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Found 15 results

  1. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Ram 1500 Limited

    It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one? Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Model: 1500 Trim: Limited Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17 Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI Base Price: $53,595 As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit) Options: Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00 Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00 Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00 Power Sunroof - $1,095.00 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00 Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00 Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00 Trailer Brake Control - $295.00 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00
  2. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Ram 1500 Limited

    It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one? Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Model: 1500 Trim: Limited Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17 Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI Base Price: $53,595 As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit) Options: Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00 Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00 Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00 Power Sunroof - $1,095.00 Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00 Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00 Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00 Trailer Brake Control - $295.00 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00 View full article
  3. The 2019 model year looks to be the year of the full-size truck. Alongside a redesigned Ram 1500, General Motors will be launching their next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The new trucks will be bringing a number of improvements such as a lower curb weight thanks to new materials, updated powertrains, and some new tech. But the current-generation pickups will be sticking around for some time. The Truth About Cars came across GM's 2019 VIN code documents that were submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In them, GM lists the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Legacy and GMC Sierra Limited. These models will only be offered as a double cab with the 5.3L V8. Trims include base and LT/SLE. Production of these models will take place at GM's Oshawa, Ontario plant. Source: The Truth About Cars View full article
  4. The 2019 model year looks to be the year of the full-size truck. Alongside a redesigned Ram 1500, General Motors will be launching their next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The new trucks will be bringing a number of improvements such as a lower curb weight thanks to new materials, updated powertrains, and some new tech. But the current-generation pickups will be sticking around for some time. The Truth About Cars came across GM's 2019 VIN code documents that were submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In them, GM lists the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Legacy and GMC Sierra Limited. These models will only be offered as a double cab with the 5.3L V8. Trims include base and LT/SLE. Production of these models will take place at GM's Oshawa, Ontario plant. Source: The Truth About Cars
  5. With the rising demand for luxury pickups, manufacturers are going all in offering appointments you would find in luxury sedans and SUVs. Case in point is the new Limited trim for Ford's F-Series Super Duty, which made its debut today at the Texas State Fair. Ford says the Limited is positioned for high-end customers, “from boat captains to captains of industry.” The Limited begins with a custom Camelback two-tone leather upholstery, stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel, stitching for armrests and instrument panel, a suede headliner, hand-finished dark ash trim, and the truck's VIN number laser etched in the center console. Outside, there is a new chrome grille, LED headlights, and a chrome piece on the tailgate. Standard equipment includes a 360-degree camera system, panoramic moonroof, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. Did we mention that it can tow up to 30,000 lbs? All of this luxury does come at a price. The F-250 Limited begins at $80,835; F-350 Limited starts at $82,010; and F-450 Limited kicks off at $87,100 - prices include a $1,295 destination charge. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 NEW BENCHMARK OF SUCCESS: NEW FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY LIMITED SETS BAR FOR LUXURY, TECHNOLOGY Ford again establishes new top-end for trucks with the new Super Duty Limited, specially tailored for high-end heavy-duty truck customers – from boat captains to captains of industry Custom touches – inside and out – come standard on Limited, along with Super Duty capability and smart tech Ford continues offering a heavy-duty pickup truck for every customer – from work-ready F-250 XL starting at $32,890 to top-of-the-line F-450 Limited starting at $87,100 DALLAS, Sept. 28, 2017 – Ford – America’s truck leader – today pulls off the wraps of a new F-Series Super Duty Limited that sets new luxury standards for high-end heavy-duty truckers. With pricing at $87,100, the F-450 Limited delivers technology and comfort previously reserved only in premium flagship sedans, and it’s capable enough to tow more than 30,000 lbs. – about the weight of a stealthy Air Force F-35 fighter plane. “The Super Duty lineup is a win for all of our customers, from successful ranchers to contractors to RV owners,” said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck group marketing manager. “Super Duty Limited is the most luxurious and advanced heavy-duty pickup truck ever created by Ford for accomplished buyers, with appetites for the high life and hard-earned dollars to match.” Starting MSRPs (including $1,295 destination; taxes and fees not included) are: F-250 Super Duty Limited 4x4 - $80,835 F-350 Super Duty Limited 4x4 - $82,010 F-450 Super Duty Limited 4x4 - $87,100 Customers who check every option box can top one out for as much as $94,455. What’s the point? “There are heavy-duty truck customers who need Super Duty-level capability and want true luxury,” Eckert said. “We created this new truck to answer the call for even more premium choices in the Super Duty range as we see more and more truck customers trending to more premium models.” More than 50 percent of the Super Duty lineup’s retail sales this year are high-end models – including Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum series. Limited goes even further. “Imagine opening the door to your humidor and sinking into your favorite leather lounge chair – that’s the sensation new Super Duty Limited inspires,” said Ford design manager Aileen Barraza. Custom Camelback two-tone leather seats, premium stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel, armrests and instrument panel, Miko® suede headliner, hand-finished dark ash wood trim, special badging set the interior apart. Outside, a special twin-bar satin grille with chrome accents, quad-beam LED lights and satin-finished tailgate applique are Limited’s unique calling cards. Each Limited also has a dedicated serial number laser-etched on the center console armrest. Most Super Duty tech ever Beyond the hand-crafting, Super Duty Limited comes standard with advanced and innovative features to get the job done on ranches, in marinas and everywhere in between. This includes: Class-exclusive high-definition 360-degree camera with Trailer Reverse Guidance Class-exclusive SYNC® 3 Class-exclusive BLIS® with trailer coverage Class-exclusive adaptive cruise control Class-exclusive adaptive steering Lane-keeping alert Forward collision warning with brake support Class-exclusive flat rear load floor with fold-up locking storage Class-exclusive quad-beam LED headlamps Full panoramic moonroof with retractable shade Heated and ventilated front seats, plus heated rear seats Leather-trimmed, heated steering wheel Is Ford backing away from heavy-duty truck buyers with fewer greenbacks? No way! Ford has a heavy-duty pickup truck for every customer – from work-ready F-250 XL starting at $32,890 to top-of-the-line F-450 Limited starting at $87,100. Super Duty Limited crew cab arrives this winter with Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8 across F-250, F-350 and F-450 single- or dual-rear-wheel configurations.
