. It’s the latter that has made Tahoe a great candidate for today’s post.

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The Right Spec: 2022 Subaru BRZ

Yes, I know – we covered the Toyota GR 86, this car’s fraternal twin, just two weeks ago. But with both companies making a play for enthusiast dollars, it’s smart to see if the same conclusions we drew for the Big T also apply to the Exploding Galaxy.

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  • 2ACL In addition to having two decades of wear and tear, several of these old Hondas & Acuras (namely the V6s) also have transmission design defects that would likely send them to the crusher if they manifested. I wonder how many of these recalls are still open because they're attached to cars in some state of inoperability.
  • SCE to AUX I did my own research; recalls are for chumps.
  • Kwik_Shift I don't like the sloping rear.I guess it would look too Volvo otherwise?
  • Kwik_Shift I NEVER answer calls (unless its of high importance). That is why I always suggest using email or text instead.
  • Wjtinfwb We had one of these LTD wagons in the daily rental fleet I worked while in College. It had been returned early from the lease customer and dumped into daily rental duty to milk a few more dollars out of it before it went to auction. As a lease/rental car, it's maintenance had been... eh, spotty at best. But one Friday night I needed a big car to take some friends down to the coast for dinner. The LTD was available so I grabbed the keys. Loaded with 3 couples and a cooler full of beer and wine, we set of on the 60 mile drive to the coast. The HOT light came on about halfway but there was no service station open on the drive down US 319. So we kept driving. Parked at the restaurant, food and many beers and wine ensued, we poured back into the LTD and headed back to campus. The HOT light popped on 20 miles in, so we kept driving. Dropped the wagon back at the rental lot, the V6 dieseling to a clanky end. Monday came, I figured the Ford was toast so avoided it but returned from lunch to find an associate had rented it again. Surprised it even started, I figured a rescue call was soon to be requested. Nothing. Two days later it was returned, the lady returning it said the HOT light came on, but she kept driving as everything seemed fine but she noticed a really bad smell. I drove it around back, popped the hood and started checking fluids; radiator, dry as a bone. crankcase, no oil on the dipstick. Even the transmission and power steering fluids were MIA. I filled the radiator with tap water, poured 3 quarts of 30 weight Quaker State in to the filler and slammed the hood. Eventually, the thermostat was replaced as the cause of the overheating but the LTD kept running until I got fired for wrecking a Fairmont. Tough car...