The snow is starting to fall in the mountains, so it may be time for you skiers and snowboarders to start making arrangements to get out to the resorts. Perfect ski conditions do not make for perfect driving conditions, unfortunately, so it’s important to drive up to the mountains in a capable car. We all know that one person who’s been stuck in the snow, driving a front-wheel-drive Honda Fit up a snowy hill backward in a futile attempt to get more traction. Don’t be that person. Bring an appropriately equipped vehicle to the mountains with you. Nothing spoils a ski trip like not making it to the mountain.
Top Gear said yesterday it was the most important vehicle at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Yes, the new Ford F-150 has been labeled as superior to the likes of the Toyota FT-1 concept and 2014 911 Targa we covered yesterday.
Are those blokes crazy, or do they make a good point?
Well, they’re crazy, of course. But they make a heckuva good case while basking in the crazy.
Their case is justified by saying the F-150 is:
In those vehicles, aluminum makes sense, and it’s probably the material of the future for cars in their class.
Fullsize American pickups, though, require something a little sturdier. American cowboys like their domestic workhorses because they’re tough, heavy-duty machines built with good old-fashioned steel. No pansy lightweight building materials like those Europeans are using.
Well, cover your ears cowboys, because the F-150 is going aluminum. Maybe.
Does the truck in this photo look familiar? At first glance, it could very well be an upcoming version of a slightly tweaked Ford F-150. Grainy pictures are pretty typical of shots from early in a model’s development. Yet there’s something just a little off about the picture that doesn’t seem quite up to Ford’s standards.
Plus, this style of F-150 has been working American construction sites and cruising U.S. highways for years, so there’s really no reason to hide any minor changes to the body or release teaser pictures.
Obviously, the truck in this picture is not an F-150. But what is it?
There’s a Ford Focus in my neighborhood.
I realize that’s not particularly interesting, especially considering there are roughly 383,895 other neighborhoods, in my city alone, that can say the same thing.
The Focus in my area, though, doesn’t run. I’m guessing it’s a 2000 model. The car is perpetually sitting in its owner’s garage on jack stands with the hood open.
All I’ve ever done is drive by this car, but I’ve seen some clues as to what the problem might be.
First clue: There is a trailer hitch on the car.
Second clue: There is a cargo trailer in the driveway.
On the list of things that make America great, the Bill of Rights would seem to rank pretty darn near the top, right?
Sure, there are some modern feats of awesomeness that might outrank the freedom of the press and the right to bear arms, but I would assume that duct tape probably wouldn’t be one of those things.
Fortune seems to disagree. The financial magazine has published its top 100 things about America, and duct tape (number 16) outranks the Bill of Rights (number 17). That should be the first clue that the majority of this list is exceptionally cheesy, even listing Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, Gmail, the Grand Canyon and Geico commercials above the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
My intent today was to write a story about the most stolen vehicles in America. And I’ll get to that.
While researching the story, though, I came across a newscast by AutoNews that said used car buyers are paying as much as $3,000 more than they did just six months ago. Kelley Blue Book similarly reports that used cars are now “more expensive than ever.”
That’s great if you happen to be in the business of selling used cars or have a car you want to unload. But it sucks for car buyers and only makes some vehicles even more appealing to steal.
You can cling to hope all you want, but the fact remains that the new Ford Ranger won’t be sold in the United States. Ford’s reasoning is that its new compact pickup is too close in size to the F-150, and buyers should just opt for that truck.
That reasoning doesn’t make sense, though. Ford has 5 crossovers/SUVs and 5 different cars, so by its own logic shouldn’t have a Fusion, because it offers the Taurus. And it shouldn’t have the Escape, because it has the Explorer. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yet for some reason, when it comes to trucks, that’s the thinking that has prevailed.