  6. With the rising demand for luxury pickups, manufacturers are going all in offering appointments you would find in luxury sedans and SUVs. Case in point is the new Limited trim for Ford's F-Series Super Duty, which made its debut today at the Texas State Fair. Ford says the Limited is positioned for high-end customers, “from boat captains to captains of industry.” The Limited begins with a custom Camelback two-tone leather upholstery, stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel, stitching for armrests and instrument panel, a suede headliner, hand-finished dark ash trim, and the truck's VIN number laser etched in the center console. Outside, there is a new chrome grille, LED headlights, and a chrome piece on the tailgate. Standard equipment includes a 360-degree camera system, panoramic moonroof, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. Did we mention that it can tow up to 30,000 lbs? All of this luxury does come at a price. The F-250 Limited begins at $80,835; F-350 Limited starts at $82,010; and F-450 Limited kicks off at $87,100 - prices include a $1,295 destination charge. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 NEW BENCHMARK OF SUCCESS: NEW FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY LIMITED SETS BAR FOR LUXURY, TECHNOLOGY Ford again establishes new top-end for trucks with the new Super Duty Limited, specially tailored for high-end heavy-duty truck customers – from boat captains to captains of industry Custom touches – inside and out – come standard on Limited, along with Super Duty capability and smart tech Ford continues offering a heavy-duty pickup truck for every customer – from work-ready F-250 XL starting at $32,890 to top-of-the-line F-450 Limited starting at $87,100 DALLAS, Sept. 28, 2017 – Ford – America’s truck leader – today pulls off the wraps of a new F-Series Super Duty Limited that sets new luxury standards for high-end heavy-duty truckers. With pricing at $87,100, the F-450 Limited delivers technology and comfort previously reserved only in premium flagship sedans, and it’s capable enough to tow more than 30,000 lbs. – about the weight of a stealthy Air Force F-35 fighter plane. “The Super Duty lineup is a win for all of our customers, from successful ranchers to contractors to RV owners,” said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck group marketing manager. “Super Duty Limited is the most luxurious and advanced heavy-duty pickup truck ever created by Ford for accomplished buyers, with appetites for the high life and hard-earned dollars to match.” Starting MSRPs (including $1,295 destination; taxes and fees not included) are: F-250 Super Duty Limited 4x4 - $80,835 F-350 Super Duty Limited 4x4 - $82,010 F-450 Super Duty Limited 4x4 - $87,100 Customers who check every option box can top one out for as much as $94,455. What’s the point? “There are heavy-duty truck customers who need Super Duty-level capability and want true luxury,” Eckert said. “We created this new truck to answer the call for even more premium choices in the Super Duty range as we see more and more truck customers trending to more premium models.” More than 50 percent of the Super Duty lineup’s retail sales this year are high-end models – including Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum series. Limited goes even further. “Imagine opening the door to your humidor and sinking into your favorite leather lounge chair – that’s the sensation new Super Duty Limited inspires,” said Ford design manager Aileen Barraza. Custom Camelback two-tone leather seats, premium stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel, armrests and instrument panel, Miko® suede headliner, hand-finished dark ash wood trim, special badging set the interior apart. Outside, a special twin-bar satin grille with chrome accents, quad-beam LED lights and satin-finished tailgate applique are Limited’s unique calling cards. Each Limited also has a dedicated serial number laser-etched on the center console armrest. Most Super Duty tech ever Beyond the hand-crafting, Super Duty Limited comes standard with advanced and innovative features to get the job done on ranches, in marinas and everywhere in between. This includes: Class-exclusive high-definition 360-degree camera with Trailer Reverse Guidance Class-exclusive SYNC® 3 Class-exclusive BLIS® with trailer coverage Class-exclusive adaptive cruise control Class-exclusive adaptive steering Lane-keeping alert Forward collision warning with brake support Class-exclusive flat rear load floor with fold-up locking storage Class-exclusive quad-beam LED headlamps Full panoramic moonroof with retractable shade Heated and ventilated front seats, plus heated rear seats Leather-trimmed, heated steering wheel Is Ford backing away from heavy-duty truck buyers with fewer greenbacks? No way! Ford has a heavy-duty pickup truck for every customer – from work-ready F-250 XL starting at $32,890 to top-of-the-line F-450 Limited starting at $87,100. Super Duty Limited crew cab arrives this winter with Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8 across F-250, F-350 and F-450 single- or dual-rear-wheel configurations. View full article
  7. Quick Drive: 2016 Hyundai Sonata Limited, 2.4L 6A While my parents were away, I took a little time to use their second car to offset some of the mileage on my lease. The Sonata they leased was their first lease ever, and honestly they got it for a steal. The car is nicer than their last Sonata, a 2006 with the 3.3L V6 and a 5-speed automatic. Having spent a couple of hundred miles on both highway and city driving, over the course of 2 weeks, they’ve made dramatic improvements in a decade. They styling I’m not at all crazy about. Frankly, I think it’s ugly and a step back from the previous generation which I thought was very nice and contemporary. The car is loaded with features such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking assist, dual zone auto climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, a 7” LCD screen for the infotainment, heated leather seats, front auto up/down windows, keyless entry, push-button start, etc. Ride and quality are calm and controlled. Bumps are nicely cushioned out and the handling is controlled, but not sporty. Hey, it’s a midsize family car… I’m not taking it on the autobahn. The drive modes do change the car’s personality a bit, with Eco making it a bit sluggish and Sport tightening the steering a little and making the transmission a little more rev-happy. The engine is smooth and not very buzzy… much more refined than the 4-cylinders I’m used to from growing up! I’d put it on par with my friend’s 2013 I-4 Camry. I didn’t calculate actual fuel economy numbers, but the car appeared extremely frugal. I used half a tank of gas in the 200-250 miles I drove. I’m fairly certain my car would have taken three-quarters of a much larger tank, granted I have a larger engine, AWD, and a heavier vehicle. Some features I appreciated: Perhaps it’s just me, but the digital speedometer readout updates instantly. In my LaCrosse it only updated about once or twice per second. This is a much faster readout, and I prefer it (yet I can’t figure out why as once or twice per second is fast enough—maybe it gives the illusion you’re accelerating faster than you actually are). The radio is like in my Genesis in regards to out of the 18 presets, it is always recording the first 6 favorites… even if you’re not on that station, it’s recording. So like a DVR, if I’d like to rewind a song or skip one, or pause the radio, I can. There are plenty of little cubbies all over the place, and even ones that perfectly fit my wallet and smartphone, and another that perfectly fit the key fob. Something that annoyed me: The entire car is LED. The DRL’s are LED. All the dash lights are LED. The taillamps are LED. The front dome lights are LED. The rear dome lights are incandescent. Why?! When you open the doors at night, the front seats illuminate brightly in cool white, and the rear seats illuminate in a dimmer tan. What did that do, save a few cents? Hell, the trunk light is LED! Swap the two!
