By on April 7, 2020

ford

Ford has recalled nearly 68,000 vehicles manufactured at the start of 2020 and sold in North America, saying the cars suffer from a potential manufacturing defect where the clip that locks the gearshift cable to the transmission can become unseated.

While the company says it isn’t aware of any incidents related to the issue, a decoupling clip could allow a car’s transmission to be in a gear state different from the gearshift position selected by the operator. This could easily lead to dangerous roll-away accidents as drivers unwittingly put their vehicle into the wrong gear while thinking they’ve selected park. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

Rare Rides previously featured the weather-inspired SVT Lightning, an effort that saw Ford add a healthy dose of power and sporty handling to its full-size pickup.

Today we’ll have a look at Lightning’s smaller sibling, which is named after the same weather event: the Ranger Thunderbolt, from 2002.

(Read More…)

By on December 19, 2019

The midsize pickup truck market was once thought dead, particularly in the wake of seemingly unstoppable sales in the full-size class. But after General Motors brought forth updated generations of the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon a few years ago, Ford brought the Ranger back to North American shores, realizing that it couldn’t sit on the sidelines, joining the Japanese stalwarts – the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Now midsize pickup market isn’t just heating up, it’s starting to catch fire.

To see if they’re up to the task of some good ‘ole classic four-wheelin’, I took part in an event that rounded them all up — well, nearly all of them — at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area in Eastern Pennsylvania for a day to test their off-road chops.

Although they may not seem quite as imposing as the larger full-size pickups, these midsize brutes offer plenty of capability. Their smaller footprint also allows for easier maneuverability around tight trails. So a bunch of us auto journalists gathered up all the contenders in the most off-road-biased specification to duke it out for off-roading superiority: The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, Ford Ranger FX4, Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

(Read More…)

By on December 17, 2019

ford

The $6 billion in funding promised in Ford Motor Company’s new four-year labor contract is starting to be seen and heard. Having secured a walletful of incentives from the state of Michigan, Ford is now promising about $1.45 billion and 3,000 new jobs for the Southeast Michigan area.

Ford’s cash dump, announced Tuesday, will flow into three facilities in the area, one of which doesn’t yet exist. (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger at MAP - Image: Ford

Ford announced Monday that it will recall 72,718 Ranger pickups over taillight malfunctions. This one is pretty cut and dried, without the mystique that make most recall notices so appealing. There’s no fire risk, no chance of the vehicle veering wildly out of control, and no reported accidents stemming from the issue.

Barring some inattentive motorist slamming into your backside, not realizing you were attempting to stop, the range of hypothetical dangers are pretty limited. Basically, someone forgot to crimp and plug the applicable terminals at the factory and Ford needs to give these 2019MY Rangers another look — something it seems to be doing rather often.  (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2019

Image: Ford

While Ford Motor Company doesn’t have any trouble offloading F-150s and Rangers on a truck-hungry populace, there’s always another way to sweeten the pot. To boost the appeal of its full- and mid-size offerings, the automaker will now offer off-road levelling kits, perhaps saving a unlucky pickup from scraping its chin.

Developed by Ford Performance Parts, the kits are a dealer-installed affair, offering buyers a way to leave the store with a touch more brawn. (Read More…)

By on August 14, 2019

Image: Ford

In all fairness, the newly announced FX2 Package does boost the off-road cred of the two-wheel drive Ford Ranger, albeit modestly. If memory serves this writer correctly, RWD trucks can be a load of fun in the rough, assuming that backcountry trail isn’t too slick, greasy, or soupy.

An obvious ploy to capture the hearts and minds of those enamored by Ford’s popular (4×4) FX4 Off-Road Package, the FX2 seeks to slightly improve the off-roadability of rear-drive Rangers while elevating the truck’s visual brawn. (Read More…)

By on July 30, 2019

Image: Ford

Do you find yourself wishing Ford turned up the heat on the Ranger pickup, perhaps offering customers a choice of powerplants and greater diversity in appearances? You’re likely in luck.

According to U.S. trademark applications filed late this month, the Blue Oval has just gotten started with its new midsizer, though anyone waiting patiently for the Raptor variant already offered overseas will have to remain on ice. (Read More…)

By on July 16, 2019

An all-new Ford Bronco is going to make its way back to dealerships sometime next year, and the speculation and hype around the next-generation off-roader is nearing feverish levels. Michigan Assembly builds the Ranger. It will also build the Bronco. But that’s not the only pickup truck that will be coming from there.

Automobile is reporting that a Bronco pickup truck is to start production in July of 2024 and will compete directly with Jeep’s Gladiator. The company making the prediction, AutoForecast Solutions, said that design and engineering for the truck began shortly after the launch of the Gladiator.

Why 2024? According to another source, the Focus-based Ford Courier is on the way in 2021. The next-generation Ranger set to go on sale during that time. Ford also plans to launch a Ranger Raptor on the new platform. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger rear quarter

Recalls to prevent cars from rolling away from their owners have become commonplace, and Ford is no stranger to the phenomenon. Last year, the automaker recalled 550,000 Fusions and Escapes to replace vulnerable automatic transmission shift cables that could leave the car in the wrong gear, regardless of where the driver positions the shift lever.

On Wednesday, Ford announced a recall for the exact same problem, plus a second one for a similar issue. While the Fusion makes up the bulk of the affected vehicles, the brand new Ranger pickup also finds itself on the receiving end of some unwanted PR. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger at MAP - Image: Ford

The new Ford Ranger only went on sale in January, but the midsize pickup is already the focus of a class-action lawsuit. The complaint, filed earlier this week, alleges the Blue Oval “deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing in order to report that its vehicles used less fuel and emitted less pollution than they actually did.”

Them’s fightin’ words, especially in the post-Dieselgate era. It also doesn’t help that Ford was forced to lower its fuel economy ratings on six models and dole out compensation to their drivers about five years ago. Is it deja vu all over again? Well, not quite.

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2019

As both Ford and General Motors have moved to annoying quarterly sales reporting, we’re getting into this whole “quarter” thing. Against our will, mind you, but that’s enough bitching for now.

We told you earlier how Ford’s looking smug as GM and Fiat Chrysler duke it out for second place in the full-size pickup segment (FCA’s winning), but what does the overall health of the truck market look like? As it turns out, it would look a lot worse without a new addition that showed up, fashionably late, in January. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2019

VW

European and other overseas buyers will one day be able to purchase a Volkswagen version of the Ford Ranger, all thanks to the automakers’ recently forged alliance, but what about North American customers?

The dream of a German pickup in the U.S. is still alive, VW confirms. However, what that truck might look like — and who will build it — is still a question mark. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2019

VW Passat GTThough much of the luxury vehicle segment is immune from the depressingly practical concept of “good value,” the less aspirational vehicles of the proletariat are not so fortunate.

Today we discuss overpriced non-luxury vehicles for sale in 2019.

(Read More…)

By on February 7, 2019

Ahead of production of its all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, and Lincoln Aviator at the Chicago Assembly plant, Ford is greasing the wheels with a $1 billion cash injection, adding 500 jobs in the process.

The money, destined for both Chicago Assembly and a nearby stamping plant, will ensure three crucial products make it to showrooms and law enforcement fleets by summer. As Ford plays Santa Claus, another important product — one which went on sale just last month — is now under recall. (Read More…)

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