  8. We're just over 2 weeks away from the 2015 New York Auto Show where Chevrolet will take the wraps off the next iterations of the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Spark. We also know from Chevy's teaser picture of 5 in 2015 shown below that the Chevrolet Cruze will not be far behind. What we've uncovered however is that Chevrolet appears to be planning to go on building the current design of Cruze and Malibu right along side their newer-bodied versions. According to the General Motors Vin Decoder website, the current Cruze and Malibu will soldier on for at least another model year. For 2016, both the current Cruze and Malibu will gain the Limited moniker, just like big brother Impala Limited. We assume that these will largely be aimed at fleet buyers, but some of the changes for Cruze lead us to believe that Chevy is expecting to do some retail sales of the Cruze Limited as well. What changes? We’ll start with the Malibu: The current design Malibu is dropping the Eco version completely; Gone also is the 2.0T. The Malibu line-up is cut to just LS, LT, and LTZ with the single engine choice of the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder. This, however, is not the same 2.5 liter found in the Malibu in 2015. The 2016 Malibu Limited will have the LCV 2.5 rather than the LKW 2.5. What does that mean to you? The only change is a 5 lb-ft increase in maximum torque at 4,400 rpm and possibly a slight decrease in fuel economy. The possibility of a slight loss of fuel economy is due to the fact that in this change, the engine will no longer have Intake Valve Lift control as part of the VVT. Only the Malibu and Impala use the LKW engine while the LCV is used in the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon; so it seems as if GM is consolidating its 4-cylinder engine platforms with this move. The 2016 Impala will also drop the LKW in favor of the LCV. With the next generation Cruze possibly a little further behind from the Malibu, it seems that Chevrolet is planning on keeping the current Cruze for sale to retail customers a bit longer. It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move for Chevy as the Impala Limited is sold at retail alongside the newer Impala for a short time. The Cruze also got a mild facelift for 2015. For 2016, the Cruze Limited remains largely unchanged. Both the automatic and manual transmissions remain as well as the Eco trim. The biggest change is likely to disappoint the oil burners in the crowd; the Cruze 2.0 Diesel appears to be done. None of these moves will seem very surprising to GM watchers. This would be the second time GM has kept the prior version Malibu in production to sell to rental fleets and the previous Impala is still on sale as the Impala Limited. However, unlike those past examples which were already well beyond their “Best By” date when they made the switch, the current Cruze and Malibu are just mildly stale, so bargain hunters searching for a deal on a 2016 could find the Limited models worth a look. Next up, Camaro SS Limited? A General Motors representative declined comment for this article. Sources: GM VIN Decoder Webpage, Oppositelock Hat Tip to Staff Writer: Blake Noble
  9. We're just over 2 weeks away from the 2015 New York Auto Show where Chevrolet will take the wraps off the next iterations of the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Spark. We also know from Chevy's teaser picture of 5 in 2015 shown below that the Chevrolet Cruze will not be far behind. What we've uncovered however is that Chevrolet appears to be planning to go on building the current design of Cruze and Malibu right along side their newer-bodied versions. According to the General Motors Vin Decoder website, the current Cruze and Malibu will soldier on for at least another model year. For 2016, both the current Cruze and Malibu will gain the Limited moniker, just like big brother Impala Limited. We assume that these will largely be aimed at fleet buyers, but some of the changes for Cruze lead us to believe that Chevy is expecting to do some retail sales of the Cruze Limited as well. What changes? We’ll start with the Malibu: The current design Malibu is dropping the Eco version completely; Gone also is the 2.0T. The Malibu line-up is cut to just LS, LT, and LTZ with the single engine choice of the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder. This, however, is not the same 2.5 liter found in the Malibu in 2015. The 2016 Malibu Limited will have the LCV 2.5 rather than the LKW 2.5. What does that mean to you? The only change is a 5 lb-ft increase in maximum torque at 4,400 rpm and possibly a slight decrease in fuel economy. The possibility of a slight loss of fuel economy is due to the fact that in this change, the engine will no longer have Intake Valve Lift control as part of the VVT. Only the Malibu and Impala use the LKW engine while the LCV is used in the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon; so it seems as if GM is consolidating its 4-cylinder engine platforms with this move. The 2016 Impala will also drop the LKW in favor of the LCV. With the next generation Cruze possibly a little further behind from the Malibu, it seems that Chevrolet is planning on keeping the current Cruze for sale to retail customers a bit longer. It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move for Chevy as the Impala Limited is sold at retail alongside the newer Impala for a short time. The Cruze also got a mild facelift for 2015. For 2016, the Cruze Limited remains largely unchanged. Both the automatic and manual transmissions remain as well as the Eco trim. The biggest change is likely to disappoint the oil burners in the crowd; the Cruze 2.0 Diesel appears to be done. None of these moves will seem very surprising to GM watchers. This would be the second time GM has kept the prior version Malibu in production to sell to rental fleets and the previous Impala is still on sale as the Impala Limited. However, unlike those past examples which were already well beyond their “Best By” date when they made the switch, the current Cruze and Malibu are just mildly stale, so bargain hunters searching for a deal on a 2016 could find the Limited models worth a look. Next up, Camaro SS Limited? A General Motors representative declined comment for this article. Sources: GM VIN Decoder Webpage, Oppositelock Hat Tip to Staff Writer: Blake Noble View full article
  10. The Hyundai Elantra has been quite the success since the Korean automaker introduced back in 2012. With distinctive styling, impressive feature set, and value that very few competitors can match. But since that time, competitors have been introducing new and refreshed compact models into the marketplace to challenge the Elantra. What does Hyundai decide to do? They introduced a refreshed version Elantra for 2014. I spent some time in a 2014 Elantra Limited sedan to see if it still is a formidable challenger. This being a mid-cycle refresh, the Elantra doesn’t have any dramatic changes inside or out. The Elantra’s exterior still has the ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language in spades with flowing curves throughout the vehicle. Changes for the 2014 model include a new front grille, LED-trimmed headlights, and LED taillights. These little changes do freshen up the Elantra and make it one of more elegant compact models in the marketplace. As for the interior, Hyundai has made some changes to the trim and infotainment system. Otherwise, the Elantra is still the same high-quality, and comfortable interior as before. One downside to the Elantra is the backseat. Legroom is slightly tight and headroom is only more so due to the sloping roofline. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a new 2.0L GDI four-cylinder producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The downside is that the 2.0L is only available on the new Sport model. The SE and Limited models stick with the 1.8L GDI four-cylinder 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want the 2.0L engine in the Limited, but I will admit that the 1.8L does get the job done. Power is adequate through the rpm range, so you don’t feel like you need any more power. The six-speed automatic which comes as standard on the Limited is smooth and doesn’t hunt around for gears. Fuel economy on the 2014 Elantra Limited is rated at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week saw an average of 32 MPG. Ride characteristics of the Elantra remind me of a larger sedan as it floats over bumps, and provides a mostly quiet ride. On curves, the Elantra sedan is surprisingly a good handler with no body lean. However the steering is a disappointment if you decide to push it as there no feedback. There’s also the Driver Selectable Steering Mode which allows a driver to vary the weight from three different settings. I found this system to be more a gimmick than actual feature. Summing up the 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited sedan goes like this: It still is a formidable challenger in the compact class. Hyundai tweaked the small things that were needed and left the rest of the car alone. This improved the vehicle from being good to being one the class leaders. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra Limited, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Hyundai Model: Elantra Trim: Limited Engine: 1.8L GDI DOHC D-CVVT Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 145 @ 6,500 Torque @ RPM: 130 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31 Curb Weight: 2,943 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea Base Price: $21,650.00 As Tested Price: $25,335.00 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Technology Package - $2,750.00 Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  11. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited

    The Hyundai Elantra has been quite the success since the Korean automaker introduced back in 2012. With distinctive styling, impressive feature set, and value that very few competitors can match. But since that time, competitors have been introducing new and refreshed compact models into the marketplace to challenge the Elantra. What does Hyundai decide to do? They introduced a refreshed version Elantra for 2014. I spent some time in a 2014 Elantra Limited sedan to see if it still is a formidable challenger. This being a mid-cycle refresh, the Elantra doesn’t have any dramatic changes inside or out. The Elantra’s exterior still has the ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language in spades with flowing curves throughout the vehicle. Changes for the 2014 model include a new front grille, LED-trimmed headlights, and LED taillights. These little changes do freshen up the Elantra and make it one of more elegant compact models in the marketplace. As for the interior, Hyundai has made some changes to the trim and infotainment system. Otherwise, the Elantra is still the same high-quality, and comfortable interior as before. One downside to the Elantra is the backseat. Legroom is slightly tight and headroom is only more so due to the sloping roofline. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of a new 2.0L GDI four-cylinder producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The downside is that the 2.0L is only available on the new Sport model. The SE and Limited models stick with the 1.8L GDI four-cylinder 145 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want the 2.0L engine in the Limited, but I will admit that the 1.8L does get the job done. Power is adequate through the rpm range, so you don’t feel like you need any more power. The six-speed automatic which comes as standard on the Limited is smooth and doesn’t hunt around for gears. Fuel economy on the 2014 Elantra Limited is rated at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week saw an average of 32 MPG. Ride characteristics of the Elantra remind me of a larger sedan as it floats over bumps, and provides a mostly quiet ride. On curves, the Elantra sedan is surprisingly a good handler with no body lean. However the steering is a disappointment if you decide to push it as there no feedback. There’s also the Driver Selectable Steering Mode which allows a driver to vary the weight from three different settings. I found this system to be more a gimmick than actual feature. Summing up the 2014 Hyundai Elantra Limited sedan goes like this: It still is a formidable challenger in the compact class. Hyundai tweaked the small things that were needed and left the rest of the car alone. This improved the vehicle from being good to being one the class leaders. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra Limited, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Hyundai Model: Elantra Trim: Limited Engine: 1.8L GDI DOHC D-CVVT Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 145 @ 6,500 Torque @ RPM: 130 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31 Curb Weight: 2,943 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea Base Price: $21,650.00 As Tested Price: $25,335.00 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Technology Package - $2,750.00 Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. At one time, Toyota had a real shot of toppling the big three in full-size truck sales. When the second-generation Tundra arrived on dealer lots in 2007, Toyota had a huge marketing campaign for it; complete with commercials and magazine ads. People took notice of this and the automaker moved 196,555 units that year. While that still lagged behind the stalwarts (F-Series: 690,589 units; Silverado: 618,257 units), it was dangerously close to the GMC Sierra (208,243 units). But then a funny thing happened. Sales began to drop in the coming years. In 2008, Toyota moved 137,249 Tundras and in the following year, only 79,385 units. Now there are many factors that go into this such as the housing crisis and Toyota offering the Tundra in only a light duty model, but there is one key factor many agree on; after 2007, the marketing seem to disappear in a flash. An odd choice considering that many of its competitors kept advertising like crazy. Which brings us to last year where Toyota introduced the redesigned 2014 Tundra at the Chicago Auto Show. With a restyled exterior, improved interior, and better electronics, Toyota said they were ‘giving customers more of what they want.’ The response was a bit lukewarm if we’re being a kind. But sometimes, first impressions can be deceiving. Maybe the 2014 Tundra has something up its sleeve that we’re not seeing and could give the stalwarts a run for their money. I recently spent a week in a 2014 Tundra CrewMax Limited to see. The 2014 Tundra looks very much like the previous Tundra at first glance, thanks to the two sharing a similar profile. Get in a bit closer and its a little bit more noticeable that the 2014 model is a tad different. Toyota sanded down the bubbly look of the previous Tundra to give the 2014 model a more muscular stance. The front has a long, imposing grille with a non-functional scoop and reshaped headlights with LED accents. Around the side are a set eighteen-inch TRD off-road wheels. The back comes with the Tundra name embossed in the tailgate and a set of chunky taillights. I'm a bit disappointed that Toyota appears to only have done a mild refresh for Tundra since they could have done so much more. I look at the new Corolla and Highlander and wonder what the designers could have done if they were allowed to go crazy with the Tundra. Unlike the mild refresh outside, Toyota engineers really went all out with the Tundra's interior. The previous model was a mishmash of hard and shiny plastics that wasn’t really fitting for any vehicle. The 2014 model takes some inspiration from Ram and Lexus with a combination soft-touch materials, leather, and higher quality plastics. The center stack has been revised with a standard seven-inch touchscreen featuring the latest version of Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and a new dual-zone climate control system. The new Entune system is still easy to use, but now comes with an updated interface which brings it into the current century. It also should be noted that Toyota pulled an idea from GM’s old infotainment system as the main screen can be divided into two to three quadrants to show much more information at a quick glance. Toyota calls the crew-cab Tundra the Crewmax and once you sit the in the back, you understand why. Sitting in the back, you feel like you’re riding in a limousine due to the comfortable seats and impressive amount of legroom. Toyota says the Crewmax has 42.3 inches of legroom, which is about 1.4 inches more than the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The Tundra Crewmax also beats the Toyota's largest sedan, the Avalon in rear legroom by 3.1 inches. For Thoughts On The Powertrain and Ride, See Page 2 The Tundra’s powertrain lineup is carried over from the previous-generation. That includes a 4.0L V6, 4.7L V8, and a 5.7L V8. My tester came equipped with the 5.7L which makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic and optional four-wheel drive system. While the power figure seems impressive on paper, a curb weight of 5,890 pounds negates that. Leaving off the line, the 5.7 V8 has excellent response and moves the truck with authority. But as you climb upward in speed, the engine begins to struggle with all of that weight. Not helping matters is throttle response that is somewhat sluggish and you find yourself pushing the pedal further down to reach the power. There also is a unpleasant racket that appears as you climb in speed. The six-speed automatic redeems the powertrain somewhat as its able to deliver smooth shifts quickly. The EPA rates the Tundra equipped with the 5.7L at 13 City/17 Highway/15 Combined. I was able to get 14 MPG for the week. A far cry from truck manufacturers who boast models that can achieve 20 plus MPG on the highway. The Tundra could really use some fuel saving tricks such as direct-injection and cylinder-deactivation. This Tundra came equipped with TRD Off-Road package which adds eighteen-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin LTX AT2 tires, Bilstein shock absorbers, skid plates, and tow hooks. The package really makes the Tundra almost capable in the rough stuff as it was able get through some of the remaining snow in a lot. Toyota has kept solid-rear/leaf-spring setup from the previous-generation. Not surprisingly, the Tundra is a compliant rider as bumps and potholes are transmitted to the passengers. The brand could take some ideas from GM's full-size trucks as they employ the same setup in the rear, but are able to achieve a more comfortable ride. Steering is light and has very good weight whenever you are driving around. After spending a week with the Tundra Limited Crewmax, I found myself scratching my head and wondering who should buy it? The problems with the Tundra range from poor fuel economy, sluggish performance from the V8, and a bouncy ride. But there are some pluses to the Tundra such as the improved interior, the optional TRD package, and an as-tested price of $44,459 make it a real bargain in the full-size class. While the Tundra may not have an ace up its sleeve, it is a good truck. But for many buyers in the full-size truck marketplace, good enough doesn’t cut it. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tundra, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Toyota Model: Tundra Trim: Limited CrewMax Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve V8 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/15 Curb Weight: 5,850 lbs Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, Texas Base Price: $41,895.00 As Tested Price: $44,459.00 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: Limited Premium Package - $595.00 Bedliner - $365.00 Running Boards - $345.00 TRD Off-Road Package - $100.00 Exhaust Tip - $99.00 Door Sill Protector - $65.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. William Maley

    Review: 2014 Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax

    At one time, Toyota had a real shot of toppling the big three in full-size truck sales. When the second-generation Tundra arrived on dealer lots in 2007, Toyota had a huge marketing campaign for it; complete with commercials and magazine ads. People took notice of this and the automaker moved 196,555 units that year. While that still lagged behind the stalwarts (F-Series: 690,589 units; Silverado: 618,257 units), it was dangerously close to the GMC Sierra (208,243 units). But then a funny thing happened. Sales began to drop in the coming years. In 2008, Toyota moved 137,249 Tundras and in the following year, only 79,385 units. Now there are many factors that go into this such as the housing crisis and Toyota offering the Tundra in only a light duty model, but there is one key factor many agree on; after 2007, the marketing seem to disappear in a flash. An odd choice considering that many of its competitors kept advertising like crazy. Which brings us to last year where Toyota introduced the redesigned 2014 Tundra at the Chicago Auto Show. With a restyled exterior, improved interior, and better electronics, Toyota said they were ‘giving customers more of what they want.’ The response was a bit lukewarm if we’re being a kind. But sometimes, first impressions can be deceiving. Maybe the 2014 Tundra has something up its sleeve that we’re not seeing and could give the stalwarts a run for their money. I recently spent a week in a 2014 Tundra CrewMax Limited to see. The 2014 Tundra looks very much like the previous Tundra at first glance, thanks to the two sharing a similar profile. Get in a bit closer and its a little bit more noticeable that the 2014 model is a tad different. Toyota sanded down the bubbly look of the previous Tundra to give the 2014 model a more muscular stance. The front has a long, imposing grille with a non-functional scoop and reshaped headlights with LED accents. Around the side are a set eighteen-inch TRD off-road wheels. The back comes with the Tundra name embossed in the tailgate and a set of chunky taillights. I'm a bit disappointed that Toyota appears to only have done a mild refresh for Tundra since they could have done so much more. I look at the new Corolla and Highlander and wonder what the designers could have done if they were allowed to go crazy with the Tundra. Unlike the mild refresh outside, Toyota engineers really went all out with the Tundra's interior. The previous model was a mishmash of hard and shiny plastics that wasn’t really fitting for any vehicle. The 2014 model takes some inspiration from Ram and Lexus with a combination soft-touch materials, leather, and higher quality plastics. The center stack has been revised with a standard seven-inch touchscreen featuring the latest version of Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and a new dual-zone climate control system. The new Entune system is still easy to use, but now comes with an updated interface which brings it into the current century. It also should be noted that Toyota pulled an idea from GM’s old infotainment system as the main screen can be divided into two to three quadrants to show much more information at a quick glance. Toyota calls the crew-cab Tundra the Crewmax and once you sit the in the back, you understand why. Sitting in the back, you feel like you’re riding in a limousine due to the comfortable seats and impressive amount of legroom. Toyota says the Crewmax has 42.3 inches of legroom, which is about 1.4 inches more than the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The Tundra Crewmax also beats the Toyota's largest sedan, the Avalon in rear legroom by 3.1 inches. For Thoughts On The Powertrain and Ride, See Page 2 The Tundra’s powertrain lineup is carried over from the previous-generation. That includes a 4.0L V6, 4.7L V8, and a 5.7L V8. My tester came equipped with the 5.7L which makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic and optional four-wheel drive system. While the power figure seems impressive on paper, a curb weight of 5,890 pounds negates that. Leaving off the line, the 5.7 V8 has excellent response and moves the truck with authority. But as you climb upward in speed, the engine begins to struggle with all of that weight. Not helping matters is throttle response that is somewhat sluggish and you find yourself pushing the pedal further down to reach the power. There also is a unpleasant racket that appears as you climb in speed. The six-speed automatic redeems the powertrain somewhat as its able to deliver smooth shifts quickly. The EPA rates the Tundra equipped with the 5.7L at 13 City/17 Highway/15 Combined. I was able to get 14 MPG for the week. A far cry from truck manufacturers who boast models that can achieve 20 plus MPG on the highway. The Tundra could really use some fuel saving tricks such as direct-injection and cylinder-deactivation. This Tundra came equipped with TRD Off-Road package which adds eighteen-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin LTX AT2 tires, Bilstein shock absorbers, skid plates, and tow hooks. The package really makes the Tundra almost capable in the rough stuff as it was able get through some of the remaining snow in a lot. Toyota has kept solid-rear/leaf-spring setup from the previous-generation. Not surprisingly, the Tundra is a compliant rider as bumps and potholes are transmitted to the passengers. The brand could take some ideas from GM's full-size trucks as they employ the same setup in the rear, but are able to achieve a more comfortable ride. Steering is light and has very good weight whenever you are driving around. After spending a week with the Tundra Limited Crewmax, I found myself scratching my head and wondering who should buy it? The problems with the Tundra range from poor fuel economy, sluggish performance from the V8, and a bouncy ride. But there are some pluses to the Tundra such as the improved interior, the optional TRD package, and an as-tested price of $44,459 make it a real bargain in the full-size class. While the Tundra may not have an ace up its sleeve, it is a good truck. But for many buyers in the full-size truck marketplace, good enough doesn’t cut it. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tundra, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Toyota Model: Tundra Trim: Limited CrewMax Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve V8 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/15 Curb Weight: 5,850 lbs Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, Texas Base Price: $41,895.00 As Tested Price: $44,459.00 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: Limited Premium Package - $595.00 Bedliner - $365.00 Running Boards - $345.00 TRD Off-Road Package - $100.00 Exhaust Tip - $99.00 Door Sill Protector - $65.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Ford's current policy on pickup trucks is to continuously update them with new models and powertrains. For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a mild-refresh of the F-150 and now has a new model to introduce, the F-150 Limited. The Limited takes the place of the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum of being the top dog in the F-150 lineup. With four trucks taking the luxury stance in the F-150 lineup, you're left wondering what makes the Limited special. Unlike the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum, the Limited doesn't really have a stand-out identity.Think of it as a Lariat with more luxuries. The Limited's exterior gets a set of 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, more chrome trim, HID headlights, and raised “Limited” lettering on each side of the bed. The front and rear bumpers, grille surround, fender flares, and side-mirror caps are painted in of three colors available on the Limited: Ruby Red, Tuxedo Black, and White Platinum. Inside, the F-150 Limited gets heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and MyFordTouch standard. Also standard on the Limited is a backup camera, voice-activated navigation, Sony audio system, power-sliding rear window, power running boards, power-folding side mirrors, a 110-volt outlet, a tow package and trailer brake controller, and a reverse sensing system. If you want an F-150 Limited, be prepared since you can only order it as a SuperCrew and get it with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 making 365 HP and a six-speed automatic. You can spec either two or four-wheel drive for the Limited. The F-150 Limited will come out sometime this fall. What Does Ford Have In Store For The 2013 Raptor? 2012 saw massive improvements for the Raptor with a Torsen limited-slip front differential, an available front-view camera, and other items. For 2013, Ford decided to make the Raptor more off-road ready by introducing factory beadlock-compatible alloy wheels, which happen to be the first wheels in the world to offer conventional and Beadlock mounts. Beadlocks secure the edges of the tire between two surfaces, keeping the tire on the rim when off-roading with low tire pressure. If you want this for your 2013 Raptor, you'll need to get a beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. Other changes for the 2013 Raptor include HID headlights, MyFord Touch, and a new exterior color called Terrain. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases on Page 3 & 4 Ford Sets Truck Standard Again with New F-150 Limited, Offering Class-Leading Luxury and Capability Building on three decades of truck leadership and a decade of luxury pickup innovation, Ford marks the 2013 model year with its most refined F-150 yet Offering standard SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, navigation with SiriusXM® Travel Link™, rain-sensing windshield wipers and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, F-150 Limited features an unprecedented level of customer convenience and connectivity technologies Featuring series-specific Limited details on the exterior like dimensional box-side lettering and unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, F-150 Limited has stylish red and black full-grain leather and genuine aluminum and piano black finishes DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford, the industry’s truck leader, marks the launch of the latest F-150 with a new statement on pickup luxury for 2013 – the F-150 Limited. “The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.” Ford leads the luxury truck segment. In 1999, the company introduced the special-edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150. In 2001, the first King Ranch F-150 arrived. The 2009 F-150 took truck luxury to new heights with the Platinum model. Today, more than 30 percent of F-150 sales are from these high-end trims, with MSRPs that start at more than $35,000 and reach almost $50,000. Limited meets the still untapped and growing luxury needs of customers and dealers interested in exclusivity and fine craftsmanship who want to differentiate themselves from other high-end options. F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum. Refined exterior design The 2013 Ford F-150 Limited design combines unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and center caps with a monochromatic exterior theme available in three handsome hues – Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat. The theme carries through the F-150 Limited exterior design with body-color front and rear bumpers, front bumper valance, sideview mirror caps, wheel-lip molding, upper fascia and grille surround. Segment-first HID headlamps provide a signature look while delivering two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps. Lamp detailing even incorporates F-150 insignias. Jewel-like chrome highlights the bold three-bar grille, tie-down hooks lining the cargo box, the single tip of the tuned exhaust and the tow hooks on 4x4 variants. “LIMITED” dimensional lettering accents the box sides. F-150 Limited is available exclusively with a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration. Inside Limited Rich red and black full-grain leather-trimmed seats take luxury and style to new heights in trucks – capitalizing on a trend seen in other high-end luxury vehicles. The seats also offer cooling and heating with memory functionality to remember seating preferences for two different drivers. Head restraints are four-way-adjustable and second-row seats are heated, too. Aluminum trims the center panel and console, lending a sophisticated yet technical touch that complements the piano black accents. Ambient lighting can shift the mood of the F-150 Limited interior, offering five accent colors. A standard moonroof provides the upward view, while the rear view camera aids maneuvering visibility. Voice-activated navigation offers a bird’s-eye view via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen. A power-sliding rear window features privacy tint and defrost functionality. Connectivity comes standard with MyFord Touch® powered by SYNC®. Designers have optimized the physical interface for MyFord Touch to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves by providing easy access to climate controls and audio presets on the center stack. Limited offers a unique gauge cluster design with a 4.2-inch driver-programmable productivity screen that can be customized to monitor various vehicle systems. The new series level also includes a media hub with USB ports, an SD-card reader and RCA video input jacks. A powerful Sony® Audio System is standard. Built Ford Tough F-150 Limited brings uncompromised capability for entrepreneurial and lifestyle pursuits with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, trailer tow package, trailer brake controller, Reverse Sensing System, power-deployable running boards and a 110-volt power inverter. PowerFold side mirrors keep warm and dry in inclement weather and help ensure driver visibility with heated glass, memory position functionality, puddle lamps, turn signals and self-dimming actuation. F-150 Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s ground breaking 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost® engine, featuring: 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel Unsurpassed 22 mpg highway for 4x2 model Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved fuel economy Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm To complement that power, sport-tuned dampers are fitted front and rear for confidence-inspiring road dynamics. F-150 Limited arrives at dealerships this fall. Ford Raptor Redefines Factory Off-Road Truck with Exclusive New Beadlock Wheels, High Technology, Camo-Inspired Color Ford raises the F-150 SVT Raptor bar again for 2013, offering industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels to help increase grip in low-traction conditions SVT Raptor now offers high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps for improved visibility, SYNC® with MyFord Touch® for added connectivity and an all-new earth-toned color called Terrain New Raptor offerings build on internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, Torsen® front differential and front-mounted camera technologies, adding even more high-performance off-road capability DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford is delivering higher levels of capability in the new 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor, answering the call from off-road enthusiasts for even more performance. The latest Raptor features available industry-first, direct-from-the-factory forged-aluminum conventional wheels that can be upgraded after purchase to extra-capable beadlocks, plus other functional improvements. These include available high-intensity discharge HID headlamps that are brighter and whiter than standard lamps, significantly expanded connectivity features and Terrain, a new earth-toned exterior color. “Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s popularity continues to grow based on its proven reputation,” said Ford SVT Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi. “It’s the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, so it’s critical that we continue to push the boundaries of off-road capability. New available beadlock wheels help to improve Raptor’s performance in soft sand and other challenging conditions, enabling our customers to go further.” SVT Raptor sales are up 20 percent in 2012, breaking last year’s record in the January to May period. Off-road high performance Raptor’s newly available forged wheel combines the proven reliability of a conventional wheel with the capability to convert to a true beadlock wheel. Beadlock wheels secure the edges of a tire to the wheel between two surfaces so the tire is unlikely to roll off the rim if it’s aired down to very low pressure, providing extra grip on the trail. Raptor’s wheels are unique because converting from conventional rim to beadlock only requires that customers unbolt the standard outer decorative ring, dismount the tire from its regular position and then remount the tire in the lock-enabled position with the available beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. This marks the first application of a wheel that has both conventional and beadlock-mounting abilities – a solution so innovative that Ford has filed for a patent on the system. “Raptor’s exclusive beadlock wheels give the customer the best of both on- and off-road worlds,” said Adam Wirth, SVT chassis engineer. “Tire inflation can be dropped to a very low threshold for maximum traction under extreme conditions, yet holds tight – and stays tight – when returning to the road.” SVT Raptor connectivity SVT Raptor features Ford’s acclaimed SYNC® communications and entertainment system, allowing hands-free voice-activated control of a driver’s mobile device and the truck’s audio system. For 2013, SVT Raptor adds a new 4.2-inch multifunction LCD screen for the MyFord® driver connect technology. SVT Raptor’s driver connectivity can be upgraded to MyFord Touch® using an 8-inch center stack touch screen with five-way controls mounted on the steering wheel. In addition, this connectivity upgrade features the 4.2-inch productivity screen, mounted in the instrument cluster. Driver-configurable, this LCD screen includes menus for gauge setup, trip computer, fuel economy and towing/off-road applications. Truck-specific MyFord Touch offers additional button controls and rotating knobs to accommodate a driver’s work gloves. SVT Raptor can be specified with an available voice-activated Navigation System using the 8-inch screen and SD-card capability for map and points-of-interest storage. A rear view camera is available as well. Inside SVT Raptor SVT Raptor is equipped with standard unique leather and cloth-trimmed seats, with driver’s side power actuation and six-way adjustability. These seats feature Raptor-specific bolsters to keep the driver and first-row passenger firmly in place, regardless of terrain conditions. The SVT Raptor interior features unique center stack and door trim appliqué finish and leather-trimmed steering wheel with thumb pads. SVT Raptor can be ordered with an optional Luxury Package, adding numerous comfort and convenience technologies. In addition, SVT Raptor can be specified with an interior color accent package, featuring contrasting blue against a black environment and real aluminum trim components. Cloth-trimmed sport seats are available to government and fleet buyers. Outside, SVT Raptor is available in Race Red, Blue Flame Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Oxford White and a new Raptor-exclusive hue for 2013, desert camouflage-inspired Terrain. SVT Raptor prowess and power Since launching as a 2010 model, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has set the benchmark for low- and high-speed off-road performance. Aggressive all-terrain tires, industry-exclusive internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, skid plates and standard Hill Descent Control™ have established Raptor as an off-road force to be reckoned with. Building on this foundation, SVT engineers expanded Raptor’s footprint for 2011 with a four-door SuperCrew model, joining the two-door SuperCab original. A Raptor development imperative has been to continually improve off-road prowess in every dimension, from rock-crawling to hammer-down desert-running. Last year, Ford began offering a front grille-mounted camera to improve driver visibility when climbing over rocks and other obstacles that might be obscured by the front of the truck. The camera transmits the captured image via the center stack-mounted LCD screen. A washer function helps keep the camera’s field of vision clear in wet and muddy conditions. The 2012 model year saw Raptor add a Torsen® limited-slip differential to the 4WD system enabling the truck to balance traction between both front wheels. If the left front wheel loses traction, the system forces torque to the right front wheel, and vice versa. The system is optimized to help minimize steering kickback when navigating challenging surfaces. The SVT Raptor is available exclusively with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, producing best-in-class 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and SelectShift Automatic® functionality. The 4WD system features electronic shift-on-the-fly capability for the transfer case. The front axle features the Torsen differential with 4.10 to 1 gearing. The rear axle is also 4.10 to 1, with an electronic-locking differential. View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Ford's current policy on pickup trucks is to continuously update them with new models and powertrains. For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a mild-refresh of the F-150 and now has a new model to introduce, the F-150 Limited. The Limited takes the place of the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum of being the top dog in the F-150 lineup. With four trucks taking the luxury stance in the F-150 lineup, you're left wondering what makes the Limited special. Unlike the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum, the Limited doesn't really have a stand-out identity.Think of it as a Lariat with more luxuries. The Limited's exterior gets a set of 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, more chrome trim, HID headlights, and raised “Limited” lettering on each side of the bed. The front and rear bumpers, grille surround, fender flares, and side-mirror caps are painted in of three colors available on the Limited: Ruby Red, Tuxedo Black, and White Platinum. Inside, the F-150 Limited gets heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and MyFordTouch standard. Also standard on the Limited is a backup camera, voice-activated navigation, Sony audio system, power-sliding rear window, power running boards, power-folding side mirrors, a 110-volt outlet, a tow package and trailer brake controller, and a reverse sensing system. If you want an F-150 Limited, be prepared since you can only order it as a SuperCrew and get it with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 making 365 HP and a six-speed automatic. You can spec either two or four-wheel drive for the Limited. The F-150 Limited will come out sometime this fall. What Does Ford Have In Store For The 2013 Raptor? 2012 saw massive improvements for the Raptor with a Torsen limited-slip front differential, an available front-view camera, and other items. For 2013, Ford decided to make the Raptor more off-road ready by introducing factory beadlock-compatible alloy wheels, which happen to be the first wheels in the world to offer conventional and Beadlock mounts. Beadlocks secure the edges of the tire between two surfaces, keeping the tire on the rim when off-roading with low tire pressure. If you want this for your 2013 Raptor, you'll need to get a beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. Other changes for the 2013 Raptor include HID headlights, MyFord Touch, and a new exterior color called Terrain. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases on Page 3 & 4 Ford Sets Truck Standard Again with New F-150 Limited, Offering Class-Leading Luxury and Capability Building on three decades of truck leadership and a decade of luxury pickup innovation, Ford marks the 2013 model year with its most refined F-150 yet Offering standard SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, navigation with SiriusXM® Travel Link™, rain-sensing windshield wipers and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, F-150 Limited features an unprecedented level of customer convenience and connectivity technologies Featuring series-specific Limited details on the exterior like dimensional box-side lettering and unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, F-150 Limited has stylish red and black full-grain leather and genuine aluminum and piano black finishes DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford, the industry’s truck leader, marks the launch of the latest F-150 with a new statement on pickup luxury for 2013 – the F-150 Limited. “The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.” Ford leads the luxury truck segment. In 1999, the company introduced the special-edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150. In 2001, the first King Ranch F-150 arrived. The 2009 F-150 took truck luxury to new heights with the Platinum model. Today, more than 30 percent of F-150 sales are from these high-end trims, with MSRPs that start at more than $35,000 and reach almost $50,000. Limited meets the still untapped and growing luxury needs of customers and dealers interested in exclusivity and fine craftsmanship who want to differentiate themselves from other high-end options. F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum. Refined exterior design The 2013 Ford F-150 Limited design combines unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and center caps with a monochromatic exterior theme available in three handsome hues – Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat. The theme carries through the F-150 Limited exterior design with body-color front and rear bumpers, front bumper valance, sideview mirror caps, wheel-lip molding, upper fascia and grille surround. Segment-first HID headlamps provide a signature look while delivering two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps. Lamp detailing even incorporates F-150 insignias. Jewel-like chrome highlights the bold three-bar grille, tie-down hooks lining the cargo box, the single tip of the tuned exhaust and the tow hooks on 4x4 variants. “LIMITED” dimensional lettering accents the box sides. F-150 Limited is available exclusively with a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration. Inside Limited Rich red and black full-grain leather-trimmed seats take luxury and style to new heights in trucks – capitalizing on a trend seen in other high-end luxury vehicles. The seats also offer cooling and heating with memory functionality to remember seating preferences for two different drivers. Head restraints are four-way-adjustable and second-row seats are heated, too. Aluminum trims the center panel and console, lending a sophisticated yet technical touch that complements the piano black accents. Ambient lighting can shift the mood of the F-150 Limited interior, offering five accent colors. A standard moonroof provides the upward view, while the rear view camera aids maneuvering visibility. Voice-activated navigation offers a bird’s-eye view via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen. A power-sliding rear window features privacy tint and defrost functionality. Connectivity comes standard with MyFord Touch® powered by SYNC®. Designers have optimized the physical interface for MyFord Touch to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves by providing easy access to climate controls and audio presets on the center stack. Limited offers a unique gauge cluster design with a 4.2-inch driver-programmable productivity screen that can be customized to monitor various vehicle systems. The new series level also includes a media hub with USB ports, an SD-card reader and RCA video input jacks. A powerful Sony® Audio System is standard. Built Ford Tough F-150 Limited brings uncompromised capability for entrepreneurial and lifestyle pursuits with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, trailer tow package, trailer brake controller, Reverse Sensing System, power-deployable running boards and a 110-volt power inverter. PowerFold side mirrors keep warm and dry in inclement weather and help ensure driver visibility with heated glass, memory position functionality, puddle lamps, turn signals and self-dimming actuation. F-150 Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s ground breaking 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost® engine, featuring: 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel Unsurpassed 22 mpg highway for 4x2 model Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved fuel economy Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm To complement that power, sport-tuned dampers are fitted front and rear for confidence-inspiring road dynamics. F-150 Limited arrives at dealerships this fall. Ford Raptor Redefines Factory Off-Road Truck with Exclusive New Beadlock Wheels, High Technology, Camo-Inspired Color Ford raises the F-150 SVT Raptor bar again for 2013, offering industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels to help increase grip in low-traction conditions SVT Raptor now offers high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps for improved visibility, SYNC® with MyFord Touch® for added connectivity and an all-new earth-toned color called Terrain New Raptor offerings build on internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, Torsen® front differential and front-mounted camera technologies, adding even more high-performance off-road capability DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford is delivering higher levels of capability in the new 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor, answering the call from off-road enthusiasts for even more performance. The latest Raptor features available industry-first, direct-from-the-factory forged-aluminum conventional wheels that can be upgraded after purchase to extra-capable beadlocks, plus other functional improvements. These include available high-intensity discharge HID headlamps that are brighter and whiter than standard lamps, significantly expanded connectivity features and Terrain, a new earth-toned exterior color. “Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s popularity continues to grow based on its proven reputation,” said Ford SVT Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi. “It’s the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, so it’s critical that we continue to push the boundaries of off-road capability. New available beadlock wheels help to improve Raptor’s performance in soft sand and other challenging conditions, enabling our customers to go further.” SVT Raptor sales are up 20 percent in 2012, breaking last year’s record in the January to May period. Off-road high performance Raptor’s newly available forged wheel combines the proven reliability of a conventional wheel with the capability to convert to a true beadlock wheel. Beadlock wheels secure the edges of a tire to the wheel between two surfaces so the tire is unlikely to roll off the rim if it’s aired down to very low pressure, providing extra grip on the trail. Raptor’s wheels are unique because converting from conventional rim to beadlock only requires that customers unbolt the standard outer decorative ring, dismount the tire from its regular position and then remount the tire in the lock-enabled position with the available beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. This marks the first application of a wheel that has both conventional and beadlock-mounting abilities – a solution so innovative that Ford has filed for a patent on the system. “Raptor’s exclusive beadlock wheels give the customer the best of both on- and off-road worlds,” said Adam Wirth, SVT chassis engineer. “Tire inflation can be dropped to a very low threshold for maximum traction under extreme conditions, yet holds tight – and stays tight – when returning to the road.” SVT Raptor connectivity SVT Raptor features Ford’s acclaimed SYNC® communications and entertainment system, allowing hands-free voice-activated control of a driver’s mobile device and the truck’s audio system. For 2013, SVT Raptor adds a new 4.2-inch multifunction LCD screen for the MyFord® driver connect technology. SVT Raptor’s driver connectivity can be upgraded to MyFord Touch® using an 8-inch center stack touch screen with five-way controls mounted on the steering wheel. In addition, this connectivity upgrade features the 4.2-inch productivity screen, mounted in the instrument cluster. Driver-configurable, this LCD screen includes menus for gauge setup, trip computer, fuel economy and towing/off-road applications. Truck-specific MyFord Touch offers additional button controls and rotating knobs to accommodate a driver’s work gloves. SVT Raptor can be specified with an available voice-activated Navigation System using the 8-inch screen and SD-card capability for map and points-of-interest storage. A rear view camera is available as well. Inside SVT Raptor SVT Raptor is equipped with standard unique leather and cloth-trimmed seats, with driver’s side power actuation and six-way adjustability. These seats feature Raptor-specific bolsters to keep the driver and first-row passenger firmly in place, regardless of terrain conditions. The SVT Raptor interior features unique center stack and door trim appliqué finish and leather-trimmed steering wheel with thumb pads. SVT Raptor can be ordered with an optional Luxury Package, adding numerous comfort and convenience technologies. In addition, SVT Raptor can be specified with an interior color accent package, featuring contrasting blue against a black environment and real aluminum trim components. Cloth-trimmed sport seats are available to government and fleet buyers. Outside, SVT Raptor is available in Race Red, Blue Flame Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Oxford White and a new Raptor-exclusive hue for 2013, desert camouflage-inspired Terrain. SVT Raptor prowess and power Since launching as a 2010 model, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has set the benchmark for low- and high-speed off-road performance. Aggressive all-terrain tires, industry-exclusive internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, skid plates and standard Hill Descent Control™ have established Raptor as an off-road force to be reckoned with. Building on this foundation, SVT engineers expanded Raptor’s footprint for 2011 with a four-door SuperCrew model, joining the two-door SuperCab original. A Raptor development imperative has been to continually improve off-road prowess in every dimension, from rock-crawling to hammer-down desert-running. Last year, Ford began offering a front grille-mounted camera to improve driver visibility when climbing over rocks and other obstacles that might be obscured by the front of the truck. The camera transmits the captured image via the center stack-mounted LCD screen. A washer function helps keep the camera’s field of vision clear in wet and muddy conditions. The 2012 model year saw Raptor add a Torsen® limited-slip differential to the 4WD system enabling the truck to balance traction between both front wheels. If the left front wheel loses traction, the system forces torque to the right front wheel, and vice versa. The system is optimized to help minimize steering kickback when navigating challenging surfaces. The SVT Raptor is available exclusively with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, producing best-in-class 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and SelectShift Automatic® functionality. The 4WD system features electronic shift-on-the-fly capability for the transfer case. The front axle features the Torsen differential with 4.10 to 1 gearing. The rear axle is also 4.10 to 1, with an electronic-locking differential.

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